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Survey from II Thessalonians to Revelation

/ Christ In All The Scriptures

XAS-37

970924WE

 

I find my Lord in the Book,

Wherever I chance to Look

He’s the theme of the Bible

The center and heart of the Book.

He’s the Rose of Sharon,

He’s the Lilly fair,

Wherever I open my Bible,

The Lord of the Book is there.

He is at the Book’s beginning gave the Earth its form

He is the Ark of Shelter bearing the brunt of the storm

He is the burning bush of the desert, the budding of Aaron’s rod

Wherever I look in the Bible, I see the Son of God.

The Ram upon Mt. Moriah, the ladder from Earth to sky.

The scarlet cord in the window, and the serpent lifted high,

The smitten rock in the desert, the Shepherd with staff and crook,

The face of my Lord I discover, wherever I open the Book.

He is the Seed of the Woman, the Savior virgin born,

He is the Son of David of whom men rejected with scorn,

His garments of Grace and of beauty, the stately Aaron Deck,

Yet He is a Priest forever, for He is Melchizedek.

Lord of eternal glory, whom John the Apostle saw,

Light of eternal glory, whom John the Apostle saw,

Light of the golden city, Lamb without spot or flaw,

Bridegroom coming at midnight for whom the virgins look,

Wherever I open my Bible, I find my Lord in the Book.

 

If you remember from two weeks ago we saw Matthew- the theme of that book is Christ is our king- Matt. 2:2 is the key book it’s written to Jews and it stresses genealogy, royalty and the Jewishness of Christ. Secondly we saw Mark- Christ our servant- Mark 10:45 says this: the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life and I hope that’s how you look at all ministry for Him it’s- we don’t get we give and that’s what pleases the Lord. They we looked at Luke- Christ our savior- Luke 19:10 says for the son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost. John revealed Christ as God and it says in John 20:31- but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God and that believing you may have life in His name.

 

Someone has said that the Old Testament if you wanted to distill it down into one phrase it would be Jesus is the Christ and if you want to distill down the New Testament into one phrase it would be Christ is Jesus and if you want to get the whole Bible in one sentence- Jesus is the Christ and that does it all because the New Testament shows the humanity of Christ; the Old Testament shows the promised one; the Bible shows that the promised one came as a man and of course he is our Lord and savior.

 

Next in your notes the next one is Acts- Christ is our mission- you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and any one who is been genuinely born again the Holy Spirit has come with in them and the power of God resides with in them. It’s kind of like if you took an old maybe a coal burning furnace and put an atomic reactor inside of it- it’s a pale in comparison to what happens when the Lord of the Universe comes inside of us. You know the satellites that are out ringing our solar system we have a lot of our tax dollars floating out there right now but some of them recently detected the collapse of a star you know how they kind of burn them selves out and collapse down and become a neutron ball where one cubic inch would weigh billions of tons because it takes this massive thing and takes it down to just a few miles wide but when that happened and it wasn’t very far away it’s called N49 they name stars by numbers God calls them all by name but when that thing collapsed the satellites detected what they call a gamma flash- it was 9000 light year away and they said if it would have been in our galaxy the entire galaxy would have started glowing- that’s how powerful it was- it said if it would have been in our solar system it would have incinerated the earth instantaneously just that flash of energy of gamma rays. When I think about that I think the one who made not only N49 but the other numberless stars in our universe lives within us- it’s a lot bigger than an atomic reactor in a coal furnace you know. The book of Romans talks about Christ our righteousness and we saw that the key verse Romans 1:16 outlines all of the book as it talks about salvation. The person of the gospel is Christ, the power of the Gospel is God, the purpose of the Gospel is salvation, the people of the Gospel are all the people on this world, the plan of the Gospel is that we believe and the result of the Gospel is we begin to live by faith. We also saw 1 Corinthians Christ is our solution to spiritual problems the key verse there is noted. 2 Corinthians Christ is our sufficiency again the key verse is noted which says not that we’re sufficient of our selves and the longer we live in the Christian life the more we realize we are not sufficient in ourselves and the people that really get something done for the Lord are the ones that realize it’s not I but Christ in every situation- it’s not from me it’s not my power my expertise in fact the Lord said this he says apart from me you can do nothing. We do a lot but apart from Him it amounts to nothing and he’s our sufficiency as it says at the end of verse 5 in 2 Cor. 3 but our sufficiency is from God. That’s how He is glorified and that’s what’s going to be the basis of rewards. What was done in the energy of the Spirit of God for the glory of God and not of our self and not of our flesh. Galatians we saw that Christ is our liberty – the key verse there- stand fast therefore in the liberty- there’s a lot in the Bible about standing you know we’re supposed to stand against the wiles of the devil and we’re supposed to stand in our liberty and stand in the gospel and Galatians says that’s all possible because Christ is our liberty. We saw in Ephesians that Christ is our source and we looked at the plaroma which means the fullness a fully rigged ship and a fully loaded vessel every thing it needed- this is what the scriptures say: now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above—it’s just like a ladder going upward he says you can’t top it- he’ll do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. The astrophysicists are amazed at the powers of the universe and yet the Creator of the universe lives within us and what’s so amazing one of my children’s reading Carl Sagan’s autobiography it’s called Cosmos and I don’t know if you know this but after he died – he’s a believer now by the way did you know that Carl Sagan’s a genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ after he died – too late but he believes now cause he met him and he knows it’s true but he wrote that book Cosmos as his biography it’s about a woman but his wife said after he died he was really talking about himself and basically he had all these connections with the universe and knew what no one else knew because he did all this stuff but you know what’s amazing with all that is that scientists look every where but at the truth. In fact in that autobiography it’s not really an autobiography it’s a fictional book it’s about himself but you know he goes out of his way to discredit the gospel all the way through. Today as I was riding in the car Johnny was telling me he says look at this he’s saying the Bible doesn’t make any sense and Matthew doesn’t agree with Luke and I said he’s such an unbeliever he doesn’t he’s looking every where but to the source of all things that’s Christ and that’s a tragedy. Philippians we saw that Christ is our source of joy and this is something the world can’t explain- they look at us and they see us in sickness and sorrow and sadness in deprivation in insecurity and we still have joy and see joy is attached to things on this world and the tree of happiness can’t grow in a sin cursed world and so that’s why people just grope every where and look for happiness but Philippians says this: being confident of this very thing 1:6- that he who has begun a good work will complete it and that gives us joy. The Lord’s not through with us yet. It reminds me of a little child that came home from Sunday School after the lesson and got on his knees and was praying by his bed and his mother came in and she saw him looking under the bed and she heard him muttering and she says what are you doing down there honey and he says mom I looked under my bed and there’s some dust and from what I learned in Sunday School there’s either someone coming or going under my bed you know God made man from the dust of the ground well- God’s not through with us yet  you might be a little dust under the bed though or you might have a little dust under your bed but God is the source in Christ of our joy. Colossians- Christ is our life and it says and you are complete in Him- he is the head of all principalities and power and what’s wonderful is that when God sent us out when he birthed us through the Spirit we’re complete we have everything. Now it’s kind of like you buy these CD’s and you have to unlock books you know they’re inside of there but you can’t use them yet and obedience and walking with the Lord in maturity unlocks more and more of what God has given us and disobedience and not walking with the Lord locks more and more of it but he says you’re complete you don’t need to look outside you self for any thing he says I have given it all to you in Christ and Christ in our life. Finally we finished up last week now look at that I did it in 10 minutes it took me 50 minutes last week but  1 Thessalonians tells us Christ is our hope and um I was listening to Howie Hendricks today a tape 5 years old and he said more people have come to Christ in Dallas 5 years ago than at any other time recorded in Dallas’ history and he said the reason for that was that 5 years ago Dallas was having a big downturn financially and for what ever reason and he said when everyone loses what they’re counting on they look outside of what they used to find their hope and joy and security in and he said so many of them were coming to Christ and so he said he was praying that Dallas wouldn’t recover- well they’ve recovered and I think that the salvations have dropped off but Christ is our hope and that’s why people look to Him and that’s why the early church if you look at church history the great growth and the spurt of salvations was when they were being persecuted when they were burning their Bibles when they were destroying the church buildings when they were losing their jobs when they couldn’t own property when they couldn’t even meet with out being under danger of some type from the government the church mushroomed. As soon as they legalized it it plateaued and it started down. same thing happened in Eastern Europe if you know any thing about the history of the church in Eastern Europe  both in the eastern block and in Russia when it was illegal to have a Bible when you would be beaten with  they used to use garden hoses and they would beat them because it doesn’t show it just damages the nerves and they would beat them with garden hoses especially the bottoms of their feet they’d slide bamboo under their fingernails and burn it the only thing it does is make your fingernails get real thick and it hurts a lot- you know the church just grew but now that it’s legal it’s plateauing and that’s just how it is because when Christ when he isn’t our hope when our you know our pension plan is our hope or you know our career is our hope or degree or our you know possessions are our hope we don’t need Him so much. Well now we can finish our survey oh that’s why that’s right there were 9 now we’re doing 14 right here the last 14 New Testament books we’ll start with Paul’s final letter to his Thessalonians.

 

Now, let’s finish our survey of the last 14 New Testament books. We start with Paul’s final letter to his beloved Thessalonian Christians.

 

II THESSALONIANS “Christ our Security”  (1:11-12) Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, see it’s a 2 way street we glorify him where we are and as we stand for Him live for Him love Him it brings glory to his name He in us and He is magnified through us- according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)  Remember, the return of Christ is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. And so, to these troubled saints Paul presents Christ as our Security:

  • When Suffering (1),
  • When doubting (2) they were wondering if they had missed something you know they thought the Lord had already come back or he’d forgotten them or what ever and also in chapter 3
  • When serving (3). Always find Christ as your security when you’re going through personal suffering family suffering emotional physical financial when you’re doubting and remember Satan’s 2 edged sword is doubt and discouragement. For Christians he usually can’t get us to do a lot of the dirty stuff so what he does is he sticks in that sword and makes us doubt and get discouraged and a lot of Christians alternate between doubting you know God’s plan and you know whether God knows what he’s doing with them because you know he’s taken so long before I’m getting married or what ever you know their doubting or they’re discouraged they don’t like how they look they don’t like how God made them they don’t like what he’s doing with them and all this stuff and God says let me be your security while you’re doubting let me be your security while you’re serving  there should be a settled confidence in our life as Paul said at the end of his life- I’ve finished my course  we shouldn’t have this kind of endless worrying that we haven’t done enough or what ever. Paul it’s interesting  umm we stand in his prison cell it’s really a neat place to stand in Rome and when you stand down there it’s really kind of smelly and it’s dark and it’s damp and you look out um this little grate and you can see the ruins of the Roman Forum which was the epicenter of the whole world at that time and from that place Paul could hear the sounds of the Empire rushing by with it’s millions and yet he wasn’t climbing the walls and pounding on them and saying let me out I’ve got to do more he says I’ve finished my course, I’ve done every thing God wanted me to do I’m ready to go and that’s the security that we have in Christ when we serve Him that he is in charge of our life and no one dies a day early or a day late they you know there’s just great security.  The next book let’s look at 1 Timothy and remember this is a very very brief survey um but look at

 

I TIMOTHY “Christ our Leader”  (4:12) and this should be a verse we all have marked  especially my prayer group over there I prayed with tonight but the young people because this is about a young man and Christ is presented in 1 Timothy as our leader. Paul what he was doing was checking out  he was talking to his son in the faith he said I’m not going to be around much longer but I’m going to show you Christ who you’re supposed to follow the rest of your life- Christ was his leader he says: Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, how you act in love, how you respond in spirit, as you as it says in 2 Cor. 7:1 that we purge ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit you know a lot of us are really great on keeping the flesh clean I mean the new germicidal you know you don’t use soap any more you use germicidal soap right to kill all the billions of germs you know every body it’s cropping up everywhere I mean even in the public restrooms they’re starting in the fancy ones at least they have the- the other ones still use you know engine cleaner but in the fancy ones they use you know the germicidal antibacterial soap and you know we’re all concerned about germs and we heard about an aids infected needle and hepatitis C and all that- people are so concerned about their bodies being clean but their spirits get so defiled. You know we can defile our spirits by our attitudes by bitterness and anger and wrath and clamor we can defile our spirits by looking at things that grieve the Holy Spirit of God – occultic things  things that have to do with murder and bloodshed things that have to do with violence- those things and especially immoral things because they so cleave to our mind because any thing that’s fearful or that’s very exciting there’s a secretion of epinephrine in your brain which just kind of like cements it in there and that’s why the more excited you are about memorizing your verses the easier it is to do and that’s why people that go oh I have to memorize another verse they have so much trouble with it but the ones who go wow I get to memorize one like children you know  they can just learn them like that cause they’re excited about it and it stores better in your memory when you’re excited or afraid- excitement’s better than the fear but he said keep your spirit- make sure that your spirit is purged 2 Cor. 7:1  in faith, in purity. (NKJV) Timothy was a special disciple in whom Paul invested much time and to whom he entrusted great responsibility. Timothy pastured the largest church in the ancient world did you know that? The church in Ephesus where he was the pastor when he got 1 Timothy when that letter came to him as a letter remember the first and second rules of interpreting the Bible the first one is  that when ever possible take it in the literal sense I mean most people  they immediately think the Bible’s a little bit you know mystical- no it’s ______ it’s letters written to people the first canon of textual interpretation is when the literal sense makes the best sense then that’s the best way to take it. The second one is the Bible can never mean anything that it couldn’t have meant to the people that originally got it. Now that takes care of all the weirdo stuff in the Bible I mean I met someone they said the  locusts are apache helicopters- I says you know what you know that’s great to say that in Revelation they’re apache helicopters you know what happens if it’s a hundred years from now when they don’t have apache helicopters any more  it can’t mean anything it didn’t mean to the people back then and what those locusts meant was it was in Revelation 9 it meant something that was attacking them and inflicting pain and that’s all. Now if you want to apply that to apache helicopters but that’s not what it means you can apply it but what he’s saying here is that you when you’re pasturing in the church  to the Ephesians to those 50,000 people in that church he says you make sure that you are investing your life in teaching what the Bible means. He was entrusted with great responsibility.  His letters to him are usually dated after the events of Acts 28; tradition tells us Paul was then released from prison and that he embarked on further missionary ventures from AD 62 to 67, until his final imprisonment, trial, and execution.

 

II TIMOTHY “Christ our Goal” (4:7-8) this is Paul’s follow up letter- I remember  when I was in seminary I used to have a summer job I’d sell aspirin- I sold Anacin- that’s a very good selling aspirin I sold Dristan and Preparation H and Advil- lots of good stuff and  I remember that my sales managers used to fly out and they’d meet us at some place we’d pick em up at the airport and they’d ride with us. I remember for one summer I had a sales manager that was this Jewish woman and she got in the car and I witnessed to her and finally she said I’ll tell you what if you don’t talk to me any more I’ll read your book and so I gave her a New Testament and at the end of the week she said did you know there’s – that’s a sequel she said there’s another one that’s before this- she didn’t know about the Old Testament you know it’s amazing how the scriptures are so powerful and  she got it she- by reading the 27 books of the New Testament she said there’s something that came before this. As far as I know she never came to Christ but she got to read the Word of God and 2 Tim. 4:7-8 is the sequel to this first epistle. Paul wrote the first epistle was released from prison for as many as maybe 3 or 4 years he probably went to Great Britain- we know he went to Spain- he probably went all the way to England as far as we know and he was taking the gospel all through out that area and God just didn’t choose to record all that except that he mentioned that he was going to Spain but then when he writes 2 Timothy he’s in the Mammertine Prison awaiting execution now look at verse 7 that’s the back ground and as we look at this 2 Tim. 4:7- I have fought the good fight, now anybody that tells you the Christian life is all roses hasn’t read the Bible it’s a fight and you fight all the way through it- it’s a good fight but it’s a fight- I have finished the race, and if you’ve ever run you know that running is not easy it takes endurance it takes a lot of effort it’s hard he said I have finished the race,  I have kept the faith. The sacred trust he says I’ve never let down what God intended for me to be- 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NKJV) and  what I have given for you here is a little outline of what these verses are because in the um  Sometime in the year AD 64, Paul the apostle looked out of the tiny grate that let in light to his subterranean dungeon.  The Mamertinum prison was only a stones throw from the epicenter of the world, the Roman Forum. Outside could be heard the crowds surging to the Circus Maximus, the games and the great festivals.  The mighty legions returned from victory after victory with dazzling displays of plunder and captives. But in that solitary dungeon of dampness, deprivation and discomfort, once again the Holy Spirit overshadowed the great apostle and began to breathe through him the very Word of God. What is amazing is that with a shamelessly professed homosexual emperor and a bloodthirsty mob of Romans behind him in self gratifying lust, Paul would write: that they were to be subject to the authorities that be- isn’t that amazing and he wrote to Timothy and he told him to pray for leaders even that one and Romans 13 says and even obey them even that one. But 4:7-8 he said I’m now ready to be offered he said his contentment was from God he said I’m not regretting one day of my life. NEXT PAGE——————— “in the last days … Men will…”he was saying, this is only the prelude.  The fallen ego is evident but will come to full bloom in days ahead. Then he lists the qualities of godlessness that will be embodied in the last days:

(Verse 2)

  • Philautos = self lovers, a life centered in self.  The antithesis of the life god calls for which is death to self.
  • Philaguros = lovers of money, and Timothy as pastor of Ephesus was in the second most prosperous, materialistic center of the ancient world.  All the trade routes dumped wealth here!
  • Alazon = braggart, boastful.  It was the word for the medicine peddling quack doctor who could cure anything.  Then it just came to mean a boaster of empty words.
  • Huperephanos = arrogant, to show ones self above, this is not an outward show; this is an inward condition of all consuming pride.
  • Blasphemia = revilers is not the hot words of anger but the cold insult of an arrogant pride.
  • Disobedient to parents = the loss of all submission to positions of authority over young people.
  • Acharistos = ungrateful, thankless, a refusal to even acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed to god and man.
  • Anosios = unholy is a refusal to even recognize decency in life, the unwritten ones like burial of the dead.  But beyond cultural things, this is the base and shameless seeking of abnormal pleasures and thrills.

 

(Verse 3)

  • Astorgos = unloving is to be without family or human affection.  Storge is family love.  A means without. This is a time when self prevails over even the closest ties of family.
  • Aspondos = irreconcilable is either a person who can never be reconciled or, one who breaks all agreements for selfish purposes. Thus an implacable or hateful person.
  • Diabolos = malicious gossips is literally, devils or slanderers.  Even worse than stealing property is to destroy another’s reputation, which is the wickedness of slander.
  • Akrates = without self control is to be uncontrollable in their desires
  • Anemeros = brutal is to be savage as in a wild beast.
  • Aphilagathos = hater of good means no love for goodness of anything.

 

(Verse 4)

  • Prodotes  = treacherous is to be willing to betray for any reason.
  • Propetes = reckless is literally “swept along” headlong and unthinkingly.
  • Tetuphomenos = conceited, lit.  Head swelled for their own importance
  • Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god = the recreation worshipper and hedonists

 

(Verse 5)

  • Holding to a form of godliness = outwardly somewhat religious.
  • Although they have denied its power = they are not born from above as John 3 speaks of, but from beneath as James 3 describes

 

Finally, in the late autumn of life sits the Apostle who dominates the early years of the church. Here awaiting execution in this most undesirable spot, is Saint Paul. Look at his last words from this very spot.  How did he it make through so many terrible situations? Six secrets we would do well to hear and learn from II Timothy 4:6-8

  • His Contentment was from God  “For I am now ready to be offered”
  • His Confidence was in God   “and the time of my departure is at hand” God you’ve been driving the whole time and you’re in charge.
  • His Courage was for God   “I have fought a good fight” and he says God you have provided my courage
  • His Faithfulness was to God   “I have finished my course”
  • His Fidelity was of God   “I have kept the faith”
  • His Focus was on God “Henceforth there is laid up”

 

I want to share something real quickly from chapter 3 of 2 Timothy starting in verse 2- this um little section is often neglected but if you ever want something interesting to do get a newspaper and open to 2 Tim. 3 and circle all the stuff from here that you find in the newspaper cause every paper you’ll find it. Verse 2- he says 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: (that’s verse 1) now with the brazen immoral emperor parading around with all the blood thirsty Roman mob and he says worse times are going to come and that’s where we live now we live in those worse times- verse 2: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, interesting word it’s philatas which means a life centered in self it was the antithesis of the life that God calls for which is death to self- you know that’s what we see in our world people that are in love with them selves. Did you know Nero used to that was the homosexual emperor of the day he used to stage art festivals he would enter he would judge them and he would award himself first place- that’s the consummate self centeredness that was in his day I mean the apostle Paul says the whole world is going to be like that isn’t that what it’s like nowadays? People go back and shoot people for doing something to them  for hurting them embarrassing them for firing them because they’re totally living in their own little world- he said secondly they’ll be lovers of money this is phil agoras- Timothy is a pastor in Ephesus was in the second most prosperous and materialistic center of the ancient world- all the trade routes dumped wealth in Ephesus and he says watch out people are going to start loving money- hey they do they do you know it’s just getting so- in fact recently at a business conference I read that they’d gotten a guru that was leading it told the attendees he says you know what people get in your way if you’re going to succeed he says  you might have to get a new wife you might have to get a new family but don’t stop till you get your dream- that’s a lover of money a lover of self- he says also that people would be, boasters, it was the word for a medicine peddling quack doctor who’d cure any thing it just came to mean a boaster of empty words and people would just emptily say anything you know it’s getting so in the news that nothing shocks us any more because people say empty words all the time they don’t believe anything and they the proud,- to show one’s self above- this is not an outward show it’s an inward condition of all consuming pride and he said that people would be arrogant and will be revilers- the word is blasphemers- it means- it’s not the hot words of anger but the cold insult of an arrogant pride- it’s just someone who coldly can put down and they’re totally totally some one who reviles-, disobedient to parents, that’s the loss of all submission to positions of authority by the young people and that’s where we are I mean in New England 3 years ago they were counseling children in the public schools in Rhode Island to turn in their parents they said if you have you- they used to say have you ever been struck by your parents for anything? If so there’s a you know a ADC or not ADC a child department person here at the back if you want to talk to them and they said and don’t you’re your parents that’ we’ve told you this of course the church kids ran right home and told their parents but you know that’s just it’s just the whole idea of the loss of submission disobedient to parents, unthankful, – acharista you know charista is what we call the Lord’s Table it’s the eucharistas the good giving of thanks and God says these people are going to be a-charistas with out thankfulness for any thing-they’re unfaithful they’re thankless they refuse to even acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed to God  the last word in verse 2 it says they’re unholy, the word is anosias which means and unholy refusal to even recognize decency  like the unwritten ones like the burial of the dead but beyond the cultural things base things shameless things you know they just interviewed  one of the news programs interviewed the popular rock entertainers and read the 10 commandments to them. The people just laughed- one of the punk rockers said who made these ridiculous things up- they’re fools whoever wrote them= I mean it’s as if they didn’t even know who God was you know and just and that’s SIDE ONE ENDED HERE AND SIDE TWO STARTS WITH  base shameless abnormal seekers of pleasure and thrills and we could go on verse 3 has another long list I mean it says 3unloving, no family love- abortion what an example that- no family love-  unforgiving, that’s a person who could never be reconciled or someone who breaks all agreements they’re implacable they’re hateful that’s the one that goes back to the Post office and shoots every body or back to General Motors like a few months ago  diabolos that’s one of the words for Satan but it says in verse 3 that people will be  malicious gossips- slanderers- that’s what Satan’s name is- he’s the accuser the reviler the gossiper to God about us and the Lord says people are going to be little satans  they’re goining to um they’re going to even worse than stealing property it’s destroy another’s reputation – that’s the wickedness of slander and people are going to just slander and it just seems like it’s become a national sport to tell on to tell false stories and to just slander and the papers love it I mean it sells papers, without self-control, is uncontrolled desires is what that literally means and that’s where we are with substances, alcohol with immorality um the internet  it’s so interesting USA Today said that um I don’t know 75% of all video rentals are by me who rent adult movies they said that’s the #1 renter of movies and they’ve all turned to the internet because it’s cheaper I guess and it say sthat they are with out self control in their desires-(Is this supposed to be a survey or an exposition?)  brutal, the word in verse 3 for someone that’s brutal means they act like an animal and some of the murders are just so brutal some one in Rhode Island while we lived there hunted down an enemy of theirs with a crossbow they were kind of living out a medeval thing and they shot them repeatedly when they finally exhumed the body from this shallow grave they found him riddled with cross bows it’s kind of like they shot him once and they crawled and they shot him again and they crawled somewhere and they kept shooting them brutality that’s a characteristic of our age and finally – a hater it says in my Bible haters of good- despisers of good, which literally means someone who has no love for any goodness in any thing –kinda like the National Endowment for the Arts- you know they hate good and they don’t want good they don’t want it they stray from it- on through  this is such an important book and a study on these words really characterizes the world in which we live- let’s go to Titus let’s get out of the muck here and get up into  some fresh air—-  4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

 

 

TITUS “Christ our Model to Follow” and all the way through  he says this in (2:10-11) adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. And so what he says is young men adorn the gospel adorn the doctrine of God- Christ is your model. Young ladies adorn the model of Christ the doctrine of God model His graciousness His goodness. Older men adorn the gospel of God with your behavior. Older women adorn the gospel of God leaders, workers, employers, church leaders all of you be those who follow Christ he is your model and how do we do that? Well verse 11- how? For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (NKJV) and verse 12 says it teaches us how to do that and if you want to know how to live as what ever God has made you young men young women older men older women or child you want to follow what Titus says- adorn the doctrine of God our savior in everything- the way you do your school, the way you dress the way you act the way you talk what you want to do how you respond to difficult situations – adorn the gospel of God- what a great book that is.

 

PHILEMON “Christ our source of Forgiveness” verse 18 is so good- if this runaway slave — (1:18) But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. (NKJV) and you know then what— all the way through if you want to read un Philemon sometime listen for the sound of chains I mean you can hear it all the way through listen to this: Paul clank clank a prisoner of Jesus Christ to Timothy  and Timothy our dearly beloved to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker um I thank my God always for you I pray of your fellowship I haven’t marked all of these in my Bible but um he keeps talking about—oh in verse 9 now I’m a prisoner clank clank you can just hear him rattling his chains. What he’s saying is I’m suffering for the cause of Christ and I’m the one that gave you the gospel he says you should forgive this guy that hurt you because Jesus forgave you and if you can’t forgive him for that reason you ought to forgive him because I’m your friend and I have done so much for you but this is such a good book especially if someone’s hurt you that Christ is our source of forgiveness and he encourages Philemon to act more like a Christian than like a Roman- the Romans crucified runaway slaves he says don’t do that act like a Christian and treat him like a brother and forgive him and what a wonderful message Philemon has.  One of the shortest New Testament letters was written to a member of the Colossian church, Philemon, to encourage him to act more like a Christian than a Roman in accepting back his runaway slave.

 

HEBREWS what a great book one of my favorites 303 wonderful verses- i took a course in seminary where i had to memorize all 303 verses- that’s how you pass a course- you know what- nothing like memorizing the scriptures but Hebrews talks about “Christ the Best of ALL” and I like (12:2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, that was like Philippians 1:6 he that began a good work will finish it- he’ the author and perfecter he’s the one who started us and he’s the one who’s going to take us through and he’s the one who’s going to deliver us in fact it says in 2 Cor. 1:20-22 that when we get saved the Lord signs his name on us by the Holy Spirit- he signs us, seals us so we’ll be delivered in the end and you know it’s kind of like  when I was little I used to send helium balloons with pre-addressed postcards you know you just buy this dollar balloon you put it in a plastic bag tie it all up and let it go? And I used to get them back from Canada and from  you know upstate New York and I lived in Michigan you know and it’s just where the prevailing winds were going and the way they got back to me was they were addressed to me and they had a stamp on them. God says I don’t want anything to happen to you so I’ve already written your address, you’re citizen ship is in heaven- don’t worry and no matter what you go through  in this world you’re going to be delivered safely to my presence and that’s what the whole book of Hebrews is about Jesus is the best he’s the author the finishing our faith- who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV) did you know that in the tabernacle and the temple there were no chairs- that was on purpose- no chairs were allowed why- because the work of redemption the work of sacrifice was never done I mean they were trimming the wicks and they had to run over and take out the ashes and they had to put more wood in and they had to put more stuff on and burn some more and then they had to put more incense over here and then they had to put more oil in to keep those lamps going and then they had to go back and scrape the ashes off and they never got done- the work was never done they were perpetually to keep the lamps burning and they were perpetually to keep the incense burning and they just never got done but you know what? Jesus offered one sacrifice and sat down and that shows the whole book of Hebrews says He did it all and He’s better He’s better than the angels that’s chapter 1 and 2 He’s better than Moses that’s 3 and 4 he’s better than all the Aaronic priesthood and Levitical sacrifices that’s 5-7. His new covenant sacrifice totally obliterates all that old handwriting of ordinances in 8-10 and finally in  Sometime in the AD 60’s before the Temple was destroyed, some was inspired by God to write Hebrews. Who?  We cannot be sure.  But the anonymity of the author does not detract from the letter’s authority.  Hebrews speaks powerfully of the superiority of Christ, exalting Him over:

  • The angels (1-2),
  • Moses (3-4) and
  • The Aaronic priesthood (5-7), as well as
  • The superiority of His New Covenant and sacrifice over the old (8-10).
  • Chapters 11 to 13 He is our example of faith He is the author and finisher in 12 and he is the one that’s taking us to the Heavenly city with the redeemed in chapter 13 –what a wonderful book Hebrews is. plead for lives of faith in light of Christ’s work and examples from the faithful of old.

 

JAMES “Christ matures our Faith ” (1:22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)  and he says that true saving faith is maturing faith it’s life changing faith and that no one who believes in Christ ever stops believing and they evidence it in a changed life.

  • The earthly brother of Jesus who grew up with the boy Jesus was saved after the resurrection of his brother. He becomes one of the key leaders of the church. In about AD 45 as a pastor, he writes from Jerusalem.  Some read James as a counter to Paul when he says, “Faith, if it has no works, is dead (2:17, NASB).  But far from contradicting Paul, James was talking about life-style.  He draws from a rich heritage of wisdom, the prophets, and his half-brother’s Sermon on the Mount, to write about the life of faith that looks theologically correct.

 

I peter  in verse 3 of the first chapter we get the key to this book- it’s kinda like you know a lot of people leave the key to their house by the front door I mean all robbers know that you know you just look under the mat you look under the pot you look over the top you look in the mail box you look in one of those magnet things you know they’re all they are smart  well godly is the key to a lot of the books in the front door of the book- Acts 1:8, Rev. 1:19 and there’s so many of them like that that give that well here’s one “Christ our Victory over Suffering” (1:3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (NKJV)  “Christ our Victory over Suffering” – these people were suffering intensely this was written in the 60’s  if you remember  the persecutions were three in the Roman Empire there were three levels of persecution firs there was  kind of local sporadic that was in the 60’s then a little bit later in the first century became provincial that’s when they used to clean out a whole province of Christians finally by the 4 century it became empire wide- actually the end of the 3rd century so they were still in the sporadic local persecution so there was one going on to the elect scatted through out Pontus and  Galatia and Cappadocia and Asia and Bythinia which is who Peter wrote to and he said these people were getting persecuted and so he says he will give you a living hope- living hope- one that helps you see Christ as our victory over suffering. Look at 2 Peter because there’s a different problem when he started writing 2 Peter and that was that kind of like in between the waves of persecution false teachers were coming and so second Peter says:

  • Some time around AD 61 Peter writes his letter encouraging all Christians to live holy and faithful lives and to be willing to suffer unjust persecution after the example of Christ.  Peter challenges wives, husbands, elders, and young men to exercise humility, service, and self-control.

 

II peter “Christ our Victory over Error” (1:16) For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (NKJV)  do you know what till the end of his life he couldn’t forget the Transfiguration? He couldn’t forget that Jesus the man pulled back the veil and showed Jesus the God and he never could forget that till the end of his life he says I was an eyewitness.

  • Second Peter and Jude are so alike many have wondered why both are needed in the New Testament. Because the Spirit inspired both they require careful study.  Both deal urgently with an insidious and dangerous heresy that threatens the very lives of believers.  Peter says the key to stability and growth is knowing God (1:5-11). And if there’s anything that’s important for us it is having a personal knowledge of the Lord through His Word- that’s the key to stability and growth and that’s how to over come false teaching.

 

I JOHN “Christ our Fellowship” (1:3) that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (NKJV)  Christ is our fellowship Christ is the one that reveals the Father to us Christ is the one that opens the door of fellowship with other believers Christ is the one and by the way you know what fellowship means? Koinonia um we think of coffee shops and you know koinonia you know ladies having tea and stuff like that you know what the word really means in the New Testament world? Marriage- it was the ultimate partnership- you would  you would be koinonia you would be married you would be sharing the ultimate partnership and so Christ is our beloved we are betrothed to him we are going to marry him and we should conduct our selves in a manner fitting to the one we’re going to marry.  how would you like it if you were going to marry someone  in fact I was just reading Warren Weirsbe this week and he said that he was at a wedding and when the wedding got over the bride came out and she was walking across with her husband across the street to the limousine and all of a sudden a horn honked and there was a car with it’s motor running on the other side of the street and the door opened and she bolted from her groom or her husband and jumped in the car it was her old boyfriend and she decided at the end that she had to go with him and she drove off with him and Weirsbe said needless to say I annulled the marriage but the idea is how often do we bolt from Christ because we must not love the old one the world the flesh the devil we have to be faithful to Him he’s our fellowship and our fellowship is with the Father through the son.  John exhorts believers to show God’s love Christ, by individually and sacrificially meeting the needs of others.  He also commands us to turn from the world to love the Father. He stresses the danger of false teachers and false (anti-)christs. He emphasizes the apostles’ teaching and the witness of the Spirit.

 

II JOHN “Christ our Source of Separation” (1:10-11) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (NKJV) two things and you know a lot of people say well I’m strong enough and I can have the cults into my house and I’ll deal with them- two problems with that- one is that the cults when they get into your house all they do is go to the next house and they say clyde just let me into his house can I come and talk to you? And they’ll go wow terry’s a nice guy I guess if he listened to them maybe I should too—- see they’ll use any thing for evil. The second thing is they love to sow seeds of doubt- you might be witnessing to them but they will throw out their seeds. This spring we planted our garden and the kids were helping me and when I wasn’t looking they took their little packages of seeds and they didn’t think I’d notice and they were poking their fingers and making their name and putting seeds in them. Well about 3 weeks later guess what? They all sprouted in pictures of initials and names and curly-cues in the middle of the rows and everything those seeds that are planted sprout and just like  when you’re young if you sow seeds to the flesh they’ll reap a crop of corruption so if you allow the false teachers to sow their seeds of doubt at times of weakness at times of spiritual battle all of a sudden those seeds of doubt start bearing fruit. That’s why he said don’t even let them into your house he says don’t even greet them in other words greeting them and saying hi how ya doing you just say in fact did you know that John who wrote this that the #1 heretic of his day his name was Serenthus he lived in Ephesus he was the founder or the father of gnosticism he was the one that he didn’t think of it but he spread it in the ancient world he was the primary  proponent of what we would call Mormonism today back then it was called gnosticism- today it’s star wars and Mormonism and a lot of other stuff but it’s this idea of eternal good and bad and you can become a God and all that junk- well Serenthus taught all that and John as a 90 year old man was taking a bath- they didn’t have home bathtubs they took public baths- men’s side women’s side and they went in this big hot tub and took their bath and he was in taking his bath when Serenthus came and took off his towel and it says that John jumped from the bathtub and ran screaming out of the bath house and said I will not be in the same bath house as that antichrist. Of course he wrapped a towel around himself don’t worry but see that’s the that’s why he wrote this he said if someone comes to you and denies the doctrine of Christ don’t let em in your house don’t greet em if you even greet them you ‘re sharing in his evil deeds- how? Because you’re giving them credibility. When those  Christ haters come down our road I go out to the door step and meet them and say we’re not interested I’ll share the gospel but I will not debate this with you and I do it out on the front steps so my neighbors can see cause you know what they know I’m a pastor and if I’m smiling and shaking their hands and taking some stuff and giving them a little candy bar or something you know and try and be real friendly it adds to their evil and be careful- 2 John warns us.

 

III JOHN “Christ our Source of genuine Prosperity” There is prosperity it’s not as much physical as it is spiritual but verse says: (1:2-3) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. What he’s saying is what God prospers most is your soul he says I wish your body and your check book would catch up with it but don’t worry about that you’ll get I later- true prosperity is: For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth [that is] in you, just as you walk in the truth.  (NKJV) True prosperity is walking in the truth.

 

JUDE  “Christ our Salvation” (1:3) Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (NKJV)  and we should contend for that faith we should stand for that faith especially it’s getting so diluted nowadays people don’t even know what the Gospel is anymore.

  • Jude was a second brother of Joseph and Mary in the earthly family of Jesus, who wrote a New Testament book after coming to Christ. Jude uses images stretching from before the Flood to the depths of the Pit where imprisoned fiends of unholy service wait in chains. He gives insight into colorful Old Testament personages like Lot, Balaam, Korah, Enoch and Michael. Ending with one of the strongest verses on our secure salvation, this book is a must read! Did you know that half of the books of the Bible are shorter that two columns on paper? So many people haven’t read a lot of the Bible—they oh it’s too much- half of the books are shorter than 2 columns in Sunday’s paper so I hop that you’ll read all these- they’re all precious.

 

REVELATION “Christ ours to Worship”  (19:10) And I fell at his feet to worship him (an angel). But he said to me, “See [that you do] not [do that!] I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. That shows what the angels are doing they’re serving us doing God’s bidding um and  ——-helping the heirs of salvation but here’s the message- Worship God! How do we worship God? For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (NKJV)  The Scriptures  reveal Christ as we see Christ in all of His beauty and as we worship Him and magnify Him we bring glory to His name and God the Father is magnified as Christ is revealed in us. Well that was our quick walk through the New Testament I hope that it challenges you to read these things to let him that began a good work finish it. Rest in His source of all that we need and just let the Word of God be our hidden manna for all we need. Let’s thank the Lord

 

Dear Father I thank you for your word and I thank you that we have seen the Lord in all of this blessed book and I pray that you would be our source of joy and of comfort and our source of spiritual power for whatever challenges you bring what ever tests of life come may we come forth as gold. Help us to love you and let your word as it richly dwells in us- teach us through songs hymns and spiritual songs that we might be overflowing with the joy of the Lord – we’ll thank you in your precious name Lord Jesus, AMEN.

 

THE TAPE ENDED HERE.

  • From the exile of Patmos, John gives a revelation of the character of the Lamb and the sovereignty of God, both of which should encourage believers of all ages-not just the last-to “overcome the world” with their faith and faithfulness toward God. Revelation contains more hymns of praise, more words of adoration to the Lamb, the Father, and the Spirit than any other New Testament book.  Rather than try to identify the dragon and his beast, adore the true Trinity, sovereign over space and time. The book is also outlined by Revelation 1:19  “Write:
  • The things which you have seen (the vision of Christ in His glory- chapter 1),
  • The things which are (the vision of Christ and His church – chapters 2-3), and
  • The things which will take place after this. (The vision of Christ and the Universe, chapters 4-22).
  • In chapter 1 = He is the Eternal One.
  • In chapter 2-3 = He is the Refiner of His Body and the Church chapter
  • In chapter 4-20 = He is the Judge of the Universe as He restores His people: Israel.
  • In chapter 21-22 = He is the Lord of Eternity as He invites all His own to His Kingdom.

 

 

Walk Between the Testaments

 

We have just finished our study of the last 12 books of the Old Testament. In that study we found the people of the Lord fluctuating between listening and refusing to listen to the Prophets of God. Then comes the Inter-Testamental Period, the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew. Many call this is the “silent period”, however, it is far from silent. The Word of God maps out the events of the entire period in advance. A study of this period provides a fascinating insight into the world of the Bible; Powerful lessons showing the weaknesses of God’s people when they take their eyes off the Lord and His Word. The Jews were triumphant as they kept the Word. Defeated when they lost sight of the Word. We would do well to remember the lessons these centuries provided.

 

[1]

 

Some of the valuable insights from this period beyond the practical warnings are: the development of the four main religious groups of Christ’s day (Essenes, Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots), an insight into the life and times of Joseph and Mary’s world, Simeon and Anna’s world, Elizabeth and Zechariah’s world and so on. Additionally, the Apocrypha and the conclusion of Nehemiah, Ezra and Malachi’s ministry is clearly recorded. And finally, we can see the fulfillment of the most explicit and detailed of all the Old Testament prophecies

 

Our next step in understanding this period is to lock these 400 years into the Scriptures. To do this, please turn with me to Daniel 11.

[2]

 

Daniel 11:3 The “mighty king” is none other than Alexander the Great (336-323).

Daniel 11:4 The “four winds” correspond to Daniel 7:4-7 (“four heads”).

Daniel 11:5 The “king of the South” from history is Ptolemy I Soter (323-285 B.C.) of Egypt.

  • one of his commanders:  Seleucus I Nicator (311-280).
  • his own kingdom:  Initially Babylonia, to which he then added extensive territories both east and west.

Daniel 11:6 The “daughter of the king of the South” is Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) of Egypt.

  • king of the North.  Antiochus II Theos (261-246) of Syria.
  • alliance.  A treaty cemented by the marriage of Berenice to Antiochus.
  • She will not retain her power, and he … will not last.  Antiochus’s former wife, Laodice, conspired to have Berenice and Antiochus put to death.
  • her father.  Berenice’s father Ptolemy died at about the same time.

Daniel 11:7 One from her family line. Berenice’s brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-221 B.C.) of Egypt, who did away with Laodice.

  • king of the North.  Seleucus II Callinicus (246-226 B.C.) of Syria.
  • his fortress.  Either (1) Seleucia (see Ac 13:4), which was the port of Antioch, or (2) Antioch itself.

Daniel 11:8 – Their gods.  Images of Syrian deities, and also of Egyptian gods that the Persian Cambyses had carried off after conquering Egypt in 525 B.C.

Daniel 11:10 – His sons. Seleucus III Ceraunus (226-223B.C.) and Antiochus III (the Great) (223-187), sons of Seleucus II.

  • his fortress.  Ptolemy’s fortress at Raphia in southern Palestine. 11:11
  • king of the South. Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-203 B.C.) of Egypt.
  • king of the North.  Antiochus III.
  • defeated: At Raphia in 217.

Daniel 11:12 – The slaughter of many thousands.  The historian Polybius records that Antiochus lost nearly 10,000 infantrymen at Raphia.

Daniel 11:14 – King of the South. Ptolemy V Epiphanes(203-181 B.C.) of Egypt.

Violent men among your own people, Jews who joined the forces of Antiochus.

without success The Ptolemaic general Scopas crushed the rebellion in 200,

Daniel 11:15 – Fortified city.  The Mediterranean port of Sidon :

Daniel 11:16 – The invader.  Antiochus, who was in control of Palestine by 197 B.C.

Beautiful Land.  See note on 8:9-12.

Daniel 11:17 – He will give him a daughter in marriage. Antiochus gave his daughter Cleopatra I in marriage to Ptolemy V 194 B.C.

Daniel 11:18 – He.  Antiochus.

  • coast lands.  Asia Minor and perhaps also mainland Greece.
  • commander.  The Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, who defeated Antiochus It Magnesia in Asia Minor in 190 B.C.

Daniel 11:19 – stumble and fall. Antiochus died in 187 B.C. while attempting to plunder a temple in the province of Elymais.

Daniel  11:20 – His successor.  Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.), son and successor of Antiochus the Great.

  • tax collector.  Seleucus’s finance minister, Heliodorus.
  • he will be destroyed.  Seleucus was the victim of a conspiracy engineered by Heliodorus.

Daniel 11:21 contemptible person.  Seleucus’s younger brother, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (I 75-164 B.C.).

  • Not been given the honor of royalty.  Antiochus seized power while the rightful heir to the throne, the son of Seleucus (later to become Demetrius 1), was still very young. kingdom.  Syro-Palestine.

Daniel 11:22 prince of the covenant.  Either the high priest Onias III, who was murdered in 170 B.C., or, if the Hebrew for this phrase is translated “confederate prince,” Ptolemy VI Philometor (181-146) of Egypt.

Daniel 11:23 he.  Antiochus.

Daniel 11:24 richest provinces.  Either of Palestine or of Egypt.  Fortresses.  In Egypt.

Daniel 11:25 king of the South. Ptolemy VI.

Daniel11:26 his army. That of Ptolemy.

Daniel 11:27 two kings.  Antiochus and Ptolemy, who was living in Antiochus’s custody.

Daniel 11:28 Against the holy covenant.  In 169 B.C. Antiochus plundered the temple in Jerusalem, set up a garrison there -A massacred many Jews in the city.

Daniel 11:30 Ships of the western coastlands.  Roman vessels under the command of Popilius Laenas.

  • Those who forsake the holy covenant Apostate Jews (see also v. 32).

Daniel 11:31 abomination that causes desolation.  See 9:27; 12:1 1; the altar to the pagan god Zeus Olympius, set up in 168 B.C. by Antiochus Epiphanes and prefiguring a similar abomination that Jesus predicted would be erected (see note on Matthew 24:15; see also Luke 21:20).

Daniel 11:33 Those who are wise. The godly leaders of the Jewish resistance movement also called the Hasidim.

  • fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered See Heb 11:36-38.

Daniel 11:34 A little help.  The early successes of the guerrilla uprising (168 B.C.) that originated in Modein, 17 miles northwest of Jerusalem, under the leadership of Mattathias and his son Judas Maccabeus.  In December, 165, the altar of the temple was rededicated.

Daniel 11:35 time of the end See v.40;12:4,9. Daniel concludes his predictions about Antiochus Epiphanes and begins to prophesy concerning the more distant future.

Daniel 11:36 From here to the end of chapter 11 the Antichrist (see notes on 7:8; 9:27) is in view.  The details of this section do not fit what is known of Antiochus Epiphanes.  See 2Th 2:4; cf. Rev 13:5-8.

Daniel 11:37 The one desired by women. Usually interpreted as either Tammuz (see note on Ezekiel 8:14) or the Messiah. 11:40-45 Conflicts to be waged between the Antichrist and his political enemies.  He will meet his end at the “beautiful holy mountain” (verse 45), Jerusalem’s temple mount, doubtless in connection with the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16).

 

The next step in understanding this section of Bible History is looking at a timeline of the Period from Malachi to Christ.

 

The Period between the Testaments

 

443 (C.)   Nehemiah and Ezra read the Scriptures to the Jews; the first roots of the Vidrash begin to sprout; the Sopherim (scribes) flourish.

436 (C.)   Malachi begins to prophesy.

429           Death of Pericles. The Acropolis is finished. Plato is born.

342           Epicurius teaches his philosophy.

336           Darius III Codomannus becomes king of Persia. Alexander the Great becomes king of Greece.

332           Alexander destroys Tyre.

331           Alexander seizes Babylon.

327           Alexander invades India.

323           Alexander claims to be the son of Zeus.

  • Alexander dies.
  • Alexander’s empire divided among his four chief generals.

300         Rome becomes a major world power in the western Mediterranean.  Seleucus I adds Syria to his realm.

285        Ptolemy II Philadelphia becomes king of Egypt. Between 285 and 130 the Septuagint translated.

274 (C) Hinduism codified in India.

214        Construction of Great Wall of China begins.

168      The Romans interfere in Antiochus’s war with Egypt and prevent his capturing Alexandria. Antiochus pollutes the Temple in Jerusalem and suspends the sacrifices of the Jews.

166      Matthias leads the Jetvs in revolt agaimt Antiochus Epiphanes.

165      The Jerusalem Temple repaired and cleansed.

164      Antiochus Epiphanes dies.

133      Rome begins to expand her empire eastward.

130 (C) The Pharisees begin to emerge as a sect.

73         Spartacus leads a revolt of slaves and gladiators, which is crushed Pompey and   Crassus.

64          Pompey captures Jerusalem,- leaves the Maccabean high priest Hyrcanus in              power with Antipater as civil adviser.

60        The first Triumvirate at Rome (Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey).

59        Julius Caesar becomes proconsul. Pompey marries Julia, daughter of Caesar.

58        Caesar conquers Gaul.

54        Caesar invades Britain.

49        Caesar crosses the Rubicon.

44        Caesar assassinated.

42        Caesar deified; temple to him erected in the Forum where his murder had taken place. Battle of Philippi fought.

40        Herod appointed king.

37        Herod captures Jerusalem.

27          Octavian assumes the title of Augustus.

20          Herod begins to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple.

4          The birth of Jesus.

AD

14          Augustus dies.Tiberius becomes Roman emperor.

26        Jesus begins to teach,- He characterizes rabbinic teaching (the Mishna) as “vain tradition.” Pilate becomes procurator of Judea.

30        Jesus crucified and raised from the dead. The Christian church is born at Pentecost.

 

Literature[3] During these unhappy years of oppression and internal strife, the Jewish people produced a sizable body of literature that both recorded and addressed their era.  Three of the more significant works are the Septuagint, the Apocrypha and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  • Septuagint[4].  Jewish legend says that 72 scholars, under the sponsorship of Ptolemy Phfladelphus (c. 250 B.C.), were brought together on the island of Pharos, near Alexandriai where they produced a Greek translation of the Old Testament in 72 days.  From this tradition the Latin word for 70, “Septuagint,” became the name attached to the translation.  The Roman numeral for 70, LXX, is used as an abbreviation for it.
  • Behind the legend lies the probability that at least the Torah (the five books of Moses) was translated into Greek c. 250 BC for the use of the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria.  The rest of the Old Testament and some non-canonical books were also included in the LXX before the dawning of the Christian era, though it is difficult to be certain when.
  • The Septuagint quickly became the Bible of the Jews outside Palestine who, like the Alexandrians, no longer spoke Hebrew.  It would be difficult to overestimate its influence.  It made the Scriptures available both to the Jews who no longer spoke their ancestral language and to the entire Greek-speaking world.  It later became the Bible of the early church.  Also, its widespread popularity and use contributed to the retention of the Apocrypha by some branches of Christendom.
  • Apocrypha[5].  Derived from a Greek word that means “hidden,” Apocrypha has acquired the meaning “false,” but in a technical sense it describes a specific body of writings.  This collection consists of a variety of books and additions to canonical books that, with the exception of 2 Esdras (C.  AD 90), were written during the intertestamental period.  Their recognition as authoritative in Roman and Eastern Christianity is the result of a complex historical process.
  • The canon of the Old Testament accepted by Protestants today was very likely established by the dawn of the second century AD, though after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70.  The precise scope of the Old Testament was discussed among the Jews until the Council of Jamnia (c. 90).  This Hebrew canon was not accepted by the early church, which used the Septuagint.  In spite of disagreements among some of the church fathers as to which books were canonical and which were not, the Apocryphal books continued in common use by most Christians until the Reformation.  During this period most Protestants decided to follow the original Hebrew canon while Rome, at the Council of Trent (I 546) and more recently at the First Vatican Council (I 869-70), affirmed the larger “Alexandrian” canon that includes the Apocrypha.
  • The Apocryphal books have retained their place primarily through the weight of ecclesiastical authority, without which they would not commend themselves as canonical literature.  There is no clear evidence that Jesus or the apostles ever quoted any Apocryphal works as Scripture (but see note on Jude 14).  The Jewish community that produced them repudiated them, and the historical surveys in the apostolic sermons recorded in Acts completely ignore the period they cover.  Even the sober, historical account of I Maccabees is tarnished by numerous errors and anachronisms.
  • There is nothing of theological value in the Apocryphal books that cannot be duplicated in canonical Scripture, and they contain much that runs counter to its teachings.  Nonetheless, this body of literature does provide a valuable source of information for the study of the intertestamental period.
  • Dead Sea Scrolls[6].  In the spring of 1947 an Arab shepherd chanced upon a cave in the hills overlooking the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea that contained what has been called “the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times.” The documents and fragments of documents found in those caves, dubbed the “Dead Sea Scrolls,” included Old Testament books, a few books of the Apocrypha, apocalyptic works, pseudepigrapha (books that purport to be the work of ancient heroes of the faith), and a series of books peculiar to the sect that produced them.
  • Approximately a third of the documents are Biblical, with Psalms, Deuteronomy and Isaiah-the books quoted most often in the New Testament-occurring most frequently.  One of the most remarkable finds was a complete 24-foot-long scroll of Isaiah.
  • The Scrolls have made a significant contribution to the quest for a form of the Old Testament texts most accurately reflecting the original manuscripts; they provide copies 1,000 years closer to the originals than were previously known. The understanding of Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic and knowledge of the development of Judaism between the Testaments have been increased significantly.  Of great importance to readers of the Bible is the demonstration of the care with which Old Testament texts were copied, thus providing objective evidence for the general reliability of those texts.

 

Social Developments[7]  The Judaism of Jesus’ day is, to a large extent, the result of changes that came about in response to the pressures of the intertestamental period.

  • Diaspora.  The Diaspora (dispersion) of Israel begun in the exile accelerated during these years until a writer of the day could say that Jews filled “every land and sea.”  Jews outside Palestine, cut off from the temple, concentrated their religious life in the study of the Torah and the life of the synagogue (see below).  The missionaries of the early church began their Gentile ministries among the Diaspora, using their Greek translation of the Old Testament.
  • Sadducees.  In Palestine, the Greek world made its greatest impact through the party of the Sadducees.  Made up of aristocrats, it became the temple party.  Because of their position, the Sadducees had a vested interest in the status quo. Relatively few in number, they wielded disproportionate political power and controlled the high priesthood.  They rejected all religious writings except the Torah, as well as any doctrine (such as the resurrection) not found in those five books.
  • Synagogue.  During the exile, Israel was cut off from the temple, divested of nationhood and surrounded by pagan religious practices.  Her faith was threatened with extinction.  Under these circumstances, the exiles turned their religious focus from what they had lost to what they retained – the Torah and the belief that they were God’s people.  They concentrated on the Law rather than nationhood, on personal piety rather than sacramental rectitude, and on prayer as an acceptable replacement for the sacrifices denied to them. When they returned from the exile, they brought with them this new form of religious expression, as well as the synagogue (its center), and Judaism became a faith that could be practiced wherever the Torah could be carried.  The emphases on personal piety and a relationship with God, which characterized synagogue worship, not only helped preserve Judaism but also prepared the way for the Christian gospel.
  • Pharisees.  As the party of the synagogue, the Pharisees strove to reinterpret the Law.  They built a “hedge” around it to enable Jews to live righteously before God in a world that had changed drastically since the days of Moses.  Although they were comparatively few in number, the Pharisees enjoyed the support of the people and influenced popular opinion if not national policy.  They were the only party to survive the destruction of the temple in AD 70 and were the spiritual progenitors of modern Judaism.
  • Essenes.  An almost forgotten Jewish sect until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essenes were a small, separatist group that grew out of the conflicts of the Maccabean Age.  Like the Pharisees, they stressed strict legal observance, but they considered the Temple priesthood corrupt and rejected much of the Temple ritual and sacrificial system.  Mentioned by several ancient writers, the precise nature of the Essenes is still not certain, though it is generally agreed that the Qumran community that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls was an Essene group. Because they were convinced that they were the true remnant, these Qumran Essenes had separated themselves from Judaism at large and devoted themselves to personal purity and preparation for the final war between the “Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness.” They practiced an apocalyptic faith, looking back to the contributions of their “Teacher of Righteousness” and forward to the coming of two, and possibly three, Messiahs.  The destruction of the temple in AD 70, however, seems to have delivered a deathblow to their apocalyptic expectations. Attempts have been made to equate aspects of the beliefs of the Qumran community with the origins of Christianity.  Some have seen a prototype of Jesus in their “Teacher of Righteousness,” and both John the Baptist and Jesus have been assigned membership in the sect.  There is, however, only a superficial, speculative base for these conjectures.

 

THE RomANs set THE STAGE[8]

 

As those and similar sects were developing among the Jews, history was hurrying on its way.  The Romans had come and were hammering loudly at the door of Empire.  Three Punic wars had reduced Rome’s ancient enemy Carthage to rubble, making Rome mistress of Africa and Spain.  Four Macedonian wars had added Greece to the growing empire; the Mithridatic wars had brought in the Seleucid kingdom, and, with the annexation of Egypt and Palestine, the whole Mediterranean became a Roman lake.

Gaul and Britain were conquered, and Europe became one great community bound together by Roman Law, Roman roads, and Roman troops.  The Republican form of government in Rome gave way to the Imperial government as the day of the Caesars dawned.  And, most important of all, in a tiny corner of the spreading empire of Rome, in a little Judean town called Bethlehem, Jesus was born.

 

JESUS and THE JEWS

 

The greatest single tragedy in the story of the Jew is his National rejection of Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and Lord.  The throne rights of Jesus ran back to David both through His mother, Mary, who miraculously conceived Him, and through His foster father, Joseph, who adopted Him (Luke 3; Matthew 1).  He was Israel’s true Messiah, the only Messiah she will ever have.  His claims to be both Messiah and Son of God were substantiated by the sinless ness of His life, by the countless miracles He performed, by the pungency and purity of His teachings, and by His clear fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies.

 

The religious Jewish establishment, however, wanted no part of Him.  The rabbis were jealous of the teaching of Jesus, which was so memorable and authoritative and which was so enthusiastically hailed by the common people.  The Pharisees were infuriated by the way He attacked their precious oral Law, their entrenched and cumbersome traditions, and their evident hypocrisy (for example, Matthew 12:1-14).  The Sadducees saw their vested interests in the Temple threatened by Jesus, and they took umbrage at His teaching concerning the spirit world and the life to come (Matthew 22:23-32).

 

The priests feared that His messianic teachings would bring down on the nation the wrath of Rome.  The scribes and the Levites were scalded by His exposure of their insincerity.  The common people flocked after Him, thrilled by His miracles, astonished at His preaching, delighted with the forthright way He exposed error, hypocrisy, and pride.  A crowd, however, is never anything else but a crowd-fickle, unstable, and easily swayed.  Jesus never committed Himself to crowds.

 

The Jewish establishment became increasingly hostile to Jesus.  The various factions stopped their fighting long enough to make common cause against Him.

 

The Apocrypha

 

There are about 13 recognized books in what is known as the Apocrypha. During the years of growth the Greek culture enjoyed in Palestine, many books were written by the Jews. These books were never considered as Scriptures by Christ or the Apostles. The early church saw lessons that were profitable in some of these books. However, there is such a mixed character about these books, they have always been treated with care by the church. The great Bible teacher Harry Ironside explains the difference. “But all of these were written ere the voice of prophecy was suspended; all the books now in our Bibles, and none other, were in the Bible loved, quoted and honored by the apostles, and endorsed as divinely-given by the Lord Jesus.  He expressly refers to “Daniel the prophet,” and “the sign of the prophet Jonah,” in language that admits of no doubt as to the high plane on which He placed their writings. But in the Maccabean age and later there were other books of instructive character, making no claim of inspiration, which the Jews have always valued, and which the early Christians sometimes read in their meetings for the sake of the lessons they contained, though with no thought of putting them on a level with the Hebrew Scriptures or the Greek New Testament.” [9]  The first book of the Apocrypha is known as:

 

  • I Esdras, which is the Greek for Ezra. It consists of a copy of Ezra with quite a bit of questionable materials added. This book seems to have been composed as a “Public Relations” document for Jews in oppression. It shows how God cares for His people.
  • II Esdras is completely different. No doubt it comes from another author. Abounding with inaccuracies and flaming with apocalyptic themes this book shows the flavor of Daniel and Zechariah. The author was obviously enraptured with Tribulational and Millennial promises and weaves a story around them. Much of this book contradicts the Scriptures.
  • Tobit is purportedly an Israelite of the tribe of Naphtali, carried away by the Assyrians.  As a religious romance, full of absurdities, incantations and magic, this book is totally unreliable. It does teach lessons of morality and true piety.  It is in this book that we find an angel called Raphael.  The only two angels actually named in Scripture are Michael and Gabriel. Much like fairy tales and stories for children in our day, this book was used by Jews teaching character to their children in an attention getting way.
  • Judith is a woman who surrenders to the Babylonians. Her beauty attracts the general. He invites her to his tent. As he sleeps she kills him and delivers the Jews.  With the exception of 1 Maccabees, the book of Judith is the finest narrative-work of the Apocrypha.
  • “The rest of Esther” was an attempt by someone to add chapters that mention the name of God. Although Esther does not mention the name of the Lord, it is so clearly a book tracing His Sovereign hand. The added chapters are deplorably lacking the elevated character of the Holy Scriptures.
  • The Wisdom of Solomon is an anonymous work attributed to David’s son.  Although not inspired nor as well written as the next book, it is of some value.
  • “The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach, or ECCLESIASTICUS.  It is generally conceded that this choice collection of proverbs and wise sayings is, as it professes to be, the production of Jesus (the Greek form of Joshuathe son of Sirach, who lived in the land “almost after all the prophets,” and who has here embodied the sound instruction he received as a youth from his grandfather, Jesus, who wrote in Hebrew, and died, ” leaving this book almost perfected.” The grandson translated, edited, and arranged it, making no claim to inspiration; he sent it forth hoping thereby to edify his nation, confessing his liability to error, but craving an unbiased reading of the work he had prepared in Greek from the Hebrew records left by the elder Jesus.  The date given is in the years of Ptolemy Euergetes; and the praise of Simon the Just in chapter 50 shows that the writer lived during his pontificate.
  • Baruch.  This book purports to be the words of Jeremiah’s scribe. The inferior quality of writing and the dubious 6 chapters to the captives from Jeremiah make this a book of little worth.  There are three tales, which were added to the book of Daniel, and are given in order in the next section of the Apocrypha.  The first is entitled:
  • “The Song of the Three Holy Children,” gives a good insight into the piety of the Jews in the time between the testaments. The words of this book are supposed to be inserted after Daniel 3:23. They were supposedly the song the 3 sang as they went unhurt through the flames.
  • “The History of Susanna “was published as a preface to the canonical prophecy of Daniel.  Shylock’s exclamation, “A Daniel come to judgment!  ” upon listening to Portia’s wisdom, finds its explanation here.  It tells the story of the attempt of two lecherous elders, first to rob a young Jewish wife of her virtue, and upon being repulsed successfully, to blackmail the object of their vile but defeated purpose.  Daniel, a mere youth, appears upon the scene, and by examining each of the villains separately, causes them to contradict one another in such a way as to establish both the innocence of Susanna and their own wickedness.”
  • The third tale was added at the end of Daniel, and is called, ” The History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon.”  It is a fictional, fairy tale-like story of Daniel defeating a dragon with pitch, fat and hair. It is a reflection of Babylonian magic, superstition and incantations. Totally opposite the purposeful miracles of God this is a legend tale of no value.
  • The Prayer of Manasses purports to be the prayers of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, seeking God’s favor through repentance. Although fictional it does reveal Jewish devotional thought for the period.
  • First Maccabees is the historical annals recounting the wars of the Jews from the death of Alexander the Great to the pontificate of Simon the brother of Judas Maccabeus. Most current knowledge of the Jewish wars of independence traces from this book.  The unknown author carries along the story with such drama and action that the whole book is quite moving. Quite evident is the author’s desire to exalt the God who forgives, defends and restores His people as they return to Him in faith. As one who loved Israel’s God, the writer makes no claim to being inspired of God to record this book.
  • Second Maccabees is far less valuable. There is a great deal of legendary material woven into the historical record. The Roman church especially esteems this book for its reference in 12:43-45 of a sin offering for the dead. If this event happened, it is not Scriptural for anyone to follow such an improper act for another’s salvation.
  • third Maccabees is an incomplete book filled with more of the unacceptable legendary matters.
  • fourth Maccabees, doesn’t even make it into the Apocrypha by the Council of Trent. It is basically no more than a lengthy, religious novel.

 

There are other works of little value (many are lost from the present) such as the Book of Enoch; the Secrets of Enoch; the Book of Jubilees; Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs; Psalms of Solomon; Sibylline Oracles; Assumption of Moses; the Apocalypse of Elijah; the Apocalypse of Zephaniah, and some others, of which early Christian Fathers make mention, but which are no longer extant, so far as is now known.  Some of these were begun during the days of the Hasmoneans, and only completed in the Christian era; thus partaking of a mixed Jewish and Christian coloring.  The Sibylline Oracles and the Book of Enoch are of this character.

 

Ironsides concludes: “It is a significant fact that in all the long years of the four silent centuries we have had before us, not so much as a psalm or any other literary product has come down to us that is worthy to be compared with the precious treasures of the Old Testament.  Some, it is true, have attempted to assign Maccabean dates to some of the books of the Prophets and to several of the more recent psalms, but their guess-work theories are of no real value, and there can be little doubt that all were written when the last line of Malachi had been penned.  The canon of the Jewish Scriptures was then complete.  No desultory fragments were to be added in after years.  When again the prophetic voice should be heard, it would be to announce the coming of Him who was the object and theme of ” all the Scriptures,” and whose advent in grace would be the occasion for the production of a New Testament completing the written revelation of God to man.”[10]

 

Lessons from the Four Hundred Silent Years[11]

 

The reader will have little difficulty in realizing why the Saviour was not received by the covenant people.  Their long years of declension had rendered them unable to recognize their Messiah when He appeared in accord with the scriptures of the Prophets.  Their eyes had become blinded; their ears heavy; their hearts hardened, and their consciences seared; and so, not knowing the Scriptures, they fulfilled them in condemning the Prince of Life.  Yet they were in Immanuel’s land and the Holy City; gathered to the place where Jehovah’s Name had been set of old.  They were punctilious about the services of the temple; and of reasoning about the Scriptures; proud of their descent from the patriarchs; and in their self-righteous complacency, despising their Gentile neighbors.  But all this availed nothing when spiritual discernment was gone and religion was a matter of ritual rather than of life.  It is not necessary to press the lesson for our own times.  He who sees it himself would not heed it if another urged it upon him.

 

 

Abiding truths from these 400 years:

  • BLESSING: Out of dark days come some bright Saints: Joseph, Mary, Simeon, Anna, Elizabeth and Zechariah are wonderful examples of this.
  • BATTLING: When we leave God behind we fail.
  • BLINDING: When we leave God out we can’t even see what is right in front of us from the Lord.

 

God always has His Servants in every generation.

God’s Servants ALWAYS speak for Him.

Speaking for God ALWAYS brings blessings!

 

Mary “The Magnificat” Luke 1:46-55

  • Verse 46 Praising God
  • Verse 47 Rejoicing in Salvation
  • Verse 48 Displaying a true servant-heartedness
  • Verse 49 Magnifying the Lord
  • Verse 50 Remembering the Mercy of the Lord
  • Verse 51 Humbling before God
  • Verse 52 Yielding to the Sovereignty of God
  • Verse 53 Extolling the Graciousness of God
  • Verse 54 Exhibiting Loyalty to God
  • Verse 55 Trusting the Enduring Commitment of God to His own

 

Zacharius’ Benedictus Luke 1:68-79

 

  • Verse 68 Worshiping God’s Redemption
  • Verse 69 Praising the Lord’s Salvation
  • Verse 70 Seeing God’s Revelation of Himself
  • Verse 71 Rejoicing in the Deliverance of the Lord
  • Verse 72 Resting in the Mercy of the Lord
  • Verse 73 Remembering the Covenant Loyalty of God
  • Verse 74 Serving the Lord
  • Verse 75 Living a Holy Life to God
  • Verse 76 Tracing the Fulfillment of God’s Promises
  • Verse 77 Extolling the Forgiveness of God
  • Verse 78 Hoping in Christ as the Sunrise
  • Verse 79 Experiencing the Peace of God

 

 

 

Simeon’s Nunc Dimitis Luke 2:25-32

 

  • Verse 25 Holy Life, Patient Life, Consecrated Life (“Holy Spirit”)
  • Verse 26 Spirit-Illumined Life
  • Verse 27 Spirit-led life
  • Verse 28 Worship-Energized Life
  • Verse 29 Rejoiced in Bondslavery to God
  • Verse 30 Trusted in Salvation through Christ
  • Verse 31 Saw the Message of Good News to the world
  • Verse 32 Understood Christ was the Light of the world

 

Anna’s Holy Service Luke 2:36-38

 

Anna had a Spirit-Led Walk; all her life was in God’s Hands:

  • Her age: The Duration of Life
  • Her Husband: The Decisions of Life
  • Her Widowhood: The Deprivations of Life
  • Her Temple Ministry: The Destination of Life
  • Her Time was God’s: she served
  • Her Feet were God’s: she came that instant
  • Her Heart was God’s: she gave thanks
  • Her Lips were God’s: she spoke for God

 

Seven Days from the life of Christ

 

Jesus lived the perfect life. Amazingly, with such a full and demanding life, our Lord made it a habit to retreat to quiet places. There alone Christ expressed His absence of self-sufficiency by PRAYER. Look at Mark 1 to examine a couple of days in His life.  Mark 1:21 starts one of the fullest days of His life. He had just returned, Luke 4 tells us, from the attempt on His life by the mob at Nazareth. Now He heals and teaches all day (note the next morning verse 35). No well deserved sleep. No, His spiritual life reigned! What a monitor of our spiritual condition prayer is. Without prayer we run on our own course, in our own strength and for our own glory. Through prayer we run on God’s course, in the Spirit’s power and for the glory of Christ! What are your prayer habits revealing about self-sufficiency in your life tonight?

 

If you read closely the New Testament record, you find a reference to specific days in the ministry of Jesus. By comparing the four Gospel accounts we find there are 52 “days” chronicled in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will study just seven of them here. The first one was one of the most celebrated. We call it Christmas. On that night God sent a celestial sound and light show to herald the birth of the King of the Universe into human affairs. The Eternal One became an infant, and was born in a stable! The last day is His ascension to Heaven. The Life of Christ may be divided into seven key days’ events which together frame the entire earthly life of Christ!

  • His Birth:  In Matthew 1-2 we are introduced to the King of the Universe to only the Humble, shows the only way to His Presence. Who missed out on His arrival? Remember them:
  • First there was AUGUSTUS: “Mr. BIG” Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. (NKJV)
  • Augustus was too big to notice the significance of this event
  • GOD COMES IN SMALL THINGS. Listen to Paul: I Corinthians 1:26-27  For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called.]; (NKJV)
  • Second, there was QUIRINIUS: “Mr. Somewhere Else” Luke 2:2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) (NIV)
  • Quirinius was too far away to notice the significance of this event.
  • GOD COMES IN THE THINGS THAT ARE CLOSE.  Listen to Paul: Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: (NIV)
  • Third, there was the INNKEEPER: “Mr. Busy” Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn. (NIV)
  • The Innkeeper was too busy to notice the significance of this event.
  • GOD COMES TO THE SIMPLE.  Listen again: I Corinthians 1:27-28 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, (NIV)
  • FOURTH, there was Herod: “Mr. Earthly Minded” Matthew 2:1  After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem (NIV)
  • Herod was to earthly minded to notice the significance of this event.
  • GOD COMES TO THE SPIRITUAL .  Listen again to Paul: I Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (NIV)
  • Fifth, there were the religious leaders: “Mr. Self Righteous” Matthew 2:4-5 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: (NIV)
  • The Religious Leaders were too self-righteous/good [God’s word isn’t for me here and now, its something for out there or something] to notice the significance of this event.
  • GOD COMES TO THE LOST SEEKERS.  They knew it, but didn’t care enough to go five miles south of town and experience it. They pointed others to seek out the Savior but never went to worship themselves.  Listen to God: Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. (NIV)
  • WELL HOW ABOUT IT: ARE YOU:
  • TOO BIG? GOD WANTS YOU SMALL
  • TOO FAR? GOD WANTS YOU CLOSE.
  • TOO BUSY? GOD WANTS YOU TO STOP.
  • TOO EARTHLY MINDED? GOD WANTS YOU TOO LOOK UP.
  • TOO SELF-RIGHTEOUS? GOD WANTS LOST SEEKERS.
  • The childhood of Christ was a sinless one.  So was his boyhood, youth and manhood.  Those days were invested as an example to all humans of humility, hard work, obscurity, submissiveness, contentedness, prayerfulness and Scripture mastery. He endured the scorn of singleness as all were normally wed by 18
  • His Baptism. In Matthew 3 we find the second key day in the Life of Christ. It was the day the small door leading to the carpenter’s shop closed for the last time. Gone would be the hours of wonder-filled talks the local folks had enjoyed with the kindest man they ever had met. No more would the wide eyes of children be seen looking wistfully off as stories from the Scriptures of David and Elijah and Moses were shared seemingly with an eyewitness aura about them. As the meek and lowly Carpenter headed toward the Jordan, He had to wind His way through the crowds. His cousin John was preaching at the River’s edge. A group of scowling Pharisees was standing off to the side as the Baptist’s fiery words aimed at them told of their utter viper-like lack of contrition was excluding them from his baptism of repentance. Looking back at the crowds John was struck by the serenity of One confidently striding to the waters edge. As he looked into the eyes of Jesus he saw for the first time in any man such purity, holiness and truth that the same lips that denied the wicked false religionists now were disqualifying himself. In the presence of Jesus John saw his own sinfulness. But today, after a protest, John yielded to the Master and baptized the Christ.
  • Why did Christ seek baptism?
  • Jesus was identifying with us the fallen human race. Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like [His] brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (NKJV)
  • John was introducing the Promised Savior. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (NKJV)
  • God was approving of the Prepared Christ. Psalm 2:7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You [are] My Son, Today I have begotten You. (NKJV)
  • The Spirit of God was empowering the work of redemption. Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (NKJV)
  • He shows us that the Spirit is the only power for ministry
  • This event is the Authentication of the King
  • His Temptation In Matthew 4 we are given the sight of Christ’s testing by Satan.
  • The Arena was the Wilderness  (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4) Christ was with wild beasts (Mark 1:13); He was 40 Days without food (Matthew 4; Luke 4) How unlike the 1st Adam is this last Adam. “The Devil challenged the first man. The Last Man challenged the Devil. The Devil ruined the first Adam. The Last Adam spoiled the Devil. The First Adam involved the Race in his defeat. The Last Adam included the Race in His victory. The First Adam stood as the head of the race and falling, dragged the race down with him. The Last Adam stood as the Head of the new race, and being victorious, lifted that race with Him.
  • The Adversary was Satan. Christ met the Devil, that Dragon and slandererous fallen Lucifer, the father of sin, lies, murder, death and hell. The very powerful King of Darkness.
  • The Account is Christ’s personal and private eyewitness Account. It is so special because only He was there. The fact that we have it speaks to His personal desire that we have it to help us as we face the same adversary. May we likewise conquer in His power!  God approving of those 30 silent years of patient preparation. God approved of the life investment of Christ. Are we living in a way that God has approved? The baptism of Jesus by John was the Holy Spirit accomplishing God’s purposes through His yielded life.  From the manger to the Tomb the Holy Spirit empowered Him to do the will of God. Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (KJV) All Jesus did was through the Spirit. Christ accomplished a life of devoted obedience in the power of the Spirit.  WHAT HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH YOU? The Holy Spirit asks: Have you met Him? Identified with Him? Been approved by Him? Accomplished His plan?
  • The  attack  was temptation to sin. In the Gospels we have Satan tempting Christ. The 40 days were filled with a spiritual struggle. The climax of Satan’s attack is given in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. In Matthew 4 we have the chronological order.
  • Physical Attack:
  • APPETITE = The Desire to Enjoy  (Matthew 4:2-4; Luke. 4:2-4; I John 2:16 ‘lust of the flesh’.

Þ   In the Bread into stones temptation Satan attacks Christ at the point of submission to the will of God. Would Christ submit and obey the Father at all costs or not.

Þ   This attack was the temptation to satisfy a legitimate desire by illegitimate means.

Þ   This is the whole realm of sensual things, drugs, and alcohol. Trying to get what only God can give. Filling that God shaped vacuum in our lives with pleasure over worship.

  • THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 8:3 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every [word] that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (NKJV)
  • Mental Attack:
  • AMBITION = The Desire to Achieve Matthew 4:5-6; Luke. 4:9-11; I John 2:16 ‘pride of life’

Þ     In the jump temptation the Devil was attacking Christ and His reliance upon God and His timing. Stunts, dazzling displays and presumption are all contrary to God’s plan.

Þ     This attack was according to J. Oswald Sanders the temptation to produce spiritual results in an unspiritual way.

Þ     This is the whole realm of rivalry, externalism, pride, haughtiness and self-reliance.

  • THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 6:16 Include the words of the verse here
  • Spiritual AttackAVARICE = The Desire to Obtain Matthew 4:8-11; Luke 4:5-7; I John 2:16 ‘lust of eyes’
  • 1.     THE TEMPTATION

Þ   In the bow down temptation the Devil was offering the possibility of Christ circumventing the Cross-and Calvary. This was the escape pain and suffering route.

Þ   Again this was the temptation to obtain a godly heritage in an ungodly way!

Þ   This is the whole realm of materialism, greed, possessiveness, trust in riches and worldliness

  • THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 6:13 “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. (NKJV). As Augustine said: “We all have a god and we look more like who or whatever it is every day.”
  • The Answer of Christ
  • His answer was Simple: Christ used a simple method when facing temptation:
  1. a)              His response was not clever, novel or sophisticated.
  2. b)             Even a child could understand exactly what He said.
  • His answer was Scriptural: Christ used a scriptural method when facing temptation:
  • For each temptation He had discovered an appropriate Scripture.
  • For each temptation He quoted an appropriate Scripture.
  • His answer was Successful:
  • In relation to Christ = TOTAL TRIUMPH He is absolutely seen as pure and empowered by the Spirit. He goes on in ministry enables and strengthened.
  • In relation to Satan = TOTAL DEFEAT he is absolutely exposed as being in line for his final defeat and destruction in the lake of fire forever.
  • In relation to Believers = TOTAL ASSURANCE because He met and conquered Satan, through Jesus we are more than conquerors. No temptation but God is able to give us an exit!
  • This was the Battle of the King and, in it, the Word is the only means of Victory.
  • His Transfiguration In Matthew 17 Jesus pulls back the veil of His flesh and lets His glory shine.
  • Sharing the Exodus. Both Moses and Elijah in a special way shared in Christ’s decease. Both had seen a special manifestation of God’s glory passing before them (Exodus 33:17-23 and I Kings 19:9-13). Both had unusual ends to their earthly lives: Moses, a personal graveside death and burial by God and Elijah a death defying fiery chariot ride to heaven.
  • MOSES: Led the people of God from Egypt.
  • The Lawgiver comes to the Land of Promise at last. God said the Law could never lead to the rest of Heaven only grace. Romans 8:2-3 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
  • 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,” (NKJV).
  • He is a picture of the dead in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16b “And the dead in Christ will rise first.” (NKJV)
  • ELIJAH: Led the people of God from Idolatry.
  • The Prophet sees the Lord of Promises at last 1 Peter 1:11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (NKJV).
  • He is a picture of the Raptured saints. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 “Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (NKJV)
  • JESUS: Led the people of God to Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16a “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.” (NKJV)
  • Showing the King. The Son is the only key to Worship.
  • A Glimpse at His Glory: John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (NKJV) 2 Peter 1:17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (NKJV).
  • A Preview of our Powerful Second Coming King. Matthew 24:30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (NKJV)
  • A Peek at the Eternal Glory always in Christ. John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (NKJV)
  • A Promise of the glory we will share with. John 17:22, 24 “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:” 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (NKJV)
  • A Strengthening for the Horrors of His Cross. Luke 9:31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (NKJV)
  • His Crucifixion In Matthew 26-27 He is crucified.
  • The Work of the King at the Cross-is the only door to Heaven.
  • The Seven words from the Cross
  • The first three speak to the deepest needs of humanity

Þ   “Father forgive” His mercy upon sinners.

Þ   “Today . . . Paradise” His love for seekers.

Þ   “Woman . . . thy son” His care for sharers.

  • The second four to the deepest woes of His agony

Þ   “My God” a cry of spiritual anguish. The net result of sin is to be forsaken by God. So Jesus experienced that horror for us!

Þ   “I thirst” a cry of physical anguish.

Þ   “It is finished” a cry of triumphant certainty.

Þ   “Father” a cry of eternal fellowship.

  • The Crowds at the foot of the Cross-mirror the people of all time.
  • Observers: some were sorrowing disciples who knew and loved Him so. Others were spectating bystanders who never came to faith in spite of all they witnessed.
  • Objects: one repenting and one resisting were the thieves; one descends to darkness the other ascends to light. Both were sinners, both faced Jesus but only one repents.
  • Officials: what a contrast between the mocking and celebrating religious leaders, and meditating and moved to faith centurion.
  • His Resurrection. In Matthew 28 we find Him Risen. What a shock it was. The Destroyers hold upon death was destroyed (Hebrews 2:14 – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”). And from the grave by the power of the Father no corruption could touch Him, He broke the bars and walked out in Triumph. By His resurrection He confirmed all the promises of God, He assured all who had died in faith and He empowered all who would follow Him. The Resurrection and the Life was forever our Risen Lord!
  • The Triumph of the King because the Empty Tomb is the only key to Hope/Confidence.
  • Conclusion: Why? Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.
  • John 20:11-18   He came to save : The Defiled like Mary He gives purity when they come to Him.
  • John 20:19-23 He came to rescue: the depressed like the disciples who were in hiding.
  • John 20:24-31 He came to save : The Doubters like Thomas and He patiently gives them Faith when they doubt?
  • John 21:1-14 He came to restore: the Deserters like James and John He gives them Humility when they ask Him.
  • John 21:15-25 He came to save: the Deniers like fearful Peter and gives them forgiveness when they fail Him!
  • Evidences:
  • Four eyewitness accounts in the Gospels. They all agree!
  • The Tomb is empty. Then and to this day no body ever found!
  • The abandoned Grave clothes.
  • The witnesses who saw Him alive.
  • Transformed lives of disciples.
  • The New day of Worship for Christians.
  • His Ascension. The last day was the day He went home. How the hosts of heaven had waited. He whose glory fills the heavens now was coming home in triumph.
  • The Exaltation of the King
  • His entrance into Glory
  • The Perfect One. Others came by the Mercy, this One came on His own merits! Hebrews 11 better than Abel
  • The Triumphant One: Psalm 24:8-10 Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He [is] the King of glory. Selah (NKJV)
  • The Exalted One: God gave Him a name.  Phil 2 What name? The name promised Matt 1, the name placarded on the Cross, the name scoffed by the lost, the name loved by His own, the name of Jesus!

The Savior is the only Sign we look for.

  • He is our Wounded God the Son Revelation 5:6 “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (NKJV).
  • He is our Wrathful God the Son 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 “and to [give] you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NKJV)

Wounded for me, Wounded for me, There on the Cross He was wounded for me, Gone my transgressions and now I can sing, all because Jesus was wounded for me. (W.G. Ovens)

 

 

 

Matthew

“Christ our King”

 

Matthew’s gospel is the presentation of Christ our King. Matthew points to Christ’s kingship in every chapter as clearly as John points to His Deity. In this first gospel God is revealing King Jesus, the Jews are rejecting King Jesus and Jesus is promising that He will be returning as King and every eye will see Him.

 

One Bible scholar who spent an entire decade studying every word of Matthew’s Gospel over and over wrote this summary:

  • Jesus is painted in royal colors in this gospel as in none of the others. His ancestry is traced from the royal line of Israel; his birth is dreaded by a jealous earthly king; the magi bring the infant Jesus royal gifts from the east; and John the Baptist heralds the King and proclaims that His Kingdom is at hand. Even the temptations in the wilderness climax with Satan offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world. The Sermon on the Mount is the manifesto of the King, the miracles are His royal credentials, and many of the parables portray the mysteries of His Kingdom. Jesus identifies Himself with the king’s son in a parable and makes a royal entry into Jerusalem. While facing the cross He predicts His future reign, and He claims dominion over the angels in Heaven. His last words are that all authority

 

Yet Matthew also focuses most uniquely on the rejection of Jesus as King. In no other gospel are the attacks against Jesus’ character and Jesus’ claims so bitter and vile as those reported in Matthew. The shadow of rejection is never lifted from Matthew’s story.

  • Before Jesus was born, His mother, Mary, was in danger of being rejected by Joseph.
  • Soon after He was born, Herod threatened His life, and His parents had to flee with Him to Egypt.
  • His herald, John the Baptist, was put in a dungeon and eventually beheaded.
  • During His earthly ministry Jesus had no place to lay His head, no place to call home.

 

In Matthew’s gospel no penitent thief acknowledges Jesus’ Lordship, and no friend or loved one is seen at the foot of the cross – only the mockers and scorners. Even the women are pictured at a distance (27:55-56), and in His death Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (27:46). Only a Gentile centurion speaks a favorable word about the crucified One: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (27:54). When some of the soldiers who had stood guard over the tomb reported its being empty, the Jewish authorities paid them to say that Jesus’ body was stolen by His disciples (28:11-15).

 

Yet Jesus is also shown as the King who ultimately will return to judge and to rule. All the earth one-day “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (24:30), His coming will be “at an hour when you do not think He will” (v. 44) and He will come in glory and in judgment (25:31-33).

 

No reader can fully immerse himself in this gospel without emerging with a compelling sense of both the eternal majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ and the strong power that sin and Satan held over the apostate Israel that rejected Christ.

 

No gospel is more instructive to those who are the Lord’s disciples and who are called to represent Him in the world. The lessons on discipleship are life changing for the committed reader, as they were for the eleven who were Jesus’ first followers. Thus, with all its great themes of majesty and glory, rejection and apostasy, the book of Matthew lacks no practicality. Woven through all that is the constant thread of revealed instruction for those who are His representatives among men[12].

 

Let’s start by looking at the Gospel Accounts found only in Matthew:

 

Passage                               Subject

1:2O-24                              Joseph’s dream*

2:1-12                                 The visit of the wise men

2:13-15                               Escape to Egypt*

2:16-18                               Slaughter of the children*

27:3-10                               The death of Judas*

27:19                                  The dream of Pilate’s wife

27:52                                  The other resurrections

28:11-15                             The bribery of the guards

28:19, 20                            The baptism emphasis in the Great Commission*

 

  • Matthew records nine special events that are not mentioned in any of the other Gospels.
  • In each case, the most apparent reason for Matthew’s choice has to do with his purpose in communicating the gospel to Jewish people.
  • Five cases are fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies (marked with asterisks above).  The other four would have been of particular interest to the Jews of Matthew’s day.

 

MATTHEW records no less than 40 different names of

God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

 

  1. Jesus Christ:  Matthew 1:1
  2. Son of David:  Matthew 1:1
  3. Son of Abraham:  Matthew 1:1
  4. Jesus:  Matthew 1:16
  5. Christ:  Matthew 1:17
  6. Holy Ghost:  Matthew 1:18,20
  7. Lord:  Matthew 1:22
  8. Emmanuel:  Matthew 1:23 (God With Us)
  9. King of the Jews:  Matthew 2:2; Mt 27:11
  10. Governor:  Matthew 2:6
  11. God:  Mathew 2:12
  12. Spirit of God:  Matthew 3:16
  13. Son:  Matthew 3:17
  14. Spirit:  Matthew 4:1; Mark. 1:10
  15. Son of God:  Matthew. 4:3
  16. Lord Thy God:  Matthew 4:7,10
  17. Father:  Matthew 5:16 (in heaven)
  18. Great King:  Matthew 5:35
  • Father In Secret:  Matthew 6:4-6
  • Master:  Mt. 8:19 (Rabbin 1:38) (Rabboni John 20:16)
  1. Son of Man:  Matthew 8:20
  2. Bridegroom:  Matthew 9:15
  3. Lord of Harvest:  Matthew 9:38
  4. Spirit of Your Father:  Matthew 10:20
  • Father Lord of Heaven & Earth:  Matthew 11:25
  • Father:  Matthew 11:26
  1. Lord of Sabbath:  Matthew 12:8
  2. Greater than Jonah:  Matthew 12:41
  3. Greater than Solomon:  Matthew. 12:42
  4. Carpenters Son:  Matthew. 13:55
  5. Prophet:  Mt. 13:57 (The Prophet) John 7:40
  6. God of Israel:  Matthew 15:31
  7. Son of the Living God:  Matthew 16:16
  8. Beloved Son:  Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11
  9. Good Master:  Matthew 19:16
  10. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob:  Matthew 22:32
  11. Living God:  Matthew 26:63
  12. Jesus of Galilee:  Matthew 26:69
  13. Jesus of Nazareth:  Matthew 26:71
  • King of Israel:  Matthew. 27:22

 

Now, look at how Matthew works in the Messiah’s Kingship into every chapter of the book.

OUTLINE

Key theme: The King and His kingdom

Key verses: Matthew 2:2; 4:17

 

Matthew records God’s presentation of His Perfect King. In each chapter Jesus is seen in His beauty and power as King:

 

God’s King Revealed Matthew 1-10 (Note: The message during this period of His ministry was, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” [3:2; 4:17; 10:7].)

  • God presents His King by a Royal Ancestry
  • God presents His King Arriving Royally
  • God presents His King by a Prepared Ambassador
  • God presents His King Defeating the Rebel Leader Satan
  • God presents His King Describing the Character of His Subjects.
  • God presents His King Describing the Conduct of His Subjects
  • God presents His King Describing the Consistency of His Subjects
  • God presents His King Displaying His Power over the natural world: disease (verse 1-15); demons (verse 16-17, 28-34) and men (verse 18-22).
  • God presents His King Displaying His Power over the Spiritual world: forgiveness (verse 1-8); religion (verse 10-17); Death, darkness and dumbness (verse 18-34)
  • God presents His King Commissioning His Apostles

 

God’s King Rebelled against Matthew 11-13

  • God presents His King’s messenger and message rejected
  • God presents His King attacked personally
  • God presents His King through His Kingdom Mysteries

 

God’s King Retreating with His Apostles Matthew 14-20

  • God presents His King’s Compassion (the death of John, feeding the 5,000 and walking to the disciples on the sea)
  • God presents His King’s Convictions (defilement, Syro-Phoenecian, feeding the 4,000)
  • God presents His King by a Confession of His Deity (First mention of the cross—16:21)
  • God presents His King by a Glimpse of His Glory (Second mention of the cross—17:22)
  • God presents His King’s Humility (children, 99 sheep, etc.)
  • God presents His King by His Absolute Authority (Word, Way and rewards)
  • God presents His King’s Position (Judge, Son & Messiah) (Third mention of the cross—20:17–19)

 

God’s King Rejected and Slain   Matthew 21-27

  • God presents His King Presenting Himself
  • God presents His King Answering Skeptics (heaven, money and the Law)
  • God presents His King Rebuking Religious Hypocrisy
  • God presents His King Revealing the Future
  • God presents His King Returning in Glory
  • God presents His King Preparing to Die
  • God presents His King Offering His Life

 

God’s King Raised from the Dead Matthew 28

  • God presents His King Conquering Death

 

If we look closely at some of the individual verses of this book we can see how much like a King He Was!

 

  • He had the name of a KING “They shall call his name Emmanuel” (1:23).
  • He had the place of a kiNG  “Out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” (2:6).
  • He had the fanfare of a KING “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight (3:3).
  • He had the coronation of a KING “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (3:17).
  • He had the respect due to a KING “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shall thou serve” (4:10).
  • He had the authority to speak as a KING “And he opened his mouth, and taught them” (5:2).  “He taught them as one having authority ..” (7:29).
  • He had the authority to make the demands of a king: What characterizes those seekers of God’s kingdom or ruling in life? Matthew 6:33
  • Every desire of life must be tested in relation to the King.
  • Every decision must be made in the interest of the King. Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Every duty must be performed for the pleasure of the King. I Corinthians 10:31
  • Every difficulty must be faced by trusting the King. Luke 9.23
  • Every danger must be braved for the honor of the King. 2 Timothy 3.12
  • Every dishonor must be endured for the sake of the King. Matthew 5.11-12
  • Every distraction must be ignored for the claims of the King. Hebrews 12.1-2
  • He had the authority to determine the destiny of his subjects as a king: Remember Matthew 7:13-23:
  • True believers are those who ENTER GOD’S WAY [verse 13-15 it is narrow, small and they are few]
  • True believers are those who BEAR GOD’S FRUIT [verse16-20]
  • True believers are those who DO GOD’S WILL [Verse 21]
  • True believers are those who KNOW GOD INTIMATELY [verse 22-23]
  • True believers are those who ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD [verse24a if God says it they believe and obey]
  • True believers are those who BUILD THEIR LIVES UPON THE ROCK[verse 24b
  • He had the expected loyalty as a KING “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (12:30).
  • He had the enemies of a KING “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes (16:21).
  • He had the love of a KING The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (20:28).
  • He had the authority to predict the future as a king: Matthew 24:7  “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” (NKJV)
  • For nation [ethne’] will rise against nation, BOSNIA
  • And kingdom against kingdom. CHECHNYA
  • And there will be famines, SAHARA and SOMALIA
  • Pestilences, EBOLA
  • And earthquakes in various places. JAPAN
  • He had the promised glory to return someday as a KING When the Son of man shall come … then shall the King shall say unto them … Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom (25:31,34). Parables of Matthew 25 speak to elements of preparation for Christ’s return.
  • The 10 virgins (25:1-13) teach us we each have a personal responsibility to be ready in the proper spiritual condition for Christ.
  • The Talents (25:14-30) teach us that we need to use the talents God has given us.
  • The Sheep and the Goats (25:31-46) stress the necessity God’s children have of compassion and care for the needy around us.
  • He had to die as a KING And they crucified him … and set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS (27:35,37).
  • He had the ultimate VICTORY, as a KING He is not here: for he is risen, as he said (28:6).

 

Lessons from the Days of Christ’s Life in Matthew

 

If you read closely the New Testament record you find a reference to specific days in the ministry of Jesus. By comparing the four gospels accounts we find there are 52 “days” chronicled in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will study just seven of them tonight. The first one was one of the most celebrated. We call it Christmas. On that night God sent a celestial sound and light show to herald the birth of the King of the Universe into human affairs. The Eternal One became an infant, and was born in a stable! The last day is His ascension to Heaven. The Life of Christ may be divided into seven key days’ events which together frame the entire earthly life of Christ!

  • his Birth = We should be watching God’s Word (1-2)
  • his Baptism = We should be obeying God’s Word (3)
  • his Temptation = We should be nourishing on God’s Word (4)
  • his Transfiguration = We should be reflecting God’s Glory (17)
  • his Death = We should be following God’s Plan (26-27)
  • his Resurrection = We should be Trusting God’s Way (28)
  • his Ascension = We should be Waiting God’s Reward (28

TAGS: 970924WE

I find my Lord in the Book,

Wherever I chance to Look

He’s the theme of the Bible

The center and heart of the Book.

He’s the Rose of Sharon,

He’s the Lilly fair,

Wherever I open my Bible,

The Lord of the Book is there.

He is at the Book’s beginning gave the Earth its form

He is the Ark of Shelter bearing the brunt of the storm

He is the burning bush of the desert, the budding of Aaron’s rod

Wherever I look in the Bible, I see the Son of God.

The Ram upon Mt. Moriah, the ladder from Earth to sky.

The scarlet cord in the window, and the serpent lifted high,

The smitten rock in the desert, the Shepherd with staff and crook,

The face of my Lord I discover, wherever I open the Book.

He is the Seed of the Woman, the Savior virgin born,

He is the Son of David of whom men rejected with scorn,

His garments of Grace and of beauty, the stately Aaron Deck,

Yet He is a Priest forever, for He is Melchizedek.

Lord of eternal glory, whom John the Apostle saw,

Light of eternal glory, whom John the Apostle saw,

Light of the golden city, Lamb without spot or flaw,

Bridegroom coming at midnight for whom the virgins look,

Wherever I open my Bible, I find my Lord in the Book.

 

If you remember from two weeks ago we saw Matthew- the theme of that book is Christ is our king- Matt. 2:2 is the key book it’s written to Jews and it stresses genealogy, royalty and the Jewishness of Christ. Secondly we saw Mark- Christ our servant- Mark 10:45 says this: the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life and I hope that’s how you look at all ministry for Him it’s- we don’t get we give and that’s what pleases the Lord. They we looked at Luke- Christ our savior- Luke 19:10 says for the son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost. John revealed Christ as God and it says in John 20:31- but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God and that believing you may have life in His name.

 

Someone has said that the Old Testament if you wanted to distill it down into one phrase it would be Jesus is the Christ and if you want to distill down the New Testament into one phrase it would be Christ is Jesus and if you want to get the whole Bible in one sentence- Jesus is the Christ and that does it all because the New Testament shows the humanity of Christ; the Old Testament shows the promised one; the Bible shows that the promised one came as a man and of course he is our Lord and savior.

 

Next in your notes the next one is Acts- Christ is our mission- you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and any one who is been genuinely born again the Holy Spirit has come with in them and the power of God resides with in them. It’s kind of like if you took an old maybe a coal burning furnace and put an atomic reactor inside of it- it’s a pale in comparison to what happens when the Lord of the Universe comes inside of us. You know the satellites that are out ringing our solar system we have a lot of our tax dollars floating out there right now but some of them recently detected the collapse of a star you know how they kind of burn them selves out and collapse down and become a neutron ball where one cubic inch would weigh billions of tons because it takes this massive thing and takes it down to just a few miles wide but when that happened and it wasn’t very far away it’s called N49 they name stars by numbers God calls them all by name but when that thing collapsed the satellites detected what they call a gamma flash- it was 9000 light year away and they said if it would have been in our galaxy the entire galaxy would have started glowing- that’s how powerful it was- it said if it would have been in our solar system it would have incinerated the earth instantaneously just that flash of energy of gamma rays.

 

When I think about that I think the one who made not only N49 but the other numberless stars in our universe lives within us- it’s a lot bigger than an atomic reactor in a coal furnace you know. The book of Romans talks about Christ our righteousness and we saw that the key verse Romans 1:16 outlines all of the book as it talks about salvation. The person of the gospel is Christ, the power of the Gospel is God, the purpose of the Gospel is salvation, the people of the Gospel are all the people on this world, the plan of the Gospel is that we believe and the result of the Gospel is we begin to live by faith. We also saw 1 Corinthians Christ is our solution to spiritual problems the key verse there is noted. 2 Corinthians Christ is our sufficiency again the key verse is noted which says not that we’re sufficient of our selves and the longer we live in the Christian life the more we realize we are not sufficient in ourselves and the people that really get something done for the Lord are the ones that realize it’s not I but Christ in every situation- it’s not from me it’s not my power my expertise in fact the Lord said this he says apart from me you can do nothing. We do a lot but apart from Him it amounts to nothing and he’s our sufficiency as it says at the end of verse 5 in 2 Cor. 3 but our sufficiency is from God. That’s how He is glorified and that’s what’s going to be the basis of rewards.

 

What was done in the energy of the Spirit of God for the glory of God and not of our self and not of our flesh. Galatians we saw that Christ is our liberty – the key verse there- stand fast therefore in the liberty- there’s a lot in the Bible about standing you know we’re supposed to stand against the wiles of the devil and we’re supposed to stand in our liberty and stand in the gospel and Galatians says that’s all possible because Christ is our liberty. We saw in Ephesians that Christ is our source and we looked at the plaroma which means the fullness a fully rigged ship and a fully loaded vessel every thing it needed- this is what the scriptures say: now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above—it’s just like a ladder going upward he says you can’t top it- he’ll do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. The astrophysicists are amazed at the powers of the universe and yet the Creator of the universe lives within us and what’s so amazing one of my children’s reading Carl Sagan’s autobiography it’s called Cosmos and I don’t know if you know this but after he died – he’s a believer now by the way did you know that Carl Sagan’s a genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ after he died – too late but he believes now cause he met him and he knows it’s true but he wrote that book Cosmos as his biography it’s about a woman but his wife said after he died he was really talking about himself and basically he had all these connections with the universe and knew what no one else knew because he did all this stuff but you know what’s amazing with all that is that scientists look every where but at the truth. In fact in that autobiography it’s not really an autobiography it’s a fictional book it’s about himself but you know he goes out of his way to discredit the gospel all the way through. Today as I was riding in the car Johnny was telling me he says look at this he’s saying the Bible doesn’t make any sense and Matthew doesn’t agree with Luke and I said he’s such an unbeliever he doesn’t he’s looking every where but to the source of all things that’s Christ and that’s a tragedy.

 

In Philippians we saw that Christ is our source of joy and this is something the world can’t explain- they look at us and they see us in sickness and sorrow and sadness in deprivation in insecurity and we still have joy and see joy is attached to things on this world and the tree of happiness can’t grow in a sin cursed world and so that’s why people just grope every where and look for happiness but Philippians says this: being confident of this very thing 1:6- that he who has begun a good work will complete it and that gives us joy. The Lord’s not through with us yet. It reminds me of a little child that came home from Sunday School after the lesson and got on his knees and was praying by his bed and his mother came in and she saw him looking under the bed and she heard him muttering and she says what are you doing down there honey and he says mom I looked under my bed and there’s some dust and from what I learned in Sunday School there’s either someone coming or going under my bed you know God made man from the dust of the ground well- God’s not through with us yet  you might be a little dust under the bed though or you might have a little dust under your bed but God is the source in Christ of our joy.

 

In Colossians we saw Christ is our life and it says and you are complete in Him- he is the head of all principalities and power and what’s wonderful is that when God sent us out when he birthed us through the Spirit we’re complete we have everything. Now it’s kind of like you buy these CD’s and you have to unlock books you know they’re inside of there but you can’t use them yet and obedience and walking with the Lord in maturity unlocks more and more of what God has given us and disobedience and not walking with the Lord locks more and more of it but he says you’re complete you don’t need to look outside you self for any thing he says I have given it all to you in Christ and Christ in our life.

 

Finally we finished up last week now look at that I did it in 10 minutes it took me 50 minutes last week but  1 Thessalonians tells us Christ is our hope. I was listening to Howie Hendricks today a tape 5 years old and he said more people have come to Christ in Dallas 5 years ago than at any other time recorded in Dallas’ history and he said the reason for that was that 5 years ago Dallas was having a big downturn financially and for what ever reason and he said when everyone loses what they’re counting on they look outside of what they used to find their hope and joy and security in and he said so many of them were coming to Christ and so he said he was praying that Dallas wouldn’t recover- well they’ve recovered and I think that the salvations have dropped off but Christ is our hope and that’s why people look to Him and that’s why the early church if you look at church history the great growth and the spurt of salvations was when they were being persecuted when they were burning their Bibles when they were destroying the church buildings when they were losing their jobs when they couldn’t own property when they couldn’t even meet with out being under danger of some type from the government the church mushroomed. As soon as they legalized it it plateaued and it started down.

 

The same thing happened in Eastern Europe if you know any thing about the history of the church in Eastern Europe  both in the eastern block and in Russia when it was illegal to have a Bible when you would be beaten with  they used to use garden hoses and they would beat them because it doesn’t show it just damages the nerves and they would beat them with garden hoses especially the bottoms of their feet they’d slide bamboo under their fingernails and burn it the only thing it does is make your fingernails get real thick and it hurts a lot- you know the church just grew but now that it’s legal it’s plateauing and that’s just how it is because when Christ when he isn’t our hope when our you know our pension plan is our hope or you know our career is our hope or degree or our you know possessions are our hope we don’t need Him so much. Well now we can finish our survey oh that’s why that’s right there were 9 now we’re doing 14 right here the last 14 New Testament books we’ll start with Paul’s final letter to his Thessalonians.

 

Now, let’s finish our survey of the last 14 New Testament books. We start with Paul’s final letter to his beloved Thessalonian Christians.

 

v     II THESSALONIANS “Christ our Security”  (1:11-12) Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV) 

I

t’s a 2 way street we glorify him where we are and as we stand for Him live for Him love Him it brings glory to his name He in us and He is magnified through us-

Remember, the return of Christ is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. And so, to these troubled saints Paul presents Christ as our Security:

  • When Suffering (1),
  • When doubting (2) they were wondering if they had missed something you know they thought the Lord had already come back or he’d forgotten them or what ever and also in chapter 3
  • When serving (3). Always find Christ as your security when you’re going through personal suffering family suffering emotional physical financial when you’re doubting and remember Satan’s 2 edged sword is doubt and discouragement. For Christians he usually can’t get us to do a lot of the dirty stuff so what he does is he sticks in that sword and makes us doubt and get discouraged and a lot of Christians alternate between doubting you know God’s plan and you know whether God knows what he’s doing with them because you know he’s taken so long before I’m getting married or what ever you know their doubting or they’re discouraged they don’t like how they look they don’t like how God made them they don’t like what he’s doing with them and all this stuff and God says let me be your security while you’re doubting let me be your security while you’re serving  there should be a settled confidence in our life as Paul said at the end of his life- I’ve finished my course  we shouldn’t have this kind of endless worrying that we haven’t done enough or what ever. Paul it’s interesting  umm we stand in his prison cell it’s really a neat place to stand in Rome and when you stand down there it’s really kind of smelly and it’s dark and it’s damp and you look out um this little grate and you can see the ruins of the Roman Forum which was the epicenter of the whole world at that time and from that place Paul could hear the sounds of the Empire rushing by with it’s millions and yet he wasn’t climbing the walls and pounding on them and saying let me out I’ve got to do more he says I’ve finished my course, I’ve done every thing God wanted me to do I’m ready to go and that’s the security that we have in Christ when we serve Him that he is in charge of our life and no one dies a day early or a day late they you know there’s just great security.  The next book let’s look at 1 Timothy and remember this is a very very brief survey um but look at

 

v     I TIMOTHY “Christ our Leader”  (4:12) and this should be a verse we all have marked  especially my prayer group over there I prayed with tonight but the young people because this is about a young man and Christ is presented in 1 Timothy as our leader. Paul what he was doing was checking out  he was talking to his son in the faith he said I’m not going to be around much longer but I’m going to show you Christ who you’re supposed to follow the rest of your life- Christ was his leader he says:

 

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, (how you act) in love, (how you respond) in spirit,

 

As you as it says in 2 Cor. 7:1 that we purge ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit you know a lot of us are really great on keeping the flesh clean I mean the new germicidal you know you don’t use soap any more you use germicidal soap right to kill all the billions of germs you know every body it’s cropping up everywhere I mean even in the public restrooms they’re starting in the fancy ones at least they have the- the other ones still use you know engine cleaner but in the fancy ones they use you know the germicidal antibacterial soap and you know we’re all concerned about germs and we heard about an aids infected needle and hepatitis C and all that- people are so concerned about their bodies being clean but their spirits get so defiled. You know we can defile our spirits by our attitudes by bitterness and anger and wrath and clamor we can defile our spirits by looking at things that grieve the Holy Spirit of God – occultic things  things that have to do with murder and bloodshed things that have to do with violence- those things and especially immoral things because they so cleave to our mind because any thing that’s fearful or that’s very exciting there’s a secretion of epinephrine in your brain which just kind of like cements it in there and that’s why the more excited you are about memorizing your verses the easier it is to do and that’s why people that go oh I have to memorize another verse they have so much trouble with it but the ones who go wow I get to memorize one like children you know  they can just learn them like that cause they’re excited about it and it stores better in your memory when you’re excited or afraid- excitement’s better than the fear but he said keep your spirit- make sure that your spirit is purged 2 Cor. 7:1  in faith, in purity. (NKJV) Timothy was a special disciple in whom Paul invested much time and to whom he entrusted great responsibility. Timothy pastured the largest church in the ancient world did you know that? The church in Ephesus where he was the pastor when he got 1 Timothy when that letter came to him as a letter remember the first and second rules of interpreting the Bible the first one is  that when ever possible take it in the literal sense I mean most people  they immediately think the Bible’s a little bit you know mystical- no it’s letters written to people the first canon of textual interpretation is when the literal sense makes the best sense then that’s the best way to take it. The second one is the Bible can never mean anything that it couldn’t have meant to the people that originally got it. Now that takes care of all the weirdo stuff in the Bible I mean I met someone they said the  locusts are apache helicopters- I says you know what you know that’s great to say that in Revelation they’re apache helicopters you know what happens if it’s a hundred years from now when they don’t have apache helicopters any more  it can’t mean anything it didn’t mean to the people back then and what those locusts meant was it was in Revelation 9 it meant something that was attacking them and inflicting pain and that’s all. Now if you want to apply that to apache helicopters but that’s not what it means you can apply it but what he’s saying here is that you when you’re pasturing in the church  to the Ephesians to those 50,000 people in that church he says you make sure that you are investing your life in teaching what the Bible means. He was entrusted with great responsibility.

 

v     II TIMOTHY “Christ our Goal” (4:7-8) this is Paul’s follow up letter- I remember  when I was in seminary I used to have a summer job I’d sell aspirin- I sold Anacin- that’s a very good selling aspirin I sold Dristan and Preparation H and Advil- lots of good stuff and  I remember that my sales managers used to fly out and they’d meet us at some place we’d pick em up at the airport and they’d ride with us. I remember for one summer I had a sales manager that was this Jewish woman and she got in the car and I witnessed to her and finally she said I’ll tell you what if you don’t talk to me any more I’ll read your book and so I gave her a New Testament and at the end of the week she said did you know there’s – that’s a sequel she said there’s another one that’s before this- she didn’t know about the Old Testament you know it’s amazing how the scriptures are so powerful and  she got it she- by reading the 27 books of the New Testament she said there’s something that came before this. As far as I know she never came to Christ but she got to read the Word of God and 2 Tim. 4:7-8 is the sequel to this first epistle. Paul wrote the first epistle was released from prison for as many as maybe 3 or 4 years he probably went to Great Britain- we know he went to Spain- he probably went all the way to England as far as we know and he was taking the gospel all through out that area and God just didn’t choose to record all that except that he mentioned that he was going to Spain but then when he writes 2 Timothy he’s in the Mammertine Prison awaiting execution now look at verse 7 that’s the back ground and as we look at this 2 Tim. 4:7-

 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have finished the race,  I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NKJV) 

 

Sometime in the year AD 64, Paul the apostle looked out of the tiny grate that let in light to his subterranean dungeon.  The Mamertinum prison was only a stones throw from the epicenter of the world, the Roman Forum. Outside could be heard the crowds surging to the Circus Maximus, the games and the great festivals.  The mighty legions returned from victory after victory with dazzling displays of plunder and captives. But in that solitary dungeon of dampness, deprivation and discomfort, once again the Holy Spirit overshadowed the great apostle and began to breathe through him the very Word of God. What is amazing is that with a shamelessly professed homosexual emperor and a bloodthirsty mob of Romans behind him in self gratifying lust, Paul would write: that they were to be subject to the authorities that be- isn’t that amazing and he wrote to Timothy and he told him to pray for leaders even that one and Romans 13 says and even obey them even that one. But 4:7-8 he said I’m now ready to be offered he said his contentment was from God he said I’m not regretting one day of my life.

 

“in the last days … Men will…”he was saying, this is only the prelude.  The fallen ego is evident but will come to full bloom in days ahead. Then he lists the qualities of godlessness that will be embodied in the last days:

(Verse 2)

  • Philautos = self lovers, a life centered in self.  The antithesis of the life god calls for which is death to self.
  • Philaguros = lovers of money, and Timothy as pastor of Ephesus was in the second most prosperous, materialistic center of the ancient world.  All the trade routes dumped wealth here!
  • Alazon = braggart, boastful.  It was the word for the medicine peddling quack doctor who could cure anything.  Then it just came to mean a boaster of empty words.
  • Huperephanos = arrogant, to show ones self above, this is not an outward show; this is an inward condition of all consuming pride.
  • Blasphemia = revilers is not the hot words of anger but the cold insult of an arrogant pride.
  • Disobedient to parents = the loss of all submission to positions of authority over young people.
  • Acharistos = ungrateful, thankless, a refusal to even acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed to god and man.
  • Anosios = unholy is a refusal to even recognize decency in life, the unwritten ones like burial of the dead.  But beyond cultural things, this is the base and shameless seeking of abnormal pleasures and thrills.
  • Astorgos = unloving is to be without family or human affection.  Storge is family love.  A means without. This is a time when self prevails over even the closest ties of family.
  • Aspondos = irreconcilable is either a person who can never be reconciled or, one who breaks all agreements for selfish purposes. Thus an implacable or hateful person.
  • Diabolos = malicious gossips is literally, devils or slanderers.  Even worse than stealing property is to destroy another’s reputation, which is the wickedness of slander.
  • Akrates = without self control is to be uncontrollable in their desires
  • Anemeros = brutal is to be savage as in a wild beast.
  • Aphilagathos = hater of good means no love for goodness of anything.

 

(Verse 4)

  • Prodotes  = treacherous is to be willing to betray for any reason.
  • Propetes = reckless is literally “swept along” headlong and unthinkingly.
  • Tetuphomenos = conceited, lit.  Head swelled for their own importance
  • Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god = the recreation worshipper and hedonists

 

(Verse 5)

  • Holding to a form of godliness = outwardly somewhat religious.
  • Although they have denied its power = they are not born from above as John 3 speaks of, but from beneath as James 3 describes

 

Finally, in the late autumn of life sits the Apostle who dominates the early years of the church. Here awaiting execution in this most undesirable spot, is Saint Paul. Look at his last words from this very spot.  How did he it make through so many terrible situations? Six secrets we would do well to hear and learn from II Timothy 4:6-8

  • His Contentment was from God  “For I am now ready to be offered”
  • His Confidence was in God   “and the time of my departure is at hand” God you’ve been driving the whole time and you’re in charge.
  • His Courage was for God   “I have fought a good fight” and he says God you have provided my courage
  • His Faithfulness was to God   “I have finished my course”
  • His Fidelity was of God   “I have kept the faith”
  • His Focus was on God “Henceforth there is laid up”

 

 

v     TITUS “Christ our Model to Follow” and all the way through  he says this in (2:10-11) adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. And so what he says is young men adorn the gospel adorn the doctrine of God- Christ is your model. Young ladies adorn the model of Christ the doctrine of God model His graciousness His goodness. Older men adorn the gospel of God with your behavior. Older women adorn the gospel of God leaders, workers, employers, church leaders all of you be those who follow Christ he is your model and how do we do that? Well verse 11- how? For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (NKJV) and verse 12 says it teaches us how to do that and if you want to know how to live as what ever God has made you young men young women older men older women or child you want to follow what Titus says- adorn the doctrine of God our savior in everything- the way you do your school, the way you dress the way you act the way you talk what you want to do how you respond to difficult situations – adorn the gospel of God- what a great book that is.

 

v     PHILEMON “Christ our source of Forgiveness” verse 18 is so good- if this runaway slave — (1:18) But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. (NKJV) and you know then what— all the way through if you want to read un Philemon sometime listen for the sound of chains I mean you can hear it all the way through listen to this: Paul clank clank a prisoner of Jesus Christ to Timothy  and Timothy our dearly beloved to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker um I thank my God always for you I pray of your fellowship I haven’t marked all of these in my Bible but um he keeps talking about—oh in verse 9 now I’m a prisoner clank clank you can just hear him rattling his chains. What he’s saying is I’m suffering for the cause of Christ and I’m the one that gave you the gospel he says you should forgive this guy that hurt you because Jesus forgave you and if you can’t forgive him for that reason you ought to forgive him because I’m your friend and I have done so much for you but this is such a good book especially if someone’s hurt you that Christ is our source of forgiveness and he encourages Philemon to act more like a Christian than like a Roman- the Romans crucified runaway slaves he says don’t do that act like a Christian and treat him like a brother and forgive him and what a wonderful message Philemon has.  One of the shortest New Testament letters was written to a member of the Colossian church, Philemon, to encourage him to act more like a Christian than a Roman in accepting back his runaway slave.

 

v     HEBREWS what a great book one of my favorites 303 wonderful verses- i took a course in seminary where i had to memorize all 303 verses- that’s how you pass a course- you know what- nothing like memorizing the scriptures but Hebrews talks about “Christ the Best of ALL” and I like (12:2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, that was like Philippians 1:6 he that began a good work will finish it- he’ the author and perfecter he’s the one who started us and he’s the one who’s going to take us through and he’s the one who’s going to deliver us in fact it says in 2 Cor. 1:20-22 that when we get saved the Lord signs his name on us by the Holy Spirit- he signs us, seals us so we’ll be delivered in the end and you know it’s kind of like  when I was little I used to send helium balloons with pre-addressed postcards you know you just buy this dollar balloon you put it in a plastic bag tie it all up and let it go? And I used to get them back from Canada and from  you know upstate New York and I lived in Michigan you know and it’s just where the prevailing winds were going and the way they got back to me was they were addressed to me and they had a stamp on them. God says I don’t want anything to happen to you so I’ve already written your address, you’re citizen ship is in heaven- don’t worry and no matter what you go through  in this world you’re going to be delivered safely to my presence and that’s what the whole book of Hebrews is about Jesus is the best he’s the author the finishing our faith– who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV) did you know that in the tabernacle and the temple there were no chairs- that was on purpose- no chairs were allowed why- because the work of redemption the work of sacrifice was never done I mean they were trimming the wicks and they had to run over and take out the ashes and they had to put more wood in and they had to put more stuff on and burn some more and then they had to put more incense over here and then they had to put more oil in to keep those lamps going and then they had to go back and scrape the ashes off and they never got done- the work was never done they were perpetually to keep the lamps burning and they were perpetually to keep the incense burning and they just never got done but you know what? Jesus offered one sacrifice and sat down and that shows the whole book of Hebrews says He did it all and He’s better He’s better than the angels that’s chapter 1 and 2 He’s better than Moses that’s 3 and 4 he’s better than all the Aaronic priesthood and Levitical sacrifices that’s 5-7. His new covenant sacrifice totally obliterates all that old handwriting of ordinances in 8-10.

 

Sometime in the AD 60’s before the Temple was destroyed, some was inspired by God to write Hebrews. Who?  We cannot be sure.  But the anonymity of the author does not detract from the letter’s authority.  Hebrews speaks powerfully of the superiority of Christ, exalting Him over:

  • The angels (1-2),
  • Moses (3-4) and
  • The Aaronic priesthood (5-7), as well as
  • The superiority of His New Covenant and sacrifice over the old (8-10).
  • Chapters 11 to 13 He is our example of faith He is the author and finisher in 12 and he is the one that’s taking us to the Heavenly city with the redeemed in chapter 13 –what a wonderful book Hebrews is. plead for lives of faith in light of Christ’s work and examples from the faithful of old.

 

v     JAMES “Christ matures our Faith ” (1:22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)  and he says that true saving faith is maturing faith it’s life changing faith and that no one who believes in Christ ever stops believing and they evidence it in a changed life.

  • The earthly brother of Jesus who grew up with the boy Jesus was saved after the resurrection of his brother. He becomes one of the key leaders of the church. In about AD 45 as a pastor, he writes from Jerusalem.  Some read James as a counter to Paul when he says, “Faith, if it has no works, is dead (2:17, NASB).  But far from contradicting Paul, James was talking about life-style.  He draws from a rich heritage of wisdom, the prophets, and his half-brother’s Sermon on the Mount, to write about the life of faith that looks theologically correct.

 

v     I peter  in verse 3 of the first chapter we get the key to this book- it’s kinda like you know a lot of people leave the key to their house by the front door I mean all robbers know that you know you just look under the mat you look under the pot you look over the top you look in the mail box you look in one of those magnet things you know they’re all they are smart  well godly is the key to a lot of the books in the front door of the book- Acts 1:8, Rev. 1:19 and there’s so many of them like that that give that well here’s one “Christ our Victory over Suffering” (1:3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (NKJV)  “Christ our Victory over Suffering” – these people were suffering intensely this was written in the 60’s  if you remember  the persecutions were three in the Roman Empire there were three levels of persecution firs there was  kind of local sporadic that was in the 60’s then a little bit later in the first century became provincial that’s when they used to clean out a whole province of Christians finally by the 4 century it became empire wide- actually the end of the 3rd century so they were still in the sporadic local persecution so there was one going on to the elect scatted through out Pontus and  Galatia and Cappadocia and Asia and Bythinia which is who Peter wrote to and he said these people were getting persecuted and so he says he will give you a living hope- living hope- one that helps you see Christ as our victory over suffering. Look at 2 Peter because there’s a different problem when he started writing 2 Peter and that was that kind of like in between the waves of persecution false teachers were coming and so second Peter says:

  • Some time around AD 61 Peter writes his letter encouraging all Christians to live holy and faithful lives and to be willing to suffer unjust persecution after the example of Christ.  Peter challenges wives, husbands, elders, and young men to exercise humility, service, and self-control.

 

v     II peter “Christ our Victory over Error” (1:16) For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (NKJV)  do you know what till the end of his life he couldn’t forget the Transfiguration? He couldn’t forget that Jesus the man pulled back the veil and showed Jesus the God and he never could forget that till the end of his life he says I was an eyewitness.

  • Second Peter and Jude are so alike many have wondered why both are needed in the New Testament. Because the Spirit inspired both they require careful study.  Both deal urgently with an insidious and dangerous heresy that threatens the very lives of believers.  Peter says the key to stability and growth is knowing God (1:5-11). And if there’s anything that’s important for us it is having a personal knowledge of the Lord through His Word- that’s the key to stability and growth and that’s how to over come false teaching.

 

v     I JOHN “Christ our Fellowship” (1:3) that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (NKJV)  Christ is our fellowship Christ is the one that reveals the Father to us Christ is the one that opens the door of fellowship with other believers Christ is the one and by the way you know what fellowship means? Koinonia um we think of coffee shops and you know koinonia you know ladies having tea and stuff like that you know what the word really means in the New Testament world? Marriage- it was the ultimate partnership- you would  you would be koinonia you would be married you would be sharing the ultimate partnership and so Christ is our beloved we are betrothed to him we are going to marry him and we should conduct our selves in a manner fitting to the one we’re going to marry.  how would you like it if you were going to marry someone  in fact I was just reading Warren Weirsbe this week and he said that he was at a wedding and when the wedding got over the bride came out and she was walking across with her husband across the street to the limousine and all of a sudden a horn honked and there was a car with it’s motor running on the other side of the street and the door opened and she bolted from her groom or her husband and jumped in the car it was her old boyfriend and she decided at the end that she had to go with him and she drove off with him and Weirsbe said needless to say I annulled the marriage but the idea is how often do we bolt from Christ because we must not love the old one the world the flesh the devil we have to be faithful to Him he’s our fellowship and our fellowship is with the Father through the son.  John exhorts believers to show God’s love Christ, by individually and sacrificially meeting the needs of others.  He also commands us to turn from the world to love the Father. He stresses the danger of false teachers and false (anti-)christs. He emphasizes the apostles’ teaching and the witness of the Spirit.

 

v     II JOHN “Christ our Source of Separation” (1:10-11) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (NKJV) two things and you know a lot of people say well I’m strong enough and I can have the cults into my house and I’ll deal with them- two problems with that- one is that the cults when they get into your house all they do is go to the next house and they say clyde just let me into his house can I come and talk to you? And they’ll go wow terry’s a nice guy I guess if he listened to them maybe I should too—- see they’ll use any thing for evil. The second thing is they love to sow seeds of doubt- you might be witnessing to them but they will throw out their seeds. This spring we planted our garden and the kids were helping me and when I wasn’t looking they took their little packages of seeds and they didn’t think I’d notice and they were poking their fingers and making their name and putting seeds in them. Well about 3 weeks later guess what? They all sprouted in pictures of initials and names and curly-cues in the middle of the rows and everything those seeds that are planted sprout and just like  when you’re young if you sow seeds to the flesh they’ll reap a crop of corruption so if you allow the false teachers to sow their seeds of doubt at times of weakness at times of spiritual battle all of a sudden those seeds of doubt start bearing fruit. That’s why he said don’t even let them into your house he says don’t even greet them in other words greeting them and saying hi how ya doing you just say in fact did you know that John who wrote this that the #1 heretic of his day his name was Serenthus he lived in Ephesus he was the founder or the father of gnosticism he was the one that he didn’t think of it but he spread it in the ancient world he was the primary  proponent of what we would call Mormonism today back then it was called gnosticism- today it’s star wars and Mormonism and a lot of other stuff but it’s this idea of eternal good and bad and you can become a God and all that junk- well Serenthus taught all that and John as a 90 year old man was taking a bath- they didn’t have home bathtubs they took public baths- men’s side women’s side and they went in this big hot tub and took their bath and he was in taking his bath when Serenthus came and took off his towel and it says that John jumped from the bathtub and ran screaming out of the bath house and said I will not be in the same bath house as that antichrist. Of course he wrapped a towel around himself don’t worry but see that’s the that’s why he wrote this he said if someone comes to you and denies the doctrine of Christ don’t let em in your house don’t greet em if you even greet them you ‘re sharing in his evil deeds- how? Because you’re giving them credibility. When those  Christ haters come down our road I go out to the door step and meet them and say we’re not interested I’ll share the gospel but I will not debate this with you and I do it out on the front steps so my neighbors can see cause you know what they know I’m a pastor and if I’m smiling and shaking their hands and taking some stuff and giving them a little candy bar or something you know and try and be real friendly it adds to their evil and be careful- 2 John warns us.

 

v     III JOHN “Christ our Source of genuine Prosperity” There is prosperity it’s not as much physical as it is spiritual but verse says: (1:2-3) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. What he’s saying is what God prospers most is your soul he says I wish your body and your check book would catch up with it but don’t worry about that you’ll get I later- true prosperity is: For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth [that is] in you, just as you walk in the truth.  (NKJV) True prosperity is walking in the truth.

 

v     JUDE  “Christ our Salvation” (1:3) Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (NKJV)  and we should contend for that faith we should stand for that faith especially it’s getting so diluted nowadays people don’t even know what the Gospel is anymore.

  • Jude was a second brother of Joseph and Mary in the earthly family of Jesus, who wrote a New Testament book after coming to Christ. Jude uses images stretching from before the Flood to the depths of the Pit where imprisoned fiends of unholy service wait in chains. He gives insight into colorful Old Testament personages like Lot, Balaam, Korah, Enoch and Michael. Ending with one of the strongest verses on our secure salvation, this book is a must read! Did you know that half of the books of the Bible are shorter that two columns on paper? So many people haven’t read a lot of the Bible—they oh it’s too much- half of the books are shorter than 2 columns in Sunday’s paper so I hop that you’ll read all these- they’re all precious.

 

v     REVELATION “Christ ours to Worship”  (19:10) And I fell at his feet to worship him (an angel). But he said to me, “See [that you do] not [do that!] I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. That shows what the angels are doing they’re serving us doing God’s bidding and  ——-helping the heirs of salvation but here’s the message- Worship God! How do we worship God? For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (NKJV)  The Scriptures  reveal Christ as we see Christ in all of His beauty and as we worship Him and magnify Him we bring glory to His name and God the Father is magnified as Christ is revealed in us. Well that was our quick walk through the New Testament I hope that it challenges you to read these things to let him that began a good work finish it. Rest in His source of all that we need and just let the Word of God be our hidden manna for all we need. Let’s thank the Lord

 

Dear Father I thank you for your word and I thank you that we have seen the Lord in all of this blessed book and I pray that you would be our source of joy and of comfort and our source of spiritual power for whatever challenges you bring what ever tests of life come may we come forth as gold. Help us to love you and let your word as it richly dwells in us- teach us through songs hymns and spiritual songs that we might be overflowing with the joy of the Lord – we’ll thank you in your precious name Lord Jesus, AMEN.

 
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