By your Patience possess your Souls

Patience Soul

Wednesday 12/29/21 

Message – By your Patience possess your Souls

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By your Patience possess your Souls

All that preceeds in these verses occurred during the week of Jesus’s passion. At the beginning of that very week He was lauded as a Savior which is what Hossanna means. By the end of the week, the earnestness of His final teachings and warnings to Israel ostracized Him and made Him the focus of their anger and rage.

Luke 20:1-47,

“The Builders” question Messiah’s Authority

“(1) One day as He was teaching the people in the temple complex and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came up (2) and said to Him: “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Who is it who gave You this authority?”

Notice that Jesus was not teaching the Law, He was teaching the Gospel (the good news) of the Kingdom!

(3) He answered them, “I will also ask you a question. Tell Me, (4) was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”

(5) They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ (6) But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” (7) So they answered that they did not know its origin. (8) And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

“(9) Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went away for a long time. (10) At harvest time he sent a slave to the farmers so that they might give him some fruit from the vineyard. But the farmers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. (11) He sent yet another slave, but they beat that one too, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. (12) And he sent yet a third, but they wounded this one too and threw him out. (13) “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him.’ (14) “But when the tenant farmers saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, so the inheritance will be ours!’ (15) So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? (16) He will come and destroy those farmers and give the vineyard to others.” But when they heard this they said, “No–never!”

(17) But He looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture: The stone that the builders rejected–this has become the cornerstone? (18) Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and if it falls on anyone, it will grind him to powder!”

Paying Taxes to Caesar

“(19) Then the scribes and the chief priests looked for a way to get their hands on Him that very hour, because they knew He had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. (20) They watched closely and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, so they could catch Him in what He said, to hand Him over to the governor’s rule and authority. (21) They questioned Him, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You don’t show partiality, but teach truthfully the way of God. (22) Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Notice that the devil, who was the one inciting the crowds against Jesus, didn’t put all his eggs in one basket. He was not just looking to Judas to betray Jesus, he was also working other angles as well. What this tells us about satan is very informative.

Satan knows less than he lets on! In all reality we shouldn’t expect anything less, since he exists in complete spiritual darkness. Why would be expect that he has any true insight into spiritual matters?

The scriptures tell us that if the rulers of this age (by which is meant the demonic forces and the natural earthly authorities they influence towards their will) – if they had known that the crucifixion would usher in the Kingdom of God, they would never had sought to crucify the Lord of Glory.

They are in the dark and seek to instigate any angle which might work to their advantage.

As is recorded of Jesus in John 3…He said that those who are born of the Spirit are like the Spirit, Who Himself is like the wind. No one knows where it comes from or where it is going.

You need to remember, the devil knows much less than you think he does!

At the end of this message, in response to a question about this, I suggested that the Spiritual Child of God need not be concerned with satan’s knowledge or insights into their lives, for 1 Cor. 2 tells us that a spiritually mature person has a spirit of discernment about them. They can see into and read the meaning of all things. In stark contrast to this, no one – not even satan or his familiar spirits, can gain any insight into them.

Jesus demonstrates this in these next words. He knew what His natural opponents were seeking to do, He had insight into their thoughts and motives since He was Spiritually mature.

(23) But detecting their craftiness, He said to them, (24) “Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” “Caesar’s,” they said. (25) “Well then,” He told them, “give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

(26) They were not able to catch Him in what He said in public, and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.”

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

“(27) Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up and questioned Him:

(28) “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother has a wife, and dies childless, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother. (29) Now there were seven brothers.’

The first took a wife and died without children. (30) Also the second (31) and the third took her. In the same way, all seven died and left no children. (32) Finally, the woman died too. (33) Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.”

“(34) Jesus told them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. (35) But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. (36) For they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. (37) Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. (38) He is not God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to Him.” (39) Some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, You have spoken well.”

“(40) And they no longer dared to ask Him anything.”

The words, ‘those who are counted worthy’ ought to stir interest and investigation in the hearts of those who claim to know Him.

Jesus counfounds them with Wisdom

“(41) Then He said to them, “How can they say that the Messiah is the Son of David? (42) For David himself says in the Book of Psalms: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand (43) until I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ (44) David calls Him ‘Lord’; how then can the Messiah be his Son?”

Beware of the Scribes

“(45) While all the people were listening, He said to His disciples,

(46) “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. (47) They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive greater punishment.”

Jesus warns them of ‘the builders’, that is to say the spiritual leaders of Israel. They were actually more blind than those they sought to lead. One of the things they did was twist the scriptures to their own disadvantage and distruction. Their mistreatment of one of the groups Elohim specifically pointed out time and again as those who were to be honored and treated with deference and care, made them God’s enemies and the true enemies of Israel.

Immediately fresh in the minds of Jesus and those who heard Him was this mention of the mistreatment of some of Israel’s most vulberable, when He drew their attention to the widow who gave everything she had to live on. He used her as an example of true devotion to the Kingdom.

Luke 21:1-38,

The Widows the Scribes mistreated, are more daughters of the kingdom than they

“(1) He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. (2) He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins.

(3) “I tell you the truth,” He said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. (4) For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

The futility of the external life

“(5) As some were talking about the temple complex, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, He said, (6) “These things that you see–the days will come when not one stone will be left on another that will not be thrown down!”

(7) “Teacher,” they asked Him, “so when will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

The nature of the question posed by the disciples was selfish. It was a question of self-concern & self-preservation…a desire to understand so that they might position themselves in a way so as to protect themselves.

So what is wrong with that?…you might ask.

Because it is seeking safety in the flesh. Seeking safety in something other than Christ Himself. I believe this is why His next words were, “Don’t be decieved”. Then He began to describe Himself as their safety, by pointing out that others will come claiming they are He, but they should not follow them. In the end, they will be persecuted and brought under the light of civil judgment, but that this was a good thing – because it will be in these opportunities that they will be made witnesses of Him.

(8) Then He said, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Don’t follow them. (9) When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. Indeed, these things must take place first, but the end won’t come right away.”

Jesus is, in Himself, our only place of Safety

“(10) Then He told them: “Nation will be raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (11) There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. (12) But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of My name. (13) It will lead to an opportunity for you to witness. (14) Therefore make up your minds not to prepare your defense ahead of time, (15) for I will give you such words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. (16) You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will kill some of you. (17) You will be hated by everyone because of My name, (18) but not a hair of your head will be lost. (19) By your endurance gain your lives.”

(20) “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that its desolation has come near. (21) Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains! Those inside the city must leave it, and those who are in the country must not enter it, (22) because these are days of vengeance to fulfill all the things that are written. (23) Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for there will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. (24) They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

The Return of Christ for the Church

(25) “Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and there will be anguish on the earth among nations bewildered by the roaring sea and waves. (26) People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the celestial powers will be shaken. (27) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (28) But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!”

Fig trees and signs of the age

(29) Then He told them a parable:

“Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. (30) As soon as they put out leaves you can see for yourselves and recognize that summer is already near. (31) In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. (32) I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all things take place. (33) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”

Be Watchful

(34) “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly (35) like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. (36) But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”

(37) During the day, He was teaching in the temple complex, but in the evening He would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives. (38) Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the temple complex.”

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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