Do we truly believe in the power and authority of the spoken and written Word of God? All we need to do is look to the beginning of the scriptures to realize how easy it is to question God’s commands. We all remember the story. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; a cunning serpent spewing half-truths… The same type of deception is used on us today. The evil one still whispers in our ear and says, “You surely will not die” (Gen. 3:4). Well, just as Adam did not take God at His Word, the Jews were not able to take Jesus at His Word. Jesus did not come with tablets carved in stone; He was the Rock that all Truth was built on.
Over the past few weeks, our ministry has been saturating on the concept of Jesus’ VOICE. This week we were building our understanding of the Christ in John 5:18-30. The context is that Jesus had been using His VOICE to heal people. And John seemed to be emphasizing it regularly. Recently, Jesus healed an official’s son by VOICE alone, and it was by that same VOICE that He told the lame man to pick up his mat and walk. As we get to our text, the Jews were angry at Jesus because He was healing on the Sabbath. Even though Jesus was doing good things, they were angry that He was breaking God’s law and they wanted to kill Him because it seemed like He was teaching that He was Equal to God (v18).
Jesus tried to explain to them that He was not really breaking the Sabbath in God’s eyes; only the man-made law that was incorrectly interpreting what God had really said. Furthermore, He continued to share that He could only do exactly what God wanted Him to do (v19). If that was not enough, Jesus then explained to the Jews why God had given Him so much authority. In basic terms, it was so that all of mankind could see the value (honor) of Jesus that reflected the value of God.
Yet it is where Jesus takes the conversation next that amazed us most. You see, John continued to hammer into His readers that the things that Jesus says carry the same weight, power, and authority of God the Father. Remember when Jesus said that He was going to tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days (John 2:19)? Jesus does the same thing here as John puts on display the full power of the VOICE of Christ by speaking about a future event.
Here is what Jesus spoke with His VOICE. He proclaims, “Truly, truly, I say to you, a time is coming and even now has arrived, when the dead will hear the VOICE of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” (v25) He continues a few verses later saying, “Do not be amazed at this; for a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come out: those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the bad deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” (v28-29) So, let us test the Word of the Christ and see that it is good.
Looking above, we can see that Jesus is distinctly speaking about two different events here. I think we can miss that when we read over it quickly, but we need to understand that Jesus is clear that those who hear the VOICE of Christ that are dead will live (rise). Then He mentions a separate event where He speaks again and all who are dead will hear it. Did you get it? Two distinct mass resurrections; one that is selective and one that is all-encompassing. And what is the tool or mechanism that will make these things come to pass? It is the VOICE of Jesus Christ.
I wish there was a way that I could prove to those who struggle to believe in the scriptures that Jesus truly is the son of God. The Bible is a document written by hundreds of people over 1,000s of years. Yet, somehow, it carries the fullness and VOICE of God. The same VOICE that has been given to Jesus Christ, yet it perfectly reflects the nature of God’s holiness. Does Jesus’ words truly have the ability to carry the full authority of God? Do we really believe that? Nothing that I can say could ever convince a person to believe that; only the Holy Spirit within us can open our hearts. However, I can lead you to the Word of God as the Spirit dwelling in me continues to labor in unity as the same Spirit is working in each of us. Therefore, I leave you with this morsal from the Lord’s table.
The scriptures show us that Jesus words were fulfilled. His voice has already called out and those who have heard that voice have already been raised from the dead. We find this Truth in the Gospel of Mat. As Jesus is hanging on the cross. May the Word of God bring you joy. It reads, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud VOICE, and gave up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. Also the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” Mat. 27:50-53
How powerful is the VOICE of Jesus Christ? He stood down the Jews that were attacking His authority and He said He was going to call out to the dead and the dead heard the VOICE of Christ and rose up. And it was those same dead men who walked among those very same Jews after Jesus died on the cross. Truly, truly, I say to you, if Jesus says that He is going to call out once more and that all will rise to face judgement based on our actions, we should bear enough wisdom to believe that Truth and prepare for it.
Look around… The Spirit of Jezebel is all around us. Satan has tricked the world, and even man Christians, into believing that we can doubt the VOICE of Jesus. What was once a vibrant faith here in America has curdled into a cold and powerless religion. How could this have happed so quickly? The answer is given to us by the Jews. You see, there is power in the Word of God. That same power is found in the VOICE of Jesus Christ which is also the same exact power that can be found in the Living Word of God. However, if we change the Word, adulterated it, or fail to believe that Word in its entirety, we not only call God a liar, we strip all of the power from it.
The power of God’s VOICE is not found in a gospel that is 90% accepted. For that is not who God is. To take the good parts of God and to leave out the consequences or bad parts we don’t like is to create our own God. In this case, the idol of the God we have created holds no true power. All that is left is an empty religion filled with the doctrines and traditions of men. Is that not why Jesus was so against the teachers of the Law? For He desperately wanted His people to know, love and accept Him for who He was, yet the Jews had adulterated and changed His VOICE and it had become an empty religion for them.
So, what is our choice? Are we willing to believe in the VOICE of Jesus Christ? Are we willing to go to the scriptures with an open heart and seek out the true holiness of God? For His Word is the only thing that will save this country and the only VOICE that leads to eternal life. It is not a voice we can accept half of. Only a complete surrender to the fullness of God’s holiness will bare the fruit of Eternal Life, for the Life we seek is only found in His one VOICE. And that is why the way is so narrow.
Don’t fall for it brothers and sisters. Don’t fall for Satan’s lie. Those that stray from God’s VOICE will surely die. Those that take on the worlds definition of love and tolerance will face the wrath of a loving God. Those that claim that sin no longer affects us or that all will eventually be saved will be humbled as Jesus’ Word is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. Scripture tells us that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Therefore, let us honor the VOICE of God by obeying it completely without reservation or adulteration.