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The Most Dangerous Condition


John 8:31-32

I would ask you to look at vs. 31 again. In this verse Jesus speaks to “those Jews who had believed in Him.”

At some point they were convinced that what Jesus said and taught was true; perhaps they had heard Him teach in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles.

In fact, the Hebrew writer in Heb. 6 starting in vs. 4 expresses just how dangerous this situation is. He says: For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age (miracles) to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.

Speaking to these “Jews who had believed” Jesus says: “If you abide (remain, continue, endure) in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You shall become free’?”

Jesus says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” and these Jews say, “We have never been enslaved to anyone!”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly (important), I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

35 “And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

Do they need what Jesus can do for them?

Look at vs. 37. Jesus concedes their claim to be Abraham’s descendants. But are they doing what Abraham’s descendants should do. Look at what He says:

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s offspring (Abraham was a man of faith; a man who trusted God. But look at what these Jews are doing); yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 “I speak the things which I have seen with My Father (What Jesus says and does reflects who His Father is. And, what they say and do is a reflection of who their real father is also. Look at what He says); therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”

  39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 “But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do (Abraham would never do what they are doing).

41 “You are doing the deeds of your father.”

They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.”

For these Jews or anyone else to get to this point there has to be a powerful spiritual force behind them. And Jesus is going to tell us who it is.  Look starting in vs. 42:

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. 45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” 

Look at what Jesus says in Matt 12:43-45. This is a pretty good explanation of what is happening I John 8.

“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 “Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.  45 “Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” 

To come to Christ, and then to reject Him, is the most dangerous spiritual situation to find oneself in.

Now, look at John 8:48. The Jews are really upset now. Look what they say:

The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

This is true today. This is often the way people respond when you tell them the truth about Christ and their need for Christ.

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 “But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” 

52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste of death.’ 53 “Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?”

Now vs. 54:  Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you (that is pretty straight forward isn’t it), but I do know Him, and keep His word. 56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”  57 The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”  59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus was hidden, and went out of the temple.

So, what does all of this mean to us?

Once you or I reject Christ and deny the truth then who do we  turn to?

Second, if you or I decide to kick Jesus out; if we decide to kick out the truth we can be sure that the devil will slither right into the void and our spiritual state becomes worse than if we had never known the truth at all.

Finally, John wrote this gospel so that “we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing we might have life in His name.”



John 8:12-20

Here in the first 11 verses of John 8 you find the story of the “Woman Caught In Adultery” and the familiar line, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

There is nothing in the story that is un-Christ like, and there nothing in the story that is unlike the behavior of the religious leaders; but apparently the story was added later.

Furthermore, it interrupts the story that began in chapter 7 and continues here in chapter 8:12.

Now, as we look at this passage that was read I want to be careful about being too negative; and yet, this passage is a portrait of what Jesus faced and what we see in many people today. This passage of scripture contains a somewhat lengthy conversation between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders.

Look at vs. 12. Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying,I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” 

What a tremendous message of hope and assurance! But the Jewish rulers don’t like it and they don’t want others to hear it. So look what they do in vs. 13:

The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You are bearing witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”

So, in vs. 14 Jesus tries to explain why His witness about Himself is legitimate. In vs. 14 He says, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true; for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from, or where I am going. 15 “You people judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16 “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and He who sent Me. 17 “Even in your law it has been written, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 “I am He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” 

“Where is Your Father?”

Look at vs. 21: He said therefore again to them, “I go away, and you shall seek Me, and shall die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” 

22 Therefore the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”

Look at vs. 23: And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”

Now look at vs. 25: And so they were saying to Him, “Who are You?”

And look at Jesus’ response. They ask, “Who are You?” and Jesus says, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning?

26 “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” 

And look at vs. 27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.

When it comes to Christ, when it comes to God; when it comes to salvation and what Jesus commands for salvation; some people are so busy arguing and disputing that they can’t or won’t hear what they are told.

These Jews, these Pharisees already had their mind made up; they had already dug in and even the truth could not budge them.

And I suspect that many of you have encountered someone just like this: you have tried to teach them about Christ; you have tried to teach them what the Lord commands; you have tried to explain to them the plan of salvation and the more you try to tell them the more they counter with “how about this or how about that”; they counter with some hypothetical question; or they just simply refuse to believe.

For example: You may have tried to teach someone about their need to be baptized and one of the more common questions to dispute baptism is: “If a man is headed to be baptized and he is killed in a car wreck, is he lost?”

Often these kinds of questions are asked, not to learn, but to dispute and to reject Christ and what He teaches; and that is what these Jewish leaders do in this passage.

So, vs. 27 says, “They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.”

Well, look at vs. 28. They may claim not to know that Jesus is speaking of the Father; but they will! Vs. 28:

Jesus therefore said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”

Notice, Jesus says, “When you lift up…”

Unbelief never has enough proof.

So, it is easy to quit trying; just give up; they are not going to listen anyway.

Well, look at vs. 30: As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

Now, I want to take you back to vs. 12: Jesus says:  “I am the light of the world;

And when He says, “I am the light of the world” that is a metaphor.

And look at the second part of the verse: “…he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,

 but shall have the light of life.”

Some will argue with that until the cows come home. But remember what Jesus says in vs. 24: Unless you believe in Him; and follow Him; you will die in your sins.

A Dire Warning


John 7:25-36

A present day concept that many people have is “God is a loving and good God therefore; everyone who is also good is going to go to heaven.”

And that is what a lot of people thought here in the passage that was read. Many of them thought they were a good person.

Even the regular citizens considered themselves to be “good people.” They kept the Sabbath; they participated in the required feasts; here in this passage they are spending the week in temporary shelters like they were required to do; and in this passage they are in the temple (we might say they were in church) listening to the teachers (vs. 14); so basically, they considered themselves individually to be a good person; just like most people do today.

But I want you to notice vs. 34. Speaking to these “good people”, to these “religious” people Jesus says, “You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?” 

What does Jesus mean here when He says this? These “good people” wanted to know and it is something we need to know and understand ourselves.

Well, let’s break this passage down to help us understand what Jesus is saying.

So, when He arrives in Jerusalem He goes to the temple and begins teaching (v. 14).

And in vs. 15 the people “marvel” at what He has to say.

Now, look at vs. 25: Therefore some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 “And look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?

These people don’t know what to think. They are confused. They knew that the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Jesus and yet, Jesus is speaking publicly and the leaders aren’t saying anything!

So the people ask themselves, “Could it be that the rulers know that this Man is really the Christ?”

But wait a minute! The thought of Jesus being the Christ goes away in a hurry. Look at vs. 27:   “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.”

That wasn’t true! “No one knows where He is from!?

The truth is, what they say in vs. 27 was simply an excuse for rejecting Jesus.

These people didn’t want to accept Jesus because to accept Jesus meant you had to accept His teachings and His claims.

And this has not changed today. Accepting Jesus, following Jesus requires some sacrifices that many people don’t want to make.

So, to justify their rejection of Jesus they said, “We know where He came from; we know His family; we know His town; therefore He cannot be the Christ!”

Now, look at vs. 28:  Jesus therefore cried out (loud shout) in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

What Jesus is saying here is, “Yes you know me; and yes you know where I am from; but I am not here on my own accord. I am here because I have been sent and you do not know the One who sent Me!

Listen, to know a few minor details about Jesus; to know a few external things, to know a little bit of His history, and to know a few stories about Him is really to know nothing about Him at all.

Today people wear crosses around their neck and claim to know Jesus and yet they have children by a woman they are not married to; and some of the children don’t have the same mother.

And look at the end of vs. 28. Jesus says, “He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.”

Why don’t people know? Why don’t they know what God is like; what He commands?

So, the people claim to know Jesus and Jesus basically says in vs. 29;  “If you knew Me (like you claim) you would know that God has sent Me.”

They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

31 But many of the multitude believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ shall come, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?”

32 The Pharisees heard the multitude muttering these things about Him; and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him.

So, the Pharisees see the crowd moving in the direction of believing in Jesus and they send “officers”; or temple police to seize Jesus. And now look at vs. 33:

Jesus therefore said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.

Jesus may have said this to everyone; He may have just said this to the “officers” who were sent to arrest Him; He may have said this to the Pharisees and Jewish leaders; it is hard to know.

And this brings us to vs. 34. Jesus says:

“You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me;

What Jesus is saying is, “Because of your rejection there will come a time when you will seek Me; you will want and need what I can give you and do for you; and you will not fine Me.”

And then He says: “ …and where I am, you cannot come.”

 Why? Because they have rejected Him; because they don’t know Him; and because they don’t know God!

What you have here in vs. 33-34 is a warning:  A warning about the consequences of rejecting Jesus; a warning about the consequences of riding the fence about Jesus; a warning about being indecisive about Jesus.

So, here are some additional truths that are learned from this passage;

Hell is itself truth discovered too late.

Hell is suffering for sin.

Hell is eternal regret without remedy.

Hell is everlasting remorse without hope.

Hell is not where Christ is forgotten. It is where Christ is unavailable.

Good people; even religious people go to hell; faithful people go to heaven.

So, here it is again: Vs. 33  “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 “You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

But, now the rest of the story: Jesus cries out this dire warning; but then He closes with an invitation. Look at vs. 37: Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.'”

What Do You Say About Him?


John 7:14-24

When you study the gospel of John you can’t improve on the subject because every page and virtually every verse is about Jesus!

What did distinguish Jesus from all others was His claims; His claims were astonishing; they were shocking; they were beyond bold!

His claims were beyond comprehension; therefore, the Jewish leaders judged Him to be a deceiver and sought to kill Him; 7:1.

But on the other hand, in spite of all of His claims some simply said that he was a “good man” and nothing more; vs. 12.

So, in an effort to try to get them to believe who He is, in vs. 14 in spite of the danger Jesus arrives in Jerusalem during the “Feast of the Booths” and He goes to the temple and He begins to teach; and no doubt He draws a crowd.

And in vs. 15 the Jews, those who opposed Jesus, were “marveling, saying, “How has this man become so learned, having never been educated?”

So, let’s look at what Jesus says starting vs. 16. They ask, “How has this man become so learned, having never been educated?” Now vs. 16:

Jesus therefore answered them, and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

Every day in the temple there were a lot of rabbis teaching there; men who studied at the feet of the most prominent rabbis.

But that is not what Jesus did. He didn’t quote other rabbis.

So, how do you discredit Him? They couldn’t attack His teaching!

But regardless of their attacks on His character, His hometown, or His education, they couldn’t discredit HIs teaching because His teaching was not His, it was from God!

Now, look at vs. 17. Look what He says:  If any man is willing to do His (God’s) will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.

Do you see why the Jews would not accept the teachings of Jesus; why they refused to accept Him?

If any man is willing to do His (God’s) will….

Today people might be willing to do part of it His will: the part they like; the part that allows them to do what they want; but to “willing do God’s will…?”

Let me ask you, how does anyone know the “will of God?”

Today, there are several teachings on what it takes to be saved; some say they are saved by doing good works; some say by paying penance; some say by saying a prayer; others say by taking communion; and some say that you must be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins.

And that is why the Jews, and why people today do not believe the claims of Jesus; that is why people refuse to come to Jesus, because they are not “willing to do God’s will.”

Now, look at vs. 18.

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

False teachers, charlatans, frauds, fakes, hypocrites, phony messiahs are all in it for personal gain; they do it for money; for power; for prominence.

The reason these Jewish leaders refused to accept Jesus’ claims, the reason why people today refuse to put their faith in Jesus is because they are not seeking the glory of God. They are seeking their own glory; the glory of one another; they are more interested in the praise of men than the praise of God!

Jesus only sought the glory of God.

Now look at vs. 19. Jesus says,  “Did not Moses give you the Law…

…and yet none of you (none of you, none of you) carries out the Law?

If you do then “Why do you seek to kill Me?” (they were so self-righteous)

The Law of Moses was never intended to save anyone; it was intended to condemn and drive sinners to an overwhelming fear of divine judgment that would cause them to repent, and cry out to God for mercy and grace.

Jesus is the only hope that these Jews had; and He is the only hope that we have; and what did they want to do? Kill Him.

And now look at vs. 21. Jesus says, “I did one deed, and you all marvel.

But the Jews, those in opposition to Christ, they couldn’t see the good in what Jesus did; they couldn’t be happy for the man who was healed because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath.

Now look at vs. 22:  “On this account Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man.

23 “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath that the Law of Moses may not be broken,

Since that is true, look at what Jesus says next:  Are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?

Vs. 24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

I am afraid that I often do that too.

So, the Jews said He was a deceiver; others said He was simply a “good man.” His brothers didn’t believe in Him.

If you sincerely believe that He is the Son of God, the Messiah, if you are willing to do what God wants you to do and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of you sins…come.

Resurrection Sunday


John 20:1-10

Today has been declared by the Christian world to be Easter or Resurrection Sunday or the Paschal.

You may already know this but the date for Easter is determined every year by a complex set of calculations that take into account the lunar cycle, the date of the Jewish Passover, the Jewish ancient calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, the Julian Calendar, and the vernal equinox or the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator marking the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Now, I may be wrong, but I believe that those who determine through their complex calculations what day of the year Easter or Resurrection Sunday is to be celebrated, that they have completely missed the point.

What took place on the original Resurrection Sunday is without a doubt the most amazing, the most incredible, astonishing event to ever take place in human history; especially in the history of human redemption.

The original Resurrection Sunday is not just a feature of Christianity, it is the main event!

The resurrection of Christ is the main event! When God raised Jesus from the dead He simultaneously secured our resurrection to an eternal glory.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

And it is important that we believe this. Remember what the apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9-10?

Paul said, “If you confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Look at this found in 1 Cor. 15 starting in vs. 1. The apostle Paul says: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel (good news) which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand (abide; your foundation, don’t move off of it) , 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

But God doesn’t want us to do that. God intends for us to stand solidly on the resurrection of Jesus and that is why we do not assemble on Friday, the day He was placed in the tomb,  or on Saturday, the day the tomb was sealed, but on Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of His resurrection; Rev. 1:9 John calls it “the Lord’s Day.”

So we assemble on Sunday to celebrate His resurrection: we talk about it; we sing about it; but what is interesting is no on saw it!

But it’s not something that needed to be seen.

There is no doubt that, in spite of the best efforts of the Jewish leaders, and the Pharisees, and the Roman governor to keep Jesus in the tomb (Matt. 27:62-66)…

Now, as I mentioned before,  all 4 gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the actual history of the resurrection, but none of them try to explain the physiology of it; or the pathology of it.

What we do know is it happened; it was a supernatural miracle like all the other miracles that our Lord performed.

The main event is not trying to figure out the date to celebrate His resurrection from all of these complicated calculations.

But then there is another reason why God raised Jesus from the dead. Look at this found in Acts 17.

Now, look at vs. 30. In vs. 30 the apostle Paul calls these individual to repent; to repent of their ignorant, pagan ways.

The resurrection of Jesus calls, pleads for everyone, including those who are “very religious” to repent; to turn away from their ignorance, their worship of false gods, to turn away from their lives of disobedience and sin and seek after God.

Every Sunday, every first day of the week is a reminder of the original Resurrection Sunday.

Feast of Booths


John 7:1-9

Starting here in John 7 the hostility of the Jews toward Jesus steadily grows. In fact, in vs. 1 John tells us that the Jews were seeking to kill Him and this hostility will eventually lead to Jesus being crucified.

But this may seem a little strange but what I would like to do this morning is focus on vs. 2 and the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of the Ingathering.

The Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles is a pilgrimage feast meaning it was required of Jewish males living within a certain distance to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.

Did you pick up on that: Jesus has brothers!

The Feast of Booths is a fall festival intended to honor God and for celebrating the final harvest of the year; it was celebrated in the 7th month starting on the 15th day of the Jewish calendar or for us it would be about mid -September.

Not only was it a celebration of the final harvest of the year but it also commemorated the 40 years that the Jews wandered in the wilderness after the Exodus.

Lev 23:39-44 ‘’On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day.

40’Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

Now, vs. 41: ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42’You shall live in booths (tabernacles, tents, temporary shelters)  for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ” 

So, the Feast of Booths was to celebrate God’s blessing them with a good harvest, but it was also a reminder that God had the people live in “booths when God brought them out of Egypt.”

Now, why did God have them “live in booths when He brought them out from the land of Egypt?”

When God brought His people out of Egypt it should not have taken anywhere close to 40 years for them to get to the “promised land.”

These people had been living in Egypt for over 400 years and they had been influenced by the Egyptian culture; perhaps picked up on some Egyptian ideas and practices.

So God, through Moses had a lot to convey to the people.

So, for over a year God, through Moses, taught and prepared these people and finally, on the 20th day of the 2nd month (Num. 10:11) and the 2nd year after they left Egypt they broke camp and set out for Canaan.

And after a period of about 50 days they reached the wilderness of Paran and God instructed Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan to see what it was like.

And that is how the Feast of Booths came to be. The people were to live in booths, small tabernacles, small rudimentary shelters perhaps made of tree branches (Lev. 23), as they wandered in the wilderness.

Now why would God require them to remember those 38 years? Why would He require them to remember all those days and weeks and years of wandering in the wilderness?

First of all, I think God wants them to remember the fact that we bring so much unnecessary hardships, problems, and turmoil into our lives through our simple unwillingness to trust and obey the LORD.

How much grief, and pain, and turmoil do people, perhaps even some of us, bring into our lives because we refuse to trust in and obey the Lord?

And the grief and pain and turmoil often lasts and lasts for years and years.

And for those who were younger than 20 years old, and even the few that were faithful to the Lord (Joshua and Caleb and their families) for 40 they still suffered the consequences of those who refused to trust God before God finally led them into the Promised Land; Numbers 14:26-35.

And the tragedy is they were so close to the Promised land!

And that is what God wanted these people to remember when they celebrated the Feast of Booths.

And there is another reason why God wanted them to commemorate the Feast of Booths and that was even in their unbelief, God remained faithful.

Look at what the apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:13: If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

God doesn’t just act faithful; He is faithful; even when we aren’t.

God will keep His promise! His word is trustworthy! If He says that your unforgiven sins will condemn you to die eternally…you know the will.

But like these people, if we refuse to trust in God then we too will eventually die in the wilderness.

The tragedy is, we don’t have to.

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

True Bread

John 6:30-33

I would like to do a little survey to begin. In our culture and society bread is considered to be a staple. At almost every meal bread is offered.

Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with our lesson this morning. Well, perhaps more than you might realize.

Here in John 6 Jesus has performed this massive miracle of feeding the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

So, Jesus left the crowd behind because He will not obligate Himself to man on man’s terms.

So, He leaves the crowd behind and in the middle of the night and He walks across the sea of Galilee, and gets in the boat with His disciples.

When the crowd that Jesus has fed with the loaves and fish realize that Jesus has left they make their way back to Capernaum and they, along with some of the Jews who opposed Jesus (vs. 57), find Him in the synagogue (vs. 59).

And the people come to Him and say, “Rabbi, not Messiah, not Lord, but Rabbi, when did you get here?” (They didn’t learn anything from the miracles)

And in vs. 27 Jesus tells them to “Don’t work or strive for food that perishes.”

So Jesus says in the second half of verse 27: “Work or strive for the food which endures to eternal life.”

There are several examples in the scriptures where kings held great feasts or banquets and yet no one found salvation because they got their bellies full.

So at the end of vs. 27 Jesus tells them where they can get “this food that endures to eternal life.” Jesus says that He is the One who gives the food that endures to eternal life, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”

Yes, Jesus could fix them some breakfast; He could feed them again and again and satisfy their hunger; but He has so much more to give; something so much more important to give but they weren’t interested.

Now, look at vs. 28. Jesus has told them to “work for the food which endures to eternal life” and they ask, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

These people were Jews and when they are told to “work for the food that endures to eternal life” they have grown up with the idea of “justification by works” all of their life and so they want to know, “What works can we do to gain salvation?”

And that is what so many people today believe. They believe they can do enough of the right things that they can save themselves.

But look at vs. 29: Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

You cannot get eternal life from anyone else or in any other thing.  

Now, Jesus has said in vs. 27 that He is the One who gives the food for eternal life.

They said therefore to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?

  “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'”

What they are expecting is a sign greater than Moses! If Jesus is really the Messiah, the Son of God as He claims, if He can give “eternal life” which is possibly the greatest miracle because it involves forgiving sin, He should be able to do something greater than Moses did!

Now, here is where the bread comparison comes in.

Now, look at Jesus’ response in vs. 32: Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven…

And notice the second thing that Jesus says here in the second part of this verse. He says that, “the bread the Jews were given by God in the wilderness was not “the true bread of heaven.”

For instance, the manna that God provided for them in the wilderness didn’t last.

In comparison the “true bread out of heaven” lasts forever! Remember what Jesus said in vs. 27: it endures to eternal life!

And the manna that the Jews received in the wilderness didn’t satisfy their hunger.

What about the “true bread out of heaven?” Look at vs. 35: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

And the people in the wilderness who ate “the bread out of heaven”; they all died; vs. 49.  It couldn’t save them.

But the true bread out of heaven? Look at vs. 33: For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

But only to those who eat of it; and truthfully it is not “it”; it is Him. Look at vs. 35:

John 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

So now, what is your favorite bread?

Bread is a staple in our daily diet, will you make Him a staple in your daily diet and obtain eternal life?

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

One Sided Conversation


1 John 5: 1-12

This morning I want to try something with you that may possibly help you to understand what John is saying in this passage of scripture.

But first, to understand why John wrote, not only this chapter but the whole letter, you have to understand that John is dealing with some false teachings that were circulating in the first century; more specifically the teachings of the Gnostics.

Now here in chapter 5 we have what John says, but what makes this a little difficult to understand is, reading this is much like listening to a one-sided phone conversation.

Well, that is very similar to what we have here in these verses.

Whoever believes that Jesus  (human-Savior) is the Christ (Messiah)  is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

First, John says, “Whoever believes” – that is a present indicative verb- that means “ongoing action” – it is a present, continuing faith that maintains the “new birth” status.

And look at the second part of the verse: and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

Look at vs. 2: By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and observe His commandments.

Look at vs. 3:  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Again, this is John’s side of the conversation. What were the false teachers saying?

Apparently the Gnostics said they were born of God but they denied Jesus as being a man, they denied Him as the only Savior, they denied Him as being the Messiah, (they wanted to separate Him from the O.T. prophets) and they denied Him as being the Son of God…or deity.

And if you or I say, “I guess I will do what God says but I really don’t want to”…you and I might want to reevaluate our love for God.

Now, look what John says in vs. 4: For whatever (in vs. 1 John says, “whoever.” Here he says “whatever) is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The victory over the world is not achieved by any other means; not by magical charms, or mystic séances, or by human performance.

Vs. 6    This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.

Here in this verse John is dealing with the Cerenthian or Apollonarian Gnostic.

Well, in this verse John refutes that thinking. What John is saying is, Jesus Christ was human, He was deity and Messiah before, during and after baptism…and He was human, deity, and Messiah before, during and after the cross.

Now, how do you know that Jesus is the Savior, the Messiah, and the Son of God? Well, look at vs. 7: And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

8 For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

And the blood or the cross bears witness of who Christ was…a man (he died)…the Messiah (sent from God-sky turned dark at noon day)…Deity…(he rose from the grave. – Romans 1:4)

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son.

Look at these words of Jesus found in John 5:33-37 “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 “But the witness which I receive is not from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 “He (John) was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 “But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 “And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me.

There is no doubt who Jesus is!

1 John 5:10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son.

But the one who denies what God has said about Jesus; that person has made “God a liar.”

Now, look at vs. 11 And the witness (or testimony) is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (No where or in nothing else).  12  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.


The Obituary of Babylon (Rome)


Rev. 17

As we begin here in chapter 17 the bowls of the wrath of God have been poured out.

And now it is time for the obituary.

17:1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

 Now, in verse 5, John is going to speak of the harlot as being “Babylon the Great.”

Notice verse 1 again. John says that the “great harlot sits on many waters.”

But there is another meaning behind this phrase “sits on many waters.” Look at verse 15:

15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.

So Rome did this in many regions…and that is why she “sits” on all these nations and peoples.

So the harlot here is Rome…and there is another reason why the angels speaks of her “sitting on man waters.”

So, lets read it again: Rev 17:1-2

And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality. ”

3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.

4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet (these are colors of royalty. She is royal on the outside…but inside she is disgusting. She is nothing more than a well dressed tramp.)

4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality(she was quick to share these things with any who wanted to participate with her. However, those who participated with her…would be destroyed like she was)

5 and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS(she teaches all the other little harlots how to be big harlots like her.)

5 and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.

And when I saw her, I wondered greatly.

7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I shall tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

 8 “The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,

 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11 “And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

  1. Augustus
  2. Tiberius
  3. Caligula These 5 have fallen; vs. 10
  4. Claudius
  5. Nero

            Galba (7 mos.)

Otho  (3 mos.)             These three were victims of a horrible civil war. They made no

Vitelius (9 mos.)           contribution to the Empire.

  1. Vespasian “One is”; vs. 10
  2. Titus (He ruled for 2 years, 2 months, 20 days) “The other has not come yet; and when he  comes, he must remain a little while” vs. 10.
  3. Domitian (the son of Vespasian…”one of the seven”; vs 11).

“Beast which was and is not, is himself also and eighth, and is one of the seven, and he  goes to destruction”; vs. 11 (see also vs. 8).

 12 “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

 13 “These have one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

Now, notice the word “chosen”…that does not speak of “election.”

 15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. 16 “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.

 17 “For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose,(they are God’s too of judgment and don’t know it.) and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.

 18 “And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

 Again, this is the beginning of the obituary…or the announcement of death and a brief biography of the deceased.


The Harvest of the Wicked


Revelation 14

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to understand the book of Revelation is they try to take each event mentioned and apply it to some specific event either in the modern past or still yet in the future.

What we need to understand about this book is instead of trying to apply each vision or event to a specific occurrence, what we must do is simply look at the obvious.

It really is not hard to understand what the theme is of this book and that is true here in this chapter.

Now, when you come to chapter 14 we need to keep in mind that this is all a part of a vision that John is seeing…so we cannot take all he says here as being literal…or that it is going to be literally fulfilled.

At the same time, this chapter is intended to reassure the faithful who are perhaps wondering if their faith in God and His Son has been in vain.

So, let’s look at chapter 14.

And the beast of chapter 13 was a great, terrifying beast that mocked God and persecuted His people.

And now what you are going to see in chapter 14 is the One who really is Lord.

So, let’s look at this, and once again, simply try to grasp the obvious message of what is said.

Vs. 1  And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

And notice the Lamb was standing on “Mt. Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand.”

And notice in the last phrase of the verse is something that we all had better have stamped on our foreheads…and that is His name and the name of His Father.

Now, verse 2:   And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.

Vs. 3  And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.

Vs. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

So these first 5 verses are encouraging words to these Christians…because it reminds them that the Lamb is still alive…that He meets with heavens approval….and so to do those who are remained faithful to Him.

Now verse 6:

And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel (good news) to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;

Vs. 7    …and he(the angel) said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Vs. 8 And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”

And notice that Rome is looked at from a seductive view point.

And notice the angel says: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.”

Vs. 9:  And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

 Those who follow the beast have benefited from the beasts power, influence, and economic prowess.

Rev 14:11-12

“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Rev 14:13

13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

For those who die in the Lord…death is a closed door that Satan cannot open.

Now, we are going to see the harvest of those who follow the beast.

Rev 14:14

14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown (stephanos: victors crown) on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.

Rev 14:15-20

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.

 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

 The vision of the wine press is symbolic of the horror of God’s judgment.

The message of this chapter is not hard to understand.

But those who have the name of the Lord on their foreheads…those who die in the Lord…will be blessed…from now on.

This whole chapter is written here to warn us to come to the Lamb…or to remain faithful to Him even unto death.