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Confidence in Crisis - Part 5: Prophetic Lockdown

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • April 18, 2020
    11:15 AM
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Let's pray Father thank You for the near miss that you have for us it doesn't matter where we are Lord your presence draws near to comforting to cheer so I'm praying now Lord as we open the word that you will open our hearts touch us and teach us I pray now Lord that we would not be afraid of the things that are upon the earth of the tidings from the east to the west but that our confidence in you would deepen is the days go by this is our desire now I pray send your spirit into our homes and our hearts I ask in Jesus name it's morning I've entitled My message prophetic lockdown most of you are probably aware that 95 percent of the population of the United States is under some form of shelter in place order yes there are a few states where there are none of these orders but when you take the actual population in the dense spots 95 percent are restricted and their ability to move the smaller And I want to talk with you about the fact that eventually the elements of erse convulsions for the last measure of civility and nor malice see is going to be built around religious persecution what was in the past is what will become in the future part of the reason we can have a measure of assurance that this moment with Cove it is not the last moment is because there are so many things relative to what we can't see and the battle about things that don't seem to matter the same way right now have yet not yet come to the forefront how rapidly we could move from where we are to there is nobody's guess we do know that when deliverance is upon a woman great with child that the final movements can be rapid once and indeed we've seen how different the world can be within a few days. In this series of sermons called confidence in crisis I'm attempting to make something exceptionally clear is that the main preparation for the time of the end is a deepening confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ a deepening knowledge in his word and a love for the loss that will move us into positions where our faith is stretched sometimes discomfort is upon us but our confidence will grow the other thing I want to make abundantly clear in this journey of messages is that the only deliverance for God's people has always only been from God and that will become more distinct as we press on to the end so there's nothing wrong with some little measure of preparation on our behalf in some senses we know that during the little time of trouble that precedes the 7 last plagues that spiritual warfare is going to break out on the face of the plan and in the midst of all this there will be the discussion the rediscuss and I should say of Sunday last and during that period in time God is calling his people out of the cities of eventually persecution will become so intense that even people in small towns and villages will look for more out of the way places yes the garden will be helpful in those moments and times but even that knowledge in even that progression of removing ourselves from places of potential high density population and thus persecution is a gift from God but the idea of saving up a lot of money saving up a lot of food the idea of the house being paid for while all of those things will have some slight measure of potential advantage they are really not what God is calling us to God is actually calling us to an active recommitment to the proclamation of the glorious gospel truth of the 3 angels message is found in Revelation 14. So when we think about Elijah we realize that food will be an issue for gods and time Witness Eliza is both a Old Testament in the life of Christ as well and symbol for the proclamation of truth in the end Elijah spoke in his day he was part of the show now we know that Jesus referred to John the Baptist as Alijah but didn't take away from the fact that Malakai is prophecy in chapter for the last book of the Old Testament would yet have a future application and other words there will be an ally Jim message at the end of time there will come moments when the abundance that we know now will be replaced with scarcity we saw with the Lycia that it was a surveillance dynamic where the king of Aram surrounded that little town of Dolphin and it could have appeared that elation was in big big trouble except for one thing the God of all knowledge sits in throne above the circle of the earth and nothing was going to happen to Alicia that God the Father did not allow we look at Esther and we saw political intrigue we saw how the levers of power and influence could be worked behind the scenes in all of these things we saw God's deliverance and last week I talked about conspiracy theories and fear as a motivator of preparation there are sob who ought to be afraid in this moment they've brought a human pride a human arrogance a human hubris they've brought human preparation they've made no preparations of the things that can't be seen for the eternal issues for the world to come there is a group of people that might be listening to me for whom fear would be the natural logical and motivational step. But for those that have come to know Christ the devil would like to make them afraid so that they're paralyzed and cell focused as we approach the end which is the last thing God wants from his people those 12 spies that went from Kadish Barnea to spy out the promise land in the Book of Numbers during the time of the Exodus 10 of them came back and they were unnerved by what they saw giants in the land they went so far as allied say the land actually devoured its inhabitants which was controverted by the fact that they brought back a a cluster of grapes so large it was carried on a pole between 2 men but 2 of those men came back and they were convinced that the god of deliver them from the oppressive hand of the Egyptians could deliver them from the might of the Canaanites Caleb and Joshua We don't know the names of the other 2 men but we know the names of Caleb and Joshua who serve the Lord with completeness of heart the scripture speaks to us the devil with like Christians at this moment in time to be self ocus and afraid and not focused on the completion of the gospel message the commission that Jesus gave to us prophetic lockdown taking Bibles this morning opened up to the Book of Revelation I want to show you that nothing has changed in the Book of Revelation Chapter 13 we look at an old beast and a new beast. I want to understand the nature of the old beast the nature of the old beast was persecution restriction of conscience the inability for want to follow the dictates of their own heart as led by the Holy Spirit religious dynamics we see 2 women described in the Book of Revelation appear a woman and a prostitute these 2 women represent churches and these churches are warring at the end of time prophetic lockdown I'm going to show you how in the early days of the Christian church with the outpouring the Holy Spirit there was this amazing battle between the church that was alive and pure and true and the church that had lost its way compromise with the world but held much power Revelation Chapter 13 talking about the beast verse one the dragon stood on the sand of the sea shore then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea having 10 horns and 7 heads and on his horns were 10 diadems and on his heads were blasphemous names and the Beast which I saw was like a leopard his feet were like those of a bear is a mouth like the mouth of a lion is dragon gave him the power and throne and great authority I saw one of his heads have been slain and his fatal wound was healed and the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast they worshiped the dragon because they because he gave his authority to the beast and they worship the beast saying who's like the beast who is able to wage war with him he was given a mouth to speak arrogant and blasphemies arrogance and blasphemy and authority to act for 42 months. He opened his mouth and blasphemies against God to blaspheme in the name of his tabernacle that is those who dwell in heaven it was also given to him to make war with the Saints and overcome them and authority over every tribe of people and tongue and nation was given him all who dwell on the face of the earth shall worship Him every one whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain that he one has an ear let him hear if any one is destined for captivity the cab deity goes and if anyone kills with the sword with the sword he must be killed here is the perseverance and faith of the saints I want to assure you this morning that the time to spend an illustrated study in the Word of God is that this 1st beast actually represents an arm of the church empowered with civil authority refusing to allow people to live out their understanding of their relationship with God and conscience it's about worship as verse 8 says it's about the fact that at the very end of time the battle on the face of the planet is not going to be secular it's not going to be geo political it's going to be spiritual Satan is claim this little globe as he is he's rested it from the hands of its rightful rulers Adam and Eve and their descendants and Jesus is come as a divine delivers to restore to us the inheritance stolen away. And all throughout the history of Earth religious power and civic power have been combined to oppress people and keep them from the worship that is due God and that is in the hearts of his faithful ones to offer freely but there's another beast verse 11 then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth he had 2 words like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon he exercises all the authority of the 1st peace in his presence and he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the 1st beast whose fatal wound was healed he performs great science or even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men and he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which was given him to perform in the presence of the beast telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life there's a new power on the scene but it's every bit as much religious as the old and what we see here in the Book of Revelation Chapter 13 is that before the emergence of some of the issues in the ideas in the enlightenment before the rising of the United States in America the world was locked in a constant a confit devotion to those often kings who claim to be gods in this idea of civic power and religious power separated is a new idea throughout the eons of Earth's history there has been this mandate that people worship as someone else tells them how to worship but along comes this new beast who appears to have a completely different approach he speaks it 1st like a lamb but he changes his dialogue to that of a devil. And it's in the period of this time that I want to look this morning because nothing has changed we've had a secular reprieve you might say for a moment when everybody can think what they want to think about God and how they want to worship but that time is coming to an end the issues surrounding the elements of worship the opportunity for America as this 2nd beast who speaks it 1st in a lamblike posture is is about to ebb away and what I want to show you from the past is what we can anticipate in the future nothing's changed it's a spiritual battle last night many of you try to log on to an experience with it is written called Revelation hope awakens a lot of you weren't able to do that there's a reason because there's a spiritual battle going on I have a text on my phone right here I want to read you says apparently we had an attack like a proxy attack our tech guys are saying they never seen such a malicious organized attack it was intended to take our side offline a different kind of traffic smacking our site over and over again it was a deliberate attack to take a stand it was more than $300000.00 hits per 2nd it I have the shivers thinking about it I guess there's a reason we're praying we go live again at 10 o'clock I'm praying we can log on at that time if you try to watch this program last night and you couldn't get on there's a reason that's because the spiritual battle is playing out behind the scenes and there was there are issues there are identities which we may never know till the other side of that spiritual Jordan but $300000.00 hits per 2nd on the it is written website was keeping all kinds of people from being able to tune in and watch as they so desired. The Bible tells us there's a time coming when we cannot buy or sell you think a lockdown that limits your ability to go and buy pain or mulch is tough imagine the moment when you can walk in a store but you can't do anything in the store you can't walk out what you came to get yes this is just a little birth pangs this is just a little warm up moment the Bible tells us that what was is what will be and this morning I want to tell you it's good news that what was is will be I want to talk to you again about fear I want to talk about the 12 apostles do you remember them Oh yes Peter James and John but all of them on the moment of Christ arrest did what they all ran away I want you to think for a minute why they ran away all 12 of them had followed Jesus they had listened to the sharp words of the scribes and the Pharisees they had watched for the attempted trapping of Jesus they had been rejected by the Samaritans in some of their villages they had been made fun of they had watched the masses walk away from Christ Jesus would say to them Are you going to leave me to where would we go they said you have the words of life Amen this same Jesus who had been warning them over and over again what was going to happen as it was if they couldn't see and they couldn't hear I want to talk to all the 7th Day Adventist right now they're watching if you're not a 7th Day Adventists keep listening I hope you'll become one now because a church in and of itself is exactly where God wants you to be and yet there is an organized effort put forth by the remnant of God and those that are empowered by the Holy Spirit the very end to win in this battle between the beast and those that follow the lamb. All of those disciples had heard Jesus say you're going to be offended a because of me Peter went so far as to say I won't be offended I'll die with you but when push came to shove and the women in the courtyard where identified him he went farther and farther making sure he was not identified with Jesus to the point where the cock would crow then the 2nd time and he will hear his voice echoing off the stones of the courtyard of the temple I don't even know the man and then lambast in the person who asked him with all kinds of expletives what it was all said and done he rushed out to the garden of guess 70 fell down in the place where Jesus had been praying and cried his eyes out of self recognizing how little he knew of himself why were they all afraid they were all afraid because they refused to let Jesus destroy the idols of their ideas which kept themselves focused about their own greatness their own comfort their own convenience there are plenty of 7th Day Adventists listening to me this morning whose commitment to their own ideas is every bit as great as the 12 apostles their 7 day evidence listen to me this morning whose focus on themselves will make them every bit as much afraid as news cycles were when Judas showed up with them on their all kinds of 7th Day Adventists who have found a life in a culture a community of churchgoing whose walk with Christ is is steely and teflon like as the 12 who abandoned Jesus on that night. Fear was what raid but something happened along who hey there is an experience there as they see themselves like they never saw themselves before as they see the love of God like they've never seen it before they watch some of them at a distance all of them at a distance for sure they watch as their master is abused arrested tried and then they see him hanging on a cross they go through a period of great duress they're wondering about their own safety still they're hiding out for fear that they'll be captured as well and maybe crucified but on Sunday morning the earth convulses An Angel appears at the tomb rose a stone away and says Son of man the father calls the outcomes Jesus glorified the women see it 1st they tell the story it's too good to be true they believe they're delusional along some lines Peter and John get to the tomb John gets there 1st they don't see what the women saw but they do know the tomb is empty later that day Jesus begins appearing he appears to the 12 Some are doubting Jesus shows himself to be very much alive the old ideas are falling down and new structures of faith are being built up this is what will have to happen for 7 Day Adventists 567 decades of affluent living affection to the World Idol build in comfort making convenience and join pleasure seeking. Yes God is calling 7th Day Adventists back to a simple commitment to the beautiful knowledge and proclamation of a living returning Christ these men are with Jesus for several days then Jesus is taken up into heaven he directs them to spend 10 days praying together and during that period of time deeper senses of self awareness are upon them can you imagine James and John as they think about their ambitions to be at the left and right hand of Jesus can you imagine the group apologies that are made can you see the bonding of those 10 days waiting for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and then on that 10 day a sound the appearance of tongues of fire above these people and amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit the old structures the old idols the idols of prominence and position and power and wealth nothing new under the sun friends it's the same for us with slight nuances of difference but our human nature is attracted to the same things those had to be torn down by Jesus they had to be shown to be worthless in the eyes of heaven and now with this readiness to receive the gift of gifts is poured out on these men and the one who ran away the one who denied he knew Jesus stands up in preaches a sermon so bold that he arranged before the bar the heavenly tribunal the bar of justice those that took the life of his master what he was afraid to do 50 days before he's no longer afraid to do now something changed. They went from being fearful to having a holy boldness unmatched by any and yet their holy boldness will be exceeded by those who receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the end of time and I want you to ask yourself a question about the book of Acts when you read the book of Acts what kind of emotional tag will you put on it is it a sad book it is a hopeful book is it a book that brings you down is it a book that lifts you up is it positive is it negative in your mind I want you to ask yourself that question because I'm about to take you on a brief survey of this book and I'm going to show you that more bad things happen to God's people in the book of Acts than any other book of the Bible there is a repetition in intensity and frequency in the book of Acts for persecution that you probably noticed before not noticed before why because the acts of the Apostles is the story of one victory after another in the church and yet what I want you to see before it's all said and done this morning is how much God's people who are willing to stretch and grow and extend themselves and sometimes suffer in the name of Jesus I want to think for a moment though about one apostle that wasn't a part of those 3 and a half years of Jesus' ministry his name was song was Saul ever afraid that's a question I want you to ask yourself Saul was a bully so had the power of Jerusalem and the Sanhedrin behind him we know in Acts Chapter 9 he was on his way to Damascus to take people prisoners and bring them back to Jerusalem but was Saul ever afraid I'm not going to take the time to look it up but I want to assure you that when when Paul who was now Paul by the time we get to the Book of Acts Chapter 18 when he went to Corinth he had been so much aligned and molested so beat up and abused he had been stoned. He had been through all kinds of things to where Jesus will say to him and Acts Chapter 18 verse 9 Don't be afraid I want to tell you there's no Christian who is going to be liberated from the battle with fear but there will be no Christian who lingers where fear deepens they will move towards faith they will remember what's been done in the past they will claim the promises and they'll move on in following after Christ as Paul did and many converts came out of the port city of corret Yes Paul was good at striking fear into people's hearts and then Paul was on the other side he went from Saw to Pong this morning I want to talk to you about the lockdown that's the most evident in the book of Acts What is that lockdown it's prison time what is it about prison that so painful at least in America they don't torture you they Fiji most of yourself have at least some measure of comfort although I've been in some. Prisons that are really nothing more than a big brick box with a 5 story k.h. inside of it with hundreds of cells but at least in most prisons in America today there's heating and there's cooling so what it is about prison that is so absolutely terrible it's separation it's loneliness it's a lack of hurried him why would you take God's people as we see in the story of x. and y. throw them into jail it's an attempt to punish to distress to discomfort it's an effort of hardship to separate them from what it is you don't want them to be doing you're cutting off their support you're cutting off their communication you're taking away the tenderness of being in the in the arms of the one you love. But when we look at the Book of Acts we see prison after prison with the apostles are acquainted with yes they were outside the favor of man so let's just do a little survey if you would take your Bible and open to the Book of Acts and let's look here Acts Chapter 4 how many times are the apostles thrown in jail by the way friends H.M.'s Richard Sr used to say nothing's going to get done until the preachers are thrown in jail I suspect at some point time in the future should God give me the privilege of living I should find myself inside one of these cells I should hope myself to be worthy enough and faithful enough to be their Acts Chapter 4 Peter and John arrested they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day for it was already evening turned over to Acts chapter 5 Acts Chapter 5 verse 17 but the High Priest rose up along with all of his associates that is the sect of the Sadducees and they were filled with jealousy they laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail go on to Acts chapter 8 Acts Chapter 8 we have solved in Acts Chapter 8 verse 3 putting people in jail Acts 8 verse 3 Saul began ravaging the church entering house after house and dragging men and women he put them in prison. Acts Chapter 9 talks about bringing them back around to Jerusalem that's what his intent was when he went to Damascus go to Acts chapter 12 Acts Chapter 12 looking at verse one through 19 which I will not read all of that it says at that time Herod the King laid hands on some who belong to the church in order to mistreat them he had James the brother of John put to death with the sword and when he saw that it please the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also that was during the days of Unleavened Bread and Acts Chapter 14 Paul is stoned in listeria and Acts Chapter 16 Paul is beaten and thrown in jail what I want you to understand is that the last 3rd of the book of Acts is about Paul himself being incarcerated you're not going to find Paul aside from the fact that a few verses describe how long he was it ever says and how long he was it Koren you're going to find that the most common place for Paul to be was in jail along with Peter in the book of Acts there's something about throwing somebody in jail that gives those who have power a little bit of relief from whatever it is they don't like that these people are doing when we look at the experience of the apostles we see that 4 times leading up to Peter's final arrest he's in jail the 1st night it's he and John he and John have been thrown in jail because of the healing of a man on the way into the temple in this verse for instance they're told not to preach in the name of Jesus they're told to stop their communicating and quit trying to lay the blame of Jesus at the feet of the religious organisation this beautiful and famous dialogue between Peter's recorded and the Sanhedrin in the book of Acts verse 9. If we are on trial today Acts Chapter 4 for a benefit done to a sick man as to how this man has been made well let it be known to all of you and to the people of Israel by the name of Jesus Christ than answering from you crucified whom God raised from the dead by this name this man stands here before you in good health he is the stone which was rejected by you the builders which became the chief cornerstone and there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved and verse 13 as to be one of the most beautiful commentaries on the transformation of these men from fearful to this holy boldness now as they observe the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were an educated and an learned man they were amazed and they recognized that they had been with Jesus Listen friends do you desire the kind of confidence that would allow you to be a fruitful but how for Jesus a fragrant flower for the gospel are you willing to let go of those things that constantly make you afraid are you willing to get a new paradigm a new lens on your life we're not looking so much about what people think about you and your more interest instead it's not so much about what's in you or what you're doing it's about a focus on Christ it's about abandoning oneself to the provision of God It's not that we make no provision for ourselves but we let go of those things that ties to earth and make a citizens of this dismal planet and give us instead a divine embassy edge a citizens are in heaven something that transpired Peter who had run away people who had it Peter who had hidden out with the other 12 and others was now the man who was proclaiming the Jesus was to whom all the prophecies of the Bible pointed. And it was amazing that they could tell that now he was speaking as one who had authority he wasn't afraid he did not fear the face of man this is what God wants us to do now I'm going to talk to you for a moment about what might stand in the way of you doing this I'm going to look at 2 groups of people in the administers I want to talk about all of those that were raised in this admin is faith what a beautiful privilege you've had and what a potential overarching liability rest above you and then I want to talk also about those who weren't raised in this faith and who had to make a decision who had to let go of things who had to endure a measure of misunderstanding of loneliness of sacrifice of sorrow. If you were raised in this church you have a distinct advantage at least it used to be it's not so clearly distinct anymore it used to be that if you were raised in a Holiness movement a conservative church one that distinguish between the actions and the activities of the world and the actions and activities of those who play and proclaim Christ it used to be that the culture of your heart and mind was protected from the appetites and the addictions of the age that's not quite so true anymore as a matter of fact you can be raised in what was once a conservative traditional Christian home including Adventism but not limited to have and to some it could have been the church or the brother of the Wesley and so the Baptist or whatever places where there were lines drawn between what Christians did and what Christians did you know friends our lifestyles don't save us Jesus saves us but our lifestyle decisions protect a saving relationship and when we're careful with those barriers that would invade and destroy our love for Jesus there's a protection to our appetites if you were raised in a Christian home where Christ was present in the Holy Spirit was there you were saved from any lifelong appetite battles that would plague you all the days of your life now not completely because you're citizens of the earth if you were raised outside of the church you probably engaged in all kinds of things to find temporary relief in pleasure which created mental appetites which may dog you until the day you die. They're 2 very different things but if you had to give up a relationship a spouse favor of parents a job a career an educational opportunity if you have been threatened with your very life over the elements of your profession of Christ there is a measure of boldness that you have having already cross that part of the wilderness journey there's something to be said about the power of the mingling dynamic of a church that's evangelistic Lee on the move as it brings into its presence the pursue oeuvre of elements of of those who have come out of darkness into light if you were never really swimming in the cesspool if you were never really walking in the darkness praise God I wish in some ways my experience could be like that but if you've never left anything behind for Jesus you're at a huge disadvantage in some respects because what's prophesied in the Bible and clarified in the spirit of prophecy is that there's going to be a moment when there's a shaking for God's church and people who have resisted the Holy Spirit and were willing to let go of those things which were going to keep them citizens of this earth actually decided some moment to let go of Jesus instead. In other words there's a journey for all of us to face the experiences that strengthen us now if you were raised in this church and you were part of a church who was actively involved in reaching the last god was drawing you in those experiences out of your comfort zones into another arena where faith could grow it doesn't have to be that you walk out of darkness and are rejected by your peer group or your family or have to face a new financial future that's one way of making a journey in which Jesus becomes very dear and you know he's a living Savior but if you're inside a church and this church is committed to stretching itself and going farther than would be convenient that's another way if you're in a home where the same kind of thing happens but God forbid you should be in a home God forbid that you should be in a church where all you're interested in doing is making sure you can keep the lights on in the air conditioning going and not be troubled too much because it's in that environment that we effectively get to the place where we say we wish we would have died in Egypt I want everybody to be thinking about what I'm saying because the journey out of fear in the boldness is not an easy one God would like to take is in incremental steps they might be baby steps at 1st but without following Jesus whether it's out of darkness into light or whether it's out of discomfort into the new comfort of the living faith by reaching the last you could be outside the fold and come in that's a journey of faith building or you can be inside the fold and bring somebody else and that's a faith building journey one of those 2 journeys has to be yours because without it you'll just be focused on yourself just like with the 12 Apostles and you'll be as afraid as they are when the spiritual crises come yet Jesus is actually calling us to leave some things behind. We're not to be fellowshipping in the presence or virtually in the same places that the rest of the world Fellowship's we're not to be watching the same things the rest of the world is watching we're not to be spending our money our time which is really a trusted stewardship the God's given us no we're called to live distinct lives we're called to come me out and be separate says the Lord there's no Concorde between light and darkness truth and be a lie on our lives or be to decide to be distinctly different calling people out of darkness and perhaps you might be listening to me right now and you're someone God is taking out of darkness but the way that God takes you from being fearful and afraid is to engage you in an encounter with the a already huge you do engage somebody else yes Peter had become a different man he was a man for which the Jewish establishment was greatly afraid of him Peter was no longer worried about what was going to happen to him but he was concerned about a nation that a rejected Jesus when we look at Peter's journey we see that not only is he put in prison but we see in Acts Chapter 5 that many of the Apostles were put in prison but I want to look specifically at Peter's encounter much deeper into the experience of prison life this is the 4th encounter potentially for Peter in a prison Acts Chapter 12 turn there with me I've read the 1st 4 verses already James has been beheaded it's a politically expedient thing for Herod to do because the religious establishment is clearly not a secular society it's a very religious society Judaism had reigned in the minds of the people of that day and they did not like this new sect which was called The Way. Verse 5 Acts Chapter 12 Peter was kept in prison they were waiting till after the Passover lest there be some kind of uproar but prayer for him was being made firmly by the church to God on the very night when Harry was about to bring him forward Peter was sleeping between 2 soldiers bound who had to change and guards and from the door were watching over the prison and behold an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell and he struck Peter's side and woke him up sane get up quickly and the chains fell off his hands and the angel said to him gird yourself put on your sandals and he did so and he said to him wrap your cloak around you and follow me and he went out they continue to follow and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real but he thought he was seen a vision when they had passed the 1st and 2nd guard they came to the area gate that leads to the city which opened to the street and immediately the angel departed from him the few things I want to make sure we understand about this story number one it's not the 1st time the gods preachers have been led out of jail by angels they've been told not to preach in the temple they've been thrown in jail during the night God lets them out he says Now go stand in a temple and preach the words of this life when they convene as a sanhedrin the next morning they're talking about what they're going to do they send to the jail to get the men the men aren't there but somebody brings the message they're back in the temple preaching again God intervenes a wise Jewish leader by the name of Gmail says you better be careful what I want you to know is that when Peter comes to this moment in time he understands distinctly 2 things. That if God wants him out of this prison he can get him out no problem and the other thing you understand is that his life has been him in Christ and if his experience as a preacher of righteousness is over it's Ok he'd surrendered his dreams about becoming great in the church he had surrendered his dreams about a future of great happiness and circumstantial peace he had surrendered everything to the hands that were Piers for him and he was sleeping that night in prison because he knew who may believe and knew he was able to keep that which he had committed to him on that day nobody will be in jail at the end of time except those a God allows to walk through those doors and hears their slam behind them nobody will be there except God allows them to go but nobody will stay there unless Jesus wants them to stay it's important for us to understand that Christ wants to draw so near to us that when we're separated from everybody else we know that he draws near to bless our soul in special he's Peter was not there are alone. 4 soldiers were with him here and knew about these amazing escapes he didn't attribute it to an angel but there was a soldier chained to the right hand a soldier change to left and soldiers outside the doors When God shows up it's nothing for the angels to unshackle him it's nothing for the angels to suppress the audio waves it's nothing for the angels to be divine locksmiths it's nothing for the angels to take him by the hand and put him out into the street but I want you to know something else some of the miracles that are recording in the Bible are written down for us to know about what he means preacher what I mean is this is that what was going on in the home where road of the servant where Peter will end up and knock on the door we don't know what kind of miracles were going on inside the hearts of the believers who are banded together in what appears to be an all night prayer service so that the next morning their beloved pastor would not die that quote in The Bulletin It says While upon various pretexts the execution of Peter was being delayed until after the Passover the members of the church had time for deep searching and hard in earnest prayer they prayed without ceasing from Peter for they felt that he could not be spared from the cause they realized that they had reached a place Listen to this word these words last sentence where without the special help of God The Church of Christ would be destroying this inference Why do you read the book of Acts and come away encouraged because there's a future for the church to succeed like it's never succeeded before but it's going to be built around dynamics that are the closeness of the heart mind and soul of the members and the the symphonic petitioning to heaven for divine intervention yes there were miracles going on in many homes around Jerusalem because the brothers in the sisters were together prayed something motivating them enough that they said we need his deliverance more than we need sleep. There's other things that are going on behind the scenes that you can't see going to read you a little bit of a Texas someone sent me yesterday I'm not going to den of 5 who sent it to me but I want to tell you something it's likely that Peter was married we know that it one time he was because he had a mother in law. That means if there's a wife on the scene still she's going to wreak through great agony of soul because this man that she loves so much is about to meet his death you've never read anything about Mrs Peter in the Bible but in heaven you're going to get to her hear her story but I had somebody yesterday write to me and what they shared was so so encouraging I'm going to do this in a generic way this person writes and they say I have questions they wonder why why did a small group of 7 they have missed from the village church go all the way down hill Salvador only to be able to stay there a few days and come home this person says I was wondering about this it happens to be a woman and when they when they got to thinking about it you know it was something that I suspect they talk with God about but then they picked up the church newsletter got it off line yesterday she says I wondered why he allowed the earlier group especially with one older person to get out there only to have to come back today I read in the newsletter why he wanted food available to those who live there I mean I am sitting here literally crying because I'm so grateful for this faith affirming moment I may not seem it may not seem like a big deal but we don't always get to know the why for things I'm so grateful to have this quote in real time lesson you know. And then this person goes on to explain a family situation in which someone they love is in a very risky relationship relative to this disease it's going around and they way they end this text is basically saying that God is beginning to take away the things inside of me that would leave me in a posture of perpetual fear not this person's words my summary but what was in the text was the statement that God is showing me that he's faithful and he has a reason for what he does France without God's Church stepping out of its comfort zones and going out to do things where we can't see a to z. we can't connect all the dots we're not going to have chapters we're God comes back around he says yeah if that group would have gone down there and been down there for 3 or 4 days we'd have people who might be close to going hungry right now but the thousands of dollars that were spent by this church and into is a patient of $200.00 people coming have been feeding dozens of people for weeks now but the bigger issue is that somebody is recognizing a faithful father what about Mrs Peter do you not think she was called to maybe great arrest she might have been awake prayed for a husband he was sleeping praise the Lord Peter was no longer afraid to stand up and be counted and Peter was no longer afraid to face death I want to assure you friends with God pours out his spirit by the way as we learned last week let's keep our vessels upright and seeking the spirit day by day let's not come to these moments of fray but let's not hang on to the things that Jesus says to leave behind. God can deliver his people but sometimes the larger deliverance is the story line it's told by those that are sacrificing and those that are suffering now let's think for just a moment I have not very much time left but I want to thank for just a moment about Paul when you look at Paul's life he went to cite Cyprus he went to Antioch when he was in Antioch persecution drove him out of the city and Iconium the Jews tried to stop stone him and fired tire he got in trouble for casting a demon out of a girl and Cecille Annika there was a mob that was arranged against him in Berea he had a brief respite but what I want you to understand is that everywhere he went he had the same modus operandi he'd go into the synagogue he start preaching about Jesus you'd think after $12.00 or 3 of these moments he'd say you know this is kind of a rough experience I think I'm just going to let off for a while he goes down to Athens and doesn't appear then he interacts with any Jews he comes to Corinth I've already referenced this God says don't be afraid nobody's going to hurt you and have this this there's another riot and finally when he goes back to Jerusalem the next chapter 21 he's told to make an answer right Val and he seized in the temple bad advice from people who are jealous and insecure who actually follow Jesus yes it's a part of the Bible story not a very good one when I watched understand is that when God gives you a sense of his presence and you let go of those things that are holding you back and focused around your own comfort and convenience and pleasure there's a great measure of confidence that grows in your soul there's a great amount of wisdom knowing when to speak up and went to be quiet but I want to assure you God is looking to give us the kind of confidence that will make us willing to wander into difficult situations knowing it's only God's deliverance that's going to get us out Paul and Silas. Beaten with rods they've done nothing wrong thrown in jail and that night they are singing and praying it's the middle of the night and everybody is listening and what happens and Angel comes down grabs onto the corner of the building and begins shaking now I want you to think about this 3 things happened the stocks that are holding Paul and Silas pop open the chains that are on their wrists and their ankles are opened up and the doors to the cells of every prisoner in that little dark dungeon like abode Popof 3 things happen in the darkness the jailer realizes in some level what's happened and he's ready to take his own life and Paul calls out don't do it in the moment a man's life is saved a family is saved Paul who could have thought only of his own needs is there in a moment knowing Jesus allowed him to walk into that prison to be unjustly be and Paul is bringing souls to Christ in the most difficult places sounds a bit like Joseph in the land of Egypt when Jeremiah was preaching in the days of the Old Testament he was thrown in prison for own in a pit but I was thinking as I was reflecting on this message Jesus never went to jail he was arrested and then I thought to myself Is that really true that Jesus never went to jail you know there are certain chains that no human locksmith can open the chains of death Jesus entire experience on this earth was a a journey of limitation and restriction of freedom. He did not exercise his omnipotence he did not exercise his omniscience being everywhere he did not exercise his omniscience knowing all things he was led by his father he was informed by the Spirit he exercised in the power of the provision of the other 2 members of the Godhead Jesus' life on this planet was a dark place to dwell the angels which excel in the light were veiled from so many faces they were not there to praise and honor Jesus Jesus in those last moments in the dark hours of guess 70 was pleading for his church pleading for himself pleading for the world Jesus said Jesus said not what I will but you will Jesus goes forward into the be trailed the denial the arrest the beating the abuse the kangaroo court Jesus goes all the way to go Gotha and their Jesus is robbed of all semblance of dignity even his clothes are removed he splayed out on a cross and pinned to the wood and their Jesus languishing for 6 hours 3 of them in darkness 3 of them not anticipates going into the dungeon of death and being chained by the shackles of Satan of which he had no part Jesus walked into the dungeon of death so that you and I could walk out into the palaces of light Jesus walked into the arms of Eve all and an eternal lost so that we could walk into the arms of his heavenly father and eternal Gade Jesus made the journey into the darkest dungeon there is ever existed so that you and I could simply fall asleep like Peter. And be woken up by the great trumpet call of God The day is coming in which someone somehow is going to grab onto this earth and he's going to shake it and the foundations of the world are going to be moved and all of the shackles of death are going to pop off the tombs of the faithful anyone in the prison alse of death is going to be liberated and called to the palaces of life in the meantime I want you to know something not all prisons are created equal there are places on the face of the planet where you would never want to be and then there are places on the planet in some more affluent arrangements for those who have committed what we'll call white collar crimes that hardly resemble prisons friends we need to be careful because at this very moment in time the devil would like to make this prison that we're in look like a palace and it's not want to leave it behind you see there's a great prophetic showed out coming there's going to be this religious battle and it's going to be here to be treasonous for us to follow the simple word of God and the convictions of the Bible. But God is calling us now in the present to recognize that anywhere with Jesus we can safely go to recognize that his press presence will ravish the Soul that He will bring great comfort peace and hope that he'll bring light out of darkness and they will speak comfort to our lonely persons Yes friends God's going to pour out His Holy Spirit the church is going to win again the church is not winning right now the church needs to be called back to faithfulness they need to let go of the things that make them afraid and impotent in a world of the unseen gods calling us to have confidence in Jesus to not be afraid the day is coming in which is going to liberate the whole world and he needs an advance force to go before him he needs it to be a wake up call that says redemption draws nigh he wants all people as we looked at last week to understand they can avoid becoming judgments they can be safe under the banner that slum friends I'm calling my church the village church and anyone else listen to me here today to understand the devil with like to chain us with desires of the things God has provided as if they are good enough. Or better than the things he desires again May God help each one of us as we anticipate this new week to let God identify what needs to be left behind so that we can go from becoming fearful to faithful if we were raised in this church may we understand there are others that are be called in which will take us from the discomfort of self Opus and fear to the comfort of faith and spiritual victory and if you were raised outside this church may God exercise your leadership ability to speak confidence in Ur and stiffness into the backbone of a church who spiritual obligations privileges and responsibilities are greater than average any church is ever live on the face of the plan may God help us all yes there's a lockdown coming that will make this one look like nothing and when that moment comes all because the Gospel is broken wide open and the church is victorious and moving on triumph after trying God forbid we'd be left behind God forbid we choose words here instead of what's coming God forbid we wouldn't be the vessels to be used to God help us as we anticipate a future in which the church moves from victory to victory and the presence of Christ goes with this everywhere you know. 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