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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.21 Messages From Heaven! #8

 

!Jesus! Jesus IS the “message” from heaven; He who came in humility and love to pay for our sin, IS the greatest of all messages—for God sent Him to save you and me and to deliver us from sin, death and hell—and that my friends, is great, good news. I pray that you have availed yourself of His mercy and grace, like the man we’ll consider today. As we see another “message” from the Gospel of John.

And a certain man was there,

which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

When Jesus saw him lie,

and knew that he had been now

a long time in that case,

he saith unto him,

Wilt thou be made whole?

The impotent man answered him,

Sir, I have no man,

when the water is troubled,

to put me into the pool:

but while I am coming,

another steppeth down

before me.

Jesus saith unto him,

Rise,

take up thy bed,

and walk.

And immediately

the man was made whole,

and took up his bed,

and walked:

and on the same day was the sabbath.” John 5:5-9

Here is a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years, he isn’t cognizant of Jesus, nor did he ask for healing; but Jesus SAW him, had compassion on him and asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” And while we may think this has nothing to do with us, it calls us to take a closer look.

This unnamed man had an obvious need; he was at the ‘pool’ waiting for a miracle from God. Yet when Jesus asked if he wanted to be made whole, he replied that there was no one to help him to the pool when the water was stirred, which was when healing was experienced for the “first one” into the pool after the stirring. Can you imagine the expectations around that pool, yet like us they were so focused on their expectations that they missed the very presence of God The Son! Yet Jesus had compassion on this man! Why this man? We don’t know why, except for the grace and mercy of God, just like He offers to we who will hear His call, believe and respond in faith.

We also need to consider the kindred spirit that mankind has with this man’s oblivion to the presence of Jesus and who HE was/is! We should understand that only God can open the eyes of the heart and soul to see Jesus! And when He calls we must choose how we will respond. This man had to make a choice, as do we all.

This man could have rolled back over the other way, thinking, “Can’t he see that I can’t walk?” Or he could have just decided that this man was “out of his head”—he can’t make me walk. But he didn’t do any of those things, instead he heard the voice of Jesus, believed what he heard and he got up and walked away, and created a furor among the religious leaders of the day for carrying his bed on the Sabbath day! Jesus just stirred more than the water; he showed that God has compassion on the lostness of men.

For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 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.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.”     John 3:16-19

We all must choose what we will do with God’s message—HIS SON, come in the flesh to live a sinless life, to die in our place and to rise again from the dead to give “everlasting life” to all who will believe in Him for salvation. It brings to my mind the parable of the sower and the seed.

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed,

some seeds fell by the way side,

and the fowls came

and devoured them up:

Some fell upon stony places,

where they had not much earth:

and forthwith they sprung up,

because they had no deepness of earth:

And when the sun was up,

they were scorched;

and because they had no root,

they withered away.

And some fell among thorns;

and the thorns sprung up,

and choked them:

But other fell into good ground,

and brought forth fruit,

some an hundredfold,

some sixtyfold,

some thirtyfold.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”     Matthew 13:3-9

This is one of my favorite parables of Jesus, plain yet complex. The sower and the seed are static—they don’t vary (Jesus=Sower, Word=Seed), but the responses do. We have the ‘way side’, the ‘stony places’, the ‘among thorns” soil, and the ‘good ground”; and all men and women, boys and girls fall into one of these categories of response. We all make choices, and not choosing is a choice! Jesus also gives us the meaning of this parable.

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

19 When any one heareth

the word of the kingdom,

and understandeth it not,

then cometh the wicked one,

and catcheth away

that which was sown in his heart.

This is he which received seed by the way side.

20 But he that received the seed

into stony places,

the same is he that heareth the word,

and anon with joy receiveth it;

21 Yet hath he not root in himself,

but dureth for a while:

for when tribulation

or persecution ariseth

because of the word,

by and by he is offended.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns

is he that heareth the word;

and the care of this world,

and the deceitfulness of riches,

choke the word,

and he becometh unfruitful.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground

is he that heareth the word,

and understandeth it;

which also beareth fruit,

and bringeth forth,

some an hundredfold,

some sixty,

some thirty. Matthew 13:18-23

We learn that the way side, represents those who have no desire to hear God, no understanding of the truth of spiritual things, and when the seed is sown it is devoured by the birds— the work of the Devil, the busyness of life, a mind set against God, and set on self, and often influenced by others, all things that keep the seed from bringing forth fruit. Simply put, representative of those who reject God whether it be openly, or simply by neglect.

The second group is the “stony places”, which represents those who hear the word and rejoice in the “Good News”, but have no root in themselves; in other words, they hear the message, rejoice in it’s goodness but don’t allow it to change their hearts, (They aren’t born again) so when difficulty or persecution comes (and it always will come) they fall away, just like a plant that has no roots will die because without roots it isn’t authentic or sustainable—it may come up but it can’t live without roots. You can tie eggs on a tree, but there “ain’t” no such thing as an ‘egg’ tree! (Saying so doesn’t make it so! See Matthew 7:13-28)

The third group is “among the thorns” seeds. This group is more difficult to define. While the ‘way side’ and the ‘stony ground’ are clearly those who don’t truly believe, whether by deliberate rejection, or imitation faith, the seeds sown “among the thorns” is subject to debate. Jesus says that they are those who hear the word but allow the “care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches” to choke the word, and they bring forth NO fruit. They take up ground but produce no produce! (Pun intended.) The debate comes in when we try to determine whether these are those who truly believe yet are so weak in the faith and don’t grow, therefore remain fruitless; or if this refers to those who hear the truth, understand what it means, adhere to it in word only and therefore are choked by the influence of the world because they don’t truly have a relationship with Jesus. Let me simply say that there can be a case built for either view, and I recommend that you study it for yourself and see what the Spirit reveals to you through diligent study. The main point to me is simply, if you belong to Jesus, you need to cling closely to Him and allow His Spirit, His Truth and His people help you to grow in grace, truth and power that you can bear fruit.

And lastly the fourth group is the “good ground”, which hears the word, understands it and brings forth fruit. These are those who genuinely and obviously belong to Jesus and are busy about His business—not just busyness! But there is a “message” that we mustn’t miss, that everyone who is genuine and clearly born again by the Spirit of God (See John 1:12-13) doesn’t produce the same amount of fruit—either in ability, size or effect. Jesus clearly tells us here that the good soil produces fruit, but not all the same. He reveals that the crop is not the same for each believer, for each believer is gifted in unique ways, with individual gifts and callings, but they will “produce fruit”:

some an hundredfold,

some sixty,

some thirty.

One thing we can take away from all of this is that Jesus calls us, we can receive Him or reject Him, the choice is ours, given to us by God Almighty. But the choice carries with it the consequences of whatever choice you make. You/we are free to choose to receive or reject Jesus Christ The Lord, but we are not free to set or eliminate the consequences; those have been set by God.

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.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.

The “Message From Heaven” is for you and it is that Jesus loves you and died for you and you can have eternal life in HIM!!! Jesus may be calling you today to “rise up and walk”! He may be calling you to come to Him in repentance and faith to be saved. He may be calling you to a new place or opportunity of service—to rise up and walk with Him for great and amazing bountiful harvests!!! You can lie there lame, puzzled, bitter, frustrated, disappointed and confused! Or you can get up and walk in the power of HIS name!

Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do…….”   Exodus 6:1a Get up my friend, get up! God wants you to join Him and “see what I will do.