Miracle Gazers? John 6:1-2

Text:  “And a great multitude followed Him (Christ Jesus), because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.”
John 6:2.

Good morning, faith-filled Christian!  Having been given God’s wonderful gift of saving faith, you now seek to walk by that faith, and are not easily taken in by some outward show of strange ‘signs and lying wonders’!  You do well, faithful friend, you do very well.  The Lord is pleased with you in this day of increased apostasy and straying from the truth.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…and then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming; even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight)”  (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Our text today informs us that ‘…a great multitude followed…’ Christ Jesus, and then continues on to explain why they did so - ‘…because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.’  (V.2)

Many of the more gullible today continue to follow hard after men and women who seem to be able to put on a spectacular show of ‘…signs and lying wonders…’ 

How sad to see so many within Christian circles that are unable to ‘…walk by faith, not by sight…’ .  Yet, it is a prophesied sign of the latter times, well predicted within the pages of Holy Scripture.  Beware, sign-seekers!

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold I (Christ) have told you before.  Wherefore…believe it not.”  (Matthew 24:24-26)

The ‘multitude’ which followed Jesus in today’s Scripture text followed Him only in order to SEE the miraculous things that He did; the Divine healings that Christ, in His great compassion and love, did to those that were sorely afflicted by disease.  Everyone loves to see a circus!  Even in a church!

However, we never learn of this ‘multitude’ of sign-seekers ever coming to a saving faith in the risen Lord Jesus.  Like Julius Caesar ‘they came, they saw, they…‘ went home unaffected by the Gospel message! 

There is no mention of these sign-seekers ever receiving God’s gift of saving faith and, thus, finding Eternal Salvation in the Christ of God!

How often Christian Pastors, Ministers and Evangelists see thousands turning out to SEE them preach the powerful Word of God.  Yet, too often, we also see a majority of such curious souls walk away from the meetings still lost in their sins.  They desired to SEE the show - but when the show was over, they returned home without the Christ in their hardened hearts.

“For by grace (God’s unmerited favour) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we (the saved) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath BEFORE ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“Because strait (strict, difficult) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life (Eternal life), and few there be that find it.  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing (look like God’s Shepherds), but inwardly they are ravening (devouringly greedy) wolves…Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”  (Matthew 7:14-20)

True Pastors are called to feed God’s sheep - not financially fleece them!

Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling (pay-seeking, hired hand), and not the shepherd…seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them (the silly deceived sheep), and scattereth the sheep.”     (John 10:11-13)

With this vital teaching of Christ in mind therefore, let us be very careful as to the motives of our hearts when attending church meetings.  Let us ask ourselves: Am I going to this meeting in order to be entertained, to SEE strange and dramatic things?  Or am I going along to listen intently to the preaching and teaching of God’s Holy and Spirit-inspired Word?

Thought:  Miracle-gazers are like star-gazers - when the show is over, they quickly forget the sights they have seen.  Stand fast in Faith!

Receiving Christ as Lord John 5:41-47

Text:  “I am come in My Father’s Name, and ye receive Me not; If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”
John 5:43.

Good morning, Christian subject!  Having been granted faith to believe and receive Christ as your Saviour, it has been your privilege and mine to subject ourselves to Christ’s Lordship.  We are Spiritual subjects in the Kingdom of God; subject to the King of all kings, Christ Jesus.

Christ - to thee and to me - is both Saviour and Lord.  Hallelujah!  What a privilege to own Christ as our Lord and Saviour!  Glory to His altogether lovely Name!

“And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His Name one.”  (Zechariah 14:9)

“Ye call Me Master and Lord; and ye say well, for so I am.”           (John 13:13)

In this sad day of false showmanship and easy-believing within universal Christendom, we discover many who deeply desire to have Christ as their Saviour but will not receive Him as their Lord. 

These fools are enlightened enough to know they are lost without Christ Jesus, but not enough to acknowledge Christ’s Holiness and wrath against all sin.  They want to be Eternally saved, but only from the consequences of their vile sin; not from their sinfulness itself.  Thus, they desire Christ as Saviour, but refuse to receive Him as Lord.  How pathetic can one get?

Such professors want to be saved and given Eternal entrance to Heaven - but left free to live like Hell on earth.  They will not have the Christ to rule over them in this life, but want only to escape Hell’s torments in the Eternity to come. 

In refusing to receive Christ Jesus as their Lord - they automatically reject Him as their Eternal Saviour.  Christ must be both Saviour and Lord!  There can be only ONE Master over the will of fallen man.

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon (worldly riches, prestige, self-gain).”  (Matthew 6:24)

This latter part of Chapter 5 of John’s Gospel finds our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus, teaching us some vital truths.  Let us look more closely at some of them and gain Eternal knowledge to aid us in our walk with Him.

God’s Honour: (V.41) Mere created (or in our case born) creatures cannot give honour to the Almighty Creator Lord God.  We do not do God any favours by verbally honouring His Name.  God does not need our praises, prayers, or puny attempts to give Him ‘honour’.  The Lord God is all-sufficient!  The Lord God IS Honour incarnate!  Glory!  Glory!  Glory!

“I receive not honour from men.” (John 5:41) Hallelujah!  Holy! Holy!  Holy!

God’s Love: (V.42)  The Lord God KNOWS what is inside our heart of hearts.  He knows when the love of God is in us - because it is the Lord God Who puts that love within us in the first place!  The Lord God is Sovereign!

“We love Him, because He FIRST loved us.”  (1 John 4:19)

“IF ye love Me, keep My commandments.”  (John 14:15)

God’s Name:  (Vs. 43)  We serve the Lord God Jehovah; the great ‘I Am’ - and we who profess to be Christians must therefore go forth at all times in the Name of Christ Jesus. 

We go forth in no other mere mortal and thus fallible name.  If we do so, we will have no real Spiritual power or authority, and the work that we seek to do will eventually, and at all times, come to nought but shame and disgrace.  Beware of false ‘prophets’ and self-seeking individuals who seek to build a ‘ministry’ of merchandise-making in their own pathetic name.  Beware!

God’s Authority:  Anyone seeking to go forth in the full authority of the Living Lord God MUST go forth proclaiming His Spirit-inspired and infallible Word.  Sola Scriptura!  Scripture alone our authority to minister.

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream, and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully…Is not My Word like a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock (of unbelief) in pieces?”  (Jeremiah 23:28-29)

Thus we see that true Christian subjects seek God’s honour; God’s love; revere God’s Holy Name; and go forth in the authority of God’s great Word.  Amen.  May it be so with thee and with me, beloved in Christ Jesus.

Thought: If Christ is to be our Saviour - He must also be our Lord!

Whose Word Do YOU Believe? John 5:38-40

Text:  “To the Law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."
Isaiah 8:20.

Good morning, well established Christian!  Not for you some wavering on sinking sands of ’religious’ belief.  You are not ‘…tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…’.  You are, praise God, standing firmly on the Rock of Salvation in Christ Alone, and what’s more, you have God’s own Word to prove it!  Hallelujah!  Praise God for such Scripturally informed, and totally committed Christians!  (Ephesians 4:14)

The people that the Lord Jesus was speaking to in today’s selected verses from John’s Gospel above were being rebuked by the Master for their faithless unbelief.

“And ye (the unbelieving Jews who sought to kill Jesus in verse 18) have not His Word abiding in you; for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not.” (John 5:38)

These people were the most RELIGIOUS people in the Jewish society of the day; outwardly they seemed to practice what they said they believed RELIGIOUSLY!  Yet, the Lord is rebuking them for their total unbelief in Himself as the well-heralded coming Messiah! 

Religion is the curse of modern societies today in this 21st Century!

True Christians preach Christ, and Him Crucified, as the only way of Eternal Salvation for the souls of genuinely repentant sinners.

“Jesus saith…, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.  If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”  (John 14:6-7)

In other words, Christ is saying:  ‘I am the only means of your soul’s Salvation, for I alone can redeem you from your sins.  If you are truly looking for God My Father, then look at Me, for this is the only face of the Lord God you shall see this side of Eternity.’  (See the preceding Bible Lesson: Seeking the Face of God)

The religious Pharisees and leaders of the day revered the written scrolls of Holy Scripture, treated the physical scrolls of Scripture as objects of utter devotion.  Yet, had not one iota of true God-given faith to believe what was written therein! God’s Word did not ’abide’ in their hearts through true faith.

They had the ‘fig leaves’ of religion, but no saving faith.

“And ye have not His Word abiding in you; for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not.”  (John 5:38)

Can you identify this same trait within what is, foolishly, called Christendom today?  Can you see with your own eyes many ‘…in the shadowy branches…’ of Christ’s church, who are totally sold out on their strict form of RELIGIOUS ENTERTAINMENT, yet will not believe nor practice Christian and Biblical principles?  I do, and the sight sickens my regenerate heart.  (See the Bible Lesson ‘Beware! Fowl Birds Roosting’ on our website)

“Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection (homosexual), truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent (lacking self-restraint sexually), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady (affecting the brain; intoxicating; inflamed; rash; violent; exciting Chambers Dictionary p.739); high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a FORM of godliness, but denying the power thereof; FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.”   (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Today, in this 21st Century, we are continually bombarded with whipped up religion ‘roosting’ under the auspices of what is loosely defined as Christianity.  Professing Christians - those who seldom read their Bibles in most cases - seem to be ever looking for a new showman; a big ‘movement’ ministry; a circus of psycho-babble entertainment to attend and, inevitably, financially support.  How pathetic!  What faithlessness!  What a SICK church we have  world-wide today.  Take heed, established Christian!

“…Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”  (Ephesians 5:14-15)

Christ was here rebuking the faithless Jews of his day, as you and I should be rebuking all faithless Christians today - in His Name and for His sake.  Let us arise and do so - all religious charlatans must be openly denounced.

Thought:  ‘Let all things be done decently and in order…’ in the Church!  (1 Corinthians 14:40)