Today's Christian thought: Tuesday January 6th, 2004
Dear President Bush,
Have you ever studied Matthew chapter three? I don't mean just read it, but studied it, really studied it, trying to get ever last bit of wisdom out of it? No? Well my little brother in the Lord you are in good company. For the vast majority of those who profess to belong to Christ, have likewise never really sought the true and full meaning of any of God's word. So what say you, I and any others who care to read along get into the real meat of Matthew chapter three this morning?
Ready? Ok, let's do it. Let's do it with the same level of concentration you use when Secretary Rumsfeld is building his case for raising the threat level to Red.
Matthew Chapter Three
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3 For this is he (John) that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT (Isaiah 40:3).
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts (a type of nuts, not the bug) and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mr. President there are a few things here we should take serious note of. The first thing we need to understand is who is speaking here. Matthew? No, not Matthew, but God. For as you are to important to write for yourself and therefore have secretaries to write for you, so it is with God, for
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16) and as God tells us through the Apostle Peter, Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20&21) So, now that we know that what we are reading in Matthew three is not just some random recollections and thoughts of the Apostle Matthew, but words he wrote by taking dictation from God the Holy Ghost, let us study them as such. For when you write a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld telling him that he can use up to tactical nukes, he, Secretary Rumsfeld, understands that you probably didn't type that order yourself, but had a secretary or some other underling type it for you, but that does not alter the fact that he accepts it as your orders.
Now as we continue we see that John, whom we call John the Baptist, was not some rich and fancy preacher being carried around in some armor plated chariot, nor one who had such wealth that he ate only the choicest of delicacies. No John was a man who had been fortold by God through another scribe, the Prophet Isaiah. And what is it that this John preached? Repent. Repent, Repent. And what did people do who heard John preach Repent. They were baptized by him in Jordan, while confessing their sins. They were baptized by John while they repented.
Let us continue.
7 But when he (John) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet (worthy) for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father': for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."
George, who were these Pharisees and Sadducees that came to John and what is it that John was telling them when he called them snakes? And then what was he ordering them to do?
The Pharisees and the Sadducees where men who, while learned, put more emphasis on tradition and commentary than on God's Word. Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, "Why do Thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread." But Jesus answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition(s)? You see Mr. President, the Pharisees and the Sadducees had put traditions ahead of God's teachings, they put more stock in commentary written by man then those words spoken directly by God.
So, what did John tell them to do? He said: Look you bunch of snakes, you had best get on your faces and confess your sins, you had best go to the Lord and do some serious repenting. And if you think you can just wander on into heaven with a wave of your hand saying, "Hey, I'm a decedent of Abraham." Think again, for God can make children out of all these stones if it so pleases Him.
And how did they know that John was serious? Serious about God raising children out of stones? Well they did know that God had made man out of dust to start with, so they knew that if God so choose, He could and would raise up a people out of stones.
George, John continued by further warning the Pharisees and Sadducees saying:
10 "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He (Jesus) that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Think about what John is telling them George, He is warning them that Jesus is going to judge every man, and in that judgement, the bad will be cast into the lake of eternal fire. And that while he baptizes with water, Jesus is coming and He will baptize with fire. A little analogy here might do. Let's say a Company Commander holds what is commonly referred to in the Marine Corps as an 'Office Hours' hearing, and in it it decides that a young corporal has done something wrong and sentences him to restriction to the base for two months. So the young corporal appeals, he appeals all the way to you. All the way up each successive court has upheld the Company commanders decision. But still the young corporal has hope, but now he is standing before you. And you say: "corporal, you are restricted to the base for two months and if you so much as open your mouth I will sentence you to six years of hard labor and dishonorably discharge you!" Well, if that young corporal has any sense at all, he will simply say "Yes Sir, thank you sir" and wait at rigid attention to be dismissed. For you are the final authority when it comes to military matters.
And so it is with Jesus, His judgement is absolute, He knows when repentance is honest. He knows the hearts of all of us. He knows when we are serious and when we are praying only to hear ourselves pray. Or when we are trying to pull the wool over His eyes, hoping to slip something past Him. With Jesus it is fire, not water. Fire purifies much better than water, for how can one clean impurities out of silver or gold with water? But we can clean silver and gold of all impurities with fire, melting.
So, what John is telling the Pharisees and Sadducees is this: Jesus, who is God is coming, He can and will cleanse those who come to Him in truth, in true repentance. And He will damn those who don't.
Let us continue.
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of(by) him. 14 But John forbad Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"
Did you know that John the Baptist and Jesus were second cousins? John knew that Jesus was God even before he was born. John was about six months older than the Lord, His older cousin, but look at the respect he shows for Jesus. Jesus comes to him to be baptized and John says "No Lord, I need to be baptized by You." Yet look at what Jesus does:
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he (John) suffered (baptized) Him (Jesus).
George, why do you think Jesus knelled down in the water before, not to but before, John to be baptized? Why do you think the Lord God Creator of the universe went to a poor, shabby, loudmouthed preacher out in the middle of no where instead of some high and mighty, rich and influential religious leader of a large and prestigious synagogue to be baptized?
16 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him (John), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him (Jesus): 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:1-17 ACP/KJV)
Mr. President, you too are a beloved son of God, don't let Him down. Stay close to Him George, rely on Him not you. For He has made you leader over His in the USA. Read His word George, go to Him on your knees asking for His help in understanding His will and His orders. Don't rely on commentary or tradition Mr. President, rely on God's holy and absolute Word.
The Lord be with you and bless you, may He help you to understand His word and give you a hunger to seek it. Amen.
Pray for my friend Mac, pray for Rush and Michael Savage. While the Lord does not need the platforms and audiences that Rush and Michael have, they, Rush, Michael and their audiences need the Lord.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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