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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 20:27-47

 

“Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.  There were therefore seven brothers:  and the first took a wife, and died without children.  And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.  And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died.  Last of all the woman died also.  Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.  And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:  but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:  neither can they die any more:  for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.  Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living:  for all live unto him.  Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.  And after that they durst not ask him any questions at all.  And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son?  And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.  David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?  Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers:  the same shall receive greater damnation.”

 

“…opportunities that are in front of us right now, with the Harvest Crusade, and so many people being saved, and I think of Paul saying there was an open door set before them, and part of their ministry.  And with that adversaries, but an open door, great opportunity I think.  Right now we’re seeing a tremendous opportunity in so many ways.  Hopefully it is overflowing into all of your lives, and overflowing from your lives to the people you work with, and you study with, and that you spend time with.  Hopefully the love of Christ is being shed abroad from your hearts to your relatives and to your friends, very important time, very important time [even more important, 16 years later, as the “king of the south” is forming up from Tunisia through Egypt, presently].  Let’s pray as we continue this evening in Luke chapter 20.  ‘Father we settle our hearts before you, as we continue Lord.  Thank you that we can gather in a public building and sing your praises, Lord, lift our voices, and place our children in Sunday school rooms and they’re clean and, Lord, there’s air conditioning.  Thank you for the ushers and the security people in the parking lot Lord, that help us be at ease, Lord, and so many that are serving in so many different ways Father, we thank you for the great opportunity you’ve given us.  But Lord we don’t want to just come, and then leave the same way, in the same condition that we were in when we arrived, Lord, we pray that while we’re here you would change us, eternally, Lord, that you would grant to us Lord, as we’re gathered here, a fresh filling of your Holy Spirit, Father.  We think of how you took the 120 Lord, on Pentecost in the upper room, and changed the world.  Lord, we lift our hearts this evening for a fresh filling, Lord, a fresh unction of your Spirit, Lord, draw us, Lord, in a new way to yourself.  Lord, we are desperate, Lord.  The world around us is, Lord, playing on all of our fleshly desires, Lord, continually.  We are in need, Lord, of you, to open our vision, Lord, that we might see Jesus, we might set our affections on things above, not things of the earth, and Father, that you would take our dull hearts, Father, and re-invigorate them, Lord, that we might sense the leading of your Spirit, that your Word would be alive unto us, Lord Jesus, that we would find you, Lord.  Not just talk about you, Lord, not just read about you, Lord, that we would find you Lord, not because of anything we’ve done, but because Lord you have been gracious to us, because of yourself to us Lord, because we have placed before you, Lord, our own utter dependence.  Lord Jesus, be in our midst, as we study, as we finish this evening, as people are asked to make a commitment to Christ, Lord, as we go our separate ways, Lord, ignite a fresh flame in our hearts, Lord.  Burn away the dross, Lord, of our compromise, complacency.  We look to you, Lord Jesus.  We believe that we are praying according to your will, and now we are utterly dependent Lord on you, to give, to give forth yourself, Lord.  We trust that’s your good pleasure, we pray Lord, be with us now as we study, in Jesus name, amen.’

 

The Sadducees Try To Entrap Jesus

 

Luke chapter 20, we are at verse 27.  It is the Passover week coming up.  It is a time when the sacrifices are being examined by the priests.  And Jesus Christ himself, the Lamb of God, daily in the Temple precincts, being examined by the Pharisees, by the scribes, by the religious leaders, that they might find some spot, or some blemish in him.  But how remarkable each discourse is, as we watch Jesus wading through their questions, passing through their midst, answering all of their criticisms, tearing down all of their arguments.  This evening he is approached by the Sadducees, verse 27.  “Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection;”---Acts chapter 23, verse 8 tells us they didn’t believe in the resurrection, that they didn’t believe in angels, that they didn’t believe in spirits.  That’s why they’re Sad-U-See, verse 28 saying---“and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.”  The Leverite, Leverite means “the husband’s brother”, that’s what the word means.  Deuteronomy chapter 25, in Israel, if you were to marry, and you were to die without a son, the Law said that the nearest brother then, was to go and to marry the widow of his brother and raise up children, and that the first-born son would take the name of his dead father.  That way, not only the family, and the heritage, the lineage, the inheritance, the allotment of land was being protected, it’s God’s land that’s being protected.  In that way the land isn’t given to a heathen, to an unbeliever, to another nation, to those that would surround them.  So, in God’s design there was this principle in the Law, that if I were to die without any children, that my nearest, my brother was then to marry my wife, and raise up children to me.  And the oldest son, the firstborn son would take my name and my inheritance.  If the brother refused, it says, then that wife could take him to the gate of the city, where the elders sat, and she would take off one of his sandals, and spit in his face.  But then he would be released from marrying his brother’s wife.  So if you saw a guy limping home with one bare foot and a wet face, you would know what was going on, I guess.  And the Sadducees, because they don’t believe in the resurrection, they don’t believe in angels, they are placing before Jesus a ridiculous situation, we’re going to see, as we read through it, a hypothetical situation, in their minds proving the resurrection and the idea of resurrection is foolishness.  “If a man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.  There were therefore seven brethren:  and the first took a wife, and died without children.  And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.  And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also:”---I’d have been suspicious if I was around number five or six---
“and they left no children, and died.  Last of all the woman died also.”
So there is justice in all of this [laughter].  Where’s the FDA when you need them?  [Bad cooking]  “Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.” (verses 28-33)

 

The World Is Filled With Modern-day Sadducees

 

So, Jesus is being faced by the Sadducees.  They are asking a hypothetical question, trying to prove that resurrection is a non-reality.  They held the first five books of the Bible in great esteem, and they held the Prophets and the Historical books and the Poetic books in much less of a degree of seriousness.  They really leaned on the Torah, the Sadducees, the first five books [Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy].  They were, amongst the religious leaders of Israel, “the liberals.”  They didn’t believe in spirits, they didn’t believe in angels, they didn’t believe in resurrection.  They believed in the moral law, and they supposedly believed that should govern your life morally.  But because they didn’t believe in the hereafter, they didn’t believe in heaven, they were immoral, they were famous for having many wives and mistresses.  They were in cahoots with the Romans.  They were “politically correct.”  They were those who were steeped in “brain worship.”  That is, that anything that didn’t fit within the confines of their own intellect they mocked.  Because they couldn’t understand it, it couldn’t be real.  So they made fun of angels and spirits and the resurrection, because they worshipped only that which they could understand with their own minds.  And the world is filled with people like that today.  They worshipped only that which they could understand, and if they can’t understand it, it doesn’t exist.  Don’t you know people like that?  You try to explain something to them, and because they don’t understand, because you can’t prove it the way they want it proved, they make fun of you like you’re an idiot for believing what you believe.  But because there was not that sense of accountability of the hereafter, of heaven [literally, the kingdom of heaven], it had a great impact on how loosely they lived and how immoral they were, and their attitude towards money and towards material gain and this present world, and compromising with the political powers of the day.  And they lay out then this ridiculous question.  People do the same thing today.  ‘If the resurrection is real, and you received an organ transplant, in the resurrection, whose liver will that be?’  Well, come on, people are out there, thinking that way.  An old reformer, in New England, in the 1700s, Roger Williams, died, was buried in a cemetery.  A huge apple tree grew near his burial place.  When they exhumed his body, that apple tree put out a root that went through the top of the coffin, down through the top of his head, curled around his spine, and it was there all around the skeleton, what was left of Roger Williams. Well of course, what that meant was, a lot of Roger Williams was absorbed by the root of that tree, went up into that tree, and became apple pie, kids running by ate Roger Williams.  Now, in the resurrection what happens?  You’re eaten by a shark, you’re a Christian (God forbid).  In the resurrection, what happens?  And people do the same thing today, they make fun of what they can’t understand. 

 

“You Neither Know The Scripture Nor The Power Of God”

 

‘And in the resurrection, whose wife will she be?’  “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world [“age” literally] marry, and are given in marriage:  but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”  ‘Neither can they die anymore…’ I like that.  (verses 34-36)  Now, he’s made sure to put angels in there, resurrection in there, everything those Sadducees don’t like, he’s including in his answer.  “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living:  for all live unto him.” (verses 37-38) Now he gives them this answer.  I like what  Matthew and Mark add, “Jesus said unto them, You know neither the Scripture nor the power of God.”  That’s the way he begins to answer the question.  Very important, and I think so true today, of those who mock the resurrection, those who make fun of spiritual things, they make fun of you, that you’re a ‘born-again.’  We went downtown today and visited some places that do social work and feed the poor and hungry, through the ‘bad-lands,’ and we looked at some things.  And one of the places we talked to, which are not fundamental or evangelical, said, ‘Oh yeah, that place across the street, that’s a bunch of Bible-thumpers over there, and they believe that drug addicts’ lives can be changed without the kind of thing we do.’  And finally one of the guys came out and said ‘Well, what are you, evangelizers or something?’  We just, we knew where we were…there are people that see what we believe as ridiculous.  And Jesus gives them this answer, saying ‘Well your problem is first of all, you don’t know the Scripture and the power of God.’  Now, I went to church for years and didn’t know the Scripture.  I wasn’t even saved.  I went to church, did not know at all the Scripture.  Recently I grabbed some old quotations from Ann Landers.  You know, you get around people and you try to share your faith, and they’re like ‘Well, you know the Good Book says,’ and then you don’t know what you’re in for.  ‘God helps those who help themselves.’  No, the Good Book don’t say that, as a matter of fact.  Or they say ‘You know the golden rule,’ and they all have a different one.  The golden rule is ‘He who has the gold rules.’  That’s a golden rule.  They all give you something different for the golden rule.  Nobody really knows what it is, but it’s one of those.  Well she wrote down over the years, humourous answers that people gave to Bible questions that were close, but no banana.  “Who was Noah’s wife?  Joan of Ark.”  [loud laughter]  Some of these are good.  Now, we’re going to make a point with this, so bear with me.  You know, ‘You don’t know the Scripture nor the power of God.’  “What was Lot’s wife famous for?  She was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.”  [loud laughter]  “Where did Moses receive the Ten Commandments?  On top of Mount Cyanide”  “Joshua led the battle of Geritol” one person had written in.  “The people who followed Jesus were his decibels.”  Sounds like a sound-tech cult beginning to me, I don’t know.  “The Epistles, what were they?  The wives of the Apostles.”  King David fought against the Finklesteins, a race of people in Biblical times.”  “The Bible says a Christian should only have one wife, that is called monotony.”  [loud laughter, clapping]  Now I say that to say this, a serious questionnaire asked of Evangelicals, 40 percent could not name the four Gospels, 60 percent could not say, for sure, who preached the Sermon on the Mount.  In a response to questions asked of ten thousand mainline Protestant pastors, these are the answers.  ‘Was Jesus borne of a virgin?”  Over 50 percent of the ministers said “No.”  “Was Jesus the Son of God?”  80 percent of the ministers said “No.”  “Is the Bible the inspired Word of God?”  Over 80 percent of the ministers said “No.”  “Do you believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus?”  Over 36 percent said “No.”  Jesus would say the same thing to the Sadducees that fill our land today.  ‘Your first problem is you don’t know the Scripture, know the Scripture.’  What a privilege to have a Bible, to be able to read it.  ‘Secondly, you don’t know the power of God.’  Now, wonderfully, we know the power of God, we believe the first verse of the Bible, we believe God created the heavens and the earth.  Creation, we embrace it, we believe in the virgin birth, we believe in the inspiration of Scripture.  We believe in the resurrection, we believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, how wonderful.  And we see so many wonderful things happen.  But, you know, I know in my own life, I long for a greater experience of the power of God.  He says to them, “The children of this age marry, and they are given in marriage:  but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:  In contrast to the next age, and the Sadducees didn’t believe in the next age.  In the resurrection you’re not going to be married.  You’re wife says to you, ‘Honey, will we know each other?’  Well of course, we’ll know each other, we’re not dumber in heaven [in the kingdom of heaven] than they are on earth, we’ll know each other.  Are we married, well there’s no sense, in heaven [the kingdom of heaven, which will end up on earth, cf. Revelation 21:1-23]. 

 

Why We Have A Saviour And The Angels Don’t

 

On earth there is procreation, there is generation after succeeding generation.  In the kingdom of heaven we’ll be like the angels.  A fixed number was created in one day.  That’s why when Satan, and the angels that went with him [cf. Revelation 12:1-3] in rebellion against God, were judged, they were damned forever, there’s no Saviour, there’s no salvation, there’s no returning back for them, because every one of them as an individual made a choice in the light of God’s presence.  But for you and I, for human beings, succeeding generation after succeeding generation produced through marriage, matrimony, and for you and I in every age, because sin entered into the world through one man, and the Bible says God is just, therefore forgiveness and eternal life come to the whole race through One Man, that’s Jesus Christ.  Because here you and I are born in, you know, 1950, 1960, 1970, and we can say, ‘Well, it wasn’t our fault that Adam sinned, we weren’t even there.’  That’s right!  That’s why there’s a Saviour for human beings, and there’s not one for angels. 

 

The Resurrections

 

But in the resurrection, he says, and it’s the resurrection from the dead, not “of the dead”, this always threw the religious leaders for a loop, because it’s eknekron, the resurrection out from among the dead, which is a strange idea to the Jewish leader, because he thinks that there’s just one resurrection, a general resurrection.  [Comment:  They. The Jews, get this from their Scriptures, the Tenach, in Ezekiel 37:1-14, the Valley of Dry Bones prophecy, which they take literally, as it should be taken.  The Jews therefore take what is to be the second resurrection, as their first resurrection.  How does this all fit in.?  There are various beliefs how it does.  See:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm to view some of these beliefs.]  Daniel chapter 12, the resurrection of the just coming into the presence of God, and the resurrection of the damned, and they thought it all happened at one time.  No, the New Testament begins to reveal this idea of the eknekron, the resurrection out from among the dead, that there will be those when Christ comes that are raised out from among the dead.  And there will also be the dead that lay in their graves until the Great White Throne Judgment, which [he believes] is a judgment of damnation.  There are two categories, the first resurrection, and the second resurrection. Jesus talks about those who will be accounted worthy to be part of the first resurrection.  That is central in what he’s saying here.  ‘Will you be accounted worthy, to be part of the first resurrection?’  ‘Will you be saved, when you enter death?’ 

 

You Have To Begin Your Relationship With God On This Side Of The Grave

 

You know, because the Bible is clear, you have to begin your relationship with God on this side of the grave.  You have to make your peace with God on this side of the grave, so that when you enter through the veil of death, and you open your eyes in resurrection, you have a relationship with him through the blood of Christ, and you enter into the kingdom of heaven.  If you refuse a relationship with God on this side of the grave, then that’s what you will have on the other side of the grave, no relationship with God, and be sent into outer darkness. [Again, refer to that link above to see alternate beliefs on this one.]  I’ve got a family at home, I love them. What would it be, how could I expect to ignore them here, never know them, never see them, leave home my kids not knowing me, and then in the resurrection on the other side of the grave expect for them to know me.  No.  So, the question is for you and I, this evening, if we don’t know the Lord personally, are we willing to make peace with God on this side of the grave?  It’s essential.  Because Jesus says, unless you’re a Sadducee of course, and you don’t believe any of this, that’s why your Sad, You See, because you can’t live with the hope of resurrection.  The Bible talks about those that are in bondage to the fear of death their entire lives.  Because they don’t know, ‘What happens when you’re dead?  When you’re dead, you’re dead, there’s nothin’ else, or, we all enter into some ethereal place, some nirvana kind of whatever.’  Nonsense.  Well, I know somebody whose come back to tell us what’s on the other side.  And it wasn’t Houdini’s mother.  Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, clearly describing the necessity of a human being to come into a relationship with a holy God on this side of the grave.  And that can only happen as we come, admitting our need for a Saviour and for forgiveness, ‘Lord, I can’t have a relationship with you, you’re holy and I’m sinful.  So I need your forgiveness, I need a Saviour, not a guru, not a great teacher, I need a Saviour, I need someone who has taken my place, my punishment, so that I can be free to walk before you, someone who will take my sins so I can have your holiness.’  ‘Those, Jesus says, that will be accounted worthy to obtain in the next age to the resurrection from the dead, they don’t need to marry, there’s no reproduction, the need is not there like it was in this world.’  “Neither can they die anymore,  What a relief, what a wonderful thing, “for they are equal unto the angels.”  Like the angels, in a sense that they don’t need to procreate, because they are alive forevermore, and are the children of God being the children of the resurrection.  “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living:  for all live unto him.” (verses 37-38)  God said to Moses “I AM the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  God didn’t “I was the God of Abraham.”  Or “I’m going to be”, he said “I AM, I AM the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  He says “For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living:  for all live unto him.”  God proclaimed, “I AM the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”, not “I was.”  And he says he’s not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.  Now, the dead have their gods.  There are people in this world, they all have their gods, whether it’s their Ferrari, or whether it’s their career, whether it’s sexual pleasure, whether it’s money, whether it’s gambling, they bow the knee to something whether they like it or not.  And they try to make converts to their religion, even if they say they’re an atheist, they try to make converts to their religion.  The dead have their gods.  And the living have their God, period, the Lord. 

 

Jesus Stumps Them All With A Question They Can’t Answer

 

“Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.” (verse 39)  Now Matthew tells us these are Pharisees, and they’re kind of happy because Jesus beat up the Sadducees.  Because the Pharisees believed in resurrection, and they believe in angels, they believe in spirits.  The Sadducees, who were the ruling class in that day, just came to Jesus, thought they had put him on the spot, Jesus used the Torah that they embraced, and proved that there are angels, resurrection, and life after the grave.  And the Pharisees come and say ‘Hey, that was a pretty good answer, we never came up with that one when we were arguing with these guys.’  ‘A certain scribe answering said, Master, that was great answer.’    “And after that they durst not ask him any questions at allbecause he stumped everybody.  It’s his turn now.  “And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son?  And David himself saith in the Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.  David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he his son?” (verses 41-44)  ‘How say they, that the Messiah is the son of David?’  You remember a couple days before this, on Palm Sunday [actually Palm Friday], they were singing Blessed is the Son of David, who cometh in the name of the LORD,’ from Psalm 118, they were singing that.  ‘Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the LORD,’ they were signing that.  So now Jesus is asking a question, ‘How say they that the Messiah is David’s Son?’  David himself said in the book of Psalms, Psalm 110, “The LORD,” capital LORD there “said unto my Lord” ‘Yahweh said unto my Adonai, Sit thou on my right hand.’   Now, here in this text, both are Kurias, and when the Septuagint was done, which is a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, done 285 years before Christ by 72 scholars that were Hebrew scholars, they translated Yahweh throughout the Old Testament Kurias, that’s the Greek word.  And both words are the same here.  The Lord is saying ‘How do they say the Messiah is David’s Son?  David himself said in the Book of Psalms, the LORD, Kurias, said unto my Lord, Kurias, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.  David therefore calleth him Lord.  How then is he his son?’  You know, how can he be David’s Lord, and David’s son?  Because that was the thing they didn’t see.  And in a patriarchal system, no one would ever call their son lord.  That might be a title you might give in respect to the patriarch of the family, to the grandfather, the great uncle, whoever was the head of the family at that time.  But he’s saying, ‘How is it David speaks to the Lord about the Lord, the Messiah, and then calls him his son.’  Now we know, it tells us in Revelation 22, verse 17 I believe, that he is both the Root and the Offspring David.  Which means that he’s the origin of David, and he’s the issue of David, he’s the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  He is the one as the Root of David, which brought the Jewish nation into being, and brought David’s throne into prominence, and David and the tribe of Judah, and not only is he the Root of David, he is also the Offspring of David, that’s the mystery of the Incarnation, God with us, Emanuel, it’s what they didn’t see.  He was standing in their midst.  It’s why they couldn’t come up with a question that stumped him.  And I pray this evening, that some of you might sense Jesus in the midst of us.  I really do.  It tells us in the Book of Revelation that he walks in the midst of the Church [the golden candlesticks, representing each era of the Church, cf. Revelation 1].  And maybe tonight if you have never known him, maybe you’ve known religion, or you’ve known a denomination.  Well, I think it would be pretty fair to say, if you look around this room, it’s not very much like what you have known.  I mean, look at this crowd, oye, oye, oye.  Look at this mixture of people, all singing, all laughing, all crying, all smiling.  Don’t you want to know?  He’s in our midst.  He’s risen.  He’s touched out lives, he’s set us free from the fear of death.  He’s given us the hope of resurrection.  [See: http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm]  He’s revealed his Word and his power to us.  And he loves every Sadducee and every Pharisee.

 

“Beware of the Scribes”---false ministries to watch out for

 

“Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers:  the same shall receive greater damnation.” (verses 45-47)  Now by the way, there were scribes that were Pharisees, and there were scribes that were Sadducees.  The scribes are called ‘Doctors of the Law’, the scribes are called lawyers.  Not in the sense that you and I think of a lawyer, but they were doctors of the Torah, of the Jewish Law, and they were lawyers in that sense.  They were the scribes, they copied the Scripture, made copies of it.  But they also had the responsibility of making wills, if you were going to die, of legalizing your will, or making legal documents.  These guys love all the accolades of men.  They do what they do to be seen of men, to please men, “but which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers…” What hypocrisy.  “The same shall receive greater damnation.”  You know, we had people come into our church and say, ‘We want to sit down with you, and we know that you must be well organized,’  hahaha, ‘and this is how you can get the widows in your church to sign their wills over to the church, so that when they die, the church inherits the estate…’  And you know, we looked at this guy, he was lucky we were Christians, because [loud laughter], in my heart I did what I couldn’t do, I enjoyed it for a second, I had to repent.  We got rid of him fast.  They’re still around.  They send out appeal letters.  ‘I woke up this morning, the Lord woke me up at 4 o’clock, gave me your name, sister I’ve been praying for you, I know you’re lonely since your husband’s passed on.  God told me that if you send $100 to our ministry, he’s going to give you a new man.’  You know, those guys.  We had one guy that was writing to us, saying, you know he’s traveling all over the country, and we had a letter here in the church, he wrote and he said, ‘I’m praying for you, I’m working so hard, preaching so hard, I don’t, I need a new mattress, my mattress is all lumpy, and the springs are sticking out of it, and I slave for Christ, and if you’ll send me money for a new mattress, I will embroider you name on my pillow, and each night before I go to sleep I’ll see your name embroidered on my pillow, and I’ll pray for you.’  We almost sent him a mattress [loud laughter], if we weren’t so irked at the guy, making merchandize of God’s people.  And they are experts at it.  They do demographic studies, and they know that in certain areas of the country, if you send out a picture of a little child in a wheelchair, and say, ‘We need money for this and this ministry’ you get the greatest response there.  You know, in certain parts of the country, if you send out a letter and you say ‘We’re working in this orphanage,’ and you send out pictures of all these little kids that are hungry, you get the greatest response.  They are professional thieves, some of them.  [Comment:  Through this website, before I retired from my normal job, and had a little extra money, I supported a tiny orphanage located near the eastern shore of south India.  It took quite a lot of personal investigating, but I proved they were legitimate.  Through the close friendship and relationship that I formed with their leader/pastor, I learned of many scam artists right in his own region of south India, that were hocking unsuspecting people in America with letters just like Pastor Joe mentioned here.  If you’re interested in his tiny orphanage, (and it is legitimate) I feature it at: http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/sisterchurches/BlessiOrphanHome.htm.  It is so infrequent that you find an honest one, that I just had to mention this one.  The kids featured in the photographs are older now, but if you ask Siam for updated photos, I’m sure he’d send you some.]  ‘Constantly beware of those who devour widows houses, and for a show, make long prayers:  the same shall receive the greater damnation.’ 

 

Luke 21:1-4

 

Real Giving---The Proper Way To Give To God

 

“And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.  And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:  for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God:  but she of her penury  [her poverty] hath cast in all the living that she had.”  Isn’t it interesting, after Jesus warns of those that would deliberately try to bamboozle people out of their money, those who deliberately in the name of religion, in the name of God would take advantage of other people, those who love to make a show of their piety, he tells us about this poor widow.  It tells us in Mark, is says ‘that he carefully,’ is the idea ‘and continually was watching how they gave.’  Because in the center of the Temple precincts, the Court of Women was the first big court with a wall around it.  There was a sign on it that Gentiles and dogs were not allowed past that point, at the threat of death.  But in the Court of Women, the women were allowed in there, the Court of Women could hold 15,000 people at a time.  And there were thirteen silver trumpet-shaped chests for offerings to be placed in.  And Jesus is watching how the rich people came, and were putting money into the treasury, into the offerings, no doubt they were doing it to be seen.  He warns us in Matthew chapter 6, ‘when you give, don’t give like the hypocrites, because they love to be seen of men, but when you give, give in secret, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, and the Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.’  Very important for you to understand, because if you’re ever anywhere, and someone in the pulpit says, ‘I know there are five people here tonight that are going to give a thousand dollars, the Lord just spoke to me, Stand Up!  One of two things is true, either he’s a liar, or is a liar and doesn’t know it.  Either he is a liar, or he’s imitating ministry the way he grew up around it, because Jesus said, ‘When you give, don’t give like the hypocrites, don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.’ Because the hypocrites love to give to be seen of men.  When you give, you give in secret, he says.  And your Father who sees in secret, he’ll reward you openly.  Jesus is watching, sitting back, watching how these religious leaders are casting their offerings in.  And as he’s watching, it says he saw also “a certain poor”---the Greek word means “poverty stricken”---“widow”, and he knew from her garb, she had the clothing of a widow upon her, “casting in two mites.”  An eighth of a penny.  I happen to have one, widow’s mite here.  They stopped making them a couple years ago, I know.  A Jewish guy in Israel that bought buckets of them, so that he could sell them when he retired, to tourists.  They’re not the ancient ones, but they were the modern ones which they stopped minting, because they’re hardly worth anything.  The Talmud said that two mites was the least you were allowed to throw into the treasury.  You weren’t allowed to throw one mite in, had to be two mites.  And she had two.  Poor widow, poverty-stricken. It seems to me, and there’s no evidence that Jesus talked to her, or that Jesus just pointed at her to get her attention, or communicated with her.  Everyone else was giving because they wanted to be seen.  She put those two mites in, I’m sure, even with embarrassment, and didn’t want anybody to see.  That’s all she had to give.  Completely opposite.  But God watches.  And to him, no giving is insignificant.  You know, I’d really like to remind you that Thursday when we need help folding bulletins here, you think, ‘Well, I’m not a Bible teacher, and I can’t do this, and I can’t do that, and maybe all I can do is come and fold bulletins.’  No, no.  No giving is insignificant, if you do it because you love Jesus.  He sees it, and he takes note of it.  No giving is insignificant.  She’s a widow, she’s poverty-stricken, she comes, and she casts in two mites.  And Jesus says, “Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:  for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God:  but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”  Now it’s an interesting play on words there, ‘they cast in their gifts’, ‘she cast in her life.’  It’s not zoe, it’s bios or bion where we get biology from.  They cast in their gifts (verse 1) of their abundance.  She cast in her life, Jesus said.  Because he was watching not how much she gave, but the way she gave.  Here she is, in the Temple precincts, to worship the God that took her husband, and to worship the God that has left her poverty-stricken.  And a lot of other people would have turned away from that  same God in bitterness.  They’d be in a bar drinking somewhere with their last two mites.  Or they’d be out saying ‘If there’s a God in heaven, why has he done this, or why has he done that?’    And somehow, this daughter of faith, what she casts in she casts in by faith.  She’s not casting in an offering, she’s casting her life upon God, her bios, her very life.  God has her husband, God has her future in his hands, the shepherding care of God is worth way more to her than two mites.  And what she’s casting in she’s not casting in to be seen of men.  She’s giving from her heart, all of her living, all her bios, her entire life.  It isn’t just the two mites.  Jesus saw this woman casting her very life upon God.  My encouragement to you is, if you don’t know Christ this evening, that you would cast your life upon God.  Cast your very bios, your very life upon him, for what it’s worth.  You may feel, ‘Hey, look, I mean, I am just spiritually bankrupt.  I have nothing to give.  I’m just poverty-stricken in regards to these things.’  Jesus said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.’  ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are those who hunger thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.’  As Christians, you know, I think there’s kind of like this rebuke here, when I read this.  Because I give out what I have, and raising a family, but as I look at that, I think each thing I give says to whatever degree it costs me, ‘Lord, you are more dependable than this thing that I am laying before you’, each time I do that.  But what he wants is my life.  What he wants is my heart.  What he wants is me to come and put all of my living before him, all my very life.  ‘Lord, my life is yours, my next breath is yours, Lord, my bank account, not 10 percent, Lord, all that I am and all that I have, my children, my wife, Lord, all of my living is yours.’  And that’s really a small trade in light of the resurrection, in light of eternity, in light of what he’s done for us.  And if you’re a Sadducee this evening, I pray that you change that before the evening is over.  I’m going to ask the musicians to come…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Luke 20:27-47 and Luke 21:1-4, given by Pastor Joe Focht of Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

Related links:

 

To see learn what Jesus is offering us, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm

 

To learn more about the Biblical principles of Christian gifts and giving, see:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/gifts.htm

 

To view some of the various teachings about the Bible resurrections, heaven & hell found within the Body of Christ, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm

 

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