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Judges 6. Gideon, part 8: The Lord is with you - proof is in the word and not a sign.

JUDGES-6-170303
length: 65:30 - taught on Mar, 3 2017
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Title: Judges 6. Gideon, part 8: The Lord is with you - proof is in the word and not a sign.        

 

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JDG 6:11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

 

JDG 6:12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior."

 

Right up until the coming of Christ, most of the people in Israel continued to seek for signs, failing to see true power in the word.

 

What they failed to see and to hear is that they had the word of God and within it the recording of all the miraculous signs from God as He released them and gave them the Promised Land, and most of all, they failed to see the gospel in the Law.

 

MAT 12:38-39

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign;"

 

When Jesus had cast a demon out of a man who was dumb and he spoke, the Pharisees, jealous of the crowds, started to spread the rumor that He cast out demons by the power of the devil and then they demanded that He show them a sign "from heaven."

 

MAR 8:11-12

And the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. And sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."

 

Think of the authenticity of the Bible. Would any man who had the power to perform miracles respond like this? Wouldn't any other man relish the opportunity to show what he's got? "A sign you ask? Well feast your eyes on this…"

 

There is no need for a sign and that's why He doesn't give them one. They have right in their own minds and hearts the entire Torah, writings, and the prophets. Do they hear them?

 

MAR 7:6 And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

'This people honors Me with their lips,

But their heart is far away from Me.

 

MAR 7:7 'But in vain do they worship Me,

Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'

 

MAT 13:14 "And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;

And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;

 

MAT 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull,

And with their ears they scarcely hear,

And they have closed their eyes

Lest they should see with their eyes,

And hear with their ears,

And understand with their heart and return,

And I should heal them.'

 

MAT 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

 

MAT 13:17 "For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

 

We note the difference between the dull religious Jew seeking signs and the Jews who found their faith through John the Baptist's ministry of repentance from blindness of the gospel found within the law and making straight paths for the Messiah soon to come.

 

What a difference there was between the religious Jews who heard the Law over and over without faith or reverence and it became to them nothing more than a dull background noise, and those who found their faith when John the Baptist instructed them to repent of their dullness and to make straight paths for the Messiah who was soon to come amongst them. We find Jesus' first disciples among these who believed God was speaking through the Baptist.

 

JOH 1:35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples,

 

JOH 1:36 and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"

 

We must realize that they have believed John's message before this. They have repented of the ways of dull hearing and have been anticipating the coming of the Messiah. Contrast them with the priests who came to interview John:

 

JOH 1:22 "Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?"

 

They do not listen to John's words and take them to heart. They don't ask him about the meaning of the words so that they may further understand. They only care about his credentials so that they can figure out what to do with him. The Lord Himself is walking close by, but has not yet revealed Himself. Imagine that He is somewhere in the crowd hearing this back and forth. The gospel is as near to the priests as it is to the first disciples.

 

JOH 1:23 He said, "I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said [ISA 40:3]."

 

JOH 1:37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

 

JOH 1:38 And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to Him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?"

 

JOH 1:39 He said to them, "Come, and you will see." They came therefore and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

 

JOH 1:40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

 

JOH 1:41 He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ).

 

JOH 1:42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter).

 

JOH 1:43 The next day He purposed to go forth into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, "Follow Me." 

 

JOH 1:44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.

 

JOH 1:45 Philip found Nathanael [from Cana] and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

 

JOH 1:46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him," Come and see."

 

JOH 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile [deceit, duplicity]!" 

 

JOH 1:48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." 

 

JOH 1:49 Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

 

JOH 1:50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." 

 

JOH 1:51 And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

 

So, we get back to Gideon looking for a sign.

 

MAR 8:11-12

And the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. And sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."

 

Was the Exodus just a story? Were the miracles in the wilderness bloated fables? Was Joshua's conquest of the land a fairy tale? If they were the truth then why does God need to reaffirm His power and the authority of His word? If you notice, once the first few decades of the church established her foundation, there have been no miracles. They are not needed to confirm God or His word, and that's why it is nothing but selfish, self-serving, lies when men claim to have the power of miracles.

 

How many Christians ask as Gideon, "If they Lord is with me, then where are the signs of His miracles?" In fact His miracles are all around us, but go unnoticed almost all of the time. Do we need signs, or is the promise of His word enough?

 

Do we need a sign that we are saved or is the promise of the gospel enough?

 

Do we need to see a sign in another that they may respond to love before we serve them in love? Do we need to see a sign in a wife, husband, friend, family member, etc. that they will appreciate us before we act towards them in the manner of Christ?

 

1JO 2:5

but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.

 

Getting back to Romans 10:

 

ROM 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

ROM 10:5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.

 

ROM 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down),

 

ROM 10:7 or' Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)."

 

We do not mock the sinner by offering him happiness on conditions which we know that he is powerless to fulfill.

 

Climbing to heaven or digging to Hades is tantamount to searching and working for salvation.

 

Salvation is by faith alone and the gospel comes to the man, the man doesn't go to it.

 

1PE 5:10

the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ

 

It is not as the tales of old where a man has to climb the highest mountain in order to find the wise sage that sits on its top and then receive wisdom. The sage has all the wisdom but the man ignorance. The height and gravity represent all that is holding him away from wisdom and he must free himself from these bonds by an almost superhuman effort. Salvation is therefore a work and not a gift.

 

This is also the main feature of eros love. The Bible's main feature is agape love, the love of sacrificial giving to one who has no merit and could not earn the gift. Eros love is a love of a thing for one's own desire and the struggle that one will go through to get what he loves. Eros can attempt to apply itself to salvation, but by its own nature it cannot lead to it since it is self-merit.

 

Agape: God's grace provides salvation. Eros: man purifies himself unto salvation. Eros was magnified by Plato and eventually found its way into Christianity turning salvation into a system of works.

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