“Believe the Word”
It was the midst of the feast...Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits.
Jesus cried out.
So many truths in these few Words of the Lord. Consider them
- We who believe in Jesus, believe in Father
- We who see Jesus, see Father
- Jesus came as the Light
- We who believe in Him will not remain in darkness
- Jesus came to save the world, not to judge (at this time)
- If one hears Jesus’ sayings/Word and does not keep them, does not believe, rejects, does not receive will be judged by the Word Jesus spoke. This will occur at the last day
- Jesus did not speak of His own initiative, but He spoke what Father said
- Father’s commandment is eternal life
- Jesus spoke what Father said
What does this say to us?
Be certain to believe.
Not the belief of demons which only causes shuddering.
Belief that brings transformation and conforming to His image.
Believe, receive His Word.
Speak forth the Word of Father.
Do as He instructs.
Many did not believe in Jesus, even though He performed many signs before them.
This was in fulfillment of what Isaiah saw and spoke/wrote about.
They did not believe.
The Lord blinded their eyes.
The Lord hardened their heart.
Nevertheless...don’t you love that word…
Many believed in Jesus...even the religious rulers.
Yet, they did not publicly confess Him due to fear.
Fear of the Pharisees, the religious rulers.
The same happens today.
The Lord will manifest Himself in the life of a believer and they are afraid to speak of it to the “powers that be” “at church” for fear of retribution.
I’ve seen it happen.
They feared being removed from the synagogue.
They loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
Whose approval do you seek?
Some Greeks were among those who came to worship at the feast - Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits (see context of chapter).
Many Greeks wanted to hear Jesus.
Some of the Greeks asked of the disciples whether they could see Jesus.
Jesus gave a response to the query, but not at all what was expected.
Jesus launched into a profound declaration of His impeding death.
Allow me to bullet point the truths we see..
- hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified
- if a grain dies, it bears much fruit...speaking of Himself
- he who loves his life loses it
- he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal
- to serve Jesus is to follow Him
- where He is, His servants will be there
- if anyone serves Jesus, God will honor him
- Jesus’ soul was troubled
- He had come for this purpose...for this hour
- Jesus desired Father’s name to be glorified…it was
- the Voice of God! Jesus confirms
- judgment was now upon the world
- ruler of this world will be cast out
- Jesus lifted up...all men drawn to Him
- Jesus was declaring by what manner death would come - crucified
- crowd was confused...they had heard Messiah would live forever
- Light among them for a little while
- walk in the Light
- while you have the Light, believe in the Light so that you may become sons of Light
So many truths.
Each demands a thorough thinking through.
Give heed to the sacrifice.
“Teaching in the Temple”
Jesus taught of the Kingdom on a daily basis.
So should we.
Jesus used the public forum of the people - the Temple.
So should we - Walmart.
He would spend the evenings on the Mount of Olives.
He had no “house of His own”.
Jesus began early in the morning.
The people were there.
The people need Truth.
The people want Truth.
We need to quit giving performance and shows.
We need to live and teach Truth.
The unrighteous would flock to such.
Jesus is continuing to answer the questions.
Some amazing truths here.
Sadly they are usually missed.
This passage is often used as a pretext for varied topics...especially “meeting needs” and “end-times”.
Just simply pay attention to what is being said.
There are several “judgments” that take place at the close of this age.
This is one.
Note who is being judged - the “nations.”
Note what happened.
Some were judged/declared to be righteous.
They were absolutely amazed.
They did not know why they are declared to be righteous.
Jesus tells them.
Because they had helped Jesus’ brothers.
These are the “sheep”.
The other group - the goats - are declared unrighteous.
They had not helped Jesus’ brothers.
The Lord describes the righteous/sheep:
- inherit the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world
- eternal life
- eternal punishment
The “nations” are folk that survive the Wrath of Satan (the great tribulation) and the wrath of God. Their deeds reflect their heart.
Believers will undergo the wrath of satan - the great tribulation.
We will be spared the wrath of God.
The Word states this.
Jesus continues answering the questions.
He speaks in parables to describe the Kingdom to come and the Kingdom now.
We are all given the same thing. Life.
Now, what are we doing with it?
In this parable, the one who hid his talent is a picture of one who “hides” his life and does nothing with it.
The others “did something”.
What is the “something”?
Submission to the Lord...to the Master.
A life of pursuit of the heart of the Lord.
There is only one decision in life that determines the course shown here.
What are you doing with the Most High?
Repenting, confessing and calling upon the name of the Lord will make you a Faithful Servant.
Otherwise, you will be a worthless slave thrown into the other darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus continues to answer the questions. (See earlier posts)
Jesus continues to give examples/parables to explain.
Note how Jesus begins… “then the Kingdom of Heaven will be comparable…”
The Kingdom is the context.
The return of the bridegroom is the subject.
There has been many an attempt to explain each element of this account.
Such is beyond the format of our time together.
Such is also usually unfruitful, though interesting at points.
The bottom-line truth is what is important.
Are you prepared?
Are you living full of the Holy Spirit?
Are you ready for the Bridegroom?
There will be those who think they are ready.
They are religious.
They say the right thing.
But, they are empty. Foolish.
Their vessels, though appearing to be genuine, are empty of oil.
The Word Jesus speaks to them verifies the situation…”I do not know you.”
They were fake/deceived “believers”.
Examine yourself and see if you be of the faith.
“Faithful and Wise Servant”
Are you a faithful servant?
Are you a wise slave?
We are all servants.
We either serve God or the world/self.
All living humans are given life.
What do we do with the life we are given?
Are we slaves to the pursuits of the flesh, self, world?
Or, are we faithful to the One Who gave us life?
The slave who is found faithful to the Lord at His return will be blessed.
The slave who is found unfaithful will be cut to pieces and assigned to the place of unbelievers where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Just As It Happened…”
Remember, Jesus is answering some questions from the disciples.
He has told us what will happen...a panoramic overview of the balance of history.
Now, He gives some examples.
The days of the Son of Man...return of Jesus...will be like the days of Noah.
Here is a truth so often ignored or overlooked.
This truth would help to undermine the lies of many a seminary course that undermines the Word of God.
Jesus speaks of Noah as a real person.
A real account.
Jesus believed the Genesis account of the Flood.
This cannot be overstated.
Jesus shows us that Noah and the earth-wide flood are real.
That should be enough.
But, did you note the account in Luke?
Jesus also believed in a literal Sodom destruction.
He believed in Lot.
He believed the Genesis account.
What are the days like?
Life carries on…
- marrying, giving in marriage
- lack of understanding related to the Word of the Lord
Yes. Just like today.
On the day the Son of Man is revealed things happen…
Are you ready?
“Be Alert! Watch!”
Continued warning to be alert.
We must be prepared.
We must live as Kingdom vessels...in the world, but not of the world.
The Son of Man is coming.
The foundational preparation of man is to repent, confess and call upon the name of the Lord - Salvation.
As Believers, we are then to live as the Lord instructs.
Luke 21:36-40; 19:12-13
Jesus repeatedly told His disciples...and us...to be on the alert.
We are to live alert.
Alert. Awaiting His return.
Alert. Not knowing the day nor hour, but recognizing the season.
Alert. Refusing sin and the desires of the flesh.
Alert. Praying that you may have strength to escape all the things that must happen and to stand before the Son of Man. (Why would this be necessary if we were already “gone.&rdquo
Alert. Living Kingdom life.
...to be continued…
“We Will Know…”
We do not know the day of the Lord’s return.
We do not know the hour.
We will know the “season.”
How do we know?
Because Jesus told us.
He uses a parable as an example
Only Father knows the day and hour...not even the angels nor the Son.
We are to watch.
We are to work.
When we “see these thing”… the things we have been examining…
- we will know that He is near
- we will know He is at the door
- this generation...the ones who see..will not pass away until all these things occur
Heaven and earth will pass away.
But the Word of the Lord will never pass away.
What will you believe?
The Word of the Lord?
Or, someone’s “interpretation” of the Word?
“Sun, Moon, Stars”
Give heed to the “timing” words used.
“Immediately” after the suffering.
“But in those days” after the suffering.
Give heed to what happens.
- the sun will be darkened
- moon will not give its light
- stars will fall from heaven
- the powers of heaven will be shaken
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven
- all the tribes of the earth will mourn
- they will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven, with power and glory
We are told that when we see these things begin to happen that we are to stand up and raise our heads because our redemption is drawing near.
Son of Man will send His angels with a loud trumpet blast.
They will gather His elect from the four winds.
When brought together with the total teaching of the Word we have a clear understanding of the sequence of events for the Body of Christ.
We will undergo the Great Tribulation of the man of lawlessness.
We will be snatched away by the Lord at some subsequent point.
We will have a moment of warning...a sign...the sun, moon and stars will go dark.
Then, the Son of Man will be seen in His glory.
Are you ready?
“False Christ, False Prophets”
Jesus told His disciples and us a forthright truth.
He told us in advance of the happening.
False christs will come.
False prophets will arise.
Note what we learn about the False.
- they will have followers...saying “behold, here he is…”
- they will show great signs
- they will show great wonders
- they will look “real”
- they will mislead
- even the Elect will be tempted
We are not to believe them.
We are not to go looking for the christ in the wilderness...in the inner rooms… etc.
We are to look for the true sign of the Lord.
What is the sign of the Lord?
Remember, the disciples had asked when these things were to occur and what would be the sign of His coming again and the end of the age.
I’ll get ahead of where we are.
The Sign is that the sun, moon and stars will go dark, then the Son of Man will come in His glory from the eastern sky.
Anything else is false.
Be not deceived.
“Abomination of Desolation”
Jesus continues His answer to the three questions…see previous posts.
Note the first word - “therefore”.
Jesus had just given a panoramic view of the balance of this age.
He now gives more insight into what He had described.
Jesus warns them/us.
“...when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…”
So much here...let’s just bullet point it.
- Jesus states that Daniel was a prophet. Most of the contemporary church does not believe this. They are wrong. Jesus confirms it.
- Jesus believed what Daniel wrote.
- Jesus gives more insight into the “abomination of desolation”. Study Daniel to understand.
- Jesus warns those in Judea to flee when they see this abomination.
- Jesus tells us that a “great tribulation” will occur “such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” Think about that. Think about the evil manifested through the ages. This great tribulation will be worse than any. (Yes, the church...the Body of Christ…will undergo the great tribulation...the Word is clear.)
- Jesus states that these days...the great tribulation...will be so severe that no life would be saved...but for the sake of the elect those day will be cut short. Yeh! (The rapture of the Body of Christ is what cuts it short.)
These days are coming.
The Church and Israel will undergo the great tribulation of the man of lawlessness.
Are you ready?
Are you prepared?
Or, are you just thinking that you will not be around?
The Word says otherwise.
We continue from yesterday…
Jesus is giving an answer to three questions. (See yesterday’s post.)
He is given a panoramic overview of the balance of history.
- they will deliver you to tribulation
- they will kill you
- you will be hated by all nations because of Jesus’ name
- at that time…
- many will fall away
- many will betray one another
- many will hate one another
- many false prophets will arise and mislead many
- lawlessness will increase
- people’s love will grow cold
Sounds like today, huh?
But today is not the time that Jesus is addressing.
It is yet to come.
Today is but a precursor, a warm-up, a foreshadowing.
Hear the Word of encouragement.
The one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
Have you determined to endure to the end.
Are you saved?
Jesus brings the overview to a close.
- this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all the nations.
- then the end will come.
Then the end will come?
End of what?
Know the Word, lest you be deceived.
Know the Word, so that you will endure.
Know the Word, that you may be prepared.
Know the Word, so that you can shine as the stars in the firmament and lead many to righteousness.
“When? What is the Sign?”
Remember, Jesus had just had an intense encounter with the Religinists - “woe”…
Jesus and His disciples had left the temple.
Jesus had told them that not a stone of the temple would be left unturned.
Upon arriving at the Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John and Andrew questioned Jesus privately about what He had said.
I doubt that they knew that their “simple” questions would lead to an extended answer by the Lord.
These passages are foundational to understanding end-time events.
Matthew 24:4-14 is actually a panoramic synopsis of the balance of this present time.
Note the questions:
- When will these things happen?
- What will be the sign of your coming?
- What will be sign of the end of the age?
Jesus answers directly and succinctly.
Give close attention.
Memorize what the Lord says.
- See to it that no one misleads you
- we have a responsibility to not be mislead
- many will come in the name of the Lord claiming to be the Lord...and will mislead
- many will come in the name of the Lord claiming that He is Lord...yet, will mislead
- You will hear of wars and rumors of wars
- see to it that you are are not frightened...we have responsibility
- must take place
- not yet the end
- Nations will rise against nations… ethnic struggles/battles/wars
- Kingdoms against kingdoms...what we call nation states
- Famines and earthquakes in various places
- All these things are the beginning of birth pangs
Do these things:
See to it that no one deceives you..especially from within the Body of Christ.
See to it that you are not frightened...trust in the Lord
“Stone Upon Stone”
I consider this portion of the gospels to be of high import for our day.
Give close attention to what we are to see the next few days.
Jesus had just declared to the Religionists “woe to you”.
It was an intense time. Major conflict.
They wished to kill Him.
So, what do the disciples of Jesus do upon exiting the temple with Him?
They do what we would likely do.
They sought to “lighten” the moment.
They sought to draw Jesus’ attention away from the encounter, from what He has said.
They pointed out the “pretty” buildings/stones/votive gifts.
Do we not do the same?
We point to the “pretty” buildings...the blessings of God...etc.
Jesus was having nothing to do with it.
He declared that not one stone would be left upon another stone.
The Temple would be torn down.
Not only did Jesus refuse to be distracted from the Truth of the moment, He doubled-down on it.
Destruction of the Temple was unconceivable.
Such would occur.
Again, immerse yourself in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21.
You will be amazed.
Jesus was an observer of people.
In this account He watched as people gave of their resources.
He watched the rich.
He watched the poor.
He decided to seize the teachable moment.
He called His disciples.
A lesson was to be seen.
The rich gave from their abundance - they have received their reward.
The poor woman gave all she owed...leaving nothing to live on.
She put in more than all the rest.
She gave all.
How do you give?
As the Lord leads?
Jesus’ heart was broken for Jerusalem.
Jerusalem had killed the prophets that the Lord has sent.
Jerusalem had stoned those sent with the Word of the Lord.
Jesus wanted to gather them.
He wanted to protect them.
But, Jerusalem rejected Him.
Their “house” would now be desolate.
The day was coming when they would declare that He came in the name of the Lord.
For some, it would be soon.
For others, it would be a long time.
Still, the day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
Today is the day of salvation.
The great “woe” passage.
Jesus is direct.
Jesus is forthright.
Jesus dealt boldly with the scribes and Pharisees - the Religionists of the day.
Jesus begins with declaring that the scribes and Pharisees had seated themselves in the chair of Moses...what they spoke from Moses was correct. Do it. What they did was incorrect. Do not do according to their deeds.
Look at how they behaved:
- like to walk around in long robes...fancy clothes
- love respectful greetings in the market places
- love being called “Rabbi”
- love chief seats in the synagogues...worship time
- love places of honor at banquet
- devoured widow’s houses
- prayed long prayers for the sake of appearance
Look at what they do:
- tie up heavy burdens and place them on men, yet they do nothing
- do all their deeds to be noticed by men
- broaden their phylacteries
- lengthen their tassels
- travel about to make proselyte, yet twice the son of hell themselves
- blind guides...swear by this/that
- tithe, yet neglect the important things
- build tombs of prophets, adorn monuments of righteousness, yet murder
The Woes spoke by Jesus:
- shut off the kingdom of heaven from people
- devour widow’s houses
- long, fake prayers
Word to us?
- be not called “Teacher”/”Father/Leader”
- be a servant
- whoever exalts himself shall be humbled
- whoever humbles himself shall be exalted
Does to me. I see it everywhere.
“The Lord Said to My Lord”
Now, Jesus was turning the tables.
He asked the Pharisees a question.
“What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is He?”
The Pharisees immediately responded - the son of David.
Jesus then brought forth the theological conundrum...if David calls Him ‘Lord’, how is He his son?
No one had an answer.
No one questioned Jesus from that day on.
They simply planned to kill Him.
Tremendous revelation and detail were prophesied about the Lord in the Old Testament.
We see much on this side of Calvary.
Note that David received this revelation “in the Holy Spirit.”
David knew that Messiah would come from his line.
So did the Pharisees.
Yet, they feared the Lord when He stood before them.
They refused to see.
Jesus had silenced the Sadducess with His Word.
This pleased the Pharisees.
The Pharisees now sent a lawyer with a lawyerly question, “Teacher, what is the great commandment in the Law”?
Jesus answered directly.
Love the Lord your God…
- with all your heart
- with all your soul
- with all your mind
- with all your strength.
Jesus then added this.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments depend the whole of the Law and the Prophets.
The scribe that asked the question was “not far from the Kingdom of God.”
Where are you?
“You do err…”
One of my favorite moments in the life of Jesus.
The Sadducees questioned Him.
Sadducees are the equivalent of modern day snarky, liberal Religionists.
They did not believe in heaven.
They did not believe in afterlife.
They did not believe in resurrection.
Yet, they used all in an attempt to trip up Jesus.
You can nearly hear the sarcasm in their voices…”they all had her…”
He dealt directly with their error.
It is the error of many organizational churches today.
They erred by not knowing the Scripture.
They erred by not knowing the Power of God.
In the resurrection there will be no marriage in the sense of man now.
There is a resurrection from the dead.
When God says “I AM the God of Abraham/IsaacJacob” He is acknowledging that they are still alive - with Him.
God is God of the living.
Rejoice in the resurrection.
Know the Scripture.
Know the Power of God.
Do not be greatly mistaken.
The Pharisees were constantly seeking to entangle Jesus with His own words.
They sent some of their disciples along with some Herodians to speak to Jesus.
Note the slippery tongue:
- we know that you are truthful
- we know you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth
- we know you do not court anyone’s favor
- we know you show no partiality
These things they knew to be true..or professed to know.
They pretended to be sincere.
They wanted to trip Him on His words so as to arrest Him and take Him before the governor - earthly government.
Yet, they refuse to believe.
Do not be surprised when satan seeks to trip us up with Truth.
He did so constantly with Jesus.
Then, the question.
Do we pay taxes to Caesar or not?
Jesus knew the evil intention of their heart.
It is not that the question was evil.
It is not that the answer is evil.
The motivation of the heart was evil.
Jesus called them what they were...what they still are - “hypocrites”.
You read the account.
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.
Give to God what is God’s.
Do not make that which is Caesar’s your god.
“Many Called, Few Chosen”
Another Kingdom parable where Jesus describes what has happened to Israel and her leadership...and what is yet to come.
Israel had rejected the messengers of the Lord.
They rejected the Lord.
Certainly, they continued in maniacal observances of the Lord’s instructions, yet such was abhorrent to the Lord.
When the invited - Israel - refused Him, the Lord said that He would invite others.
He has done so.
They are invited.
They are gathered together.
But some will not have wedding close.
They came as called.
But they were not chosen.
Jesus was “pulling no punches.”
The chief priests and the Pharisees understood what Jesus was saying in these parables.
Israel, especially her leadership, had rejected God.
Rejected the prophets.
They were now rejecting the Son.
The Kingdom which belonged to them would now be given to others.
They would be held accountable.
The very Stone that they rejected would crush them.
The Kingdom is now given to a people who produce the fruit thereof.
Are you of the Kingdom?
Are you of the Religionists, the world?
“Change of Heart”
Jesus continues the dialogue with the Religionists related to “Authority”.
He gave them an example of two sons.
One son said he would not do something requested of his father, but later had a change of heart and did what was requested.
The other son agreed to the request, but then did not do it.
What is being said?
Jesus tells us.
Tax collectors and prostitutes - sinners - will enter the Kingdom of God ahead of the Religionists.
The Religionists are the second son.
They say “yes”, yet do not do.
They heard the message of John.
They refused to believe.
They refuse to change their hearts.
The sinners are the first son.
They say “no”, but then have a change of heart.
Where are you?
Do you profess belief, yet your life reflects otherwise?
Have you had a true change of heart?
Men always like and want authority.
The chief priests and elders decided to use another approach in attempting to attack Jesus.
They asked “by what authority” do you do these things?
The religious rulers could not dispute the truth of the “things”.
They could only attack the Vehicle and His authority.
Again, Jesus was having nothing to do with the ruse.
He demanded that they answer a question.
If they answered, then He would answer.
You read the account.
They did not answer.
Neither did He.
Our authority does not come from man.
Authority is not…
- “church membership”
- “denominational affiliation”
These are all strategies and devices of man contrived to control.
The authority of the true Believer lies in the Most High God.
Rejoice and rest there.
The fig tree was an example.
Jesus had cursed the fig the day before due to its unfruitfulness.
Now the fig tree was withered from the root.
The disciples were amazed.
Jesus told them the truth of the example.
He shows us the power of prayer and faith.
- if we have faith...if we do not doubt...then we can do the same...withered roots, moved mountains
- whatever we ask in prayer...if we believe...we will receive
This is not speaking of the prayer of greed.
Remember, the Word tells us…
2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask;
3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.
We ask wrongly.
We ask for our passions rather than asking from that which the Lord has released through the Spirit.
- Have Faith
Fear will drive folk to do amazing things.
Here, we see the chief priests and the experts in the law (scribes) planning to assassinate Jesus.
Because they feared Him.
Because the whole crowd was amazed by Jesus’ teaching.
They would kill over this?
They feared loss of their power.
They feared loss of control over the people.
They feared loss of prestige.
They feared the power they had seen...resurrection of Lazarus, etc.
The same occurs today.
Religionists assassinate with their tongues.
Religionists seek to destroy those that threatened them.
Be not a Religionist.
Hang on to the Word of the Lord.