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Well Meaning Interference (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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May 30, 2022 6:00 am

Well Meaning Interference (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 30, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

Living on the Edge
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Get in line. Find out what loyalty means.

You can count. You can count on some Christians only if they approve of what you're doing. That is not loyalty. This needs to be said, and again, it needs to be repeated. Self-appointed exceptions are almost always a problem for somebody else. Well, you know, I'm the exception. I know you've got this policy, but that's self-exaltation.

Cut it out. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Acts.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will continue his message called Well-Meaning Interference as he teaches verse by verse through the Book of Acts. The privilege, the high privilege it is. It is the church's duty to offer positions to serve.

So much action takes place there. Anyway, Judas ran out of confidence in Christ. Why is that? Because he did not enthrone Christ on his heart. Christ really wasn't the master, the Lord. He was, you know, this Messiah figure or something other, but the others, the other 11, of course, they enthroned Christ on their heart, and that was the downfall of Judas. In verse 18, now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity, the money he got from betraying Christ, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle, and all of his entrails gushed out.

Gasp! That's there for you teens to keep you awake, because you may be like, ooh, his entrails, tell us about the entrails. Well, there was the... Judas was, as I mentioned, chosen by Christ, and yet that's what he did with the choice. He got close to him and he betrayed him.

Well, he gives the money back, but they take that money that they paid him, and they could not keep it because they considered it blood money, so they purchased a burial plot for Judas after his death, Romans chapter 6, 23, the wages of sin is death, and that is pronounced here. Falling headlong. Okay, so he goes to hang himself and he falls headfirst. Likely what happened, the rope broke, the branch broke, or the knot slipped. You know, if you are going to tow a car with some sort of a rope, you want to get a little strain on that rope, make it tight, because if you just pull off when it's loose, it's going to snap the rope more than likely. Well, if he doesn't know what he's doing and he just jumps and there's a lot of slack in that line, it's going to jerk and either break the branch or the rope. Anyway, that's just the mechanics of him falling, going to hang himself and falling, and he lands on the rocks. Evidently, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.

So Peter was very articulate about this, very detailed. What a waste of an invested three years with Jesus, all gone, just like that. Verse 19, and it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem, so that field is called, in their own language, a keldama, that is, field of blood. Well, this was headline news about the apostate who walked with Jesus for three years, and then goes out and kills himself, and it's a gory death. And so everybody, the talk of the town, and it became known, it says, in their own language, to everyone, dwelling in Jerusalem. So that field is called, in their own language, a keldama. Aramaic words, a vernacular of the first century Jews, writing to Gentiles about these events 30 years later in the Greek language, which was more widespread.

The Greek language was used, you know, throughout the Roman Empire, thanks to Alexander the Great, and that's the language God would use to spread the gospel, and it was very effective. That is the field of blood, part of a verse 19. Judas should have been associated with the blood of the lamb, and instead it's this field of blood that he ends up with. One pastor says in one of his sermons, the one traitor in the inner circle of Christ's kingdom became his own executioner. That's not how it was supposed to be, and it only happened that way because he betrayed Christ. He turned against him. He became an apostate and a traitor.

Verse 20, for it is written in the book of Psalms, let his dwelling place be desolate and let no one live in it, and let another take his office. Now would we have known that those Psalms were prophetic of Judas in connection to the Messiah, had it not been for Peter's interpretation? Would we have connected, if we did not have Peter telling us this, would we have read the Psalms and said, he's talking about Judas? Well maybe, but listen, this is what I meant earlier about, I hope you've been listening the whole time. When I say listen, that doesn't mean, okay, now start listening. When I mentioned Peter's knowledge of scriptures skyrocketed, why? Where's the evidence of that? Well Luke 24 verse 45, and he, Jesus, opened their understanding that they might comprehend the scriptures.

You can't do it on your own. You need Jesus to comprehend the scriptures, but still that's not enough according to Christ. There has to be the Holy Spirit to bring even more life to it. God's judgment upon Judas, according to Peter, Psalm 69 25, let his dwelling place be desolate, and the need for a replacement, Psalm 109 verse 8. Peter had been in the word and he comes across this. These are imprecatory Psalms, these are Psalms that invoke evil or curse on the enemies or the unrighteous.

The New Testament Church does not function this way, but that was before, and there have been changes, major changes since Pentecost. Let his dwelling place be desolate, barrenness, let no one live in it, forfeiture, forfeiture, he forfeited it. Let another take his office, banishment, three condemning let statements, let his dwelling, let no one live in it, let another take his office.

Very sad. Peter felt something had to be done. The scripture says another one is supposed to take his office. That's what the Bible says Peter would have said. Well, Peter, always well-meaning, always, but impetuous nonetheless. In other words, the feelings rose up and began to dominate, captained the ship.

Let's just review three of them. You can't go to the cross, Jesus, even though you said you're going to the cross. You know, be it far from you, as Jesus said, get behind me, Satan.

That's pretty serious. How about let's build three shrines, one for you, one for Elijah, one for Moses. And the father rebuked them and they got very scared.

And then how about, you know what, Malchus, I never liked you anyway. And, you know, resisting the arrest of Christ with the sword. So this is Peter. And here he is saying, hey, the scripture says, and we got to be careful. Yeah, the Bible can say something. That doesn't give us right, the right to misapply it.

And that's what I strongly believe Peter is doing here. And I'll make my case in a minute. I've read all the other guys, the good guys, too, that don't agree with me.

But, you know, what are they going to do about it? I don't agree with them. And I'm not the only one, but the majority take the position that Peter was right, Matthias was one of the 12. Well, I'm about to rip that apart, hopefully. I don't say that with pride.

Okay, a little bit. Verse 21. Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us. Okay, so he's now setting the standards. We can find a replacement.

And so he has to have been with us the whole time we were with Christ. Peter is setting the standard for apostleship, but it's not his place to do so. There's a fine line between initiative and impulse.

And we all better watch it. You get your hands burned. If you're in public ministry, you get burned a few times, you begin to slow down. But maybe you get away with it. No one catches you or whatever. We have to be careful of what we say and do. Peter the leader blundered. That's what I am saying.

And it's not the first time, that's why I read some of the other ones. If you are looking for a church without fault, then you'll be looking for a church forever. You won't find one. If you're looking for a pastor, exception of me, that has no faults, you're not going to find him. And if you do and you find a pastor and he's like, man, this guy is great, and then he messes up just something that you don't care for, that crash is going to be pretty hard. You may even resent him now.

We better be careful. Thank God for loyal Christians who do not take cheap shots at their pastors and their church and other Christians. Career critics, they have a fundamental disrespect for ordained leadership and for the local church, and it is because they have a fundamental disrespect for God's word.

I've said this all the time because it needs to be said all the time. In Hebrews 13, Paul says, you better watch it. These men rule over you, not your lives. They don't go to your home and tell you what color car to buy and things like that. When it comes to the house of God, they're the master and commander of the ship under the Lord. It does not give them license to be immoral, it doesn't give them license to be arrogant and puffed up and all those other things. It does give them the authority, and it is a reflection of lack of understanding of scripture and submission when you take cheap shots at them. And I know, again, I know there are going to be people who live in other states listening to this message and they may be struggling with this.

They may be saying, you know, you're right. I'm upset at the pastor because he didn't allow something. It has nothing to do with the Bible, nothing to do with the preaching of the Gospel. I need to fix myself and get in line and find out what loyalty means. You can count. You can count on some Christians only if they approve of what you're doing. That is not loyalty. This needs to be said, and again, it needs to be repeated. Self-appointed exceptions are almost always a problem for somebody else. Well, you know, I'm the exception. I know you've got this policy, but that's self-exaltation. Cut it out.

Why am I saying this? Because here we have a picture of Peter, the leader, making a mistake. Well, that doesn't give license for people to abandon Peter. He's no longer an apostle.

No, not at all. The church is going to keep moving forward with Peter. These are lessons for us.

They're not just here for us to just read them and say, well, that warmed my heart. Well, that's good, but that's not enough. The Lord, he's going to withhold a verbal rebuke and appoint Paul about two, three years later, and we'll see that anyway, incidentally. Here's Peter trying to appoint a replacement for Judas. Jesus had time to do that himself. There at the Last Supper, when he said, go out and do what you do quickly, Jesus could have said, now listen, boys, I need you to appoint Matthias, because he doesn't do any. He could have done it after the resurrection.

He does not. He would wait until after he baptized his followers with the Holy Spirit, and he waited some time after. Christ is in no hurry.

He's got eternity on his side. It is interesting that no replacement was sought for James when they martyred him. I mean, granted, you can say, well, he didn't forfeit his position, but was it that important to have 12 apostles? Well, Christ thinks it was, but it wasn't Peter's place to do it. And so Jesus, of course, personally chose the original apostles. Subsequent history shows the Lord choosing only one other man, Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul. Now John, in his revelation, he saw in heaven 12 foundations with the names of 12 apostles on those foundations. Are you going to tell me Matthias' name was on there and not Paul's, when Paul was picked by Christ personally and Matthias was not? You see, there are apostles of the church, and there are apostles of Christ. This is made clear in 2 Corinthians 8 23. There are apostles of the church, those sent out by the church. Barnabas would have been one of those. And then there are the ones, for instance, Jude 17, he talks about the apostles of Jesus Christ. That's why when Paul wrote, what Peter calls here, every time Paul wrote a letter, he had to say, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ. The only two times he doesn't do that was Philemon and Hebrews. Other than that, he's constantly defending and fighting. I believe that may have been the thorn in his flesh.

It may have just hurt him so much that he had to do this all the time. And so had overzealous Peter waited for the promise, there would have been no oversight. But God is not going to humiliate the church, nor Peter, nor Matthias, by outright rejection.

He's going to just tolerate it. And Paul's appointment will settle the matter. God knew Matthias was a good man and faithful. It just wasn't his choice.

And so we have no evidence that God chose Matthias. We'll come to that more. I hope you all are agreeing with me because I told you it's so important to me. Of course, who doesn't want everyone to agree with them?

It's just not realistic to expect it. Verse 22, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when he was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. So says Peter.

Peter, where'd you get that? Maybe he got it, John 15, 27, which in that context speaks about the Holy Spirit coming to them. John 15, 27, Jesus speaking to his disciples.

And you also will bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning. Well, maybe that stood out with Peter. John's gospel's not written at this time in history, not yet.

So you can say, well, maybe that was his basis. Anyway, still should have waited for the promise. John 16, 13, however, when he, the spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth. John 14, 26, but the helper.

Again, the Greek is the paraclete, the one that comes beside, the comforter. The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Well, they haven't gotten there yet. Well, maybe Peter might have remembered to wait for the promise, but he does not.

He will empower them to witness, to convict the world of sin, to discern, to see, to guide in all things, just like he does us. Any of you here think you can witness without the Holy Spirit just because you know Jesus Christ? You think you learn, Lord, I've got this. You just go sit down and relax.

I'll take it from here. Is there anybody that bad off in their theology? No. It's the other way, is it not? Lord, as Moses said, if you don't go with us, don't send me.

We must have him. It is an imperative, and here we don't see it. Peter's standards disallow. Peter's standards, well, he's got to be with us from the baptism of John, all the years, the witness of the resurrection. Well, that disqualifies James, the brother of the Lord, all the brothers of the Lord, and it disqualifies Paul, that standard. So what does Jesus do in response to that? He dismisses Peter's criteria and restrictions, and he appoints Paul anyway. Why does he wait a couple of years? Probably to let it just all just kind of like, well, there are other reasons too, I'm sure, but one of them would have been to just let the dust settle. It would be kind of rude. The next day, he appoints the apostle Paul.

That would have been rough. Anyway, continuing in verse 22, am I the only one excited about all this stuff? I don't know. If you're catching this vision here, one of these must become a witness with us of the resurrection. Well, Paul would mention in 1 Corinthians 15 that he too is a witness of the risen Lord, and so of his resurrection. A critical fact, Acts chapter 4, because the first church, those first Christians, they were all over the resurrection. And with great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. We should be doing that.

That's why we're reading this. We want to find out what is effective preaching and evangelism, keeping in front of lost souls that Christ was killed and got up three days later, and really, never died anyway. He just left this world.

He gave up the Spirit. So these are not poor standards that Peter gives. They're very important and well thought out. They simply lack the Spirit and will be sidestepped by God. As Jesus said, wisdom is justified by her children. You'll see the outcome, whether it's wise or not. So if you take somebody, if you take yourself, you say, I think it's wise to club myself in the head with a stick.

And then you do so, and you'll stop doing it. And then you can say wisdom is justified. It's the outcome. Anyway, verse 23, and they proposed two. Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justice and Matthias. Nice of them to narrow it down to two for the Lord.

There's another flag. They give God two choices. Okay, Lord, here's your choice. Can you imagine praying that to God?

God, you either give me a million dollars or a billion dollars. Can you see the problems with this? I don't understand why my brothers, who I think are—okay, I have to say it. They're a little smarter than me. I don't see why they missed this. All right, we'll keep going here. So another proof is that—this is another proof they should have waited. Limiting God.

Do you do that? Are we—is it okay to limit God like this? I don't think so. Joseph called Barsabas Barsabas, Barbie, who was surnamed Justice. Anything else is known of he or Matthias? Well, you could say that of Bartholomew also, so that's not a slight on their character, but we won't read of these men again.

Verse 24, and they prayed and said, You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen. I mean, you know, they got a 50-50 chance. I mean, they have a 100 percent chance of getting a replacement. The replacements who are nominated have a 50-50 chance of being nominated. And so, you know, Joseph is saying, Oh, I hope it's me.

I hope it's me. It's wonderful, yet it's defective that they would pray. They prayed and said, O Lord, you know the hearts. That's wonderful, but the key ingredient is missing. Baking a cake and forgetting to put the sugar in is not a cake anymore.

It's something to give to somebody who can't taste anything. Anyway, verse 24, they prayed. Simply asking God is not a guarantee that you're right, even in what you're praying. That's why with humility. Humility says just because I'm praying to God doesn't mean I'm right.

And that's where humility comes in. You, O Lord, know the hearts of all. Yeah, the hearts were right in Peter, no question, but his actions were wrong.

Show which of these two you have chosen. Now, I'm not saying Peter's sinning. He's just goofing up, blundering. God's not the author of confusion in this case.

The apostles are. If I was there, I would have backed up Peter. I would have thought this was the right thing to do. I wouldn't have had Acts chapter 2. I'm sure I wouldn't have said, Hey, Peter, maybe he, remember he said, wait for the promise.

We shouldn't be doing this. I probably would have been just right along with everybody else. And verse 25, to take part in this ministry and the apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell that he might go to his own place. Self-ruined supernatural opportunity. He had that supernatural opportunity of being with Christ and he ruined it.

Catastrophic is that tragedy. Judas by transgression fell, no one else to blame but himself, that he might go to his own place. He is one of few in scripture whom we are told is in hell. He's called the son of hell, the son of perdition in other verses.

Death brought no relief. He was a man of miscalculations because he did not enthrone Christ on his heart. Verse 26, we're still considering this interference and they cast lots and the lot fell on Matthias and he was numbered with the 11 apostles. They probably put two names in a container, wrote the names on something and poured them out like you do in Monopoly with the dice or something. And the name that fell out first was the one they picked.

That's probably how they did it. It doesn't matter. The first choice doesn't mean it was God's choice. This is an Old Testament tactic. We never read of the Christians doing it ever again after Pentecost because they're now led by the spirit. What if God did not like either of these two men as a choice? It was kind of presumptuous of them to say, oh, one of these have got to be the guy. What if God says, no. Well, what's he supposed to do? Again, there's been a heavy blow on the church, you know.

These leaders of yours, they're prone to make mistakes and I have to keep overruling them. Well, that's not how God handled it in his grace and mercy. And the lot fell on Matthias as I read. We never even hear of Jesus teaching of such a method. In consequence to this initial blunder, Paul had constantly, as I mentioned, to defend his right to be an apostle.

But if Peter had never done this, it might not have gone that way. Finally, at the bottom of verse 26, and he was numbered with the 11. So the Lord tolerates their choice for the sake of the church, the apostles. But when you come to this and you read and you say, if you've ever done things for Christ, you say, Lord, thank you for being so merciful to them because I've made my share of mistakes also. Jesus did not interfere. May we know when not to interfere. And I'm telling you, as believers filled with the Holy Spirit, you can still interfere with what's going on in the lives of others because you just are so passionate about something and it's not your place.

May we be led by the Spirit. You've been listening to Cross-Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross-Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross-Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-11 19:39:31 / 2023-04-11 19:49:30 / 10

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