Morning Bible Study
(Israel clip?) Israel Trip – if you’re interested,
there are two things: Sign up on the
clipboard in the back to let us know you’re interested. Think about asking for donations towards your
trip for Christmas – see coupons in back.
Play James and
the Professor clip. Be sure to come
early for a seat.
Coming this month: The Coming of Jesus, 1 & 2. Left Behind.
We are on Thursday night of Jesus’ last week. This is the night before His
Jesus talked a lot about love. Last
week we saw things turn more serious as Jesus warned the disciples about the
truth that there are going to be plenty of people who will hate them for
Promise of the Spirit
:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
– parakletos – summoned, called to
one’s side, esp. called to one’s aid; helper, assistant
Jesus has been talking about the hatred that the world will have for His
This is not exactly the kind of thing to encourage people with.
In fact, it's just the kind of thing that makes us want to stop talking
The story goes
that there was a WIDE MOUTHED FROG that was going to have babies. She decided
she would talk to the other mothers to find out what to feed her children. She went to the cow and
said, “Mrs. Cow, what do you feed your babies?” “I feed my babies milk” mooed
Mrs. Cow. Then the
WIDE MOUTHED FROG went to Mrs. Horse and asked, “Mrs. Horse, what do you feed
your babies?” “I feed my babies hay” neighed Mrs. Horse. Next, the WIDE MOUTHED
FROG talked to Mrs. Snake. “Mrs. Snake, what do you feed your babies?” “Well”
hissed the snake, “I feed my babies wide mouthed frogs!” “oh”
replied the frog (not so widely ...)
It's the same
When we hear about how much people don't like Christians, it's real hard to
speak up at times.
In the next chapter, Jesus will give them some more “encouraging” thoughts
– that the disciples will be persecuted and even killed for their faith.
Help in difficult times
It’s at this point, in the middle of these words of “encouragement”, Jesus
reminds them again about the coming “Helper”, the Spirit.
We saw last week that the Holy Spirit plays a part of helping us survive
when we go through difficult times, especially times of being persecuted for
being a Christian:
(1 Pe 4:14 NKJV) If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are
you, for the Spirit of
glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on
your part He is glorified.
You see this
being lived out in the first martyr, Stephen.
When he was arrested and ended up preaching Jesus to the Sanhedrin, they
got mad and wanted to kill him:
(Ac 7:54–60 NKJV) —54 When they heard these things they were cut to
the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory
of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens
opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 Then they cried out
with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out
of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the
feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do
not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The “Helper” was there with Stephen.
:26 I will send
to you from the Father
Jesus will not send the Holy Spirit until after He dies for our sins, is resurrected, and
ascends to heaven to be with the Father.
It’s after Jesus is with the Father, that He will send the Holy Spirit from
the Father, from heaven.
:26 the Spirit of
truth – aletheia (“not” + “hidden”) – what is
true in any matter under consideration; that openness of mind which is free
from charade, falsehood, deceit
When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives, He will do a work of truth.
Truth about God
From time to time somebody will come up with some new idea about God.
need to do our homework and search the Scriptures to be sure that this
“new” idea isn’t something that contradicts the Scriptures. We need to compare this idea with what we
know is the truth – the Bible.
For example, there are some groups that teach that God the Father has a
physical body just like you and I do.
One teacher (Kenneth Copeland) even claimed that he knew exactly how big
is “not some creature that stands 28 feet tall, and He’s got hands, you
know, as big as basketballs. That’s not
the kind of creature He is ... A being that is very uncanny the way He’s very
much like you and me. A being that stands
somewhere around 6’2”, 6’3”, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a
couple of hundred pounds, little better, and has a hand span of nine inches
The problem is,
that’s not what the Scripture teaches.
The Bible says about the Father:
He is MUCH bigger than we are:
(Is 40:12 NKJV) Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?
God does not have an actual, literal, physical body:
(Jn 4:24 NKJV) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in
spirit and truth.”
People may claim to get new “truths” about God, but if they don’t match the
truth of the Scriptures, we know that these ideas are not from the Holy Spirit.
Truth in me
If the Spirit is at work in me, then He will be doing a work of truth in me.
Don’t tell lies.
THE TRUTH WILL BE REWARDED (women's version)
day, when a peasant woman was sewing while sitting close to a river, her
thimble fell into
the river. When she
cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, “My dear child, why are you crying?”
The seamstress replied that her thimble had fallen into the water and that she
needed it to help her husband in making a living for their family. The Lord
dipped His hand into the water and pulled up a beautiful golden thimble. “Is this
your thimble?” the Lord asked. The seamstress replied, “No.” The Lord again dipped into the river. This time He held out a silver thimble. “Is this
your thimble?” the Lord asked. Again, the seamstress replied, “No.” The Lord reached
down again and came up with a leather thimble. “Is this your thimble?” the Lord asked. The
seamstress replied, “Yes.” The Lord was pleased with the woman’s honesty and gave her all three thimbles
to keep, and the seamstress went
home happy. Some years later, the seamstress was walking with her husband along the riverbank, and
her husband fell
into the river and disappeared under the water. When she cried out, the Lord
again appeared and asked her, “Why are you crying?” “Oh Lord, my husband has
fallen into the river!” The Lord went down into the water and came up with Brad Pitt. “Is this your
husband?” the Lord asked. “Yes,” cried the seamstress. The Lord was furious.
“You lied! That is an untruth!” The seamstress replied, “Oh, forgive me, my
Lord. It is a misunderstanding. You see, if I had said ‘no’ to Brad Pitt, you
would have come up with Tom
Cruise. Then if I said ‘no’ to him, you would have come up with my husband. Had I then said
‘yes,’ you would have given me all three. Lord, I’m not in the best of health
and would not be able to take care of all three husbands, so THAT’S why I said
‘yes’ to Brad Pitt.”
The moral of this story is: Whenever a woman lies, it’s for
a good and honorable reason, and in the best interest of others. That’s our
story, and we’re sticking to it.
… actually, God wants us all of us to always tell the truth.
(Eph 4:25 NKJV) Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his
neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
You are actually the person that people think you are.
Flip Wilson used to say … (play Flip clip – “What you see is what you get”). What’s ironic is that what you “saw” of the
character of Geraldine was NOT what you got (she was a he)
people don’t want complete “truth”, they’d like to let people think they’re
better than they really are. Like the bumper stick that says
“Lord help me be the person my dog thinks I am”
It means that when you are struggling, you don’t pretend
that you are not struggling.
means that when you’ve stumbled and sinned, you are willing to admit it
and face the consequences.
Sometimes facing the consequences is exactly the slap in
the face you need to turn completely around and change.
If you are a person who is willing to admit the negative,
then when people see positive things happening in your life, they realize that
what they are seeing is really true.
the baseball steroid scandals, there was a time when you weren’t sure whether a
guy’s stats were because
of steroids, or because he was a great player.
The Bible says:
(Pr 10:9 NKJV) He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who
perverts his ways will become known.
Be a “real” Christian.
What they see is what they get.
– martureo – to be a witness, to give (not to keep back) testimony
There are some churches that give you the impression that the Holy Spirit
is at work because of the amount of noise and confusion that takes place during
important to see what people are really looking to. Is it “the band” (like the video), the
“noise”, or is it Jesus?
If the spotlight is on Jesus, then the Holy Spirit is at work. He always points to Jesus.
If you come away from the service knowing Jesus better and being more in
love with Him, then the Holy Spirit is at work.
:27 And you
also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
:27 been with Me
from the beginning
Jesus is talking to his eleven remaining disciples.
He's giving them an extra special command to be witnesses of all that
happened while Jesus was alive on earth.
The things in the gospels aren't just stories cooked up by a bunch of guys
looking to make a fast buck. They were eyewitness accounts.
(2 Pe 1:16
NKJV) —16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to
you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His
These men were witnesses of all that Jesus did, especially
that He rose from the dead.
:27 bear witness
– martureo – to be a witness, to give (not to keep back) testimony
This is the
same word (“testify”) that describes what the Holy Spirit does.
When the Holy Spirit is at work in your life, He will continue to do what
He always does, He will point to Jesus.
(Ac 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus promises that if we yield to the work of the Spirit in our lives,
that the Spirit would give us the “power”, literally the “ability” to be His
Melting the stubbornness
The problem that some of us face is that we are a bit stubborn. We are comfortable surrounding ourselves with
other Christians. Or perhaps we think
we’ve “failed” at witnessing and don’t want to face more failure.
God wants to melt our reluctance
the reign of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), there was a shortage of currency in the British
Empire. Representatives carefully searched the nation in hopes of finding
silver to meet the emergency. After one
month, the committee returned with its report.
‘We have searched the Empire in vain seeking to find silver. To our dismay, we found none anywhere except
in the cathedrals where the statues
of the saints are made of choice silver.’ To this, Oliver Cromwell eloquently
melt down the saints and put them into circulation.’
If we would only allow ourselves to be melted down by the
power of the Holy Spirit, perhaps He might put us into circulation.
Open to opportunity
If you would dare to say “yes” to the Holy Spirit and to the work that He
wants to do in your life, all that remains is that you be open to the
opportunities that are in front of you.
the story of a Filipino man who came to know the Lord as a student in
America. The first Sunday it was raining,
and his roommate appeared in the doorway, an umbrella under each arm. He offered to show the student the way to his
place of worship and then planned to go on to his own church. As they started
down the street he thought, “If this man has this kind of faith and interest in
my spiritual life surely I should find out what his faith is like.” He asked his friend to take him to his church
and he attended it all four years. As a
result, the man came to know the Lord, and eventually went back to the
Philippines as a pastor.
Who does God use?
People with two umbrellas. People
who are open and ready for the opportunities.
An opportunity to accept Jesus…