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What is Jesus Doing?

Eugene Prewitt

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What is Jesus doing about the troubles in the world? How can we cooperate with Him?

Presenter

Eugene Prewitt

Eugene Prewitt directs the Bible Teacher Training hosted by Aenon.

Recorded

  • March 30, 2013
    11:00 AM

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If you have the King James Bible and you were reading along the Scripture, you might have wondered about that little phrase that said that he became us. That use of the word became is similar to what we say when we state that dress is very becoming. When we say that address is becoming, we really mean that the dress fits the lady and when that verse said that such a savior became us, it means that Jesus exactly fits us. 

Today, we’re talking about “what is Jesus doing?” It’s not the same question as what has he done or what is going to do? The question is what is he doing? And I hope right here in our Scripture, are you still there In Hebrew seven? Good! That you should see what he’s living for. Do you see that in verse twenty five? wherefore he is able to save them (us) to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (am going to read it us) . What is Jesus doing? That what he’s living for! if you want to know why he was resurrected? The answer is right there in Hebrew seven: He is living to make intercession for us. Is it looking in the verse that his intercession is significant to our salvation? Why is that? It’s because of this intercession he is able to save us to the uttermost that is completely let say this in another way saving me is complicated. It’s not so easy as it is to make me confess that Jesus is my savior. Saving me is more difficult as it is to lead me to baptism. It’s more difficult to save me than it is to get me to conform to some standards that I might learn in the Bible. Saving me is hard because we are born with great weakness, our tendencies and our inheritance – and even the bad habits we formed are strong and fighting them is difficult. So is there hope for us? There’s hope because of the work of Jesus who intercedes for us. Like for you to turn with me in your Bibles to John chapter fifteen John chapter fifteen. We’re talking about what Jesus is doing. I want to introduce this idea now in the context of things that you see or hear about. There are just plenty of tragedies and difficulties and problems in the world today. I live in Arkansas and our gardening here in Arkansas is delay about four weeks over an average because of the cold spring we've had. But you know it’s been okay in Arkansas, North of Arkansas it’s been very very cold. Are you aware that it’s been a hard time? That’s a small thing compared to some issues going on Syria or issues going on in Thailand that we hear from our friends and the Tombirds. There is a lot of troubles and one question we might ask is what is Jesus doing about the troubles in the world today? I mean it is one thing to ask what is He doing? But it is something more to ask what is He doing about the trouble if you see someone whose house is burning down and you see him outside digging a hole, if one question is what is he doing? The other question would be what is he doing about the fact that his house is burning down. In other words, it is not enough to know that he's doing something, you really want to see that he has some concern about what's going on. Are you following what am trying to say? I think you do. John chapter fifteen we are looking at verse fourteen Jesus said you are my friends if you do whatever I commanded you. I like the verse for simplicity because I will like to be a friend of Jesus. When I read those horrible verses in the Bible when I say horrible I don't mean that they shouldn’t be there, I mean that they have news that is really bad for someone. When I read those horrible versus that talks about Jesus saying to people I never knew you it makes me think I want to be his friend. I don't want to ever hear Him say, “I never knew you.” Who did He say are his friends in John fifteen fourteen? Is those that do what he said? Exactly that, now look at verse fifteen: From this time on I call you not servants. This is interesting what Jesus said because I call myself a servant of Jesus and I think you are services of Jesus and in fact the Bible has many verses that refer to people as a service. I don't think Jesus means here that we don't serve him anymore. I think he's talking about being a servant plus – it’s not like we are going from servant to not being a servant – it more like we are going from servants to being a servant plus and let read on what he says “from now on I call you not servants for this further doesn't know what his Lord is doing. BUT I HAVE called you friends for all things that I have heard of my father I have made known unto you. My friends are the ones that understand what is important to me and are interested in what I'm interested in. My friends are the ones that could kind of join me. I guess another word for male friendship is comradery. I don't even know if ladies can relate to that I’ve never been a lady. But comradery is the idea that of working with someone. And Jesus sounds very much like the way a guy thinks here. He said you are my friends if you do what I command you. But the next verse said that the friend is the one who knows what his master is doing. Do you see in verse fifteen that He’s still our master? That we are not going from a servant-master relationship to a pure-pure friend-friend relationship? We’re going from a servant-master relationship to a friend servant-master relationship. But he is still our master. He said I have called you friends because you know what am doing. We want to talk today about “what Jesus is doing?” the picture on the board is an illustration of the idea of Jesus being our priest. the picture there though isn’t an illustration of Jesus, that picture is an illustration of the earthly high priest and when you see that picture if you know what the Bible teaches, for those who listen to the sermon and who can’t see the picture we’re looking at a picture of the most holy place, you can see the holy place also and I'm little bit of the courtyard around the edge. We’re looking at a picture that shows a picture of the high priest and there’s only one day of the year when that picture could be taken. If it was a photograph. What day would that be? That would be the Day of Atonement, and that would be the only day in which such a photograph could be taken. Why did I say the only day, because that's the only day Jesus would be in that room or the high priest in the symbols would be in that room. When you studies what the bible teaches about what Jesus does you find what you might call three phases of the work of Jesus in saving us. And all of them are to some small degree illustrated in the picture. I say small degree because you can barely see the courtyard there. But let me draw a picture with my finger and describe it with my words. If the sanctuary was right here, in midair, and there was a big rectangle; that big rectangle would be a linen cotton right around the outside of this big rectangle. You can almost imagine it. Like if you see it from a distance it looks like a linen building but when you get up close to it what looks like a wall is really just a large cotton and inside that wall is a lot of open spaces and in the middle is a building, that building has two apartments: the holy place and the most holy place. I'm trying to draw with 

 

my hands like you looking at it – which is kind of backward from my head if you can imagine what’s going on here. So am putting the most holy place here. in the courtyard that you're looking out and the sanctuary you have the area outside the tent that area represents what Jesus did when he was here on earth, that is when He was alive on earth that is when Jesus ended up dying for our sins the very way that the Lamb dies on that altar of sacrifice. But Jesus was resurrected, do you remember from Hebrew seven why he was resurrected? What’s said was that “he ever lives to make intercession for us” That’s what he does inside that building. Now I don't know if you know this, probably half of you do. But the books of Revelation and Daniel have more to say about the heavenly sanctuary then other books in the Bible. Hebrews is the other book that has a lot to say about the heavenly sanctuary. But really revelation which is a book about the end of times has a lot say about the sanctuary. It has many pictures of the sanctuary because Jesus wants us to understand what he's doing. I don't really plan this morning in our brief time of having a study more about what Jesus does in the courtyard as our sacrifice. Not even going to spend a lot of time about what Jesus was doing when he first became a priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Because what Jesus was doing when he first became a priest, He’s still doing it. I mean when Jesus first went in the sanctuary when he went into the heavenly Temple can you see to the right of the red cotton a little alter with some incense coming up? That alter of incense represented in the Old Testament the idea of Jesus making our prayers useful. it takes a miracle to make my prayer useful. I hope you can understand so easily that if I come to God without the help of Jesus. And I asked him for something that is extremely arrogant and disrespectful. For the bible even called it an abomination. As if someone whose heart is corrupt could make a request of pure and holy God. I can’t pray to God but Jesus is holy. We were reading in Hebrew seven for our scripture reading that he is holy he's harmless is undefined. Jesus can approach God and he can combine my request with his righteousness. It almost as if he could approach the father and say father I want that you would give Eugene the very thing he asked for. Now if Jesus asked for that it really doesn't matter whether I deserve it or not because Jesus deserves it. If Jesus asked the father for something for me, he father is going to give it to me for sake of Jesus. Because of Jesus, that's what Jesus has been doing! That's what he's still doing. Angels marveled that we pray so little. It just doesn't seem sensible to them that when we have Jesus doing this work that we pray as little as we do. I thank God for the canvassing work. Let me tell you why. I don't know if you really need the canvassing work to learn what it taught. But I thank God for the canvassing work because that was how I learned it. It was in canvassing that I learned how to pray without ceasing. That is where I learned the idea that I don’t need to have a big emergency to pray. That if am about to talk to someone on the phone I probably need wisdom from heaven and if I'm going to choose what to eat for supper or whether to eat supper, I could use wisdom from heaven if the question is at Walmart should I buy it or not. I could decide it by myself but life goes better if I have wisdom from heaven. So that it become really helpful for me to always be darting up prayers to God for wisdom. I don't find in my experience that what God gives instead… I don’t find in place of wisdom that God gives me revelation. Revelations are not the same as wisdom. Revelation is on the outside of me and tells me what to do but wisdom is on the inside of me. And what God’s promised is He will give wisdom if we’ll ask Him. So is it sensible to ask him often? It’s sensible often! And to ask him should I do this free will ask you social FMR is sensible off to ask you should I do that? How long shall I do that? How far should I go? I have to ask him before I start, I could asking while am involved. If am talking to you for an extended period for half hour or forty minutes chances are am going to pray while am talking to you. Probably am going to pray while you're talking because I have a difficulty, I cannot make the highest quality prayer when I am blabbing at the same time. I just find it difficult. I can't even when am talk to ask God for help. It’s not words, it’s more like a conscious dependence but I'm not really trying to teach you about prayer so much to tell you what Jesus did when he went to heaven is that He began to help us with our prayers. That’s not all he did. The book of Hebrews shows somethings we won’t be able to look at. But it shows that Jesus is comforting us and that he as a priest knows how to comfort us because He knows what’s like to be tempted. Jesus knows how to encourage us because he has already been victorious over the same things that threatens to make me fall. What Jesus has been doing since the cross is working to encourage me to hold on and to comfort me when I fall; to raise me up; to make my prayer effective. I guess you can say He’s my personal coach and helper. In the business of getting to heaven. But Jesus when he became us that is when he became just right for us, he did become a human and we find evidence in the Bible of that scars are still in his hands which indicates that he’s still is in a human body. So how does Jesus help me right here if in fact he is way up in heaven -- in the heavenly sanctuary? Jesus could've just asked us to trust him but he's not treating so much like servants. He wants us to be friends so he’s made known to us what he does and this is what he said “he's sending us his Holy Spirit” another word, even though he’s there, he’s aware of what we needs. And he sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us; to help us; even to give us gifts when we are doing his service. He sends us help to understand the bible. Otherwise we would misunderstand it. Well it does happen that we do misunderstand it. And then he sends us the spirit to help us clear up those misconceptions that we bring on ourselves by reading. So in the first phase of Christ's work he's a prophet. I don't mean that he’s not the divine son of God but I mean that he’s a mouthpiece for God and what he did as he gave his life ransom and he showed us how to live. He came not be ministered to but to minister. And to give his life ransom for many. That’s what is said in Matthew twenty: Jesus came to show us how to live and then to die in our place. Then he went to heaven that is where He’s been working to make our prayer effective and to help us get to heaven. Those are the first two phases but there is a third phase relevant to the question what is Jesus Doing about the trouble in our world? And the third phase is what Jesus does when he get into the third apartment. Now I want to say a little bit about that third apartment. I'll say that this sermon is a big picture, but you could spend a lot of time on any one of these phases of Christ's ministry and it would be useful for you in fact in the very last few verses of the Old Testament I think we have time to look at that why don’t you turn with me in your bible to Malachi chapter four of Malachi chapter four that's just before Matthew chapter one Malachi chapter four verse four in your own time you could read the context to see that the whole chapter is about Christ second coming. It’s about that coming and what happens just before that coming. Look at verse four: “remember the law of Moses my servant which I commanded unto him Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and the judgments.” It doesn’t say obey the law of Moses but it does say something about the Law of Moses. What did it says about the Law of Moses? It said remember! Which implies you probably had to comprehend because remembering something you don't comprehend has never been highly useful. One of the last thing Jesus said in the Old Testament to us is that we ought to understand the symbols of the sanctuary service. We ought to study them and comprehend them. That’s true! And when we come to the last part of what Jesus is doing? It is worthy of more study than we could possibly give to it this morning. But what is Jesus doing now in the last portion? Turn WITH ME IN in your Bibles to Leviticus chapter sixteen Leviticus chapter sixteen is part of the Law of Moses we've been asked to remember. It describes what the high priest did one day out of the year. Leviticus sixteen verse twenty nine: “and this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, [that doesn't mean July ten this is the Jewish years that would be somewhere in September or October depending on when the barley harvest became ripe] in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be in your own country, or a stranger who sojourns among you” This verse said, on that one day when the high priest in there, outside were all other people are, that was a day when they weren’t working, in some way it was kind of like a Sabbath and what if you were just a Canaanite traveling through Israel on that day? Could you do you work? No! You know nobody could. Everyone around had to stop. But they didn’t just stopped working? They were doing something? You see what they did in the verse? In King James Version, it said, “They afflicted their soul.” That is they were you morning, morning as in they were repenting or being sad about the sins they’ve committed during the year. How many times they have let God down. Heidi and I last Monday were being trained for foster care and as part of the training they showed us a video. Am confident that the video was just an actor. But he sure did a persuasive job of one little part he did. he was acting out being a foster child who had gone from home to home to home, six or seven times and there as he was talking to the camera, he said that people talk a lot about care and caring, caring for everyone but what he’s learned is that everyone lets you down. On the Day of Atonement that was a day for you to realize how you have let people down. A day for you to think how you could have been or what you should have done or how you should be; it was a day for considering that. Not just for the purpose of making yourself miserable. Look at verse thirty. “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, [to do what] to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” In other words, the process of what I'm doing here on earth, afflicting my soul is related to what Jesus is doing in heaven. What he’s doing in heaven is cleaning up the church. If you've ever been to a biblical marriage you probably heard someone reading from Ephesians five. It talks about how Jesus is going to present his bride to himself as pure and chaste virgin. Am combining Ephesian 5 and Revelation. Excuse me for putting them together. Understand the idea that Jesus is cleaning up his church. Jesus is purifying his church – that’s what he’s doing and what are we supposed to be doing? We are to be afflicting our soul. Now I left out some important ideas, am going to go back and catch them now. When we talk about what is Jesus doing? It’s not just biblical trivia. Jesus requires that we cooperate with him. So when he was here on earth preaching the gospel it was required that people believe him; that they accept him as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And if they would not believe him, it was just take it or leave it. It was a real disaster for them. Jesus said I didn’t come to condemn you but the word I say they would condemn you. In other words, the light condemns those who don’t accept it. The way you cooperate with Jesus when he was on earth is you accept the truth that He had to say. Accept the fact that he is the Lamb. But then when he went up to be a priest, he still requires our cooperation. If he’s there to make our prayer effective and to send us the Spirit, he required that we pray and that we ask for the Spirit. He required that we have prayers of confession, and repentance. That we on earth are cooperate with what He’s doing. In other words, it’s never been so that God just save people despite themselves. If He saves despite anything… I need to say that sentence over because it could be understood in way that’s wrong. Jesus doesn’t save people without their cooperation. If he did, He be saving people that weren’t his friends. But his friends are the one who understands what He’s doing. What about this third phase? What does he requires of us? We’ve read 29 and 30 see verse 31. 

“It shall be a Sabbath of rest unto you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever.” Now understand it and don’t understand it wrongly. You can find in the same chapter, where it said kill a lamb, but that doesn’t mean we are supposed to kill a lamb today. 

The killing of a lamb was a symbol of something that would really happen that is Jesus really die. And I don’t want you to get the idea that you really need to put on a sackcloth and ashes and go around with a sad face. That's not what we need to do. This was the symbol but the reality was described elsewhere. Turn to Isaiah chapter fifty eight Isaiah chapter fifty eight am looking at verse five: 

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

Does God wants us to cooperate? Indeed he does! Jesus is cleaning up his church and He wants us to cooperate. Be we don’t cooperate well with him by looking miserable and sad. That was the symbol but what is the reality? Look at verse 6:

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?

 

What God’s looking for is that I will deal with sins in my life but He’s not asking that I will become self-centered in my religion. The truth is if I put all my focus in overcoming my own weakness, I can discourage myself right into oblivion. So He’s given me something to do – to help me keep my courage up and my spirit soft. He’s asked me also to help others with their difficulties; with theirs burden; with theirs struggles. What God’s asking is that we search our hearts but that we help others who are also search their hearts and struggling. That’s how we work with what He’s doing. 

So we’ve looked at what we are to be doing in symbols, now we’ve looked at what we are supposed to be doing in prophecy. There are other prophecy that will show it. Now, let’s turn to Hebrew chapter 5, Look at what we ought to be doing as illustrated by Jesus. 

 

 

Hebrew chapter 5 verse 7: Speaking of Jesus Hebrew 5:7

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;”

[What did Jesus do? Did he pray? He prayed earnestly. You can see how earnestly He prayed. He prayed to Him who is able to save Him from death]. Now do I need to be saved from death? I need to be saved from death and it makes sense that I would pray the way Jesus prayed. He was heard in that he feared. Why was the prayer of Jesus answered? It was because He lived in a way that showed his reverent for God. 

Listen to verse 8 

Though he were a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered;

Verse 9

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

We’ve seen in the symbol that our parts is to search our hearts; to afflict our hearts. We’ve seen the prophecy and what we are trying to do is overcome the sins in our lives and help others with their weakness. What we see in the life of Jesus is that the work of agonizing with God leads to character development. And even Jesus who never sinned had a development of character. Maybe you would ask, how could Jesus have a development of character? It’s like this: it’s the same way that a pea plant can develop without ever having a problem. That is Jesus could be born having an inheritance of weakness that made it difficult to do right. But every time He would choose to do right it will become easier. And By doing right, by suffering temptation and overcoming temptation, it became easier and easier and easier. Except for the devil was allowed to apply pressure, harder and harder and harder. Do you realized that the Devil is limited in how hard he could put pressure on us? He’s only allowed to put pressure on as much as we can handle. It could feel like we are under the gun for a very long time and in a rot. It might feel like we’re making no progress at all. When in fact we are growing by leaps and bounds. Jesus grew by victory until he became complete. And that when he became the author of eternal salvation to those that obeys him in verse 9.

So this broad sermon is supported by many text that we are not going over. I made three copies that I will put out there in the lobby area for those who likes to look things over. I want to close with one last passage. That’s here in Hebrews, turn to chapter 11, Hebrew chapter 11.

We are talking about what we do to cooperate with God. And I want you to understand: if the question is what is Jesus doing about the sins and the disaster on this planet? You should know that there are couple of things He’s doing. One thing He’s doing is that He’s preparing a place for a city that has foundations. That is He’s preparing a place to take us that is not like this disastrous planet. And while we are still on it, He’s allowing the things that we suffer here to be a benefit to us. As they prepare us for a place that He’s preparing for us. But the second thing that he’s doing is that He’s allowing the suffering on this planet to be a foretaste of what is going to come in judgement on those who will never summit to Him or who will refuse to submit to him. The truth is the suffering on this planet works a dual purpose. It is effective in the punishment of those who will reject him and it is effective in the development of those who will accept him. I don’t say that all suffering fits into one of those two categories. 

There is certainly is much senseless suffering of people on this planet. But God is doing something to bring it to an end. He is working to purify his church so that He can bring it to an end. Making a better place so that he can bring it to an end. While we’re here, we are not to view this earth as our home. We can relate to what’s going on by considering this place as a place of pilgrimage. A place of pilgrimage is a place you go for a while and then you leave. 

Hebrew chapter eleven verse 13

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

[That is those who describe themselves as stranger and pilgrims said that they are looking for a country that is more permanent verse 15]

 

 

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

If the question is “What is Jesus doing? The answer is a number of things: He’s preparing a city for us, a city so that we don’t have to consider this painful world as our home. He’s answering our prayer and sending his spirit; and comforting us and encouraging us. Because otherwise we would get discouraged and just give up, and just quit along the way. But some people are getting discourage and quitting along the way. I think we might even know some people that are getting discourage, giving up and quitting along the way. And what he said in our days is for us to cooperate with Him. By as in we’re holding up the hands that hangs down. By lifting up those people, those fibbed knees, give them someplace to sit but steady. I saying we are to break the yokes and lifts the heavy burden. We are to undo the oppression that is going on. That’s how we cooperate with what He’s doing. Then what is he doing? He is working to purify his church. But don’t think for a minute that this three works are unrelated. Because while we are serving others, that He’s best able to purify our hearts. While we are seeking to put away our sin that when he is able to best show what’s needed to be done. 

It while we consider this world to be a place of pilgrimage and not our home. That He’s best able to change the way we think when we make our priority. The work that He’s doing fits with us. Such a High Priest has become us that is he fits us perfectly. And because he ever lives, He’s able to save to the uttermost. Amen!

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