John 16:32 is a passage that was fulfilled shortly after this statement was made. Matt. 26:56 says that all the disciples forsook him, and fled. John 18 reveals to us a relationship that enabled John to follow Jesus closely as He was led away to Annas. It also reveals to us that Peter followed at a distance and even stood at the fire of the servants and officers and denied Jesus.
John 21 gives us a transition from a church with a visible present leader to one without a visible present leader. Peter said, “I go a fishing,” the others said, “We also go with thee.” A Church without a leader is a scattered willful Church. When Jesus appeared on the sea shore, he re-enforced leadership and direction by giving instruction. Acts 1:4 is that instruction to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father which Jesus had revealed to them in John 16. This is the promise of the Paraclete. This Holy Spirit had not yet descended upon the Church because Jesus had not ascended into heaven yet, but the time was close. Jesus said once again in verse 8, they will receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon them.
Acts 1:9 reveals the ascension of Lord to sit on the right hand of God.
It is time for a church business meeting. Acts 1:12-26 records a business meeting where Judas was replaced as an apostle by Matthias where all the Church members were gathered together and voted in this business meeting. Notice the requirements given to be an apostle. We have the baptism of John as a requirement and the person chosen had to be with them from the time Jesus was with them.
I had a woman ask me one time if I believed in the “five fold ministry.” I told her I didn’t know what the “five fold ministry” was. She mentioned an apostle as one of the “five fold ministry.” My reply, the requirement of an apostle according to Acts chapter one was; they had been baptized by John the Baptist and been with Jesus when He walked the earth. I would love to meet some one that old. That ended that conversation when she got very angry.
The Church is gathered in the upper room where 120 church members were gathered, they had a prayer meeting and then a business meeting. To be continued.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,” Psalm 1:1.
The three postures—walking, standing and sitting—cover most of our lives. We rarely think of a person we respect in terms of small incidents, rather, we have a generic, all-encompassing attitude about that person’s walk in life. For example, my mother was a hard-working nurse who would storm the gates of hell for her five children. But, I always thought of her as soft and understanding. I could look at her work-worn hands and they preached a life of suffering from the ravages of childhood polio. Her walk and her stand on any matter were bold and clear, no shades of gray. In her presence, one just knew he had to comply with righteous standards. At the same time, because of a lifetime of suffering, one knew mercy and patience were available in any situation.
God’s Word teaches that a Christian’s life is to be like a perfume. It leaves an essence that reflects his whole character. Even after the person is gone, the world knows that it is a better place because the person passed through on his walk to his Father’s house.
In the days when Englishmen kept daily journals, a member of parliament took the day off to carry his neglected son fishing. The outing was fraught with difficulties, and the father entered in his journal, “Today I took my son fishing, the worst day of my life.” The son entered into his journal, “Today my dad took me fishing, the grandest day of my life.” All of our small incidents in life add up to one generic character that people remember.
IN OTHER WORDS
A tree planted by the river brings forth much fruit, especially if it is the River of Life.
Author: Wiiliam Andrew Dillard
Several decades ago I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room when a mother with two small boys came in. All attention was riveted on one boy who had a fishing lure with grab hook in it in his mouth with two of the hoods penetrating his lip and jaw. Later I learned that his story was this: “My brother and I were playing fishing and it was my turn to be the fish!” Painful? Oh yes! A little humorous? Indeed! Needless to say hooks in his jaw rendered him totally ready for medical help.
Perhaps the illustration is a little crude, but in Ezekiel 38:4, God says of Gog, the chief prince of Mesheck and Tubal that He would put hooks into his jaws to bring him forth, an exceeding great army. Moreover, in verse 16 God says that it is He Who brings Gog down against His people in the end time of the age, so that God may be sanctified by the nations; that they might know Him.
This is so reminiscent of what God did in Egypt in the days of the Hebrew Exodus. It was God Who hardened the heart of Pharaoh that the plagues might continue upon the Egyptians, and that He might be acknowledged by them that He is GOD! The world may choose to ignore God, but He will be sanctified in them. He is the Creator whether the world wants to acknowledge that or not. The day comes when they will do so to the man.
It is interesting to note that some of the greatest military and political minds that are given to strategy now acknowledge Putin as the meanest, most resolved, headstrong, and powerful leaders in the world, stopping at nothing to get what he wants. In recent days, the world has stood by while his forces simply marched in and claimed Crimea of the Ukraine. The prediction now is that he will not stop there since there is no resolve among the nations to seriously challenge him. They see him taking all of Ukraine eventually, and then for some reason that is not presently clear, most likely political, he will make his move on Israel. The sea merchants and young lions (western nations) will say, “Are you come down to take a spoil….. verse 13. Perhaps, they will once again threaten to close his western bank accounts! But is this to be lamented? Let Christians be biblically literate and wise. God Himself is doing this. He is putting hooks in the jaws of Gog. He will be sanctified of the heathen. Some bible scholars see this as a pre-Armageddon battle. Others think it is Armageddon. It is difficult to see this as clearly as one would like, but the greater picture shines through powerfully. Nations have forgotten and ignored the very idea of the Creator God. In time, He will put hooks in the jaws of Gog, and He will be sanctified of the heathen. The wise realize they do not know all things, and they are very slow to make definitive predictions or judgments. Rather they keep these things in their heart and ponder them as they coalesce the wonders of the Holy Word.