YOU CAN’T CHANGE ME: Unraveling the Lie
PART 5 GOD OF THE LIVING
JESUS CHANGED EVERYTHING: DEFINING TIMES
Narrator: Merle wasn’t giving up on trying to help Luke and the rest of those under his care to understand what it means to be Dead in Sin and having New Life. He continued his teaching series on this topic the next Sunday.
Merle: …As when Jesus came to Shine His LIGHT and open up the minds of the people to set them free from bondage, once again we find it is time for DEFINITION! We are faced with people in our nation and around the world, who believe they are populist, claiming to represent the “common people,” but who have the old mind of Paul, in bondage to pride, hatred, murder by tongue and hand, selfishness and greed, representing instead evil and common strongholds of darkness. They are worried more about THEMSELVES than believing in and obeying the Word of God.
As Ambassadors of the LIGHT, we must shine the LIGHT before them and stop them in their tracks to let them know their works are in vain, for they kick against the goad…the authority of God. At the same time, Darkness has used these people to bring workers of iniquity, enslaved to greed and selfishness to power. Men with traitorous instincts and intentions to bolster the interests and riches of the wealthy.
Some would call these Dark Times in man’s history, but, we as Believers have been presented with the opportunity to make this an Age of Enlightenment. These are DEFINING TIMES where we must call a lie a lie and sin as sin. We must expose and translate sin, hatred, prejudice and ideology that has been redefined as good WORKS, but is bitter fruit and bears the mark of DARKNESS AND EVIL.
We must DEFINE LIVING AND LIFE as it is in JESUS, The TRUTH, The (ONLY) WAY, and (TRUE) LIFE.
Is it that the blind remain blind and the lost remain lost because we have not stood in their path shining the LIGHT OF TRANSFORMATION and the BEACON to lead them home? Or, are these the LAST DAYS when we must leave the dead to walk in the sin that has consumed them?
TIME IS WINDING UP! We are surrounded by the beginning of beginnings and the perpetual motion that will not and cannot be stopped. The battle wages on and the carnal hungry devour the weak. Serpents, who are void of life, fill the streets and byways, preying upon the people of God, ready to strike with venomous fangs to still the beating hearts of men and rob them of their souls.This may sound like something out of a horror novel, but IT IS REAL! Real and a constant reality.
What can we do? Jesus said that we would be able to do EVEN MORE than the miracles He performed! God is still producing MIRACLES! We need only to ASK for the Will of God. Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
We have the power of the LIGHT and HOLY SPIRIT within us. With the WILL OF GOD, we need only to STAND in the path of darkness and proclaim God’s WILL on EARTH as it is in Heaven.
Are you filled with the LIGHT and indeed ALIVE my Brothers and Sisters? Then, God is YOUR GOD and if He be for you, then, who can be against you?
Let me take you even farther into the Light by explaining last Sunday’s scripture,
Mark 12:18-27 King James Version (KJV)
18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.
22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.
23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
My Friends, If you have been BORN AGAIN, you do not DIE! You have been given ETERNAL LIFE! Jesus was unraveling the lie that was fed to the Jewish people and settling the argument between the Pharisee and the Sadducee concerning the resurrection of the body of man! There is no need to TOUCH the dead body of one who is dead in Christ to bring it to life, as He did to his friend Lazarus. As God’s Holy Spirit and Christ live in you, so are you promised to eternal life in Christ.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
1 Thessalonians 4King James Version (KJV)
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Children of God, I hope you listened carefully, for just as Jesus and Paul DEFINED the resurrection to AFFIRM and DEFINE the works of today, so must we. I repeat, THESE ARE DEFINING TIMES!
We must CLARIFY THE MESSAGE, INSTRUCT and SET THE EXAMPLE of who God would have us to BE as Believers and what He would have us to do. The CONTRAST BETWEEN THE WORLD AND HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DISTINCT and in our favor! Darkness has raised its ugly head and shown its intent to tear down and destroy the foundation of humanity and send the world spinning off of its axis.
THESE, my friends, these are Defining Times to define who you are in Christ; if you are TRULY ALIVE and are assured eternal life. We cannot be dissuaded, or taken aback, intimidated, discouraged, caught up in guilt, grief or despair! When Jesus prayed in AGONY at Gethsemane, God sent an angel to STRENGTHEN Him. CHRIST HAS DEFINED US! We need only to know who we are in Christ to gain strength to carry on VICTORIOUSLY! As Christ has defined us, our SALVATION DEFINES THE PRESENT TIMES! We need only to watch as the wheat is sifted from the tares before our eyes!
Many do not want to believe in the LAST DAYS, Brothers and Sisters! However, we know not how or when the Lord will BEGIN and END His Process! Yet, there is NO MISTAKING the power of the Lord! We are in a TRANSITION PERIOD. Where the Lord is WEEDING and DEFINING. SIFTING and MAKING PLAIN HIS WORD UNTO US! THOSE WHO HAVE AN EAR TO HEAR, WILL HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD, GOD ALMIGHTY, Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
It is true that although we wish to…we cannot save everyone. There are those who are as Judas, the son of perdition, souls used by God to turn what was meant for evil into good. They are catalyst to bring about change in others.
God may bring someone into your life to show you how blessed you are to be you; to show you how you have been spared; to bring you into submission and humble you; to inspire you to go on to greater things; to empower you to be used as a holy vessel; or to teach you what our Lord and Saviour endured for us, sacrificed for us and conquered for us.
Again, NO life is born in vain for every life touches upon another life to change it, but it is up to us to LIVE a LIFE that is not in vain, in that it is not only abundantly full, but, in that it has been truly TRANSFORMED, REBORN through the sanctification of God’s Holy Spirit, making us WHOLE and ONE with our Father,
As it is often said, God works in mysterious ways. Revisiting things in our past that keep us from moving forward. Bringing closure and closing doors that need to be closed. Righting wrongs. Bringing justice and righteousness to that meant for evil. WHEN WE THOUGHT WE WERE ALONE AND NO ONE COULD HEAR OUR CRY, GOD WAS THERE! He didn’t forget about us. He knows what happened to affect our lives. That’s why He allows people to come into our lives–some of them LIVING some of them DEAD, some of them LOST, some of them ASLEEP! People we may have never met or may meet again. However, ALL of them are important to God’s plan for us and those around us. Each of them has something to teach us and we have something to offer them, in return. What they give us will help us to complete our journey and we, also, will help them to complete theirs. GOD OPENS DOORS AND GOD CLOSES DOORS! And often, because of His love for us, He allows us to make the choice to walk through.
Life is about relationships. And, yes, many of them will be difficult, but as WE are commissioned to do, we offer the lost, asleep and the dead, the KINGDOM OF GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS AS THEIR KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! The DEAD may remain dead, the LOST may remain lost and the SLEEPING may remain asleep. But, to believe that NO CHANGE has come about is not to understand the POWER of the WORD OF GOD that can DRAW OR REPEL! Everything has an opposite! And as we know, the prince of darkness was shut out from the Light of God, because he rebelled and rejected God.
As the Pharaoh of Egypt was made to understand through the Word of God handed down through Moses, God’s WORD has WONDER-WORKING POWER! Power that hardened Pharaohs heart against the God of Moses and Israel and allowed hatred to destroy his army and kingdom. Pharaoh, by his OWN hand and hardened heart chose DEATH, because he did not HEED NOR RESPECT the Word of God.
When we speak the Word of God to people, like Moses, we are extending the all powerful hand of God to them. CHANGE MY FRIENDS IS IN GOD’S WILL ACCORDING TO HIS PLAN. Yes, NEVER be dismayed thinking all efforts are in vain, Again, CHANGE is in God’s WILL, according to His plan and we must accept that change, whatever it may be, as the WILL of God, for He knows what is best.
God does not empower us to impose upon others our OWN WILL. We may will the dead to come alive–to be SAVED and have eternal peace, but understand THIS…God’s plan is COMPLETE! God’s plan comes full-circle, just as the seed grows in the ground and becomes a flower, which blossoms, is pollinated to produce new seed, withers, dies and fertilizes the ground to nourish new life, the DEAD give meaning and purpose to the LIVING.
God instructed His Children not to TOUCH that which was DEAD, as it was UNCLEAN. There is a PROCESS going on after death. The spirit must be processed. As Jesus showed us in driving evil spirits into the swine, even animals can be possessed by unclean spirits. That which is unclean cannot dwell with that which is HOLY. Those who have chosen to walk in sin are DEAD in sin. Sometimes, God sends them your way to give or receive a message and sends them on their way. That ‘way’ may be down the road or it may be to more sin or their mortal death. The Word and Will of God is the deciding factor. If you have delivered the message God intends for them and set the example, then you have turned on the Light to the road they are to take and brought about the change that was needed for God to enact His PLAN.
You might say, “Well, God, I turned on the Light, but my daughter got pregnant, anyway. Well, God, I turned on the Light, but my son ended up in prison, anyway. Well, God, I turned on the Light, but my husband left me, anyway. Well, God, I turned on the Light, but my sister committed suicide, anyway. God, what did I do wrong? I thought you said I had the power to CHANGE people. I sure didn’t change them. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?! DID YOU LIE TO ME?!”
Not all plants and animals have the same lifespan or purpose. Well, my friends, as we know, not all PEOPLE have the same lifespan or purpose, either. But, does that mean we did something wrong or does it mean that, having done what God asked us to do, we must accept the WILL OF GOD?!
For every ONE that REMAINS DEAD, THOUSANDS may find LIFE, if we persevere and obey the Will of God. It is when we HAVEN’T DONE WHAT GOD ASKED OF US that we should feel that perhaps something went wrong. Perhaps, we didn’t care enough to tell others the Truth. Perhaps, God is pointing out our lack of PERFECT LOVE for our neighbor and even for our enemies.
Even those walking dead in sin need to hear the Word of God. SATAN REMAINS ROAMING THE EARTH, waiting to claim the DEAD. But, like the dying thief upon the cross, perhaps, if they get a glimpse of JESUS before they die, they might believe and cry out FORGIVE ME, LORD AND TAKE ME WITH YOU!
Never DOUBT the Word and Power of God! EVERYDAY God is giving EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD a chance to LIVE! Therefore, just as salvation was not withheld from the dying thief upon the cross, WE cannot withhold the changing and transforming Word of God from ANYONE! Bless the Lord! Amen!
Narrator: Soon, church was dismissed and Luke knew that sermon, also, had been for him. When Javier was given to him to mentor, he had asked, “Why me?” Now, he knew why him. After everyone had cleared out, he approached Merle at the altar where he had been talking to various people and answering questions. He had thought about the scripture and there was only one question he had on his mind. If it was the right answer, it could make all the difference in how he was feeling and his decision to leave the ministry. Luke looked into Merle’s eyes and asked.
Luke: ARE these the Last Days?
(Wrapping his arms around Luke and squeezing him tightly, he whispered in his ear.)
Merle: For many people, Luke, yes, they are. His time was up. God determined that, not you, me, or anybody else.
Luke thought about his sister, Sharon, who had taken her life, unable to live with the sexual abuse she endured as a child. Having an addict mother had left them unprotected and easy prey for the unscrupulous people she brought into their lives.
These were the memories that he pushed into a special room in his mind and locked behind a door he and no one else had access to. It was filled with shame, guilt and questions to which he had had no answers. God had delivered him from the fear and anger attached to his past, but he had held on to the shame and guilt, giving Satan a way to manipulate him through pride.
Throughout his life, he had felt guilty for feeling anything. He had felt guilty for being alive, let alone for allowing himself to enjoy any happiness that might come his way. His mother filled the atmosphere of their home with smothering depression and sadness, making her children feel responsible for her problems. All of his life he felt that he should have done something to make a difference. Then, at that moment God spoke to his heart.
“You are doing something to make a difference. This was my plan for you.”
He held Merle as tightly as Merle held him and wept knowing that through Javier’s death, God was delivering him from the bondage of guilt and shame that had plagued him throughout his life. He whispered to Merle…
Luke: I know that now…thank God, I know.