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Not key to cool off the Russian nightmare, no, the devil's nightmare. Hear from its time to man up, challenging men to step into their true manhood. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network.
This is the Truth Network. The following message is brought to us by respected Bible teacher, Joe Knott. Do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill? Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations?
I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God, and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.
For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. All right, we're in the Gospel of Luke.
We're in chapter 9. Russ spoke last week about the Great Confession, and this, of course, just for a little context, Jesus has been up in the northern part of the Promised Land, and He has been widely received. He has thousands of people coming. He has sent out His 12 disciples. They have been empowered to teach and to preach and to heal and to cast out demons, and they have been doing marvelous work, and the Word is spreading all around. He has fed the thousands.
He has done all manner of miracles, and people are there. And here, last week, you read when Peter was the first to say, who do men say that I am? Peter said, thou art the Christ, the Messiah.
You are the Promised One. And immediately, Jesus began to talk about the cross, and Peter didn't understand it. Jesus, of course, called Himself the Son of Man. And just to put that in context, what does it mean, the Son of Man? Well, in Daniel chapter 7, you may know this, I'm sure Russ has taught this to you many times, but Daniel chapter 7 verse 13, it says, In my vision, at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man. He was coming with the clouds of heaven.
He approached the ancient of days. He was taken into His presence, and there He, the Son of Man, was given authority and glory and sovereign power, and all peoples of all nations and men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and it will never pass away. His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed. That's who the Son of Man is. He is the Lord. He is the King. He is the one who rules the earth with sovereign power. And Peter has just said, You are the Son of Man.
You are the Messiah. And immediately Jesus begins to talk about the cross. And these two things in Peter's mind don't go together.
He can't quite figure this out. How can the one who is going to rule in sovereign power forever be betrayed unto sinful men and killed? So in Mark, it doesn't say this in Luke, but in Mark it says, Peter pulled Jesus aside and began to, you know the word there, rebuke him. This is something you don't do.
You can write that down. But he began to rebuke Jesus. And Jesus said, Get behind me, Satan. Who had just said he was the first man to say who Jesus really is, and almost within a flash. So this says we can say the right words, but we cannot have the deep understanding that we need.
That's where Peter was. He saw dimly, but he didn't have the understanding. And at this point, this is where Jesus is beginning to teach, because he knows. He knows this is going to be a great challenge for his disciples, his little flock. He knows they are flesh. He knows they are weak. He knows they are going to be facing an onslaught from hell.
The devil himself is going to rise up against these 12. And Jesus is taking care of them. He teaches here. I'll tell you what, Jesus is going to be taking care of them.
He teaches here. I'll tell you the truth. Yes, I'm going to die. But some of you are not going to die before you see the kingdom coming in great power. And we're about to see a little bit of what Jesus was doing. About a week later, he took Peter, James, and John. This is chapter 9, verse 28.
He took Peter, James, and John up on top of a mountain. And while he was praying, this is Jesus in verse 29, while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed. His clothes became bright like a flash of lightning, which you can't look at. You know, in a dark night, pitch black dark in a thunderstorm in the summertime, you can't see. There are no stars.
There's no moon. There's pitch black dark. And when the lightning comes, the whole world looks like noonday. You can see the fields.
You can see the trees. You can see just like this is bright light. And this is what Jesus was beginning to look like.
As bright as a flash of lightning, blinding light. Two men were there with Jesus, Moses and Elijah. These men have been gone from the earth for hundreds of years. Moses, the great law giver, the great conqueror of Egypt, the great wiper out of the entire Egyptian army, the man that was God's special friend. There was Moses. Elijah, the one who called down fire from heaven and burned up the altar and burned up the prophets and burned up everything.
The one who stood before the king Ahab and the wicked Jezebel, the witch with great courage, great power and preserved the witness in a pagan land, Elijah. So we have Moses and we have Elijah standing there and they were talking about his departure. They were talking about the cross because all that they had done would be for naught but for the cross. There would be no future for the kingdom except for the cross. This is the event that will change the course of history and that's what they're talking about. Peter and his companions were sleepy, but they became fully awake.
I guess they did. When they saw the glory, when they saw that blinding light, when they saw Moses standing there and Elijah standing there and Jesus standing there like the sun shining and then Peter said, well it would be good if we could stay here forever. Let's put up some shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah and we could just stay here and it says in parentheses here in my translation, he really didn't know what he was saying. While Peter was speaking, a cloud appeared. Didn't wait for Peter to stop speaking, notice it just appeared and then guess what Peter did? He stopped speaking. While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them and they were afraid as they entered the cloud and a voice came out of the cloud saying, this is my son.
The one I have chosen, listen to him. When the voice stopped, stopped, there was Jesus alone. Many of you will see the kingdom come in power before you taste death and this is a fulfillment. There it's standing like the son is Jesus Christ, the Lord of the universe.
He is standing in brilliant light alone because he doesn't need anyone else. He is the king. He has always been the king. He is the king then, he is the king now and he will be the king forever. There has never been a moment when he was not the king and they were seeing it. In the coming days, they would see the kingdom, glimpses of the kingdom, flashes of the kingdom.
They would see Jesus taken and crucified. And at that moment, that was the power of God at work. Satan thought he was victorious. The Romans and the Jews thought they had plotted and planned, plotted and planned, but they were all doing the work of God.
God had orchestrated all the events from time immemorial. This was the Passover weekend. This was the time it was supposed to happen. This is when the lamb was to be slain. This is what the Jews had been doing for innumerable centuries. And this was the day the lamb, the lamb was sacrificed because that is what God had said would happen. He was the king on that day, just like he's the king on every day. This is the power of God. This is the glory of God. Three days later, they saw the resurrection.
Peter and John were at the tomb. Death has no power. Not only does it have no power over Jesus, it has no power over his chosen ones, you and me. Oh, death, where is your sting?
Oh, grave, where is your victory? It has no power to hold God's people because he is the king and it is his kingdom. When he is on the cross, it is his kingdom. When he is resurrected from the grave, it is his kingdom.
Satan is only his unwilling servant. This is the kingdom. These people would see the coming of the Holy Spirit, like a rushing mighty wind. And these men who were cowards and held away and afraid were suddenly filled with a fire and a passion that changed the world, changed the course of history, changed the civilization of the world. This is the kingdom of God.
This is the power of God. Thousands are converted. These men would see and some would be the martyrs. They would see their friends murdered by the enemies of the kingdom.
They would themselves be murdered and they would go forth with great courage. And this is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God doesn't always work out.
It's not health and wealth, brothers. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world because I am the king of the world.
What he promises you is sufficiency to do what he's called you to do and to do it with courage and to do it with grace and to do it with faith and to do it well. That's what the kingdom is. He is the king. And he's doing this for Peter and James and John so that they can remember when the times get hard, when the roar of the lions starts coming up, when the Romans are looking too overwhelmingly powerful, when the Jews are screaming and threatening to indict and sue and take them to court, all of this is coming. Jesus knows it's coming.
But he who sits in the heavens shall laugh because he is the king. When the Romans look powerful and they pull their armies together, where did they get that power? Why are the Romans there? Why are the Roman soldiers alive? Because the king has ordained it for his purposes. They were building roads and they thought they were building roads to move their armies around.
They were building roads so Saint Paul could walk quickly between towns. The gospel spread over the Roman roads that they built for their own purposes, but they were building for God. This is the king we serve. He is the omnipotent one.
He is the omniscient one. He has no rivals. What's hard for God? Nothing.
Nothing. He never strains. He never worries.
He never hurries. Nothing is hard for God. God has no rival and you are in his hand. It doesn't mean times won't be hard. They are hard. They will be hard.
They're hard all the time. We're not the king. We are flesh. We are. What kind of flesh are we actually? We are sinful flesh. It's a shame to admit we still are, despite all the grace we have received, but his grace is sufficient even for the likes of us. He will deliver us safely to the other side.
Not you. You won't get there because you're so smart and you won't get there because you're so hard-willed and you won't get there because you're so whatever. You're going to get there because he is the king and he will deliver you. That's your only hope. Jesus alone, just like he is standing on that mountain, he doesn't have Moses there.
He doesn't have Elijah there. Jesus alone, listen to him. Do you realize that's the end of all totalitarianism right there? Totalitarian governments, oppressive governments, they demand that you listen to them. God says you listen to Jesus. Jesus alone. They saw this and they kept it to themselves.
Why? It is indescribable. How would you describe this?
They come down the mountain. There's a big crowd down there, a lot of hubbub. A man calls out, teacher to Jesus, teacher, I beg you, please look at my son for he is my only child. At this point, all pretense is stripped away, isn't it? He's not trying to impress anybody.
He's not trying to look a certain way. He is down to a pure emotion. Help me. This is my son that I love and he is in the grasp of the devil. The spirit seizes him and he screams and the spirit throws him into convulsion and he foams at the mouth and it scarcely ever leaves him and it's destroying him and I ask your disciples and they couldn't do it. It looks like a pretty helpless situation.
It looks like a terrible situation. Even the disciples, now remember the disciples, what had they just been doing? What sort of mission had they been sent on?
What had they been doing just a little while back? He had commissioned them to go out two by two and to teach and to preach and to do what? Cast out demons and what did they do? They cast out demons and they raised people from the dead and they preached and they healed and they did all manner of miracles and here they come back and Jesus is on the mountain with Peter, James and John and here they cannot do it. This account in Mark says, well it says Jesus that looks at them and says, oh you perverse generation.
How long am I going to put up with you? Who is he talking to at that point? Probably the disciples because why could they not cast out the demon? They thought they were doing it themselves. They thought they had the power to cast out the demons.
Peter said, Peter had just learned and James had just learned and John had just learned. It is Jesus with who else? Jesus alone. Jesus alone.
And if you can cast out a demon, it's because Jesus has given you the power to cast out a demon, but it's his power, not yours. Whatever you have, what do you have that you have not received? What do you have that you have not received? That's a question in the Bible and the answer is what?
Nothing. Everything you have, the fact that you are even here is God's gift. The fact that you draw your next breath is God's gift.
We all exist. This universe exists at God's pleasure because he is the king. Remember, he is the king. Even as the boy was coming over to Jesus, a demon threw him to the ground. Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. Do you see a little bit of the cross here, the only son? You see the heart of Jesus when that man says, this is my only son. The father is going to give his only son for us.
Jesus saves his only son. They were amazed at the greatness of God. Are we amazed at the greatness of God? Do we get used to the greatness of God? God is all powerful.
He is all glorious. The wrath, he has for sin is unimaginable. We create a picture of God that he sort of winks at sin or it's all taken care of.
No, no, no, no. God never changes. His wrath against sin is beyond our ability to comprehend. Do you see how much he hates sin? Look at the cross. Look at the whips on Jesus' back. Look at the nails through his flesh. Look at the spitting.
Look at the pulling. Look at the mocking. This is what God thinks of sin. So do we get used to God's greatness?
Do we get used to his holiness? Not if you have had the vision of who he really is. He is also perfect love. He loves you more than you love yourself. He loves you more than you love your children. He loves your children more than you love your children. His love is as infinite as is his wrath.
And that's why to be one of his children, to be one of those he has called to himself is an incalculable gift. And we never should get used to the greatness of God. Because what do we deserve from God? Death and hell. Death and hell forever.
That's what we deserve. But he loves and he delivers and he saves and he is our king. And our motto in life is, this is my son, listen to him. Listen to the one who saved you. Listen to the one who loved you. Listen to the one who loves you. Listen to the one who gives you everything you have. Listen to the one who tests you. Listen to the one who brings trouble into your life so that you can grow and depend upon him more deeply.
Listen to him. But remember, whenever the storm is raging and whenever the fires are lapping up and whenever the Roman army seems to be closing in on you, remember there's Jesus standing on the mountain shining like the sun. He is the king of the universe and it's not happening by accident. Everything that happens he has ordained for his purpose and ultimately he will deliver you and we will be with him forever. So after the glory and after the promise, he reminds us, listen carefully for what I'm about to tell you. The son of man, Daniel, the great, omnipotent, sovereign, everlasting, king of the kingdom that will never end, that one, Jesus himself.
I am going to be betrayed into the hands of men, but they did not yet understand. But when that day came and when satan roared and laughed, Jesus had prepared his people. And first Peter, he talks about the glory that he saw. After some of his disciple friends had been killed and he'd been pursued and his end was coming, he said, we saw him.
We saw the glory. We saw the glory on the mountain and there is nothing that is going to conquer my king. He is going to deliver me and he is going to rule this world and he's going to bring his purposes about to the absolute infinite perfection with no deviation.
He is the king. Be not discouraged. We know the one who is the Lord, the Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let's have a prayer. Almighty God, we do come into your presence realizing that we are unworthy, but that you are more than worthy. Jesus, our savior, has embraced us and has paid the debt we could not pay and he has given us knowledge that we could not have found and he has put us into a fellowship that we would have never imagined. And Lord, we ask that we would be good stewards of the truth and the glory and the spirit that dwells within us in Christ's name.
Amen. Being a Christian is not about being religious, but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at findingpurpose.net or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at findingpurpose.net. This is the Truth Network.
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