Spring Camp Meeting 2014

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: C. A. Murray


Series Code: 14SCM

Program Code: 14SCM000021S

00:39 Here in two minutes, and we're moving into the next program.
00:44 And the Lord has been with us every single step of the way.
00:48 We're being blessed by the Holy Spirit.
00:52 I tell you, I still have not gotten over Walter Pearson's
00:56 message. It touched my heart so much.
00:59 Are you with me on that?
01:01 So good to see him preaching again!
01:04 You don't know how many times I've called him on the phone,
01:07 I've said: "Walter, are you ready yet? "
01:09 "No, not yet. "
01:10 "Are you ready yet Walter? " "No, not yet. "
01:13 We had him lined up to come out a year ago
01:16 and he wasn't quite ready to come and to do an Anchors
01:19 at that time. So that's when I did the Anchors that I did
01:24 was to fill in for Walter.
01:27 Now he came today, and what a blessing it was.
01:32 Amen! As he said: "I'm not able to run up and down
01:36 the platform, but the Holy Spirit can speak. "
01:39 And the Holy Spirit spoke through our friend
01:42 Walter Pearson. Keep him in your prayers.
01:45 And keep all of us in your prayers.
01:48 Well, we're having a wonderful time in the Lord
01:51 and our speaker for this particular hour
01:55 is my good friend Pastor C.A. Murray.
01:59 Now you know all about C.A. Murray
02:01 so I don't have to tell you too much.
02:04 He's a good man.
02:06 He... His wife Irma keeps him on the straight and narrow.
02:11 And I enjoy teasing with him a little bit
02:16 because he is fun to tease.
02:21 You know the Lord says: "Whom the Lord loveth
02:24 He chasteneth. "
02:26 And whom Gilley loveth he teaseth.
02:29 So if you find that I'm teasing you, you know I love you.
02:33 And I truly do love C.A. Murray.
02:37 I've talked about the unity of our team here.
02:41 We don't have to say it too much... you can feel it.
02:44 You really can. You can feel the unity
02:47 of our group, and it's a beautiful, beautiful thing.
02:52 Before he comes, Reggie and Ladye are coming
02:56 and they're going to bring some music to us.
02:59 And I'm watching for them to appear any moment
03:02 from behind the screen.
03:05 So... I will keep talking until they do.
03:08 Are they here? OK... Reggie. Here's Reggie.
03:13 Reggie, you made your first trip to Israel last year.
03:17 Oh yes I did! Did you enjoy that?
03:19 It was really a life-changing experience for us, it truly was.
03:23 Now we had been years ago - yeah. We were doing some videos
03:26 there, but we didn't get a chance to really travel and tour
03:29 with a professional tour guide. Right. It truly, Mr. Jim,
03:33 was a life-changing experience for us. Wow! Wow!
03:35 Well we're going back this Fall. You're going;
03:37 you're going to have a bus along at the same time we are.
03:40 And we're all going together in November. And I'm just
03:44 hoping as many of you as possibly can will go with us
03:49 in November. November is the right time.
03:52 November 16th as a matter of fact.
03:54 That's exactly right... that's exactly right.
03:57 So we're looking forward to that, and we're also looking
04:00 forward to your music. Are you going to sing for us?
04:03 We are. We're going to do a song called Above All.
04:05 Above All. This is a song that a friend of Ladye Love's
04:08 wrote several, several years ago. And you know, you think
04:11 about we were doing the patriotic things - yeah.
04:14 Above all powers, above all kings,
04:17 above all nature - yes - and all living things.
04:20 All right. God is above all of that.
04:22 That's a great song. God bless you as you sing.
04:24 We also have some guests are going to join us, too.
04:37 Aren't these singers great that have been here today?
04:40 They are so amazing.
04:42 I mean, you just got a little bit of what all they do.
04:44 They are so talented, and we have the privilege of
04:47 singing with them sometimes in Nashville. And they're just
04:50 great. I wish you could know their whole resumes.
04:52 Go to their websites; they have great things that they are doing
04:55 in their own rite. But they love the Lord...
04:57 the most important thing.
05:20 Above all powers,
05:24 above all kings,
05:28 above all nature
05:31 and all created things.
05:36 Above all wisdom
05:40 and all the ways of man...
05:46 You were here before the world began.
05:53 Above all kingdoms,
05:57 above all thrones,
06:01 above all wonders
06:04 the world has ever known.
06:09 Above all wealth
06:13 and treasures of the earth...
06:19 there's no way to measure
06:23 what You're worth.
06:28 Crucified,
06:32 laid behind a stone.
06:36 You lived and died
06:40 rejected and alone
06:43 like a rose
06:46 trampled on the ground
06:51 You took the fall
06:55 and thought of me
06:59 above all.
07:11 Above all powers,
07:15 above all kings,
07:20 above all nature
07:23 and all created things.
07:28 Above all wisdom
07:31 and all the ways of man...
07:37 You were here
07:40 before the world began.
07:46 Crucified,
07:50 laid behind a stone.
07:54 You lived to die
07:58 rejected and alone
08:02 like a rose
08:05 trampled on the ground
08:09 You took the fall
08:13 and thought of me
08:18 above all.
08:23 Crucified,
08:27 laid behind a stone.
08:31 You lived and died
08:35 rejected and alone
08:39 like a rose
08:42 trampled on the ground
08:47 You took the fall
08:51 and thought of me
08:55 above all.
08:59 Like a rose
09:02 that was trampled on the ground
09:08 You took the fall - You took the fall -
09:13 and thought of me - and thought of me -
09:20 above
09:24 all.
09:38 Amen!
09:47 Amen and amen.
09:55 Shall we pray?
09:58 Gracious heavenly Father, we just praise You and thank you
10:02 for the occasion that has called the saints of God
10:05 to the house of prayer today.
10:08 We thank you Lord for sermons preached with power,
10:13 music sung with pathos,
10:17 and for the over-arching presence of Your Holy Spirit
10:20 in this house. We pray now that that same Spirit
10:25 would work in the heart of speaker and hearer.
10:29 Do a mighty work, Lord, so that Your words
10:32 are spoken and Your words are understood
10:36 and we can together take one more step
10:40 along that road that leads to glory.
10:45 We praise You, Lord, and we thank you.
10:49 In Jesus' name, Amen. Amen.
10:53 We want to consider this afternoon
10:58 the parable as found in Matthew chapter 22
11:02 often called the Parable of
11:06 the Great Wedding Feast.
11:10 So I invite you to turn with me to that
11:14 dare I say incredibly pregnant passage.
11:20 I hear the pages turning which is music to the ears
11:23 of any preacher.
11:30 I should have you to know that the last 1/3 of the gospel
11:35 of Matthew marks a subtle-yet-significant
11:40 change in the gospel narrative.
11:44 There is a change in the tenor, the texture, the tomber,
11:48 the tone, the taste... even the flavor of the ministry
11:52 of Jesus Christ of the words as written by Matthew
11:58 of the fortunes and fate of the Jewish people
12:03 and perhaps even the world.
12:05 You can see it, you can sense it.
12:08 There is this change in the way Matthew attacks
12:12 his scripture. He moves the first twenty or so
12:16 chapters along at what I was telling Irma the other night is
12:20 a bucolic pedagogical jog.
12:24 Basically he is loping along
12:28 just moving along at a nice, slow teaching jog.
12:33 Matthew we call the textbook of the New Testament.
12:36 Most scholars agree: if you want it short, if you want it
12:39 concise, if you want it with no frills,
12:41 you get that story from Matthew. He's a tax collector.
12:44 He's a CPA; he's an accountant.
12:48 Doesn't give you too much... just the facts.
12:50 So if you want facts, you go to Matthew.
12:53 If you want a little ice cream or sauce on your story,
12:58 you go to Luke. Luke gives you a little bit more.
13:00 So Matthew's moving along at this little bucolic, pedagogical
13:04 jog, and then for some reason
13:08 beginning at chapter 21
13:13 starting with that seminal event, the... what we call the
13:16 triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem
13:22 things begin to heat up just a little bit.
13:26 The jog becomes a sprint.
13:29 The analog becomes digital.
13:31 The mpeg becomes jpeg.
13:34 It's all compressed: the time, the tenor,
13:38 the space, the events. What was hazy in the first
13:42 twenty chapters now becomes boldly defined
13:46 in the next eight chapters.
13:48 Matthew and Jesus - if I can use a very unbiblical term -
13:52 up the ante in the next eight chapters of the book of Matthew.
13:56 You can see it; you can feel it; you can almost smell it.
13:59 There is this change. Some- thing big is about to happen.
14:03 And so Matthew finds a whole new gear
14:07 and indeed Jesus finds a whole new gear.
14:10 The "exigency" if I can use that term, the urgency,
14:14 the energy of the work of God is increased
14:17 and you feel it in Matthew chapter 21.
14:20 You see it in the social intercourse between Christ
14:23 and His disciples.
14:25 The way Christ now deals with His enemies
14:28 begins to change. His preaching begins to change.
14:32 His teaching begins to change
14:34 and even His parables begin to change.
14:37 The parables prior to Matthew 21
14:40 have some amount of flame to them, but things really get
14:45 heated up in the parables after Matthew chapter 21.
14:52 The tone of everything changes.
14:56 Now you may ask why, and it is a good question.
15:00 The answer is very simple:
15:02 it was because time was running out.
15:07 Time was running out on the Jews,
15:10 time was running out on Christ's earthly priesthood,
15:14 time was running out on the temple,
15:17 time was running out on the sanctuary service,
15:20 time was running out on the sacrificial system,
15:23 time was running out on the Jewish people,
15:26 and time was running out on the Jewish nation.
15:30 One week - eight chapters - eternal destiny,
15:35 all compressed into the last third of this book
15:42 of Matthew. They are all inseparably interconnected.
15:49 So you can't really get the full weight of Matthew
15:52 chapter 22 if you separate it from Matthew chapter 21
15:58 because as it were Christ is firing the last bullet
16:04 in a series of rapid-fire practical parables
16:07 that are very pointed, the edge is strong,
16:11 the meaning is plain because Christ has but three more trips
16:16 into the temple. These are His last three times
16:20 that He gets to meet with people in the temple
16:22 and talk with people in the temple.
16:24 The leadership: the Pharisees on the right,
16:28 Sadducees on the left,
16:32 Herodians in the middle.
16:34 All of them despising each other,
16:38 hating each other's politics,
16:40 but united by one self-same,
16:45 indissoluble bonding agent.
16:48 They were sealed by the fact that regardless of their
16:54 theology or their ideology
16:58 they all wanted Jesus dead.
17:04 From the day He raised Lazarus from the dead
17:07 they were concocting ways to put Him to death.
17:13 So He spoke in parables. He couched the truth
17:17 in language that only those who He wanted to understand
17:23 would indeed understand.
17:25 But now Jesus is coming to the end of His ministry.
17:30 Things are beginning to wind down and wrap up
17:33 and Christ doesn't have time any more for platitudes
17:38 or illusory speech
17:40 or esoteric language or secret codes.
17:44 Now Christ is laying it out, putting it on the table.
17:49 These days were serious days in the land of Israel.
17:53 And I would dare say these days are serious days
17:56 today in the United States of America and the world.
18:01 And the reason you sat here through 19 sermons
18:04 and when we are done about 22 meetings is because
18:08 like those days these days are serious days.
18:14 And I think we've all been possessed of the thought
18:18 that these days are indeed the last days.
18:24 We don't know how many more days there will be,
18:28 but I think you can agree with me
18:31 that there are more days in the rear-view mirror
18:35 than there are in the windshield.
18:38 Christ is indeed coming very, very soon.
18:45 We see it in changed tactics by the Lord.
18:51 The trajectory of His speech now changes.
18:54 Jesus takes the wraps off now.
18:58 Jesus, who really eschewed popular acclaim
19:03 for so many, many years, now allows things to happen
19:08 that must have excited and confused His disciples.
19:13 There in chapter 21 Jesus does some things that
19:17 might appear a bit puzzling.
19:19 Matthew says in Matthew 21
19:22 that as they approached the city
19:26 Jesus' attitude began to change.
19:29 He goes into the city and He tells the disciples
19:32 "I want you go to in and get Me a donkey
19:36 and bring the donkey and the colt to Me. "
19:40 Number one: Jewish kings
19:44 always rode on donkeys.
19:48 So Christ was now changing His tactics.
19:52 Whereas before He always tried to keep it rather hush-hush
19:57 about His kingdom... sometimes even healed people and He said:
20:01 "Don't tell anybody. Just go and show yourself to the priest. "
20:04 Now He is specifically requesting a donkey and the colt
20:09 of a donkey. Jewish kings always made their triumphal entry
20:13 into a city on the back of a donkey.
20:16 So Christ is saying: "I'm about to announce something
20:21 that before we have kept secret.
20:24 I'm about to let the world know that a King is coming. "
20:28 Amen? King is on His way.
20:32 So it is an allusion to kingship.
20:35 And if that was not enough,
20:37 Jesus says: "If anyone says anything to you,
20:40 if anybody gives you any static,
20:43 if anybody gives you a hard time,
20:46 tell them Kurios sent you. "
20:51 Kurios is a New Testament word, a Greek word, for Lord.
20:54 This is the first time, brothers and sisters,
20:57 that Christ refers to Himself as Lord.
21:01 And so He says: "If anybody gives you any heat about
21:05 taking these donkeys tell them God wants them.
21:10 Tell them God has need of them. "
21:14 And so Christ is now announcing His Lordship.
21:18 Before this time His preferred self-designation
21:21 was Son of Man. You see that in Matthew chapter 1 verse 1,
21:25 Mark chapter 2 verse 10. And over and over again
21:27 Christ has called Himself the Son of Man.
21:29 But now He's saying: "If anybody gives you a hard time,
21:32 tell them God wants it. "
21:34 "Tell them God is requesting the donkey. "
21:38 "If anybody accosts you, tell them this is being requisitioned
21:42 by God. " And so this kingly entry into Jerusalem
21:48 marks something very very special in the life of Christ.
21:53 It is recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
21:56 They all talk about it.
21:57 It launches a portrayal of a fascinating series of events
22:02 that are intriguing, and a number of parallels
22:06 and parables that are types of the second coming of Jesus
22:09 Christ. So Christ arrives in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon.
22:15 We are given to understand that He makes His way to the
22:17 temple on Sunday evening, but He doesn't do anything.
22:21 He just looks around; He just takes in the sights
22:25 and the sounds and the smells of the temple.
22:31 Perhaps He was remembering that day at age 12 when He
22:35 first walked into that temple.
22:37 And Ellen White says He looked at those same sights
22:40 and tastes and smells and goings on
22:45 and the Holy Spirit revealed to Him
22:47 that all of that was wrapped up in Him.
22:52 Perhaps He was taking a 22-year trip back
22:56 trying to remember the day when the vision came to Him
23:02 that He would have to sacrifice His life for these people.
23:07 That the burden of sin cleansing was going to have to be upon His
23:12 shoulders. And so that Sunday evening is just a little
23:16 trip down memory lane. Christ just views the temple.
23:23 Monday morning He returns.
23:27 This is the beginning of the last week of His life.
23:31 This time something else happens.
23:34 Monday morning He returns and we are given to understand
23:38 that for the second time in His ministry Christ
23:41 cleanses the temple.
23:43 This time is not passive; this time is not just looking.
23:47 This time He is active and aggressive.
23:50 Again He alludes to His Lordship,
23:54 and look at the language as found in Matthew 21.
24:00 Christ says:
24:03 "My house... My house
24:09 shall be a house of prayer. "
24:10 Now if you go to John chapter 2 you find that
24:13 at the first cleansing of the temple... And by the way,
24:16 it's only mentioned in the book of John...
24:18 Jesus said: "Don't make My Father's house
24:23 a house of merchandise. "
24:26 You see the difference? Subtle but very real.
24:30 Now those who understood what He was saying
24:31 realized "My Father" and "Mine" is pretty much the same.
24:34 But in case you didn't get it, in John 3-1/2 years earlier
24:39 "Don't make My Father's house a house of merchandise. "
24:43 In Matthew 3-1/2 years later
24:46 "Don't make My house a house of merchandise. "
24:51 You see the difference? Why the change?
24:55 Because time was late and Jesus had but 2 more trips
24:59 to this temple before He would make His trip to the cross.
25:05 So now it's "My house... My house. "
25:09 "Don't make My house a house of merchandise. "
25:12 This final week Christ is doing His very best
25:17 to try to get into the hearts and heads
25:21 of those who have rejected Him for 3-1/2 years.
25:25 Let me give you just a little back story.
25:28 You may not know this 'cause you have to read Desire of Ages
25:29 very carefully to find this out.
25:31 But I thought it very interesting.
25:33 Three and a half years earlier when Christ cleansed the temple
25:36 there were a lot of men there who were buying and selling.
25:39 And Ellen White says they were pretty upset
25:43 at their squeamishness...
25:47 their sheep-like attitude...
25:51 in letting this guy run them
25:54 from their money and their commerce.
25:57 And Ellen White says they held commune among themselves
26:00 and they said: "You know, we were really wimps
26:03 three and a half years ago, but if He ever comes back here
26:08 again, let Him try to run us out of here the second time. "
26:12 "Our house. We got permission from the priest.
26:16 We're making a lot of money; we've got a lot of commerce
26:19 going on, so if He comes back here and ever tries that stuff
26:22 again... see what'll happen to Him. "
26:25 Three and a half years later Christ comes into the same
26:30 courtyard, and Ellen White says it's basically a barnyard
26:33 of traffic. Everything is going on.
26:37 Cows and sheep and bickering and dickering
26:40 and money changing is going on.
26:43 And Christ turns over tables and raises a cord
26:48 and those men who had all of those big thoughts
26:52 and big talk about how they were going to stand up to Jesus...
26:57 Let me give you the reading from Desire of Ages page 590.
27:01 Ellen White says: "Again the piercing look of Jesus
27:05 swept over the desecrated court of the temple.
27:08 All eyes were turned towards Him.
27:12 Priests and rulers, Pharisee and Gentile
27:16 looked with astonishment and awe upon Him who stood
27:20 before them. With the majesty of heaven's
27:24 King, divinity flashed through humanity... "
27:29 Get this line...
27:31 "investing Christ with a dignity and glory
27:35 He had never manifested before.
27:39 Those men saw that day
27:44 in the eyes and countenance of Jesus something that
27:48 humanity had never seen before. "
27:53 Ellen White says that "a level of divinity
27:58 leaped and lept out of Christ
28:01 that had never happened before. "
28:03 And all of those promises that we are going to stand up
28:07 and stand our ground and stay put
28:10 went to the wind. And the Bible says
28:13 they ran like the temple was on fire.
28:18 And indeed... the temple was on fire.
28:21 Ellen White says: "Those standing nearest to Him
28:23 drew as far away as the crowd would permit. "
28:26 She says: "The displeasure of His countenance
28:30 seemed like a consuming fire
28:35 as He cleared the temple, and Pharisee
28:39 and money changers and businessmen
28:42 and traders fled from the presence of God
28:45 just like they had done the first time. "
28:50 And what is interesting: Ellen White says:
28:54 "As they ran from the sanctuary... "
28:58 as they were running out of the sanctuary...
29:02 "there was a crowd of people running into the sanctuary. "
29:07 The parallel to the second coming.
29:10 You see, the same glory that will cause some people
29:14 to run away will be irresistibly attractive
29:20 to those who waited for Jesus.
29:23 Some will be saying: "Fall on us, rocks,
29:27 and hide us from the face of Him... "
29:31 Others will be saying: "Lo, this is our God!
29:38 Long we have waited for Him; now He will save us. "
29:42 So some were running out and some were running in.
29:46 What is sad, and I've read this many times
29:48 in the Desire of Ages but I caught it just this week
29:52 Ellen White says that some of those who were running in
29:58 listened to the reports of those running out.
30:05 "You don't want to go in there. "
30:08 "It's crazy in there. "
30:10 "There's some guy in there throwing stuff around,
30:13 light-flashing eyes. You don't want to go in there. "
30:17 And Ellen White says sadly some of them turned around
30:20 and missed their blessing and missed their salvation.
30:23 So you've got to learn... you've got to know Jesus for yourself.
30:27 Amen? You can't take the report of others on Jesus good or bad.
30:33 You've got to know Him for yourself!
30:35 The Bible says "Those in Thessalonica were more
30:37 noble than those in Berea... " Flip it: "Berea more noble
30:40 than those in Thessalonica
30:41 because after they heard the Word
30:43 of God preached they... " Yeah, you've got to study
30:48 the Word for yourself.
30:50 Why? Because it's late.
30:56 Heard a story years ago about a young girl
30:58 who used to stay up and listen to the clock strike twelve.
31:01 You've heard this story many times.
31:02 One, two, three... twelve gongs every night.
31:06 Then she'd go to sleep.
31:08 One night she listened for twelve gongs and she heard
31:11 twelve gongs and the clock struck thirteen.
31:16 And she ran into her mother's bedroom and said:
31:18 "Mommy, mommy. It is later than it's ever been before! "
31:27 Brothers and sisters: it's later than it's ever been before.
31:34 It's horribly late.
31:39 And so some ran out and some ran in.
31:43 And those who were running in didn't belong there.
31:47 The temple was not for crippled people.
31:50 I thought it was very inter- esting that the Jewish temple -
31:52 and having been to the temple
31:56 going to Jerusalem - you know if you were sick
32:00 you couldn't go to the temple?
32:03 If you were crippled, you couldn't go to the temple.
32:05 If you were lame, you couldn't go to the temple.
32:08 That woman with the issue of blood could not
32:10 go to the temple, and the priest wouldn't come to her.
32:15 The woman that was bent over for eighteen years
32:17 couldn't go to the temple
32:18 and no one would go to her. Where else should you go
32:22 if you're sick?
32:27 That's why I cannot understand why people have complaints
32:30 with individuals who are hypocrites and in the church.
32:36 Where is a good hypocrite going to go?
32:47 If you're a hypocrite, you ought to be in a church!
32:54 How are you going to get... I'm going to invent a word...
32:58 "unhypocritical? "
33:01 You can't stay home and be a hypocrite.
33:04 To be a hypocrite you have to be with somebody.
33:07 You know, you can't be a hypocrite by yourself
33:09 because hypocrite is pretending you are something you are not.
33:14 Amen. And the only way you can pretend you are something
33:16 you are not... you've got to have somebody to pretend to.
33:21 So you can't be a hypocrite by yourself.
33:24 So you might as well be a hypocrite in the church...
33:26 at least your hypocrisy counts for something.
33:33 And maybe, just maybe... just maybe
33:39 the Spirit of God can get through and change you.
33:45 Don't worry about hypocrites in the church.
33:46 Christ can take care of them.
33:54 And so Christ cleans the temple
33:58 and sick folk come in.
34:01 And when those scared rabbits returned to the temple
34:05 Ellen White says some hours later they hear the words
34:08 of peace and love and they hear and see
34:12 Christ healing everyone there.
34:15 And instead of joining in the song of rejoicing
34:20 their minds are convinced He has got to die
34:25 and He's got to die now.
34:31 Now I need to preface this and remind... I know my time is
34:35 going. This, by the way, is not the sermon.
34:40 This is just the ecclesiological obiter dictum
34:43 from Matthew chapter 21.
34:45 The sermon is actually Matthew chapter 22.
34:47 We haven't gotten there yet.
34:53 We're on the way.
34:56 So Matthew chapter 22 does pick up the narrative
35:00 with Tuesday night. Now remember it is Tuesday night.
35:03 In 72 hours, Christ will be hanging from the cross.
35:07 This is His last trip in the temple.
35:10 Last time. And Christ "takes off the wraps" as it were.
35:16 He's in the most important building in the most important
35:20 nation with the most important message in the world.
35:24 The Sanhedrin has already voted that He must die:
35:28 "We've got to find a way to silence Him, and we've got
35:33 to make it soon. "
35:35 And Jesus - knowing what He is facing -
35:39 is giving it His last, best shot.
35:43 And so His words, brothers and sisters,
35:46 His teaching now has a new urgency, a new energy,
35:52 because in approximately sixty hours He'll be hanging
35:56 from a Roman cross, dying for your sins and for mine.
36:02 And even those people who are wracking their brains
36:05 trying to find out a way to put Him to death.
36:14 So that's the background of chapter 22.
36:20 You cannot separate 21 from 22
36:23 because the parables now begin to change.
36:27 And even the Parable of the Ten Virgins
36:30 which is not truly a parable because Ellen White says
36:33 that happened about Tuesday evening.
36:35 It was more of a "storacle" than a parable because
36:38 it really happened. Christ was sitting on the
36:40 western slope of the Mount of Olives
36:42 and the disciples were watching as the sun went down.
36:45 They actually saw this wedding party going in.
36:47 So it was a parable; it was also an object lesson.
36:51 He said: "See that party there? Let Me teach you something
36:55 about that. " And He went through the story of the
36:58 Ten Virgins. It really happened; it wasn't a story
37:01 as stories are just made up.
37:04 So this now is the last time Christ gets to tell
37:08 a true parable in the temple,
37:13 and the "pit-bull" priesthood is still trying to trap Jesus
37:17 in His words so they can find a legitimate reason to kill Him.
37:23 First the Herodians, Romans collaborators,
37:26 who like to play buddy-buddy with Rome.
37:29 Then the Sadducees, Roman sympathizers
37:33 whose mindset was "They're here, we're here.
37:39 Can't we all just get along? "
37:42 And the Pharisees who are Roman haters.
37:45 And Christ was trying to win them all.
37:48 So I don't know just what He said to them
37:54 but I know what came forth in the parable.
37:56 And I don't want to just examine the parable and part
37:59 the parable. What I want to do to show you
38:01 the urgency of the times is compare this parable
38:04 in Matthew 22 with a similar parable
38:07 found in Luke 14. They are close but they are not the same.
38:11 And the dissonance is the difference.
38:14 This parable - number one - was delivered three days
38:18 before Christ went to the cross.
38:20 The parable that is somewhat the same called the Parable of
38:23 the Great Supper in Luke: kind of the same...
38:29 but Christ changes the parts of the parable.
38:32 The Parable of the Great Supper in Luke was given in the house
38:35 of a Pharisee.
38:37 The Marriage Feast was given in the temple court.
38:40 The Parable of the Great Supper was given some time before;
38:44 the Parable of the Marriage Feast given some sixty hours
38:48 before Christ was to go to the cross.
38:50 And it is important to recognize that as important and wonderful
38:55 as it is to eat dinner with a person - and that was
38:57 a Near East obligation - the idea of a marriage
39:00 was much more important.
39:03 It's one thing to turn down a dinner invitation
39:06 but a marriage invitation... much more important.
39:10 And we see how hard Christ is striving now to win these people
39:14 who simply don't want to give their hearts to Him.
39:18 So this story is much stronger as a marriage invitation
39:22 is stronger than a regular dinner invitation.
39:26 Christ is in the one place that will give Him maximum access,
39:30 maximum exposure. He's in the temple
39:33 at Passover time. The whole world is there!
39:38 Number two: The first - Luke 14- is just a banquet.
39:44 It is given by an ordinary man, a wealthy man to be sure,
39:48 but it is a banquet given by a plain citizen.
39:52 The parable in Matthew chapter 22 is given
39:56 by a King in honor of His Son's wedding.
40:01 Much more important.
40:03 You get an invitation from C.A. and Irma Murray to go to
40:06 dinner and you get an invitation from the White House
40:09 the White House is a little bit stronger, wouldn't you think?
40:12 I know... the politics notwithstanding.
40:17 The White House... not a particular person.
40:24 So that's a little bit stronger. And so a wedding invitation
40:27 is much stronger in the Middle East than a mere
40:30 dinner invitation. A dinner invitation you can kind of...
40:33 "Can't make it, " but a wedding invitation...
40:36 and a wedding invitation given by the King
40:39 in honor of His Son... you've got to think before
40:42 you just rip that up and throw it in the trash.
40:47 So Christ has upped the ante,
40:49 He's changed the goal,
40:52 He's changed the parts of a parable because time is short.
40:56 And so the King? Obviously, is Father, God.
41:00 His Son in whom the invitation's name is given
41:04 is Jesus Christ. Three: the occasion of a marriage
41:09 is a permanent union of two entities.
41:12 Here's why you don't want to parts parables too much.
41:15 Because the invitees are you and I.
41:20 We're invited. But in a secondary sense
41:24 we are also the bride.
41:27 Amen? The church is the bride.
41:29 And who is the church? We are the church. You are the church.
41:33 So you've got a dual application even within the parable.
41:38 We are invited but we are also the one that Christ is marrying.
41:42 The Jewish nation now is being invited
41:45 and Christ is hand- delivering the invitation.
41:49 Do you follow me?
41:51 Number four: the first parable's emphasis was on the flimsy
41:56 excuses. That's the one given at the Pharisee's house.
42:00 You find that in Luke 14.
42:02 The emphasis was on the flimsy excuses.
42:06 And I took a little time to study this.
42:09 The first excuse was: "I've bought some land
42:14 and I need to go see it. "
42:17 Excuse me?
42:21 Who buys land and doesn't know what you're buying?
42:25 You could be buying swamp or desert!
42:29 "I've bought some land; I need to go check it out. "
42:33 Flimsy! The second one: "I've bought some oxen
42:39 and I need to go test them. "
42:44 So you buy a car and you don't even know if it has an engine?
42:52 And I really like the third one:
42:55 "I got married. "
42:58 Period.
43:01 There's no "and I need to... " Read it.
43:06 "I got married...
43:08 you know what I need to do. "
43:16 So he doesn't even bother add- ing anything to the statement.
43:20 "I got married... excuse me. "
43:27 But Ellen White says they were all flimsy excuses.
43:31 They disrespected the invitation,
43:40 and the dissonance I say again is the difference.
43:43 The truth is brothers and sisters... here is the truth...
43:45 Here is the truth ladies and gentlemen:
43:48 we are too late in earth's history for excuses.
43:53 It's too late for us. There are no excuses you can give.
43:58 If you don't make it to heaven, what excuse can you give?
44:03 "Well I went to church last Sabbath and the pastor didn't
44:05 say hello to me
44:13 so I stayed home. "
44:16 "Well I went to church and someone did say hello to me
44:19 but they didn't say it nicely
44:24 so I stayed... " Who are you hurting when you stay home?
44:32 "Oh I can worship the Lord in my house. "
44:35 Not with that attitude you can't.
44:43 God's blessing is in the church.
44:47 And as great as it would be to watch this on television
44:51 it's nothing like being in the building. Amen!
44:55 Amen! That's why the Bible says: "Forsake not
45:00 the assembling of yourselves together, and so much more
45:05 as you see the day approaching. "
45:09 We need each other. Amen!
45:11 I used to tell my churches from the smallest to the biggest
45:16 "Like it or not, all I've got is you... " -
45:26 um-hmm -
45:28 "and all you've got... " Amen!
45:35 And Christ designed it that we need each other.
45:40 That's why I was so glad to hear Elder Bradshaw say it,
45:44 Walter Pearson say it, and Ty say it:
45:47 "We've got to love each... " "You don't have no choice...
45:48 you have to love me. "
45:53 Have no choice.
45:57 Amen. Amen. Have to love me...
46:01 if you're going to make it to heaven.
46:07 We are far beyond... Forgive my pejorative English:
46:11 the one thing we ain't got time for
46:15 is excuses... 'cause there are no excuses.
46:20 Hebrews chapter 1... Hebrews chapter 3 verse 2:
46:25 "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? "
46:30 I like this from the New Living translation.
46:33 "What makes us think... " um-hmm...
46:37 "What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent -
46:41 make excuses - to this great announcement of salvation? "
46:47 Romans chapter 13 verse 1- again, Living Bible -
46:50 "The coming of the Lord is nearer than when we
46:54 first believed. "
47:00 So the first parable focused on excuses, as poor as they were.
47:05 The burden of the second parable - Matthew chapter 22-
47:09 is preparation.
47:13 And I've heard a number of speakers speak about
47:15 preparation. This parable also talks about
47:20 preparation or the lack thereof.
47:25 No excuses... only time to get ready.
47:28 Matthew 24:44:
47:30 "Be ye also ready. "
47:37 The Bible... Let me show you something very interesting.
47:39 These parables are fascinating studies.
47:41 The Bible says if you read the parable
47:43 that the master sent his servant
47:46 to call those who were already invited.
47:50 That puzzled me. Call those who were invited?
47:52 Invited... what do you need to be called for?
47:54 You already got invited.
47:56 But I found out in the Middle East - and this is why
47:58 taking trips to Israel is so fulfilling because as you
48:01 talk to people you get a little insight into the culture -
48:04 evidently in Jewish times and even to today
48:09 when a very-high-class wedding was to take place
48:13 an original invitation was sent out,
48:16 the RSVP's were sent back,
48:19 and then a secondary invitation went out
48:23 usually hand-delivered or delivered by a messenger
48:27 himself. That's part of a custom.
48:30 So when the Bible says he... inviting those who are called
48:33 I looked up the word called. The called really means
48:36 reminded. So evidently the parable is saying
48:42 "You already got your invitation;
48:44 you already RSVP'd,
48:48 this is simply a friendly re- minder so you can be prepared. "
48:52 My doctor does that all the time.
48:54 They'll call and they'll say: "Tomorrow is your appointment.
48:56 You've made your appointment, you've signed,
48:58 we're just reminding you so you don't miss it. "
49:00 Well praise God that in His mercy
49:03 God sent us a reminder, and the reminder's name
49:07 was Jesus Christ. Amen!
49:09 The call to the Jewish people was already made in the
49:12 Old Testament through the prophets.
49:14 Hebrews 1:1 says God was very kind
49:18 in the past and in diverse manners spoke to us
49:21 through the prophets... Now speaks to us through?
49:25 Jesus Christ. So Jesus Christ is hand delivering
49:30 the reminder. He's saying: "Don't forget you've got an
49:35 appointment with destiny. " Amen? Amen!
49:38 And He's doing it in the temple where He can get the most
49:41 traction where the most people can hear Him.
49:44 The invitation is hand-delivered by Jesus Christ Himself.
49:50 The first call delivered in the Old Testament times
49:53 and now Christ delivering this second call to the Jewish
49:57 people. Matthew chapter 24 says
50:01 Christ has since then sent any number of reminders.
50:05 We've talked about them. I heard Jim talk about them
50:08 and others talk about them: earthquakes, wars,
50:11 rumors, famines, pestilences...
50:13 the preponderance of murder in this world.
50:17 And I think that may be the clearest statement that Christ
50:20 is coming soon: man simply has no respect
50:26 for life. And it starts off with a hellish
50:32 Darwinium dictum that says "Daddy was a gorilla;
50:36 Momma was a chimpanzee; and God is out of the picture. "
50:41 And now we're left with murder and no respect for life.
50:45 Those are reminders, ladies and gentlemen,
50:47 that Jesus is coming soon.
50:50 Then Christ sends us the Holy Spirit: John 16:13.
50:54 He says: "When the Spirit comes He's not going to talk about
50:56 Himself. It's not His job. He's going to testify of Me. "
51:05 So Christ is reminding us: "It's time to get ready...
51:08 time to get ready... time to get ready.
51:10 No excuses. No time to reject the offer of
51:14 salvation. " The Jewish leaders did not want
51:18 Christ and they persecuted everybody who did.
51:21 So this parable has a secondary facet.
51:24 I've got to move fast... the clock is my enemy
51:27 'cause I want to close with a quick story.
51:29 The secondary facet of this very wonderful parable
51:31 is a man who slips into the wedding improperly attired.
51:38 Doesn't have the wedding garment on.
51:40 And the Bible says before the party actually begins
51:43 the King makes an inspection.
51:46 That inspection, ladies and gentlemen,
51:47 is the Investigative Judgment.
51:49 That's why Jesus says in Revelation 22:12
51:52 "Behold I am coming quickly and My reward is... "
51:55 So Christ has already made up who is going to get the goodies
51:59 when He comes.
52:02 The Bible says: "How'd you get in here without the proper
52:06 attire? " That wedding garment is obviously the righteousness
52:10 of Christ. Cannot be bought; cannot be bartered;
52:14 cannot be stolen; cannot be earned.
52:17 It is a gift.
52:20 And that is why... that is why
52:24 when the parable ends
52:28 the consequences are so stark.
52:31 If you look at the first parable,
52:35 the guy is simply sent away from the supper.
52:38 He goes to bed without any food.
52:41 But look at the conse- quences of this new parable.
52:44 The Bible says, one, the King sends an army
52:47 and destroys the people,
52:50 and this man is cast into outer darkness.
52:53 You know what outer darkness is a code word for?
52:56 Second death.
53:00 Second death.
53:02 Why such harsh punishment?
53:06 Because time is running short
53:08 and Christ is trying to get them to understand
53:12 "You don't have time to make up a decision.
53:15 You don't have time to play.
53:16 There's only time to get right with Jesus. "
53:21 Powerful parables! And Christ is upping the ante because He
53:25 knows... He knows in less than sixty hours
53:29 He'll be hanging from a cross
53:30 and the same streets that echoed with loud Hosannahs
53:36 to the King will echo in just two days with
53:39 "Crucify Him! Let Him be crucified. "
53:46 Brothers and sisters, time is running out on us too.
53:52 We don't know how many days.
53:54 We don't know how many hours.
53:57 We don't know how many minutes.
53:58 All we know is that Jesus is coming soon.
54:06 And so Christ says we have got to be ready.
54:11 I'm going to jump over something,
54:12 and I want to close with a story that really touched my heart.
54:15 It is very, very true. I've talked with the people
54:17 who are part of this story.
54:20 A mother and three sons were members of the church.
54:25 And something happened and it happened so long ago
54:28 that they don't really remember what... what it was.
54:33 But the mother was so upset she left the church
54:36 and took her three boys with her.
54:39 And for years - decades - they were out of the church.
54:43 And so much time had elapsed
54:45 that they couldn't remember the original infraction.
54:48 All they remembered is: "We're not members
54:50 of that church any more. "
54:54 And before the mother passed
54:59 she came to her senses
55:02 and re-joined the church.
55:08 But her legacy was being played out
55:11 in the lives of those 3 boys who had grown up without God.
55:17 And the two oldest sons started families of their own
55:22 realized you know we don't even remember what it was that pushed
55:27 us out of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
55:29 "We ought to go get right with God;
55:31 we ought to give our hearts to the Lord. "
55:33 And since they lived fairly near to each other, they began
55:36 to go to church together, they began to study together,
55:38 they began to worship together. And they joined the church
55:41 and were baptized on the self-same Sabbath.
55:45 But there was that younger son who had really taken it hard.
55:50 He was drinking and smoking and living a horrible life.
55:53 And so they decided: "Before it's too late, let's fly
55:56 to where he lives and try to get this young boy... "
55:59 Young son... he was the young- est son but he wasn't a boy,
56:01 he was a man... "back into the church. "
56:04 And so they flew and they decided to spend one weekend
56:06 with him. Got to the house and the son said:
56:09 "Listen, I know why you're here. I don't want to hear it.
56:12 I don't want to be part of it, and if you're going to talk that
56:14 religion garbage you can just turn around and get on a plane
56:16 and go back home. "
56:19 So they said: "No, we're just coming. We haven't seen you
56:21 in a while. We're just coming to try to be with you. "
56:24 So they waited one full day before they even brought up
56:27 the name of Jesus. And as the name of Jesus came out of
56:31 one of the boys' mouth that youngest son began
56:33 to curse and swear and scream "I don't want to hear it.
56:35 It's garbage. I'm not part of that.
56:37 I don't want to hear it. " And they waited another full day.
56:40 This time they took him out to a restaurant.
56:43 They figured he wouldn't curse and swear and scream
56:45 in a restaurant. Public place?
56:47 And so they said: "You know, we've given our hearts to the
56:49 Lord. You oughta. " And as they said Lord
56:52 in a public restaurant cursing and screaming like
56:54 you never would believe.
56:58 "I don't want to hear it! "
57:01 When they got him home that night they said:
57:02 "You know we're leaving in the morning.
57:04 I don't know if there's anything we can say. "
57:08 So they said: "You know, Momma gave her heart
57:11 back to God before she died, and we are back in the church.
57:18 When we get to heaven Momma's going to see
57:22 us two and you know she's going to ask for the baby boy.
57:26 What shall we tell Momma? "
57:28 And that broke his heart.


Revised 2022-05-16