“Honestly Speaking” First Thess 2:5-6 (52-12)
We must never be careless about the truth. We must measure our words. If we deceive we must immediately admit it, because deception can become a habit. William James, in his classic Principles of Psychology, put it this way:
Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state. We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke or virtue or vice leaves its ever so little scar. The drunken Rip Van Winkle, in Jefferson’s play, excuses himself for every fresh dereliction by saying “I won’t count this time! ” Well! He may not count it, but it is being counted nonetheless. Down among his nerve cells and fibers the molecules are counting it, registering and storing it up to be used against him when the next temptation comes. Nothing we ever do is, in strict scientific literalness, wiped out. Of course, this has its good side as well as its bad one.1
When Paul looked back on his work among the Thessalonians? A life on a daily basis that was: 1. FEARLESS [2:1] 2. GENUINE [2:3] 3. HONEST [2:5] 4. HUMBLE [2:6] 5. LOVING [2:7] 6. PASSIONATE [2:8] 7. DEDICATED [2:9-11]
HABITS OF EFFECTIVE SERVANTS #3 HONESTY (2:5) This awful sin is likened by James the brother of Christ as fire. A popular author and commentator has well described this condition: DISCIPLINE OF TONGUE2
“James, the Lord’s brother, understood this as well as any man in history, and through the use of graphic analogies he has given us the most penetrating exposition of the tongue anywhere in literature, sacred or secular: “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven
1 William James, Principles of Psychology (Chicago: Encyclopedia Brittannica, Inc. 1952), p. 83. 2 Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man, p. 129-31.
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by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts” (James 3:3-5).
The horse is an incredibly powerful animal. Take 550 pounds (as much as a puffing Olympic heavyweight lifter can hoist overhead), set it on a horse’s back, and it will barely snort as it stands breathing easily under the burden. The same horse, unburdened, can sprint a quarter-mile in about twenty-five seconds. A horse is half a ton of raw power! Yet, place a bridle and bit in its mouth and a 100-pound woman on its back who knows what she is doing and the animal can literally be made to dance. James observed the same phenomenon in ancient ships, as ships small and large were steered by an amazingly small rudder. Today it is still the same, whether it be an acrobatic ski boat or the USS Enterprise. He who controls the rudder controls the ship. So it is with the mighty tongue, that “movable muscular structure attached to the floor of the mouth” (Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary). “[The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts,” says James (v. 5). Or as Phillips has helpfully paraphrased it, “the human tongue is physically small, but what tremendous effects it can boast of.” Though it weighs only two ounces, it can legitimately boast o its disproportionate power to determine human destiny. The lives of Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill bear eloquent testimony to the dark and bright sides of the tongue’s power. The Fuhrer on one side of the Channel harangued a vast multitude with his hypnotic cadences. On the other side, the Prime Minister’s brilliant, measured utterances pulled a faltering nation together
But we need not look to the drama of nations to see the truth of James’ words. Our own lives are evidence enough. Never doubt the power of the tiny tongue – and never underestimate it. James’ principal concern is with the destructive power of the tongue, and this produces a most provocative statement: “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (vv. 5, 6). The tongue has awesome potential for harm, as the forest fire analogy suggests. At 9:00 one Sunday evening, October 8, 1871, poor Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over the lantern as she was being milked. starting the great Chicago fire. That disaster blackened three and one half miles of the city, destroying over 17,000 buildings before it was checked by gunpowder explosions on the south line of the fire. The fire lasted two days and cost over 250 lives. But ironically that was not the greatest inferno in the Midwest that year. Historians tell us that on the same day that dry autumn a spark ignited a raging fire in the North Woods of Wisconsin, a blaze which burned for an entire month, taking more lives than the Chicago Fire. A veritable firestorm destroyed billions of yards of precious timber – all from one spark! The tongue has that scope of inflammatory power in human relationships, and James is saying that those who misuse the tongue are guilty of spiritual arson. A mere spark from an ill-spoken word can produce a firestorm that annihilates everyone it touches. Furthermore, because the tongue is a “world of evil,” it contains and conveys all the world system’s wickedness. It is party to every evil there is and actively intrudes its evil into our lives.”
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1. SLANDER is lying about another’s character or conduct. James 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (NKJV) 2. GOSSIP: 3. FLATTERY Elihu ominously spoke against this when he said, “I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away” (job 32:21, 22). God’s people must avoid flattery just as the Apostle Paul and the writer of Proverbs averred: “You know we never used flattery” (1 Thessalonians 2:5); “do not associate with one who flatters with his lips” (Proverbs 20:19, NKJV). 4. EXAGGERATION 5. CARELESSNESS The lazy lie is a sign of moral stagnation! 6. TRUE WORDS 7. INSINUATION
B. What can we do? Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices (NIV). How do we change?
1. STOP THE OLD HABITS. Realize the danger of bad habits. The Discipline of Integrity (Habits)3 We must discipline ourselves to be truthful in all that we say. God’s Word calls us to be honest through and through, to never lie or equivocate to save face or to stay in the good graces of others.
Discipline yourself to tell the truth. Truth must become a habit. Honesty becomes something we do without thinking. Habitual integrity is the goal of our lives. Avoid at all costs the so-called “small things”:
If this discipline becomes habitual, the “big things” will take care of themselves.
Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny for yourself your family your church your world4.
2. START NEW HABITS. How? Here are some of the habits the Scriptures commend:
3 Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man, p. 128. 4 The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 2nd edition (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), p. 405.
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a) KEEP IT REAL. Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin. (NKJV) b) KEEP IT LOVING. Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — (NKJV) c) KEEP IT SOFT. Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (NKJV) d) KEEP IT CLEAN. Ephesians 5:4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (NKJV) e) KEEP IT GOOD. James 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (NKJV)
HABITS OF EFFECTIVE SERVANTS #4 HUMILITY (2:6)
Paul was humble. Listen to 1 Thessalonians 2:6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. (NKJV) Paul had learned a wonderful habit. He shares it in Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (NIV)
I. PRIDE IS COMMON IN OUR DAY. A. Someone has wisely written, The cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a bright ornament upon the bosom of the self-assured and carnal Christian whose hands are indeed the hands of Abel, but whose voice is the voice of Cain. The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemns; the new cross assures. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross, and before that cross it bows and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics, but upon that cross it will not die and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear. B. William Carey, often referred5 to as the father of modern missions, was a brilliant linguist, responsible for translating parts of the Bible into no fewer than 34 different languages and dialects. He had been raised in a simple home in England and in his early manhood worked as a cobbler. In India he often was ridiculed for his “low” birth and former occupation. At a dinner party one evening a snob said, “I understand, Mister Carey, that you once worked as a shoemaker.” “Oh no, your lordship,” Carey replied, “I was not a shoemaker, only a shoe repairman.” C. James Bjoanstad 6 writes: At one time, most Christians believed that to have a close relationship with God, a person should magnify God, deny
5 Mac, I Cor 13. 6 Moody Monthly, 11/86, p. 19-20.
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himself and the pleasures of this world, repent and confess his sins, and live a holy and separated life. Their heroes were missionaries who gave up everything to serve God and martyrs who suffered because of their faith.
Today, it’s becoming a different story. Many Christians believe that to have a close relationship with God, a person should realize the importance of himself as God intended, pursue his dreams and aspirations, and become affluent and successful. Their heroes are those celebrities and self-made individuals who happened to be Christians. Behind this new gospel stands a variety of distinguished teachers, preachers, and evangelists proclaiming a variety of ways to attain prosperity and success. But examining their theological models and points of emphasis reveals one common element-they are simply not biblical.
II. Satan: Father of Pride The first sin7 was pride, and every sin after that has been in some way an extension of pride. Pride led the angel Lucifer to exalt himself above his Creator and Lord. Because the bright “star of the morning” continually said, “I will, I will, I will” in opposition to God’s will, he was cast out of heaven (Isa. 14:12–23). Because he said, “I am a god,” the Lord cast him “from the mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:11–19). A. The original sin of Adam and Eve was pride, trusting in their own understanding above God’s (Gen. 3:6–7). 1. The writer of Proverbs warns, “When pride comes, then comes dishonor” (11:2), “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (16:18), and again “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, is sin” (21:4). 2. Isaiah warned, “The proud look of man will be abased, and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isa. 2:11; cf. 3:16–26). “Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one,” God declared against Babylon, “For your day has come, the time when I shall punish you. And the arrogant one will stumble and fall with no one to raise him up” (Jer. 50:31–32). 3. The last chapter of the Old Testament begins, “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff” (Mal. 4:1). The Beatitudes begin with “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3), and James assures us that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; cf. Ps. 138:6). B. Pride is the supreme temptation from Satan, because pride is at the heart of his own evil nature. Our only protection against pride, and our only source of humility, is a proper view of God. Pride is the sin of competing with God, and humility is the virtue of submitting to His supreme glory. C. Pride comes in many forms. We may be tempted to be proud of our abilities, our possessions, our education, our social status, our appearance, our power, and even our biblical knowledge or religious accomplishments. But throughout Scripture the Lord calls His people to humility. “Before honor
7 MacArthur, Ehesians 4:2.
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comes humility” (Prov. 15:33); “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life” (22:4); “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (27:2). D. Humility produces spiritual blessing. Just as every sin starts in pride, every virtue begins in humility. Humility allows us to see ourselves as we are, because it shows us before God as He is. Just as pride is behind every conflict we have with other people and every problem of fellowship we have with the Lord, so humility is behind every harmonious human relationship, every spiritual success, and every moment of joyous fellowship with the Lord.
III. God: Breaker of Pride A. A lesson in Godly Humility: 8 1. HUMILITY BEGINS WITH PROPER SELF–AWARENESS, “the virtue,” said Bernard of Clairvaux, “by which a man becomes conscious of his own unworthiness.” It begins with an honest, unadorned, unretouched view of oneself. The first thing the honest person sees in himself is sin, and therefore one of the surest marks of true humility is daily confession of sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9). “We are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves,” Paul says; “but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Cor. 10:12). It is not only unspiritual but unintelligent to judge ourselves by comparison with others. We all tend to exaggerate our own good qualities and minimize the good qualities of others. Humility takes off our rose–colored glasses and allows us to see ourselves as we really are. 2. SECOND, HUMILITY INVOLVES CHRIST– AWARENESS. He is the only standard by which righteousness can be judged and by which pleasing God can be judged. Our goal should be no less than “to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6), and Jesus Christ walked in perfection. Only of Jesus has God ever said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well–pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Our business success, fame, education, wealth, personality, good works, or anything else we are or have in ourselves counts for nothing before God. The more we rely on and glory in such things, the greater barrier they become to our communion with God. Every person comes before the Lord with nothing to commend him and everything to condemn him. But when he comes with the spirit of the penitent tax–collector, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner,” God will willingly and lovingly accept him. “For everyone who exalts himself
8 MacArthur, John F., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Ephesians 4, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1983
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shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:13–14). 3. THIRD, HUMILITY INVOLVES GOD–AWARENESS. As we study His life in the gospels we come to see Jesus more and more in His human perfection—His perfect humility, His perfect submission to the Father, His perfect love, compassion, and wisdom. But beyond His human perfection we also come to see His divine perfection—His limitless power; His knowing the thoughts and heart of every person; and His authority to heal diseases, cast out demons, and even forgive sins. We come to see Jesus Christ as Isaiah saw the Lord, “sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted” and we want to cry out with the seraphim, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory,” and with the prophet himself, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 6:1, 3, 5). B. Actions that promote the growth of humility: 1. REFOCUS: James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (KJV) The first step in experiencing humility is to turn our eyes off ourselves and to look to God. When we study His Word, seek His face in prayer, and sincerely desire to be near Him and please Him, we move toward being poor in spirit. It is the vision of the infinitely Holy God in all His sinless purity and perfection that allows us to see ourselves as sinners by contrast. To seek humility, we do not look at ourselves to find the faults, but at God Almighty to behold His perfection. 2. REMOVE: Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (KJV) We must starve the flesh by removing the things on which it feeds. The essence of the fleshly nature is pride, and to starve the flesh is to remove and avoid those things that promote pride. Rather than looking for praise, compliments, and popularity, we should we be wary of them. Yet because our human sinfulness has a way of turning even the best intentions to its advantage, we need to be careful not to make an issue of avoiding praise and recognition. The evil is not in being given praise but in seeking it and glorying in it. When, without having sought it, we are praised or honored, to ungraciously reject the recognition may be an act of pride rather than of humility. 3. REQUEST: 1 Peter 5:5-6 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (KJV) The third and balancing principle in coming to humility is asking God for it. With David we should pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). Humility, like every other good gift, comes only from God. Also as with every other good thing,
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He is more willing to give it than we are to ask for it, and He stands ready to give it long before we ask for it. C. Detecting True Humility: Thomas Watson gives seven principles we may apply in determining humility.9 1. FIRST, IF WE ARE HUMBLE WE WILL BE WEANED FROM OURSELVES. We will be able to say with David, “My soul is like a weaned child within me” (Ps. 131:2). One who is poor in spirit loses his serf-preoccupation. Self is nothing, and Christ is everything. Paul’s humility is nowhere more beautifully expressed than in his saying, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). To the Philippian believers he wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). 2. SECOND, HUMILITY WILL LEAD US TO BE LOST IN THE WONDER OF CHRIST, “with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, … being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). Our satisfaction will be in the prospect of one day being fully in the likeness of our Lord. 3. THIRD, WE WILL NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR SITUATION, NO MATTER HOW BAD IT MAY BECOME. Because we know we deserve worse than anything we can experience in this life, we will consider no circumstance to be unfair. When tragedy comes we will not say, “Why me, Lord?” When our suffering is for Christ’s sake we not only will not complain or feel ashamed but will glorify God for it (1 Pet. 4:16), knowing that we will “also be glorified with Him” and realizing “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:17-18). 4. FOURTH, WE WILL MORE CLEARLY SEE THE STRENGTHS AND VIRTUES OF OTHERS AS WELL AS OUR OWN WEAKNESSES AND SINS. With “humility of mind” we will “regard one another as more important than [ourselves]” (Phil. 2:3) and will “give preference to one another in honor” (Rom. 12:10). 5. FIFTH, WE WILL SPEND MUCH TIME IN PRAYER. Just as the physical beggar begs for physical sustenance, the spiritual beggar begs for spiritual. We will knock often at heavens gate because we are always in need. Like Jacob wrestling with the angel, we will not let go until we are blessed. 6. SIXTH, WE WILL TAKE CHRIST ON HIS TERMS, NOT ON OURS OR ANY OTHER. We will not try to have Christ while keeping our pride, our pleasures, our covetousness, or our immorality. We will not modify His standards by ecclesiastical traditions or by our own inclinations or persuasions. His Word alone will be our standard. Watson said, “A castle that has long been besieged and is ready to be taken will deliver up on any terms to save their lives. He whose heart has been a garrison for the devil, and has held out long in opposition against Christ, when once
9 MacArthur, John F., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 5, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1983
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God has brought him to poverty of spirit and he sees himself damned without Christ, let God propound what articles he will, he will readily subscribe to them. Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’” (p. 47). 7. SEVENTH, WHEN WE ARE POOR IN SPIRIT WE WILL PRAISE AND THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE. Nothing more characterizes the humble believer than abounding gratitude to his Lord and Savior. He knows that he has no blessings and no happiness but that which the Father gives in love and grace. He knows that God’s grace is “more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:14). D. How10 wonderful that God is more gracious than men. God never excuses disobedience, unfaithfulness, or any other sin. But He will forgive every sin that is placed under the atoning death of His Son, Jesus Christ. Position, prestige, or possessions give no advantage with Him, and lack of those things gives no disadvantage. As Peter learned only after much resistance to the idea, “God is not one to show partiality” (Acts 10:34; cf. 1 Pet. 1:17). In Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female” (Gal. 3:28).
HABITS OF EFFECTIVE SERVANTS #5 LOVE (2:7)
Loving [2:7] What is loving ministry based upon? A. JUSTIFICATION A Sinner stands before God as accused and is declared righteous by His imputed righteousness. B. REDEMPTION A Sinner stands before God as a slave and is granted freedom by His ransom. C. FORGIVENESS A Sinner stands before God as a debtor and is forgotten by His payment. D. RECONCILIATION A Sinner stands before God as an enemy and is made a friend by His peace. E. ADOPTION A Sinner stands before God as a stranger and is called a Son by His choice. II. Passionate [2:8] What kind of heart can minister under any condition? One that is waiting for Jesus! What are the benefits of waiting for the Son? What will looking at Jesus help you overcome or at least endure? Who waited for Jesus and when? A. ENOCH LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH DEMON TIMES Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (KJV); Hebrews 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (KJV). The world was literally on its last leg. Evil was everywhere. God was almost closed out. People were so wicked they had to be exterminated! And what does one do while looking for Jesus? Jude 14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among
10 MacArthur, John F., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1983.
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them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (KJV) B. JOB LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH SICKNESS AND SUFFERING TIMES Job 19:25-26 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (KJV) Satan buffets, beloved children die, life savings destroyed, wife torments, friends accuse and his body wastes! That is affliction! And what did he do while looking for Jesus? He spoke of Him: Job 19:25-26 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (KJV) C. MOSES LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH DISAPPOINTING TIMES Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. (KJV) What amazing disappointments Moses faced! 1. Meteoric career in Egyptian Politics and military but hot temper puts him in desert obscurity 2. Quiet family life in the country, God’s call puts him in the hot seat away from his family. 3. As a willing servant he became the greatest deliverer of all time next to Christ. 4. As a humble follower he became the greatest prophet, knowing God face to face. He glowed from the contact with God. 5. After leading the people 40 years as a self sacrificing servant leader, they continually (10x) rebel. 6. In one angry act he is shut out of the Promised Land! D. DANIEL LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH PAGAN TIMES Daniel 7:9-10 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. (KJV) Captivity, POW But listen to Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (KJV) E. ZECHARIAH LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH DISASTER TIMES Zechariah 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (KJV) The mighty earthquakes of life, disasters unexpected, known only to God. And what was he saying? Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him,
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as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (KJV) F. PETER AND PAUL LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH PRISON AND MARTYRDOM TIMES 1. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (KJV); 2. 2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (KJV); 3. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (KJV) G. JOHN LOOKED FOR JESUS THROUGH LONELY TIMES Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (KJV) He was the last Apostle, disciple, last Christian? on a lonely island. . . Revelation 22:20-21 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (KJV) III. Dedicated [2:9-11]