Who’s in control? Bible study given 6/28/06 by Pastor Don
Pastor Don taught an incredible Bible study that dovetails a lot of what we are learning now. I typed up the transcript for him recently, and this is an edited version of that transcript.
Let’s Pray. Father, we ask that you illuminate this Word for us. It is by your grace that we have wisdom and understanding and we seek to be wise in the things of God. We ask, Father, that you would open up the revelation of the Word that we might grow thereby. In your Mighty Name we pray, Amen.
To get to the lesson I’m teaching on tonight, we have to do a short summary.
We have a problem in the Church because people come to church for years and never change. They keep messing up, keep falling down, and stay just as confused. They come to church every week, they live at church a certain way, and then in the rest of the world they look a different way. And so what happens is that they are just as broken five years from now as they were then. They come, they receive Jesus. They get all excited. “Oh, I’m born again!” And then they even go into the deeper things and get filled with the Spirit of God. And then they go, “Oh, I’ve got it now, I’m on my way.” And then sure enough, six weeks later, they’re back in the toilet. They’ve done stupid again. They’ve sinned. They’ve fallen down, they’ve messed up. And so as a result of this, the Church then begins to look like a merry-go-round, rather than what it should look like. The Church should look like a train. Do you get the difference? Instead of going around the same circle over and over again, the Church should look like a train, going from one destination to the next and the next.
And so what we end up with is that, instead of people getting better at what they do for God or better at what they do for themselves, they end up constantly falling into the rut of sin. If they’re captive to a physical or a mental sin, they continue to fall back into it. They stay bound instead of getting loosed or free. By bound I mean they have periodic moments of lucidness or periodic moments of freedom and then over a period of time, whatever the devil brought into their lives to cause them to fall he just reintroduces it under stress. They go through life and then stress increases, and then what do they do? They go back to their old crutches and they fall down again. And so, just like Pastor Ed was ministering Sunday, it’s nice to have a “we fall down, but we get back up again” mentality. That’s nice, that’s really good, it’s a beautiful song, but that shouldn’t be what the Christian life looks like. You should not keep falling in the same place doing the same thing. It should be that you get up and you don’t fall down. As you get older in Christ you should fall down a whole lot less.
Pastor Don asked us, how much respect would you guys have for me, if someone could tomorrow offer me cocaine and I could get hooked and go backwards? How much respect would you have? None. You expect me to get up and to stay up.
I had an incurable lung disease 25 years ago. You would expect that, if I am going to teach healing and believe healing, that I’m not sick every month with something else, or with the same revolving situation of having lung disease all over again. No, you expect me to get up and you expect that if I teach healing, I should basically be the picture of health more than I’m the picture of sickness. Should that not be the case? You should see some progressive, not only improvement, but you should see some progressive victory in my life. What would you think of Pastor Don if I was always broke? Well you’d think that he misunderstood something in the Gospels. But what if I was periodically broke? You would have to say that he also misunderstood something. I may temporarily have less cash flow, but I should get to a place where I never experience being broke again or absolute poverty. How would you feel if someday you come to church and you have to always give Pastor Don five bucks? Come on now, wouldn’t that change your faith? I’m preaching prosperity, that people should prosper, and then you get to the door and I say, “Listen, Sister Julie, I’m really having a hard time now and I need five bucks.” Well that’s ok one Sunday, but what if every Sunday I’m moving around the crowd getting five bucks from somebody else. I say, “Brother Chris, things have been bad. Can you loan me twenty bucks?” Can you see the premise I’m laying out here? And in all those different areas of the life of the Church there should be a progressive growth.
Over the past three weeks now, I’ve began teaching on this. We have to understand that the problem is people get saved, they come into the Church, they give their life to the Lord, they are considered saved. They say, “Lord Jesus, help.” Well the Bible says, whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. So when you come to the Church or you get in a situation and you say, “Lord Jesus, save me.” The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus’ answer is always the same, “Yes, I will save you.” So, we are saved. It says, call on the name of the Lord and you shall be saved. Now the word “saved” there doesn’t mean one time, one shot. The word “saved” means delivered, it means cared for, it means whole, it means health, it means all of that. And that’s what the Jews understood when they were talking about, “He is the Lord of my salvation.” It meant that He’s going to take care of me on the earth now, and it means that when I die, I’m also going to be with Him in Heaven. To be saved means that I’m covered here on earth but I’m also covered in Heaven.
Now being born again isn’t the same as being saved. To understand what being born again means, let’s take a look at John 3. There has been such wrong teaching about this passage that it’s pathetic. (Heather’s comment: The words that are not italicized are what Pastor Don spoke as he read through the Bible. What is in italics is the Bible passage.)
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter (can’t get into) the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (Then Jesus goes on) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Notice, He doesn’t say, anything right after that about the water. Do you see that? He’s telling us that you must be born of the Spirit. And so we know He is saying, you must be born of the Spirit of God. So being born again is not something that I decide to do, it’s something that happens to me. In another place in Scripture, in John Chapter 1 it tells us how we get born again. It tells us who got us born again.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
So what is it saying? It is saying that the Logos or the Word existed as God-ness as a person of the Godhead or a part of God-ness in the very beginning, whenever the beginning was. We don’t know when the beginning was, but whenever the beginning was. In the beginning was the Word, meaning from time immemorial way back there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word had status as God. Now the only church that changes that translation is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And it reads, “The word was a god” (little g) That’s the only Bible that translates that verse this way. So we know that in the original Greek we know that this (NKJV) is accurate. So it is saying that the Word, or the Logos, this Being who is the Word of God, He is the spoken part of God, or the messenger of God, or the message of God, or the living, breathing Word of God. Can we wrap our minds around that? No, of course not, that is too big for us. But it gets a little easier to understand. It says:
John 1:3-6 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
This is talking about John the prophet (John the Baptist).
John 1:7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
And remember, that same Light is that Word that was with God and that was God.
John 1:9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
Now verse 9 is interesting because what he is saying in Verse 9 is that we don’t really have to worry that everybody in the world hears about Jesus. We are wired to find out about Him. We are wired. The responsibility of getting the Word out is already God’s, the True Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
I’ve thought about this years ago, when Albert Schweitzer went into the darkest jungle, why didn’t they just kill and eat him? Did you ever think about that? The reason was, you had the bad witch doctor that probably wanted to kill and eat him, but you always had the other guy who had the Light. He wasn’t a witch doctor, he was the good guy. It might have been the chief of the tribe or one of the elders, and he said, “No, I know this guy and what he is going to do is good things. So we’re going to leave this guy here. Let’s take his medicine and see what happens.”
God is going to get his message out. And it says that light, for every man coming into the world.
John 1:10-12 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, (Who is His own? The Jews, so He came to the Jews.) and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Alright, the burden of this whole passage is on the fact that it is the believing in His Name that establishes us in position to receive the right, or the exousia, the right to become children of God. Verse 13, how did they get to become children of God?
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
So what we need to realize is that (Now go back to Chapter 3) when He says that “ye must be born again”, he is saying that at some point the Spirit becomes real and alive to you because the Spirit chooses to let you know that you belong to Him.
I always marvel at my job. My job is only to receive those that God calls. That’s it. My job is really quite easy. I just get to stand up, open the doors of the church and ask, “Does anybody want to come and receive the Lord?” They get up and come down and then I get the credit. But I didn’t do anything. I didn’t wake them up that morning and put it in their minds to come to Bible Study or to come to church. I didn’t do any of that. They had it in them. And then, when they heard the message or the music, or whatever, there was something already in them that said, “Let me go upfront here and seal the deal.” They were born of God.
Now tying this all together, where did that happen? Most of us think well maybe it happened in the physical realm. But it didn’t. It happened in the spiritual realm. The Spirit moved upon them. Well, where did He move upon them? He moved in two places, First of all, He moved on their Spirit because the Spirit gives life to spirit. Isn’t that correct? But Jesus said, “You must be born of the Spirit and the water.” And those of you who are water baptized could still be unchanged. So we know it can’t be the baptismal water because that water doesn’t really change anybody. They just get wet. The possibility that they say is that you are born of the water of a pregnant woman, amniotic fluid. But that can’t be it because that water in there is flesh water, that’s flesh, giving birth to flesh. So it can’t be water in the womb, because that water is just going to be spilled out anyway. And you don’t have a religious experience because you were born. The people watching it may have a religious experience. Watching a baby being born to me is a religious experience. If that won’t make you believe in God, I don’t know what will. So we have to do a little Bible research to find out what it is that Jesus is saying that the water is?
Who knows the two places I use as reference? We begin to get an idea of what he water is by the revelation expressed by the Spirit to the apostles.
Ephesians 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
By the washing of the water by the Word of God. See, you people are getting wet right now.
1 Peter 1:22-23 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
So from those we get the key to the secret, Jesus is saying, “You must be born of the Spirit.” The Spirit must act upon you. And then He is saying, in order for that to happen, you have to have heard the Word. Now, this catches us up to where I really want to go tonight. In other words then, here’s what He’s saying. He’s saying you must be acted upon in two main areas of your life. Your thinking must be changed and your Spirit must be changed. So we have people in the Church that are saved, but in certain areas of their life, they are not born again. We have people in the Church that don’t believe in giving. Well that means that they are saved. When they die, they’ll go to Heaven, but when they get to Heaven the Lord is going to say, “Why didn’t you get born again in your finances? Why didn’t you realize that giving was a natural part of my law of reaping and sowing?” Some people are saved but they never got born again in their marriage. You always treated your wife like she was a dog or a second-hand citizen, or a second- class citizen. You never got born again in that area. And some people will die and go to Heaven, and the Lord will say to them, “You never got straight on spiritual commitment.” Or you never got straight on doing good works. Or you never got straight on alcohol. Or you never got straight on drugs. You were saved, in that you called on the Name of the Lord, and you believed on Me for salvation, but you never got born again and heard My message in the area of healing. You never got born again in healing.
One of the sisters in church went down to a college and she was going to sign up to take theology courses at this college. And she was listening to the people at the college who were going to teach her and they were saying unbiblical, unscriptural things. And so she called me up and she said, Pastor Don why should I go to this seminary to be taught out of what the Bible says? Well what is that saying? That’s saying that some of the theology that the Bible teaches, even the Bible teachers are not born again, meaning they haven’t heard it nor has their Spirit received it so that they can then walk in the newness of that thing.
We’ve got to get that concept. See, we come to church and we really expect people in the Church to treat us a certain way. Not realizing that people in the Church are saved, but that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily born again in the finer aspects of how to deal with people. You know, hurt people hurt people. So, you can have somebody that’s saved, but they are still hurting people. You can have somebody that’s saved, but they’re still abusive in the way they talk to people. Then there has to be a problem in our understanding of who is in operation.
Pastor Don gave an illustration of this using people from the Bible study. I will share the rest of that presentation tomorrow. This part of the Bible study was a review of a previous Bible study for the visitors who were in attendance that night.
Have a blessed day!
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone