Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.19 Messages From Heaven???#3
As we continue to look at the “Messages From Heaven” in the Gospel of John, I’d like to finish up our look at John 1 & 2. As Jesus begins His public ministry, on His way to Calvary, He is identified as The One whom God promised would deliver mankind from sin—both its penalty and its power!!! Mary and Joseph were the first ones to receive this good news (Not disregarding Elizabeth and Zachariah who were told that John would go before ‘Him’, and they were privy to Mary being the mother of this promised One).
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done,
that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken of the Lord
by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:21-23
God had promised to come and deliver us via the ‘Messiah’, and that is exactly who Jesus IS, why He came, and what He came to do! He came to deliver all, who will come to Him, from the penalty of SIN—Hell, and that is an amazingly good message! Mary’s son was to be called ‘Jesus’ because that name meant one that would save; and the only one who could save, was God Himself come in the flesh, ‘Emmanuel’—“God with us”! And that my friends, is good, Good News!
As the ‘forerunner’, John the Baptizer was given a sign so he would recognize this One who had come to deliver His people—to die for their sin, and give them new life.
“And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:33-34
What is the significance of Jesus being the one who “baptizeth with the Holy Ghost”? In a word—transformation! Jesus came to die for us that we might be made the children of God, and to impart to us the indwelling Holy Spirit. It took the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to pay for our sin, and to usher in the “New Covenant” which would change the “Law of God” from an engraving on stone to His Spirit ‘writing’ on our hearts to lead, guide and direct our every step. (See Galatians 5:16 & 25) Giving us the privilege to “….. come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16b) This New Covenant was promised by God and prophesied by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25
The same principle that Paul declares in his letters:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Galatians 6:15
Jesus came so that we could become the children of God; that we could be born again by the ‘Spirit of God’; that we would receive the empowering Holy Spirit to direct our walk in God’s way rather than our own. And how was this made possible? By the coming of “Messiah”, and John helps us see Jesus as this ONE! The Good News from Heaven!! This ‘Son of God’, come in flesh, to be the ‘Son of Man’ who would pay for SIN; the ‘Deliverer’ who would save all who repent and trust in His substitutionary sacrifice, receiving His forgiveness, as well as His Spirit to direct our steps.
So what else does the Apostle John reveal about this new itinerate preacher, Jesus.
“He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him,
We have found the Messias,
which is, being interpreted,
the Christ.” John 1:41
“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.” John 1:43
“Nathanael answered and saith unto him,
thou art the Son of God;
thou art the King of Israel.
50 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. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Hereafter ye shall see heaven open,
and the angels of God ascending
upon the Son of man.” John 1:49-51
“Jesus answered and said unto them,
Destroy this temple,
and in three days
I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen
from the dead,
his disciples remembered
that he had said this
and they believed the scripture,
and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:19-22
Jesus came to accomplish the will of God—God’s will and plan to redeem mankind, all who will come to Him. He accomplished all that He came to do, all because God loves you and me—He loves the world and:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness;
but is longsuffering
not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come
to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
The Lord God Almighty sent Jesus to be our substitute—to die in our place, for all who will but repent of their sin and believe in His substitutionary death for “ME” and “YOU”! In a sense it doesn’t really matter that He died for the world, if I don’t recognize that HE died for ME! I must see my own need; I must see that I have a problem that I can’t solve, and that only Jesus has a solution which I can’t live without; and when I see Jesus as my own personal deliverer and bow before Him—all things can be made new. Peter’s message about Jesus on the day of Pentecost, after the followers of Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us understand that all that happened to Jesus was according to God’s plan. And my friends, if God can work out every intricate detail of the life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation—HE can take care of you and your life everyday and in every way. His message from heaven is that HE loves YOU, and that Jesus came for YOU and ME!!! If we will but look up and receive Him by faith.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words;
Jesus of Nazareth,
a man approved of God among you
which God did by him
in the midst of you,
as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered
by the determinate counsel
ye have taken,
and by wicked hands
24 Whom God hath raised up,
having loosed the pains of death:
because it was not possible
that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him,
I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
for he is on my right hand,
that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice,
and my tongue was glad;
moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One
to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me
the ways of life;
thou shalt make me full of joy
with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren,
let me freely speak unto you
of the patriarch David,
that he is both dead and buried,
and his sepulchre is with us
unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet,
and knowing that God had sworn
with an oath to him,
that of the fruit of his loins,
according to the flesh,
he would raise up Christ
to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before
spake of the resurrection of Christ,
that his soul was not left in hell,
neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up,
whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God
and having received of the Father
the promise of the Holy Ghost,
he hath shed forth this,
which ye now see and hear.” Acts 2:22-33
And “which ye now see and hear”—right here, right now—the “Message From Heaven”—Jesus who came “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (See john 10:10). I
Praise God, He had and has a plan for you and me, if we will but receive it. The Good News from heaven is that God loves you and Jesus died that you might have that abundant LIFE! And how can we know this? First of all, because God cannot lie; and secondly, because when we receive Jesus, He will come to dwell within the new heart that HE gives to all who will believe and open the door to His knock.
I stand at the door,
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup with him,
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
As one of my favorite hymns says:
“He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
You ask me how I know He lives?
HE LIVES WITHIN MY HEART!”
From ‘He Lives’ by Carlton Pearson
And for each of us who belong to Him, may we live as a reflection of HIS light and glory before a world of darkness and corruption. May we truly be an irrefutable testimony before the world that “HE LIVES WITHIN MY HEART”!!!
And that should be seen in: