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29B. EVENING SERVICE

29B EVENING SERVICE 5-17-2020

29B. We Are To Be A Light of the World. John 1:1-9
by Bro. L. Richardson, 30 min
 
John 1: The Divinity, Humanity, and Work of Jesus Christ
John 1:1-9 (KJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
 
John Chapter 1. Commentary by J.Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Series
THEME: Prologue -- Incarnation; Word is God, Word became flesh, Word revealed God; witness of John the Baptist; witness of Andrew; witness of Philip; witness of Nathanael
Word Is God -- Word Became Flesh -- Word Revealed God (1:1-12)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [John 1:1].
The Gospel of John introduces the Lord Jesus Christ with three tremendous statements:
 
"In the beginning was the Word,"
"And the Word was with God,"
"And the Word was God."
 
"The Word" is one of the highest and most profound titles of the Lord Jesus Christ. To determine the exact meaning is not easy. Obviously the Lord Jesus Christ is not the logos of Greek philosophy; rather He is the memra of the Hebrew Scriptures. Notice how important the Word is in the Old Testament. For instance, the name for Jehovah was never pronounced. It was such a holy word that they never used it at all. But this is the One who is the Word and, gathering up everything that was said of Him in the Old Testament, He is now presented as the One "In the beginning." This beginning antedates the very first words in the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." That beginning can be dated, although I do not believe that anyone can date it accurately -- it is nonsense to say that it is 4004 B.C., as Ussher's dating has it. It probably goes back billions and billions of years. You see, you and I are dealing with the God of eternity. When you go back to creation, He is already there, and that is exactly the way this is used -- "in the beginning was the Word." Notice it is not is the Word; it was not in the beginning that the Word started out or was begotten. Was (as Dr. Lenske points out) is known as a durative imperfect, meaning continued action. It means that the Word was in the beginning. What beginning? Just as far back as you want to go. The Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). Does that begin God? No, just keep on going back billions and trillions and "squillions" of years. I can think back to billions of years back of creation -- maybe you can go beyond that -- but let's put down a point there, billions of years back of creation. He already was; He comes out of eternity to meet us. He did not begin. "In the beginning was the Word" -- He was already there when the beginning was. "Well," somebody says, "there has to be a beginning somewhere." All right, wherever you begin, He is there to meet you, He is already past tense. "In the beginning was the Word" -- five words in the original language, and there is not a man on topside of this earth who can put a date on it or understand it or fathom it. This first tremendous statement starts us off in space, you see.
The second statement is this, "and the Word was with God." This makes it abundantly clear that He is separate and distinct from God the Father. You cannot identify Him as God the Father because He is with God. "But," someone says, "if He is with God, He is not God." The third statement sets us straight, "and the Word was God." This is a clear, emphatic declaration that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. In fact, the Greek is more specific than this, because in the Greek language the important word is placed at the beginning of the sentence and it reads, "God was the Word." That is emphatic; you cannot get it more emphatic than that. Do you want to get rid of the deity of Christ? My friend, you cannot get rid of it. The first three statements in John's Gospel tie the thing down. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Let's move on down to verse 14 and notice the three statements there.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth [John 1:14].
 
"And the Word was made flesh,"
"And the Word dwelt among us,"
"He was full of grace and truth."
 
The Greek philosopher probably would have stayed with us through verse one, but he leaves us here. He would never agree that the Word was made flesh. The Greek language allows us to put it more specifically and, I think, more accurately: "The Word was born flesh." Turn this over in your mind for a moment. Here comes God out of eternity, already the Ancient of Days; but He also came to Bethlehem, a little baby thing that made a woman cry. And notice that John's Gospel does not even mention His birth in Bethlehem. Do you know why? He is talking about One who is too big for Bethlehem. Out of eternity, the Word became flesh.
 
"And [the Word] dwelt among us" is the second statement in verse 14. "Dwelt" is from skenoo; it means "He pitched His tent among us." Our human bodies are merely little tents in which we live. The apostle Paul used the same imagery: "...we know that if... this tabernacle were dissolved..." (2Cor. 5:1). This house in which we live is a tabernacle, a tent, that can be blown over in a night; it can be snuffed out in an instant. Because you and I live in these little tents, the God of eternity took upon Himself a human body and thus pitched His tent down here among us. Such is the second tremendous statement.
 
Notice the third, "(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Now John is saying something else. The question I would naturally ask at this point is, "If He was made flesh, He certainly limited himself." John says, "Wait a minute -- He was full of grace and truth." The word "full" means that you just could not have any more. He brought all the deity with Him, and He was full of grace and full of truth when He came down here.
 
Now we move to verse 18 to find three statements again.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him [John 1:18].
 
"No man hath seen God at any time;"
"The only begotten Son, which
is in the bosom of the Father, "
"He hath declared him."
 
Notice the first: "No man hath seen God at any time." Why? He will explain it in this Gospel; the Lord Jesus will tell the woman at the well, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24) -- for God is spirit. No man has seen God at any time. What about the appearances in the Old Testament? God never revealed Himself in the Old Testament to the eyes of man. What, then, did they see? Well, go back and read the record. For instance, Jacob said that he saw God, but what he saw was the angel of the Lord who wrestled with him. That was a manifestation, but he did not see God because God is a spirit. "No man hath seen God at any time."
 
 
The second statement is, "the only begotten Son." The best Greek text is that of Nestle, the German scholar. He has come to the definite conclusion that it is not the only begotten Son, but the only begotten God. I prefer that also. "Which is in the bosom of the Father" tells us a great deal. He did not come from the head of God to reveal the wisdom of God; He did not come from the foot of God to be a servant of man. (Have you ever noticed that although we speak of the fact He was a servant, whose shoes did He ever shine? Did He ever run an errand for anybody? He did not. He said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38). He was God's servant -- He came to serve Him, and as He served the Father, He served men.) He did not come from the feet; He did not come from the head; it was from the bosom of the Father that He came. He came to reveal the heart of God: He was "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father."
 
The third statement completes verse eighteen: "he hath declared him." The Greek word here is exegesato. Ago is "to lead" and ex is "out." It means that what Jesus Christ did was to lead God out into the open. Do you know anything bigger than that? A little trip to the moon is nothing in comparison. Here He comes out of eternity past, the God of this universe, the Creator of everything, taking upon Himself human flesh, and bringing God out into the open so that men can know Him. My friend, the only way in the world you can know God is through this One, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to reveal God because He is God.
 
I am not through with these statements; there is something else here. Let's put together the first verse in each of these three groups and see what we come up with:
 
"In the beginning was the Word," "And the Word was made flesh," "No man hath seen God at any time."
 
You could not see God -- God is spirit. He had to become flesh; He had to become one of us in order for us to know Him. We could not go up there to understand Him; He had to come down here and bring God down where we are.
Now let's put the second statements together from each of the three groups:
 
"The Word was with God," "And dwelt among us," "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father."
 
Consider this One for a moment -- the angels bowed before Him, He was with God, on an equality with God. The apostle Paul wrote of Him, He "...thought it not robbery to be equal with God" (Phil. 2:6). That is, He did not go to school to become God; it was not something He worked overtime to attain. It was not a degree that He earned. He did not try to be God; He was God. I do not mean to be irreverent, but He did not say to the Father when He came to this earth, "Keep your eye on Gabriel; he is after My job; watch him while I'm gone." He did not have to do that -- nobody could take His place. He was God. Here He comes: born in Bethlehem, a few little shepherds there, not many; He goes up to Nazareth, thirty years hidden away in Nazareth. God, out of eternity coming down and going to Nazareth, working in a carpenter shop. Why? So you can know God. The only way you will ever know Him, my friend, is to know this One. "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father" is the only One who can reveal God to us.
Now notice the third statement in each group:
 
"The Word was God," "And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth," "He hath declared him."
 
When He was down here, He was still God, full of grace and truth. And He declared Him; He is the only one who can lead Him out in the open where we can get acquainted with Him.
 
We are not through with this. I want you to see something else. How do you divide up this universe? I sat with a man who designed the shield that has been on all these space crafts to make their re-entry. He is a scientist who is an authority on heat. As we had lunch together in New Jersey, he said, "You know, this universe is made up of just three things. I believe that God has put His fingerprints on everything -- the Trinity is everywhere."
 
Then he explained what he meant. The universe is divided up into time, space, and matter. Can you think of a fourth? The very interesting thing is that time, space, and matter include everything that is in this universe as you and I know it.
 
Then time can be divided into just three parts: past, present, and future. Can you think of a fourth? And what about space? Length, breadth, and height. Is there another direction? Also there is in matter energy, motion, and phenomena. Those are the three divisions of the three divisions. The universe in which we live bears the mark of the Trinity.
 
Now notice the way in which the Incarnation is geared into this observation. Verse 1:
 
Time: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God."
 
Space: "The Word was made flesh" -- became flesh, came down into space. Where? To Bethlehem, a little geographical spot -- and even this earth was a pretty small spot for Him to come to -- and He pitched His tent here among us. We beheld His glory, full of grace and truth.
 
 
Matter: "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Because He became matter, became a man, took upon Himself humanity, men could see and know God. This is the time, space, and matter of the Incarnation. Let's divide each of these into three.
 
Past: "In the beginning was the Word."
 
Present: "The Word was made [became] flesh" (in our day).
 
Future: "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son... hath declared him." The apostle Paul, at the end of his life, said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection..." (Phil. 3:10). That will be for the future -- to really know Him; today we actually know so little because we are finite.
 
Then look at space, divided into length, breadth and height.
 
Length: "In the beginning was the Word."
 
Breadth: He came down to this earth and was made flesh.
 
Height: No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father -- He has come from the heights to set Him before us.
Consider the divisions of matter: energy, motion, and phenomena.
Energy: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God -- that's energy. How did this universe come into existence? God spoke. Every rational person has to confront this problem of how this universe began. That is the reason evolution has been popular -- it offers to the natural man an explanation for the origin of the universe. You must have an explanation for it if you do any thinking at all. Where did it come from? Well, here is the answer: "In the beginning was the Word." God spoke. That is the first thing that happened. When God speaks, when the Word speaks, energy is translated into matter. What is atomic fission? It is matter translated back into energy -- poof! it disappears. Creation began with energy. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God.
Motion: The Word was made flesh. He came out of heaven's glory and He came to this earth.
Phenomena: The greatest phenomenon in this world is Jesus Christ. The wonders of the ancient world, the wonders to see in our day are nothing in comparison to the wonder of the Incarnation -- God became man!
These statements are bigger than any of us, and yet they are so simple. We have read them, probably memorized them, yet no man can plumb the depths of them. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.... No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:1, 14, 18).
These three verses are the great building blocks; now let us consider some of the cement that holds them together.
And things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made [John 1:3].
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator. Not only did He exist before Bethlehem, but He created the vast universe including the material out of which man constructed Bethlehem. All things were made by Him; He is the instrument of creation. Nothing came into existence without Him.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men [John 1:4].
Now we are confronted with something else -- two of the simplest things in the world: light and life. Zoe and phos are the two words in the original language. From zoe we get zoology, the study of life; and from phos we get photo or anything that is built on it, such as photograph -- it is light. These two things are so common that we take them for granted.
 
Life -- we see it everywhere. There may be a great deal of life right where you are at this moment. You go out in the woods and you see the same thing -- life. It greets you on every hand, but can you explain it? You see in the Sunday pictorials and the sensational magazines that men now have discovered the source of life.
 
But if you read them, you find that they have not found the source at all, though they think they are close to it. They put the microscope down on a green leaf. One moment they see that a little cell is arranged one way and is dead as a doornail. The next moment the thing is rearranged in another way, and it is alive. And then the thing starts growing and doubling, dividing and multiplying itself. Why does it do that? Life.
The other common thing is light. What is light? I listened to Irwin Moon try to explain it (and Irwin gave the best explanation I have heard), but when he got through, I was not sure if light is a real something or if it is just waves because they can cut the thing off and still light will go through. As you know, certain kinds of light will go through objects that would stop waves. What in the world is light?
You see, we are dealing with things that are fundamental, though men today with all their scientific gadgets know so little about them.
"In him was life" -- all life is in Jesus Christ. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." You and I live in a universe that is spiritually dark. The fact of the matter is, it is physically dark to a certain degree. But God said, "...Let there be light..." (Gen. 1:3) and these light holders are placed about throughout His universe like street lights in a big city. We are told that when a man gets away from this earth a short distance, he is in total, absolute darkness, and it is frightening to be out where there is nothing from which the sun can be reflected.
 
Our little globe is out in a dark universe, yet that is nothing compared to the spiritual darkness that envelops it. When the sun disappears, there is physical darkness over the land; but twenty-four hours a day there is spiritual darkness here, awful spiritual darkness. Man does not know God; man is in rebellion against God; man is in sin that blinds him to God. In the Lord Jesus Christ there is life, and the life that He gives is the light of men. In fact, His life is the only thing that can kindle light in the heart of an individual.
An unregenerate man has no spiritual life within him. This is the reason that when you present to him Jesus Christ, he says, "I don't get it. I don't understand that at all."
I used to go down to the jail in Cleburne, Texas, and speak to the men. It was not a large jail and I could talk to them in a conversational tone. I would start off talking about football (because in Texas football is a religion!), and those hardened men would get enthusiastic about it. I talked also of other things and they were interested. Then I would turn the conversation to something spiritual, and I could see the darkness come over their faces. I might just as well have been talking to corpses.
And that is what they were -- men dead in trespasses and sins. This world today is in spiritual darkness, and the Lord Jesus Christ has brought the only light there is in the world. He is the light. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not [John 1:5].
That word "comprehend" is an unfortunate translation. And a wiseacre did not help it by rendering it, "and the darkness was not able to put it out." That is no translation at all. The word in the Greek is katelaben, meaning actually "to take down." It is the picture of a secretary to whom the boss is giving dictation, and she stops and says, "I can't take that down. I am not able to take it down." The light shines in darkness and the darkness is not able to take it in. That is it exactly. Someone said to him, "Boy, was I in darkness before I received Christ! And I don't know why I didn't see." Well, that is it: you were in darkness and you did not see. The darkness just cannot take it in.
Now this is something quite interesting, and it is not true of physical light. You go into a dark room, and the minute you switch on the light, the darkness leaves, it disappears. Darkness and light cannot exist together physically. The moment you bring light in, darkness is gone. The minute light is taken out, darkness will come right back in. But spiritual light and darkness exist together.
Sometimes there is a husband who is saved and a wife who is unsaved -- or vice versa. Here is a believer working next to another man who says, "What do you mean when you talk about being a Christian? I do the best I can. Am I not a Christian?" There you have light and darkness side by side and the darkness just cannot take it in. That is exactly what is said here, "The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not [John 1:10].
That was the tragedy -- the world was in darkness, spiritual darkness, and did not know Him. Even today we are seeing the rise of atheism and unbelief, and we will see it more and more in the days that lie ahead. A great many people do not seem to recognize that unbelief and atheism go naturally with the natural man.
Somebody says to me, "Oh, did you read in the paper what Dr. So-and-So of a certain seminary wrote?" Yes, I read it. "Well, isn't it awful?" No, I do not think so. He would upset my apple cart if he said that he believed the Bible because he is an unbeliever by his own statement. He says that he does not believe in being born again, that he does not believe he has to receive Christ in order to be saved. Now I do not expect that man to say he believes the Bible. That would be absolutely contrary to his statements.
The so-called theologians and theological professors who espouse the "God is dead movement" present us with the preposterous, untenable claim that they are Christian atheists! Obviously atheism precludes the possibility of being Christian, yet unbelief has moved into our seminaries and pulpits across the land. The world does not know Him.
He came unto his own [his own things], and his own [people] received him not [John 1:11].
He came into His own universe but His own people did not receive Him.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name [John 1:12].
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power." The word power is not dunamis power like dynamite, physical power, but exousian power which is delegated power, authority. "But as many as received him, to them gave he the authority to become the sons of God [children, tekna of God], even to them that believe on his name."
Notice that this is for "them that believe on his name." And always with the word "believe" there is a preposition. You see, faith, as the Bible uses it, is not just head knowledge. Many people ask, "You mean all that I have to do is to say I believe?" Yes, that is all you have to do, but let's see what that implies. With the verb "to believe" there is always a preposition -- sometimes en (in), sometimes eis (into), or sometimes epi (upon). You must believe into, in, or upon Jesus Christ.
Let me illustrate with a chair. I am standing beside a chair and I believe it will hold me up, but it is not holding me up. Why? Because I have only a head knowledge. I just say, "Yes, it will hold me up." Now suppose I believe into the chair by sitting in it.
See what I mean? I am committing my entire weight to it and it is holding me up. Is Christ holding you up? Is He your Savior? It is not a question of standing to the side and saying, "Oh, yes, I believe Jesus is the Son of God." The question is have you trusted Him, have you believed into Him, are you resting in Him? This chair is holding me up completely. And at this moment Christ is my complete Savior. I am depending on Him; I am resting in Him.
 
Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.
 

 

 

 

video

29A.MORNING SERVICE

29A. Lift Up Your Heads, Luke 21:7, 2Timothy 3:1
by Bro. L. Richardson, 32 min
Luke 21:7-8 (KJV)
7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
 
8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
Paul Warns Timothy of Times of Stress
 
2 Timothy 3:1-9 (KJV)
 
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
 
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
 
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
 
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
 
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
 
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
 
============================================
J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible Commentary
Apostasy In The Last Days (3:1-9)
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come [2Tim. 3:1].
"This knows also." Paul is telling Timothy something very important that he wants him to know. He is telling him what to expect and what is to be the future of the church -- it is not a very bright future for the organized church.
"The last days" is a technical term used in several places in the New Testament; it speaks of the last days of the church, immediately preceding the rapture of the church. The last days of the church are not the same as the last days of the nation Israel, which is mentioned repeatedly in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the last days are called the "end of the age" or "the time of the end," which is the Great Tribulation period. That is quite different from the last days of the church, which precede the rapture of the church.
The apostasy that began in the church in Paul's day will continue. Paul warned the church at Ephesus that false leaders would enter the church after his decease. He told them in Acts 20:29-30: "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." They won't give out the Word of God but will fleece the congregations. Believe me, false teachers shear the sheep pretty close!
"Perilous times shall come," which means grievous or desperate times are coming. That doesn't look like the conversion of the world, does it? It doesn't appear that the church is going to bring in the Millennium or is going to convert the world. The Bible doesn't teach that it will. That is the pipe dream of a great many idealists and a great many folk who have lived with their heads ostrich-like in the sand and have never faced reality.
Instead, notice what will be coming in the last days. We have nineteen different descriptions given in the next few verses. It is an ugly brood, but we want to look at them because they present the best scriptural picture of what is happening today. We are, I believe, moving into the last days of the church. My reason for saying this is that the things mentioned in these verses have appeared today. If you look back in the history of the church, you could certainly find some of these things in evidence, but I don't think you could ever find a period in which all of them are so manifested as they are today. I believe we are now in these "perilous" days which are described in this section. I don't know how much longer it will last, but I'm sure it's going to get worse, not better.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despiers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God [2Tim. 3:2-4].
There are nineteen words or phrases used to describe the last days.
 
1. "Lovers of their own selves" -- self-lovers. This is very much in evidence in our culture today. An article by a newspaper correspondent who had covered Washington, D.C., for many years, noted that the one thing which has characterized Washington for the past twenty years is that those who are in position want the reporters to praise them. In fact, they insist upon it. That is not confined to Washington. Hollywood is probably one of the greatest places for scratching each other's backs. One actor will publicly say something nice about another, then the other one will return the favor. You find this in every walk of life. Even schools have self-love. If a man boosts a school, then the school boosts him by giving him an honorary degree. Also, you can find this in the churches. Paul goes on to say, in chapter 4, verse 3, that congregations will follow teachers "having itching ears." These teachers want their ears scratched -- they want to be complimented. To be complimented, you have to compliment. So the teachers compliment their congregations and their boards of officers. They don't tell the people that they are sinners and need a Savior; they tell them how wonderful they are. It is interesting that the love of self characterizes our contemporary society. Probably there has never been a time when it has been so common.
2. "Covetous" means lovers of money. This follows self-love, because lovers of self become lovers of money. This old nature likes to have a lot of money spent on it. Remember that Paul said in 1Timothy 6:10, "...the love of money is the root of all evil...." Money itself is not bad. The problems come in our attitude toward our money. Covetousness reveals itself not only in the acquisition of wealth but also in the use of it.
3. "Boasters." That word has in it the idea of swaggerers. You can sometimes tell a proud man by the way he walks. He walks like a peacock; he swaggers.
4. "Proud" means haughty.
5. "Blasphemers" is better translated railers. I remember the story of a fellow whose wife said to him, "Everyone in town is talking about the Smiths' quarrel. Some of them are taking her part and some are taking his part." He chimed in, "Well, I suppose a few eccentric individuals are minding their own business." Well, railers include those who are always poking their noses into somebody else's business.
6. "Disobedient to parents." Certainly this is self-evident. Oh, the thousands of boys and girls and teenagers who are in complete rebellion against their parents!
7. "Unthankful." Many people receive kindnesses from others without even thinking of thanking them. And they accept everything from God without ever returning thanks to Him.
8. "Unholy" is profane. They are actually against God in their conversation and in their manner of life.
9. "Without natural affection" means having abnormal relationships. We are living in a day when homosexuality is being accepted as normal conduct. Yet in Romans 1:24 Paul clearly states, "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves." Humanity sinks to its lowest level when it accepts homosexuality.
10. "Trucebreakers" are people who are impossible to get along with. They are irreconcilable -- they won't let you get along with them. I recall seeing a little sign in a restaurant out in West Texas which read, "We can't please everybody, but we try." Well, you can't please everybody; there are folk who are impossible to please.
11. "False accusers" certainly abound today!
12. "Incontinent" means without self-control. That, again, characterizes a large segment of our contemporary society.
13. "Fierce" means savage. In our day the city streets have become asphalt jungles. Many of them are unsafe even in the daytime.
14. "Despisers of those that are good" is better translated haters of the good. We see evidence of that abroad!
15. "Traitors" are betrayers. There are some folk whom you don't dare trust.
16. "Heady" means reckless.
17. "Highminded" means blinded by pride or drunk with pride.
18. "Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." This actually characterizes mankind in our day. Never has there been a time when so much money has been spent in order to provide pleasure. Look at the athletic and entertainment events today. These are the things that are attracting millions of people. That is exactly the route Rome took when it went down. The mob was provided with grain and circuses, and then Rome fell. That same thing is happening today. I have always loved to participate in athletics, but I could never understand this type of athletics that just sits and beholds. I never thought that it was very exciting to go out to the coliseum and sit with 85,000 people to watch twenty-two men working for $25,000 (or more) apiece. Of course I would like to be out there myself, but I am not interested in watching them as much as I would be in watching a ditchdigger because he is not as money hungry. I don't blame any man for making as much money as he can, but the point is that billions of dollars are being spent for entertainment because men are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away [2Tim. 3:5].
19. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." They go through the rituals of religion but lack life and reality.
"From such turn away" means that the believer is to avoid them. Let me ask you a question: If you are in a dead, cold, liberal church, and you are a true believer, what are you doing there when the Word of God says to avoid those things? All across this country there are wonderful pastors who are faithfully preaching the Word of God. Why aren't you supporting and standing with these fine men?
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth [2Tim. 3:6-7].
"Silly women" means silly women of both sexes. There are some people who have attended Bible conferences for years, but they don't know any more about the Word of God now than they did when they began. They have never matured. Their lives are not changed. Friend, if you find yourself in that category today, get down on your knees and ask God to forgive you!
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith [2Tim. 3:8].
"Jannes and Jambres" apparently were the names of the two magicians called in by Pharaoh when Moses began the miracles and the plagues came upon Egypt. We would never have known the names of these magicians if Paul hadn't given them to us. Of course, that opens a great reservoir of speculation as to where Paul got those names. The simple answer is that the names were revealed to him by the Spirit of God. I don't think that the specific names add much information to the account, but it does reveal that Paul knew their names and that the magicians were real individuals who did withstand Moses. You can read about them in the seventh chapter of Exodus.
The account in Exodus reveals that Satan has power, supernatural power, and also that he is a great little imitator -- he imitates the things that God does. Jannes and Jambres were able to perform miracles by the power of Satan. Moses did them by the power of God. This is, I believe, the reason reference is made to them here. We need to understand in our day that Satan can imitate the power of God. John warns us in 1John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Satan can imitate the power of God. In our day I'm afraid that in many places a manifestation of power is misunderstood as coming from God when it really comes from Satan.
"Men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." Paul is saying that men on the contemporary scene, like Jannes and Jambres, have corrupt or depraved minds. "Reprobate concerning the faith" means that they have discarded the faith -- rejected it totally. We have had a classic example of this within the past few years. There was a bishop of the Episcopal church out here on the West Coast, a man apparently of tremendous ability, but he and his family were delving into that which was spiritualistic, bordering on the supernatural. As nearly as I can tell, this man rejected the great truths of Scripture, and he made a trip to Palestine in an attempt to disprove some of the great truths of the Word of God. Well, rather than disproving any of them, he certainly proved some of them -- and this is one of them. A very strange thing happened out there in a wilderness area for the man to die as he did. I don't propose to offer any explanation, other than he is a noteworthy example of one who once professed to believe the Word of God but became, as the Scripture says, a reprobate, a castaway. He discarded the faith.
But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was [2Tim. 3:9].
The experience of that Episcopal bishop should be a tremendous warning to Christians. You can dabble in spiritism if you want to, but you are toying with something that is dangerous. There is a manifestation of satanic power about us in our day. It is an anomaly that our crassly materialistic age, which had rejected the supernatural altogether, is discovering the reality of the supernatural, although much of it is satanic, of course.
Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.

 

 

   

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