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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Jan17Sun

    Sermon: Favor Restored

    January 17, 2021
                Last week we talked about the power of words and how they can be used for good and for evil but more importantly we saw that the words of God are the only way, the only truth and the only life. God’s word tells us that John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When God makes His dwelling among us, we see that His words contain incredible power just as they had in the beginning when God spoke creation into being. We also saw that same power transform creation when those words became flesh. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Not only would Jesus sustain all things, he would be given dominion over all things. Daniel 7:14 “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power   to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” Not only would He sustain and have dominion over all things we would have salvation and eternal life. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Colossians 1:15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Why would man think he should be the head of the church instead of Jesus?
                Jesus changed everything and brought favor to the lost at just the right time. 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.” Isaiah 61:4 “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” This is then what happens when God’s favor returned to the people.  Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.” Jesus had power and authority that no one else had and people were amazed by this. Luke 4:36 “All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” Not only did Jesus cast out demons, He healed the sick. Luke 4:40 “At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” His words were incredibly powerful not only to heal and cast out but He also calmed the storm with His words. Mark 4:39 “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
                After reading just these few verses, ask yourself why you wouldn’t want God’s favor once again. Why would you want to continue to be powerless? If your answer is yes to God’s favor; there is good news! Jesus had been given all authority that no one else had but did not intend to keep it to Himself. Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Pause for just a moment and think about the fact that the creator of all things who has dominion over all things is sending you out but not empty handed. Mark says the same thing except with more detail of the power available. Mark 16:15 “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.” This is the authority the church was to have. This is the authority and power the church can have once again when God’s favor returns. We were supposed to continue in His work. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
                It is important to understand that we cannot do as Jesus did and continue in the work of destroying our enemies without being anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit, as you cannot do it on your own. The church today is focused on flesh and blood and in the work of their own hands yet the manmade church has no power to defeat our true enemy as Paul describes in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Even Jesus Himself was anointed by the Holy Spirit. John said, Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
             This is where our power would come from. If we are not anointed, we will not have power. Something is wrong when they say they are anointed but don’t have power or the power they do have does not look like the power Jesus had. This is why Jesus told His disciples to wait. It is also why we are told to test the spirits. Luke 24:45 “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Peter also made it clear this power would be available to us when he said, Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Because the church does not have this power we must start over and wait until God’s favor returns.
                Jesus did not keep the Spirit to Himself nor was it meant only for Him nor was it meant just for the few disciples in the bible. Jesus has shown us what this authority He would give to us looked like when we would be clothed with power from on High. Mark 1:27 “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” I have said before, study the life of Jesus and by study I mean read the gospels, and look at the power and authority that He had. If you have a study bible just focus on what the bible says not what the commentary at the bottom says. We saw above John describe the anointing of Jesus who was filled with the Holy Spirit. We then saw all the miracle, signs and wonders that took place. When you read about Jesus, the bible doesn’t even come close to describing all that He did. John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” So when you read remember there is so much more but also remember this authority and power was not just given to Him and that was it. The amazing part is that Jesus would give that same authority to His disciples; those who would follow Him wholeheartedly. 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.” This means He gave His disciples the authority to do what He did. When Pentecost took place, there was obviously something different about the disciples. Remember they all ran away or even lied about knowing Jesus as Peter did. But after the anointing of the Holy Spirit they were changed. Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Great power was flowing. Ananias and Sapphira died for lying in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Look at how Paul also describes this revealing of truth in 1 Corinthians 14:24 “But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” How many people in the church today would die or have their secrets laid bare if that same presence of the Holy Spirit flowed today? Acts 5:11 “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. 12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” We also saw this with Paul who had great power. Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”
                Most people in church have been taught or I should say misinformed, actually deceived into believing this power was only available for Jesus and His disciples and the Apostle Paul and then that was it. Let me just say here that while some teach cessationism (doctrine of demons), most are not teaching that you should repent and turn from your wickedness (following other gospels) so that this available power of the Holy Spirit returns meaning you basically believe in cessationism even though it is not specifically taught. You might not even be aware you hold this belief. What we do see is that God will withdraw His favor by turning His face from us but we are supposed to repent and turn back not keep going backwards. Hosea 5:4 “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord. 5 Israel’s arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them. 6 When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. 7 They are unfaithful to the Lord; they give birth to illegitimate children.” Yet nowhere do we see scripture telling us this was a temporary power given to a select few nor do we see a power that was supposed to stop. There are false prophets, teachers and evil everywhere, which did not stop when Jesus came, so why would His power stop and not be available?
                Scripture shows us there were others receiving this same power that Jesus and the disciples had. Yes I know this is also explained away but no amount of distorting scripture changes the fact this is what it says. Ask yourself who do you think is behind wanting the church to be powerless? Who is it that wants you to feel secure when really you are not? Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil so obviously if satan can deceive people into believing there is no power available, he will take many to the place prepared for him called Hell. If you die it is too late as you do not want to hear “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Your security attained from your doctrines doesn’t make you secure. Because the church has rebelled there is no power and the only way for the power to return is for the church to repent. If we believe God at His word and turn from our wicked ways, we would have the power Jesus said we could have and then we would carry on His work and continue to do as Paul did 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.” The man or woman teaching you that there is no power available or that you should be content with the form of godliness is not from God. 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.”
                In Acts we see not just the twelve but others who have received the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 6:3 “Choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” Then we hear the account of one of them named Stephen. Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.” We also see another account of one of these men named Philip. Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Notice it said those who had been scattered preached the word. That means the church would continue to look as Jesus described even if there was no written account of all the scattered in scripture. We were just given a sample just like the miracles of Jesus. If we had continued the church would still be able to say, Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” This would still be happening. Hebrews 2:3 “This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” And this! Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” The bible does not describe every single person filled with the Holy Spirit and the events of their lives just as it doesn’t describe every miracle Jesus did. When promoting a new car you may see a commercial about a family or individual who had purchased that car but you won’t know the stories of everyone else who bought one of those cars. Just because you don’t hear of these other stories of people who bought the same car doesn’t mean there are not others who bought that car. The logic of many in the church who cannot accept that God’s word tells us that all the gifts are available to all who believe does not make sense. They refuse to believe because if all the gifts of the Holy Spirit were available they would have to get rid of their doctrines / theology and most won’t do that. Here is what this passage does say. 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” We have been called to seek these gifts not get rid of them. After talking about love Paul goes on to say 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” We have to have everything God gave us in operation to go into all the world. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Yes even apostles and prophets! Just evangelists, preachers and teachers is not what Paul said would build the body of Christ. By the way I am not talking about the charismatics who call themselves prophets and apostles. They speak only what is written, truth the church does not want to hear and as we saw in Acts 11:27 “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.” The bottom line - just believe what the bible says.
               Lets continue thinking about that new car except I would like to swap it out for a new combine. Let’s say you have it delivered into your drive shed. You then study to know everything there is about that combine. While studying everything there is to know about this machine; you also keep it in mint condition. Since you received this beautiful piece of equipment, it has never been outside. You are so proud of it yet you really have no idea as to the actual power it really does have or how it even handles. Sure you can give the stats about horsepower and bushels per hour, GPS system and all the rest but because this beautiful combine is not being used for its purpose the harvest is dying in the fields. A combine is not designed to sit in the drive shed but to take off the harvest. Its power is wasted. Does it have all the power needed? The answer is yes and more! Scripture tells us there is so much more available to the church than what we are seeing. Actually the church you and I have been raised in is a desolate church. This is why we need to be in constant prayer as Daniel prayed as we have been raised in desolation. Daniel 9:17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Scripture does not tell us there is no power available. Daniel as did Jesus, warned us this rebellion would happen and satan would defeat the church by deception. We were also warned that due to our unbelief, God would bring delusion over the church. Now most of the church is in rebellion because they do not believe what Gods’ word actually tells us. The church refuses to believe and seek all that is available to us yet our enemies continue to ravage the land. But look at what Jesus tells us. Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Here Jesus showed us what to do and then said ask to be sent out into the field. How the harvest takes place is what he described in verse thirty-five. That is what the church will look like when the combine/s comes out of the drive sheds to do what it was intended for. Last fall a farmer in North Dakota had his combine catch fire and then had a heart attack. “Lane Unhjem was in the middle of harvesting his wheat and canola farm near Crosby, North Dakota when his combine caught fire. In the stress of the event, Unhjem went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. But his farm is harvested as neighbors, friends and family wasted no time stepping up to help finish the job. Around 60 farmers in Divide County put their harvesting on hold to help the Unhjems, using all their own equipment. The group used 11 combines, six grain carts and 15 tractor-trailers to finish harvesting Unhjem's Durum wheat and canola. Using the power of community, they harvested 1,000 acres in seven hours.” Can you imagine if everyone got their combine out of the drive shed. The coming of the Lord would definitely be sped up. Jesus said in Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 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.” Look at how fast the gospel spread at the beginning. We know that the whole world was deceived by satan. Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” The good news is that Revelation 11:15 “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” If we had stood firm on the word of God, the gospel would have continued to go out. John 12:19 “So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” If we had obeyed and tested the spirits we would have sped up the coming of Jesus to take us home. 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” We had the power available but man would rather harvest their own way and slow down the harvest but when we leave this illustration and return to the spiritual there is no way to defeat satan without the power of God, so what exactly do people think they are harvesting? Sadly as Paul said the church worships in vain. That is not who we want to be. This is why John 14 is so important but we must stand firm on God’s word. John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
                Earlier we saw that John baptized “with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” We desperately need God’s favor once again so that the power of Pentecost returns and we are clothed with power from on High. Instead of this power, we have a church filled with false teachers and prophets and truth has been thrown to the ground. Isaiah 59:14 “justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. 15 Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” This is obvious to see. The problem is that most in the church have accepted the lukewarm as the norm and have adapted to the lack of power in the church just as your eyes will adapt to a dimly lit room. The harvest looks nothing like what Jesus described. This empty way of life has been passed on from generation to generation and most are content with the form of godliness that they have adapted to. Today the bible is a story from long ago but that is not how it is supposed to be. The bible is the living word of God. Today talking about that story not as a story but a description of what the church is supposed to be, brings great opposition to returning to the truth. It is still the same opposition that crucified Jesus in the first place. Jesus warned us Matthew 10:21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Jesus said in John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” The church is similar to the time of Samuel. 1 Samuel 3:1 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.” God was about to do something that was almost unbelievable. 11 See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.” Just as God is about to shake the church and restore His truth, we too find ourselves with few visions and the lamp of God almost out. This is why it is crucial to test the spirits to make sure you are truly hearing the word of the Lord. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
                So you have gone to church all your life and if you were honest with yourself you expected more. You were baptized thinking you then were filled with the Holy Spirit because you were taught that when Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit came upon Him and you were sealed for all eternity. That would mean the gifts of the Spirit would be flowing but they are not. It would appear that although sincere, when people are baptized today they just get wet. In their sincerity they go away thinking they are filled with the Spirit only to find their lives still remain basically unchanged and continue to struggle. Leaders then take advantage of that struggle saying you need to help keep this ship afloat. So they get busy with their hands and Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” becomes their motto as nothing has changed accept they now are committed to a church. The church is filled with confused and lukewarm people who call themselves Christians. You may even read you bible daily and study and never miss an open door at church but are wondering as Gideon asked in Judges 6:13 “Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?” If you were honest with yourself you would admit that the church looks nothing like what you read in scripture. You do not see all that Jesus said would be possible if we just believed. You don’t want to wonder to loud because many will tell you there isn’t any more but the bible tells us there is far much more. Don't be afraid to search even if it costs all you have. Trust me when I say if you ask too many questions you will ruffle feathers and even be put out of the church just as Jesus said but stand firm. Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The gospel preached today is not the gospel Jesus said to stand firm on. As Paul said 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.” God is faithful to your search, if you search with everything you have. I grew up in a powerless church and we still do not see the power I talk about almost weekly but that is okay because God said if you seek me, you will find me. No matter what, you stand firm on what God’s word states. Even though God has removed His favor, He will once again turn His face back to us because he said He would. Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.” As time went by I realized that those who said they had power like the charismatics or those well-oiled church organizations did not. Because of the rebellion in the church, satan has been allowed to destroy the church and leave it in desolation but ask yourself is this really how it was supposed to be. The answer the bible gives us is a resounding no. Take a week off of all the powerless and pathetic manmade teaching and just read the Gospels and Acts and then at the end ask yourself why the church looks nothing like what you just read. We have no power because we rebelled against God’s word. His words were not good enough so along the way somewhere the church decided the work of our hands was enough. The church totally missed what John said and became content with baptism by water and not by the Holy Spirit and fire just like Pentecost. It appeared that there were great numbers coming to the Lord and being baptized but because God has turned His face from us so you must question whether you are even saved, let alone filled with the Holy Spirit. If all these people have been filled with the Holy Spirit then the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit would be in full operation but where are the wonders? One of the gifts of the spirit is distinguishing between spirits. If the church had that gift there would be far greater discernment than there is now. Therefore the church became content to be powerless and as doctrines and theology were formulated; generation after generation grew further and further from the truth.
                To be honest with you I searched a long time before I knew what I was searching for or should I say my eyes were opened to the power available in God’s word. Once you find it, you don’t let go, no matter what. When you find what God has to offer you stand firm and say with Job in Job 27:2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter, 3 as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies. 5 I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. 6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” Because Job held on and stood firm Job 42:12 “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” Don’t give up because the only way to have this power return to us is to turn away from our wickedness and return to God’s word and in the time of God’s favor He will restore David’ fallen tent. Acts 15:16 “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord.” Don’t be like those who went before you who did not adhere to the word of the Lord. Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” Along the way the charismatics were deceived by satan into thinking they had the anointing of the Holy Spirit and then those who disagreed that there was even power available went their own way and also were deceived thinking they had the Holy Spirit and in the end the church stands powerless.  The power the charismatics think they have is not God and the power the non-charismatics don’t want leaves them empty and the church today worships in vain. Both sides are wrong, as are those who just don’t care.
                I want to look at what happened with Philip and Paul. This will show you what was missing. First of all lets look at Philip. The disciples said Acts 6:3 “choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.” He was anointed already and then was scattered and he preached as he went. Jesus fulfilled exactly what he had told the disciples in Mark 16. Acts 8:5 “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Can you honestly tell me your city or town does not need that? The truth is the church does not have this power. Now this is the part the church either walked away from or doesn’t know about. I think both. This lack of knowledge has caused many to be destroyed and satan to continue destroying the church. The apostles heard what happened so they went to Samaria. Acts 8:14 “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” At this point you should be asking what about this laying on of hands and where are the apostles today? What about this group of people who had accepted the word of God but didn’t have the Holy Spirit? That sounds a lot like the church today except we are not even seeing the power. They saw the power but did not have it until the apostles passed it on to them.
                We also saw a man named Simon want in on this power. Acts 8:9 “Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.” Yes sorcery is real and very dangerous. Many in the church have tapped into it thinking it to be God’s power but satan 2 Corinthians 11:14 “himself masquerades as an angel of light. They even called it the Great power of God but then the true power of God came and Acts 8:18 “when Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” 25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.” Today there are many who want to profit from the church and many are. This is not right. Paul said it clearly 2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”
                So in this account we saw incredible power from one who was called to wait on tables but then after Stephen was murdered, Acts 8:1 “on that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria,” yet the gospel was proclaimed and just as Jesus said in Mark 16:20 “the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” So what can we learn from this? They accepted the word but had not received the Holy Spirit until they had hands laid on them. This should be commonplace in the church as we see in Hebrews that the laying on of hands should be elementary not unknown. Be aware there are those you do not want to lay their hands on you because it is not the Spirit of God in them. We were told Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.” At this point you should be saying to yourself, I have been baptized with water but do I have the Holy Spirit? The answer is easy, no you don’t that is in the sense of the gifts of the Spirit. The problem is that water baptism replaced the baptism of the Holy Spirit so instead of seeking, the church did not pursue the Holy Spirit and the church indoctrinated itself with false beliefs. Instead churches knowingly and unknowingly falsely claimed that each person was filled yet there was no power. To fix this problem they teach their people that power ceased or the power Jesus had was because He was the Son of God. As I have talked about when churches say the power is not available, how can you be filled with the Holy Spirit when you deny His available power? You can’t!
                To look at this further we see Paul saying the same thing. There are many in church today that know the scriptures yet at the same time are missing a crucial part that is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The problem is that they don’t know it is missing and don’t seek to find due to false teaching. They are still accountable for not seeking. Most churches have built themselves around water baptism but have missed the anointing power of the Holy Spirit. There are churches who only teach water baptism and there are churches who teach a filling of the Spirit also but the rebellion of God’s word has left both groups deceived. This is why you do not see the power of God in church today. The bible gives us examples of water baptism and the filling of the Holy Spirit happening at the same time as we saw with Jesus. We also see examples of the anointing of the Holy Spirit after water baptism took place when hands were laid. We also see that when Peter spoke to the Gentiles the anointing came before the water baptism. Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.” Because God has turned His face from the church, water baptism is the only thing happening therefore we are not seeing the power of the Holy Spirit. The sad part here is that so many are sincere in their search, yet are led astray by those leading them. 2 Peter 2:7 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”
                During Paul’s journey he arrived at Ephesus. After Paul’s departure, another Jew named Apollos arrived there also. I want to look a little further into Apollos as his description sheds light on many in the church today who feel sincere about their spiritual journeys but are still missing the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 18:21 “But as he (Paul) left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” This was crucial for the life of Apollo. Priscilla and Aquila worked and travelled with Paul and were highly respected by Paul. He had left Priscilla and Aquila in Ephesus. Romans 16:3 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.” 1 Corinthians 16:19 “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.” These two continued in the way taught by Paul.
                So ask yourself what happened if Priscilla and Aquila did not show him the way more adequately. Most in the church are so far removed from this truth that most will not listen the truth about the missing power of the Holy Spirit and many continue to perish due to a lack of knowledge. As Paul said 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.” Paul praised the Thessalonians because 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus:  Just knowing scripture and preaching with fervor is not enough.” So even though Apollos knew the word and preached with fervor, there was more.
                Following this we see Paul meet some other believers. Acts 19:1 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.” Jump over to James and see what was supposed to continue. James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” You will be hard pressed to see this in any church.
                Most people in the church will tell you they have been filled with the Holy Spirit but really have no idea what it actually means. If a person truly was filled, they would have discernment about truth. 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.  26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” The problem is the church doesn’t know Him and truth is nowhere to be found. This is also why the end times is so confusing. Many think they have been sealed but have not followed the true gospel or simply do not know there is more. They don’t know what they have been saved into. If the Holy Spirit was truly present in power then the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit would be flourishing. The church would look just as God intended it to be. As we read earlier this would be a description of the church. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”
                There is going to be a reckoning when the church realizes they have not followed God’s word but instead went their own way into rebellion. Hosea 9:7 “The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac.” Isaiah 10:3 “What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? 4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain.” Ezekiel 18:32 “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Even though Job did not sin against God, Job thought he knew Him. Job stood firm but in the end he said, Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
                If the church truly wants the Kingdom of God to come near once again we must turn from our wicked ways. When the kingdom comes near so will His power. God will not dwell among us if we continue to reject His word. Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Following this verse in Mark we see what the kingdom looks like. Mark 1:23 “Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.” As we have talked about, God dwelling among us means His words come out of our mouths as does His power. We then can do as we were called to do and defeat satan. Jesus said He would give us His authority. He also said if we waited we would be clothed with power from on High. The church presently does not have this power. This election and pandemic have exposed much. I have watched many these last weeks still prophesying that Trump will serve 4 more years. False prophets have been exposed and the pandemic shows that the church still has no power. When you look at this pandemic, hope dissipates but when you look to the word of God we have hope. Isaiah 40:27 “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: 42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. 43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. 45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.” 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, 50 until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. 55 I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. 56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” 58 You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.
                The Lord is going to renew His favor with us once again. Isaiah 49:8 “This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12 See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan. 13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Psalm 144:11 “Deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. 12 Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. 13 Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; 14 our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets. 15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true; blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.”
    Isaiah 58:12 “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
                If we want God’s favor to us to be restored, we have to submit ourselves to His way. We are told in Isaiah, Isaiah 66:2 “Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” When the church once again returns to God and God turns His face to shine on us once again then we will see His word and power among us. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 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.  7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
                There is a harvest that can only be harvested in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many have spent their lives in church not knowing there was more. Many have been deceived into believing more was not an option and fail to repent. But today if you find yourself seeking for more of what Jesus can do, don’t give up. Even though the church has been taken captive and is desolation, we have hope. Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 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.” We continue to ask God to hear our lament. Psalm 102:1 “Hear my prayer, Lord; let my cry for help come to you. 2 Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. 12 But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. 14 For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. 15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. 16 For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. 17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. 18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord: 19 “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” 21 So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem 22 when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.”