Participants: C.A. Murray
Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000023A
00:30 Shall we pray?
00:32 Father God, we ask again that You would be our teacher
00:38 that You would makeup for the deficiencies
00:40 of a human instrument with divine grace
00:43 so that we may be pleased to hear a word from the Lord.
00:50 We ask that You would fill our minds with Your Spirit
00:55 so that we may receive that word
00:58 and walk in the light of that word.
01:02 And we thank You Father in Jesus name, amen.
01:07 I'm in Luke 7 beginning at verse 24.
01:16 The Bible says, "When the messengers
01:18 of John had departed,"
01:19 I'm reading from the New King James,
01:21 "He began to speak to the multitudes
01:25 concerning John,
01:28 what did you go out in the wilderness to see?
01:35 A reed shaken by the wind?
01:38 But what did you go out to see?
01:43 A man clothed in soft garments?
01:46 Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled
01:50 and live in luxury are in kings' courts.
01:55 But what did you go out to see?
01:59 A prophet?
02:00 Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
02:04 This is he of whom it is written:
02:08 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
02:13 Who will prepare Your way before You.'"
02:19 John and Jesus as, you know, were cousins.
02:22 They were first cousins, children of two sisters.
02:26 Six months apart in age, John was the older of the two.
02:34 John had heard the story of Jesus' birth.
02:40 John also knew about Jesus in a temple at age 12.
02:45 John was aware of Jesus' sinless life,
02:50 but he had no hard evidence
02:54 that Jesus was the Son of God.
02:59 All of the evidence that
03:00 John had about the life of Jesus
03:03 was circumstantial and heresy, he had never met Jesus.
03:09 They've never seen each other, he'd never laid eyes on Jesus
03:13 so all of his belief in Jesus had to be the same
03:16 as your belief in Jesus, you follow me?
03:21 So when he began to preach about this person
03:25 who was coming after him, he was preaching in faith
03:29 because he had never seen Him.
03:31 He didn't know Him, he had never talked with Him,
03:33 he had never touched Him, he was following in faith,
03:38 just like you have to follow in faith, amen?
03:42 Jesus was an urban preacher.
03:46 John was a rural preacher.
03:50 In fact, Ellen White tells us
03:52 that Christ specifically went to Galilee
03:55 just to kind of stay out of John's heir
03:59 'cause there was some confusion there,
04:01 and we're going to talk about that in just a minute.
04:05 So John knew about Christ, but he had never met Him.
04:12 The first time he laid eyes on Jesus was at His baptism.
04:20 John knew instinctively that he was in the presence
04:22 of somebody special, amen.
04:27 Somebody different, he could see it,
04:29 he could intuit the fact that this is a different guy
04:33 and out of his mouth came those words,
04:35 "Behold, the Lamb of God
04:39 which taketh away the sins of the world."
04:44 But Ellen White tells us when he made those statements,
04:47 he didn't fully understand what he was saying.
04:51 He was simply speaking
04:52 under the unction of the Holy Spirit.
04:55 Out of his mouth came these words
04:57 that he did not totally understand himself.
05:00 He saw Jesus coming down, he said,
05:02 "Behold, the Lamb of God
05:05 who takes away the sins of the world."
05:07 He was moved by the Holy Spirit,
05:09 but he didn't know quite what those words meant.
05:15 Now John had been divinely informed
05:18 that two things were going to happen to him
05:19 during that baptism.
05:21 The angel had told him this.
05:23 Remember, this is the same Gabriel
05:25 giving John these words
05:27 who had talked with Daniel 500 years earlier.
05:31 This is a high person in the ranking of heaven.
05:39 John had been given two words of instruction,
05:42 "This is going to happen at your baptism.
05:44 Number one, Jesus is going to come
05:47 and you got to baptize it.
05:50 Two, something is going to happen at that baptism
05:55 to prove to you that this is the Son of God."
06:00 "So he's going to come to you to be baptized,
06:02 and I'm going to give you a little sign at that baptism
06:07 to let you know that this is the Son of God.
06:10 So when you announce Him,
06:12 you will have incontrovertible proof
06:15 that the person you are announcing to the world
06:17 is indeed the Son of God.
06:18 It will be a little sign between me and you."
06:23 Now here's the thing about faith.
06:27 If God connected all of the dots,
06:33 you wouldn't need any faith.
06:38 I said amen. Amen.
06:40 Yeah, if God placed everything in order
06:44 and showed you the end from the beginning,
06:47 you would not have to exercise any faith.
06:56 But God didn't do that,
06:59 and He didn't do it even for John.
07:02 The truth is the just shall live by including John.
07:08 Now I am the kind of person,
07:12 I don't particularly like to exercise faith.
07:19 I would rather have it all kind of laid out for me.
07:27 Yes, nicer that way. Amen.
07:32 I said amen. Amen.
07:34 Yeah, it is.
07:36 It's nice when you have to exercise faith.
07:39 I got plenty of money in the bank.
07:48 Don't worry about paying bills,
07:51 I wish, you wish too.
07:57 Be nice to have all your college kids.
08:00 You got one, two, three,
08:01 you are like a whole army right there.
08:05 Be nicer you had enough money
08:07 to pay for everybody's schooling.
08:10 Here take Alexis.
08:17 Be nice to have that.
08:19 Life be a lot smoother, a lot less stressful.
08:25 But God doesn't work that way.
08:28 You see it is not God's intention
08:31 to answer every question now, amen.
08:35 You will go into heaven with some questions unanswered.
08:41 I'll answer every question for you now.
08:43 Something you'll be scratching your head
08:46 over until you are sent through the clouds
08:49 into the city,
08:50 at that point it will not matter.
08:51 Amen. Amen.
08:53 It is not God's intention to answer every question now.
09:00 Some questions you not gonna get answers to right now.
09:03 And I'm sure everybody can think of something you wish
09:05 that you could just turn to Jesus and say,
09:07 "What about that?
09:11 What about my children? What about my parents?
09:15 What about my siblings?
09:18 They're going to be same? What about me?"
09:25 Not His intension to answer every question now.
09:27 Two, it is not His intention to remove every obstacle now.
09:37 So you got to pray for school money.
09:42 He's not going to remove every obstacle
09:44 and surprise, surprise,
09:46 you don't need every obstacle removed.
09:50 You can't build of any muscle, walking over a smooth road.
09:58 You can't develop any faith
10:00 when the highway is always level.
10:03 Sometimes you got to climb.
10:07 So He's not going to answer every question,
10:09 He's not going to remove every obstacle.
10:11 As good as your life is God's going to leave
10:15 some stones in the road.
10:19 And you need those stones.
10:23 Every now and again you got to take off your shoe
10:26 and shake out the rocks,
10:32 because He leaves stones in a road.
10:34 And though we don't like them, we need those stones.
10:39 So it's not His intention to remove every obstacle.
10:42 It is not God's intention to make life too easy
10:46 down here right now.
10:50 So even those of you who can say
10:52 and we all should be able to say God is good,
10:55 you cannot say, life is perfect.
11:00 And if life was perfect, you would lose,
11:03 you would have a disincentive to go to heaven
11:08 because I got my heaven now.
11:11 One of the things that make heaven
11:14 so desirable is the fact that it's so much better
11:17 than anything we got down here.
11:22 So He's not going to answer every question, Rosemary.
11:26 He not going to remove every obstacle,
11:29 and He's not going to let you get too comfortable
11:32 because you know yourself
11:34 the moment things get too comfortable,
11:37 we get lazy.
11:40 So every now and again,
11:42 God throws a little wrinkle in there
11:47 because you need that wrinkle.
11:51 And it makes you long for heaven.
12:00 Nobody gets a pass on exercising their faith.
12:08 Nobody gets a scholarship on faith.
12:13 You have to exercise that yourself.
12:15 Amen? Amen.
12:19 I'm looking at Desire of Ages, page 111 that's for my...
12:23 "No one on earth had understood Him,
12:27 and during His ministry He must still walk alone.
12:32 Throughout His life His mother,
12:35 His brothers did not comprehend His mission.
12:39 Even His disciples did not understand Him.
12:43 He had dwelt in eternal light, as one with God,
12:47 but His life on earth must be spent in solitude.
12:50 Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust
12:54 that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit."
12:59 Now this was said about Jesus, not John.
13:03 So Jesus didn't get a pass on faith.
13:07 He had to reach out and take the same hand of omnipotence
13:10 that you have to take.
13:13 I'm tempted to go into something
13:14 and it's going to take too much time,
13:16 so I'll do it real short.
13:17 I'll be kind to you.
13:19 When we talk about Jesus, we talk about...
13:22 And the difference between Christ and us,
13:24 I said this in worship a couple weeks ago,
13:26 we talk about infirmities and propensities,
13:28 infirmities and propensities, infirmities and propensities.
13:31 Christ had the same infirmities as you,
13:34 He got hungry, He sweat, He got tired, and He did sleep.
13:37 He did not have the propensities.
13:39 In other word, He didn't have the bent towards sin
13:41 that we have, you follow me.
13:42 He had the infirmities.
13:44 He came in 6,000 years of human degeneration,
13:47 so He had the infirmities,
13:48 He did not have the propensities.
13:50 Now unless you think that He had some advantages,
13:52 let me ask you this question,
13:53 is it easier to get clean or stay clean?
14:00 Let me ask it in another way.
14:02 Is it harder to get clean or stay clean?
14:09 It's harder to stay clean.
14:13 Christ came clean, but He had to stay clean.
14:18 Yeah, He had to stay clean. How did He stay clean?
14:22 Several years ago I was doing the wedding
14:23 at the Amityville Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bethesda.
14:26 Wedding was three hours late, bride broke a heel,
14:31 she had to go get some shoes, Sunday afternoon.
14:33 Folks sitting around, running to McDonalds
14:36 and whatnot just wasting time.
14:39 Three hours late.
14:41 In the pastor's study, they were repairing
14:43 the pastor's study and walls were torn down
14:46 and things are going on and into the pastor's study ran
14:49 a fairly impressive sized mouse.
14:55 And you should have seen those bridesmaids
14:57 in their lovely dresses hacking up
14:59 and heading up to the top of my desk.
15:03 And the little boy, there was a flower boy
15:05 had on a white suit,
15:08 white suit, white shirt, white tie, white shoes,
15:10 which by the time that mouse left was pitch black.
15:19 Harder to get clean or stay clean?
15:21 Harder to stay clean.
15:24 Jesus had to rely on God
15:26 just like you have to rely on God.
15:28 Jesus had a fully functioning relationship with God
15:31 that He had to keep fully functioning.
15:35 Amen. So it's harder to stay.
15:44 Jesus needed faith and trust in His Father
15:47 just like we need faith and trust in God.
15:51 And so at that baptism in the Jordan,
15:56 God sent John a secret,
16:01 personal, audio, visual message.
16:09 The heavens open, light shone down on Jesus,
16:14 the Holy Spirit assumed the form of a dove
16:20 and sat on His head.
16:22 A voice was heard from heaven
16:24 that to many sounded like thunder,
16:28 but it was actually God confirming
16:31 His acceptance of this service.
16:35 "This is My beloved Son," you know, it, "In whom I am..."
16:40 To a lot of people, it sounded like thunder,
16:45 but John heard it clearly.
16:49 John knew what was being said.
16:53 John, we are told, was moved by what He saw.
16:59 He saw Jesus pleading with tears
17:04 and the approval of His Father.
17:07 Most of the people didn't know what they were seeing,
17:12 but John saw it and recognized it.
17:17 And Ellen White says, "Christ prayed a prayer
17:20 on the banks of the Jordan that day
17:23 that even angels have never heard
17:26 such a prayer,"
17:29 pleading for the acceptance of God
17:33 because He knew the task that was before Him.
17:39 He knew how hard men's hearts were.
17:42 And so He's pleading for the presence of God.
17:46 John is in the presence of all of this,
17:50 but here's the warning for you and for me,
17:53 it is the spiritual descent
17:56 from, "Behold, the Lamb of God
18:01 to do we look for another."
18:04 How do you go?
18:06 How do you go from behold the Lamb of God,
18:11 a statement of ultimate affirmation.
18:14 Two, are you the real deal or do I need to find another?
18:21 How you go from one high to such a low, low,
18:27 that's what we need to wrestle with today.
18:32 I'll say, can you see the difference?
18:39 Has anyone here ever had a season of doubt?
18:44 I mean, it just crept upon you, you doubted yourself,
18:50 you doubted your surrender,
18:52 you doubted if God was listening.
18:54 Anybody remember?
18:56 "Lord You, is somebody up there?"
19:00 You had that?
19:08 "Are you a real God?
19:11 Should I begin looking for somebody else?"
19:19 The truth is, brothers and sisters,
19:20 it could happen to anyone of us.
19:25 Sometimes you, things get you in your life
19:28 that really have you questioning
19:29 your walk with the Lord.
19:31 Anybody know what I'm taking about?
19:34 You go through stuff and you wonder,
19:36 "What in the world. Is this thing real?"
19:45 "John had by nature, Ellen White says,
19:52 "The faults and weaknesses common to humanity."
19:57 So John the Baptist was no superman,
20:04 he was the forerunner of Christ,
20:07 he was preordained and predestined for his role.
20:13 No one ever was constructed more to suit their role in life
20:19 than was John the Baptist.
20:22 He was cookie cutter cutout to be the held of Christ.
20:29 He was blessed in the womb.
20:34 You remember when Elizabeth and Mary caught together
20:36 and Elizabeth heard Mary's voice
20:38 and the Bible said the baby leapt.
20:43 So in the womb, he was set up to be,
20:48 but it didn't give him a pass on the issues of life.
20:53 Everybody doubts.
20:57 Are you God? No, no, no.
21:00 Not me, I'm always confident.
21:05 Everybody has doubt.
21:07 And God understands those doubts.
21:09 You see, God has no problem with your doubts.
21:14 God just doesn't want you to quit.
21:19 No problem with doubts, you can doubt.
21:22 Hey, you can shake your finger in God's face.
21:27 You can say to the Lord, "I just don't see it."
21:34 You heard that before.
21:36 You think you invented that term?
21:40 And He has dealt with it before.
21:42 And as long as you're willing to see it,
21:45 He will open your eye.
21:49 We all get times when your knees
21:51 get little weak, it happens.
21:56 But that didn't turned God off, was not afraid of that.
21:59 You're not backing down
22:01 because you're shaking your finger.
22:03 I watch that finger shaking up.
22:09 He dealt with that before.
22:12 So John had by nature the faults and weaknesses
22:15 common to humanity,
22:18 but the touch of divine love had transformed him.
22:23 So he started out just like anybody else.
22:28 But he knew who God was and God knew who he was,
22:32 and God had changed his life.
22:35 So he was prepared for doubt.
22:40 So prepare yourself that sometime in your life,
22:44 doubt is going to creep in on you.
22:46 So it doesn't surprise you because when it comes to you,
22:50 the only person who will be surprised is you.
22:56 God knows it's coming, Satan knows it's coming,
22:59 so be prepared for it.
23:00 Because guess what? It's coming.
23:04 And let me say this to you also.
23:07 God never sends discouragement, ever, not in His arsenal.
23:13 Amen. Amen.
23:17 I didn't hear you. Amen.
23:19 Yeah, discouragement does not come from Lord.
23:23 So anytime you're in,
23:24 "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen,
23:26 let me find a nice tall building,
23:27 so I can jump," didn't come from God.
23:30 He doesn't send discouragement.
23:32 God knows there's enough in the world
23:35 to be discouraged about
23:36 without Him sending discouragement.
23:37 He doesn't do it.
23:40 So when you get into that, I'm done.
23:43 That's not God.
23:46 Let's see, it's not God.
23:56 So when you get discouraged to the point you want to quit,
24:00 that's not God, that's the enemy of your soul,
24:05 because discouragement is not in His arsenal.
24:10 So John had the same faults and weaknesses...
24:13 You know, I told you about this two weeks ago.
24:15 It doesn't work, just happened.
24:21 And I can read that one back there.
24:33 "John dwelt in an atmosphere..."
24:35 I'm in Desire of Ages, page, I think this is 179.
24:39 "He dwelt in an atmosphere uncontaminated
24:42 with selfishness and ambition, and far above jealousy."
24:46 Now that's important,
24:47 John the Baptist didn't have an ego.
24:53 He wasn't ambitious,
24:54 so he wasn't trying to get your job.
24:58 And he wasn't jealous of anybody.
25:01 He knew His calling, that's a wonderful place to be,
25:05 because you can rejoice when other people get blessed.
25:10 Yeah, I don't have a brand new car,
25:15 but I know people who do, and I can ride in that.
25:22 So jealous for what?
25:25 No car is going to heaven.
25:29 So John dwelt in an atmosphere, he wasn't jealous of anybody,
25:34 he wasn't trying to get anybody's job.
25:36 He was just trying to serve the Lord,
25:39 and he was not selfish or ambitious.
25:44 Jay, he just want to do God's will.
25:47 Perfect place to be.
25:50 But the truth is, ladies and gentlemen,
25:53 life has a way if you let it of beating you down.
25:59 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
26:02 You're trying to serve the Lord,
26:03 you're trying to do right,
26:04 you're trying to walk with Jesus,
26:06 but life has this way of grinding you.
26:13 You got a little ache, you go to a doctor,
26:17 and he gives you news
26:18 you never expected in your life.
26:22 And if you don't have the mind of Christ,
26:26 life can get awful rough.
26:29 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
26:33 First, there was a time when John the Baptist
26:39 was the most popular person in all of Israel.
26:47 Everybody knew him. Everybody flocked to him.
26:51 He was the number one person in all of Israel.
26:55 He was the most influential person
26:58 in the nation.
27:00 Now let me say this to you.
27:10 And I feel sorry for your husband
27:12 because he's trying to translate adulation now.
27:16 Adulation is deceptive and destructive.
27:25 It is deceptive and destructive.
27:29 Don't praise anybody too much.
27:36 Adulation is deceptive and destructive.
27:41 As blessed as Danny Shelton has been with his ministry,
27:47 do not praise him too much.
27:49 No! You jeopardize his soul.
27:55 You tell him he's a greatest thing
27:56 since banana bread.
28:04 You know, Ellen White says this,
28:05 and this is why I suddenly gets along
28:06 'cause once you study stuff pops in your brain.
28:08 It just popped in there.
28:09 Ellen White says there are no great men in Adventism,
28:11 but there are those who are greatly used.
28:14 So you can't tell him he's great,
28:17 he just got used greatly.
28:22 But adulation, deceptive and destructive.
28:26 When anybody does anything good for the Lord,
28:28 good sermon, good song, good piano playing,
28:31 good guitar playing,
28:33 whenever anytime anyone does something in ministry,
28:37 and you congratulate them, and they say thank you,
28:43 they've given you the wrong answer.
28:47 So they're telling you, "You cannot praise me
28:51 because I can't handle it."
28:57 The correct response for ministry is
29:01 praise the Lord.
29:07 The glory has got to go to...
29:10 Thank you is inappropriate for ministry,
29:15 like it came from you.
29:19 You're just a vessel, you're the vehicle,
29:21 it didn't originate with you.
29:23 God gives you song, you write a song
29:25 and folk are blessed by God, what are you grinding about?
29:30 Came from the Lord.
29:32 So the glory ought to go back to the Lord.
29:39 We got to hold on to that because adulation...
29:44 You know, years ago Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones
29:49 and those who have a certain genre
29:50 and age know that name
29:52 but others tell you, "Who's he?"
29:55 He's mine and Danny's age.
30:03 Thirty years ago, Mick Jagger said,
30:05 "I don't plan to be 55 and singing,
30:08 I can't get no satisfaction."
30:12 Now what is he?
30:13 He's 65, close to 70, singing, I can't get no satisfaction.
30:23 Because he can't get no satisfaction?
30:24 No he get plenty of satisfaction
30:25 and one of richest guys in the world.
30:28 The thing is praise is addicted.
30:33 Worship is addictive.
30:35 And no man, no woman, no boy, no girl
30:39 was ever designed to accept praise.
30:43 Praise belong to God.
30:46 So when you begin praising people,
30:50 you move them out of themselves.
30:54 In fact, you guys talk with literature,
30:55 I've heard and say this.
30:57 You know, you get praised that's all you want is praise.
31:03 And so you're 70 years old with skin tight pants on,
31:07 skin hanging down,
31:08 talking about you can get no satisfaction.
31:19 Because praise is seductive, it's deceptive,
31:21 it's destructive.
31:25 And mankind was never intended to receive praise.
31:27 You remember in Revelation 19:10
31:31 where John is getting ready to fall down
31:34 and worship the angel.
31:36 What's the first thing angel said?
31:37 "Don't do that.
31:39 See that I'll do it not.
31:41 I'm your fellow servant, don't be praising me."
31:47 And if we begin to praise you, if you sing well
31:50 or preach well, whatever, don't take that praise.
31:52 Thank you very much.
31:55 Glory to God. Praise the Lord.
31:59 Because if anybody's heart is touched,
32:01 that came from God, not you.
32:08 So first...
32:13 John was in trouble.
32:17 His crowds were huge that didn't impress John,
32:23 but it did impress his disciples.
32:27 John wasn't into that, but his disciples were.
32:29 So day by day his disciples, the disciples of John
32:35 saw their crowds getting smaller
32:39 and Jesus' crowds getting bigger.
32:44 That didn't bother John, but it did bother them.
32:49 Jesus' crowds are getting larger,
32:51 John is losing influence, and they didn't like that.
32:56 You know, when the disciples of Jesus, they said,
32:59 "You know the demons are even subject to us.
33:05 Even demons get out of way when we come down street.
33:09 And Christ said, "Don't crow over the fact
33:14 that demons move for you.
33:17 Praise God that your name is written in the book."
33:21 Because if your name is not in the book,
33:24 those demons,
33:26 you forgive my pejorative of English,
33:27 ain't going nowhere.
33:30 So now the disciples are telling John,
33:33 "Your crowds are getting smaller,
33:35 Jesus' crowds are getting bigger,
33:37 you used to be the man, now He's the man."
33:45 John's disciples were jealous of Jesus' popularity.
33:50 Could such a thing be in the Church of God?
34:00 The Bible indicates that the disciples came back
34:03 and reported to John even when he was in prison.
34:06 Now you need to get this.
34:09 They stood ready to criticize Jesus
34:12 over the work of baptism.
34:14 John's disciples thought, "Since you are in prison,
34:17 baptism should stop."
34:23 "Hey, John, they're baptizing people,
34:25 you are the Baptist.
34:28 They're muscling in on your territory,
34:32 and so dispute arose over baptism.
34:36 Here are the words,
34:39 "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan,"
34:44 talking about Jesus, "to whom you bearest witness,
34:48 behold, the same baptizeth and all men come to Him."
34:58 John's in prison, and he's got to listen to that.
35:03 Ellen White says these words...
35:10 Through these words...
35:12 "Satan brought temptation to John."
35:16 See John wasn't into that but his friends were.
35:23 "John you are slipping in ratings
35:26 and Jesus is the big deal now."
35:29 And Ellen White says, "John had no sympathy with that
35:33 but day after day those words wore on him."
35:38 You know, you can be of one mindset,
35:41 but you spend enough time with people
35:42 who are of a negative mindset
35:43 after awhile you pick that stuff up.
35:49 So he's in prison, he is not free,
35:51 and his disciples are filling his head
35:54 with all of this negative stuff.
35:56 I remember these aren't his enemies,
35:58 these are his disciples.
36:06 May I say to you, you have to watch,
36:10 oh, dear Christian,
36:12 who you allow access to your brain.
36:19 I said amen. Amen.
36:21 You cannot let everybody rent space in your head.
36:29 You've got to guard what comes in here,
36:33 and everybody who's pushing up on you
36:35 and whispering in your head, and then telling you
36:37 how great you are is not necessarily your friend.
36:53 Don't let people get into your brain
36:58 who shouldn't be there.
37:00 The Bible says, "Try the spirits,"
37:04 amen, "Test them."
37:07 The word for try there is dokimazo
37:10 which has the meaning of a piece of lumber
37:14 that you put your weight down on
37:15 to make sure it can carry your weight.
37:17 You know, just walk out on a plank,
37:19 you make sure it can hold you.
37:21 So try the spirits to make sure that they are of the Lord.
37:28 Ephesians 4:14, "Don't be blown about
37:29 by every wind of doctrine.
37:31 Now let me kind of get move in here.
37:35 Sometimes your enemies will lie to deceive you and destroy you,
37:39 that's a bad action with a bad intent,
37:42 but sometimes your friends will lie to you thinking
37:47 they're helping you.
37:51 That's bad action, good intent,
37:57 but they're both lies.
38:00 So you cannot let your enemies lie on you,
38:02 and you cannot let your friends lie to you.
38:10 John's disciples were trying to help him,
38:13 but they were motivated by jealousy,
38:16 so they were in effect hurting him.
38:21 John was the one who said in John 1:27, Mark 1:7,
38:27 and in Matthew 3:11 same words,
38:31 "There is coming one after me
38:35 whose shoe straps,
38:39 I'm on unworthy to untie."
38:42 Remember that statement, so he knew his place.
38:46 John knew he was the forerunner.
38:50 But when people constantly drum a lie into your brain,
38:56 it can change you.
38:59 Truth or consequences, pain or circumstances.
39:02 Pain can, and can I use this word,
39:04 pain can mess with your head.
39:07 When you are in pain for a long period of time,
39:11 and you're suffering for a long period of time,
39:14 and your circumstances are turned upside down
39:19 for a long period of time,
39:20 it begins to do something to you.
39:23 Now let me say this a little more eruditely.
39:27 Protracted pain and difficult circumstances
39:31 can and often do skew your sense of priorities,
39:36 weaken your faith, and lessen your resolve.
39:40 When you're in pain for a long time
39:43 and under stress for a long time,
39:45 psychologically you begin to change.
39:50 It is called PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder.
39:54 And sometimes even when the pain is released
39:58 and the tough circumstances are released,
40:00 your psychological disorder continues.
40:04 I'm in Desire of Ages, page 215.
40:08 Ellen White says, "These questions
40:11 were not without effect.
40:15 Doubts which otherwise would have never arisen
40:18 were suggested to John."
40:19 See, it's what not John's makeup,
40:21 but his friends are telling him all these things day after day,
40:24 day after day and after a while that stuff begins to seep in.
40:32 These are not his enemies, these are his friends.
40:36 Now, this is Desire of Ages, Mike, page 215,
40:38 and I hope you get this one, this is really important.
40:41 Ellen White says this and I want you to hear me.
40:45 I'll finish in just a few minutes.
40:47 We all sit down, not landing just yet,
40:50 but we will sit down.
40:52 "How often those who think themselves
40:57 the friends of a good man,
40:59 and who are eager to show their fidelity to him,
41:03 prove to be his most dangerous enemies!"
41:07 You hear me?
41:09 "Instead of strengthening,
41:12 their words depress and dishearten!"
41:15 So they're trying to say, "Hey, John, we're your boys,
41:20 we're just trying to tell you the truth,
41:22 we're just trying to keep it real."
41:27 They were trying to build him up,
41:30 but they were in effect tearing him down.
41:35 See, after sometimes, you know, you got to let stuff go.
41:38 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
41:40 You have people holding grudges in churches
41:43 for years, months, weeks, you know, mad at people
41:46 don't even remember why they are mad.
41:47 "Just I don't talk to her, she don't talk to me.
41:48 I don't talk to him and he don't talk..."
41:50 For what? You got to let that stuff go.
41:55 So they're jealous of Jesus' disciples,
41:57 they don't like Jesus' disciples.
41:59 They wish Christ wasn't even there
42:00 because they're losing their influence.
42:02 These are church guys.
42:07 Bible say, "You got to let that stuff go."
42:11 Here's why.
42:13 John had the same general idea as did his disciples in Christ.
42:18 Now this is interesting to me,
42:20 and I know I'm getting little long
42:21 but forgive me.
42:23 John believed that Jesus was going to set up
42:27 an earthly kingdom just like the disciples did,
42:31 just like his disciples did, just like Christ disciples did,
42:34 just like most of Jerusalem did.
42:37 John of all people didn't really understand Jesus.
42:40 He thought the same thing that everybody else thought.
42:43 John the Baptist, forerunner of Christ
42:46 thought that Christ had come to get rid of the Romans.
42:52 So now he's in prison.
42:54 He's suffering for his faith.
42:56 He's suffering because he told the truth,
42:59 and Christ is not behaving as John wants Him to behave.
43:08 Christ is not doing what John wants Him to do
43:11 because John like everybody else
43:13 has a misunderstanding of what Jesus came here to do.
43:19 And if I had time, I would correlate
43:21 this whole idea of dying and going straight to heaven
43:25 because most of the people
43:26 on planet earth today believe that
43:28 there's something happens to you after death.
43:32 Direct correlation, but I just don't have time.
43:36 John expected Jesus to behave a certain way
43:41 and Jesus was not acting as John expected,
43:45 and it depressed him.
43:48 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world."
43:54 John's disciples couldn't see it,
43:56 Jesus' disciples couldn't see it,
43:59 the zealots couldn't see it,
44:01 and John really couldn't see it himself.
44:05 John was the fearless rebuker of sins,
44:08 ready to offer his life if he had to,
44:11 but his world is upside down, he's in prison,
44:15 week after week nothing is happening,
44:18 nothing is changing, he's suffering in prison,
44:21 and his disciples are coming to him
44:23 giving him all this negative news.
44:25 They're saying, "If He's the Son of God,
44:28 and if He's so powerful,
44:30 and if He can do all of this miracles,
44:31 why are you still in prison?"
44:37 John had no answer.
44:40 He said, ''I've come to set the captive free.
44:47 Well, hello! You ain't free."
44:54 Desire of Ages, page 214,
44:57 "The life of John had been one of active labor,
45:01 and the gloom of inaction and prison life
45:05 weighed heavily upon him."
45:06 John was a country guy, he used to be out,
45:07 he like to be out here in Thompsonville,
45:10 it's like Danny hates going to Chicago.
45:13 Just uncomfortable because you're country guy.
45:14 Well, John had been out in the country,
45:16 he had been free to breathe air and go to...
45:18 Now he's stuck in prison and nothing is happening,
45:21 day after day, week after week, month after month,
45:24 he's in prison and nobody's saying anything,
45:26 nobody's doing anything, nobody is helping him,
45:29 people are being saved, he hears all these reports,
45:31 and yet he's stuck in prison.
45:34 So it weighs heavily upon him,
45:35 week after week passed bringing no change,
45:39 despondency and doubt crept over him.
45:43 Question, how many here ever wanted something
45:45 really, really bad
45:47 and didn't get it as you wanted it
45:48 when you wanted it?
45:50 Tell the truth.
45:52 Yeah, I got some, I want really bad right now.
45:55 But I can't make it happen.
45:57 If I got two things, one is kind of big,
45:59 the other is kind of small, but they're both there.
46:03 And I wish I could engineer some speed,
46:06 can't do anything about it.
46:08 If you ever want something real bad,
46:11 and God is saying "Wait, not going to get it now."
46:14 What is your natural response? Doubt and depression.
46:20 "Lord, can I get it now? Okay, can I get it tomorrow?
46:24 Okay, can I get it the next day?"
46:29 And John is in prison and nothing is happening.
46:32 And things are beginning
46:33 to insinuate themselves in his mind.
46:36 What's the natural response? Doubt, he's doubted.
46:39 "God, are You still there? What You're going to do?
46:42 But here's where John shines
46:44 and I'll do this and then I got to quit.
46:46 John shines, Desire of Ages, page 216.
46:52 "There were hours," Ellen White says,
46:54 "When the whispers of demons tortured his spirit."
46:58 He's not bad enough, you got your friends
47:02 saying negative stuff to you.
47:04 The devil is right in that cell with him whispering in his ear,
47:08 "You're going to die, your life is wasted,
47:12 nobody is going to save you."
47:18 So doubts creep over him.
47:20 But here's where he shines. Same page, 216.
47:23 "But the Baptist did not surrender his faith in Christ."
47:26 That's what it's all about.
47:28 No matter what the devil says, no matter what the devil does,
47:31 don't surrender your faith in Christ.
47:35 John did not discuss his doubts and anxieties.
47:38 There's so much here, you got to forgive me.
47:41 The reason John shines
47:43 is because even though he was down,
47:45 he didn't spread his doubt to other people.
47:49 See, let's see, you have a responsibility
47:51 to minister to other people just because you're down,
47:54 let me just spread that gloom all over the place.
48:00 And Ellen White says that's where John shines,
48:01 he was depressed, he was down,
48:03 but he didn't spread that gloom.
48:07 You know, how we do.
48:09 You're down and things are not going like you want,
48:11 so you want to gather a bunch of homies around you,
48:13 you know, to commiserate in your sadness.
48:20 If you're down, say I'm down, but don't let it in there
48:25 because with your problems, you also got Jesus.
48:32 I say it over and over again adding for night of mad nausea.
48:34 I got stuff, you got stuff, all God's children got...
48:40 But with that stuff, we also got Jesus.
48:42 Amen. Amen.
48:44 So we can talk about our stuff, we can talk about Jesus.
48:48 I can show you my stuff, you show me your stuff,
48:52 but we just cry about our stuff,
48:56 or you can talk about Jesus.
48:58 So Ellen White says, "The thing that distinguishes John
49:00 even though he was down, he didn't share it."
49:03 He just took it to God.
49:06 See, and we have... And I've got nothing.
49:09 Yeah, second, we have a limited capacity
49:11 to carry each other's weight anyway.
49:14 Yeah, me dragging my stuff
49:18 is pretty much a fulltime job.
49:23 I really don't have a lot of time
49:26 to drag your stuff too.
49:33 Yes, we're dragging this stuff.
49:35 I got a lot of stuff
49:38 and looks so sad, Joe, you got stuff too.
49:42 It is a full time job dragging my stuff.
49:43 Now occasionally when I'm in real good spirits,
49:46 I have a little time for your stuff.
49:53 But I can't take your stuff everyday.
49:58 I can pray for your stuff.
50:02 But you got to carry your stuff.
50:05 And Jesus can carry all of our stuff.
50:08 There is no need of sharing all that stuff
50:12 because I can't...
50:13 If I could solve your stuff, I would.
50:18 But I can't solve all of my stuff.
50:22 I can't solve your stuff, Jesus can.
50:25 So take your stuff to Jesus, and that's why
50:27 Ellen White says, "He's shine," because He had a lot of stuff.
50:31 He's getting ready to die, and He knew it,
50:33 but He didn't share that depression with anybody.
50:37 He took it to the Lord.
50:43 I'm looking at my time, and I'm apologizing,
50:45 let me skip over there.
50:52 John sends his disciples to Jesus,
50:56 and he says,
51:02 "Are you it or should we look for somebody else?"
51:08 And what is interesting,
51:11 Christ never really answers the question.
51:18 Now, actually, He did, Bob, but He did it in quote.
51:22 He did it in quote.
51:26 The Bible says, "At that hour, He began to heal."
51:30 He didn't say, "No, I'm it. I'm the real deal."
51:32 He just began to heal.
51:35 And Ellen White says, "He healed all day."
51:39 So those disciples were following
51:41 behind Him all day, just watching,
51:44 one hour, two hours, three hours, four hours,
51:46 five hours, six hours, seven hours,
51:48 John was looking for some personal thing
51:49 from Jesus to reaffirm, he didn't get it,
51:53 or he got it, but it was in quote.
51:56 Then Christ says,
51:58 "Go back and tell John what you saw."
52:06 Well, they have been telling him what they saw,
52:08 but they were twisting it against John.
52:12 He's healing, you're not.
52:14 He's baptizing, you're not.
52:17 So more than what you saw, here is the quote,
52:20 and I've got to end with this.
52:21 Let me just find it, and then I'll make a point,
52:25 and then we'll just stop.
52:27 Go to the John...
52:28 I'm sorry, Luke 7,
52:31 and let's look at verse 23.
52:37 This is really cool.
52:38 This is a little piece of cheesecake
52:41 that the Lord gave just for John.
52:45 It's in quote.
52:49 Here it is, Luke 7:23, "And blessed is he
52:54 who is not offended because of Me."
52:59 And John's disciples didn't get it,
53:03 and Jesus disciples didn't get it.
53:07 And John didn't see it, and your silence says
53:11 you didn't get it.
53:14 And that's okay because before I studied this,
53:17 I didn't get it.
53:19 But I got it now.
53:22 Here is what He's saying,
53:25 "Happy is he who does not turn away from Jesus
53:31 because Jesus does not conform to their preconceived ideas."
53:36 That's what He says.
53:39 He's saying to John, "Blessed is a man
53:44 who doesn't put Me in a box.
53:49 You have an idea
53:51 of what you want me to do for you.
53:54 I'm not doing that. I'm doing something else."
53:58 "So blessed is he who doesn't put Jesus in a box."
54:02 John was living
54:07 and knew he's going to die in prison.
54:11 Jesus also was living in prison and knew He was going to die.
54:17 You can't put Him in a box.
54:21 God has a thousand ways to bless you
54:24 that you know not of.
54:26 So don't put Him in a box.
54:28 Just because He doesn't come as you want Him to,
54:33 like you want Him to, when you want Him to,
54:36 does not mean He's not coming.
54:39 Don't put Him in a box.
54:45 He's coming, He heard your prayer,
54:47 He's going to help, but don't put Him in a box.
54:52 He's got ways to bless you that you know not of.
54:55 You can get on the operating table
54:58 and the doctor has the scalpel in hand
55:00 and somebody brings in X-rays
55:02 and says before you cut that man open,
55:04 you better look at this X-ray 'cause there's nothing there.
55:11 Don't put Him in a box.
55:15 God has ways to bless.
55:18 John was going to die, yes, but so was Jesus.
55:25 All say, can you see?
55:30 Do you know Him?
55:32 The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:12,
55:34 "We see now through a glass darkly."
55:38 But one day soon, it's going to be plain.
55:40 I close with this text.
55:45 "Beloved, now we are the children of God,
55:51 and it has not yet been revealed,
55:54 we can't see what we shall be.
55:59 But we know that when He is revealed,
56:05 when we do see Him, we shall be like Him,
56:12 for we shall see Him as He is."
56:20 The truth is, brothers and sisters,
56:24 life has to be lived.
56:28 And in living life,
56:30 your religion will be challenged.
56:35 You will have to bear up
56:39 under the tests and trials of life,
56:46 but you do not have to live your life alone.
56:55 Jesus will be with you
57:00 in prison or out,
57:02 free or bound, you're not alone.
57:07 There will come times when you may doubt
57:09 your own sanity and reality.
57:13 Ellen White says at those times,
57:15 "Don't try to feel saved,
57:19 don't try to feel like He is there.
57:23 Go on the fact that He is there."
57:29 Whether you feel it or not, go and feel it.
57:34 Go on the fact.
57:36 C.E. Bradford used to say,
57:38 "You put all that money in a bank,
57:39 write some checks,"
57:42 whether you feel it or not, He's there.
57:45 Whether you feel it or not, He loves you.
57:48 Whether you feel it or not, He hears your prayer.
57:52 He doesn't mind your question.
57:55 He doesn't want you to give up on Him
57:58 because He will never give up on you.
58:04 Amen and amen.
58:06 Father God, we would see You now.
58:12 To see You is to know you,
58:15 is to understand You, is to love You.
58:20 Help us, Lord, to love You,
58:23 to surrender ourselves to You, to walk with You,
58:28 and even when we doubt to never turn away from You,
58:34 for You love us with an everlasting love.
58:38 And one day soon,
58:40 we will see You face to blessed face.
58:46 We thank You, Father, in Jesus' name.