The Testimony of One Who Comes to Jesus

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him,
‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’
Nathanael saith unto Him, ‘Whence knowest thou me?’ Jesus answered and said unto him,
‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.’
Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.’  Jesus answered and said unto him,
‘Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these.’
And He saith unto him,
‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’” John 1:47-51  (KJB)

Many often do not get it.  How anyone could see Jesus for who He really is.  He is no longer dead on a cross.  He is no longer in the grave.  He is alive.  He is, in fact, more alive than He was when Nathanael said, “You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”

Now, why did Nathanael make such a statement.  It was because of what Jesus said.  It was not the first statement, “Behold and Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” No! It was not that at all.  No mere man could have just seen him under the fig tree.  It is most likely that they were some distance away, and Jesus knew the heart of Nathanael.  This was a gift given to Nathanael by God.

This was in essence the revelation given by God to Nathanael to know the Son of God, and thus God the Son.

Peter’s confession of Matthew 16, when Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”, and Jesus’s answer to Peter’s confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” is eye opening indeed…

“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:17

The testimony of one who comes to Jesus is that He is the Christ the Son of God sent down from glory, so that the lost might be saved from the bondage of sin.  Since He is the Son of God it is also enlightening by the Spirit of God to know and understand that He is God the Son.  Nathanael saw that.  Peter saw that.  Do you see that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God; and God the Living Son? If He is not God the Son, then He is not Christ; neither is He Savior.

Not Charged

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.” Psalm 32:1-2 (KJB)

What a blessed gift it is to receive.  We are all thrilled when we receive a gift from someone that is beyond our wildest expectations. We are awed.  We might even tear up, with tears of extreme joy.

The above verses are dealing with a thing which is eternal; and is totally beyond our wildest imaginations, or expectations; to be forgiven, and to be accounted as not guilty even though we are.

How can this be so?  The Creator of the universe, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).  Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son took all of our iniquities, our sins, our transgressions of the law, and He bore the wrath of God that all our sins debt might be paid in full.

When we believe Him, and trust that His finished work is done God declares each believing individual “Not guilty”.  The debt is paid in full.

Call on the name of Jesus.  He will hear you, and you will be Redeemed.  You become a new person through Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Because of Jesus there will be no guile in your heart.  You will have new heart and new desires.

What Gift?

Just some thoughts from these sermon notes:

What Gift?

Matthew 5:21-26

OLD LAW – Concerning murder; meaning Pre-meditated having to do with planning before hand with malice and forethought.

ANGER – Leading to hatred. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”1 John 3:14-15 (KJV).

GIFT – A gift is above the requirements of the law;

– A gift is given, usually in sacrifice;

– When giving God a “Gift”, and realizing your offense/debt to another: leave the gift at the altar, then go and pay the debt.

TERMS/AGREEMENT – Do it with haste;

– First with God;

– Second, with brethren, and with your fellow man when possible;

– Only when in right fellowship with God can there be right fellowship with brethren;

– It is also possible, that if we be out of fellowship with brethren, we are out with God too.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Christmas Day Nineteen

What do I want for Christmas today?

Since this is the time of giving gifts, I always want to remember the One who gave the greatest gift; the gift of His Son, to die on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave; and that He continues to give us Himself day after day, moment after moment.

“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (KJV)

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Eighty and Six

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” Matthew 5:23-26 (KJV)

There are many who profess to be Christian, yet hold grudges, are angry at other brethren, and seek to do harm by gossip, or wish them harm.  By the words of Jesus above we are to do what it takes to make things right.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to want what is good and right for my brother or sister in Christ; to do them good at all times, and not evil; nor to wish evil upon them or even upon those who might seek to do harm to family or myself.

Lord,  help me always to pray for my brethren, my neighbor and any who may despise me; and seek to do them good always.

Commandments of God – Traditions of Men

“Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honour thy father and mother:’ and, ‘He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’ But ye say, ‘Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, ‘It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;’ and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'”  ~Jesus  (Matthew 15:1-9)

Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His Teaching

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  ~Jesus (John 14:25-27)

Do not Neglect the Gift

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”  1 Timothy 4:14-16 (KJV)

Without getting into a speal about the gift given, this verse deals with the idea of teaching doctrine; it is at least one of  the things.  Is doctrine important in the Christian life?  Most certainly.  However, I see that there are many younger pastors and preachers who are neglecting to teach the teachings of Scripture to their people; the people they lead.

How important is doctrine? “…For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”  It is very important for the sanctification of ourselves, and the people.

-T.A.

Day 45 – Thoughts from Psalms; Mercy

Today marks our halfway point in 90 days of reading through the bible.  We will have 45 more to go.  It has been a blessing, and a challenge.

My reading today took me from Psalm 136 through Psalm 150 finishing the reading of the Psalms, and by reading 15 Psalms today.  There is much mention of the term “Mercy” in the Bible; and in Psalm 136 it is framed in every verse; with the phrase, “For His mercy endureth forever”.  And so it does.

There are two acts of God that are confused at times; and they are mercy and grace.  There is much said of both.

I know an individual who frequently uses the word “Mercy” when someone says something that might be considered shocking.  Both mercy and grace are needed by humanity.  We need to receive both, and we need to practice both; but only God can give them in all their fulness.

Let me give you a definition of each one, then, we will deal with the mercy of the Psalms.  First, “Mercy”, the way I understand it is; not receiving what we justly deserve – which is the wrath of God.  Secondly, “Grace” is receiving from God what we do not deserve – that is His love, His mercy, His presence, power, glory, His Son, His redemption.  Only those who submit to Him, His Word and the work of His Son Jesus on the cross experience His grace.

God gives the human race His mercy everyday.  If He were to become unmerciful He would destroy the whole of creation, and there would not be one living person left.  Because of the gift of His Son we can be assured that will not happen.  Jesus Christ has paid the sin debt that humanity owed to God.

In Psalm 136 all 26 verses give tribute to the mercy of God.  His mercy endures forever.  There is nothing like His mercy.

We find that we are to give thanks for His mercy,

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endureth for ever.  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endureth for ever.”  Psalam 136:1-3 (KJV)

We find His mercy in the wonders that He performs; and in the Universe He has created –

“To Him who alone doeth great wonders: for His mercy endureth for ever.  To Him that by wisdom made the heavens: for His mercy endureth for ever.  To Him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for His mercy endureth for ever.  To Him that made great lights: for His mercy endureth for ever: the sun to rule by day: for His mercy endureth for ever: the moon and stars to rule by night: for His mercy endureth for ever.” 136:4-9

In His mercy God gave Egypt the chance to “Let My people go”, but they would not; so His mercy was displayed in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt –

“To Him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for His mercy endureth for ever: and brought out Israel from among them: for His mercy endureth for ever: with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for His mercy endureth for ever.  To Him which divided the Red sea into parts: for His mercy endureth for ever: and made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for His mercy endureth for ever: but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for His mercy endureth for ever.” 136:10-15

God was merciful when He was leading His people through the wilderness.  There was many a time He would have destroyed them, but His mercy endured, and He delivered them, and took them to the land He had promised.  Read verses 16 – 22.

The psalmist even goes on to state for all who are under His purview are provided for by Him –

“Who giveth food to all flesh: for His mercy endureth for ever.” v. 25

All of creation, God’s created order; whether they believe in Him or not; whether they are good or evil, are recipients of the mercy of God.  O, wicked man; you deny God’s mercy and grace, yet you breathe His air, you walk on His dirt, you experience His gift of your beating heart; when He could at a word, stop it, and send you into a dark and Christless eternity.

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for His mercy endureth for ever.” v. 26

As the Psalm began,so it ends.  With thanksgiving to the One who is merciful.  How will you thank Him today.  Begin by receiving His gift of grace given us in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, and His death on the cross, His burial, and bodily resurrection.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Greatest Satisfaction

We are going to look at a verse today for Psalm 17.  It is a Psalm and a particular verse that has been special to me for several years; upon the revelation of it to me.  When the world and flesh of the world finds pleasure in things, material things, and things of others – dependence upon others for satisfaction – the greatest satisfaction for the Christian is in knowing Jesus.

“As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.”  Psalm 17:15 (KJV)

There is no way possible for the unrighteous to see the face of the Righteous.  That is made possible only by His grace, and His gift.  The gift is the cross of Christ.  When we behold His face it will be because that the righteous Lamb of God took our place, died the death of separation from God the Father, becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); and by God’s own declaration we are declared “Righteous”.  When that has happened then we can say with the Psalmist, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness”.

The following is a note from the Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon and a sermon he preached-

“I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” The saints in heaven have not yet awaked in God’s likeness. The bodies of the righteous still sleep, but they are to be satisfied on the resurrection morn, when they awake. When a Roman conqueror had been at war, and won great victories, he would return to Rome with his soldiers, enter privately into his house, and enjoy himself till the next day, when he would go out of the city to re-enter it publicly in triumph. Now, the saints, as it were, enter privately into heaven without their bodies; but on the last day, when their bodies wake up, they will enter into their triumphal chariots. Methinks I see that grand procession, when Jesus Christ first of all, with many crowns on his head, with his bright, glorious, immortal body, shall lead the way. Behind him come the saints, each of them clapping their hands, or pouring sweet melody from their golden harps; all entering in triumph. And when they come to heaven’s gates, and the doors are opened wide to let the King of glory in, how will the angels crowd at the windows and on the housetops, like the inhabitants in the Roman triumphs, to watch the pompous procession, and scatter heaven’s roses and lilies upon them, crying, “Hallelujah! hallelujah! hallelujah! the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” “I shall be satisfied” in that glorious day when all the angels of God shall come to see the triumphs of Jesus, and when his people shall be victorious with him. – Spurgeon’s Sermons.

John the apostle wrote,

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.  And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”  1 John 3:1-3

The Greatest Satisfaction for the Christian is in knowing Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

No Payment Due

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”  Romans 8:1

One of the things that many people do not often remember, or want to remember, is that everyone is born into the condemnation of sin; separated from God, and no relationship or fellowship with Him.  Jesus Himself reminds us of this when He said, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”  John 3:18.

This condemnation is eternal, unless something is done about it.  Something like your death for your sins, but that would not get you eternal life with God; but only eternal judgment.  The death of another person for you would not suffice either, unless that person were without sin; perfect and  holy before God.  God, because of His great love for us gave us His Son to die and pay the penalty; the price; for sin, which was mine and yours.  All our sin was judged upon Him by His Father.

Because of this wonderful gift of God, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”  Isn’t it glorious and wonderful knowing all your sins are clean gone, and all the debt of sin is paid in full.  NO PAYMENT DUE.

-Tim A. Blankenship