Will You Enter Into the Truth?
Jesus wants all men to enter into this truth – that Jesus died to sin once, for all mankind. “For the death that He(Christ) died, He died to sin once for all” (Romans 6:10). For this reason, Christ condemned sin in sinful man, so that the righteous requirement of the law would be fully met in us. All this was accomplished through Christ’s shed blood on the cross; His finished work which He undertook willingly, on our behalf. The Apostle Paul said, “He (speaking of Jesus) condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3 & 4).
Concerning Christ’s resurrection power and the righteous requirements of the law that had already been met on his behalf, the Apostle Paul also said, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
Again, when speaking about Paul’s thorn in the flesh, which so troubled him, Jesus said, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for My ‘strength’ (translated ‘dunamis’, meaning ‘force’ (literally or figuratively); specially, ‘miraculous power’ (usually by implication, a miracle itself):—‘ability’, ‘abundance’, ‘meaning’, ‘might’(-ily, -y, deed), (worker of) ‘miracle’(-s),‘power’, ‘strength’, ‘violence’, ‘mighty’ (wonderful) ‘work’) is made perfect in weakness.’ ‘Therefore (this was now the Apostle Paul speaking) most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the ‘power’ (again, translated ‘dunamis’) of Christ may rest upon (‘tent upon’, i.e. (figuratively) ‘abide with’ :—‘rest upon’) me’” (2 Corinthians 12:9). (See Strong’s Concordance).
- Christ’s power was sufficient to do that which Paul could not do for himself!
- This is the resurrection power and promise of Christ on our behalf!
Hardened Hearts will not Receive the Truth
Sadly, rather than receiving this truth, the pharisees sought to come to God on their own terms. They sought to justify themselves rather than being willing to come to God through the truth. For Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
- Like the Pharisees, there are those who question rather than obeying.
- There are those who speak against the truth of the word of the Lord.
Oftentimes, what God reveals to His prophets is misinterpreted, disbelieved, or misunderstood because man has hardened his heart and is not ready or willing to receive the truth. The Lord told the prophet Isaiah, to go to the people of Israel saying, “Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed’” (Isaiah 6:9 & 10, NIV).
Isaiah asked, “’For how long, Lord?’ And He answered: ‘Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land’” (Isaiah 6:11-13, NIV).
The Lord was creating a remnant!
In the Book of Acts, Luke the physician testified of the Apostle Paul who spoke to the Jewish Leaders in Rome. “And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken (by Paul), and some disbelieved. So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: ‘The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: ‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ Therefore let it be known to you that the Salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!’ And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves’” (Acts 28:24-29, NKJV).
Be Careful How You Hear
Three of Christ’s disciples in the New Testament Gospels testified to this truth, that seeing they would not perceive; and hearing they would not understand. In the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew being translated ‘Maththaios’ in the Greek, meaning ‘gift of Jehovah’) Mark and Luke, the disciples testified, that when the disciples heard the parable which Jesus spoke concerning the seed of the Sower and the Kingdom of heaven (see Mathew 13:3, Mark 4:3, Luke 8:5), they asked Jesus as to why He spoke to the people in parables. Jesus replied, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them’” (Mark 4:11 & 12).
“To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand’”(Luke 8:10)
“He (Jesus) answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand”.(Matthew 13:11-13)
- It is significant that they did not understand!
- It is not too hard to believe!
- It is not too hard to understand!
- He said it plainly for all concerned!
When Jesus was questioned by Annas the high priest about His disciples and His doctrine, it became plain for all to see. Jesus, answering him, said, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing” (John 18:20). This word ‘secret’ is translated ‘concealed’, i.e. private: —‘hid(-den’), ‘inward’(-ly), ‘secret’ (see Strong’s Concordance). Jesus was declaring, that His message of Salvation – that He alone is our Salvation and the light of the world, was declared openly and plainly for all to see. To clarify this, when describing the error of their ways (of those who would not believe), Jesus had previously said, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light” (Mark 4:21 & 22).
Jesus was also warning His disciples, to be careful how they heard. For if they heard by the Spirit of God, they would hear what He wanted them to hear and would understand what He wanted them to understand. But if they heard out of their own bias or by their own carnal wisdom (by the wisdom of man), even the understanding they thought that they had, would be taken away from them. It is exactly the same for disciples of Jesus today. Following on from these terms, Jesus then said to them, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear”. Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (Mark 4:23-25).
Similarly, the Gospel of Luke also testified of how Jesus warned His disciples to be careful how they heard. Again saying, that if they did not hear correctly (through the spiritual discernment that comes from God), even what they seemed to have (what was of their own understanding rather than from God) would be taken away from them. “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him” (Luke 8:16-18).
By the Spirit, not Self—Effort
In the passage above, Jesus was speaking of the hidden wisdom that comes from God; the word of God spoken in a mystery. The Apostle Paul, when speaking of the power of the resurrected Christ, said, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:4-8).
Again, Paul spoke of that which must be spiritually discerned, or that which no man can understand without first yielding to the Holy Spirit of God. Quoting again from the Book of Isaiah, Paul said, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’(see Isaiah 64:4). But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the (Holy) Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that He may instruct Him?’ (see Isaiah 40:13). But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
This same principle of abundant living is used again in the Gospel of Matthew. When describing the wicked and lazy servant in the parable of the talents (referring to the Kingdom of God and the second coming of Christ), to the unprofitable servant who buried his talent, his master said, “You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:26-30).
The Choice is Yours
Jesus is not being an unrighteous judge or a harsh task master here when speaking this way. He loves His people and he longs for all men to hear His voice, to understand His ways, to return to him and to turn from their wicked ways. In the gospel of Matthew, he continues to explain why they lacked understanding of His parables—because they had forsaken His ways! Again when quoting from Isaiah 6:9 & 10 Jesus said, “and in them (those who had refused to hear) the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that i should heal them” (Matthew 13:14 & 15).
The power of the gospel has been made plain for all to see – but each one of us has a choice – to believe in Christ and to believe in His words – or to refuse him.
Again, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said to His disciples, “but blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:16 & 17).
Reiterating again what was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, the Apostle John said, “But although He (speaking of Jesus Christ) had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ (see Isaiah 53:1) Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ (See Isaiah 6:10). These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him” (John 12:37-41).
Because of the people’s constant rebellion and their foolishness in worshipping idols made by men’s hands, Isaiah said, “They do not know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand” (Isaiah 44:18).
Through the Prophet Zechariah, when pleading with the next generation who were rebuilding the temple of God, but whose fathers’ had hardened their hearts to the Lord, the Lord had said, Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.” ’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the Lord” (Zechariah 1:3 & 4).
Today, the Lord says in your hearing, “Return to Me and I will return to you, you backsliders in heart.”
God Speaks to us Through Dreams
Sometimes, what the Lord reveals to us is hard to understand because God has purposely blinded man’s eyes for a season, in order for His purposes to be fulfilled. At various times in my own ministry, and for His intended purposes, the Lord has begun to reveal to me certain things through dreams. Although not all dreams originate from the Spirit of God, so that we do need to be very discerning: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1); “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22); many dreams do come from God, but not always in a way that we can fully understand at the time. One day, when I was speaking to the Lord about my frustration concerning this, He clearly said to me, “Too hard to understand does not mean too hard to pray.” I believe the Lord was instructing me at this time, to continue to pray in faith and to be steadfast, regardless of what I did or did not yet understand, and to trust that He would continue to work out His purposes and His plans on my behalf.
- No matter what comes to pass, we need to always be watchful in prayer, continually moving forward and continually looking to Jesus until he comes again.
- For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and of His government there shall be no end!
Be Watchful in Prayer!
Jesus warned His disciples regarding His imminent return, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:42-51).
Jesus also said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:32-37).
Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You love us and that You have called us according to Your eternal purposes by Your grace. Give us discerning hearts so that we will hear what You want us to hear. Help us to be steadfast and to be watchful in prayer; not looking backward, but continually moving forward; being obedient to do all that You ask us to do. May we not be like those who will be found sleeping upon Your return, but may we be found actively serving You, fulfilling Your purposes until Your return. In the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ our Messiah (Yeshua Hamashiach) we pray, Amen.”