Today’s message summary of October 22, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:
After the book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, there was a period of 400 years where there was no prophet from God on the scene, and man was left to himself as to how he would practice his faith. During this 400 years, you would see different things occur, but the pursuit of religion was left to man’s own accord.
The Sadducees relied upon natural law and not upon any teachings or writings. Even today, the issue is the lack of good, sound teaching of God’s Word. We are in a society that receives very little education, especially in reasoning and understanding.
The church originally started schools for the purpose of teaching people how to read and write. It was to help people be able to read and understand what they were reading, and it was to be able to gain something from God’s Word.
Hosea 4:6 KJV
My people perish from a lack of knowledge.
How well are we being taught? Do we believe what we are being taught?
Teaching should not be just a repetition of what the teacher has said, but to go further into seeking the information that has been presented.
The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Many people will sit in church and hear the Word, but if it is not taught and the people decide it is not to be believed or understood, then it is just a waste of time.
One of the obvious things that one can observe in a believer’s life is a lack of progression. It is from a lack of faith. It comes down to trusting God more than just trusting yourself. The Word of God is to be taught to help to develop you more into the type of person that God wants you to be.
…for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God.
Why would one go to a doctor for advice and leave without taking it? Paul was not holding back in any way his knowledge of God. It is important that the people of God may grow and mature with the proper instruction of God’s Word.
What happened during those 400 years? There were groups that emerged:
The Essenes followed Greek philosophies that existed two centuries before Christ emerged. They were a Jewish sect. Note that their belief in how souls were transported was void of God’s teaching.
The Scribes emerged as a continuation of the group that existed during David and Solomon’s time. They were known for recording words and also for accounting. They set forth and maintain order when it came to how things were to be accomplished, and yet there was no prophet that provided additional inspiration.
The Sadducees did not believe in death and resurrection of the dead, nor angels or spirits. They only believed in the present life they were living. (Much like those who lack belief are today. There are many who believe that there is nothing after this life.)
For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, and no angel or spirit, but the Pharisees affirm them all.
The Pharisees are believed to have emerged from the Maccabeans, and they kept up with the writings of Moses, but they also infused a number of new rules within their way of living that ultimately became much more important than that of God’s Word.
Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said: These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.
“But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the others.
“Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge! You didn’t go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in.”
God desires for sincere worship and praise before Him.
There is something wrong with the number of churches that are existence today in that there is hardly any teaching. Even worse, we are teaching the precepts of man rather than those from God.
The ministry of Jesus began with teaching. Questions and answers follow this instruction. There is learning that is taking place.
After three days, they found Him (Jesus at age 12) in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”
Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity. He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone.
A good teacher must also be a good listener. He or she will always listen to the students in order to know what needs to be imparted.
Note that there was a 400-year gap before Jesus was teaching the people. Many people were hungry for His words of instruction.
The church, as a whole, must return to teaching. Teaching will either draw your nearer to Jesus, or it will chase you away. Either way, the truth of Jesus Christ and His Word must be shared.
Our churches should be overflowing–not because of preachers who entertain, but because God’s Word is being proclaimed.
If a person comes to church to do anything other than hear God’s Word, it becomes idolatry.
The Spirit must be present in order that the teacher can be used to advance the will of the Father. A teacher must recognize the evidence of God’s presence in order to teach well. Jesus’s own ministry was not independent of the Father and of the Holy Spirit.
After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them.
Then Jesus replied, “I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing, and He will show Him greater works that these so that you will be amazed.
2 John 1:9
Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son.
God is a teacher. It is the very character and nature of God.
Then the Lord spoke to you from the fire. You kept hearing the sound of the words, but didn’t see a form; there was only a voice. He declared His covenant to you. He commanded you to follow the Ten Commandments, which He wrote on two stone tablets. At that time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to follow in the land you are about to cross into and possess.
This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.
They have turned their backs to Me and not their faces. Though I taught them time and time again, they do not listen and receive discipline.
The instruction that we receive is to help us in obedience and to follow and live according to His will. That, ultimately, is what is best for us.
Jesus’s teaching is to help us to see something far greater from His instruction than just mere words.
The police answered, “No man ever spoke like this!”