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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



March 25, 2012

The first chapter of the gospel according to John contains the running account of what happened on four successive days in the life of the Lord Jesus. But first consider the prologue of the gospel story that John uses in his story of the life of Jesus.
"In the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." When we communicate with each other we use words. It may be a gesture, written or spoken but it is by word. When God wanted to communicate with mankind He used a Word and the Word was Jesus. Look at the virgin birth; God is trying to tell you something. Look at the cross; God is trying to tell you something. Look at the Resurrection of Jesus; God is trying to tell you something. Look at the Church; God is trying to tell you something. Look at the Bible; God is trying to tell you something.
There came a man sent from God whose name was John. John the Apostle is quick to add emphatically, he was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. The preacher is not the light; Jesus is the light. Later on Jesus would say of John that He was a lamp that burneth and shineth and ye rejoiced in his light for a season. As witnesses we burn and shine for a brief while, but the light of the world is Jesus, not for a season but for all generations.
Consider too that the light shined in the darkness and darkness apprehended it not. That reminds us of what the Apostle Paul said to the Romans, "Because that knowing God they glorified Him not as God but became vain in their reasoning and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.” In other words their little peanut brain cannot hold all the knowledge they think they have and they live in the dark while they think they are enlightened.
He came unto His own and they that were His own received Him not, but as many as received Him to them gave He the right to become a child of God. Everyone who hears the gospel of Christ has a God given right to become a child of God, but that does not mean they will exercise that right.
Next John reminds us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus did not become God; He was God who came to earth and lived in flesh in the fashion of men. He was human and He was divine.

He made the world and it had no room for Him.
He made the rocks and they became a tomb for Him.
He made the steel that pierced the heart of Him,
The imbedded thorns that became a part of Him.
He molded the faces of those who sneered at Him,
He gave the sight to the ones who leered at Him.
Yet never a tear did the multitude shed for Him,
Though the sins of us all lay heavy as lead on Him.
He turned to God and God turned His face from Him,
He suffered alone, Marvelous grace of Him.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And now look at these four successive days in the life of Jesus.


 Day number one begins when a delegation of Jews from Jerusalem came to the wilderness to interview John the Baptist. Their first question was, "Who art thou?" We cannot imagine with what sarcasm they asked this question. "Who are you? You did not go to our Bible College. You are not accredited. Your degree is not recognized by the mainstream of God's people. What are your credentials? Who are you?”
John confessed and denied not, He confessed I am not the Christ. One well-known imposter was asked if he was Jesus and his answer was "I'm not saying I am and I'm not saying I'm not.”
Next they asked him if he was Elijah? Again he said, “I am not." John refused to say that he was the reincarnation of Elijah. The angel told Zacharias his father that he would go in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was not Elijah raised from the dead. Believers in re-incarnation can find no basis for this devilish doctrine here.
Then they said, "Who art thou that we may give an answer to them that sent us.” John said, "I am a voice crying in the wilderness.” Jesus was the Word and John was a voice. Actually that is what I am on this broadcast, a voice crying in the wilderness.
As you listen to the multitudes of preachers over the airwaves both television and radio how many do you hear preaching the message of one Lord, One faith, and One baptism? When did you hear a preacher tell the thousands of their listeners to do what Peter told the people to do the day the church began on the day of Pentecost? Isaiah the prophet said, “Make His ways straight.” There are a lot of things that need to be straightened out in the religious world. We need to straighten out their baptism. Repent and be immersed for the remission of sins. Get straightened out on the Lord's Supper. Observe this feast each and every first day of the week. Get straightened out as far as your identification is concerned. Why not be satisfied to wear the name of Christ and Christ alone. Make straight the way of the Lord.


And now we look at what happens on the second day. On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming to him and saith, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Notice that John did not say sins he said sin. This is what is called THE COLLECTIVE SINGULAR. He took all the sins of all the people who ever lived or ever will live: all the immorality, all the murders, all the stealing, all the drug addiction, all the drunkenness, all the blasphemies, all the lies, and felt the shame and the guilt of every one of those sins as though He Himself was guilty of all. Paul said it for us when he said, “He was made to be sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
In Revelation chapter seven John saw a number that no man could number out of every nation tongue people and tribe before the throne, having palms in their hands and arrayed in white robes. They cry with a great voice salvation to our God that sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb. They are identified as those who have come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. In Revelation chapter one, "Unto Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His blood and made us to be a Kingdom of priest..." Again in Revelation chapter twelve, "They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto death." Those who overcome are those who come out of the great tribulation. Paul identified the tribulation as the Christian life. He told the Churches after the first missionary tour, “With much tribulation you enter into the Kingdom of God. Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”
The Devil hates the blood. He has hated it ever since the beginning. God told Abel to offer a blood sacrifice. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Cain got the idea of a bloodless sacrifice from the Devil. God told him sin croucheth at his door. Every liberal since that time is a Cainite. Cain was the leadoff batter in the long list of blood fighters. Why is it this way? It is because the Devil wants to damn the souls of men and take them to hell. He knows that without the shedding of blood there is no remission. The greatest heresy a preacher can commit is to preach the gospel faithfully, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and then not tell them how to get under the blood.
Paul said in Romans six, "Know ye not that as many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death." Buried with Him in baptism, it is in that watery grave that we stand beneath the cross and contact the blood of Christ, our sins are washed away and we arise to walk in the newness of life. The Devil hates to hear this and that is why you seldom hear it. Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. And now we look at the third day.


Again on the morrow, that would be day number three. On this day John, Andrew and Peter would meet the Lord. John was standing and two of his disciples and he looked upon Jesus as He walked and said again, "Behold the Lamb of God." This is the same thing he said the day before. Sometimes a message needs to be repeated. This message cannot be repeated too many times, "Behold the Lamb of God." The two disciples followed Jesus, Jesus turned and asked them, "What seek ye?" This question Jesus asks of all who would follow Him. What are you looking for when you follow Him? That was an important question and one needed now.
One survey I saw indicated that people are looking for several things. First they want a Church that is convenient. Next on the list is one where they have a good musical program. Next was a Church with a good young people program, then a Church where their friends attend. An eloquent preacher was one of the ingredients and the last thing that was desired in a Church is the doctrine. What are you looking for as you follow the Lord? No way you can separate the Lord from what He said. You cannot separate Him from His baptism since we are buried with Him. You cannot separate Him from the Lord Supper since it is done in remembrance of Him. You cannot separate Him from His Church since it, is His bride. What are you looking for as you follow Jesus? One of the two, who followed Jesus, was Andrew. He findeth first his own Brother Simon and brought him to Jesus.
Notice that again, Andrew findeth first his own brother Simon. When God created Adam He said that it is not good for man that he should dwell alone and so He created woman. Adam would have been miserable by himself. That principle is true in the church. A person who finds Jesus is not satisfied until he can find someone else. A church that is not concerned about evangelizing must be a very miserable congregation. Go tell somebody about Jesus. If a person cannot preach or teach they can still seek the lost by sending others. Evangelizing needs to be the combined effort of the whole body.
Jesus looked upon him and said, “Thou art Simon the son of John, thou shalt be called Cephas which is by interpretation Peter.” Peter means stone. Perhaps there is more here than we see at first glance, thou art stone, Jesus saw what he could become. He sees what we can become also. It was Peter himself who said that we are precious living stones built up a spiritual house. As members of the Church of Christ we are all called stones by the Holy Spirit. The Church is not built on Peter any more than it is built on all of us who are members of the Church of Christ. The Church is built on the foundation of the fact that Peter expressed when he said, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God.” Paul tells us other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ. And now let us look at day number four.


 On the morrow that is day number four, Jesus called Philip and Nathanael. Nathanael is the one who said, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" He was prejudiced. He had already made up his mind before he saw the Lord. Many have already made up their minds what they believe before they come to the Word of God. Philip's only answer was, “Come and see.” That is the only help I can give to those who are prejudice about leaving a denominational name and a denominational baptism. Come and see. Have you ever read it for yourself? Open your Bible and read it for yourself: Come and see.
Nathanael came to see for himself and Jesus said, "Behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile." Nathanael said, "Rabbi, whence knowest thou me?" Jesus said, “I saw thee yesterday when you were under the fig tree.” Nathanael said, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel."
Jesus saw Nathanael under a fig tree. A fig tree has large heavy leaves. A person could easily sit in the shade of a grove of fig trees and be hidden from view. Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree. Nathanael got the message. He knew there was no way anybody could see what he was doing under that tree. He knew if the Lord could see him there, He could see anybody anywhere anytime. He can see what we do and He can see what we think. No wonder Nathanael said, “Rabbi thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel.”
He confessed his faith in Jesus as God. This is important? There are seven confessions in the gospel according to John. The first one is by John the Baptist; This is the Son of God. The second one is here by Nathanael, Thou art the Son of God, and thou art the King of Israel. The third is by Peter in the sixth chapter, "We believe and know that thou art the Holy One of God." The fourth one is by the Lord Himself in the tenth chapter, "I am the Son of God." The fifth one is by Martha in the eleventh chapter, "Yea, Lord I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, even He that cometh into the world." The sixth one is in the twentieth by Thomas, "My Lord and My God." Then the seventh one is by the Apostle John also in the twentieth chapter, "These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and believing ye might have life in His name."
Sometimes people wonder just what was it that Nathanael was doing under that fig tree? Since Jesus made a reference to angels ascending and descending upon the son of Man; the best answer that could be given would be something about Jacob and his dream of a ladder that stretched from earth to heaven. Then the Lord referred to Nathanael as an Israelite in whom there was no guile. Jacob had as much guile as anyone.
Jesus told Nathanael that he would see greater things than these. What were the greater things he would see? He would see Jesus raise the dead and He would see Him give sight to the blind. He would see the resurrected body of Jesus. He would see Him taken up into Heaven He would someday see Him coming again on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory. He saw Him now as the King of Israel, but he would see Him later as the King of