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Jesus the Real Man

Randy Skeete

Presenter

Randy Skeete

Evangelist and revivalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Recorded

  • October 7, 2017
    4:45 PM
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00:00 (music) This media has been presented to you by the Maryland Men of Faith where men are challenged and encouraged to form the character of Christ. For more information please visit MMOF.org (music).

 

00:32 Holy Father in Heaven, tell me what to say, how to say it, that first Your name may be glorified and secondly Your sons blessed. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen (amen).

 

00:48 Luke 17:26 Who wrote the book of Luke? (laughter) What was his profession? (doctor) Luke was also a superb historian. Modern historians who have studied Luke and Acts, he wrote two books, have concluded he was one of the finest ancient historians. Every place, every person, every event he records can be documented by extra-biblical sources. Luke was an excellent historian. And I take this opportunity to say that as Christians we must realize that excellence is godly behaviour; not sloppiness, or mediocrity. Excellence is godly behaviour. Luke 17:26-30 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded”—we’ll review the passage we just read and then I’ll itemize some things on the board.  Luke 17:27 they did 1) eat 2) drank 3) married wives 4) they were given in marriage—“28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded”— (1) eat (2) drank 3) married wives 4) they were given in marriage (5) bought (6) sold (7) planted (8) built—look at these 8 items. Tell me which, of them in and of itself, is a sin? (none) Luke 17:27 “until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all”—doing things that are not inherently sinful—lost. Luke 17:28 “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded”—this is business—this is survival—this is social life. That’s what they were doing, among other things; but Christ did not say they were robbing liquor stores; they were hijacking cars; they were committing adultery because it is so obvious that these things will get you lost. But the ordinary duties of life do not appear to be dangerous. The very first commandment is the first commandment for a good reason: thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Ellen White writes in Great Controversy page 583, she says “It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone.” [GC 36:583.1] Not all idols are made of wood or stone. This can be an idol. You don't believe me? Go to Philippians 3. This may end up being my message. Who wrote Philippians? (Paul) It’s a lovely book. He loved the Philippians. They really took care of him. This may be the happiest of all the epistles Paul has written, far happier than Galatians and Romans; he's really angry in Galatians. Philippians 3:17 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18(For many walk of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19Whose end is destruction”—that’s the final outcome—“whose God is their belly”—thou shalt have no other gods before Me. This [stomach] can turn out to be a god. There are some people who cannot stop eating. Now, God invented eating. He arranged for us to eat. Genesis 2:9 “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food”—we eat. Genesis 2:10 “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” We have water to drink; and in the New World: “And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” Revelation 22:1. Revelation 22:2 “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life”—so we come back to do some things—eat and drink—arranged by God. Yet, in engaging in an activity arranged by God, some people are lost—anything that supersedes God will destroy you. Who gave the Israelites instructions to offer burnt offerings? Christ; and every offering pointed to Him. But God says in Isaiah 1:11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? Saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats”—that's what God said because they placed an undue emphasis on animals and they lost sight of Christ. There are many law-abiding Seventh-day Adventists: law abiding in the eyes of the sheriff's department that will be lost because this [stomach] is their priority not this [Bible]. So what I'm saying to you as men, as leaders of your homes, your churches, your communities:, in these last days in which we live—and we keep saying that these are the last days—we ought by our emphasis, by our behavior, by our speech to demonstrate that the coming of Christ is our priority. It is the only permanent and effective solution for the problems of the world. We can use our education, whatever skills we have, to relocate problems; but only the coming of Christ will erase them. So you can ship crime from the U.S. to Guatemala or you can relocate bribery from Sierra Leone to Japan—only the coming of Christ will eradicate this thing called sin; and we must make the gospel of God a priority. When Christ was discovered by his parents in the temple in Luke 2—this is fast becoming my main presentation although that was not what I had in mind. Here's something that intimidates many men—Luke 2:48 “And when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.” The words of Mary are an effective form of manipulation. She's essentially saying to Jesus what are you doing to us? Why hast thou thus dealt with us? Imagine a young man who wants to be a colporteur; his brother's a doctor; his uncle is a surgeon; his brother-in-law is a pilot; his cousin is a mayor; and his sister is a governor: he wants to be a colporteur and his parents say wait a minute. What do you think you are doing to us? Our neighbors, their children are PhDs; the neighbors on the right, their children work for the Foreign Department of State—what do you mean you want to be a colporteur? What are you doing to us to bring shame upon us? we have a child who's a colporteur. Even though Ellen White says that in the last days the work of the evangelist will be the reason why many people come into the church. Mary said to Jesus you are embarrassing us, you are putting stress on us. Christ responded Luke 2:49 “And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” Why did I quote that? When you decide to be about your Father's business your family will not understand and they will put pressure on you to back off. You don't believe me? Patriarchs and Prophets page 126, Par. 1. “Now that Abraham was, in a special sense, connected with Heaven, he must dwell among strangers. His character must be peculiar, differing from all the world. He could not even explain his course of action so as to be understood by his friends. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and his motives and actions were not comprehended by his idolatrous kindred.” [PP 10:126.1] She is saying his friends and his family could not understand when he said I've got to leave Ur of the Chaldees and head off to another landwhat land?—I don't know. There are two groups that exert great pressure on us more than any other group and it's not the I.R.S. and the military; it’s friends and family. We are deeply concerned with what they think and rightly so. Let's go to Luke 1:57 this is Elizabeth the wife of Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, the angel informed him that he would have a son call him John and in Luke 1:57 “Now Elizabeth's full time had come that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy on her; and they rejoiced with her”—now reread microscopically verse 58—“And her neighbors” —friends—“and her cousins”—relatives—“heard how the Lord had showed great mercy on her; and”—people love the birth of a child especially women—“and they rejoiced with her”—they all came to celebrate—“59And it came to pass, that on the 8th day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father”—In the United States that’s a common practice of naming your son after you. George Foreman, the boxer, has four boys—they are all called George, George first, second, third, fourth. I’ve never seen it in Africa. It’s not common with my African brothers but it's very common in the United States. It's an honor to have your son carry your name—“they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father”—who did that?—the friends and relatives; the two groups that you just can't resist. They affect what we do, where we go, how we live, because we want to please them; they mean much to us. When people make decisions one of the first questions they ask: what does he think?—what will he say?—what will she say?—meaning friends and family or significant others—may be my boss or colleagues. We always think what will someone else think but we seldom say or think what will God say? And so the friends and the family said call him Zacharias and they all agreed unanimously. Luke 1:60 “And his mother answered and said, Not so; but He shall be called John”—why did she say that? Discover why she opposed her family and her friends in Luke 1:13 “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John?” You see the problem? Who said John? (the angel) Well, yes, but the angel was just an agent. Who said John? (God) God said call his name John. All her friends and relatives said Zacharias. When that kind of pressure is put on a person it's hard to resist. We tend to crack under the pressure of family and friends. Luke 1:61 “And they said there is none of thy kindred that is called by that name.” Now they're using another tactic: you can't go against family history. This family goes all the way back to the days of Columbus when he sailed in 1492. From then until now the boys have always been named after their father, Elizabeth, how can you come along and butt heads against tradition? We can't let you do that. He must be called Zacharias. Here's one

woman against all her friends and her family. Her decision is to do what God says. The alternative was not a sin in and of itself but anything that competes with God is a sin. Luke 1:62 “And they made signs to his father”—because he had been struck dumb by the angel—“how he would have him called. 63And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John”—isn't it a beautiful thing when husband and wife agree? Now we have the father and the mother up against all the family and all the friends, and they stood up for what God said. God said John and at the risk of offending family and friends the name will be John. Why am I saying that? My brothers, one of the burdens of being a man is having to take a stand without your knees buckling. And even if they buckle you don't collapse. They buckle because you’re a human being but you don't have to collapse. They buckle a little bit and you say Lord, help me. And you stiffen up those knees. Men take stands. There was a research done several years ago. I read it myself. I can't remember the name of the paper or where I read it. A study was done: if the first person in a family to accept Christ is a child there's a 14% chance the entire family will follow and accept Christ. If the very first person in a family to accept Christ is the mother there's a 23% chance the whole family will follow. If the first person in a family to accept Christ is the father there's a 96% chance the whole family comes. Even secular research confirms God choosing men to be leaders. You see as men go, so go the women. Years ago an evangelist told me win the men, the women will come. Get the men and the women will come. When you preach get the man; when the men come, the women come. When the women come, the men don’t come. 80% of the Baptist church in the United States is made up of women. 80% and I guess a similar number applies to all denominations. Most people in churches are women; for whatever reason, men don't go. The devil has done a job on those whom God selected to be leaders and heads; he's kept them out of church and put them in prison. You have to take a stand whether it's popular or not. Taking a stand doesn't make you a dictator it makes you faithful to God—the 7th day is the sabbath, turn that T.V. off—we have a dietary guideline in Leviticus 11, put back that shrimp—we have lost the mixing of the sexes; you can't be out at 1 o'clock in the morning with your girlfriend. No, no. A man must take a stand. Let's go back to Luke 2:49-50 “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them”—who did not understand? (Mary, Joseph)—who picked Mary to be the mother of Jesus? God—who chose Joseph to be the father? God—who appeared to Joseph and said don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife for that which is conceived of her is of the Holy Ghost? God told Gabriel Go tell him that. They were handpicked by God and when Jesus stood up for His mission they couldn't understand. John 7:5 “For neither did His brethren”—the brothers didn't believe Him—what’s the scenario I'm trying to paint? here is Jesus in a home. Ellen White says “Throughout His life His mother and His brothers did not comprehend His mission.” [OFC 208.1; AG 163.3]—sweet Mary—upright Joseph; the Bible describes him as just—and Jesus’ half-brothers, “the sons of Joseph as they were called” [DA 8:86.2], they did not understand Him. He has to grow up in that environment. And what keeps His eye on the North Star? a commitment to the calling the Father had placed on Him because of that, the family was eventually saved. But if Christ had buckled, the whole family would have been lost. My brothers, let's try to understand that in a moment of opposition, universal opposition: friends, family, acquaintances, classmates, colleagues, whomever, in that moment it's easy to say let me just compromise; let me give in; who do I think I am one man against the world?—no, no, no! By doing that, you may be endangering the salvation of those to whom you give in; by standing for what's right, by standing for what God will have you do, that may be the stand that transforms the home, that transforms your wife, that transforms your children: your decision to take a stand on a platform of righteousness and not move. That's not stubbornness; that is faithfulness to God. In Mark 14:50 Judas has led the soldiers to the garden of Gethsemane and they find Jesus. Here's what the 11 disciples do. Mark 14:50 “And they all forsook Him and fled.” Nobody loves to be alone; we're not made to be alone but when the disciples saw the soldiers coming, they took off running. Could Christ have run? Yes, faster than them. He was the Creator. He held his ground. Here's one occasion where Christ was abandoned, He's by himself, and He holds his ground. Mark 15:34 “And on the 9th hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi. Lama Sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What did the Father do for awhile? forsook Him. Christ didn’t lie; the Father forsook Him, turned away. The disciples are gone. The Father turned away. Could the angels defy the Father and stay with Him. No. So Christ was on the cross, alone. The Bible says that in Hebrews 1:3—who wrote Hebrews? (Paul) it is generally thought that Paul did. There are a lot of arguments. Ellen White accepts it as Paul [MH 10:167.2]. You can’t go wrong taking sides with Ellen White so I say Paul. May I see the hands of those who love the writings of Ellen White? (amen) God bless them, Father. You have no idea how unpopular she is among Adventists—you have no idea. Sometimes I pray, Thank God for the ministry of Ellen White (amen!) and the pioneers and what they’ve written. When I study the Bible I stay close to the Bible and close to Ellen White. If she disagrees with me I thank God for her and I change my position (amen!) because I’m not a prophet. Hebrews 1:3 “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” By Himself! The disciples, gone; the Father, turned away; the angels, backed off; by Himself! Now that’s a man! (He did it for us) Yes! He was no sissy. That is a man! I came on a mission—that’s a Seal—that's a Marine—that's a Green Beret—that's a Ranger—that’s a running back with 6 men hanging on him and there's a goal line he has to break—you break a rib, you break a knee, but you break the play—that’s a man! Today are we men or are we males? I was on the Internet. You know how many genders exist today? I don't mean to be insensitive. The Bible says “And God said Let Us make man in Our image and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every living thing that liveth upon the earth. 27So God created man in His Own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them”—we don't know how tall Adam was, we don’t know his complexion, we don’t know the texture of Eve's hair; nor the color of her eyes. The only specific information we have: one was a man, one was a woman. That must be important to God. The color was not important; the gender was. But society has moved away. You don't know who’s a man or who’s a woman. Men dress like women; men wear their hair like women; men behave like women; men are well—almost said weak like woman but let me not say that let me take it back—there's male, there's female, there's intersex, there's pansexual, there's bisexual, there’s sexual fluidity, there's all kinds of choices and you pick which one you want to be. But God made them male and female. God made you a man, why are you choosing something else? He made you a man, why do you want to be a woman? He made you a man. Every angel that appears in the Bible comes to a man. God sent a Savour—He didn’t send a woman, He sent a man. God Himself was represented as a man. God has made it a tradition. A man is more than someone with muscles and whatever different reproductive system. A man is someone like Christ who sees His friends departing, feels the departure of His Father, senses the departure of the Holy Ghost and His angels; and He holds His ground because He was sent on a mission. I preached a sermon many years ago: A Mission Is Not a Trip. When you go on a trip you pause to look at the Washington Monument, you’re on a trip. You leave that then look at the Lincoln Memorial or the Jefferson building or Babe Ruth, you look at all those memorials, you're on a trip. When you're on a mission you don’t see the Lincoln Memorial; it's not part of your mission. You don’t see Washington, you don’t see Martin Luther King, you don’t see the White House, you've been sent to take down that thing: that's all you see; that's a mission. When Abraham sent Eliezer to get a wife for Isaac Genesis 24, Laban said look, let’s eat. Eliezer said I will not eat, until I have told my mission [Genesis 24:33]. You know what a serious infraction of courtesy that is? In most non-Western cultures you eat first. I was in Uganda preaching a crusade a few years ago in a town called Lira, in northern Uganda, and we're coming close to baptisms. The church had no font; by the way, never build a church without a baptismal font: build it first. So we went to a Pentecostal preacher to ask to use his baptismal font. We went to the house and I, being western, just want to get to the point. I'm about to tell him Look do you have a font, may we use it? The sister that is with me says no, wait. 45 minutes later we have some drinks and some cookies (laughter). Literally 45 minutes later of chatting about nothing and drinking and eating cookies we finally asked him and he didn't have one (laughter); but hospitality was essential. When the angels came to Abraham they ate the food first, then they said why they had come. When they went to Lot they had food first then the mission was explained but Eliezer said no, I will not eat until I have told my mission—that's a man—I'm not sightseeing until I’ve told my mission: I came for a woman to take back to my master, until that’s accomplished I don't want food or water; I don't want to see the sights; let me see a woman for my master. When Rebecca was identified and she agreed, then he had a snack. He left the very next morning. They said to him Let her stay ten days because we'll never see her again [Genesis 24:55]. Eliezer said no, my mission is accomplished. I’ve got to go back and report. Next to Christ my favorite Bible character is Eliezer. Read Genesis 24 sometime and fall in love with that man—by the way, he represented the Holy Ghost; Rebecca represents the church; Isaac, Christ; Abraham, God. Eliezer is mission minded. Christ was mission minded. His mother didn't understand; His father did not understand; His brothers did not understand; but He understood. On the cross the disciples left, the Father turned away, all Heavenly support was gone; Christ stayed on that cross because He had a mission. Your mission is to represent God in your family. Our mission is to represent God in our society. When Christ comes He will ask us where is your family? the same way He asked Adam what's going on? He's going to ask the men, the fathers, the husbands where is your family? When Paul gave his last words to the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20:25-27 the Bible says “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” What is Paul saying when he says I am pure of the blood of all men? he is saying no one will be lost because of me; because I told you what you needed to know. My brothers, when Christ comes let Him not charge us with the loss of people because we did not do what we were supposed to do as men, godly men. Let us say like Paul Father, if anyone is lost it is not because I did not do my duty. Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17:12 He said those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Christ could not save Judas because Judas did not want to be saved. In that case, Christ was not responsible for his loss. Let us not be responsible for the loss of our families. Let not the blood of your children be on your hands because you were so busy pursuing a career. Let not your son become a rebel because you had no time for him because you were pursuing another level up the management ladder. Let’s be men: God, the family, society—you don't count. Why is it you don't count? I don't count? The first four commandments show us: love to God. The next six show: love to fellowman. Not one says love yourself so you don't count—you count only as a medium through which God works to save other people; you and I count only as instruments in the hands of God to save others. Ellen White writes of Christ “He will save man at any cost to Himself.” [DA 73:690.3]—including eternal loss.  My brothers, I want you to make a commitment if that's OK with you: Father, help me to be the man that Jesus was. The kind of man Jesus was would never end up in prison because he killed someone in a bar; always fighting because he has to hit back. That's not the man Jesus was. That's a weak man. A strong man in the Bible is a weak man in society. In society you're strong if you hit back. You’ve heard the saying the fight started when he hit me back. A Bible man when you slap him, he turns. That’s strength because you're going against the way you are naturally. You don't have to teach a child to be selfish; you don't have to teach someone to hit back; you have to teach them to take it as Jesus took it. And as He took it and He took it and He took it, when He finally breathed His last, the Roman centurion said Truly this man was the Son of God [Mark 15:39]. Only someone of God can take that. Why do I say you don't count? because if you consider yourself, you’ll hit back. If you consider God, you’ll take it. I take it so God does not look bad. I take it so the church does not look bad. I take it so my family members do not look bad. I take it because of somebody else. How many will say Father, help me to be a man, the man that Jesus was? May I see your right hand? My brothers, do you mean that? stand up. Let me tell you something about presentations like this or any other. Once you've heard, you’re suppose to make a decision. You can’t hear and then leave as if you never heard because God has watched you as you listened. You are standing to say Father, by the abiding, unfailing grace of Christ I want to be the man that Jesus was. Then we begin to examine ourselves: where am I not like Christ? Am I short tempered? do I care more about the N.F.L. than my wife's happiness? do I have time for my children? you begin to identify where you are lacking and you begin to work on those areas—we must. Improvement does not happen by osmosis; it is a conscious decision—I was telling a friend earlier today the Christian life must never be put on automatic pilot. Your hands must always be on that stick; must always be on the yoke: pull it back, push it forward, and turn to control it. It must be conscious, deliberate, intentional; it can never be on auto pilot. Ellen White writes “but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome.” [DA 32:324.1] And so you’re standing to say Father, I want to be a man that Jesus was—a man of mission—a man whose concern always was my Father's happiness, my Father's name, my Father's reputation. I want to be that man who will sacrifice myself for the salvation of others. I ask you to do something else, to consider doing it; if you realize you've been neglecting your children tell them you're sorry. A lot of parents need to tell their children I'm sorry for abandoning you. Virtually abandoning you for the sake of a career, a degree, or whatever—I need to tell you, my son, I was not with you as I should have been. I am sorrymy daughter, you're running around dating this boyfriend and that boyfriend because you never got the love from me, first. So you’re searching for it from other men. Now I am sorrymy wife, I have neglected you, I am sorry. Whatever you do, put this first: thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Heads bowed. Eyes closed.

 

43:33 Dear God, I join my brothers in saying make me a man that Jesus was. Father, You can only make me that man if I cooperate with You and I study the life of that Man so I have a clear vision of the model to which I'm striving. Forgive us, dear God, when we were anything but men. Forgive us, Lord, when we abandoned our sacred calling to be men. Forgive us for being weak-kneed and spineless and give us courage, Father, give us that strength of character that we may be men as Jesus was a man—when He stilled the storm, the disciples said what manner of man is this? because of His righteousness, His compassion, His tenderness, His patience, His long-suffering—what manner of man is this? And so God, help my brothers, help me, let us be the reason why many people are ready to meet You when You come. Let us be inspirations to our family members. Let us be a pillar of strength to our spouses, to our children, dear God, let us be lights of encouragement and inspiration to our friends, our colleagues, our classmates wherever we go. Let our lives be a blessing to others; let no one be lost because of us. Please, dear God, when we leave this place let’s not just leave and forget, let’s leave with a desire to act and to move one step higher with every day of life You give to us. Now bless us as we leave. Bless the food You’ve provided for supper. Help us always, Lord, as we eat to remember that most people in the world do not eat three meals a day or two or one good one. So much suffering and hunger. Make us a blessing to others I pray. Bless all the leaders of the various church organizations. Bless Maryland Men of Faith, dear God, I pray. Thank You for the honor You’ve given me to be with Your sons. Now when You come into Your Kingdom, Father, let every one of us be saved along with those who enter the ark through our influence. I pray from my heart in Jesus' name. Let God's people say amen and (amen).

 

45:54 (music) We hope this presentation by the Maryland Men of Faith has been a blessing to you. Your feedback is welcomed. Please visit us at MMOF.org (music).

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