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SermonAwesome Heavenly Power
An all-creatures Bible Message

Awesome Heavenly Power
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
5 November 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Joshua 3:7-17
Psalm 107:23-37
1 Thessalonians 2:13-20

Awesome heavenly power is what God used to create the heavens and the earth, and we can see this awesome heavenly power in the Bible passages we will be looking at.
 
We can also see this awesome heavenly power at work in the world today if we look with our spiritual vision.
 
When God created the earth, He created it in such a way that it would heal itself, and we can see this taking place right now with the effects of global warming.
 
Parts of the earth are getting over heated, and great storms arise to dissipate the heat to cooler areas where the storms also dissipate.
 
And if our human caused global warming continues and the ice caps melt, the ocean heat conveyers will shut down and we will enter another ice age, for Godís awesome heavenly power that is at work in the world will continue to heal itself.
 
The greatest human caused contributor to global warming comes from our ungodly animal agriculture, which produces even more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation put together.
 
Godís awesome heavenly power is also at work in human beings, for if we choose to use it in His heavenly will, we would return to eating the plant foods that God created for us to eat, and stop our dependence on fossil fuels and switch to wind and solar energy which God also created for us to use, and in the process we can end global warming.
 
This is the proper way to use the awesome heavenly power.
 
In Joshua 3:7-17, we see God utilizing His awesome heavenly power in much smaller waysÖ

7. Now the LORD said to Joshua, "This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you.

Today, God, the Holy Spirit, is really with every true believer, and if we are willing and able to do what the Lord desires of us, He will utilize us in similar ways that He utilized Moses and Joshua, but most likely not on such a grand scale.

8. "You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, 'When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.' "

Some of the hardest of heart people we have encountered when it comes to having true compassion and empathy for animals are the clergy, but thankfully not all of them.
 
And, unfortunately, no one can command someone to be truly loving, compassionate, or empathetic; all we can do is show them the truth and pray that their hearts and souls will soften.
 
On a similar note, think about this past Halloween; how many of the costumes you saw glorified God?
 
Unfortunately, most of what we saw glorified the devil.
 
With these things in mind, letís return to our Joshua passageÖ

9. Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, "Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God."
 
10. And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite.

Note carefully that God said that He would dispossess the unbelievers, and not kill them.
 
As peacemaking children of God, we always need to find ways of accomplishing our goals without wars.

11. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan.
 
12. Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe.
 
13. And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap."

This was the awesome heavenly power of the Lord being shown to the world around them, so that the Hebrews would be stronger in their belief, and the enemies of the Lord would flee because of the power of God.

14. So it came about when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people,
 
15. and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest),
 
16. that the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho.

This would have been a sight to behold, but even them, many people didnít believe.

17. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
NASB

And this was seen by the people of Jericho.
 
Now, letís take a look at Psalm 107:23-37, which is a psalm of praise, or at least the way the psalmist and many of the people viewed God.

23. Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters;
 
24. They have seen the works of the LORD,
And His wonders in the deep.

In other words, these people know the truth about God, even if they donít truly believe who God is.

25. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
 
26. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery.
 
27. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And were at their wits' end.

They saw the awesome heavenly power of God and His wrath coming upon them and they trembled because of the worldly ways that they had been living.
 
However, then as now, we believe that there were a great many evil and worldly people upon whom God did not bring His wrath during their lifetimes, but following their deaths, they will meet Godís judgement.

28. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.

And we believe that there have always been Godly people whom God did not rescue during their lifetime.

29. He caused the storm to be still,
So that the waves of the sea were hushed.

God has done this and similar things, but He doesnít do them all the time, as this psalm seems to depict.

30. Then they were glad because they were quiet;
So He guided them to their desired haven.

God has also done things like this, but not everyone believes that it came from God, nor do they praise Him as the psalmist said they should.

31. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!
 
32. Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people,
And praise Him at the seat of the elders.

Over thirty years ago, when we first became vegan, relatively few people really knew what it meant, let alone know how to pronounce it; and today the word has become mainstream.
 
To us this is a miracle from God, a sign of His awesome heavenly power.

33. He changes rivers into a wilderness,
And springs of water into a thirsty ground;
 
34. A fruitful land into a salt waste,
Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

To us this is what global warming is doing to the whole earth, and to us itís also a sign of the awesome heavenly power of God that He set in motion when He created the earth.

35. He changes a wilderness into a pool of water,
And a dry land into springs of water;

God can do this, yet every year we find that quantity of desert lands continues to increase.

36. And there He makes the hungry to dwell,
So that they may establish an inhabited city,
 
37. And sow fields, and plant vineyards,
And gather a fruitful harvest.
NASB

Perhaps the reason that we donít see a lot of this happening is because most people donít acknowledge the awesome heavenly power of God.
 
Now letís end our discussion today by looking at 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20Ö

13. And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

While this was probably true about Paul, we also need to remember that Jesus constantly challenged the religious leaders of His days on earth, and today we are seeing a lot of the same problems, particularly when it comes to living in the heavenly will of God and doing everything possible to end the corruption of creation.

14. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,
 
15. who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men,
 
16. hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

Remember that the awesome heavenly power of God applies to everything and everyone, including those who live in His heavenly will, and those who donít and who will receive the wrath of the Lord.
 
We are to follow the teachings of Jesus, and not the teachings of our fellow human beings who do not live in the heavenly will of God, and who continue to corrupt Godís creation, which should be evident in their lives.

17. But we, brethren, having been bereft of you for a short while ó in person, not in spirit ó were all the more eager with great desire to see your face.
 
18. For we wanted to come to you ó I, Paul, more than once ó and yet Satan thwarted us.
 
19. For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?
 
20. For you are our glory and joy.
NASB

We feel this way a lot of the time, particularly when it comes to being in the company of those who are actively working in the heavenly will of God to free creation from its present corruption, and who extend their love, compassion, and empathy to every human and animal equally.
 
Remember that in heaven there is no longer any pain, or suffering, or death, and we should be working to end all human caused pain, suffering, and death that we can, particularly including what we put on our plates and wear.
 
This also shows the awesome heavenly power of God.
 
Amen.

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