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Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 033113
Resurrection Day Message 2013

 

No one can read through the earliest account of the Resurrection as it is given in the Gospel of Mark without being arrested by the extraordinary significance of what we are told about the great stone which according to the evidence was placed against the entrance to the grave. We are all familiar with the kind of shock a man experiences when he encounters something for which he is not looking for, something which, like a footprint on the sand in Crusoe's story, sends the mind swiftly back in search of an explanation.

Footprints in the sand by Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,  I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, "You promised me Lord,  that if I followed you,you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life there have been only one set of footprints in the sand.Why, when I needed you most,you have not been there for me?

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints,is when I carried you.”

Such an experience, awaits everyone who comes to the passage as it is told the Gospel of Mark, because contrary to expectation and without searching for it we are driven by the logic of the facts to investigate another story, told in another Gospel, the story of the guards. The point is that it was a manifestation of capital punishment for any Roman Soldier to ever fall asleep while watching guard over other Roman Soldiers during their incarceration. It was an unheard-of kind of thing for soldiers, particularly Roman soldiers, to fall asleep at their post of duty; that even if they declared they had done so, nobody would have believed them.

EXO 17:1, Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Re-phi-dim, and there was no water for the people to drink.

Every day they went forward by stages as the Lord kept giving the citizens of Israel opportunity after opportunity to pass the various tests which would increase their spiritual strength as the Christian soldier fighting in the Art of War would execute and fight.

We are to fight the good fight of the fight, 1TI 1:18, This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight,

1TI 1:19-20, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

1TI 6:11-13, But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance {and} gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

2TI 4:5-7, But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

EXO 17:1-2  Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?”

Notice that they are arguing with Moses and that they are rejecting his authority. Also notice the double standards of these emotional and legalistic believers. On the one hand they rejected the authority of their leader, but on the other hand they demanded that he give them water. In other words, they now make a demand which is inconsistent with their rejection. If the Jews reject the authority of Moses, why do they ascribe to him the supernatural power of providing water for 2,000,000 people and their children? You see how irrational they are. If they think that Moses can manufacture water, then they should except his authority, but they didn't. And Moses can't give them water. He's just as helpless as they are. The only difference is that Moses is a man of great spiritual strength.

So remember, as verse 1 says, that the Lord led them here. They are exactly where the Lord wants them to be. They are in the right place and in the will of God. They are simply mal-functioning in the will of God. And when they said, give us water, it is in the imperative mood. The Qal imperative of nathan which means that they demanded it. So instead of using the P.S.D., their fear, their anxiety, led to madness and rage.

EXO 17:3, But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me.”

Moses did what he normally did, he went to the Lord. In other words, he evaluates and estimates the situation correctly. He sees their anger. He sees their anger turned to hatred. And he sees hatred motivating violence. This is why we all need protection by means of the Rock.

He uses the faith rest drill. He talks to the Lord about it. Protection by means of the Rock means:

ISA 54:17  "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord.

2CO 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.\

ROM 8:31-36, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

EXO 14:13-14, But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”

PSA 46:10, “Cease {striving} and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Moses didn’t panic like the people of Israel. Leadership cannot afford to be frightened in a pressure situation. The point is that I love the principle of protection by means of the Rock. He does not try to justify himself before the people. He is absolutely innocent, and he doesn't try to justify himself. He doesn’t try to defend himself. He makes no excuses to the people. And there’s greatness.

A lot of people never advance in the spiritual life because they're always trying to justify themselves in all inter-personal relationships, and it’s a flaw. It’s a weakness. People feel that they’re strong if they can justify themselves to other people...wrong! It’s a locked in arrogance that causes this great flaw called self-justification. There are people who have to be right and can never be wrong, and that's because they are so occupied with themselves.

Job 41 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?
Can you put a rope in his nose? Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he make many supplications to you? Or will he speak to you soft words?
Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him for a servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him for your maidens?
Will the traders bargain over him? Will they divide him among the merchants?
Can you fill his skin with harpoons, Or his head with fishing spears?
Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle; you will not do it again!

Behold, your expectation is false; Will you be laid low even at the sight of him?
No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; Who then is he that can stand before Me?

Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.

I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, Or his mighty strength, or his orderly frame.

Who can strip off his outer armor? Who can come within his double mail?

Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth there is terror.
His strong scales are his pride, Shut up as with a tight seal.
One is so near to another, That no air can come between them.
They are joined one to another; They clasp each other and cannot be separated.
His sneezes flash forth light and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

Out of his mouth go burning torches; Sparks of fire leap forth.
Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth, As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes forth from his mouth.
In his neck lodges strength, And dismay leaps before him.

The folds of his flesh are joined together, Firm on him and immovable.
His heart is as hard as a stone; Even as hard as a lower millstone.
When he raises himself up, the mighty fear; Because of the crashing they are bewildered.

The sword that reaches him cannot avail; Nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
He regards iron as straw, Bronze as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make him flee; Slingstones are turned into stubble for him.
Clubs are regarded as stubble; He laughs at the rattling of the javelin.
His underparts are like sharp potsherds; He spreads out like a threshing sledge on the mire.

He makes the depths boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a jar of ointment.
Behind him he makes a wake to shine; One would think the deep to be gray‑haired.
Nothing on earth is like him, One made without fear.
He looks on everything that is high; He is king over all the sons of pride.”

Only God has the power to control His creatures, whether it is the hippopotamus, the crocodile, maybe even the dinosaur, and of course man.

Job has seen the error of his ways from a human judge and from a divine judge. The human judge is his peer, Elihu.

The divine judge is his superior, eternal God.

JOB 42:1-2, Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose or plan of Yours can be restrained.

God’s plan goes on whether we are winners or losers, whether we fail or succeed, we can't stop God’s plan. We can fail in God's plan but our failures cannot stop His plan. God’s plan goes on with or without us. Then Job confesses his sin with regard to part three of evidence testing which was his ignorance and its resultant rebellion. Please notice his failure.

His failure was not immorality. Job is just as moral now as he was in the beginning. His failure was virtue.  He said he spoke of things he did not understand. He knew the doctrine but he did not make the correct application!

JOB 42:4, Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You and do You instruct me.

Now, what is his reply to that.

JOB 42:5, I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;

He hasn’t seen God in person, he sees God through the eyes of the soul or through doctrine.

JOB 42:6  Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.

There are certain principles that need to be noted concerning the epilogue. First of all, the epilogue is the final scene of a play that comments on or summarizes the main action. You must remember that the book of Job is a book written in perfect Archaic Hebrew poetic form. It is written similar to what we would call a play.

The epilogue is the final scene of a play that comments on or summarizes the main action. The first principle in the epilogue is the judgment of Job’s 3 critics.

JOB 42:7, And it came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.”

Note that God dealt privately with Job. He did not speak to Job’s three friends! What happened between the dialogue was done in privacy. Publicly, the Lord is going to deal with his three friends.

The word wrath is an anthropopathism. An anthropopathism ascribes to God a human characteristic which God does not actually possess, but is used to reveal and explain God’s policy toward mankind in terms of human frame of reference by the use of language of accommodation. Accommodation means that human characteristics are ascribed to God, such as human affection or even human sins, so that man can understand divine policy and attitude in terms of his own frame of reference. Unless this doctrine is understood, the believer is going to be in a state of confusion about the doctrine of divine essence.

For example, in JER 26:3 we are told that God changed His mind or repented, but God is immutable and cannot change His mind.

JER 26:3, Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.

1SA 15:29, The glory of Israel [Jesus Christ] will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.

In order to explain divine policy in terms of human frame of reference, human characteristics are ascribed to God to explain His policy to human beings. An anthropopathism is a human characteristic such as:  love, hate, wrath, change of mind, scorn, compassion, longsuffering, remembering. The Greek word anthro means man; pathism means a function of the soul with outward manifestation. Hence, an anthropopathism ascribes a human characteristic to God which God does not possess and which is not a divine attribute.

The purpose of the anthropopathism is to explain to us in language we can understand the divine attitude and policy toward a person or persons, so that mankind can adapt to the divine policy or understand the divine policy.

  1. As an example love and hate are used in the Bible as anthropopathisms in ROM 9:13, Just as it stands written, I have loved Jacob but I hate Esau.

The anthropopathism of love is an expression of divine motivation, approval, and acceptance. This is not the same as the divine attribute of love--God is love. In this passage, love and hate simply explain God's approbation on Israel and disapprobation of the Arabic peoples. God does not hate. Hatred is a sin.

  1. Compassion is an anthropopathism, PSA 119:71, 75; LAM 3:33. God does not have this human characteristic but it helps to explain His grace policies.
  2. Longsuffering and Patience.EXO 34:6; NUM 14:18; 2PE 3:9.
  3. Anger and wrath. NUM 22:22; PSA 88:16; JOH 3:36. These characteristics describe God's holiness and justice directed toward unbelievers.
  4. Scorn.PRO 1:26; PSA 2:4; PSA 59:8; PSA 37:13. To scorn means to ridicule someone. It is unkind and thoughtless, a sinful function. Scorn involves mental attitude sins.

Again, these passages use human frame of reference to explain divine policy.

  1. Vengeance. DEU 32:35; PSA 94:1, ROM 12:16. God tells us that vengeance is a sin and then turns around and says leave vengeance to Him that vengeance is His. We are to leave our court case in the hands of the Supreme Court of Heaven. Vengeance is language of accommodation to express God's policy of perfect justice.
  2. Repentance in which God is the subject. Repentance means a change of mind, which in humans is a sign of instability. God is immutable and decreed everything, and therefore, cannot change His mind.

So the anthropopathism of repentance of God describes the policy of divine discipline and judgment in GEN 6:6; EXO 32:14;1SA 15:35 etc.

  1. Jealousy. EXO 20:5; EXO 34:14, DEU 4:24.

So, the first principle in the epilogue is, the judgment of Job's 3 critics.

JOB 42:7, And it came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.”

Please note that He does not call them the friends of Job because they are not the friends of Job! They were his long time acquaintances and, after the seven days and seven nights of silence, their lack of true friendship was brought to the surface and they were ships that passed through the night. Also note that Elihu is not mentioned because he did not speak what was wrong to Job as the three blind mice did.

They mis-represented God in time of disaster. (e.g. Moses with the rock). They did not speak what was right or accurate.

The same thing happened with Moses if you recall in NUM 20:8 when the Lord said to him Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water.

Notice that the Lord said speak to the rock, not strike it! In NUM 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, "listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?"

Notice that Moses called them rebels! He was mis-representing the character and the nature of God by condemning the children of Israel.

NUM 20:11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.

 

Moses disobeyed the command of the Lord, however, the Lord still honored his man before the congregation, though his man did not follow the precise correct procedure! However the judgement to Moses was given for not speaking what was right to the congregation of Israel.

 

NUM 20:12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

 

Please notice here the Lord said "not speaking what was right" is not treating Him as holy. This is why every pastor-teacher will present His congregation to the Lord at the bema seat judgment and will have to give an account for what he spoke to them about the Lord.

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