June 1, 2013
Notes from Pastor Don’s Friday Bible study – May 31, 2013
John 13:1-4 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
We looked at the evil that was put into Judas Iscariot’s heart in a parallel passage
Luke 22:1-3 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.
We believe some things in error. We think that, if we are born again, we can’t be oppressed or possessed by the devil. Sometimes in the midst of interpersonal conflicts we go off on people, argue, and get offended. We then attribute it to personality.
For the most part, Bible people are easy to get along with. But even ones that are easy to get along with can get on our last nerve.
Satan can use moments of weakness to put the demonic into a person.
The demoniac of the Gadarenes is an example. Judas Iscariot opened himself up to this.
Even Peter, whom we love, Jesus identified as having a devil – Remember when Jesus was expressing his divine calling and assignment and He talked about how he was going to go to the Cross, Peter chastised Jesus and told him not to do this? Jesus told Peter, “Get the behind me, satan.”
When we think we are speaking in righteousness, we may not be; we may be saying what the devil wants us to say.
In church, when someone disagrees or offends us, we attribute it to they’re working with the devil.
Some battles of the flesh are just battles of the flesh and have nothing to do with demons.
It becomes demonic when the end of the matter is not resolved, when it is unreasonable behavior, when there is spiritual blindness.
We bring the devil into our interpersonal relationships far too much.
Galatians 5 talks about things of the Spirit and things of the flesh.
Galatians 5:19-26 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Unkindness might be just a bad behavior, but if it becomes oppressive or aggressive it may be a demon taking it up to a new level.
Too many people attribute the spirit to things fleshly, when there is nothing of the spirit in an action. We take an action and ascribe a spiritual purpose to it.
Someone asked: Can satan gain entry into a person without their willful assistance?
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
Pastor Don pointed out that Judas was one of these seventy that went out two by two. God (Jesus) brilliantly sent out the seventy to be publicity agents. Evangelizing an area before Jesus came, so that the hearts of the people in these places were prepared to receive Jesus.
Luke 10:2-3 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.
Matthew 10:1-4 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
In all passages of Scripture they mention Judas betrayed Jesus, but in this passage it is important to realize that Judas is included in the twelve – the same twelve that were sent out to do the miracles that Jesus did. He hadn’t betrayed Jesus yet.
In Luke 10:2 (see above) Judas is one of those sent out.
Luke 10:17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
When it mentions that even the demons were subject to them – this includes Judas – the demons were subject to Judas.
Someone asked how could Judas be so deceived by satan.
All of us are subject to the situation of Judas when we are under demonic influence. We can feel Justified of God. We can love God, go to church, do good works, and then in some season of our life we open the door where darkness takes control – often in the area of our emotions, for a season. For some this lasts a second, a moment, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime. We get led into behavior where the demonic influences.
Judas was weak in the area of greed – he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, which in today’s economy would have been a huge sum. He also was politically extremely to the left, wanting revolution and the overthrowing of the Roman government. He expected Jesus to bring the revolution, to create a war against the empire. He was a political zealot.
Judas had greed for money, position, and power. Judas realized that Jesus was not going to start a violent revolution or murder Romans. So Judas figured he might as well make money off the Romans since Jesus wasn’t going to get what he wanted done.
For all we know, he figured that if the Romans came after Jesus that maybe Jesus would have reacted against that and started the revolution Judas wanted. He wanted Jesus to say that He was the Son of God, and wanted Him to show His power.
So Judas figured You’re not going to show the power the way I want you to, I’ll get a revolution.
Now there are times when people act in ways that we think are demonic, but they are not.
One day Agabus came up to Paul, bound Paul’s hands with his belt and then prophesied to Paul that this was what the Romans were going to do to Paul. God showed Agabus what would happen. Pastor Don said that some in the church would have been aghast that Agabus did this to PAUL – the one who wrote most of the New Testament, the leader of the church.
The hardest thing to learn in the Church is how to be under someone’s authority. And the problem is increased because there are many in the clergy that haven’t examined their position. They are expressing opinions, not Biblical truths. Pastor Don has promised that what he teaches is of the Bible. If we have a question about a teaching, we can respectfully ask him to show us where it is written in the Word.
Sometimes people, in a given circumstance or situation, confront the demonic and go through it, getting past the attack. The devil knows our weakness. Some people come away from such a confrontation with a revelation of how to get past it. For example, with Peter, Jesus took him aside and told him to “Feed my sheep.”
Some people spend a lifetime in a struggle with the demonic and they are not free from the attacks until they are in their Resurrection bodies.
Some struggle and have victories and setbacks.
Someone asked what made the difference between Peter and Judas.
Pastor Don replied that, when Peter sinned, he felt genuine remorse. He did not reject Jesus. He did not flee from the congregation. He went toward Jesus. He repented. He stayed with the disciples.
Judas decided not to struggle with the demonic. He fled from the disciples and the Lord. He did not repent. He chose to kill himself.
In the New Testament Judas was the one identified to be the person to betray Jesus. This action was known before the beginning of time.
He blasphemed the Lord. He knew who Jesus was, he was fully functional in the things of the Spirit, and he betrayed and rejected Jesus.
Pastor Don said that what Judas did was something we would not be able to do. Most Christians do not qualify in ALL the things that constitute the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit – the criterion is listed in Hebrews chapter 6.
Jesus preached and hundreds of people followed him. When Judas’ position was vacated, the disciples chose someone to fulfill his role. The criterion was that they were with Jesus from the beginning and witnessed his death, burial, and resurrection. The selection was between Matthias (who won) and Barsabbas.
The two disciples on the Road to Emmaus were chosen because they also had full knowledge of Jesus and His teachings.
In the upper room were 120 (both men and women – so that the sons and daughters would prophesy).
Jesus ministered to hundreds of people who followed Him and knew His teachings. Of those there was then the circle of the twelve, and the inner circle disciples – Peter, James, and John.
Hebrews 6 gives full criterion for the Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Notice, these are ELEMENTARY principles of Christ. Many churches have not practiced some of these things and that is how the church today has gotten into error. They do not act on these unchangeable, solid principles.
Repent from dead works – salvation is NOT by works. We are given the free gift of salvation by the work Jesus did on the Cross – not by any good works that we do on our own. We can’t earn our salvation. We do good works in response to the fantastic gift of salvation that Jesus gave us. Our works won’t make Jesus love us more, won’t influence God to decide on salvation for us. Jesus already took care of our salvation at great price.
When we think that what we do can help us gain salvation it then our salvation seems to be dependent on us – when in reality, salvation depends on Jesus Christ.
Someone asked how can we discern what is a true good work verses one that is a flesh based good work.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
True good works arise from salvation. It is possible to do good works for an evil purpose. If my faith is in God, we won’t be doing good works to earn Heaven. Good works can mask our real purpose and desire. For example, King Herod, built the temple to impress the Israelites, but he killed the prophet (John the Baptist) when the prophet told Herod what Herod did not want to hear.
The new world religion will try to form a salvation based on works.
We are to preach the Gospel, our faith is in Him, and we are to obey ALL HIS COMMANDS, not just the ones we agree with.
Pastor Don gave us a few measures to use to decide the motive of our good works. Are we under authority? Is it directed by the man or woman of God that we are placed under? Is it in line with God’s Kingdom plan?
The next question to ask ourselves about our works is – do I love God and am I trusting in Him for my salvation?
Remember the criminal on the cross – who just said, “Lord, remember me.” He did not justify his actions. He did not ask for perks, he just wanted Jesus.
No matter how things turn out, I’m trusting Jesus.
Someone else suggested, are we willing to do our acts in secret, with no recognition?
Back to Hebrews, Chapter six.
It says that the elementary principles include baptisms (there are more than one), laying on of hands (many churches never do that), resurrection of the dead (wow – that is elementary!!!), and eternal judgment.
Today there is a dangerous teaching in the church that all will be saved. The new world religion does not want eternal judgment, they are preaching that all will be saved and salvation depends on works.
We went back to what constitutes the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 6:3-6 And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
1) enlightened (they know stuff)
2) tasted the heavenly gift (Jesus)
3) have become partakers of the Holy Spirit (signs, wonders, works of the Holy Spirit, function in the gifts, followed leadership of the Holy Spirit)
4) tasted the good word of God (the Bible)
5) and the powers of the age to come (end times prophesy)
if they fulfill ALL these things, and fall away from God – turn their back to Jesus, it is impossible for them to be renewed to repentance – because Jesus died ONCE for our sins. If we accepted His death for our sins and we reject it, then we can’t say – oh, I changed my mind.
Pastor Don pointed out that a person who is suffering, hurting, for example has lost a loved one or faced some major issues in their life, and they say, “I hate God, or reject God,” is not guilty of blaspheme of the Holy Spirit. God looks on the hearts of people and knows when we are speaking from pain. This blaspheme would only apply to someone who was advanced in their faith – such as Judas who cast out demons, walked with Jesus, knew His teachings, knew who He was and then rejected him.
There are many churches today who are coming across as user friendly, but people are not coming to churches looking for user friendly, they’re looking for the Lord.
John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,
The devil put it in Judas’ heart – God knows our hearts.
The most important thing is that your love of the Lord is greater than your works and your theology. Love the Lord and trust in Him. That nullifies our shortcomings.
John 13:6-7 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
It is okay not to get it all clear from the start, just obey God, and He will straighten us out on those things we do not understand. We may not understand everything Jesus is doing, but we’ll trust Him.
Even people we don’t like are put in our life because we have something that they need. Ask, God, what do You want? Do you want to do the work of God or your work? Get in the service of God and do what needs to be done. If we don’t want to do it in the flesh, do it as unto the Lord.
I hope these notes bless you.