The Origin and Course of Faith

THE ORIGIN AND COURSE OF FAITH

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all    things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author of faith! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author (the same Greek word translated “captain” in Hebrews 2:10), and finisher (From the Greek word translated “he hath perfected” in Hebrews 10:14), of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. And as faith is active and never dormant, He originated faith in his own personal trust in the Father.

John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

The Hebrew writer states that the Lord Jesus “put his trust” in the Father. And that he was faithful (full of faith) to God who appointed him to be the Savior! Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

Listen to him as his voice echoes from the Psalmist. Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

The Apostle Peter in his Pentecost message clearly refers this to the Lord Jesus! For he states that David being a prophet spoke this of “the resurrection of Christ.” Acts 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Therefore the issue of his faith was that his father would not allow him to experience bodily corruption in the grave, but would also raise him from the dead. Carefully read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Every believer listed there had one thing in common. They all exercised a living faith. But they all had one thing completely different from one another; the personal issue of their faith. Abel’s issue of faith was offering a blood sacrifice! This had to come to him by the inner voice of the Spirit of God. For there was not yet a Moses, nor a written law to command any to do so. 

And consider what the scriptures state of him. Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. Once his inner faith had been expressed through his outward action, the Lord God “testified of his gifts!” 

And none but Noah was ever inspired to build such a huge ship whose size would not be equaled until the 1800s. For the scriptures state that he was “was warned of God of things not seen as yet.” In so doing he not only saved his house, but also condemned the entire world. And the remainder of Hebrews 11:7 states of Noah that he “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” For faith without works is but a dead faith! 

And not to labor this point in excess, but let us see one more verse in this Hebrews eleven chapter. Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. Take careful notice of that word, “after!” For it was only after the Hebrew children obeyed the seemingly impossible instructions of marching around the walls of Jericho that they fell! For it is not that this issue made any sense to their logical minds. It was that the issue of faith required absolute obedience to the Lord’s command!

And this is exactly that which faith’s author set forth as his practice. John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

And of the actual history of Jericho we read: Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Just as the Lord insisted to John the Baptist that he must experience baptism, though he had no sin to be repented of, so he had to obey the Father’s inner voice to experience an exercise of faith in order to be its Author! Matthew 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

He only came to be a perfect captain of salvation by experience in sufferings. Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

The experiencing of the sufferings of Christ not only approved himself to be the Son of God, but also set forth both the example and the ability for his sheep to follow. Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Now another thing which we must understand is the significance of our above listed text. Faith comes by hearing. Therefore the holy humanity of the Son of God had to hear the Father’s voice in order for him to act out his obedience in faith! Therefore we carefully read those three verses listed above from John chapter five and see that this is the testimony of the Lord Christ. For we find in those verses such phrases as, “what he seeth the Father do” and “the Father…sheweth him all things that himself doeth.” Then we read in verse thirty the words, “as I hear, I judge.” Therefore his faith did come by hearing the Father’s inner voice and acting physically upon those inner revelations, thus revealing his faith! 

Therefore He, like Abraham, was made perfect in his faith by obedient works! James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 

For Abraham’s bare belief that God had spoken to him concerning the offering of his son was not enough to bring forth an imputed  righteousness. He had to obey that instruction. For it was only when he displayed his full intention to sacrifice Isaac that the Lord spoke his approval of Abraham’s love and faith. Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. There is no assurance of our love to God without obedience to his word! John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

And it was the same with the Son of God. The voice of approval did not come until he came up out of the baptismal waters, revealing his absolute obedience to his Father’s will. Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Therefore he would instruct us that when he sent the Holy Spirit into the world, after his ascension, he would convict the world, not only of their unbelief of himself, but also of their failure at righteousness. And that judgment would be based on the fact that the Lord would return to the Father having completed by faith all that the Father had given him to do! John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

For the believer’s righteousness must far excel the supposed righteousness of those legalists who imagine that their religious works establish their acceptance with God. Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation (under the law of Moses) be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness (under the grace of Christ) exceed in glory.

Consider the plight of ‘dedicated’ religious  persons, as they come down to the end and are judged. Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Make no mistake about it dear Reader, righteousness imputed is also righteousness imparted. The good tree will always bear good fruit! For if God invests and deposits righteousness into one’s soul, it will always manifest itself in their actions! Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

And I can leave you with no better instruction concerning your personal faith than these words of the Apostle Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy. For he warned him not to make “shipwreck” of faith, giving him example of those in Timothy’s day who had done so. 

1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. 

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Pastor Gene Breed

September 22, 2018

My Father Worketh Hitherto

MY FATHER WORKETH

John 5:17 ¶ But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

The unity of the Trinity is a great mystery. The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy concerning the “mystery of godliness.” 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

For the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God manifest in the flesh, proclaimed both that, I and my Father are one. (John 10:30), and … for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28) Therefore the human mind would ask, ‘Which is it?’ Of course, it is both! Speaking as the Eternal Son of God he could truthfully state that he was equal with the Father. But speaking as the Incarnate Son, the ‘servant’ of God who was in submission to God, he could state that the Father is greater. 

Consider these statements from the pen of the Apostle John. First, how he speaks of the Trinity. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Next consider how John speaks of the relationship within the Trinity. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

First we notice that he speaks of the Eternal Son as the Word. Then he affirms that the Word both was God, and was with God from the beginning. Then he instructs us that the Eternal Word was made flesh, and dwelt among the human race. For God becoming Incarnate did not change his nature. He continued to be very God! But becoming man, changed the manifestation of that nature! Therefore, in his nature, God never ceased being what he always was. But in his manifestation in flesh, he became that which he had never been. 

And why did He determine to put on the robe of flesh and become visible? Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

He became flesh in order that he might be a sacrifice to destroy the works of Satan and deliver the peoples of God. And he rose from the dead in that same flesh in order that he might ascend to make intercession as their great High Priest. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Now we come to our text to seek out just how the Father communicates with the Son. For the Lord Jesus instructs us in verse seventeen that it was also God the Father, who did the ‘work’ of healing the impotent man on the Jews Sabbath. That means that the oneness of the Father and Son, who had the fullness of the Holy Spirit, (John 3:34), provides instant inspiration from the Father to the Son for the work that he did in his earthly ministry. 

Consider verses nineteen and twenty of our text. In them we read the Son can only do the works that he “seeth the Father do.” And then he states that the Father “sheweth him all things that himself doeth.”

Lets take the example that our Lord sets forth in verse twenty-one. There he speaks of the Father raising the dead and quickens, or enlivens them. Then he states that this is how the Son enlivens those whom he wills. Now we go to John chapter eleven to study the event of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Notice the Lord’s prayer to the Father. John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

There had to have been some inner, unspoken communion between the Father and Son, by the Holy Spirit in order for the Lord to pray that the Father had already heard his prayer. For there is no prayer listed in this scripture before this one. Therefore he states, thou hearest me always. And then he instructs just why he is then audibly speaking forth this prayer. He states that it is for the sake of those standing by him! 

This is that which the true believer is to do. He is to pray without ceasing. (1 Thess 5:17). That is his thoughts are to always be in an awareness of God. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

For the only previous sound that we can find that the Lord makes at that cave is that groan listed in verse 38. And THAT was the ‘prayer’ which the Son communicated to the Father. For we read in John 11:38, Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. And we read that the Spirit’s communication of our soul’s to the Father is by groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Therefore as the Lord has stated in John 5:21, it was the Father raising the dead, even so it was also the Son doing so! Again – I and the Father are one!

Even our Lord’s speech, as ours should be, was governed by his union with the Father! John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Therefore when we read of his final words on the cross, we can find another passage where in the Spirit guided those words. John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

And then we can find this set forth in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, expressing also the lightning swiftness of the thoughts of the Father into the heart and mouth of the Son. Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

For immediately after the lightning flash of thought comes the resulting accomplishment of the earth’s quake. Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 

Consider these verses which also show the swiftness of God’s inspiration to the soul: Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

Psalm 147:15 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.

This communication within the Trinity provides also the source of faith! We know that the Lord Jesus is the author of faith! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; And we know that faith cometh by hearing! Therefore as the Son heard the promptings and inspirations of the Father by the Holy Spirit, he became the author of eternal faith! For Romans 10:17 states, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: 

The hearing of the Father’s voice by the Son is the source of faith! The Holy Spirit’s work in this provides the force of faith. And those believing as they hear the gospel is the course of faith! And this unbroken line of hearing by the Holy Spirit provides the victory which overcomes the world! 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

For God is love. 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. And love is both the source and force of faith! Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

But before closing, let us not fail to observe that word “hitherto” in verse seventeen of our above listed text. It is the same Greek word translated “until now” in John 2:10. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance states that it is an “adverb of continuance.” So, just what is the Lord saying? He is saying that his Father may have rested the seventh day from creating. But he has never ceased from both preserving or governing his creation. Therefore the Father did work on that first sabbath, and on all thereafter!  

For since the Father and the Son are one, the same may be said of both. And it is said of the Son, “by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17) That is, by him all things “stand together.” We were given a glimpse of this at the physical death of the Son of God. For at the cross it seemed that the world became unglued! Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

It is the person and presence of God which gives mankind ability of continuance! Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; 

And this shall be perfected in the unity and oneness of the Trinity and all borned again believers throughout eternity! 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. God being all in all, is God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, in their eternal and highest glory, made one along with the redeemed and glorified church throughout eternity. 

John 17:20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Pastor Gene Breed

September 14, 2018

Sin No More

SIN NO MORE

John 5:1 ¶ After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

Here we have an account of the Good Shepherd, as it were, ignoring ninety and nine and going to save but one sheep. For here is said to be a great multitude of folks but our Lord passes through them looking for but one. 

He did the same in seeking out the man Zacchaeus. For it is said that he entered and passed through Jericho. (Luke 19:1) He went into Jericho’s city limits, passed through the entire city and came out on the other side to stop under the tree where Zacchaeus was lodged. And he made the amazing statement, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. He stated that his searching out Zacchaeus was for the absolute necessity of abiding in his house! 

But unlike that case, here in our lesson we never learn the impotent man’s name. We only learn that his long-term malady was caused by sin. And consider the length of time he had suffered under this condition. For verse five states that he had an infirmity thirty and eight years. That means that his infirmity was older than the Lord Jesus! For the Lord was approximately thirty years of age. Therefore the man had begun his suffering some eight years before the Incarnation! While the wise men of the East were presenting gifts to him as a young child, this man was suffering. While the lord was growing up in Nazareth, this man was suffering. When the Lord was being baptized by John, turning the water into wine, sitting by the well in Samaria and healing the nobleman’s son in Capernaum, this soul was hopelessly waiting for the moving of the waters of Bethesda! 

And yet our Lord well knew his case. For the Son of God did not have to get here in order to be here. He was here long before he ever got here! Consider these words: John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

For the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us is said to be God, and to be with God! John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Sin had separated this poor soul from the benefit of the eye of faith, as it does all captured by it. He was only looking to the troubling of the waters of Bethesda, by an angel, hoping for some man to get him into them. And he, like all those also blinded by sin was making his pitiful story known to the very God-man! Multitudes of self pitying prayers surely go up into the face of God daily by those seeking God’s face on the basis of self pity and not on the foundation of repentance! 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. But looking to men in self pity will never do! For there is One who knows and cares, standing right in front of us. Psalm 72:12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

It was the man’s sin – not God’s lack of care that put him in this position! And the Lord warned him to sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 

But why would the Lord leave him in such a condition for such a length of time? Consider these verses: 2 Corinthians 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

Just as Jonah had to be sent to ‘fish school,’ so some have to be left to even ‘despair of life’ in order to force them our of vain, self trust, and into relying totally upon the Lord. Psalm 94:17 Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. Psalm 118:18 The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

We must not overlook the fact that the Lord Jesus just did not just physically heal the man. For in verses nine and fourteen of our text we read that the man was “made whole.” This meant that not only the physical malady was cured, but also the sin which brought about the sickness was cleansed and forgiven. Therefore in verse fourteen we read that the Lord’s warning reminded the man that his being made whole was related to sin. And that farther sin would bring farther judgment upon him. Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Yet it was a good thing to see that the man was found by the Lord in the temple. Hopefully to fulfill the vows he, like all oppressed, usually make in order to bargain with God for relief of their dire circumstances! Psalm 66:13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Psalm 66:13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, 14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. 15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

Sin is a horrible thing! It was the cause of the humanity of God being crucified! Therefore it should never be taken lightly. Sinning against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable! Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

A person’s conduct will determine his final judgment. Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Read these verses, being sure to take careful note of the “if” in the last verse. Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Here is yet another “if.” Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

For it’s not the starting gate, but the finish line that is all important, dear Reader! Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. This pastor has seen far too many religionists as they near death, trying to claim free passage to ‘heaven,’ who made a profession early in life, and then walked away from God and the gospel. But their going out from these is sure evidence of their reprobation! 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Be assured that the Lord means it as much to all of us that which he stated to this impotent man. Sin no more! For to turn away from the love of the gospel is eternally damning! For it’s not just the truth which is the issue, but THE LOVE of the truth! For the Lord God takes more than just a dim view of those who love not his Son, who is the Person of the Truth! 2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Did you notice that it was “God” who sent the strong delusion? And did you notice that the delusion sent by God is so strong that these become utterly convinced of a lie? And did you take notice that this would establish that soul into eternal damnation? 

In the last two verses of our text, listed above, we read that this man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who healed him. And this set off a chain of events which would eventually lead to the Lord’s crucifixion. For the Lord not only refused to justify himself  concerning healing of the Sabbath day, but he also went on to use this opportunity to teach that the immediate impulse to do so came from the Father! And this firmly implied that he was equal with God! – And he is! John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Hear these words: John 10:30 I and my Father are one. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

And the impulses of the Father like lightening flashes of revelation to the Son, were but equal to the prayers of the Son to the Father. For outside of the tomb of Lazarus we can find no record of any previous prayer audibly spoken by the Lord. But he makes mention that the Father has already heard him. Yet the only previous sound he makes is a groan! 

John 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And yet we come to later learn from an apostle that this groan is but a spiritual communication of the heart to God! Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And it is by these inner, spiritually secret impulses which the Son had his direction from the Father. John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. He truly is one with the Father! gb

They Made Him A Supper

THEY MADE HIM A SUPPER

Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. 7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Matthew 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

The Lord’s next recorded supper will be his last supper. And it will not be of such rich fellowship as was this supper. It will be the supper to institute the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, wherein we are instructed to remember him and show his death until he returns. And it is interesting to notice that the next supper will have the words, and supper being ended included its account. For all the previous issues were about to change as the glorious Savior went in before the Father to provide a new and living way.  John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

For an entirely new way of supping was now being brought into being. Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. He had introduced it back in Samaria when the disciples brought him natural food. He then introduced them to spiritual sustenance and it’s spiritually enlivening nourishment. John 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat (food) to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

And the Lord Jesus strongly yearned to enter into this spiritual type of eating with his church! Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And he anticipated this with great desire. Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

Then he more fully instructs as to the feeding of spirits from the Spirit-Being of God. For God alone has given and sustained all existence in distinction from Himself! Natural eating was only given forth to speak of the invisible and spiritual partaking of God for life! Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: For eating and drinking was never just for the nourishment of the physical body! It is for God’s glory! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. The Hebrew word translated into English as “soul,” is the word “appetite.” 

But it was right in front of their eyes. For all their children came forth from the mother’s body, but were then cast back upon that same body for their sustenance. Psalm 22:9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

This was the mistake that caused the world of Noah to perish! For they became only given to the physical nourishing, leaving the spiritual feeding from God out entirely. Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 

How strange the following words were to the ears of those most dedicated of religionists in Israel. John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

And all the old economy under the system of the law was to be overcome by the glorious era of grace. All the sacrifices were to end as the Lamb of God was come with his single sacrifice to take away the sin of the world! And in doing so he taketh away the old covenant of the law, that he may establish the second. Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

But this supper in Simon the leper’s house, in Bethany, was different. For here his gospel friends, representing a sampling of all those who would ever be cleansed by his blood are in attendance. For here he was at a place of life, but after his last supper he would be at a place of death. Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

His Father had provided this place for his Son to see what his death would accomplish in the lives of those whom the Father had given him. Therefore just before his death he would be encouraged to envision the glorious effect of his sacrifice. Listen to his inner thoughts at this gathering revealed in verse 7: Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 

And in one way in this gathering there was fulfilled the prophecy of the Prophet Daniel. For here Mary would anoint the most Holy. Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (We understand that his true anointing would be with the Holy Spirit.)

And would not this be the very town to which he would return after his resurrection in order to ascend to his glory? Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Of a truth, even with the anticipation of returning to his Father to enter into his glory, it is said, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

And an evident token of his love was his rebuke of Judas for the protection of Mary! Psalm 109:31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. For the true shepherd does not run when he sees the wolf coming! John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

But our Lord was absolutely guilty of one of the charges which the religious boys leveled against him! Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And, thank God he still does! Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. It is as the song writer has penned, “Sinners Jesus will receive. Sound this word of grace to all.”

For consider this list of those assembled at that supper: There was Simon the leper. He was the Diseased, whom Jesus healed. There was Lazarus the Dead, whom Jesus raised. There was Martha the Dutiful, whom Jesus instructed concerning her being encumbered with much serving. There was Mary the Devoted, who sat at Jesus feet, having chosen that one thing that shall not be taken from her. Then there was Judas the Denier. And the Lord made sure that Judas at least went to Hell with clean feet! John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

My! What a cross section of sinners representing the great masses of the redeemed! Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Every being, angelic or demonic, every human, redeemed or reprobate shall one day bow and recognize Jesus Christ as Lord! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For this was the purpose of God from all eternity. Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

And what about you, dear Reader? Have you given any thought to your spiritual feasting from Christ? What is the fare upon which your soul feeds? Are you just feeding it the dry shucks of religion? Or are you feasting off the richness of the Heavenly Bread? John 21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Acts 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Song 6:3 I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies. 2:2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Pastor Gene Breed

August 30, 2018

Thy Son Liveth

THY SON LIVETH

John 4:43 ¶ Now after (the) two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. 46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Our Lord had spent two days in the Samaritan village where he had the encounter with the woman at the well. (See verse 40.) So after those two days he journeys down to Cana of Galilee. We can read in our verse forty-four that he does not go to Nazareth, as he would not be accepted there. 

And even here in Galilee he does not focus upon the entire population again, but on one person who has come up from Capernaum, seeking the healing of his son. And the Holy Spirit has stamped upon this passage a phrase which appears three times. That phrase is, “Thy son liveth.” This directs us to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And just how do we come to that understanding?

The entirety of the scriptures are but revelations of the Eternal Son of God! John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Also carefully read Colossians 1:14-18.

Then what may we see of the Person of Christ and his resurrection in this passage? Here is a father who is a nobleman. He is both rich and powerful. God the Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10) And He is all powerful. (Jeremiah 32:17) 

This father only had one son begotten of him. God the Father has only one begotten Son. (John 3:16)  This father’s son was sick in a distant place.  whose son was sick at Capernaum. God the Father’s Son was made sin-sick down on earth,  in the human race. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

For God the Father had orchestrated this event to encourage his Son regarding his own resurrection by having that phrase, “thy son liveth,” not only to be spoken from his own lips, but also to be repeated by the nobleman’s servants. And those words are made effectual for his and his entire household’s salvation! So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

Dear Reader, just reading the scriptures for a literal correctness will only cause you to be a religious historian. In order for them to be of benefit to your immortal soul, they must be read and seen in their spiritual meaning. John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

In order for the scriptures to be made effectual to the salvation of the soul, they must be received into the heart and not just memorized in the head! Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted and rooted) word, which is able to save your souls.

Therefore you may know many religionists, but you don’t really know that many christians!

It is interesting to see that this is called a “miracle!” See verse forty-five of our text. Yet it was not seen by anyone! This is another strong reason that we know that all this was for the encouraging of the great heart of the Lord Jesus from his Father. For, as has been said, the power of healing was in the invisible word of the Holy Spirit in the effectual words of the Lord, which granted faith in that father’s heart! John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

For as the Lord Jesus set forth those words to that earthly father, he also set them forth to his heavily Father as a token of his faith in the Father’s care. For the Lord Jesus is the author of faith! And that faith resided in the full belief of the Father’s raising him from the dead! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This was at the heart of Peter’s Pentecostal message! Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

And here is the Lord Jesus exercising his faith in his Father: Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

This was the only way he would enter into death! For none could take the life of “The Life!” It was his faith in the Father’s ability and willingness to raise him up that prompted a voluntary releasing of himself into death! John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

And how came the very, exact words of the Lord Jesus out of those servant’s mouths? John 4:51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Since they were not there to hear the Lord in Cana utter these words, it could only be that God ordained their hearts and tongues to state them! Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

For the Lord Jesus is the Servant of God, and he is The Word! Therefore it is in the pattern of spiritual things that these servants speak his exact words! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

There is one other passage in which these very words are spoken. And that passage also gives to us a witnesses’ response that may show us what was in that father’s heart as he heard his servants repeat the exact same words of the Lord. 

1 Kings 17:21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.

The death of this widow’s son had made her ponder over her sins as if she were to blame for his death. 1Kings 17:18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? 

But now, the recovery of her son raised her heart above herself into the supernatural realm. And therefore she is made aware that Elijah is truly a man of God, and that Elijah’s words are the true words of God. And is that not the same with the nobleman of Capernaum? Consider this verse now again. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. He “knew” that those very words of the Healer now proved to him that this was the very Son of God, and that the words of his mouth were the very truth of God! 

This is best expressed by the Apostle John. 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 

And those words of truth are powerful, setting one free from death and sin’s disease! John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Dear Reader, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, the very living Word of God has been sent down from heaven to reveal the truth of God to mankind. He has abolished the death hold that Satan and his religion’s have had on all who will hear his voice and come to him!

Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Eternity is growing increasingly impatient with time. Very soon time will be no more. Eternity affords not one single soul opportunity to improve itself. Today is the day of salvation. Flee to Christ. gb 

Go Through Samaria

GO THROUGH SAMARIA

John 4:3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4 And he must needs go through Samaria. 5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

The Lord Jesus must eventually “go through” Samaria in order to get to Galilee, but that was certainly not his plan at present. For now he was “coming to” a particular city, to a particular well, to a particular woman, for a particular purpose. He was to give her a drink of the living water. 

In the case of Zacchaeus, the Lord did enter and pass through his city. For the soul to whom he was to feed the bread of life was on the far outskirts of Jericho in the perch which the Lord had previously grown for him. Luke 19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

Every one of God’s elect souls are placed in the exact location, at the exact time when the gospel is destined to intersect them for their salvation! Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

Our Lord was acting out a scene displayed many times in the history of redemption. For Abraham’s eldest servant sought a bride for Abraham’s son Isaac by a well in Mesopotamia. Genesis 24:1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. 57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. 58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

This is where Moses met his wife after killing the Egyptian, and fleeing from Egypt. Exodus  2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

When Saul was searching for Samuel, the prophet, he learned of his location from the women at a well. 1 Samuel 9:11 And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here?

And this is used by the Prophet Isaiah to call the Lord’s people to salvation. Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 

Now, what about our Lord’s instruction to his disciples concerning their gospel relation to Samaria? Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That is very clear! So what are we to think concerning the words, he must needs go through Samaria?

Consider this passage and see the Lord’s general instruction concerning his relation to men’s souls – including Samaritan’s. Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Here are his later instructions just before his ascension: Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

What we have to understand is that He is God, and we are not! And we have to understand that He is Lord of the harvest and we are His servants! Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

His “Go ye” is based on His sovereignty! We cannot just go out wheresoever we desire! We must be directed by the Holy Spirit! Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

For the disciples were forbidden by the Spirit to go just anywhere they determined! Neither can we! Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed (‘tried’), to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

Evangelism was never meant to be ordered and controlled by a ‘Mission Board,’ but only by the Holy Spirit! The entire church throughout the entire age is to “Go ye! But they go only in each segment of time as the Spirit led the contemporary church. Then, by the end of the age, they would have gone collectively into the uttermost parts of the earth!

One must merely read the 2 Kings 17 passage to understand just how corrupted the Samaritans had become. Here are but a few verses from that passage to give the reader a glimpse of their condition. 2 Kings 17:24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. 29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 32 So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. 34 Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel; 41 So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.

Of course, they had not a true reverential fear of the Lord! For they only had a form of godliness! 2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

And that sort of hypocrisy is contagious! 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. As has been stated, One bad apple will corrupt the whole barrel of apples! And this is why the Lord Jesus could go into Samaria, but instructed his disciples not to go until after the Holy Spirit was send down from heaven! (See Matthew 10:5 & Acts 1:8 listed above.) For he cannot be corrupted by sin! Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; But without the inward dwelling of the Spirit they could have been wrongfully influenced. 

And we notice that the Lord did not waste time and energy arguing with the Samaritan woman at the will in Sychar. He set forth one strong, clear truth concerning the difference between the Jews and the Samaritans. John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. Then he goes directly to her personal issue of faith. “Go, call thy husband.” For the woman, under the corrupt society’s influence in which she dwelt had already gone through five husbands. And the one with whom she was then living was not a true husband to her. Marriage had left her empty! Her inner soul was still hungry to be fulfilled. 

What she did not know was that the physical union of man and woman can only be satisfying when both are in spiritual union with the Lord Jesus! Isaiah 54:4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 62:5 …and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The joining together of male and female causes them to be one flesh. Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. But the joining together of the soul to God brings forth oneness of spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

The concept that the woman had in her heart of the ideal man was listed in verse twenty five of John four. John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Her concept of the perfect man was one who could tell her heart to her! And this the Lord Jesus did! For leaving her water pot, she ran back into the city, proclaiming to the men that she had finally found a man who told her all things ever that I did. 

And is not this the characteristic of the Word? Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

And Jesus Christ IS the Word! John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

We know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the truth! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. And in truly knowing Him, one is set free from all previously held, empty religious errors! John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

For knowing the truth is not just attaining Bible knowledge. The devil could quote scripture! But knowing the truth is knowing the Person of Truth, the eternal Son of God! John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

For the sole subject of the scriptures is Jesus Christ! John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Pastor Gene Breed

August 18, 2018

He Left Judaea

HE LEFT JUDAEA 

John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.

It was baptism which brought the Lord Jesus into Judaea, and it is baptism which now causes his departure. John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

But carefully notice just what the Lord knew. He knew that the religious Pharisees where focusing on the dispute between John’s disciples and the Jews over the matter of the effect of baptism’s purifying. John 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.

The Pharisees always ready to further their cause, even at the expense of trashing all other causes, whether good or bad, had been attracted to this confrontation. Therefore the Lord ‘defused’ the matter by leaving the area. And at a later date he returns to this isolated place to escape the persecution of these antagonistic leaders again. John 10:39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, 40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

And this would be his example for his instruction to his followers in the times to come. Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

He showed that he was in charge of the timing of his death and not the religious crowd! Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

The time before appointed for his sacrifice was firmly established by himself and his Father. It is the most established appointment that has ever been. And he expressed this to both his disciples and to his Father. John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

He expressed this to his natural family. John 7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. 8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. For he knew from the foundation of the world that this was an appointed matter for him. 1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

There are two things which the believer is to understand from this, First, that there are those who have garbage cans for ears. They, like the Pharisees, come nosing around just to get the ‘dirt’ on the peoples of God in order to justify themselves for their own rejection of the gospel! Then the other thing is that God’s people are not to just voluntarily ‘give their back to the smiters.’ We are instructed regarding those who are ‘despisers of those that are good, from such (to) turn away! (2Timothy 3:3,5). 

And just what did attract these Pharisees like buzzards to a dead carcass? It was a matter of who had the largest crowds. An argument as to whose baptism produced the greatest purification! John 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

Religion always thinks that one with large crowds must surely be approved by God! But what then about poor old Noah? He only had eight souls enter into the ark. And they were only said to be “saved by water,” and not by grace! 1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

And what about the Lord Jesus as he got nearer to the cross? He fed 5000. He sent 70 out two by two. He had 12 disciples. But only 3 on the mount when he was transfigured. And only the Apostle John at the cross! Is He a failure? 

Do not the crowds go in the broad way which lead to destruction? And did He not say that there were few who entered into the strait gate which leads to eternal life? Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Its quality of soul, not quantity of numbers which the Lord seeks. Listen to the Prophet Isaiah concerning his group. He was first instructed not to combine with popular religion by becoming confederated with them. He was to focus his attention upon the Lord God! Isaiah 8:12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 ¶ Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

And just who did this prophet finally come to identify as the true church of the Lord God? Just those birthed by the Spirit as ‘children,’ and himself! Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

We must understand that there is a vast difference in the purposes of God to chastise his people for their correction, and that of the Satanic and human afflicters, who delight in destruction for no good purpose. Here is a portion of scripture which lays this out:

The Lord God determined to use the Assyrians to afflict Israel due to Israel’s disobedience. Therefore God granted the Assyrians victory over Israel. But then the Assyrians thought that they were in charge of, not only Israel, but determined to conquer other nations as well! Isaiah 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

Here is why God could punish Assyria for doing what He wanted them to do after Israel was justly punished. For they bragged on themselves and glorified their weapons of war, giving no glory to God! Isaiah 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

Therefore when once the purpose of God was satisfied, Israel did not have to continue to “give their backs to these smiters!” 

Did not God require “wicked hands” to crucify his son? Yes! And it was so by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God! Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: How then is it just of God to send Judas to hell for betraying Christ Jesus? For Judas provided part of those wicked hands needed to identify the Lord Jesus to those determined to arrest him. 

He could do so because Judas didn’t betray the Lord to fulfill God’s will. He did not do so for the glory of God! He did so for his greed and love of money! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

God would have his true church to suffer persecution in order to purify them. But he would have it also that the wicked may be punished for their part in it! And the wicked shall be judged as soon as their cup of iniquity is full. 

Israel could not be let out of Egyptian bondage until the Amorites full judgment could be exacted upon them by the armies of Israel. Genesis 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Consider also these verses. Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. Matthew 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 1 Thessalonians 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

Dear Reader, when the Lord God wants his people to be afflicted, thy will not be able to avoid it. When Ananias was sent to Saul of Tarsus he was instructed that the Lord had ordained the sufferings he must endure in his ministry as Paul, the Apostle. Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. But when Satanic persecution arises it is not God’s purpose that we voluntarily involve ourselves in that. 

Sometimes persecution breaks out in order for the Great Shepherd to move his people to another pasture for the gospel to go forth! Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

In our text we see the Lord not willing for his little infant church to suffer persecution at that time. So he led them not into temptation, but delivered them from this evil. But there was another time when, although the Lord God also fully “knew” of the circumstances, he was pleased to take his church through afflictions, but for a specific period. Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Pastor Gene Breed

August 8, 2018

After These Things

AFTER THESE THINGS

John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. 27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

After what things? It was after the things in the encounter of Nicodemus with the Lord Christ, as set forth in John 2:23 – 3:21. Now both the Lord and John the Baptist are baptizing. The two greatest men born of woman are separately doing the same thing at the same time. And just as there was the confusion of Nicodemus concerning the identity and nature of the Lord, so now there is the confusion of John’s disciples, also in regard to the Lord.

But understand that the Lord Himself did not baptize with water. John 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,). He showed the future church throughout the ages that it is not the hands that baptize you into the physical waters that is of most importance, but he who baptizes with the fire of the Holy Spirit! Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Theses are the words of John the Baptist. 

The issue in this last section of John chapter three (verses 22 through 36), concerns John causing his disciples to clearly understand both who the Lord Jesus was, and John’s relationship to him, both personally and in his ministry. And all this is brought up by a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews, or a Jew.

So whoever it was that were disputing, the issue was concerning Jesus’ disciples’ baptism, and John’s baptism, the issue focused around “purifying,” or ceremonial washing. But John was wise enough not to enter into useless religious debate. He knew that the real issue, as it always is, was the person of Jesus Christ and his authority.

For the Lord’s true identity is only revealed by the issue of heavenly discernment. Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

To this confusion John first gives a general answer that a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Then he reminds them of that which he has taught them before. He has always instructed them that he was most definitely not the Christ! And he insisted twice that I knew him not by human familiarity! He explains that he only knew him by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. And THAT is how any and all come to know him. John 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

These baptisms not only reveal to us who John was, for other than the Lord Jesus, he was the most unique man of all men. He was the only human being on the face of the earth who could look at another man and state, “This is very God. This is creator God. This is the very Lamb of God’s sacrifice who will take away our sin!” Therefore these baptisms were also set forth to reveal just who Jesus of Bethlehem really was! Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And yet there was another group whom these baptisms plainly identified. For in John 4:1 we read: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, They were highly religious leaders who completely rejected their Messiah, plainly identified by his baptism. For they were only focused on that which all religious leaders are always focused on – how many followers does anyone have! And that was the same as John’s disciples who favored their involvement with John over the revelation of Messiah! John 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

And John had to warn them concerning their wrongful focus. John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

There is a world of difference between the “wisdom” the religionist and that of the born again, spiritual man! 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The religious man is always focused upon his success. But as God cannot be unsuccessful, the true, God-called, spiritual man is focused on his faithfulness to God’s glory! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. For he well understands that if he has been enabled to accomplish anything for Christ’s kingdom it was Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 

And how are we to think of these baptisms? We are to remember that the entirety of the scriptures concern the Person of the Son of God. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

And we are to remember that his words are spiritual words, or they will not be life words to us! John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. For the mere teaching of historical truth is a killing agent! 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

The belief we obtain from the catechisms is good, but must be held within the spiritual revelation of Christ to the soul. For the demons in hell believe in one God! They believe that Jesus is the very Son of God! They believe that he died on the cross! But they are still in hell! James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

We are expected to go on from the foundation issues – the A, B, C’s – of religion, even the doctrine of baptism, to attain to the fulness of Christ! Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

And in doing so we will be led to see his baptism in a more complete picture. For as we reread Matthew 3:16,17, (listed above in the third column of the first page of this article), we also see the creation of the world order. For as the God-man rises through the waters and hears the Father state His being “well pleased,” so we recall the dry land from which man was created, breaking through creation’s waters, from which all men were created. And God also spoke of his pleasure in this natural creation. Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

And this causes us to read Mark 4:1 in a more complete light. And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

What do you see here, dear Reader? Is not this the Word on the water, bringing forth the life giving words of God, as in Genesis 1:1-3? Do you not understand that the sea represents the masses of human beings? Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

And do you not realize that Jesus Christ is Lord over all men, even the wicked? Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

For he ‘earned’ the right of sovereignty by his obedience, even to the death of the cross! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And he is the presently reigning Lord! Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

And the Lord knew the inner thoughts of the Pharisees, concerning his and John’s baptisms! John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

Pastor Gene Breed

August 4, 2018

The Serpent Lifted Up

THE SERPENT LIFTED UP

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The Lord has not allowed this leader of the Jews to think of approaching him on the basis of miracles. John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

In John three fifteen we read that it is not by miracles but by faith! For it is “whosoever believeth,” and not ‘whosoever is excited concerning a miracle!’ Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Then the Lord begins to speak to Nicodemus concerning three “earthly things.” For he instructs this master of Israel concerning these things in order to reveal to him his inability to see the kingdom of God. And the three earthly things which he brings forth are, the birth (3:3), the wind (3:8), and a serpent (3:14). 

This is the same instruction which he gives to all humans. For the created order sets forth even the “invisible things of  (God)!” These things will not regenerate the heart of man, but they are such a voice as to render all mankind inexcusable for not knowing Him! Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. It matters not what the word for the sun and moon is in the different languages and dialects throughout the world. They are still the glorious light-giving bodies which all men see. And they all declare his glory! And all mankind are effected by them.

And everyone who has ever lived on this planet were here by natural birth. But carnal religion with its social gospel, and not being able to understand the spiritual birth, yet striving to get men to join in with them, began to tell men they could go to heaven by simply making a decision! Did you ever know of a woman becoming pregnant by solely making a decision? 

For as the female must be penetrated by the male and have his seed implanted within, so the Holy Spirit penetrates the heart of the sinner and has Christ’s character invested in him. For there can be no birth without conception! 1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are instructed to pray to “Our Father which art in heaven.” And no man can be a father without an offspring. And no man is a son except a father sired him. Therefore for God to be ‘our Father,’ “Ye MUST be born again!” Salvation is by a spiritual birth and not by a decision!

Then our Lord spoke to Nicodemus concerning the wind. And who on earth, in whatever country, in whatever century, has not been confronted with the presence of the wind? This was another “earthly thing” of which he spoke. 

And we learn that it is the light which “scattereth” the wind. Job 38:24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? And we know that the Lord Jesus IS the Light of the world and the Light of life. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He was the Light which the Lord God called for at the beginning of the creation of the world. Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

For the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day. Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Therefore, the Lord Jesus being the Light, and as the light “scattereth the east wind,”  it was he who sent the Holy Wind of God to us! John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Then the final earthly thing which our Lord brings up is a serpent. But it is a specific serpent. He does not speak of the one in the garden which Satan used to tempt Eve. Nor of the one in Pharaoh’s court when Moses threw down his rod. But he refers to one associated with Moses, the giver of the law, which required the Israelites to simply look and be saved. Nicodemus had studied Moses and the law all his life. And the Lord wanted to direct his heart and mind to this incident of grace from God, requiring faith from those bitten by the fiery serpents. 

Numbers 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

One of the most amazing verses in the Bible, referring to our Lord’s taking on our humanity and standing in our place, is Romans 8:3. It states, For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Amazing condescension! Glorious Savior! Christ Jesus likened himself to “sinful flesh.” He identifies himself to us all, while speaking to Nicodemus, with the serpent which Moses lifted up. 

Yet we read in Hebrews 7:26: For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  

The serpent was lifted up on a pole for all to see. The Lord Jesus was lifted up on a cross! John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

The same cause of their death was also the cause of their healing. A serpent bit them. A serpent had to heal them. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

And as it was Moses – representing the law – who lifted up the serpent, so the law causes the necessity of Christ and his supplied righteousness to be lifted up to all sinners! Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. The law made sin to be seen as “exceeding sinful” to the heart and mind of the sinner, driving him to Christ.

And as it was not the pole upon which the serpent was place which saved them, so it is not the actual implement of the cross which saves anyone. We tend to make an occult around the beams of wood the Romans used to crucify the Lord. The one who is hanged on a tree is said to be a curse! Deuteronomy 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

It is Christ, alone who saves. It is the Lamb of God who takes away sin! For it is not the wooden beams upon which He was hung, but the Person of  the God-man who was hung thereon who brings salvation! John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

The Israelites even kept that brass serpent which Moses formed and made an idol out of it, like many do of the implement of the cross today. 2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. (That word, Nehushtan simply means ‘the brazen thing.”) 

When the Apostle Paul preached of “the cross,” he was not referring to the implement of wood, but to the doctrine of the cross – the substitution of the just for the unjust. 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Summing up we see that it is detrimental  to ones soul to only see the Lord as one who performs miracles. That is only to see what he does. And one must see him as to who he is! He is the Light! (John 8:12) And in his identity of Light he sends the Holy Spirit. (Job 38:24; John 15:26) And the Holy Spirit is the sole originator of spiritual birth! (John 3:8) And only with spiritual birth can one either see or enter into the spiritual and eternal kingdom of God! (John 3:3,5) These are the only ones with eyes to believingly see the Lord’s Lamb lifted up as was the serpent for eternal life. John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

For that was God on that cross, dear Heart, reconciling the world of those granted seeing eyes and hearing ears to Himself. 2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; …

Pastor Gene Breed

July 28, 2018

How Shall Ye Believe?

HOW SHALL YE BELIEVE?

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

This is the Lord Jesus’ answer to the mindset of Nicodemus. The chapter division is unfortunate here, as it interrupts the verses which concern this religious leader and lawyer (Moses’ law), showing his awe of Christ’s miracles. Take time to read John 2:23 through John 3:2 without pausing. For he was one of the “men” to whom the Lord would not ‘commit’ (same word, “believed” in John 2:23) himself, because he knew what was in men’s hearts. 

For Nicodemus was only looking at the ‘wrapping paper’ and not at the present inside! The miracles were given by God as proof that Jesus of Bethlehem was indeed, the eternal Son of God! Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

And as we realize that the Lord Jesus is the Head of the true church, we understand that he was Nicodemus’ spiritual master. Therefore the master was appalled that this “master of Israel” was without understanding of spiritual things. – And would not that also be a condemnation to the majority of orthodox religion in our land today? For even if we hear the scriptures included in a ‘sermon,’ it is only the dead letter of the law, and nothing of the spirit of the word. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Therefore the Lord immediately instructs Nicodemus as what he needed in order to turn from his emotional excitement concerning miracles and be able to recognize the spiritual kingdom of God. – He needed the new birth! But even when he was told  this, he could only relate to the physical birth, having no spiritual life with its insight. John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

And what is even more amazing is that the Lord Jesus considered the teaching of the new birth to only be one of the “earthly things.” So just what is an “earthly thing?” It is a spiritual thing revealed to the soul by understanding the purpose of the natural creation. But not one in a thousand church goers would have the slightest clue as to that which the following two verses mean. Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

In that Romans 1:20 verse we are most plainly instructed that the invisible character of God himself is “clearly seen” by the under-standing of the created order. In fact, it is stated that one can even see “his eternal power and Godhead” revealed. Then in that Corinthians verse we are told that the spiritual eyesight of the born again believer peers into the invisible, spiritual realm as he looks beyond the physical world around him. 

For the true believer is said to be set in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That is, the believer has a heavenly and spiritual mindset. He judges things on earth by his ‘renewed mind.’ Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

One of those revealing, earthly things is clearly set forth in Jesus’ words to Nicodemus. For in verse eight he reveals to him that to understand the Holy Spirit and His work, you only have to hear the wind blow! Therefore we see that the Holy Spirit is said to be the ‘Wind’ or the ‘Breath’ of God! This was evidenced at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was sent from heaven unto the apostles. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, 

And seeing heavenly things by understanding the purpose of God’s earthly things is given by God with the new birth. Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (And one only becomes a ’babe’ by a birth!) 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

And one of the things that occurs to the true believers, even with ‘understanding’ given to them along with faith in Christ is that there are things beyond our ability to presently understand. For although the gift of faith in Christ has provided them insight not available to the unregenerate, the vastness of the mysteries of God are still beyond his awareness while still in this natural body. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

The major hinderance in mankind’s not knowing the things of God is that sin has rendered his heart corrupt. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; (Romans 10:10). Consider the following verses:

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

This corrupt heart is the reason for their ignorance. It is most certainly not because they were not told! All have been ‘informed’ by the book of the created realm. Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

The verse from Romans 1:20 listed out in column three of page one of this article states that the things revealed by the natural creation renders all mankind “without excuse.” Therefore as both this Psalm 19 passage and that Romans verse clearly state, even if a person never heard a gospel message preached to them, the revelation of God through his marvelous creation is “speech” and “knowledge” enough to condemn all unbelievers! There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

The problem lies not that the gospel has not been broadcast, but that it has not been believed and obeyed. Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

It is obedience to the word wherein the truth is known and sustained! John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

But above all this, we have not only the speech of the natural creation, but we have also been sent the very Person of the Word! For Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son and Word of the Father! John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The only Being who was both with God and who was God, who was made flesh, and dwelt among us is the Incarnate Son of God – Jesus Christ! He was “sent down” from the Father to us. He was the son that was given, and therefore became the child that was born! Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. For had he not always been, from all eternity the Son, he could not have been the child who was born!

All things were made to reveal his Person! Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

All Scripture concerns Him! Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

And His name is above every name throughout the universe! Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Pastor Gene Breed