Will You Stand?

    Second Week of Advent
    Believing the Advents:    For the most part todays church say they believe Jesus is the Messiah yet they refuse to adhere to His words. You then really can’t say you believe if you do not obey His words. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” So today we also are not seeing or hearing to fulfill again the words of Isaiah. Mark 7:6 Jesus replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” John the Baptist was testifying concerning Jesus. John 1:19 “Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” Luke 3:15 “The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. John also had to come to terms with the Mesiah.        
                The problem today is no one is looking for the Anointed One, no one is looking for truth and no one fears God.” No one wants to be exhorted or admonished as everyone goes their own way and refuses to repent. But we must turn back, believe and obey and follow wholeheartedly. John 1:35 “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.” Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). Later two disciples were walking in the wrong disciple and Jesus came to where they were staying. Luke 24:29 “So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
    Song:   Adore  - Chris Tomlin
    You can adore all you want and celebrate Christmas and Easter to the fullest measure but still miss the Messiah because you have failed to believe His words and stand firm. When He returns to take us home, what will you hear? Matthew 24:21 “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Or will you hear 41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
                During this time as we focus on the Advents of Jesus, we must believe and obey. We also must believe he will come again to take us home and fulfill his promises. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
    Song: People Get Ready ... Jesus Is Comin'  -   Avalon          
    Scripture:  Acts 1:7 “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
    Matthew 1:20 “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
    Songs:   Medley - Michael W. Smith   
      Born Is the King (It's Christmas)  - Hillsong        
      He Shall Reign Forevermore  -  Chris Tomlin
    Scripture:   Job 19
    Song:    Offering -  Umobile Worship    
    Sermon:  “Will You Stand”
    Closing Song:  My Redeemer Lives - Shout To The Lord 2000
    Benediction:             Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
    Sermon:                   “How Will You Stand”
                Last week we talked about the power of God answering our prayers. When we read 2 Samuel 22 I trust that you saw what happens when God answers. I also trust you realize that we must stand firm on God’s word and never move from it. We have seen what happens when we do turn away and the lack of results that stem from following false gospels. Isaiah 1 makes that abundantly clear. Look how Isaiah starts off Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.” 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!” In Isaiah you see this back and forth of judgment and hope. So much so that you see you the sign, Isaiah 7:14 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” And then in Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Then this is followed with the anger of the Lord. We too have brought anger to God by not standing on His word and believing.
                What exactly have people been taught to believe? These days, Christmas is a time of lights and songs and presents, gatherings yet the word of God is ignored. So what if more people might attend church at Christmas and Easter. There are signs around that say “Keep Christ in Christmas” Yes take Christ out and you just have a large body of people. Yes people get all upset about people wishing them a Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas yet Christ is missing form the church and no one seems to care. If Christ the anointing returned, the world would know it. The sign on the side of the street is nothing compared to the power of the sign of Immanuel. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil.  John 10:10 (ESV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Is that not what we want?
                Yet we will not see God if we do not obey His commands. If we want to see the power of answered prayer, we need to know whom we believe in. Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12 “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” Many are unwilling to suffer for God even though Jesus said Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” Our life in Christ is not all cushy. Hebrews 10:32 “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” If as Jesus said Mathew 10:37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” If you are not willing to do this you will have no hope unless you repent. Mark said it this way. Mark 8:34 “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
                Let me use this recent example of those who say they are Christians but the praise of the world is much more important. They say all the right things but when tested they fail before God. They are afraid their reputations will be affected. What I am about to share is not new. We have in the past looked at many such as In a conversation between Schuller and Graham about who would be saved. Schuller said: This is fantastic! I’m so thrilled to hear you say that! There’s a wideness in God’s mercy! Graham: There is.  There definitely is.” I am pretty sure there is a narrow door as we read earlier. Larry King and others have asked Is Jesus the only way and these leaders and singers with millions of followers have sputtered and failed the mission in fear of man and not God because they do not know whom they believe. Some one like Larry King who used to always like to test his religious guests. I like what one author said. “Several years ago a popular minister was on Larry King. Larry King asked Joel Olsteen if Jesus was the only way to God. This minister tried to avoid the question so Larry pressed the issue more. Finally this minister said he could not give an answer to his question. I though to myself. Why couldn’t he answer him? All he had to do was quote John 14:6 “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” If he were to say that Jesus is the only way to God, it might alienate some of his listening audience and his book sales might decrease.”
                 Most recently we have a young lady who has become very popular. Her voice and songs are very powerful so you would think she was a strong woman of God, or so you would think. In an interview earlier in October, Daigle told The Christian Post she would not compromise her faith while performing around the world to minister to those outside of the church.” That sounds awesome especially from someone who has the opportunity to do that. “The award-winning songstress advised that people not be afraid to be a light in the dark world. She stated that if people misunderstand her motives, it might be their own aversion to hazardous environments.” “Daigle shared that her "heart, spirit and desire" is to please the Lord while keeping righteousness at the forefront. She vowed that her testimony would not be destroyed in any way.” And then shortly thereafter the test came and she failed. Yes she has rocketed up the billboards and many say she is spreading the gospel but what gospel is she spreading. With one answer she let the world know she doesn’t know God nor His word.
                In the process of fame, talk shows are the steps to higher. While on the Domenic Nati show. But before I go one here is a little behind the scenes info. He says “I have had a relationship with Jesus for eighteen years, however The Domenick Nati Show is not a “Christian” show.” Ok Here is what he also believes in response to the responses concerning our singer. Yes I will get to the question but this background is interesting. Yes the question was about homosexuality and her views or views lack thereof. He said “I know that Moses thought it was a sin and I know Paul thought it was a sin, but Jesus didn’t speak on it. And Paul and Moses didn’t always get things right in their writings nor was it always recorded, copied, and translated correctly.” But I  call myself a christian. Now remember everyone who calls themselves a Christian is not especially when they deny the word of God.
                So here is what happened. On her rise she ended up on the Ellen show at the end of October. So she preforms and all is good, well not for everyone as some are upset that she is on the show in the first place but that is not the issue. But here is where the problem lies. In an interview following this performance, the Domenic Nati show. “He asked Daigle, 27, who's known for the hits "How Can It Be" and "You Say," a direct question due to her recent performance on The Ellen Show, "do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?" Daigle responded. "I can't honestly answer on that," "In a sense, I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual. I don't know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can't say one way or the other. I'm not God. So when people ask questions like that...that's what my go to is.  I just say read the Bible and find out for yourself.  And when you find out let me know, because I'm learning too," she continued.” What kind of cowardly answer is that?  
                This ignorance as to the word of God has also swept through the church. The bible is the word of God and all that is in it. 2 Peter 1:21 “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” They do not know the spirit of truth. So here is this young lady trying to make it big in this world and fails the test right off the bat because she does not know the word of God or is not willing to stand due to the ramifications of truth. The odds are Ellen would look at her differently if she actually said the truth. Her popularity would plummet. It is not that she doesn’t know it is that she refuses to risk her career for the one she is supposedly singing about. Not only is she to blame but those who have taught her. I wait eagerly for a repentance statement to the press.
                 Whether you are on Oprah or Larry King or "The Domenic Nati Show," will you care more about what God thinks or what the world thinks? So many say they believe but have know idea whom they have believed. I just picked out a few but think about Miss Daigle. Pound out beautiful songs about Jesus yet denying his very words while she does it. You know what God thinks because he wrote it down. Whether you believe what is written down is another story. Yes she has made it and was given a place to testify to millions about God’s word but in reality doesn’t know who He is and in a blink of an eye turned from the word of God. No Mr. Schuller the way is narrow as I’m sure he has found out. Lauren believe what you read but instead you are just part of the mass without Christ.
                Yes this is Christmas and everything is supposed to be a wonderful life and as Tiny Tim said “A Merry Christmas to us all God bless us every one.” Do we really think God will bless us when we deny his word? We need to stand strong no matter what it costs us. Homosexuality if you read the bible is an abomination but today this is about whether you will stand for the one who dies for you. The bible is clear and there is no argument. The argument is whether you actually believe the bible. Lauren Daigle sings a song about the Stone being rolled away. She says “I once was blinded But now I see it I heard about the power And now I believe it Rise up (rise up).” Unfortunately this is just a song because she has denied the very words of the one she sings about. Now, every one does not have millions of people clinging to our every word but we are all still tested. Do we believe what we read or do we find ways to change the word so it is more palatable. Yes I believe homosexuality is an abomination before God as are other sins but I also believe that until we see that power I talked about last week we continue to pray revive us again so that healing power would flow once again Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. and Jude 23 “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” That same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to all who believe. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Until God turns his face to us once again we call out to be saved once again yet there will be great resistance to it.
                Earlier we read about Job. This is a powerful chapter concerning a man who had lost everything and no one respected him in the least. After he told us of what was going on he makes this powerful statement. This is a statement that those who were interviewed should have known. They should not have been afraid to loose fame or fortune. They should have been afraid of the wrath of God. Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” They should have faced adversity knowing that God goes before us. They should know that those who trust in the Lord will be saved. They should know no man will stand before you. They should know that wherever we set our feet will be ours. They should know Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” They should know that Luke 1:30 “Mary; you had found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Psalm 78:35 “They should have remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.”
                They shouldn’t have been afraid. Isaiah 41:14 “Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” They should have remembered “Isaiah 44:24 This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself.” They should have remembered Jeremiah 50:34 “their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.” They should have remembered Isaiah 59:20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord. 21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.” They should have remembered the tomb was empty. John 20:1  Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” They should have remembered Mark 16:14 “Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” They should have remembered Matthew 10:16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” They should have remembered not to forget. Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” 1 Corinthians 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
                Yet they forget when they take their eyes off the word of God and go their own ways. The lack of knowledge is devastating and you will perish no matter how famous you are. You must stand firm on the word of God, “This Gospel” and not move from it. Hebrews 12:25 “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?” 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” So when asked what the bible says tell them and do not be afraid. Stand firm of God’s word. 2 John 1:7 “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
                Job held on and said Job 19:26 “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
                So no matter whether you are persevering through trials or standing for God’s word, Colossians 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” We have been told so many times Joshua 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
                Do we trust God enough to give him our lives? Do we trust him enough to care for our every need, and our future? Do we trust him in adversity to see us through as we wait upon him? Do we trust that when we stand for him he will see us through? We saw what he did for Job and David and others who followed. Will our faith include us in that list? Do we believe God is faithful to his word? Joshua said Joshua 21:43 “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”
                Jesus came to save us and set us free not keep us in captivity. Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” And then they tried to kill him. This gospel does not want to be heard. Most want feel good stories of success and prosperity. People today do not want to hear truth and that is the church I am talking about. They do not want to hear God has turned his face from shining on us, they would rather hear a Christmas tree sing. They would rather celebrate a baby born in a manger and keep Him that way. They would rather learn from their traditions and experience and reason than hear the word of God but that will change and the power of God will once again be seen by this world. 1 Samuel 17:47 “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” God gave us a promise Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 32 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. 34 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. 36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”