Message Notes1). As we allowed scripture to interpret itself yesterday we found that there are some important keys to unlocking our understanding of it.
a). We need to start at the beginning, where God started. Lay the foundations that are given in Genesis and then build upon them from the rest of scripture.
b). That in order to understand the big picture of scripture we need to realize that it is ?line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little?. There is no one place that God gives us all there is to know about any given doctrine. It has to be gleaned from various parts of scripture so that we may have a properly informed view. Comparing scripture with scripture.
1Co 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
i/ For example if we are to study salvation by grace through faith so as to understand eternal salvation we cannot begin in Matthew. To do so can lead to a complete misunderstanding of the whole subject, which is prevalent throughout Christendom at this present time. Rather we have to begin where God began in Genesis chapters 1 and 3. (Explain briefly)
c). We must also accept that given in - 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
i/ ?All scripture? means just that.
d). We must also understand that all scripture is about the person and work of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the living God ?
Lu 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
e). And that there is a central focus to all scripture ? a change of rulership over the earth as a result of the coming of the King and His Kingdom.
2). In fact if we will notice, it is this message, surrounding the King and His Kingdom, that was not only brought by Christ at His first coming, but also taught by the Apostles during the early years of the Church.
3). Witness this before the Lord?s birth ?
a). 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
i/ Remember God?s words at the Lord?s baptism - Mt 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
b). Isa 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
c). Then at the time of His birth - Mt 2:2?? "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?
d). And then before His public ministry - Mt 3:1 ? In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
e). And the message brought by Jesus Himself - Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
f). And note what His own recorded words teach - Lu 4:43 but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent."
i/ Mt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,??..
ii/ Lu 9:2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
iii/ A message that could only be given to a redeemed people. A message that was and remains only for the seed of Abraham.
g). Then after His resurrection - Ac 1:3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
f). And finally, the Apostles - Ac 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
(Teach this in relation to a post salvation experience in respect of Israel and the Church)
i/ Ac 20:25 "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
ii/ Ac 28:23 ? So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.
4). I hope by now the point is clear. And it is of course the subject of this conference. And there are encouraging words from the Lord in respect of this ?
a). Mt 13:11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
b). Mt 13:52 Then He said to them, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old."
5). But there are some things that we need to get settled in our understanding.
a). It is without doubt true that every believer has access to the word of God, either through the scriptures themselves or the teaching and preaching of the word. Every believer is in dwelt by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit has been sent to guide us into all truth. Yet despite these truths scripture clearly teaches that receiving the instruction concerning the kingdom of heaven is not automatic.
b). Although everyone starts from the same base line with the potential to know, there are those believers, who through their own actions, or perhaps we could say lack of action, find themselves outside of the instruction they could have received.
6). Let us go to scripture to look at this.
Mt 25:1 ? "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 7 "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 "But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' 10 "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 12 "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.
a). Note what the subject of this parable is
i/ Ps 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,
b). 10 is the number of ordinal completion. All are virgins. All go out to meet the Bridegroom. All have lamps and all have oil in their lamps.
i/ This in itself should be enough for us to realize that this parable is dealing with redeemed people, and within the context in Matthew, specifically the Church.
c). The distinction made between the two groups, wise and foolish, is made on the basis of one group having an extra supply of oil and one group not.
d). Now the oil is representative of the Holy Spirit. And we need to note that the word of God and the Spirit of God are one and the same.
i/ Joh 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
ii/ 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
iii/ ?Inspiration? ? Literally God breathed ? spirit and breath are the same word.
e). What we see then is that all believers posses an initial supply of the Spirit, all are in dwelt at the time of their new birth. But not all possess an extra supply of the Spirit. These would be those who have failed to heed the scripture given to us in - Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled ( Lit. continually filled ) with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 ? submitting to one another in the fear of God.
f). And in a companion scripture in Colossians we discover what this kind of filling looks like - Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
(Teach ? ?the word of Christ?)
g). And please note the outcome for both groups, remembering that they are all saved. And remembering that this has to do with the Kingdom, NOT eternal salvation.
h). There is therefore a direct correlation between engagement with the word ? of Christ ? and being accepted by the Bridegroom.
7). This is borne out for us in the Book of Ruth ? (Teach Ruth?s family relationship)
a). The distinction between Ruth and Orpah
b). Ru 1:16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
c). Ru 3:5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do."
d). It is Ruth, the one who continued with Naomi following all her instructions, who is already a family member, who finds herself in a position to become the wife of the kinsman redeemer, Boaz ? a type of Christ.
8). In Genesis Chapter 24 where Abraham, after the death of Sarah, and before his remarriage to Keturah, sends his oldest servant to his family to find a wife for his son - Ge 24:4 "but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac."
a). Remembering the Sarah?s death is a type of Israel set aside, Abraham is a type of God the Father, Isaac is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, Abraham?s family a type of the Church, Rebekah a type of the Bride Christ ? faithful Christians, and Keturah a type of restored Israel at the end of the Tribulation.
b). And it is here in the 24th Chapter of Genesis, which is a picture of the Holy Spirit?s present work amongst believers, beginning when He was sent on the Day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts ? that we see the one who is to be Isaac?s wife found by the well of water. Water also being a type of the Spirit, a type of the word - Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
c). And it is the one who draws from the well who is given gifts of gold, silver and garments, the adornment of royalty, who leaves the rest of her family to marry the son of promise - Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah.
c). It is interesting that both Moses and Jacob, both being types of Christ, find their respective wives by a well of water also.
9). And all of this is entirely consistent with what scripture teaches concerning God?s word and the redeemed person?s relationship with that word.
a). Notice what God says about it - Ps 138:2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
b). Ps 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
c). Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
i/ Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
ii/ You cannot have faith apart from the word of God. Faith is believing what God has said and then acting upon it.
d). There is an attitude of heart that must be involved in this ?
De 4:9 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
e). 1Ch 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
f). Ps 119:2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!
g). Lu 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10). And I am sure that we realize that this is not speaking of reading something from the Bible everyday. This is about a consistent, methodical, continuous study with a desire to understand all there is to understand about the One who said all scripture is about Him.
a). This is a choice and one that is outside of the desire of the average Christian looking for the microwave version to slot in between breakfast and the ball game on a Sunday.
b). A Christian who chooses to study in the way we have described will not be content with the regurgitated slop of an anemic,? feel-good? gospel. This will be one who is looking to grow up and chew on something with some nourishment in it. They are filled with Divine discontent.
c). This will be the one like Ruth who refuses to be shaken from her course. And like Rebekah who leaves everything to pursue the marriage with the son.
d). 2Ch 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
e). Isa 28:9 ? "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little." 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, 12 To whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," And, "This is the refreshing"; Yet they would not hear.
f). The scripture is clear ? He will not teach knowledge and understanding concerning the focus of scripture ? the coming of the King and His Kingdom ? to those who are spiritually immature. Those who are content to only drink milk.
11). And we find, at the very inception of the Church, God provided that which was necessary for spiritual growth to occur - Eph 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this, "He ascended" --what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ?
a). It is the stated function of the fivefold ministry in the Church to teach and to preach the whole counsel of God ? the gospel of grace to the lost and the gospel of the glory of Christ to the saved. And when the church meets it is the latter that needs to be taught not the former ? so that all believers would grow to spiritual maturity.
b). Sadly, through the work of the enemy throughout this dispensation, this is for the most part not the case
c). It needs to be so - 1Co 15:58 ? Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
i/ Ro 16:25 ? Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith?
d). We must be established and immovable or our enemy will take from us that which God has given ? it is personal and it is nasty.
e). Ga 1:6 ? I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Ga 3:1 ? O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish?
Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
(Teach these ? give an alter call of commitment).