Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P30 (04-14-21)
As we live in this world today, how much more are you aware of the increased evil in our day, than even what was observed in Bob George’s time here on earth? Are you surprised by it? Should you be? Was the world ever our friend? So how are you responding to the difficult trials and tribulations you are facing today? How solid a foundation has been laid in Christ Jesus in your life?
Did Jesus warn you about the days ahead when he walked the earth, even about the events that are unfolding before our very eyes? Consider what was written down in Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3. What were His last words to us before ascending back to His Father, that we will be able to stand in the day of evil? Consider what He said in John 15 and 16. What was His prayer for us? Consider what He prayed in John 17. What did He give us, that if we grab a hold of that truth, and depend on Him, and believe His words, respond in faith, that we can rise above our circumstances? Consider again what He said in John 3, Matthew 7, and to His apostles about the promised Holy Spirit, John 15:26, which anyone born again today now has living in him.
What feelings have you allowed to come into your heart to affect your thinking and attitudes? Are you more depressed and despairing, losing hope, and full of fear? Do you get easily unsettled and struggle with attitudes of hopelessness or anger, and respond in the flesh, to take matters into your own hands without waiting on the Lord? Is your communication with family and friends all about all the evil in this world and all the false teachers and doom and gloom? Have you stopped experiencing peace and joy in the midst of whatever circumstances you are in? Have you forgotten to walk by faith one day at a time, while realizing the future will unfold exactly as God prophesied it would?
Yet, in that understanding of what God has prophesied of future events, have you forgotten that Christ said He will never leave you or forsake you? Remember what was spoken to us in Hebrews 13:5. He even said do not fear what you shall say when you are brought before courts on trial before evil men, for at that time it will not be you speaking but the Spirit of God speaking through you (Matthew 10:18-20). Do you believe Him? See, if Christ overcame the world, He has called us to be overcomers too, to walk in His power and strength (John 16:33, Romans 12:21). We are ambassadors, with our citizenship in heaven, and we represent God in a foreign land, in a land of people who do not know God or His word.
You will have to have something stronger than yourself to walk in and depend upon if you are going to survive. That dependency is on the rock of Jesus Christ and on His truth and on His word. Our role is to stand firm in it. We have God and His word, the Holy Spirit of God living in us, as born again believers, guiding us into all truth, revealing truth to us personally, so we may stand. And He is always speaking to the Father on our behalf, even as we have read His prayer in John 17 concerning us. The word of the Lord Jesus Christ is our authority, even as He spoke to the apostles, and to us, in Matthew 28.
When you and I are speaking from the word of God, there is authority that is there. The authority is the word. It is not that I have special authority. The word is the authority. When speaking out of the word of God, there is authority there to let people know that His teaching is not coming out of man’s idea but out of what Christ is proclaiming. That is what Christian teaching is supposed to be about.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Again, look at the contrast. The man who built his house on the rock, the effect of the rain and the floods, what did it have? It beat on it but it did not cause it to fall down. What is this in relation to? It is in relation to the world you and I live in. The reason that the wise man’s house did not fall in the midst of those things is because his house was on the foundation of Christ Jesus and the truth of His word. So when rains and floods of our lives come along, there alone is our foundation. If it is built on sand, man’s ideas instead of on a rock of Christ Jesus, we will be in trouble.
Matthew 16:17-18 (TLB)
17 “God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah,” Jesus said, “for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you – this is not from any human source. 18 You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it.
There is a subtlety there, many times. There are lots of people who have great knowledge as to what the word of God says. As an example, look at the Pharisees. They knew what the word of God says. Most of them, from my understanding, had the Old Testament memorized. That is a feat in and of itself. And so we are not talking about some mental lightweights there. They knew what the word of God said. But the problem is they did not know what it meant.
The same is true today. There are many people who can come to your house, who have a lot of scripture memorized and push a button and out it comes, spewing it out like a vending machine. You can spew out all kinds of scriptures, and so could Charleston Heston, speak out scriptures but not have a clue what it means. There is a world of difference to know what it says, verbalize and memorize and to communicate it without a clue as to what it means.
So from the word of God, Jesus said this to the Pharisees.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
You know what the scriptures say and you are in there searching them. But the scripture points to me, Jesus, and you refuse to come to me for life. Until you come to Christ for life, and the Holy Spirit of God lives in you, you do not know what the word of God means.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] – the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Until you are spiritually regenerated, you will not know what it means any way. And man cannot teach you what it means. Man can teach you what it says but they cannot teach you what it means. That takes the Spirit of God. I can teach you on this radio but I cannot teach not one person listening what it means. I can tell you what it says. I can give illustrations to explain what it says. But for you to know what it means, you will have to rely on the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, and that requires you being born again, for the Spirit of God to reveal to you exactly what the meaning of the word of God is all about.
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
That is exciting. That leaves a lot of responsibility on our part, to communicate what something means when in fact I could not communicate it if I wanted to. With that there is the foundation. Why did He talk about a foundation? He talked about a foundation because of what is going to take place in this world.
A little later, turn to John 15:18. But first, I want us to see that if you are a child of the living God, this is intensifying as the days go by. Really intensifying.
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
There is a total attack from the top of this country down on family values, on people being put into positions of responsibility, whose goal is to begin teaching sex education, in first grade, kindergarten, and dispensing condoms in every purse and pocket of every child in the Unites States. It is an absolute attack on everything the word of God says to be true. We are living today in a country that seems to be hell bent on destroying the entirety of what we stand for.
I paid for breakfast this morning and looked on the back of a bill. The words, “In God We Trust” was written on the bill, and that is baloney. We cannot even keep prayer in school. Either live up to it or take it off the money. But we live in a generation today and in a country today and unfortunately in a political system today whereby family values are absolutely under the greatest attack this country has ever known.
2 Timothy 3:12-14
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it
What is the problem? They do not know the word of God. If they do, they are not acting on it. Jesus said that in that particular aspect, you are on sand. That is why there is no hope for this country. It is built now on sand. I think when it came, it was built on a rock. But today we shifted off of a rock and onto sand. This country will come start crumbling down someday if we do not get back onto the rock.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In the meantime, that is not where my hope is. It would not even be my hope if the government stopped doing all that. As a child of God, and if you are a child of God, you are living in a world that is not your friend. If you are going to survive in a world that is not your friend, you will have to have a foundation. You will have to have something stronger than yourself to walk in and depend upon if you are going to survive. That dependency is on the rock of Jesus Christ and on His truth and on His word. Our role is to stand firm in it.
18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
We have to come to the realization of what truth is. Truth is what sets you free, whether it is pleasant truth or unpleasant truth. That is not the issue. Truth is what sets you free. From God’s vantage point, if you are in Christ, you are in an alien community. You have to realize that. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” That is why Christians that appear to be in love with the world is a contradiction. This world is not your friend.
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
The reason the world hates you, if you are a child of God, is because they hate the one who lives in you. You have to realize that. They are not shaking their fists and rebelling and picketing Jesus. No, their hate comes from, “I do not believe your God. I do not think the word you say has meaning to it. It is not applicable today.” It is back to the garden of Eden. “I do not need you. What do I need you for? I will figure it out myself.”
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.
That is true. You can sing “I will do it my way”, and you could be a multi-millionaire. You are a part of the world.
As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
Your mindset, philosophy, and thinking is contrary to the natural thinking of the world in which you and I live.
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[John 13:16] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
He did not say, “This might happen to you, folks.” He is saying, “This is going to happen to you. It happened to me. It is going to happen to you.” So do not be shocked if it does. Jesus is saying that this world hates your guts because it hates Mine. “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”
If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
They do not know God. Someone might say, “I know God.” No, you don’t. You do not know God. Jesus said, “if you knew the Father, you would know me. He testified about me.”
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[Psalms 35:19; 69:4]
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father
He is speaking before the cross. We are on the other side of that. Today, the Holy Spirit is alive, living in you, the moment you and I were born again.
the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
That is what the Holy Spirit of God is doing in your heart today, testify in our heart about Christ Jesus, who is alive living in you, your only hope of glory.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue;
They did not have churches back then. It was a synagogue, but the same type of thing today. If you get too excited about Jesus, you are not a welcome individual. I remember the church I was in California after I came to Christ. I am sure I was obnoxious. I was excited about Jesus. I wanted to go to everything going. I wanted to go to a bible study the pastor was in. He asked me not to come. He said I was too excited about Jesus. “You are not realistic. You are too excited about Jesus.” That is exactly what he said.
in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this,
This is the reason He is telling you this. That is why you are getting a reminder of this now. Do not look at this as something unusual. It is something He warned you about. It will happen to you.
so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you,
He was talking to His apostles, but is now talking to us.
5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate
The Advocate is the Counselor, the Holy Spirit of God, the only one you and I can have total dependency upon. How can I counsel you? How can I help you? I cannot even help me. How can I help you? The only thing I can do for you is to lead you to the only one who can help you, who is the Holy Spirit, alive living in you. He is the Counselor, who is in you and who has said He will never leave you or forsake you. He is the one there inside you.
Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
He is the one convicting the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgment, telling the world what sin is, that they do not believe in Jesus, telling people what righteousness is and what judgment is. The Holy Spirit of God is called the Spirit of truth. If you are in Christ and Christ is in you, you are indwelt by the one who is called the Spirit of truth, the Counselor. If I have the Holy Spirit the Counselor, what do I need to go to ask someone else for unless that person can help me to see that my dependency has been shifted on to something in the world and needs to be turned back to the indwelling Christ Jesus who alone is the solver of our problems.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
Not some truth, but all truth. That is a promise of God. If the Lord Jesus Christ is alive living in you and the Spirit of God is there constantly testifying to you in regard to that, He is leading you into all truth all times, then where should my dependency be? Where should the object be for you and me when we are facing the trials and tribulations of life, in our personal lives, some of which we brought on ourselves and others brought on by the world? Where do we turn? We turn to the one who lives in us, the one who was with them, and who is now in them, Jesus Christ, the risen savior.
He will not speak on his own;
He is not going to go to talk to man and say, “What do you think about this?” He is only going to speak what He hears? Where is He going to hear? The same place Jesus did, from the Father. So when are going to this counselor you are getting counseled by God and not by man.
he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me
The Holy Spirit of God is to bring glory to Jesus, and never to Himself.
because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
The Holy Spirit will receive from me, what is mine, that is Jesus, and make it known to you and me.
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
This is the truth. This is where our world is. We are not in a world that is favorable to us. We need to understand that. Then later on, in the 17th chapter, in Jesus prayer he said this.
11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
You and I are still in the world but He is coming to us. He is praying to the Father for you and me this day, living in this garbage can we live in, in a world that is alien to God, contrary to the truth of God, in rebelling against the word of God, thinking ourselves as more highly than we ought, sitting around thinking man has no ability at all even though God says we are a unique creature. Yet, people say the government knows more than God does, so let us get them under our control. So He say I pray that in this alien world they live in today that we may become as one.
12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
That, of course, was Judas Iscariot.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them,
Is that not amazing. I have told them my word and the world has hated them for knowing it.
for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
Jesus was in the world but not of it. You and I are in the world but not of it. Our citizenship is in heaven. And we are ambassadors and the role of an ambassador is to represent a country in an alien land. You and I are here to represent God in an alien land, whether in America or communist Russia. We are both in an alien land. The government and all man-made institutions are not your friend. We have to understand that.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.