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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Sermon of the Week #200845 – November 9, 2008

There are several times in the New Testament in various situations where you can find the statement that Jesus was in the midst, as the center of attention. Jesus, being in the midst was prophesied by Moses when he said in Deuteronomy 18:15, “The Lord thy God shall raise up unto thee from the midst of thy brethren, a prophet like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken.” The Apostle Peter identified that prophet as Jesus in Acts 3:22 when he said, “Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you like unto me; to Him shall ye hearken whatsoever He shall say unto you.” So the following is a short list of some of those occasions when Jesus is found in the midst as predicted by Moses.


The first occasion is in Luke the second chapter, Jesus is in the midst of the doctors in Jerusalem. Doctor Luke informs us that Mary and Joseph went up every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover, and when Jesus was twelve years old, He also went up with them to the feast. On the journey back to Nazareth the boy Jesus tarried behind at Jerusalem, and Mary and Joseph knew it not, but supposed Him to be in the company of kinfolk. They were already one day out of Jerusalem, and now have to make a hurried trip back to Jerusalem.

What a horrible feeling for Mary. She had lost the one of whom it was said, “The power of the Most High shall overshadow thee and the Holy thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of the Most High God, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” She had lost Jesus.

So they went back to Jerusalem. Now that is always a good place to look for Jesus when you have lost Him, go back to the place where you lost Him. Sometimes Christians feel they are not as involved in the Church as they were at one time. They may feel it is just not what it used to be. They feel as though they have lost something.

The Church at Ephesus had that problem. In Revelation 2, Jesus told the Church at Ephesus they had left their first love. The Church where Paul wrote about one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God; the Church that heard Paul say, “Put on the whole armor of God” had lost their first love.

Jesus gave them the answer as to how to regain what they had lost when He told them, “Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.”

So if you notice that it just does not seem the same with your relationship with the Lord, go back to where you lost Him, and start over again. Follow the example of Mary and Joseph; go back to Jerusalem.

When they got there they found him in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions.

The boy Jesus could not understand why they took so long to find Him. He said, “How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I would be in My Father’s house?” They found what they were looking for in the Father’s house. Actually there are a great many things people are searching for in life that could be found in the Father’s house. They found Him in the midst.

Jesus should always be in the midst in any theological, religious question. He has the answer to any question about salvation, the Christian life style, the Judgment Day, or about Heaven or Hell. Somewhere between that statement in Genesis verse one, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, and the last word in Revelation, “Even so come, Lord Jesus”, you will find the answer. So let Jesus be always in the midst.


Another time when we find Jesus in the midst is in Matthew 18:20. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.”

This statement, “There am I in the midst of them” is one of the proofs of His divinity. Jesus is the only person who can be in two places at one time. He can be with us while gathered together in His name, and in Heaven at the right hand of God interceding for us.

Jesus said, “…in the midst of two or three.” Two or three is the smallest number you can get; anything less than that would be nobody. Two or three; He did not say two or three preachers, or two or three elders, or two or three deacons, or Sunday-School teachers. In fact, He did not even say two or three grownups.

Notice also that He did not say where the meeting took place. He did not say where this was, in a temple, or the barn. The meeting could be anywhere. One man about forty years ago wrote, and said he always listens to me in the barn while milking the cows. I asked him why in the barn, and he said, “When the cows hear you preach they give more milk.”

Then remember, Jesus said the two or three must gather together in His name. In fact, Jesus would say later on in John 14, “Whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do.” That seems to be a declaration that an ecumenical prayer is null and void.

Remember too, that Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name”; sounds as if Jesus expects us to gather together in His name. In fact, it must be very important to gather together in His name as we read the statement in Hebrew 10:25, where we are exhorted to, “Neglect not the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, and so much the more as ye see the day drawing nigh.”

Then in verses 29-30, the consequences of neglect, is to trod underfoot the Son of God, count the blood of the covenant wherewith we were sanctified an unholy thing, and hast done despite to the Spirit of grace. And then verse 31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” So on the Lord’s Day when we gather together in the Lord’s name, He will be in the midst of us.


Again we read how Jesus was in the midst on the cross. In John 19 He tells us, “They took Jesus therefore; and He went out bearing the cross for Himself, unto the place called, the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha: where they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus in the midst.”

The devil thought the cross was the instrument of victory for the kingdom of darkness, and what an insult for Jesus to be crucified as a criminal, and between two others who were robbers and murderers. But to Jesus, the bearing of the cross was the instrument of victory over the tyranny of death. Jesus had predicted in Matthew 16 when He would build His Church, “The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”, and here at the crucifixion He used the cross as a battering-ram to knock the gates of Hades off its hinges. And the insult of dying in the midst of thieves and robbers turned out as added glory to the cross in the salvation of one of the two who were crucified with Him.

Many have erroneously depended on loopholes and made the thief on the cross, a model of their own salvation. Don’t stop with the thief; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were also saved without Christian baptism. Jesus had not yet died, and the new covenant had not yet been sealed. Christian baptism was not in effect until the day of Pentecost when the three thousand believers obeyed the terms of pardon given by Peter, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” There is no evidence that day, any of the three thousand said to Peter, “What about the thief on the cross?”

Jesus did not die between two Apostles, or two prophets, lest there be some that would worship them and share His glory with others. Jesus is the One who died for us, and when He died for us, He paid it all. The price He paid covers every sin of any sinner who obeys the gospel; there was not even one sin remained to be burned off in the imaginary fires of purgatory. Jesus, dying in the midst, gave the message to humanity, “If the thief on the cross could be saved, Jesus can save anybody.” So look at the three crosses again; on one cross was the Saviour, on one was the sinner saved, and on the other was the sinner damned. Jesus was not slain on the altar in the temple where His blood mingled with the blood of lambs and goats, He was slain on the cross, and His blood mingled with robbers, and murderers.

However, the two thieves were not the only transgressors. Paul reminds us in Second Corinthians, “Him, who knew no sin, He made to be sin on our behalf; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus was numbered not only with the two thieves on the cross, but He was also numbered with us as transgressors, because on the cross He felt as though He was guilty of every sin we ever committed.

Jesus died in the midst, numbered with all transgressors, so that we might be numbered among the redeemed on the pages of the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Luke reminds us that Jesus was regarded as such a dangerous character that when a choice had to be made as to who should be crucified, they released Barabbas who was a murderer, and voted to crucify Jesus. The people of the Holy City thought they were safer with a murderer running around loose than Jesus. Evidently, Jesus is still regarded today as the most dangerous character on the planet. Prayers must not be prayed in public, or in school in Jesus’ name. Modern-day man is right; as long as Jesus is still in the midst of us in His Word and the influence of His Church, He is still the most dangerous enemy the devil and his followers have on this planet.


And now look at Jesus in the midst of a case of Judgment. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery, and having set her in the midst, and on the basis of the Law of Moses, asked Jesus to pass judgment on her. Jesus told them after writing on the ground, “He that is without sin among you let him cast a stone at her.” He stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground for a second time, and they went out one by one from the eldest of them unto the last: and Jesus was left alone and the woman where she was in the midst.

When Jesus asked, “Where are they; did no man condemn thee?”  She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee.” But Jesus also said something else besides “Neither do I condemn thee.”  He said, “Go, and sin no more.” This reminds us of a similar statement of Paul regarding Christians who continue in sin after forgiveness when He said in Romans 6:2-3, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. We who have died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?”

In the final Judgment the witnesses will not be able to slink away. Revelation 20:11, “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the heavens and the earth fled away and there was found no room for them.”


Now once again we see Jesus in the midst of His Churches. In Revelation one, we hear John say, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet saying, ‘What you see, write in a book and send unto seven Churches.’ When John turned to see the voice that spake unto him, he saw Jesus walking in the midst of seven golden candlesticks.” Jesus identified the candlesticks as Churches, and Jesus is walking in the midst of them.

When John heard the voice of Jesus like a trumpet, there was no doubt as to who was speaking. On the day of Pentecost, the day the Church was born, Peter quoted the prophet Joel in his second chapter predicting the establishing of the Church when he said, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain.” And now the trumpet sounds again as Jesus walks in the midst inspecting His Churches.

Jesus is very negative in His report. Five of the seven Churches were told to repent, but then He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore, and repent.”

There were no differences in the life style of the Christians then, than the people who were pagans. This seems to be the way it is in many Churches today. People become members of the Church, and you cannot see any difference in them than anyone else.

I heard of a man one time that said he was a Christian, and he made this admission to a friend. He said, “I smoke, I cuss, I drink in fact, I guess you could say I am a drunkard. I cheat on my wife, I am on drugs, I smoke pot, I gamble, but there is one thing I have never done; I have never given up my religion.” Ladies and Gentlemen, I meet people like that every day.

If five of these Churches out of seven were told to repent, then five people in every seven in any Church today needs to repent. I do not say that all you listening to this program at this time needs to repent, but five out of seven of you do. Jesus made this appraisal while walking in the midst of His Churches.

No wonder John said, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as one dead.” But Jesus laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not; for I am the first and the last, and the living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for ever more, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

Jesus has two keys, and on the resurrection day, with one key He can unlock every casket and every grave, and with the other key He can unlock the spirit-world and bring both soul and body together for the resurrection of the dead.


And now the last time we find Jesus in the midst will be Jesus is in the midst in Heaven. In Revelation seven, “John saw a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, and peoples and tongues; standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb.”

Jesus will be in the midst in Heaven, standing between the people and the throne of God; and then John said, “They shall hunger no more, nor thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat. And then John said, “For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and guide them unto the fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”