Monday, June 25, 2012
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another; Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. (Luke 24:13-35; KJV)
THE DESPAIR OF DEFEAT
The greatest event in all history has just taken place. On this very day, the Lord Jesus Christ rose from
the grave, victorious over death, hell, and the grave. The women came to the empty tomb, and met the
angel. Simon Peter also came and examined the empty sepulchre. It was no secret, for the story of the
risen saviour, who had been dead for three days, was becoming widespread. The two of them on the way
to Emmaus, mentioned in our above text, knew all about this, for they were disciples of Jesus. The
reason I put the entire context here is that I wanted you to read the entire story. Please do, and let it
speak to you. These two men were utterly overwhelmed, and consumed by the events of the last three
days. They were only walking seven miles. As they went forward, and reasoned, they were puzzled, but
Jesus drew near to them. They were some of His disciples, as I said, but they did not recognize Him. We
are not told why, but evidently Jesus wanted to stay unknown to them for at least part of the trip.
As Jesus approached them, He asked about their conversation and their sadness. (v.17) The one named
Cleopas answered Him kindly, but was sure He was a stranger. He even asked Him “Are you a stranger
in Jerusalem not knowing about the things that have come to pass in these days?” (v.18) Jesus answered him “What things?” (v.19) Remember as Paul told King Agrippa and Festus in Acts 26:26 “For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.” The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ was certainly no secret. Cleopas told the story with much sadness and defeat. He first said “Jesus was a prophet.” Secondly he said “He was killed.” Thirdly “But we trusted.” He then said that the women who went to the tomb early could not find His body, and that they saw a vision of angels that claimed He was alive. Then he said “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.” (v.24) We know that the first men to visit the tomb were Simon Peter and John. To me it is interesting that as Cleopas talked with Jesus; he said this was the third day after his crucifixion, proving as do other things, that he was not killed on a Friday, but on a Wednesday. Whether I am correct or not, we will not know until we get to glory, so don’t worry.
A number of commentators, including Matthew Henry, saw clearly that Cleopas had a prejudice against
the women’s report. Matthew Henry quotes Cleophas “Certain women also of our company made us
astonished (and that was all), who were early at the sepulchre, and found the body gone, and they said
that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive; but we are ready to think it was only
their fancy, and no real thing, for angels would have been sent to the apostles, not to the women, and
women are easily imposed upon.” They acknowledge that some of the apostles had visited the sepulchre,
and found it empty (Luke 24:24). “But him they saw not, and therefore we have reason to fear that he is
not risen, for, if he be, surely he would have shown himself to them; so that, upon the whole matter, we
have no great reason to think that he is risen, and therefore have no expectations from him now; our
hopes were all nailed to his cross, and buried in his grave.” They were in despair regarding Christ.
THE DECLARATION OF DIVINE PURPOSE
Whether Cleopas expected an answer from the stranger or not, he certainly got one after saying “They
found it even so as the women had said; but him they saw not.” (v.24) Jesus’ answer was “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”(v.25, 26) I am sure this statement took Cleopas, and the other walker by surprise. (A couple of writers believe the other one was none other than Luke, the writer of this gospel. Quite possible, I think.) But, why did Jesus say these things? He said fools in the sense of foolish people, refusing to see the obvious. He said slow of heart (slow to comprehend). All the prophets have spoken, saying in effect “You don’t believe the prophets.” Jesus perceived that they were defeated and empty.
Then it says to us. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the
scriptures the things concerning himself.” (v. 27) Isn’t it amazing, and exciting that beginning with,
probably Genesis 3:15, Christ explained to these two brethren all about Himself? What a blessing to be
the first to hear the gospel from Him after his resurrection! What an honor to be chosen for this hearing!
What a way of illustrating His words in John 5:39-40! “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
Just imagine hearing Him explain Messianic passages from Psalms, Isaiah, Micah, etc... Wouldn’t that be
a privilege? What a thrill to hear him now quote these beautiful verses to us:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”(Isaiah 9:6)
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:12)
“Behold God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2) Jesus was here declaring Himself to them! The very One who is the Messiah was quoting verses like these to these two brethren. How remarkable! “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.” (v.28) They definitely wanted Jesus to stay and fellowship some more. It was late, so He did. Then He prayed and broke bread with them.
THE DELIGHT OF DELIVERANCE
“And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.” (v 31)
His purpose was not to stay, but to reveal Himself. The scales were removed, and now they could clearly
see Him. Even today, Christ must be revealed for us to see Him. “But when it pleased God, who
separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I
might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” (Galatians 1:16) These words of Paul reflected on his conversion when Christ was revealed to him, and in him. Every true believer must have Christ revealed to him. It is a miracle, no less than His resurrection; no less than His birth; no less than His miracles and healings. It is all of grace. His grace!
Then Cleophas and the other one exclaimed how foolish they had been, and what a great preacher Christ
was. “And they said one to another; Did not or hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (v.32) The Spirit of Christ must open the word for us, or we will never hear it, or never see it. He told us this in so many words in John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” He said also in John 14:26 more about the Holy Spirit coming to us to continue His work “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
We are told that they rose the same hour and went to Jerusalem. The eleven disciples were there,
gathered with some other followers. These two men were excited. Wouldn’t we be, if we found we had
just walked to Emmaus, and back with Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t we be if we had just been absolutely
convinced that Christ had defeated death? Wouldn’t we be if we were convinced that no matter what
happens in our lives, we are going to ultimately be with Jesus? Oh, and being with the eleven and the
others was a charge for them because Peter had seen Christ too. So they told of the Emmaus Road
experience, and then were told of the Lord’s appearing to the eleven when they were breaking bread.
Likely Thomas was able to share how he doubted, and how Jesus appeared to him the next Lords Day.
How wonderful it is to share such experiences, and it did not stop 2000 years ago. Even today in the 21st
century, we can share our experiences with Christ. We can share the testimony of the saints of then, and
now. We can share that no matter how dark it gets, Christ stands with His church! No matter how much
sin abounds, grace so much more abounds. There is still time, my friends! You may be a sinner, but
there is still right now. You can turn to Jesus with all your heart and be everlastingly saved. All of us
know that this life will end one day before long. Please turn to Him now! Again, listen to Paul.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1Timothy 1:15-17)
Posted by charles at 6:34 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Present day Christianity is largely in shambles. So many things have changed, mostly since the early 20th century. There are still people being saved, but far fewer than there were earlier. There are some large churches in America, and other countries, but so many of them do not preach the truth. We are praying for revival. It is needed. It must happen, or we are finished as far as I can see. Now, can God send it? Of course He can! Will He? I do not know, but His purpose will be carried out.
Dear friends, don't cease to pray and witness to the lost. If revival comes, it will begin in God's house. It will go beyond that, but must begin there. For the sake of lost friends and loved ones, we must pray for revival. Someone likely prayed for you. Some say "The Lord is returning soon,so revival cannot come in our day". That may, or may not be true. Only God knows. There are some areas in the world that are having a bit of a stir, so God may not be ready yet. When He is, we better be!
With these thoughts in mind, I have written the articles I am placing here. Some of these have been published earlier. It was at least five years ago on those, so most of you have not read them. I am going to continue as I am able to serve God, and trust Him to work out His will I suggest we all do that. May these short thoughts be a blessing to you. Keep praying for me.
PRESENT DAY CHRISTIANITY
Present day Christianity has largely rejected the teaching of God's grace in its biblical fullness. Instead, we have on all sides a largely man-centered religion. "Media Event Christianity" is the norm in so many churches. The manipulation of souls and "decisionism" has given us a watered-down gospel that couldn't save a flea. It has been taught that God can only do what man "lets" Him do! But this is a far cry from the God of the Bible. He is the Sovereign of the universe! He does not need our help, we need His!
Naturally to declare God as God Almighty is going to ruffle some feathers. The Baptists of today forget the London Confession, the Philadelphia Confession, and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, which all contain clear and strong statements regarding the Sovereign God.
The Baptists are not alone in forgetting. The Presbyterians of today often fail to take note of the old landmark Westminster Confession of Faith (which differs from the Philadelphia Confession very little). The heritage of the church is largely discarded today, and the “emerging church”, “wealth and health gospel” along with “new evangelicalism” and most of today's fundamentalism cannot shape up when compared to the faith of our fathers. Truth has fallen in the streets! (I originally wrote the majority of these words in 1983. Some things have changed for the better, but it is evident that many things are worse). We desperately need revival. I pray for it. I believe that reformation must come before true revival will come (cw)
A BLOODLESS GOSPEL
A bloodless gospel is a lifeless gospel; if the atonement be denied or frittered away, or put into a secondary place, or obscured, in that proportion the life has gone out of the religion which is professed. (cw)
REFORMED THEOLOGY- SOLA SCRIPTURA
The Arminian doctrine of election states that God looked into the future and chose those people who chose Him. In Romans 8, the Greek word for foreknew means to ‘to know beforehand’ ‘forelove’ or ‘foreappoint’, not ‘look into the future’. The Arminian absurdly believes that the eternally omniscient God looked into the future to gain knowledge from His creations. (cw)
HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE
I would far rather publish the good writings of my brothers and sisters than to seek glory for myself by always being the one doing the writing, or the preaching. Let Him who “ever lives to make intercession for us” (Hebrews 7:25), receive any glory that comes from these feeble publishing efforts. To paraphrase George Whitefield “Let the name of Woodruff perish, but Christ be glorified!” I only let you know who I am so that I may be of service to you in Jesus Christ. (cw)
As George Whitefield himself said:
“Unloose my stammering tongue to tell, Thy Love immense, unsearchable”.
THOU HAST REVEALED
"”At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Matthew 11:25
Jesus' words here show us:
To some sinners truth is revealed;
To some it is hidden and concealed. (cw)
This is a warning I hope we all take to heart. As people of The Word, we have to ask ourselves how we can really expect to improve on a perfect model. Cautiously I will say that some new ways of applying the unchanging biblical principles are fine...we need to be able to communicate with 21st Century culture, but we must not abandon the heart of the Gospel and basics of authentic discipleship in the process. (cw)
WHICH BOOK IS THE BOOK?
Since most things mankind learns is from books, why would men say that God's book is untrue? The burden of proof is on them, for they are saying some other writings by Bible denying atheists are more true than the Bible. They are actually saying in effect that other books are greater, more accurate, more infalliable than the Bible. The Bible claims to be the word of God; accurate; infalliable. Put it to the test! (cw)
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness”- According to Arthur W. Pink and others, this quote is attributed to Martin Luther. George Muller, Phillips Brooks, and Richard Trench have also been reported to have said it, but Luther was before them. It is a good and scriptural saying, maybe they all said it; I know I have often said it since I first read it in Pink’s Sovereignty of God in his chapter on prayer. It is one of my favorite books, and I suppose the one that influenced me the most regarding God’s absolute sovereignty. (cw)
OUR GREAT GOD
“There can be but one Infinite.” Elisha Coles 1608-1688
“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). “The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice” (Psalm 97:1)
Published by Charles Woodruff- email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by charles at 11:33 PM
Sunday, June 03, 2012
A number of you may have heard my verbal sermon titled Are You Him? on Sermon Audio. If you heard it, I am hoping it was helpful to you. I am doing here something I have done before. I am placing a written version here for you. I also hope it is helpful. I suggest you read it, and then listen to the audio version. Maybe together they will reflect what I wanted to say. Pray for me. God bless you!
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:1-3)
Not everyone believes that Jesus Christ is the blessed redeemer. There always have been the doubters.
There have always been those who put Him to the test. Sometimes we are surprised to see who has
doubted Him. Maybe we all have at one time or another. But God, by His grace has assured us that He is
the One. He is Him! This is the story of one of those incidents; one of those tests. Based on what we
know regarding when Jesus was born, this incident happened about 26 A.D. That date is based on a
scholarly study by W. Graham Scroggie, and some others.
I think before examining the above verses, we need to take a quick look at chapter 10. There we see that
Christ was instructing His disciples, and telling them of their responsibilities in preaching, and what was
expected of them. He warned them of persecution. He taught them to be patient, and kind. He taught
them how to respond to vicious words. One of the most profound things Christ said in that long chapter
was “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”
(Matthew 10:40) He was telling them that preaching and teaching was right, and that He expected it, and
He would always be with them in spirit.
QUESTIONS FROM JOHN THE BAPTIST
Chapter 11 begins with the declaration that Christ was departing to teach and preach in the cities of His
disciples. Before He left, two of John’s disciples arrived and asked Him a very important question “Are
you He that should come, or do we look for another?” Did this question indicate doubt from John the Baptist? Some think it did, others not. Remember, John was the one who basically introduced Jesus as the Messiah, when he was baptizing. “John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh way the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) In other verses, John declares Him to be Christ. In the same chapter he again declares “And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)
So, I like what Martyn Lloyd-Jones said about it. In the book The Heart of the Gospel he said. “But now John is in prison, where he has been for some time, and from there he sends two followers with this
question. Is this a doubt? No, I do not think so. This is a depression, and there is all the difference in the
world between a doubt and a depression in a believer. I do not want to stay with this, but we must hold
on to the vital difference between these two things. I have no doubt also, but that this was greatly
encouraged by his own followers.”(1) They saw that Christ was drawing more than John. They may have
said “If Jesus is Messiah, why does He let you stay in prison? Wouldn’t He deliver you if He was the
Messiah?”(2) No doubt, questions like this were troublesome to John, and added to his depression, and in
that state of depression, he sends his disciples to question Jesus. I basically agree, it was not doubt, but
Jesus had not yet been crucified for our sins. That was at least two and one half more years. Thousands had
been already crucified, especially since Rome came to great power. That was their preferred method of
executing non-Romans who were criminals. But, none of these thousands was able to die for anyone but themselves. The apostles unfolded this truth throughout the NT; neither Jesus’ teaching, nor His example
could save a soul, only His death. It had to be a bleeding death. In Hebrews it says “Moreover he
sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:21, 22) This was comparing what Christ did on the cross with the OT sacrifices. Had Christ not shed His blood, we would remain lost. It took the blood to save us!
Was John’s question mainly so his disciples would know Christ, as some say? Whatever John’s reason
was, they gave Christ the question. His answer was very thorough. “Go and shew John again those
things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are
cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11:4, 5) Was not this what Messiah was supposed to do? In the short time since Jesus began His ministry, all these things were done. No wonder Jesus added “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” (Matthew 11:6)
Let us examine Christ’s answer a little. What other person could perform all these things? No one! Only
Christ could restore the blind’s sight; heal the lame; cleanse the lepers; and heal the deaf, and also even
raise the dead. What kind of saviour do you want? Christ did all these things in His earthly ministry, and
more. There are no limitations to Christ! Not only did he heal those who came to Him, but He proclaimed
the truth to them. He added to his kingdom. It doesn’t seem possible to us today that in that little area all
this was done, and yet it spread all around the world. In spite of opposition, turmoil, persecution and
hatred, the gospel has been preached. Even in this day of apostasy, it is being preached every day! He still
There have been many who find offense with Jesus Christ. Some say He could not be Messiah. They say
He didn’t have a normal family and home life. He allowed many of His followers like John Baptist to be
killed. He didn’t exercise power over his enemies, and He even allowed Himself to be tragically killed by
crucifixion. This could not be Messiah, so they say. These are some of the difficulties that present
themselves to us. Yet, through all that, he prevailed. He told John’s disciples “The poor have the gospel
preached to them.” Now the world would not give that much regard. Charles Spurgeon said “There is as
much of the miraculous in the poor man’s gospel as in the dead man’s resurrection.”(3) In spite of almost 2000 years of enemies, the church still is here. I know it is mixed; many false churches, many heresies, but there is still a remnant. It is struggling, but walking with Jesus Christ. Remember He told us “And upon
this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew16:18b)
QUESTIONS FROM CHRIST
John’s followers were leaving, and Christ has some questions for all there. “And as they departed, Jesus
began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in king’s houses.” (Matthew 11:7-8) These are probing questions. "Did you go out to the desert to see a reed shaken in the wind?" He knew the answer. John was physically a strong man. He wasn’t shaken in the wind. "What about a man in soft clothing?" Again, Jesus knew John dressed in clothing that he had made for himself, much the same as Elijah had worn. He wore a garment of camel’s hair with a leather girdle around his loins. He was not that man of the king’s house. He was a man of the wilderness, sent to preach the gospel.
Jesus’ next question was something else. He asked “But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I
say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my
messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” (Matthew 11:9-10) The first two questions had a “no” answer. But this one was a “yes”. John the Baptist was a prophet. He was the
messenger to prepare the way for Christ. He actually was the last Old Testament prophet. Then Christ says
regarding him “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: not withstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11) Here Christ was praising John, yet saying he was not as great as those recently born ones that were in the kingdom of heaven. Remarkable!
Here Christ is focusing us on His kingdom, and showing that the great man, John the Baptist, was the
least. John could declare the gospel, believe the gospel, but he was born before the crucifixion. He was an
Old Testament saint. Perhaps the greatest, but still lacking what the New Testament saint had. Christ had
not yet died and paid the price for everyone who was to be saved. Because of this he that is least in the
kingdom of heaven is greater than John. John had only a vision, of things to come later. His message was
incomplete. There was still the cross ahead. So John was great, but he was less than the NT saints were. I
like what John Gill said here regarding the difference between the NT saints and John. “The comparison
does not lie so much between their persons, as their several degrees in light and doctrine.”(4) I am trying to show you that even as great a man as John was, he was subject to Christ. This message is about Jesus Christ. He is the one who was to come; don’t look for another! I really believe that John also knew this.
Jesus goes on to say “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (Matthew 11:12, 13) This statement is at first glance a little puzzling. What it is telling us is that a large number of people were heeding John’s message, as many began to heed Jesus’ message. They were so eager that they were called violent. They wanted to believe it. The reason we have problems with these
verses is that in our day we have seen very little of this violence. I remember long ago seeing a bit of this
type of response, some real shaking in a few churches, but it didn’t last long. I have heard reports of some
rather violent shaking, but again this was some years back. We really do not see this much in our day. But
in the first century, the Bible tells us of this shaking with John the Baptist, and Jesus, and later with Peter
and Paul. When God wants to shake people in reality, He does so. Read the book of Acts. Read early
church history, and you will see it. Just remember that all in the kingdom have a superior station compared
CHRIST CALLS JOHN THE BAPTIST ELIJAH
Something even more striking that Christ said regarding John. It really is remarkable “For all the
prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you will receive it, this is Elias (Elijah), who was for to come. He that hath ears to hear let him hear.” (Matthew 11: 13-15) Jesus here is telling us that John was the promised Elijah who was to come before the Lord came. Malachi proclaimed “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” (Malachi 4:5) John was the forerunner. He was not Elijah in person, or reincarnated, but had the same spirit as Elijah. He was like Elijah in many ways. We are told five times that John was “The voice of one crying in the wilderness.” In Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Like 3:4; and John 1:23. Read it! This is significant. God wanted us to know who John was. For him to have it declared five times makes it a mountain top experience! He wants us to be sure we understand John’s purpose with Christ.
I believe that John the Baptist understood something that we must understand: “Christianity is not a
teaching, it is Christ.” I do not know who first said that, but it is truth. If you have any doubt that Jesus is
the Son of God, settle it now. If you are right about everything else, but wrong about Him, you do not
have the living God. What about the centurion who was there when Christ died? “And Jesus cried with a
loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the
bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:37-39) My dear friends, Christ has already been tested, and proclaimed to be who He said He was by a remarkable number of witnesses.“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) These were words again from John the Baptist, proclaiming the deity of Christ. Every apostle, every preacher, every one whom He has saved has declared Him to be the Son of God, the Messiah. He Himself said: “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)
This world is nearer to the coming of the Lord than it ever has been. I am not making any rash predictions,
but Christ told us the signs of the times that would be evident at the time of His return. One of the signs is
the great falling away. It sure seems that that time is here. We need to pray for our loved ones, and our
friends and other unsaved people that we are in contact with. He is coming back, and those who are
unsaved will perish. I am glad that John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus these questions, and I
am glad for the questions Jesus asked about John. While we are here we are to be learning and preaching.
The enemy will discourage us if he can. Stay close To Christ. He will come soon. All that God has
proclaimed in His word will come to pass, just as He has said. Jesus has been gone from earth almost 2000
years, and when He shall return I do not know, but He will return to claim His children, and judge this
world. Are you ready?
(1) D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Heart of the Gospel, chapter one, page 15; Crossway Books,
Wheaton, IL 60187; 1991
(3) Charles H. Spurgeon, Gospel of Matthew, Page 77, Pilgrim Publications, Pasadena, TX; 1974.
(4) John Gill, Commentary on Matthew 11:11; taken from online edition.
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the
kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: email@example.com
Posted by charles at 6:37 PM