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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012




Mark chapter seven gives us the right approach to the popular saying these days: WWJD-What would Jesus do? Mark seven tells us what Jesus won’t do, then it tells us what Jesus could not do, and then it tells us what Jesus could do. First look at what Jesus won’t do.


Jesus told the Pharisees and scribes, “This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. In vain do ye worship Me, teaching as your doctrines the commandments of men.” The Lord Jesus can guide us in life by what He will do and He also guides us by what He won’t do. He is very emphatic in this chapter about something He will not do. He will not accept man ade doctrines in place of the word of God. This is what He won’t do.
The Pharisees and scribes had come from Jerusalem and asked why the disciples did not wash their hands when they ate bread. This was one of the religious rules they had made up and obeyed to the letter and then disobeyed the commands of God. Jesus wants soul worship and they gave Him body worship. He wanted their hearts and they gave Him their lips. He wanted the thoughts of their mind and they gave Him banners, the lightning of candles, skits, entertainment, and buildings. He wants our Lord’s Days and they gave him Saturday night and called it Sunday morning.
There are several illustrations in the New Testament where doctrines of men were placed above doctrines of God. In First Timothy Paul warns Timothy in the fourth chapter that the Spirit speaketh expressly about the latter times when men will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. Before I read to you what Paul said it might be well to remind you of the futility of speaking of these things to some. Paul says they speak lies and not only do they speak lies, but also their conscience has been cauterized, seared, branded as with a hot iron. They will never see the truth but we still need to be reminded of the warnings given in the scriptures. Two of the doctrines of demons mentioned are the commands not to marry and abstaining from meats which God created to be received with thanks giving.
Regarding marriage Jesus said that there are men who are eunuchs from their mother’s womb, some who have been made eunuchs by men and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of heaven’s sake. Whether a person marries or not is a matter of choice. According to Paul when a church legislates on the matter it becomes a doctrine of demons. Subsequent history has proven this to be true many times. Remember Jesus said, “In vain do ye worship Me teaching as your doctrines the commandments of men.”
And then regarding the eating of meat, Mark reminds us Jesus made all meats clean and Paul says meats were created to be received with thanksgiving. Our menu is a matter of personal choice, but to command to abstain from meats is another doctrine of demons. It looks like Paul was making reference to the menu during something called the Lenten season. What shall we give up for Lent? Mark tells us what to give up, not only for forty days, but for three hundred and sixty five days; evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, covetings, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, railing, pride, foolishness. Ladies and Gentlemen, these are the things that defile the man, but to eat steak on Good Friday defileth not the man. In vain do ye worship Me teaching as your doctrines the commandments of men.
The Apostles came to Jesus and said, “Knowest Thou that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” Jesus did not apologize for what He taught and warned the disciples, “Let them alone every plant which My Heavenly Father planted not shall be rooted up.” A preacher one time called and asked for advice on starting a radio program in a large city. He said he had a problem. He said I believe you need to repent and be immersed for the remission of sins, however the preacher who precedes me on another program does not believe that way. My problem is; how can I preach the gospel without offending my brother? Fear of offending others is one of the Devil’s best weapons in the faithful proclamation of the word. The gospel of Christ is judgmental. We cannot afford to be concerned if people are offended by the truth. The advice Jesus gave to His Apostles and modern day preachers was, ”Let them alone, every plant which My Father planted not shall be rooted up.”
I received a fine letter from a preacher who had words of commendation for this ministry, but in his letter he said he followed the traditions of Rome, Geneva, and Scotland. I tactfully replied that the difference between us was while he followed the traditions of Rome, Geneva, and Scotland, I followed the traditions of the Apostles of Jesus at Jerusalem. Listen again to the words of the Master, “In vain do ye worship Me teaching as your doctrines the commandments of men.” This is what Jesus won’t do.


Now here is something Jesus cannot do. He could not be hid. When Jesus came to the borders of Tyre and Sidon He went into a house and would have no man know it; and He could not be hid. Jesus was now in gentile country and even though in His earthly ministry His message was for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, there is a hint even here of a wider proclamation of His message for a later time. This gentile woman’s request for her daughter vexed with a demon indicates the news of His mighty works was well known. He could not be hid.
Jesus does not go very far into Tyre and Sidon; He came only to the borders. In a similar way most of us cannot go into many a place where we need to go to preach the gospel. This radio ministry does not take the place of those that have gone and spent their whole lives in foreign places to preach, but it is something that we can do. At least we can reach out and touch the borders of our Tyre and Sidon. Others can reach out and touch the borders of their Tyre and Sidon by helping to send others to go in their place.
Her request for help was at first ignored. According to Matthew the woman said, “Lord help me!” This is a handy prayer we all can use. Lord help me. I use this handy prayer in the preparation of sermons for this program. Lord help me. It is a handy prayer to pray in time of sickness, Lord help me. It is a handy prayer to pray when you are tired and can’t say anything else. Lord help me. It is a good prayer to pray when you awaken at night and concerned as to how you can pay your bills, Lord help me. When there doesn’t seem to be any way out of the problems in your life, you can always pray, Lord help me. Lord help me to go to the borders of my Tyre and Sidon.
The Apostles told Jesus to send her away she crieth after us. She was not crying after them she was crying after Jesus. She had a real daughter at home, vexed by a real Devil, and she knew that Jesus was a real Savior, she was crying after Him not them. We can learn from her example. When you need divine help do not cry after any of the departed saints, whether it be St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Jude, St Antony, or even Mary the mother of Jesus. Save your breath and cry after the Lord. He is the mediator between God and man.
Then the Lord told her it was not meet to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs. She said, ‘Truth Lord, but even the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table.” This may seem like a harsh thing to say. He reminded her that the Jews referred to gentiles as dogs. Actually the scripture refers to the alien sinner in worse terms than dogs.
Listen to what the inspired Apostle says about the Gentile and Jew without the forgiveness we can have in Christ. There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one: Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of the asp is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the ways of peace they have not know: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
This is the way God sees the human rascal. A human being is like an iceberg. What is seen may look bright and shiny, but nine tenths of it is under water, dark and dangerous. And the first step toward forgiveness and acceptance with God is to say what this Greek woman a Syrophoenician by race, a Gentile dog said, “Truth Lord.” When the Lord tells us our righteousness is as filthy rags, say truth Lord.
We have found out on this broadcast that people in all cultures and forms of government have heard of Jesus and want to know more. Tell us more about Jesus and send us Bibles is the request of hundreds even in places where persecution and death may result.
We cannot imagine Hitler as President of the USA. The English cannot imagine George Washington as the King of England. Who could imagine Napoleon as governor of California? But all nations, cultures, races and ethnic groups can see Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I saw a cartoon years ago of a German U-boat sinking in the Atlantic. A lifeboat with survivors was shown and a shadowy figure in the prow of the boat representing Christ was seen, and the Lord was saying, “I am with you always even unto the end of the world.” What a shock that was to me. I always thought Jesus was on our side during that war. The need of Jesus transcends all peoples everywhere in the face of eternity. He could not be hid. He could not be hidden even on the cross. They tried to hide His deity when He was numbered with the transgressors, but the leader of that crucifixion detail recognized Him for who He really was when He said it for us all. “Truly this was the Son of God.” He could not be hid.
Jesus could not be hid as we read the story line of the Old Testament. He stands out in bold relief in the Garden of Eden with the proclamation of God; “The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent and he shall bruise His heel.” Adam, Eve, and the Devil saw the promise of Jesus after they sinned. He could not be hid.
Again we see Him in the wilderness when God provided manna from heaven to feed Israel. Jesus later said, “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live forever: and the bread which I live is My flesh for the life of the world.” This statement provides overtones for the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week when multiplied millions see Jesus lifted up on the cross in the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Jesus appears again and again in the story line of the Old Testament. He cannot be hid.


WWJD, What would Jesus do? We have found out what He won’t do, and also what He cannot do, and now a word about what He can do. Jesus went out from Tyre and Sidon and came through the midst of the borders of Decapolis. They brought to Him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They beseech Him to lay His hand on him. Jesus took him aside from the multitude privately, and put His fingers into his ears, and He spat, and touched his tongue; and looked up to heaven.
Before we notice the miracle it is well to consider that Jesus looked up into heaven first. The Lord by this action, looking up into heaven is leading us today. Anytime we want to do something special for the Lord whether it be preparing a message, preaching a revival, or making a trip on behalf of the Kingdom, always look up to heaven first. I knew one preacher who was very successful in winning souls to the Lord as he made hospital calls on the sick. I marveled at the way he did it. I asked him what was his secret? He said it is always easier to talk to people lying flat on their backs in a hospital because the only way they can look is straight up. Most people in time of great stress whether it is sickness, loss of a job, or any other concern they cannot handle alone will look up to heaven. It just seems the natural thing to do. I have had hundreds of funerals for people who had no use for the Lord and His church, but when they died did not look to the bartender, or the drug pusher, they wanted something done or said about heaven. I was amazed at one funeral I had of a man who had told me that sports was the answer to the troubles of the world. I was sure when he died they would put his casket on the fifty-yard line and have the coach to preach his funeral. Instead they called on me. When the chips are down in life looking up to heaven is the only direction that makes any sense.
Actually when Jesus looked up to heaven the deaf man got the message. This cure is coming from above, and not only that, but what a powerful reminder all the rest of his days to look up to heaven for all of the trials of life. And so He put His fingers in his ears. He put His fingers into his ears because that is where his problem lay. Jesus always knows where to put His finger on our problem. He sighed, and saith unto him, “Ephphatha,” that is, be opened. And his ears were opened, and the bond of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And they were beyond measure astonished, saying, “He hath done all things well; He maketh even the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.” That is what Jesus can do. He can do all things well.
Truly Jesus doeth all things well even in the use of His finger. His finger is mightier than all the weapons that men have ever devised. It was with His finger that He wrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone. In Deuteronomy, Moses said “The Lord delivered unto me two tablets of stone written by the finger of God.” Jesus wrote with His finger on the ground. We do not know what He wrote, but we do know that Jeremiah said, “He writes our sins on our hearts with an iron pen, and with the point of a diamond.” Luke tells us that Jesus cast out demons by the finger of God. The magicians in the court of Pharaoh could not duplicate the plague of lice and explained to Pharaoh this is the finger of God. The finger of the Lord is stronger than the Devil. He doeth all things well. The greatest proof that He did all things well is in the statement of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews when he states that Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are and yet without sin. The bottom line of that statement is, Every thing He ever said did or thought in the days when He sojourned on earth in the tabernacle of flesh was done well.
All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.
WWJD, What would Jesus do? He won’t accept the doctrines of men in place of His own. What would Jesus do? He cannot be hid. What would Jesus do? He doeth all things well. WWJD.