Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Can We Turn In These Days

Where Can We Turn in These Days?

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

2nd Corinthians 11:4 And no man marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.

Ephesians is a very powerful book written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Ephesus. He is writing to the church because a serious problem was afflicting the church. Conflicts had surfaced between Jewish and Gentile Christians that threatened to split the church. Paul knew that he was sent to preach the gospel to the gentiles. He knew God’s plan included was to include all men in his kingdom and that purpose was made manifest in the person of Jesus Christ.
God had drawn Jews and Gentiles together in Christ and Paul rose to God’s call to bring unity to to the church.

Chapters 1 through 3 of Ephesians define Christianity and Chapters 4-6 identifies how Christians are suppose to live.

In Chapters 1-3 Paul emphasizes the position of true believers. He says “you have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and you believed it and because you believe it you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.

Today we see many people who profess to be Christians but do not exhibit the character of Christ. They may have walked an isle, prayed a prayer but do not have the image of Christ. I fear we have assured many that they are saved because they repeated a prayer with some words in it that did not come from their heart. We have become so caught up in a hurry up world that we have drafted the idea from fast food chains that we can have salvation our way, fast, easy, without repentance. We think we can have salvation and be assured of heaven by saying a few words and then attending and working in church and being good while we keep our sin. Modern religion says we have to agree with the world to save it. For this reason we are seeing churches splitting, people running around from church to church looking for something they cannot find and the love of many growing cold. We have gotten smug about church thinking we have everything running fine. We see some trouble signs but God will take care of them we feel.
Salvation is a heart matter. Religion will not get it done. Going to church won’t get it done. The only thing that will produce true salvation is true repentance and you can’t have true repentance until you realize you are a lost, sinful creature not worthy to go to heaven, but worthy to spend eternity suffering in hell because we have failed. Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” .

The church service may be full, but schedule a prayer meeting or a bible study and few come.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10 “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

He is saying this: “If you are a true Christian as defined in Ephesians chapters 1 – 3 and you are living as defined in chapters 4-6, then you can be sure of one thing, that you are going to run head on into Satan. If you walk worthy, in humility, in unity and not in the vanity of your mind. If you put on the new man, walk in love, not lust; walk in light, not darkness; wisdom, not fooleshness, filled with the Holy Spirit, sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs, submit to one another, wives submitting to their husbands as to the Lord and husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it; children obeying their parents, and parents nurturing their children, raising them in the things of God. If we do these things we will counter the world’s system. We will go against the grain. That’s exactly what is happening in our society. It’s also happening right in the church.

We have gotten smug, playing church and we have failed to see the demons creep into each other and begin to subtly set up camp and develop strongholds. Satan builds his strongholds within the church and then moves to destroy it. The unsaved are the first to scatter followed by those caught up by emotions. In the moment of controversy the weak forget their biblical training and rely on their worldly emotions. Prayer stops in favor of gossip, vows are broken because the moment is just too hard. Human wisdom prevails and instead of fighting the devil, we allow him to control us.

True, “sold out”, Christians are left wondering what on earth is going on. Hard times come and the remnant are left to endure them. Paul knew of these things when he wrote to Timothy and instructed him to be a good soldier and endure hardness.

We are living in tough times. There is a shift beginning to occur that’s purging the church. God knows the church has no power and sin is running rampid in our society. Murder of the unborn continues unchecked and increasing. God is being thrown out of our culture, morals are being abandoned. The standards of God are being forsaken, yet in the church we sit smug and even try to think of ways to entertain the world so they will come into the church. Sin is running wild in the church as we leave the morals of God and persue the ways of the world. The instance of sin is as high in the church as it is in the world. You can’t tell the difference.

Paul said in Acts 20:31 “I have not ceased to warn you night and day for the space of three years with tears” He was warning that Satan is right in our midst in the church and He was sending the same warning down through the ages to us that Jesus gave in Matthew 24:10-13 (READ)

We are in the season Jesus spoke of . These are the last days that Jesus and Paul spoke of and there are wolves from the outside and false teachers on the inside bringing disunity to the church and doing their best to destroy it. There are few Christians walking in the power of God, having the seal of his promise and standing against the wiles of the devil.

We have ignored the fact that we are in a War !!!

Where are the Christians who will stand against Satan cast out demons, bind the powers of darkness and loose the Holy Spirit of God upon situations, heal the sick and proclaim the great day of the Lord?

Peter said judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. In Revelation we see Jesus standing in the middle of His lampstands which are the churches. He is dressed in white, symbolizing purity and his eyes are searching, penetrating and evaluating his churches. Then he brought seven powerful, demanding letters with warnings to the churches. Please note he did not warn the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. Why? Because Smyrna was being persecuted for standing on the gospel and Philadelphia was an evangelizing, aggressive, soul winning church. These two things are wonderful preservatives for a church.

John McArthur said in one of his sermons “when a church is persecuted it tends to maintain it’s purity because all of the impurity drops out. Who wants to be in a church which is being persecuted? Only those who are called!

That’s what I love about being an evangelist. It purifies me! Evangelistic preaching riles up the devil where he can be revealed and dealt with. I love to do crusades, I can hit them for the Lord and run. It is gorilla warfare by the power of the Holy Spirit.

When God saved me through a Damascus road experience he moved on me in power! Within moments of my repentance and acceptance he told me I would be working for him and walking in his power. He warned me never to take credit or think that I have anything to do with it except to surrender to him. He also told me to walk in faith whether I could feel his presence or not. He said “don’t stand on your emotions, just stand in my power.

Brothers and sisters, the days of resting on our Christian labels are over. It is time to love Jesus instead of relying on religion. We are in a war and this is a call to stand in the Lord and in his love, grace and power. We are to minister the same way, love, grace and power. Everywhere there are problems and people are beginning to get discouraged and are looking for answers which is exactly why God is allowing these things to happen. Churches are splitting, quiting and dying, but God will raise up a remnant. The church denomination I grew up in has experienced a downward spiral for years, others have compromised the word of God and the power has left them. Icobod has been written on their doors, the glory of the Lord has departed.

There is a shift going on in the heavenlies. We can no longer play footsies with the world and in our congregations. We can no longer tolerate the world’s doctrine in the church of having salvation our way, not God’s way, which is exactly what Babylon was and is all about. Be warned, in chapter 17 of Acts – Babylon is going to fall.

We will not win the lost by being like them. We can’t contine to negotiate with the world. It’s going to be God’s way! We can no longer tolerate Jezebel, Ahab, pride, levithian, lust and all those other demons to sit smugly in our midst. As children of God we must be obedient to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to cast them out of our church and out of God’s people. Fervent prayer must begin. We have got to reach the lost.

God is systematically taking away America’s God which is it’s money and power. The church is married to Christ but fornicating herself by playing with the world. We are the body of Christ sent to save the world, not to agree with it.

There is a revival coming which will be led supernaturally by God’s remnant, those who are found to be in robes of white, having not compromised. Those whom God can count on. He will raise them up.

In my tenure at Eloise UMC in a prayer meeting God spoke plain and said we would see the day when people would be trying to break in the church to get answers. Sadly most Christians couldn’t answer their questions.

Let the church be purged and don’t fret about it, because God is doing the purging, preparing his saints for the work to be done. He is still in charge.

Let those who call themselves Christians choose; the world’s way or God’s way. They will choose and their choice will judge them.

Paul nailed it in 2 Corinthians 11:4 when he said, there will be another gospel, preaching another Jesus and another spirit. It is the spirit of the antichirst. Let us not receive it church, because it is being preached today. We must have the gospel of Jesus Christ who died for us on Calvary, and sent the Holy Spirit to be with us.

This is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit which has been ignored and neglected. We don’t need a form of Godliness because there is not power in it. We have to have the real thing. The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and he rose with power and might. The Holy Spirit is with us and in us; that Spirit of God the Father and God the Son.

The Babylonian empire of today preaches Jesus as a peasant from Galilee and shows a dead Jesus on the cross. But Jesus is not on the cross, he has risen and sits at the right hand of God the Father and has been given all power.

In a vision God, in the middle of a church worship service showed me the cross and it was empty. But God called to my attention the blood, and he told me to put my hand in the blood. I did. God said “with these hands I will heal”…………. God has done that! Many have been healed through the anointing God placed there through the blood of Jesus! I have humbly walked in that season God used for His purposes. Glory

When we were saved, we visited the cross, was convicted of our sin, repented and were set free.

We realized we were utterly unable to save ourselves or to be righteous. Jesus purchased us there and now it’s time to go on to maturity and to receive the power to become the sons and daughters of God and to be continually sanctified.

Having done this we have chosen to witness Jesus work on the cross and the power to overcome sin to a dark and dying world. The Holy Spirit is with us and will empower us for the work to be done. Signs and wonders will follow those who go in Jesus name for the purpose of revealing the supernatural, creative power of our powerful God.

This manifestation of power flows from the Father, through the Son, and rides on the Holy Spirit into his temples. There will be those who stage spirituality, prophesy falsely and serve the anti-Christ. You will know them because they will build themselves instead of the Kingdom of God; they will have a form of Godliness but will not have any power, because all power comes from the Father, Through the Son and is delivered by the Holy Spirit.

We can believe because we can see the work of the Holy Spirit throughout history, first for us, then with us and now in us.

For us, because we can see God’s promises through the ages in the Old Testament.
Then the dispensation of God with us, - Jesus walking among us, promising the Holy Spirit.

Before Pentecost no one could become a partner of the life and fullness of the risen Lord. Then we see in Acts and the epistles the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. We see the unfolding of His person and power.

The Holy Spirit is first mentioned in the Old Testament in Genesis 1:2 and the last time in Malachi 2:15. We see through all the Old Testament passages that the Holy Spirit is the co-creator of the world
Co-Creator of man
Co Creator of all that exists on the earth.
He is the “neshema”, the breath of the Almighty – life giving breath.
Genesis 2:7 “ He breathed into man the breath of life”

He is the one who carries out the work of God. We see in scripture the unfolding of his Person and Power

II Thess 2:4 Talks about the Anti-Christ who wants to steal God’s glory. He is so filled with his selfish desire he cannot understand God has all the Glory and is all powerful and he can never steal it. God sits in His temple shewing himself, that He is God
Be encouraged, the Spirit of the living God is present with us.

Is 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His Glory.

He who is with us is the:
Spirit of god
The Spirit of Christ
The One Spirit, the Great “I am”
The Eternal Spirit
He inhabits the praises of his people.
He is the Lord’s truth, holiness, our faith, our wisdom and revelation.
He is our power and discipline
Our Grace
The one who is made to dwell in us
The anointing and Glory of God

He has style:
Adoption, Truth, The seven Spirits of God
Satan’s style is to stir up your emotions and to block your wisdom.
God gives wisdom abundantly to those who ask for it.

The early church had no doubt regarding the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 5:3-4 We are told Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and to the Holy Spirit.
We see God and the Holy Spirit individualized here, but, they are one.
The Holy Spirit is acclaimed to God
He shares the attributes of the Father and the Son
Hebrews 9:14 He is the eternal spirit of God, uncreated and has no beginning and no end.
He is co-eternal with God
He has the power to be present everywhere at the same time. He is in all believers simultaneously.

I Corithians 2: 10 – 11 He knows the deep things of God, there is nothing about God he cannot know.

The spirit is the power of God by which Demons are cast out – Matthew 12:28
Luke 11:20 He is the finger of god.
He is the arm, hand, finger of God and Has unlimited power.
He alone can make us recipients of divine holiness.

Only Deity knows the end form the beginning.
Acts 1:16 The Holy Spirit, by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas.

Also Ps 41:9
Over 1,000 before Judas the Holy Spirit spoke of
The Holy Spirit performs tasks only possible by Deity.
He is the executor of the Godhead.
He alone can create.

In Genesis 1:2 God contemplated (brooded) over the chaotic condition of the world and through his spirit re-created the world and through His Spirit created the beautiful world we live in. Ps 33:6

Is 40:7 7 Ps 104:30 He brings life and death into the world.

What have we to be concerned about. The battle is mine saith the Lord.
I Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

He sanctifies that which he indwells.
Ro 15:16, Titus 3;5 and I Peter 1:2

What have we to fear. He is in charge. He raised Jesus from the dead, He blew down the walls of Jerico, took Elijah up in a whirl wind and destroyed Sodom and Gomorah.
He can raise a glorious church out of Ashes, stone and rubble.

No demon in hell dare mess with Him.

We can forget all the threats of Satan, ignore all we see and trust in the Lord Because His Spirit is with us and in us. Submit to him and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

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