Many vessels of dishonor are moral people, but they assume that morality is spirituality.


Week ending in: 091320

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
091320

JOH 2:1-11, And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding. And when the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw {some} out now, and take it to the headwaiter.”

And they took it {to him.} And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when {men} have drunk freely, {then} that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of {His} signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Now, it is here that we see the time has come for our Lord to begin manifesting the fact that HE is God, just as much as the Father and the Holy Spirit. At this time, our Lord had six disciples, and notice it is here that in verse 11, they are said to have believed but it does not mean they all got saved or born again.

It means that the six disciples were believers because they were disciples of John the Baptist first, whose ministry was to prepare the Jews for the coming of the Messiah. Remember that our Lord complemented John the Baptist as one of the greatest prophets of all time.

And so, the six waterpots represented some new followers who had been following John the Baptist along with a few new men who decided to follow our Lord. Now, we need to introduce our Lord’s first miracle with the mystery of the six stone ceremonial waterpots.

And we begin with the reasons that our Lord used six stone waterpots which were also called vessels.

JOH 2:6, Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

These jars could not be ceremonially clean unless they were made out of stone and cleansed by water. These were used to purify the Jews in ceremony with water. You will notice that there are six waterpots and as most of you know the number six is usually the number of man, but there are also some other references to the number representing the work of God.

For example, six days God worked and the 7th day HE rested, the pots therefore could very well represent the work of Christ to come.

Beginning in GEN 1:31-2:3, And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

No longer were the Jews to be cleansed by the water in the pots, but now they could be cleansed by believing upon the Messiah and the life that the Lord gives.

So, HE tells the servants to draw water and fill the jars or put clean water in the waterpots or the empty vessels for the Jewish custom of purification. Then our Lord told them to put water in the waterpots first and then draw it out so that they would know that there was nothing in the pots except the water that they were beginning to use beforehand. This action removed all doubt that this was miraculous.

Therefore, our Lord demonstrated His marvelous ability to master the processes of nature realizing what the apostle John said in JOH 1:3, “All things came into being by Him.”

So, the apostle John is recording a miracle in which Jesus demonstrates that HE is the Creator. So, the purpose in the context is that this is a miracle of creation. We also see that we shouldn’t demand that God meet our schedule or our desires. As the Creator of all things, the Lord will do what HE wants when HE wants, all in His perfect timing.

No longer were the Jews to be cleansed by the water in the waterpots, but now they could be cleansed spiritually by believing upon the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ and His work upon the Cross.

So, He tells the servants to draw water and fill the waterpots or the six stone vessels that were used for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

Let’s begin our Lord’s first miracle by understanding the reasons for the six stoned vessels which will be used by our Lord and what the six vessels represented. He told them to put water in the pots first and then draw it out so that they would know that there was nothing in the pots beforehand.

Now, in spite of the fact that God begins the work and completes it, we do have a part in the work that He began. And that is why some believers will be winners and some will be losers. Some will receive rewards, the majority will lose their rewards.

This is what Paul had in mind just before his death when he said in 2TI 2:20, Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.

Let’s notice some things concerning this verse.

2TI 2:20, Now in a large house…The word large is the Greek adjective megale which means great. 2TI 2:20, Now in a great house… In 1PE 2:5, the church is called a spiritual house. So, the word house used, for the local church is not foreign to the scripture. Therefore, in context, the large house refers to the church or the body of Christ. And the vessels in the house refer to born again believers. Every believer is a vessel. And so this verse is saying there are some believers who are vessels unto honor. And there are other believers who are vessels unto dishonor.

Some believers are being prepared through progressive sanctification through the word and through the Spirit to have a great impact in history. Other believers through negative volition are becoming vessels unto dishonor.

And these are the believers who react against the word of God and adopt the cosmic agenda or their own personal self-agenda rather than the divine agenda. They are the salt that has lost its’ savor and is good for nothing in MAT 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty {again}? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

Salt that losses its flavor is not good for purification. Not good for preservation of a city, state or nation. So, Paul is saying very bluntly something that most believers don’t understand today, that there are two types of believers.

One that is being fitted out for honorable purposes called good work, the other believers are loser believers, usually very moral and very self-righteous, works oriented and phony!

2TI 2:20, Now in a great house there are not only gold and silver vessels [believers with PVTD], but also vessels of wood and of earthenware,

The gold and silver vessels represent believers in the pivot. Believers in the gold are those who have reached maximum glorification of God. Believers in the silver are those who have reached spiritual adulthood and are plugging on. Wood represents humanity or the flesh and those of wood and earthenware are born again believers either in carnality or reversionism. And one vessel is for an honorable purpose and one is for a dishonorable purpose.

Many vessels of dishonor are moral people but they assume that morality is spirituality. And these are the biggest drag on our nation today. They enter into religious fanaticism, self-righteous arrogance, Christian activism, and they even assume that violence is a way to solve problems.

This is the garbage that we are being fed every day from those especially who are suckers to believe the fourth estate of the “Fake News.” And these are the believers who are salt who have lost their savor. And when the savor is gone from the salt then the salt is worthless. In fact, it’s not only worthless but it has a negative impact on the land and it is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men said the LORD Jesus Christ.

This may be one of the reasons why our nation is having so many problems and things to be concerned about because we may be under divine discipline.

2TI 2:20, Now in a great house [the body of Christ] there are not only gold and silver vessels [believers with PVTD], but also vessels of wood and of earthenware [carnal and reversionistic believers], and some to honor and some to dishonor.

2TI 2:21, Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself away from these things [the characteristics of the dishonorable vessels, the reversionistic believers], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master,

The word sanctified refers to progressive sanctification which is the will of God or the agenda of God for you and I. And that means that the believer is taking in the word of God. He’s rebounding when necessary. He is making progress in the word of God.

JOH 17:17 “Sanctify them [progressively] by means of the truth; Your word is truth.” Known as experiential sanctification. And that means the believer is beginning to enjoy freedom from the control of the soul by the sin nature.

Freedom from the cosmic system controlling his mind. Freedom from diabolical influences from principalities and powers. He has freedom from false doctrine, whether it comes from human viewpoint called doctrines of men in EPH 4:14, or from satanic fronts called doctrines of demons, 1TI 4:1.

He becomes free from the cosmic consensus or the opinion of people without Christ and Christians without doctrine. And that’s what it means in 2TI 2:21 when it says if anyone cleanses himself away from these things. This is a passage that is directly related to our Lord’s first miracle.

2TI 2:21, Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself away from these things [the characteristics of the dishonorable vessels, the reversionistic believers], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart], useful to the Master,

Now why is the word vessel used? It is the Greek noun skeuos and it means vessel because a vessel is something that is empty and all born again believers are empty and they need to be filled by the power of the Spirit and the intake of doctrine. Therefore, if the believer makes decisions under perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine, he will add virtue to his empty vessel.

This is what Peter said in 2PE 1:5-7, By means of doctrine supply virtue, and to virtue, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self‑control, and in your self‑control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, spirituality; and in your spirituality, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, virtue-love.

And that’s when he becomes an honorable vessel. The vessel also can refer to empty vessels that will be filled up with arrogance.

2TI 2:21, Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself away from these things [the characteristics of the dishonorable vessels, the reversionistic believers], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master,

The born again believers who go for progressive sanctification become a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart] for a very profitable use by God.

2TI 2:21, Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself away from these things [the characteristics of the dishonorable vessels, the reversionistic believers], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, [set apart] for very profitable use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work.

Good work is “agathon ergon” which doesn’t man good works in the sense of moral deeds, it means positive impact and many profitable accomplishments.

It means personal impact defined as blessing by association with the mature believer who executes the PPOG through the function of the spiritual mechanics.

It means historical impact defined as blessing by association to the Gentile client nation through the formation of the pivot of mature believers.

It means international defined as blessing by association to a non-client nation through missionaries who have attained spiritual maturity.

It means angelic impact defined as the invisible hero becoming a witness for the Prosecution in the rebuttal phase of Satan’s appeal trial during human history.

It means heritage impact which is blessing by association with the invisible hero after his death.

So progressive sanctification makes one an honorable vessel. And the honorable vessel is simply the born-again believer who through PVTD and exploitation of divine grace becomes a vessel of honor.

2TI 2:22, Now flee from juvenile lusts, and pursue righteousness [experiential righteousness, the divine agenda instead of your own agenda], faith [doctrine], virtue-love and prosperity, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

It means those who exalt rapport with God above rapport with people.

Now the point is in spite of the fact that God begins the work and completes it, we do have a part in it if we desire! Ultimately we are all going to be glorified by God the Father as a part of Him completing the absolute good work that He began in us.