Donate to The 'God Is Just A Prayer Away' radio broadcast

Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

THE LIVING WORD -- March 6, 2011



MARCH 6, 2011

In John chapter seven we find Jesus walking in Galilee, and for the present time He did not want to walk in Judea because the Jews wanted to kill Him, and since His hour had not yet come, He wanted to avoid going to Jerusalem at that time. However, the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem was at hand, and it was one of the major feast days of the Jews, and the half-brothers of Jesus (James, Joses, Simon, and Judas) who did not believe in Him at that time, were telling Him that He ought to go up to Jerusalem, and demonstrate what He could do. “It will be good for business,” they said. At least that is what it amounted to. “Go up, and work some miracles, and show what you can do.”

The brothers of Jesus thought that Jesus should act like some egotistical preachers today, “If you are who you say you are, manifest thyself. Rent a billboard. Put your picture on it, and advertise thyself.” Let the billboard say, “THE PROPHET JESUS OF NAZARETH WILL APPEAR IN PERSON FRIDAY NIGHT AT SEVEN P.M. IN THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM IN A GREAT JUBILEE HEALING SERVICE HONORING THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. ALL SEATS FREE; COME EARLY FOR A BACK SEAT.”

That is what they wanted, but Jesus declined on the basis that His hour was not yet come. Actually the Lord used that term more than once. At the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee, when Mary said to Him, “They have no wine,” he said in John 2:4, “Woman, what have I to do with thee, mine hour is not yet come.” The hour had not yet come in John 8:20 when He was speaking in the treasury of the temple, “No man took him, because his hour was not yet come.” It was not until He prayed His longest recorded prayer, that He prayed, “Father the hour is come, glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee.” The hour Jesus had planned for before the foundation of the world had finally arrived, when He went to the cross.

In Galatians 4:4, Paul informs us how Jesus timed His coming into the world via the virgin birth at the right moment, in the fullness of time. It was the fullness of time for several reasons.

Number one: The world was under one government; passports were not needed for the evangelists to go from one country to another.

Number two: Greek was a universal language; missionaries did not need to go to language schools to learn a foreign language.

Number three: Communications were better than ever, although they had no television, radio, or computers; the highway system was better than ever. A golden spike in Rome symbolized the fact that all roads led to Rome. Some of us have been on those roads that exist until these days.

Number four: Everywhere the Jews were scattered, they built a synagogue, and the first-century evangelists in the book of Acts found a place to introduce the gospel of Christ without expensive building programs.

Number five: There was a two hundred year period of time when there was peace through the world. No major wars were going on, and Rome ruled the world. It was at such a period of time that Jesus made His arrival on planet earth. The Lord of the universe had arrived in the fullness of time, and He arrived right on time; God’s time. And you can be sure He will come again right on time; God’s time.

Now the Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews chapter four that the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. He said it pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints, and marrow, quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Bible is a living book; a book that is alive. You can put your hand on it, and you may not feel its pulse, but it is alive. You can apply the stethoscope to it, and not hear a heartbeat, but it is alive. You can put the blood pressure cup on it, and get a zero reading, but it is alive. But you cannot read the Word of God very long and a verse will leap right off the page and stab you. It is a living book full of life--eternal life.

The Bible is the only book that has that effect on us. We can read about an incident in the Word of God, and sometimes as we read about that incident, it seems to say more to us than the mere telling of that story, and we realize the Holy Spirit is speaking to us. In fact Paul reminds us in First Corinthians chapter ten, that the events in the Word of God happened by way of example, and were written for our admonition, on which the end of the ages is come. This story of the Feast of Tabernacles is one such story. So here is a list of several things the living Word speaks to us as we read the story of the Feast of Tabernacles.


First, look again at that statement about the half-brothers of Jesus. It says in verse five, “For even his brothers did not believe on Him.” Remember in Luke 2:7, the statement about the birth of the Lord, “She brought forth her firstborn son.” The only begotten Son of God was the firstborn; it appears the other brothers were half-brothers by Joseph. The brothers referred to here were not spiritual brothers, for at this time they did not believe on Him. However, whatever way you look at it, the statement is true today. At this point the living Word speaks to us today. It appears that many today that call themselves brothers in Christ do not act like it.

Apparently many brothers in Christ do not believe in Him. They don’t believe on His Word since they rarely read it, and many do not believe the Lord’s Supper is all that important, because it can be pre-empted for any other activity. Many brethren of Jesus do not believe in prayer, since the only time they make use of it is that one-minute prayer they pray at bedtimes as fire insurance, just in case the Lord comes, or they die before they wake. Many who consider themselves brothers in Christ are not taking serious thought that Jesus could return any time, even though we are warned in an hour that ye think not, the Son of man cometh, and again that sobering reminder in First Thessalonians five, “When they are saying peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.” So, even His brothers today do not believe on Him. Remember the Bible is the living Word. The Bible is alive.


Another statement in this story testifies to us when Jesus said to His brothers, “Go ye up unto the feast; I go not unto the feast; the world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil.” In other words Jesus was saying, “My presence will disturb; I will make them feel uncomfortable because of their lifestyle, but your presence won’t bother anybody.” The lifestyle of Jesus would upset things because His example testified to the world that its works were evil.

Evidently the lifestyle of His brothers did not bother anybody. The living Word speaks to us at this time, “Does our presence ever disturb? Do people sometimes apologize to us if they take God’s name in vain in our presence? When fiends appear at our services, are we disturbed if, by some stretch of the imagination, the preacher should touch on some doctrine of scripture the listener did not approve? Does our philosophy, rather than disturb them, let them go to Hell in peace?” At any rate, Jesus told His half-brothers to go up to the feast. He would not be going right at that time.

Jesus told the Apostles in His farewell address in John 15, “If the world hateth you, ye know it hated me, before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” The world hates the Church because of their belief in doctrine they do not believe; and they hate the Church because the Bible condemns their lifestyle. Jesus said, “Beware when all men speak well of you.” When a Christian dies, the greatest insult you can give him at his funeral is to say, “This man never had an enemy in his life; everybody loved him.” The Bible is the living Word. The Bible is alive.

How about you? Does your presence in any crowd put a crimp in the proceedings? Could it be said that no one ever suspects anything as far as your being a Christian is concerned? Jesus always disturbs. Can you imagine His coming back in the world today for a short visit in the flesh? Would His presence disturb people in a congregation where they don’t have the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day? Would His attendance cause any embarrassment about the offering? No doubt, if He were present, the offering plates would be piled higher than they ever had been. His presence would no doubt disturb just as much now as then. The Bible is the living Word. The Bible is alive.


Then there is that statement when Jesus said His time was not yet come, and then told the brothers their time was always ready. Again the living Word speaks to us. I am glad He told them their time was ready; and so is ours. We all have the same amount of time; 168 hours a week and the time is always ready. So what will you do with the time? It is said the question that is asked most often each day is, “What time is it?” The answer is given in Hosea 10:12, “It is time to seek the Lord.”

Some may say, “Life today is so busy there is no time for this church stuff.” Jesus said you do have time; your time is always ready. I have a small plaque on the wall of my office; it has been there many years and it reminds me, “Only one life twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Someone has written these lines:

“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power

To tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour.

Today is all the time you own, so love live work with a wil

Put no trust in tomorrow, for the hands may then be still.”

Your time is always ready, and it’s later than you think! The Bible is the living Word. The Bible is alive.


Then when He arrived at the feast in His own time, Jesus was on the mind of everybody. They were saying everywhere, “Where is He?” Again the living Word speaks to us. Where is He today? The answer to the question is, “You will find Him where the saints are assembled for worship.” He said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Where is He? You will find Him waiting for you at the cross, because Paul said on two occasions that we were buried with Him in baptism; and when that happened, we were not baptized alone. It was at that moment we stood beneath the cross, and were covered by the blood. We met Jesus at the cross. We were baptized into His death, and we met Jesus at the cross.

Where is He? We can find Him at the Lord’s Table because He said, “This is my body which is broken for you, and this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many unto the remission of sins, this do in remembrance of me.”

Where is He? You will find Him in the Word of God, in every prayer, every parable, every prophecy, in all the preaching, in every promise, and on every page.

Where is He? We can find Him in the Great Commission when He said, “Teach all nations, and I am with you always even unto the end of the world.” We can find Him in every evangelistic effort, every activity in our testimony concerning Jesus, either privately or publicly, because of that statement, “I am with you always.”

Where is He? You will find Him waiting for you at the end of the faithful life. Paul informs us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The gospel song says it well for us, “When the darkness I see, He will be waiting for me; I won’t have to cross Jordan alone.”

Where is He? You will find Him also in the time of prayer, for He is at the right hand of God interceding for us, “There is one God and one Mediator between God and man himself; Christ Jesus.” Where is He? That is a good question. He is waiting with the saints in worship, waiting at the cross to offer salvation, waiting at the Lord’s Table, and waiting at the end of the Christian’s life.

Again, why would anyone want to know where He is? Some wanted to know, so they could kill Him, like King Herod. Some wanted to crown Him king, as they did after the feeding of the five thousand.

We might turn the question around, and ask it this way, “Is He in your family? Is He in your home? Is He in your lifestyle? Can people see Christ in you, the hope of glory? The Bible is the living Word. The Bible is alive.


And now one more time the living Word speaks to us when it says, “Then when they found him, none spoke openly about him for fear of the Jews.” The living Word speaks to us again. Times have not changed; many speak of Him at the church meetings, in song and preaching, and prayer, but never speak openly of Him publicly in daily life, for fear of being called a religious freak. Many are like Nicodemus was for a while. He was a disciple secretly for fear of the Jews. But after the death of Jesus on the cross, he came out publicly and asked for the body of Jesus.

We are told in Acts chapter eight, “When persecution came, the disciples went everywhere preaching the word.” In Acts chapter five, “The apostles were beaten and told not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus, and they went forth, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name, and every day in the home, and in the temple they ceased not to teach, and to preach that Jesus was the Christ.” The fact that we realize that Jesus died to save us from hell fire, and that Jesus is coming again to judge the world, ought to loosen our tongues, because the Bible is the living Word. The Bible is alive.

To some the Bible is a dead book. In Colossians 2:12, Paul shows the difference as to who are really dead when He says, “Having been buried with Him in baptism, through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, being dead through your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh, and you did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses; having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us; and he hath taken it out of the way nailing it to his cross.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jesus is alive, His church is alive, the Bible is alive, the Great Commission to the Apostles is alive, and the one and only way a world dead in trespasses and sins, can ever be resurrected is, “Go ye, into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.”