Where Are We At? In the Timeline of God’s Plan p2
“And they shall walk with me.” (1) This is an astonishing statement once you realize that Jesus Christ is the one speaking! He knows who I am. He knows where I have been. He knows where I am right now, and more than that, he wants to walk with me!
The old song, so familiar to our ears, “and he walks with me, and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own…” are not just pretty words, they are my reality, and they are your reality.
However, we must ask ourselves one question, is it possible in our walk of life, to walk with Jesus, to talk with Jesus, to know where he is at in our life, to be observant and recognize the events around us, and fail to recognize where we are at in the timeline of God? And if the answer is yes, then is it possible to make decisions and take actions that are contrary to the will of God? We must examine the scriptures carefully and discover the answer.
Matthew records for us, in one noticeably short paragraph, an event in the life of Peter that God felt was important for you and me to know. (2) Two people are found there. Jesus Christ the Messiah, and Peter the disciple. Yes, the same Peter who walked on water (3), the same Peter who answered correctly “Who do you say I am?” (4) This is the same Peter who was one of the only three witnesses to the transfiguration. (5) To top it off he has been given the keys to the Kingdom! (6)
It is obvious that Peter has a handle on reality. He recognizes where he is at in his life and he understands plainly that the events surrounding him belong to the long-awaited fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. He recognizes that God has chosen him to play a vital part in the introduction of the Messianic age!
But hold on to your seat sir, get a firm hand on your hat ma’am, there is a storm a-coming! Listen carefully to Peter’s words and pay close to his actions, and you will see that Peter has no idea where he is at in God’s timeline.
From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.
(Mat 16:21-23 ASV)
Matthew tells us to notice the timing of Jesus’ actions. Jesus chooses the point in time to begin to prepare his followers for the events surrounding his crucifixion and his resurrection. But all eyes on Peter! Peter heard what Jesus was saying and understood the words plainly, he realized this was not another parable from the wisdom of the Teacher.
Peter took him – [lead him aside]- and rebuked him – [ chewed him out]. Where did he find the courage to chastise the Miracle Worker? I can assure you, based on Jesus’ response, that it was not from understanding God’s timeline.
“: this shall never be unto thee” – this will never happen. Mark says that Jesus turns his back to Peter and looks toward the rest of the disciples.(7) “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.”
Satan here means accuser, but in Hebrew the word means opponent. Peter acts the part of the opponent, he becomes the stumbling-block to Jesus, why? You do not savor- [exercise the mind]- about the things of God.
Turning Point Tabernacle, listen to your Pastor tonight. It is quite evident, that it is possible, to walk close to the Lord, commune daily with him and still be in opposition to his purpose.
Let us follow the storyline to its climax.
Judas has received his 30 pieces of silver, the Garden prayer is finished, and an armed mob has come to arrest Jesus.
Joh 18:10-11 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
Jesus stops the insurrection and restores Malchus’ severed ear. The whole thing is pushed under the proverbial rug, so the miracle would not be mentioned. But suppose the ear had not been reattached. Fast forward to the next morning and listen to Jesus’ as he speaks to Pontius Pilot.
Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.(Joh 18:33-37)
Do you not think for one second, that Caiaphas, dearly wished he had that severed ear and that bloody sword? How long would it have taken for him to throw them both at the foot of Jesus?
A pastor’s duties are many and varied. One such responsibility is filling the role of Watchman. A watchman is not expected to see beyond the horizon, but he is expected to watch the horizon carefully, discern between friend and foe, and to sound out the appropriate signal. This three-part Bible study is my effort to give you that signal and is perhaps carries the most important message of 2021. Do not allow my weakness to nullify the impact. It is a message of hope. It is a message of joy. It is a call to action.
We love the Acts 2 message which we find echoed in Acts 10 and rightly so. But I believe that it is time to add one more scripture and repeat it just as often.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Php 2:12-13
God is working in us to do his will and his pleasure. The third part of this series will be taken from the following chapters, should you choose to exercise your own mind!
- Romans chapters 8-11
- Ephesians chapters 1,4,5
- Galatians chapters 4
- I Corinthians chapter 10
“May God increase you a thousand fold, as he promised to do!”
- Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
- 2Ti 3:16 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness:
- Mat 14:28 -29 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee upon the waters and he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus.
- Mat 16:15-16 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
- Mat 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart and he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light.
- Mat 16:18-19 And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
- Mar 8:32-33 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.