God Can

Consider the days of Israel. A drought had crushed the spirit of three attending armies. In response to their dilemma, the prophet Elisha was called. Through the anointing of the Spirit, he told them to dig ditches in the valley. He said, 2 Ki 3:16-18 Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand.

The Bible is replete with these occurrences. God’s people find themselves in trouble with no way out and no way through. Then God speaks and performs the work. He gives rain from cloudless skies; food from ravens; and rivers from rocks. He fills jars with perpetual oil and offers provisions from unknown sources. God can.

God can bring a harvest in the middle of the desert. He leads through the impassible sea and then removes those that pursue you, never to be seen again. God can restore even when you think you are beyond help. His reach is greater than your self-condemnation: His love deeper than your despair.

God can. God can make a way where there is no way.

The word of the scoffer is no match for the word of The King. Doubt that comes from a temporal voice cannot bind the infinite supply of The Provider. His name is Jehovah Jireh! When we feel crushed, lost, without hope, bewildered, trapped, and altogether helpless, He is the Lifter, Healer, Refuge, Wisdom, and Strength. And this is but a light thing for the Lord.

The disciples asked Jesus how these things could be. Jesus said, Mat 19:26 “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Marriages can be mended. Prodigals can be brought back. Sickness and disease can be healed, because none of the above are contingent upon human ability. God speaks things into existence that were not there before. Abraham believed in a God Who “…calleth those things which be not as though they were” Rom 4:17.

Finally, the end of the matter does not rest with God. It rests with us, or as it has been written, “Whose report will you believe?”

Falling Away

Upon review of both the birth and death of Jesus Christ, there are numerous occurrences of prophecies which were fulfilled. In fact, the statement, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken” is repeated through the Gospels concerning Jesus. In brief, prophets prophesied and the fulfillment came to pass.

In another setting, Jesus foretold of the Temple. Luke 21:5-6 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

The stones of that Temple have fallen. Only outer walls remain. The Word has and will come to pass. The Bible is without rebuttal or rebuke. There will come a day in which the world will shake with a violent roar. The earth will groan and the spirit of the antichrist will persist. Paul wrote, 2 Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The apostle declared that the antichrist will follow a “falling away.” This implies that people who were once dedicated to the doctrine, born again of the water and the Spirit, separated in holiness, and living according to the scripture will forsake the Truth. They will abandon what they first believed. This falling away is a description of a backslidden state. Paul then went on to prophecy of the antichrist which he called “the son of perdition” – 2 Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

The day is coming. Ready or not, Jesus is coming. Sadly, there will be people who will reject the very Truth they once believed and fall away from their original commitment. While we pray for all those who have lost their way, it is incumbent upon us to grow deeper in the Word and stronger in the Faith. Our hearts are broken for those who have turned their back on holiness, godliness, and all scriptural doctrines. However, our eyes must be focused and our lives must be centered on the soon return of the Lord. We look with earnest at His coming knowing that all these things must be done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord.

Measuring Judgment

Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Maybe we have forgotten. Maybe the words of Jesus have lost their power, because among the Christian community is a most damaging view. Some believe that opinions, criticisms, gossip, and all manner of grievances can be uttered without consequence. It is striking that born again believers are so free with their judgments. Jesus’ words, however, are not clouded in mystery. We do not need the original Greek of Matthew 7:2 to understand the Lord’s message.

Jesus was clear: Whatever you give out, it shall be given back to you. There are no exceptions. He did not make an allowance for any particular case. Jesus did not say that those who have been misused, abused, or wounded can retain the right to dispense the same. Paul wrote of the law of harvest which describes the reaping of every seed that is planted. Seeds of love produce fruit of its kind. Seeds of bitterness produces bitter fruit. Seeds of giving produce blessings in return. It is God’s Law.

Even still, there are many who attempt to embrace the blood-stained Cross while condemning those who have offended them. It is the most glaring contradiction and hypocrisy among those who have been forgiven of their sins. To think that anyone believes they can retain the power to condemn while rejoicing that Jesus did not condemn them. It is delusional. This conflict has existed for the duration of humanity, but it is still a disgrace. And to that end, anyone who withholds grace becomes a disgrace. Jesus said, Mat 10:8 “freely ye have received, freely give.

The whole of this subject is much larger and deeper than this moment, but we must subscribe to the scripture. If not, we will become religious in word, but not in nature. We will reserve for ourselves rights, which Jesus did not give. In doing so, we will find a certain fate.

Jesus said that the merciful shall obtain mercy-Mat 5:7. Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees that weightier matters pertained to Mercy and Faith -Mat 23:23. It might be time for everyone to pause before speaking; guard before hearing; and pray before assuming.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

As They Were Increased

Michael Brown asked in the Townhall, “Can the Church regain its Prophetic Voice.” His inquiry implies a loss of unspeakable proportions. If you are reading this, then know that your responsibility as a believer and disciple of Jesus Christ has never been more critical. Jesus called us to be the salt of the earth, Mt 5:13, but if that salt loses its “saltiness” it loses its preserving power.

The steps are simple: The path well worn. It begins with faithful worship. The assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:25) is a command. However, in recent years churches have seen a slow, but steady, decline in consistent attendance. One church leader asked, “How many Sundays will you miss this year?” His research found that the average member will miss about 8 out of 52 Sundays. A slight majority will miss roughly 14 out of 52.

Wednesday Bible studies are even more meager. Less than 30% of church members now attend any midweek function. While Covid bears some weight to the matter, and there are pockets where the numbers are better, the fact remains that Pentecostal churches have seen a dramatic, downward shift in faithful, consistent church attendance.

Prayer and the Word have also suffered in this arena. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” The reason is found in the next line, Hosea 4:7 “As they were increased…” The priorities of Bible reading, prayer, and fasting are in competition with our busy schedules. With “increase” comes added responsibilities, which further erodes devotion to prayer and the Word. Added to this conflict is time wasted on phones, media, television, movies, and entertainment. It is a recipe made to cloud the Voice of the Lord – a constant barrage against our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

The prophetic voice is also wrapped around the preached Word; the pulpit. Weak preachers have been developed over the years. The cause is varied. While some are anointed and led by the Holy Ghost, others ministers seek to please the congregation. Likewise, while some members invite a strong, doctrinal message, others reject it and seek out a more palatable pulpits which appeases their lifestyles. The battle to retain a biblically centered message has always been in play, but never more so than today.

The questions are many. Will we obey the Word? Will we abandon or embrace prayer? Is the preached and taught Word important enough to rearrange our lifestyles? Is sound doctrine, direct preaching, and anointed messages, which invade our personal space, still welcomed? And finally, can our church survive and thrive in these final days of time?

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole