Matthew 12:22-28 The Wrong God Matthew mentioned two gods. One with a big "G" and the other with a little "g." That would be God and the devil. Jesus had performed a miracle, a great miracle, and some were attributing the Source of the miracle to the devil. To me, that is interesting. Standing in the very presence of God, seeing a mighty miracle being performed by the hand of God, and still, some could not tell that Jesus was God. However, that should not at all surprise us. It has happened through out history. How many have bowed to a thing or a person thinking it was god? Even in IsraelÖ 1. Aaron, Mosesí brother, introduced the two golden calves to Israel by saying "ÖThese be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." \\#Ex 32:4\\ 2. Jeroboam likewise introduced two golden calves to Israel with the words "behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." \\#1Ki 12:28\\ But we do not need to get too cocky for the Scriptures are clear that either some of us or our children will likewise bow and worship to a deity that is not God. Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? For a few moments, letís consider some truths that may keep us from worshipping the Wrong God. Letís ask the question, what is different about Godís power and the devilís? I. The Source of power is obviously different. A. Jesus made it clear that His power flowed from the Father. Matt 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. B. \\#24\\ The Pharisees were saying that Jesusí power came from a different source, Beelzebub. Matt 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 1. You might not recognize that name or know that it is another name used for the devil, but it is. 2. Beelzebub was actually the name of a Philistine god. 3. His worship spread to other nations and while doing so, the description of what he ruled changed some, but Beelzebub was generally considered to the be god of flies. 4. If you have ever spend much time around animals, you know where flies tend to abide. Some associated Beelzebub with being the god of dung. a. These Jewish religious leaders picked that god on purpose. b. It was a slam against Jesus to associate His power with that low form of deity. 5. But Jesus made it clear that His power came from the one and only God. C. You would think that one could easily distinguish between the power coming from God and the devil; but according to the Scriptures, they cannot. 1. That is because the devil can and DOES pretend to be good. 2Cor 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2. This is why one cannot assume that a religion, church, movement, or preacher is Godís! 2Cor 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 3. In fact, it is only by the work of God that all of Godís children have not and will not be not deceived by these false prophets. Re 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Re 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. Re 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. D. If you find this a bit frightening, GOOD. 1. It may help keep you from worshipping the wrong god. 2. However, there is a bright side. While the devil may fake being good, God can never fake being bad. a. What does that mean? b. It means if you ever see consistent wickedness in someone pretending to be Godís, they are not. c. lust, lying, greed, profanity, malice - All of these mark the workers of the devil as belonging to the devil. II. \\#25\\ The flow of power is through a united family of believers. Matt 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: A. In this passage, Jesus emphasizes the unity of the kingdom. 1. A united kingdom is a powerful kingdom. 2. A divided kingdom is a crumbling kingdom. B. In this age, God works through His Body. 1. I understand that no member of the Body is perfect, but there is something glorious and powerful about how God uses His Body to accomplish His work. a. \\#1Cor 12:13\\ The Holy Spirit baptizes us into Godís body. b. \\#1Cor 12:11\\ The Holy Spirit deals out gifts, abilities, and talents to the body. c. \\#1Cor 12:20\\ The Holy Spirit unites us in the body. d. \\#1Cor 12:7-10\\ The Holy Spirit works through the body. e. In short, the Holy Spirit lives, moves, and works through the Body. 2. That is not only seen in the universal church but in the local assembly, right here in Green Pond Baptist Church. a. Do you realize the New Testament used the plural of church 36 times? (1) You can not be talking about the one universal church if you are speaking in the plural! (2) Most of the time when the Bible is speaking about the church, it is speaking of the local church. b. I am not saying we are the only church God can or will work through. That would be arrogance. c. But we are one of the places God desires His power to flow through and denying that would be ignorance. C. The churchís days are numbered. 1. The next major event on Godís calendar is the rapture, the removing of the church. 2. That will happen when God desires it to happen, but I think it will also happen as the church gets so weak and vile that God cannot use it. a. People have always ignored the church, but today something new is afoot. b. People want to replace the church. Perhaps that is not new either for I am limited in my church history. c. Instead of reaching outward into the world many who claim Christ are pulling inward, like the monks of centuries past they are going into the cloisters and closing the doors behind them. d. This is not good. (1) It is weakening the teaching of the Word of God. (a) I do not believe you have to be a puppet of any denomination or their teaching. (b) But I am seeing a lot of unscriptural, unfounded, and illogical doctrines come out of groups calling themselves home churches. (c) Self-appointed teaches creating self- imagined doctrines. (d) Every day new cults are being birthed by ignorant people who isolate themselves and believe they are finding something new in the Bible. (2) It weakens the good churches that are left. e. Yet God prophesied this retreat from church would happen. Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (1) In this verse, God not only gives us the command to assemble, but He warned that as the final day approached, some would cease to see the importance of it. (2) I would say, it is more important today to be a part of a local, Bible-believing, Bible- preaching church than any other institution of Godís institutions. (a) You can do without a familyómany do. (b) You can do without a governmentóI would not want to try it but it looks like our government is soon going to turn against us. (c) But both the saved and the lost need the churchówhether they know it or not. III. \\#Mark 9:29\\ The valve of Godís power will always be opened by prayer and fasting and closed by selfish living and deliberate sin. A. Prayer and fasting opens the valve and unbelief and sin close it. Mt 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matt 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. B. You can also read \\#Mark 6:3-6, Rom 11:20\\. C. If what we think is the power of God comes without praying and fasting, it is not Godís. 1. Door knocking without prayer will not have Godís power. 2. Bible study without prayer will not have Godís power. 3. Preaching without prayer will not have Godís power. 4. Passing out tracts without Godís power will not have Godís power. IV. The flow of Godís power will always be to honor God. A. Godís power is notÖ 1. Öfor church growth. It is to honor God. 2. Öto win the lost. It is to honor God. 3. Öto conquer the devil. It is to honor God. B. Now God has chosen to do some of these things to honor Himself, but letís not get the cart before the horse. 1. Doing so places the emphasis on the results. 2. We are not as interested in the results as we are in the goal. 3. We do not want to do anything that does not honor God regardless of what result it brings.
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