Pressure

“Then saith He unto them, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.’ ”  Matthew 26:38

We humans experience pressure. It is called stress. Those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior believe Jesus to be fully God and fully Man. We recognize Him as flesh and blood human, of the race of Adam just as we are.

I have for many years struggled over this scene of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and have heard and been taught for years that Jesus was asking to be delivered from the cross. In recent years I have settled this in my own heart and mind, and I believe it is Scriptural.

I see many times that the gospels mention Jesus having His eyes set on Jerusalem near the final days of His life. That meaning He had His eyes set on paying our sin debt. That is one reason I cannot fathom the idea of His praying to be delivered from dying on the cross.

The verse above settles it for me. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” and that looks to be what He is going to pray about when He says, “Let this cup pass from Me”.  He was pressured by what would be too early a death right there in Gethsemane.

I believe the Father answered His prayer and gave Him the physical strength to make it to the cross where He fulfilled the Father’s will dying for my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world.

The House of God

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves,
‘Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.’
And His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.’
Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, ‘What sign shewest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?’ Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
Then said the Jews, ‘Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?’ But He spake of the temple of His body.
When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:13-22 (KJB)

Why would Jesus get angry over the selling of sacrificial goods in the temple area? Could it have been because it was an affront to the holiness and righteousness of God? That would certainly be one reason. Because of that it entailed the robbery also that was going on.

People would bring their own sacrificial lamb or meal offering, and the sellers would find some flaw on the people’s offering; most generally the poor who would bring the best they had; then they would name some flaw and then sell them one that was available. Then they would take that one and sell it to someone else.

If you think Jesus would never be angry you would be wrong. Read the above verses. Jesus was angry over His Father’s house becoming a place of corrupt business practices which was profiting the well to do and robbing from the poverty stricken.

Unrighteous acts and deeds; yes all unrighteousness causes anger in the One who is holy, righteous and just.

We are all unrighteous, unholy and unjust. We need a Savior and His name is Jesus. He died on the cross taking the judgment of the Father on Himself, becoming our sin, unrighteousness and unjustness; and became forsaken by His Father for us. He went to the grave dead for our sins, and He rose victoriously conquering sin, death, hell and the grave. Because He lives He gives us His righteousness when we by faith and repentance call on His name.

Will you call on Him today?  He will hear and He will save.

Scripture Fulfilled

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’
And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them,
‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.’ ”  Luke 4:16-21  (KJB)

It was the greatest day in Jewish history. It was, yet some would not recognize the One who stood before them and read from the prophet Isaiah, then told them that that Scripture was fulfilled that day.

The prophecy was one that spoke of the Messiah who was coming, and now had come, and Jesus was Him. He is the Anointed One. He would be the One who was chosen by God because He was perfect, sinless, undefiled; and no one is sinless but God.

The verses which follow 16 – 21 show what they thought of Him. They sought to kill Him by throwing Him off the cliff.

O how the Jewish people had longed for the Messiah. The teachers, the scribes and the Pharisees and priests had taught of the Messiah; but many did not know and/or refused to know Him when He arrived.

Do you know Jesus? He is the One who died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again proving that His work on the cross was finished. The debt of our sin was paid in full.  Call on His name in faith. He will hear and He will save you.

The Need

“And He went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto Him, and He taught them. And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him,
‘Follow Me.’
And he arose and followed Him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, ‘How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?’
When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
‘They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ ”  Mark 2:13-17  (KJB)

Matthew is called by Jesus to follow Him. He leaves the position he holds as tax collector which is a position hated by his fellow Jews; thus, they hate tax collectors. Jesus calls him because He loves him.

As usual the scribes and Pharisees see Jesus eating and drinking with such “low lifes” and begin to criticize Him. They do not get it. They do not see the need. They do not see their great need for redemption and forgiveness.

For a man or woman of any rank in life, any job or profession in life and business to be redeemed from their sin they first need to be sick, lost, without hope. No self righteous individual can come to Jesus for salvation. You can see the result of that by the condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees.

The sick and diseased need a physician. The sick and diseased of heart, mind and soul need the Great Physician. His name is Jesus Christ, He is the Son of the Living God and God the Living Son. He died on the cross, was buried carrying away all our sin, shame and condemnation, and He rose again. He lives.

Call on His name and He will hear and He will heal you, and cleanse you of your sin.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – John 20:19-23

“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them,
‘Peace unto you.’
And when He had so said, He shewed unto them hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again,
‘Peace unto you: as Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.’
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them,
‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.’ ”  John 20:19-23  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – John 19:28-30

“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith,
‘I thirst.’
Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said,
‘It is finished:’
and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”  John 19:28-30  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – John 18:19-24

“The high priest then asked Jesus of His disciples, and of His doctrine. Jesus answered him,
‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou Me? Ask them which heard Me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.’
And when He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, ‘Answerest Thou the high priest so?’ Jesus answered him,
‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou Me?’
Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.”  John 18:19-24  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091520

“And as they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning unto them said,
‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.’  Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us;’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’  For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?’
And there were also two other, malefactors, led with Him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Then said Jesus,
‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’
And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.”  Luke 23:26-34  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091420

“And He said unto them,
‘When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing?’
And they said, ‘Nothing.’ Then said He unto them,
‘But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, ‘And He was reckoned among the transgressors:’ for the things concerning Me have an end.’
And they said, ‘Lord, behold, here are two swords.’ And He said unto them,
‘It is enough.’  ”  Luke 22:35-38  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 090620

“And there went great multitudes with Him: and he turned, and said unto them,
‘If any come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.’
”  Luke 14:25-33  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 082320

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
which is, being interpreted,
My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, ‘Behold, He calleth Elias.’ And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink, saying, ‘Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.’ And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.  Mark 15:33-39  (KJB)

Words Of Jesus; Son Of God, God The Son – 080720

“And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Art thou the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said unto him,
‘Thou sayest.’
And when He was accused of the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
Then said Pilate unto Him, ‘Hearest Thou not how many things they witness against thee?’ And He answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.”  Matthew 27:11-14  (KJB)

Words Of Jesus; Son Of God, God The Son – 073020

“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,
‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.’ ” Matthew 20:17-19  (KJB)

With The Precious Blood Of Christ

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”  1 Peter 1:18-25  (KJB)

We Go Up To Jerusalem

“Then He took the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished…’ ” Luke 18:31 (KJB)

Since the day of His birth the salvation story was for Jesus to go to Jerusalem, and die for the sins of Adam’s race, thus the world (John 3:16).  Jesus’s heart was to glorify the Father, and accomplish all that the Father gave Him to do.

All that the Law had spoken condemned Adam kind, and provided no hope but only complete obedience to it, without flaw, or blemish. The prophets spoke of One who would come, to be the sacrifice for sin, One who was without sin, without flaw, who would fulfill all the commandments of God (Isaiah 51 – 53), and Jesus was the fulfillment of those prophecies.

At this time of year we are reminded of the birth, the first coming of our Redeemer. Lest any forget Christmas is not just a holiday, it is a Holy day, to remind us that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem to one day (33 years later), go up to Jerusalem, to be falsely accused, wrongly and evilly judged, and found guilty of nothing more than being the perfect, sinless Son of God. He was sentenced to die on a Roman cross on that hill called the “the Skull”. He bled, He died, was buried, and He rose again.

Back in February I wrote on verses 31-34; and it seemed appropriate to write on this verse near the end of the 2019 year.

We need to always remember that if  God has said it; it shall be done. We do not need to go up to Jerusalem to meet Jesus, and to call on His name. He is as close as you speaking a word. Call on His name. He will hear. He will save.

The Disciple of Jesus Christ

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)

Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.

There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).

The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.

…To All People

“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…” Luke 2:10 (KJB)

I find it somewhat odd that the scholars, the priest, the religionist of the day in Jerusalem missed the obvious signs. The signs that the Messiah was on the way. I will not get into what those signs were. Others saw them from further away.

The shepherds in the field were not the first. They are the first mentioned in our text, but in the totality of the text of the gospel it includes the wise men from the east (Matthew 2:1-12). The wise men would have began most likely weeks before when they saw the “star”, and they traveled together and found the new born King, not in a manger, but a house.

In the birth of Jesus the LORD of Creation is declaring that His Son’s birth is a gift to all who will come to Him and believe in the gift of His grace. The grace that will be displayed by His death on the cross, His burial not only proving He died, but that He also carried all our sin, condemnation, guilt, and shame away, and then He arose leaving all of that behind and He eternally lives.  Because He lives all from every nation, every tongue, and every tribe of people who believe in Him have eternal life.

“Fear not” the angel said. The great good tidings to all the earth. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Way of the Wicked Heart

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD search the heart, try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” Jeremiah 17:9-11 (KJB)

Let me get right to the point. There is no male or female who is without a wicked heart, until that heart has been changed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the perfect, sinless, Son of God; the only One who did not have a wicked heart.

Apart from the grace of God displayed on the cross that wicked heart can still make an appearance if we stray for walking with the LORD.

The part of these verses that caught my attention this morning was verse 11 dealing with the partridge; apparently a bird that could have been known for taking eggs of another bird, sitting on them, an leaving them at the first sign of trouble.

The wicked heart of Adam’s kind steals from others, and is shown to be a fool in his end.

God knows your heart.  You may think you do.  When you have seen some evil, wicked thing; you may have thought, or even said out loud, “I would never do anything like that”. That wicked heart you do not believe you have can show up suddenly, and openly, then the whole world around you will see. It is, in fact, your wicked heart that would lead you to think, and/or say such a thing.

O you of Adam kind will you give your heart, your soul, your mind to Jesus Christ? Do so today.

Like His Brethren

“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on the seed of Abraham.

Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:16-17 (KJB)

As I read these words this morning the word “behoved” asked the question, “What is the meaning of this word?”  Behooved is the modern spelling. I found this…

BEHOOVE, v.t. behoof’. To be necessary for; to be fit for; to be meet for, with respect to necessity, duty, or convenience.

And thus it behooved Christ to suffer. Luke 24.” 1828 Websters Dictionary

So we can learn from these verses above that Jesus our Savior saw it as necessary that He die for the sins of the world that He might redeem unto Himself a people. There was, and there is no other way of redemption.

When God says there is no other way; whether it involve the giving of His son, or the salvation of Adam kind; then there is no other way.

Jesus Christ died for our sins; He was buried carrying away all our sin, shame, guilt, and condemnation; then He rose victorious over the grave. Call on His name He is  the only Savior of the world.

Believe the Testimony

“And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace unto you.’ Then saith He to Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.’
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”  John 20:26-31  (KJB)

Thomas had said, “Except I see the print of the nails in His hands, and put my fingers into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side I will not believe” (v. 25). Now Jesus appears in the midst of the disciples, and it appears that Thomas does not avail himself of that opportunity.

It does not say it in the text, but I can almost see Thomas as he said, “My Lord and my God”, bowing on his face before Jesus.  I say that because I am pretty certain that when I see the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ that will be my response.

Jesus gives a rebuke to Thomas, saying to him, “…Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.”

Who are these folks who have not seen yet believed?

It is all those who have believed since that day following the ascension of Jesus up to the Father.  It is you.  It is me.  We have not yet seen the resurrected Jesus, but we have Believed the Testimony of the disciples/apostles, and that is because of those who were generations before us who also believed the testimony.

The testimony of Scripture.  The testimony of the Gospels.  The testimony of the apostles, and all who followed them.  Have you heard them and believed?

Growing by the Numbers

Matthew 13:31-33

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.’
Another parable spake He unto them; ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.’” Matthew 13:31-33 (KJB)

These two parables if you will notice are placed between the parable of the wheat and the tares, and the explanation of the wheat and the tares. This was intentional so that we might see His intent of the two parables. He is warning us of the deception of the enemy. We all like to see growth in our churches. Hopefully we mean by growth – people being called to Christ through faith in the shed blood of Jesus’s death, His burial, and resurrection. Too many times churches have crowds, members, and numbers, but no salvations. “But Oh, we had a great crowd. There was excitement in the air.” something along this line said, and everybody is feeling great; but is Jesus truly praised, worshiped, and glorified?

I. The growth of the mustard seed in this parable would normally be to become the bush of an herb.

* + It, however, becomes like an “Oak tree”.
* + How is it that the power, popularity, and prestige of Christianity has increased in past years?

II. The devil likes nothing better than for the church and the kingdom to have an unholy, ungodly, supernatural growth.

* + We are accepting people into congregations that call themselves Christian, but they have had no personal experience with Jesus.
* + They are still in their sins, unforgiven, unredeemed.
* + They have not been regenerated by the power of the Spirit of God, they have not been justified, there is no sanctification, and until they have these things they certainly will not be glorified in the presence of Jesus.

III. The Psalmist wrote in the song, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1).

* + Rather than relying on “fire under the altar” (1 Kings 18:23, 25) why can the church not depend on the fire of God?
* +We depend too much on the methods of the flesh.
* + May God forgive us, and may we get on our knees, rebuild our altars and seek the power and the face of God.

IV. Leaven, in every case in Scripture, Old and New Testaments, is seen as a symbol of evil.

* + There is not one instance where it is seen as a symbol of a good growth of puffiness.
* + Some have taken Leviticus 23:17, and taught that this is a picture of the leaven being good.
* + The woman represents false religion; she could even be represented by Jezebel who was the wife and queen of Ahab.

V. Jesus told His disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

* + Jesus was referring to their legalism and false doctrine that had bound them in their sins and iniquities.
* + Paul the apostle warns of the dangers of letting iniquity/sin stay and permeate a congregation in 1 Corinthians 5:6-7

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us”.

VI. The kingdom of heaven grows in every individual who knows, who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

* + Yet, numerically, it can grow in pretense and hypocrisy.
* + False doctrine destroys unity, while those who teach false doctrine talk of uniformity – you give up the truth and we will have unity – and accuse those who stand for truth as the ones who cause disunity.

-by Tim A. Blankenship
For further study you can go here and here

The King’s Disciples Going

The King’s Disciples Going

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” Matthew 10:5-15 (KJV)

* THE DISCIPLES GO WHERE THEY ARE SENT (vv. 5-6).

* DISCIPLES GO PROCLAIMING THE MESSAGE GIVEN THEM (vv. 7-8).

* DISCIPLES GO WHEN THEY ARE SENT (vv. 9-10).

+ Go understanding the urgency of the task.

+ Go with diligence.

* DISCIPLES GO WITH THE UNDERSTANDING OF BEING A STABLE INFLUENCE (vv. 11-12).

* DISCIPLES GO WITH DISCERNMENT (vv. 13-15).

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Darkness of the Crucifixion

The Darkness Of The Crucifixion

Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44

When Jesus went to the cross there was a period of three hours which is not given much notice in sermons that are preached. Of course, there is actually no way we can know all that went on in that three hours, unless it is by reading the twenty second Psalm, and hear the heart cry of our Savior as He was rejected by His Father, forsaken by His Father.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. Matt 27:45 (KJV)And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33 (KJV)And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Luke 23:44 (KJV)

A few years ago I read a sermon by G. Campbell Morgan titled “THE DARKNESS OF GOLGOTHA” which really impressed me. Because of that message I developed this one using Brother Morgan’s main points, and quoting him often.

I. THE MEANING OF THE DARKNESS.

A. It was the hour of evil.
B. No matter how deep or dark the darkness the Light is always shining.
C. Satan wanted to extinguish the Light.

“From the very beginning of the shining of that Light, focused in history by the Incarnation, the one supreme purpose of the enemy was to….put it out. And in these three hours of darkness we are brought face to face with the time when all the force of evil was brouth to bear on the soul of the Son of God, and all the unutterable intent and purpose of evil wrapped Him about in darkness that is beyond our comprehension.” G. Campbell Morgan.

D. Darkness is a symbol of spiritual evil.

“The people which sat in darkness saw a great light:” (Matthew 4:16).

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” (6:23). ASLO SEE Matthew 8:12 & 25:30.

E. Death and darkness express the ultimate in evil.

II. THE PASSING OF THE DARKNESS.

A. The four sayings after the passing of the darkness;

1. The cry of forsakenness (27:46);
2. The cry of human limitation and experience (John 19:28). [I thirst].
3. The cry of spiritual accomplishment (John 19:30) [It is finished]
4. The cry of confidence (Luke 23:46).

“…He died, not of a broken heart, not of human brutality, not of murder by human hands; but by His own volition He yielded up the Ghost, and His spirit, commended to God passed to God. The death that saves was not that physical dissolution, but the infinite spiritual mystery of the three hours and the darkness, which being passed, He Himself did say, ‘It is finished’”. IBID

B. It seems that during the three hours of darkness the crowds were silent.

“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps.46:10).

1. Not a word is spoken until His cry of forsakenness.
2. Not a word of mockery, insolence, or hate is heard.

C. After the darkness, it was people who loved Him who took Him down, prepared His body and laid Him in the garden tomb.
D. The foes of Jesus seemed to have withdrawn.

1. Satan seems to be nowhere around.
2. Christ triumphed over him on the cross.

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Col 2:13-15 (KJV)

III. THE TRANSACTION WITHIN THE DARKNESS.

A. We cannot begin to understand all that took place during the darkness.

1. Much of what has been said by men is mere theory.
2. Only what the Scriptures reveal can be received and concluded to be fact.

B. God cannot be expressed in finite or human terms.

“God must pity any man who thinks he understands the cross completely.” IBID.

C. Every sort of darkness that has been mentioned in Scripture as a symbol of evil was experienced by Jesus.

“That does not answer the inquiry as to what happened. I have no answer for that. Only this I know, that in that hour of darkness He passed into the place of the ultimate wrestling of evil in actual experience. There is light as I hear the final word, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit’ (Luke 23:46), for the word is a word which declares that whatever the transaction was, it was accomplished; that whatever the dying indicated, it was done.” IBID.

D. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:42).

1. Because He saves others; He cannot/could not save Himself.
2. Because He chose to go up to the cross; He could not come down. His heart was set on saving others.

E. WHY COULDN’T HE SAVE HIMSELF?

“Because He is God, and because God is love, and love is never satisfied with the destruction of a sinner, but with the saving of a sinner.” IBID.

“Someone may say to me, ‘Cannot God forgive out of pure love?’ I shall answer, ‘If He can, I cannot.’ If He could forgive me for the wrongs of which I am conscious, and that have left behind them their stain and pollution – If He could forgive my sins by simply saying, ‘Never mind them’, then I cannot so forgive myself. My conscience cries for a cleansing that is more than a sentiment of pity. Somehow, somewhere, in order that I may have forgiveness, there must be tragedy, something mightier than devilish sin.” IBID.

F. In the darkness He determined not to deliver Himself, rather He chose to deliver me.

1. Out of darkness has come a Light.
2. From the darkness had come the treasures of pardon, peace, power, and purity.

“I do not know what happened in the darkness, but this I know, that as I have come to the cross and received the suggestions of the material unveiling, I have found my heart, my spirit, my life brought into a realm of healing spices, to the consciousness of the forgiveness of sins. And there is no other gospel of forgiveness.” IBID.

G. In the darkness He chose not to save Himself; He chose to save the world.

NO MATTER WHAT MEN MAY SAY, SATAN WAS DEFEATED BY JESUS ON THE CROSS: THE RESURRECTION WAS CONFIRMATION OF THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Resurrection/Easter Sunday Sermon

THE CALL OF THE RESURRECTION
Matthew 28:10

I do not know if anyone has ever thought of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a call or not, but I definitely see a call here following the resurrection of Jesus. The angels have simply said, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (v. 6). The angel had said, “Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you” (v. 7).

As the women were going to tell the disciples what the angels had said they met Jesus Himself. They probably would have about forgotten what the angel had said when they see Jesus. They bow at His feet and even held on to His feet, and worshipped Him (v. 9).

“Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me” Matthew 28:10

There are about four things I want us to notice from this verse of Scripture;

I. THERE IS A CALL TO HAVE ‘NO FEAR’;

II. THERE IS A CALL TO GO AND TELL THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS THAT HE IS RISEN;

III. THERE IS A CALL TO TELL THEM WHERE HE CAN BE SEEN – AS HE HAS SAID;

IV. THERE IS A CALL TO TELL THEM THAT HE IS TO BE SEEN.

THERE IS A CALL TO HAVE ‘NO FEAR’.

Many times as Jesus walked on the earth He spoke the words, “Be not afraid”, “Fear not”, etc. As the women see Him this is His opening statement to them. It just seems that the intent of Jesus is for those who know and love Him to walk with Him and be free of all fear.

There are many things in this world we could and do fear. Jesus tells us before He is crucified to “Be not afraid”, and He tells us following the crucifixion, all of this after He has faced the greatest challenge of His human existence. The darkness of the crucifixion was that time when the Father had turned His back on His Son, and judged Him with every pound, every sword of judgment He could meet out. He faced it without fear and with full confidence that the Father’s will was being done and the Father and Himself would be glorified forever.

THERE IS A CALL TO GO AND TELL THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS THAT HE IS RISEN.

The disciples were cringing in fear after the crucifixion of Jesus. They were most likely trembling, and wondering what are we going to do next. Whar are we going to do now? The hope of Jerusalem and of Israel is now dead. We thought Him to be the deliverer of Israel and Jerusalem, but He is dead. They had forgotten His promise to meet them in Galilee –

“Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee” Matthew 26:31-32 (KJV).

Jesus spelled it out clearly. “After I am risen again” please note that, “I will go before you into Galilee”. Did they not pay attention? Did they just not hear? Maybe not according to Jesus’s words He uses to the churches of the Revelation – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…” Their minds were full of expectation for the deliverance of the kingdom of Israel from Rome, and the setting up of His earthly kingdom.

This part of the call is to all who will follow Jesus. If there is to be trust, obedience, and true following of Jesus there must also be an abiding trust and faith that Jesus not only died for our sins, but that He rose again; bodily from the grave. The grace where they laid Jesus is empty, like the angel gave invitation to “Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” That means He had lain there previously to this, but was GONE. His body not stolen. It never fell into a crack in the ground at the earthquake. He rose up from that place where His body lay; laid the burial cloths in a place by themselves, and came OUT; just as He said He would.

If we are going to proclaim the resurrection Gospel of Jesus Christ we better believe it ourselves. Believe it ourselves before we go trying to tell the lost world about it.

THERE IS A CALL TO TELL THEM WHERE HE CAN BE SEEN – JUST AS HE SAID.

One disciple [Thomas] had said,

“Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe” John 20:25 (KJV).

Thomas has a nick name that has been given him because of his doubting, and it is “Doubting Thomas”. We know that Jesus was seen by the disciples before they ever went to Galilee. At Galilee was where the most significant number of people witnessed Him alive some days later, and by “Over five hundred brethren at once”.

Jesus had told them that He would go before them unto Galilee. There was the place where they disciples would and could receive their public authenticity. It was not only proof of the resurrection of Jesus, but it would be the public endorsement by Jesus of the disciples/apostles.

The place Jesus can be seen today is by revelation of God’s Spirit through the Holy Word of God. Thomas would not believe except he saw for himself the resurrected Christ, and it was at the point when Thomas saw Him that Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” John 20:29. It took the physical appearance of Jesus to Thomas for him to believe Jesus was alive. You and I do not have that privilege. We have God’s written Word and the Gospels. They tell us Jesus is alive. Paul the apostle tells us Jesus is alive. Peter, James, and John tell us that Jesus is alive. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is alive. Luke the physician tells us that Jesus is alive. The Holy Spirit of God reveals to you and I today that Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God is alive TODAY.

THE PLACE TO FIND THE LIVING CHRIST IS IN THE WORD AND REVELATION BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

THERE IS A CALL TO TELL THEM THAT JESUS IS TO BE SEEN.

When we start talking about seeing Jesus maybe the news of Oral Roberts vision or dream of a 600 foot tall Jesus comes to our mind. I want to tell you He was not nearly that tall; so that is not who Roberts seen.

John saw Jesus as He was penning down the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He saw Him on the isle of Patmos as he was a prisoner there for preaching the resurrected Christ, even though he was told to be silent. Paul saw Jesus as he travelled on the road to Damascus to capture Christian men, women, boys and girls to drag them back to Jerusalem for trial and prison and/or death. Paul was knocked out of his saddle by the presence of the Lord Jesus.

It is the call from God that gives us the right and privilege to see our resurrected Jesus. Have you seen Jesus?

We must see Him as having lived a life without sin; being perfect and without spot or blemish. We must see Him as the healer as He healed the lame, raised the dead, made the blind to see, and gave the leper back their right to be among others. We must see Jesus as He is lifted up between heaven and hell upon the earth, while hanging on the cross as our sin. We must see Him as sin being judged by the righteous Father. We must see Him as finishing the tasl; the work; that the Father gave Him to do. That work being finished; we must see Him as coming forth out of that grave showing the victory He gained by His death on the cross.

Sin could not hold Him, cannot hold Him, and never will hold Him. The victory is won, and the resurrection is the evidentiary proof of that victory on the cross. He is alive.

Christ the Lord is risen today. INDEED, HE IS RISEN.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Our Qualifying

Our Qualification

Colossians 1:13-14

This makes the seventh message on this prayer which Paul prayed for the church of Colossae. The first part of the prayer has to do with having “Knowledge of the will of God…”. The second part, that we “Might walk worthy of the Lord…”. The third, “Being fruitful in every good work…”. The fourth, that we “Might be increasing in the knowledge of God”. Fifth, that we “Might be strengthened with all might…”. Sixth “Giving thanks…, and now the final one – OUR QUALIFICATION

There are four things to be noted about OUR QUALIFICATION in these two verses:

1.  We have been qualified, because we have been delivered, by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross;
2.  We have been qualified, because we have been translated into His kingdom;
3.  We have been qualified, because we have been redeemed;
4.  We have been qualified, because we have been forgiven, by the just and holy God of heaven.

I. OUR QUALIFICATION is due to the delivering work Jesus did for us on the cross.

A. The devil was defeated on the cross.
B. Darkness was defeated on the cross.

1. Jesus went through the deepest, darkest, dungeon of despair anyone could ever go through as the Father forsook Him.
2. When the battle on the cross was over the fellowship between the Father and the Son was restored, while He was still hanging on the cross – I know that because He prayed, “Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit” Luke 23:46 (KJV).
3. When Jesus had entered the battle with the devil and darkness, and as He came out of it He had prayed, “My God, My God…”. He had experienced the brokenness of the fellowship.

C. Because of this great battle we are qualified.

John Calvin concerning the phrase “Who hath delivered us…”; “Mark, here is the beginning of our salvation-when God delivers us from the depth of ruin into which we were plunged. For wherever His grace is not, there is darkness, as it is said in Isaiah 60:2, ‘Behold darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the nations; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” ‘In the first place, we ourselves are called darkness, and afterwards the whole world, and Satan, the Prince of darkness, under whose tyranny we are held captive, until we are set free by Christ’s hand. From this you may gather that the whole world, with all its pretended wisdom and righteousness, is regarded as nothing but darkness in the sight of God, because, apart from the kingdom of Christ, there is no light.” CALVIN’S COMMENTARIES Vol. 21, pp. 147&148.

II. OUR QUALIFICATION is due to Jesus translating us into His kingdom.

A. We have been transferred by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ into His kingdom.

1. His kingdom is a present reality.

B. If you are not part of His present kingdom you will not be part of His coming kingdom when He rules and reigns on earth.

III. OUR QUALIFICATION is because we have been redeemed.

A. We have been bought with a price.

1. First Corinthians 6:20 tells us to glorify God in our bodies, since we have been bought with a price.
2. . Another verse in 1 Corinthians and chapter seven and verse 23 tells us not to be servants to men – that, of course, means not to become servants unto them by means of debt, or feeling we are obligated to them to the point of denying our faith.

B. A price has been paid in full, and it was paid in blood.

1. It was the life’s blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son that was shed on the cross that day so long ago, yet so close to home.
2. We are redeemed by shed blood of the Lamb of God who came to take away our sin.

IV. OUR QUALIFICATION is because we have forgiveness of sins.

A. We cannot have forgiveness without redemption.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness]” (Heb. 9:22).

1. All sins debt has been paid, by the blood of calvary’s Lamb.
2. The Lamb of God, whom John the Baptist proclaimed, “…Taketh away the sin of the world.”

B. Because of the redemption provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we have forgiveness, remission.

The Merriam/Webster Dictionary defines ‘Remission’ = ‘the act of remitting’ with the word ‘Remit’ = ‘forgive, pardon’. If you were a prisoner which would be better to be put on parole or pardoned? Myself, It would take the pardon. That means the sin has been forgiven, and with no conditions. If you are paroled then, you must check in to your parole officer or sheriff, or some other authority of law. Your sin is not forgiven.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.” Psalm 32:1-6 (KJV).

John Calvin in his commentary said, “In the first place, he says that we have redemption, and immediately explains it as meaning the remission of sins; for these two things agree together by apposition. For questionably, when God remits our transgressions, He exempts us from condemnation to eternal death. This is our liberty, this our glorying in the face of death-that our sins are not imputed to us. He says that this redemption was procured through the blood of Christ, for by the sacrifice of His death all the sins of the world have been expiated.” CALVIN COMMENTARIES p. 148.

SUMMARY –

I. Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ He has qualified us, fit us for His kingdom.
II. He has qualified us by delivering us from the deep, dark, dungeonness, of sin.
III. He has qualified us by translating from the kingdom of darkness, death, and destruction into His kingdom of love, light, and His limitless presence.
IV. He has qualified us by paying the price to redeem us from our sin debt; He paid the full price, not to the devil, but to the Father to whom the debt was owed.
V. Now that the debt has been paid in full the Father is truly forgiving all our sin, and seeing you and I in the garments of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship