Southern Christian University

The Gospels

James A. Turner

Class Session Four



Hello, students.  When our time was up the last session, we were reading from the sixth chapter of the gospel of John.  I believe we had gotten down to verse fifteen.  I would like for us to pick up there about Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes as recorded here by John.  We will turn and read from the other gospel writers.  Notice carefully how that they compliment each other.  Everything that John has recorded down to this is peculiar to his book, it is not  recorded by the other gospel writers.  Then picking up with what follows, the latter part of the chapter six of John is peculiar to the book of John. So let us begin reading from John 6:12. 


"And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples, Gather up the broken pieces, which remain over, that nothing be lost."  If you believe in highlighting, I would suggest that you highlight the latter part of verse twelve there, because that is peculiar to John's account.  He is the one that tells that Jesus said do that.  The others say that they gathered up the broken pieces, but John is the only one that says that Jesus told them to, “that nothing be lost.” "So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten.  When therefore the people saw the sign, which he did, They said, This is of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world.  Jesus therefore perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain himself alone."  


Let me emphasize that the Premillennialist are still trying to make Jesus an earthly king! He refused to be an earthly king during his personal ministry, but they still are saying that he must be an earthly king.  If he had come to  be an earthly king,  this would have surely been the time, but notice that he withdrew again when he saw that they were ready to make him king by force.  When he was before Pilate, as recorded here in the gospel of John, when Pilate questioned him about whether or not he was a king, he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, then should my disciples fight that I should not be delivered.  But now is my kingdom not from hence, (John 18:36).”  So Jesus did not come to be an earthly king.  That doctrine that Christ is going to come back to earth and reign on earth a thousand years is false from beginning to end! It is based entirely on wrong interpretation of scriptures.  When you start out with a false premise, you are surely going to end up with false conclusions.  So that doctrine will not stand.  According to that doctrine, Christ came to set up his kingdom and the Jews rejected him, and as a result of them rejecting him, he ushered in the church age, and that we are still in the church age.  The Colossian brethren had been, “translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son, (Colossians 1:13),”  Remember that he said to Peter, “upon this rock I will build my church  Upon that bedrock of truth that you confess that I am the Christ the son of the living God, I will build my church, and  “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it, and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  So in Matthew16:18-19, he uses the church and the kingdom interchangeably.  Christ is God,  and if he could not do it the first time, what assurance do we have that he could do it the second time? The apostle John and all of those brethren of the first century were in the kingdom of Christ (Revelation 1:9). That doctrine is contrary to plain Bible teaching. 


We will read on here a few verses, because I believe the other accounts record about the disciples getting into a boat.  Verse sixteen, "And when evening came, his disciples went down unto the sea, and they entered into a boat, and were going over the sea unto Capernaum.  And it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  And the sea was rising by reason of a great wind that blew."  There are mountains on each side of the sea of Galilee, and the wind can blow down and become dangerous with people in small boats in a hurry.  So the wind had blown down on the disciples in the boat.  "When therefore they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs."  Johnson, in his commentary on John, says that they would have been about halfway across the sea of Galilee, which is about six miles wide. "They beheld Jesus walking on the water, and drawing nigh unto the boat:  And they were afraid.  But he said unto them, It is I; be not afraid  They were therefore glad  to receive him into the boat:  “And straightway the boat was at land whither they were going."  So they did not have any more trouble.  We will note from the other readings that they give a few more details, but you can see that it did not take them long to finish getting across the sea of Galilee after Jesus got into the boat with them.  Now, turn to Matthew the fourteenth chapter, and we will read from Matthew's account.

STUDENT:  Was that a miracle?

BROTHER TURNER:  Matthew, chapter fourteen.

STUDENT:  Was that a miracle the boat getting to land, or was that just normal?    

BROTHER TURNER:  Matthew 14:32 reads, “And when they (Jesus and Peter) had gone up into the boat, the wind ceased.” His walking on the water was contrary to the natural laws of nature. Many people today wrongly speak of things like the birth of a baby, and people not being killed in terrible accidents as miracles. A miracle may be defined as an act of God, contrary to the laws of nature.  The birth of a baby, or any bird or animal, is according to God’s natural laws. A special providence of God is a special act of God in keeping with the laws of nature.  And God does not operate in a miraculous way today, and we will probably get around to talking about that further at a later date. 


So Matthew chapter fourteen, picking up with verse thirteen.  "Now when Jesus heard it,  Heard about how Herod had put John the Baptist to death.  he withdrew from thence in a boat to a desert place apart: and when the multitudes heard thereof, they followed him on foot from the cities.  And he came forth, and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick."  We have several times stated in the gospel books that Jesus, seeing the great multitude, had compassion on them.  And here he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  "And when evening was come, the disciples came to him, saying, The place is desert and the time is already past, send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food."  So there were no places for them to buy them food or get food in the place where they were.  "But Jesus said unto them, They have no need to go away; give ye them to eat.  And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.  And he said, Bring them hitherto me.  And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and he took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake and gave the loaves to the disciples."  And so Matthew shows that he did not do it directly but gave it to the disciples and the disciples to the multitude.  "And they all ate and were filled:  And they took up that which remained over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.  And they that did eat were about five thousand men, besides women and children."  Now, John did not say anything about the women and children, but five thousand men besides women and children.  Do you think there would have been at least five thousand women and children, possibly more?  So a great multitude that Jesus fed with five loaves and two fishes, which was certainly a miracle.  That was contrary to the laws of nature to take five barley loaves and two fishes and feed a multitude, say, of more than ten thousand people, and then take up twelve basket fulls.  "And straightway, he constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before him unto the other side, until he should send the multitudes away.  After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain apart to pray:  And when evening was come, he was there alone.  But the boat was now in the midst of the sea."  And so Matthew says that it was in the midst.  So when Jesus went to them, it was in the midst of the sea.  "Distressed by the waves:  for the wind was contrary.” 


Verse twenty-five, “And in the fourth watch of the night, he came unto them, walking upon the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come.  And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  And when they were gone up into the boat, the wind ceased.  And they that were in the boat worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.  And when they had crossed over, they came to land unto Gennesaret.  And when the men of that place knew him, they sent into all the region round about, and brought unto him all that were sick; and they besought him that they might only touch the border of his garment, and as many as touched were made whole."  So all four writers record this, about the feeding of the five thousand.  It was a very important event.  It was very unusual for all four to record the same event. 


Turn next to Mark, chapter six beginning with verse thirty.  Mark's gospel is very much like Matthew's, except much shorter.  And notice that he records about the death of John the Baptist, how that Herod's wife had her daughter to ask for John the Baptist's head on a platter.  The king did not want to go back on his oath, and so he had John the Baptist beheaded and his head carried to his daughter on a platter.  Mark 6:30 beginning, "And the apostles gathered together unto Jesus, and they told him all things, whatsoever they had done, and whatsoever they had taught."  He had sent them forth on that limited commission to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  So they had performed that mission.  "And he saith unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile."  They are trying to get away into a place where they can get a little rest.  They had been so busy, that they had not had time to rest.  "For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure, so much as to eat."  Can you imagine that, so many people thronging Jesus and his work, that they have not had time to eat.  "And they went away in the boat to a desert place apart.  And the people saw them going, and many knew them, and they ran together there on foot from all of the cities, and out went them.”  They must have gone in a hurry.  The disciples were in a boat, and they figured out where they are going, so they run on foot and got there before they do.  "And he came forth and saw a great multitude and he had compassion on them."  And here Mark gives a good reason as to why he hath compassion on them.  Now, which one said that he healed the sick?  That is Matthew. Mark here says that “because they were like sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things  We read a statement like that more than once about Jesus, and he saw the people scattered as sheep not having a shepherd.  He had compassion on them.  "And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him and said the place is desert and the day is now far spent, send them away, that they may go into the country and villages round about:  and buy themselves somewhat to eat.  But he answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat.  And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred shillings' worth of bread; and give them to eat?  And he saith unto them, How many loaves have ye?  Go and see.  And when they knew, they say, five, and two fishes.  And he commanded them all to sit down by companies upon the green grass.  And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.  And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake the loaves, and he gave to the disciples to set before them, and the two fishes divided he among them all.  And they all ate, and were filled.  And they took up broken pieces, twelve baskets full, and also the fishes.  And they that ate the loaves were five thousand men."  So thus far only Matthew has said plus women and children. 


Verse 45, "And straightway he constrained his disciples to enter into the boat, and go before him unto the other side to Bethsaida, while he himself sendeth the multitude away.  And after he had taken leave from them, he departed into the mountain to pray."   Jesus, after the disciples left in a boat, sent the multitudes away, and then he went up into the mountain to pray, and then goes and catches up with the disciples. "And when evening come, the boat was in the midst of the sea."  So Matthew and Mark say that the boat was in the midst of the sea instead of telling how far they had rowed.  "And he was alone on the land.  And seeing them distressed in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking on the sea, and he would have passed them by."  So Mark gives a little detail that he would have passed them by.  "But when they saw him walking on the sea, supposed it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him, and were troubled.  But he straightway spaketh unto them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer:  It is I; be not afraid.  And he went up unto them in the boat; and the wind ceased:  And they were sore amazed in themselves, for they understood not concerning the loaves:  but rather their heart was hardened."

STUDENT:  That's strange!

BROTHER TURNER:  That is strange, isn't it?  And I believe he is the only one that records that they did not fully understand even about the multiplying of the five loaves and the two fishes.  "For they understood not concerning the loaves:  But their heart was hardened.  And when he had crossed over, they came into the land into Gennesaret, and moored to the shore.  And when they were come out of the boat, straightway the people knew him, and ran round about the whole region, and began to carry about on their beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.  And wheresoever he entered, into villages, or into cities or into the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment; and as many as touched him were made whole." 


Next Luke's account in chapter nine.  So Mark and Luke tell about the apostles having returned from that limited commission.  Luke chapter nine beginning with verse ten, "And the apostles, when they were returned, declared unto him what things they had done.  And he took them, and withdrew apart to the city called Bethsaida.  But the multitudes, perceiving it, followed him:  And he welcomed them, and spake to them of the kingdom of God, and them that hath need of healing he cured.  And the day began to wear  away, and the twelve came, and said unto him, Send the multitude away that they may go unto the villages and countries round about, and lodge, and get provisions:  For we are here in a desert place.  But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat.  And they said, We have no more than five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy food for all this people.  For they were about five thousand men."  So Matthew is the only one that says plus the women and children.  "And he said unto his disciples, Make them sit down in companies about fifty each, and they did so, and made them all sit down.  And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.  And they ate, and were all filled:  And there was taken up that which remained over of them of broken pieces twelve baskets."  So all of them record that they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces, but John is the only one that says the Lord told them to do it.  "And it came to pass, as he was praying apart, the disciples were with him:  And he asked them, saying."  Well, I reckon that we have read all that we need to read from Luke there. 


What are some lessons that we should have learned from these accounts concerning Jesus feeding the five thousand?

STUDENT: The number one I would learn would not to be wasteful.

BROTHER TURNER:  Learn not to be wasteful.

STUDENT:  Yes, sir.

BROTHER TURNER: American people as a people are pretty wasteful people, aren't they?  STUDENT:  This is true.

BROTHER TURNER:  There are many places where the people would like to have, you might say, the crumbs of our tables.  Maybe that can sometimes be carried to an extreme, but at least  the economy of the world is that the Lord has created in such a way that really nothing is wasted, right?  STUDENT:  That's true.  BROTHER TURNER:  When things fall on the ground, it is going to go back to fertile soil, or it  is going to feed the various kinds of insects.  Nothing from the standpoint of creation is actually lost.  And I believe you will find that those in the main in the church who give cheerfully and liberally are those that are conservative in living.  A man can go out and do a lot of throwing away in buying.  He gets excited and he buys this and he buys the other, and ends up spending a lot of money, and a lot of times on things he did not begin to need.  And a lot of them then end up giving the Lord the crumbs, but that is not the proper thing.  Think that how a lot of business enterprises in the United States have capitalized on seeing that nothing is wasted.  The meat‑packing industry.  That has been one of the points of their success is that they use everything.  In manufacturing some products, there are a lot of by‑products that come as a result.  Those companies who learn to make things useful out of those by‑products may be the difference between real success for the company and not success.  So that is an important principle that nothing be lost and Jesus set forth that principle.  The miracle shows that he is God, his work proves that he is a divine person and that he came from God.  What about having the people sit down in companies?  And he blessed the bread and the fishes and gave to the disciples and the disciples to the multitude.  God is a God of order, is he not?

STUDENT:  Yes, order.

BROTHER TURNER:  And think how that could have even caused a riot.  The people must have been very hungry, and if  it had not been in an orderly fashion, they would have been running over one another to get to the bread and the fishes.

STUDENT:  It certainly would hurt a few women and children, wouldn't it? BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, but it looks like there must have been perfect order after he had the disciples tell them to sit down in companies and then he blessed and gave to the disciples and the disciples to the multitude.


I believe we will turn back to the gospel of John and continue reading the rest at least of chapter six, maybe chapter seven of John before we go back to Matthew.  Let us pick up with verse twenty‑three of chapter six of John.  I believe that is where we left off.  "On the morrow the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea that saw there was no other boat there, save the one that Jesus entered not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone."  They were wondering how Jesus got there, see.  There was but one boat and that was the one that the disciples left in.  And Jesus after that sent the multitudes away and went into the mountains to pray and then went walking on the sea of Galilee to the other side, at least according to Mark, said he was going to pass them by.  I reckon I will have to pick up with verse twenty‑two again.  "On the morrow the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, save one and that Jesus entered not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone; (howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they ate the bread, after the Lord had given thanks.)  When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.  And when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?"  They have a problem.  They knew he was not in that boat when the boat left.  "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye eat of the loaves, and were filled." 


So this gives him the opportunity to teach about spiritual food.  Verse twenty-seven, "Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him the Father even God hath sealed."  So Jesus is going to teach them in detail about how that he is the bread of life.  And remember in his conversation with the Samaritan woman that he taught her that he is the water of life.  "They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."  Sometimes when people are talking so deliberately about how that works do not have a part in our salvation, we may need to remind them that even faith itself is a work.  "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."  So it is the work of God for men to believe on Christ.  "They said therefore unto him, What then doest thou for a sign, that we may see, and believe thee?  What workest thou?  Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat."  Of course, it is referring to their eating the manna in the wilderness. When they rebelled they had to journey for thirty‑eight more years to finish out the forty years, so God fed them with manna from heaven.  "Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread of heaven."


So it looks like that that manna in some way was a type of Christ to come, and God gave them that bread out of heaven.  Jesus is that true bread out of heaven.  There was nothing for them to eat in that wilderness journey, and God gave them manna out of heaven, and it was sufficient to sustain their physical health; and Christ, the true bread, is surely sufficient to maintain spiritual health for every true beliver. "For the bread of God is this which cometh down out of heaven and giveth life unto the world.  And they said therefore unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.  Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  He that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that had believeth on me shall never thirst."  So Jesus is the bread of life and he is the water of life.


Now here from the sixth chapter of John, be sure to remember that Jesus said four times in the sixth chapter of John that he would raise up the righteous that at the last day.  Again, the premillennial doctrine, the rapture preachers, are going to have the righteous raptured up and go to heaven with the Lord.  Then, according to that false doctrine there would be seven years of extreme affliction, of terrible trouble on the earth, and after the seven years, he is going to come to earth and reign on the throne of David in Judah.  Remember Jeremiah twenty‑two when that king was carried into captivity, Jeremiah said “count this man as childless, no more shall a man of his seed prosper reigning in Judah (RSV).”  And Christ' lineage is traced through Jeconiah, Matthew 1:12.  After Jeconiah was carried into Babylon, he had a son named Shealtiel.  And Shealtiel had a son named Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel is the one that led back that first company from Babylonian captivity of nearly fifty thousand people, including their servants.  And he had been made their governor by Cyrus king of Persia soon after the Persians took over the government of Babylon. 


Verse thirty‑five again, "Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  He that cometh to me shall not hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  And I said unto you, That ye have seen me, and yet believe not.  All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."  Every person who has believed on Christ, if he does not receive eternal salvation it will not be because the Lord is not faithful.  Jesus said, “he that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out”.  And just as long as a child of God hears and follows Christ, the devil does not have the power to take a child of God out of God's hand, and out of Christ's hand (John 10:27-29).  But if he ceases to hear and follow by his own conduct, he can take himself out.  But Jesus said, him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.  "For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."  So it is the will of God that every person who believes on Christ may have eternal salvation.  Of course, man is a free moral agent, and it continues to turn on how he uses his free moral agency.  If he continues to try to be faithful to the Lord, he will be among the redeemed and the Lord will raise him up in the last day.  Verse thirty‑nine, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but shall raise it up at the last day."  They are going to have the righteous raised up, and those seven years of tribulation, and then Christ and those saints coming back to earth and reigning a thousand years. But the Lord is going to raise up the righteous at the last day, and the unrighteous at the last day (John 5:28-29).  That is in the latter part of verse thirty‑nine.  You would do well to highlight just the last part of thirty‑nine and the last part of verse forty and the last part of verse forty‑four and the last part of verse fifty‑four.  You can do too much highlighting, and so be careful how you do it.  But you see how that will stand out there.  Four times in chapter six, the Lord said he will raise up the righteous in the last day.  "For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life:  And I will raise him up at the last day."  But remember man's free moral agency is always involved, but it is God’s will that all who believe on Christ will have eternal life. He would like for all men to be saved.  Remember II Peter 3:9, God is not slack concerning his promises, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us‑ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  But we know that the great majority of people have always traveled down the broad and wrong way that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount.  I Timothy 2:4, "Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."  But God is not going to force any man to believe on Christ.  And those who believe on him, he is not going to force them to continue to do right.  He is not going to cast out any of the faithful for sure.  Verse forty‑one, "The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread of life which came down out of heaven.  And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?  How does he now say, I am come down out of heaven?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.  No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him:  And I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they all shall be taught of God.  Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me."  And so we will stop there, because we want to discuss that in detail.  I guess it was in the class of Acts that I have already discussed it in detail.  If that be the case, I want to discuss that in detail for this class.  I haven't discussed it in this class, have I?

STUDENT:  No, sir, not in this class.

BROTHER TURNER:  We will take a break.  (A brief was recess taken.)

BROTHER TURNER:  Okay.  We were reading from John 6:45.  "It is written in the prophets, They all shall be taught of God.  Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me."  Do you have a footnote by verse forty‑five in your Bibles?

STUDENT:  I have Isaiah 54:13.

BROTHER TURNER:  Do you have a footnote in verse forty‑five?  You ought to have a footnote in front of, and they shall all be taught of God.

STUDENT:  Yes, sir.

BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  What reference does it give?

STUDENT:  It sends me to Isaiah 54:13.

BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  Isaiah 54:13.  The other night in the class in Acts, when we were talking about a number of Old Testament passages which show that Christ was to be raised up to reign on God's throne or on David's throne, we also took time to read some of the references about the house of Israel, being the new Israel of God, being made up of Jews and Gentiles, and how that the family would be so greatly increased by the coming in of the Gentiles, that the land of Israel would not be large enough to hold all of the people.  And we will take time to read just a few of those passages from Isaiah tonight.  If you will turn to Isaiah chapter forty‑nine, the passage is talking about Christ and his mouth is like a sharp sword, verse two.  And in verse six, God says it is too light a thing that ye shall be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel.  I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.  And then in the latter part of verse eight, I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people.  So Christ would be given as a light not only to the remnant of Jacob, but would be given as a light and as a covenant to the Gentile people, and the family would be greatly enlarged by the bringing in of the Gentile people.  And one of the references on the family being enlarged, Isaiah forty‑nine beginning with verse nineteen, "Surely your waste and your desolate places, and your devastated land, surely now will be too narrow for your inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away.  The children mourn in time of your bereavement, will yet say in your ears, The place is too narrow for me:  make room for me to dwell.  Then you will say in your heart  This is talking about the new Israel of God.  who hath born me these, I was bereaved and barren, exiled and put away."  And in the book of Jeremiah, God talks about the two sisters that he had put away,  one sister referring to the ten tribes, and he thought that the other sister, Judah,  would wake up, and they did not wake up and God divorced her with the Babylonian captivity.  "I was bereaved and barren, exiled and put away, but who hath brought up these?  Behold, I was left alone; whence then have these come?  Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Nations, and raise my signal to the people:  And they shall bring your sons in their bosoms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders."  And so in Christ, the family is going to be greatly enlarged by the bringing in of the Gentile people. 


And again in chapter fifty‑four.  It says, "Sing O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing.  And  cry aloud, you who have been in travail:  For the children of the desolate one or more than the children of her that was married, saith the Lord." And I believe it is that reference that was quoted in Galations chapter four ‑‑ that this reference is quoted.  And if you do not give attention to it, you will think it may be talking about Sarah.  "For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her that is married, says the Lord."  But it is talking about Israel in captivity, desolate in exile, but yet the family is going to increase.  "Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out.  Hold not back, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; for you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations, and will people the desolate cities."  And coming down to verse five, "For your Maker is your husband; and the Lord of hosts is his name."  And then this verse thirteen that is quoted in John 6:45.  "All your sons shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the prosperity of your sons."  So in John 6:45, you need to put down Isaiah 54:13 and Hebrews 8:11.  And here in Isaiah 54:13, you need to write down in your Bible John 6:45‑46 and Hebrews 8:11. 


One of the primary differences between the Old Testament religion and the New Testament religion is that the Old Testament religion left a man in the flesh.  There was no spiritual birth.  When a child was born to Jewish parents, he was counted as part of the commonwealth of Israel, and then it was the responsibility of the parents to teach him about the Lord on every occasion that they had.  But the Old Testament law left them in the flesh.  There was no spiritual birth, and, of course, there was no complete forgiveness of sin under that law.  This is an important reference to understand that the Holy Spirit is speaking through Isaiah, telling of a day to come when they first have to be taught, and this is the meaning of Hebrews 8:11.  The writer begins by quoting from Jeremiah 31:31, that the day is coming when he would give a new law.  And Hebrews 8:11, I believe from the American Standard, reads that “they shall not teach every man his brother and every man his fellow citizen saying know the Lord, for all shall know me from the least to the greatest of them  I find that there are very few people that seem to understand the meaning of the verse.  Some have counted that reference as a time when people everywhere will know the Lord, but it is talking about before people make up the commonwealth of Israel today, which is the church and kingdom of Christ, that they first must be taught.  They will not teach every man his brother in Christ and every man his fellow citizen, a citizen in the heavenly kingdom.  Philippians 3:20 reads, “For our citizenship is from heaven, from whence we look for a Savior our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that may be conformed to the body of his glory.”  


And so one of the primary distinctions, there must be a spiritual birth before a person is part of the kingdom of Christ.  Remember how Jesus taught Nicodemus that.  Nicodemus, like the other Pharisees, had rejected the baptism of God, and so Jesus moved immediately to talk to him about a new birth.  Now, a person cannot be in the kingdom without a new birth.  So the new birth is one of the primary distinctions between the Old Testament religion and the New Testament religion, and that's stressed also in the eighth chapter of the book of Romans.  And then another primary difference is also stated there in Hebrews 8:12. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”.  And so under the law of Christ, there is complete forgiveness of sin.  When the alien sinner applies the blood of Christ by believing on Christ, and repenting of his sins and confessing Christ to be the Son of God and then baptized for the remission of sins, he comes to the death where Christ's blood was shed.  Thus he applies the blood, and all of his past sins are forgiven (Romans 6:3-7).  Those past sins are never called against him again.  They are forgiven completely.  And then as a child of God walks in the light as he is in the light, John says, I John1:7-9, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin  But he goes ahead to say, “but if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, he is just and righteous and will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness  But no sins are cleansed apart from applying the blood of Christ.  The alien sinner applies the blood when he believes on Christ, repents of his sins, confesses the name of Christ before men and is buried with him in baptism for the remission of his sins.  And it is at that point that his sins are forgiven completely.


STUDENT:  It's at that point where the blood is applied?

BROTHER TURNER:  That is the point where the blood is applied.  I can remember the day when some would say, “We believe in a blood salvation, but you believe in a  water salvation.”  Well, now, who believes in a blood salvation, when it is the point of baptism that one reaches the blood.  That blood was shed in his death.  So water baptism applies the benefit of the death of Christ, the blood of Christ, when he is baptized into the likeness of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, Romans 6:3‑7.  I hope all of you will write down references and notes in your Bible.  Remember the best references that you can have are references that you can make in your Bible.  Some of you may take some good notes, but when you need them, you will not have them with you.  And if you will write down good references in your Bible, they will remind you.  And so by verse forty‑five, if you will write down Isaiah 54:13 and Hebrews 8:11 and 12.  Remember there are two primary differences there between the Old Testament law and the New Testament law. 


We will read verse forty‑five again, "It is written in the prophets, and they all shall be taught of God, every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me.  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father."  Of course, Christ is talking about himself.  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth hath eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down out of heaven:  If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.  Yea and the bread which I give is my flesh, for the life of the world.  The Jews therefore strove one with another saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?  Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in yourself."  And, again, how does one eat the flesh and drink the blood? He does it by believing on Christ and doing as he has commanded.  When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, you remember the bread represents the body of Christ and the blood represents the blood of Christ.  And that is another way in which Christian people partake of his flesh and his blood is by eating the Lord's Supper on each first day of the week (I Corinthians 16:11-12, 11:33; Acts 20:7) as the Bible commands us to do.  Verse fifty‑four, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." 


So there is coming a last day, and that last day will be that second advent of Christ as spoken of in Hebrews 9:28, “he shall appear a second time apart from sin Some of our brethren are going to an extreme when they talk about Christ coming in 70 A.D.  The Bible speaks of him only coming a second time.  "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him."  And, of course, that simply by believing on Christ by being faithful to Christ, one is in that sense eating his flesh and drinking his blood.  In other words, he is applying the benefit of his life, his death on the cross by hearing and following.  "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father:  So that he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me."  Of course, he is not talking about eating him literally.  "This is the bread, which came down out of heaven:  Not as the fathers ate and died.  He that eateth this bread, shall live forever.  These things said he in the synagogue as he taught in Capernaum.  Many therefore of his disciples when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?  But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said unto them, Doth this cause you to stumble?  What then if ye should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before?"  Christ knew that he was going to ascend back to the Father.  If you think this is a hard saying, what if ye should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before.  "It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing:  The words that I have spoken unto you, are spirit, and are life.  But there are some of you that believe not.  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him.  And he said, For this cause, have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.” 


Verse sixty, “Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away?  Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life."  Peter was always quick to respond, not always correctly, but quick to respond, it was his  very nature, but he responds very correctly on this occasion.   "And we have believed and know that thou art the holy one of God.  Jesus answered them, Have not I chose the twelve, and one of you is the devil?  Now he spake of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot:  For he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve."  I believe we will go ahead and read from chapter seven of John and then we will go to Matthew. 



Chapter Seven

"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee:  For he would not walk in Judaea, because the Jews sought to kill him."  Now, I hope you have noticed that John uses the Jews referring to the leaders, those who were supposed to have been spiritual leaders of the Jewish people, like the scribes and the Pharisees and those who made up the Sanhedrin Court.  And so they are bent on killing him.  And so he walked in Galilee, for he would not walk in Judaea because the Jews sought to kill him.  “Now the feast of the Jews', the feast of the tabernacles was at hand  I hope all of you will give attention to the outline on the three annual feasts.  I think it will help you to get a better understanding to look at the outline.  Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of the tabernacles was at hand.  There were three annual feasts, the feast of the Passover and the feast of the unleavened bread, which was of the first feast, as a memorial to God passing over the houses of the Israelites because they had applied the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their houses, (Exodus 12:7).  And Exodus 12:13 says, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.”  And so that feast came in the first month of the Jewish calendar, which answers to April in our calendar today.  That was the first feast.  And then the second feast was the feast where they celebrated the harvest of the small grain, the feast of harvests, because they were to number seven sabbaths.  And the morrow after the seven sabbaths was the second feast.  And that would make it always come on the first day of the week.  And remember it is called Pentecost in Acts two, because the meaning of the Greek word Pentecost meaning fiftieth.  The feast of the tabernacles is the last of three annual feasts.  And this feast came at the end of their harvest period, when they had harvested in everything of their vine crops and their fruit trees and their entire harvest.  They celebrated this feast of ingathering or feast of that final harvest then, and they were to make booths or tabernacles, as spoken of here, to live in during that week.  It lasted for a whole week, and then on the eighth day, they were to have a holy convocation.  “Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of the tabernacles was at hand  They were to take palm trees and other boughs of trees and vines and build what we called a brush harbor, going back to those days ‑‑ I don’t guess you remember those days, but I can remember the days of brush harbors when they put up some poles and put branches over those poles to cut out most of the sun, if they had a meeting in the daytime.  They lived in the booths in remembrance of those days when they did not have homes to dwell in while they were journeying toward Canaan, that they lived in booths, and so the feast of tabernacles.


Verse two again, "Now the feasts of Jews', the feast of the tabernacles was at hand.  His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may behold thy works which thou doest:  For no man doeth any thing in secret, and himself seeketh to be known openly.  If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world.  For even his brethren did not believe on him."  So at this time, the earthly brothers of Jesus did not believe on him, but the cross made all the difference.  They were to gather together with the apostles and Mary the mother of Jesus and about a hundred and twenty as given in Acts one, waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.  But these brothers, at this time, did not believe on him.  And, again, you know how according to the Catholic doctrine that they talk about Mary being a perpetual virgin as though she did not have any more children.  And about every year, people somewhere are going to see the virgin Mary appearing to them!  But look at Matthew 13:54, "And coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogues, insomuch as they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  Is not this the carpenter's son?  Is not his mother called Mary?  And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  And his sisters, are they not all with us?"  So that would make at least seven children.                 STUDENT:  Quite a few.

BROTHER TURNER:  ‑‑ in the family of Joseph and Mary.  Four brothers and two sisters, and so at least seven in the family.  You would do well to highlight verse five.  "For even his brethren did not believe on him."  And so actually they are criticizing him, right?  You are not what you claim to be.  If you are what you claim to be, if you are then move on up to the feast and show yourself openly, “if thou doest these things.  Manifest thyself to the world.  Jesus therefore saith unto them, My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready.  The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil."  And there are people today who hate faithful Christians, because their way of living testifies against their wrong kind of living.  "Go ye up unto the feast:  Because my time is not yet fulfilled.  And having said these things unto them, he abode still in Galilee.  But when his brethren were gone up unto the feast, then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret."  Now, can you imagine the Jewish people, all the males were required to attend these three annual feasts.  And it looks like it was a pattern under normal circumstances for the whole family to go.  So you can imagine the crowds as they started, say, from Dan in the north to Jerusalem and Beersheba in the south, the northern extreme to the southern extreme going to Jerusalem to the feast, and how as they journeyed along, the crowds would get larger and larger.  And so it looks like Jesus did not go with the multitudes, right?

STUDENT:  Right.

BROTHER TURNER:  And then he went also not publicly, but as it were in secret.  "The Jews therefore sought him at the feast and said,  He was not there at the beginning of the feast.  Where is he?  And there was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him:  Some said, He was a good man: Others said, Not so; but he leadeth the multitude astray.  Yet no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews."  And, again, you see how he is using the Jews there.  They feared that ruling party because they were bent on killing Jesus, and they would be ready to cast out of the synagogue any that believed on him.  "But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught."  So the midst of the feast, and remember it lasted a full week, and then a holy convocation on the eighth day, if I remember it correctly.  And so he goes up in the middle of the feast.  "And the Jews therefore marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?"  They had those Jewish schools that anyone that is supposed to be a leader was supposed to be trained in.  And so how can this fellow teach?  How knoweth this man letters having never learned.  "Jesus therefore answered them, and said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me.  If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself."  Remember the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.  This is saying about the same  thing but in another way, if any man is willing to do his will ‑‑ and that is the real desire to do the will ‑‑ he shall know of the teaching.  He would be that man who is hungering and thirsting after righteousness.  "Whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself."  And that still holds.  The word of God is plain enough.  If a man really wants to know the will of Christ in respect to what he needs to do in order to be saved and stay in a saved condition, he can learn by reading and by hearing the word of God. 


Verse eighteen, "He that speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory:  But he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him."  And, of course, Jesus is talking about himself when he said, “My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me.” He was not seeking his own glory, but he was seeking the glory of him that sent him.  Some speak trying to gain glory for themselves rather than giving glory to God. "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you doeth the law?  Why seek ye to kill me?"  And I guess the multitude really does not know that ‑‑ Well, going back to verse thirteen, it looks like that many of them knew that the Pharisees were against him.  "And Jesus asked and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel because thereof.  Moses hath given you circumcision; (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and on the sabbath ye circumcise a man."  Abraham was ninety‑nine years old and the son by the handmaid Ishmael was thirteen years of age when God gave him the covenant of circumcision. Abraham was a man who always obeyed God, and the same day that God gave the command for circumcision, Abraham saw to it that all were circumcised that same day.  Isn't that Genesis chapter seventeen? STUDENT:  It's somewhere around there.


BROTHER TURNER:  Genesis chapter seventeen, picking up with verse nine, "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee throughout their generations.  This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee.  Every male among you shall be circumcised.  And ye shall be circumcised from the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.  And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generation, he that is born into thy house, and all the servants, that are bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed.  He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised:  And my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant."  Picking up with verse twenty‑two, "And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.  And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the self‑same day as God said unto him."  From Genesis chapter fourteen, you remember that there were three hundred and eighteen trained soldiers that had been born in Abraham's house.  My, reckon how many men were circumcised in that one day.  And so all males were circumcised on that same day, every male among the men of Abraham's house, “circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the self‑same day as God had said unto him.  Abraham was ninety years old and nine when he was circumcised with the flesh of his foreskin. In the self same day was Abraham circumcised and Ishmael his son.” Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Then the promise that Sarah would have a son, is given in Genesis 18:15-18, and that would make Ishmael fourteen when Isaac was born.  If Isaac was three years old when he was weaned, that would make Ishmael  seventeen years of age when Sarah said to Abraham, “cast out the handmaiden and her son”. 


Back to John 7:22, "Moses hath given you circumcision; (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and on the sabbath you circumcised a man."  Now, think of that, they can carry out circumcision, but when Jesus healed a man on the sabbath day, they were ready to tell him it was wrong to heal on the sabbath day. "If a man receiveth circumcision on the sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are ye then wrought with me, because I made a man every whit whole on the sabbath?  Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."  God never gave a command that prevented them from helping the infirm on the sabbath day.  "Some therefore of them of Jerusalem said, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?"  So some of them knew that the Jews were seeking to kill him.  "And lo, he speaketh openly, and they say nothing unto him.  Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is the Christ?  Howbeit we know this man whence he is:  But when the Christ cometh, no one knoweth whence he is."  So some are saying, we can't know when the Christ comes.  "And Jesus therefore cried in the temple teaching, and saying, Ye both know me, and know whence I am:  and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.  I know him:  because I am from him, and he sent me."  And John 3:16 reads, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son."  God sent Christ as the sin offering for man.  "They sought therefore to take him:  and no man laid his hand on him, because his hour was not yet come." 


So Jesus was not taken until the appointed time for him to be taken.  And remember the Pharisees had said, we will not take him during the feast of that last Passover.  But it was time for Jesus to suffer as the lamb of God at the time of that Passover feast, and he did. He did not die according to their plans.  "They sought therefore to take him:  And no man laid his hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.  But of the multitude many believed on him, and they said, When the Christ shall come, will he do more signs than those which this man hath done?"  They were reasoning properly.  Has he not done enough signs to convince you that he is the Christ?  Can a person come and do more signs than he has done?  "The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him; and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to take him.  Jesus therefore said, "Yet a little while I am with you, and I go unto him that sent me.  Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me:  And where I am, ye cannot come.  The Jews therefore said among themselves, Whither will he this man go, that we shall not find him?  Will he go unto the dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?  What is this word that he saith, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me:  and where I am, ye cannot come?"  Jesus was going to soon return to his father and they could not come because they were rejecting  him. 


Verse 37, "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said from within him, shall flow the rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive:  For the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified.)  Some of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, This is of a truth the Prophet.  Others said, This is the Christ.  But some said, What doth the Christ come out of Galilee?  Hath not the scriptures said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"  And remember Micah, the Holy Spirit had said through him that Christ would be born in Bethlehem of Judaea.  So they are overlooking the fact that he was born in Bethlehem like the prophet had said.  "So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.  And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.  The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why did ye not bring him?"  See, they were sent to take him.  "The officers answered, never man so spake."  Strange thing how that they had said, how can this man teach since he had not been taught?  Here the officers answered, “never man so spake  "The Pharisees therefore answered them, Are ye also led astray?  Have any of the rulers believed on him or of the Pharisees?"  You see how proud and arrogant they were.  We are the wise men.  We know, and you are just foolish, you do not know.  We will stop here.  (A brief recess was taken.)

BROTHER TURNER:  I am reading from John 3:19, "This is the judgment that the light come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.” This is still the primary reason why so many do not want to hear the gospel today. So the Pharisees had sent the officers of  the Sanhedrin court.  They had sent them to take Jesus, but they went back without him.  And they asked why.  The officers answered, “Never man so spake  John 7:50, "Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to him before being one of them.)"  Meaning one of that Jewish court.  "Doth our law judge a man, axcept it first hear from  himself, and know what he doeth?"  So Nicodemus reminded the other members of the Sanhedrin that they are judging Jesus contrary to the law. I wonder if he had received the baptism of John by this time.  Remember that he assisted Joseph of Arimathea in the burial of Jesus.  "They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee?  Search, and see:  For out of Galilee ariseth no prophet."  And going back to what some had said that the Christ was to come from Bethlehem.  But Micah had spoken concerning the birth of Christ, that he would be born in Bethlehem of Judaea. 


I have found the chapter in Isaiah that I was looking for a while ago about Christ being the water of life and the bread of life as set forth in Isaiah chapter fifty‑five.  "Ho, every one that thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do ye spend money for that which is not bread?  And your labor for that which does not satisfy?" This passage is not talking about literal food.  Literal food just satisfies for a little while. "Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in the fatness.  Incline your ear, and come to me."  So this is the invitation of Christ given through Isaiah the prophet more than 700 years before Christ was born of the virgin Mary.  "Hear, that your soul may live, and I will make you an everlasting covenant.  My steadfast sure love for David.  Behold, I made him a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the peoples.  Behold, you call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you because of the Lord your God, and the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified you.  Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  Let him return unto Jehovah, and he will heal him.  And let him return to the Lord that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my  thoughts higher than your thoughts.  For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and returned not thither, but watereth the earth, and making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.  So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth.  It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the same for which I sent it.  For ye shall go out in joy, and be led forth with peace:  The mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  


I guess you have heard some brethren say that either a passage is supposed to be interpreted as all figurative, or all literal, haven't you?  That is not the case.  Many times in the book of Isaiah, you have plain non‑figurative language, and then you have figurative language.  The latter part of this passage is surely one of those that is figurative, the mountains and hills breaking forth into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  So some passages on the surface  you can see that they are figurative.  Others may not be so easy, even when they are figurative.  And in regard to the word of God accomplishing what God sends it to.  John 12:48, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, the same judgeth him:  The same will judge him in the last day."  So the word of God is going to accomplish its purpose.  It either saves that humble person or it condemns that man who refuses to believe on Christ.  In II Corinthians 2:15-16, Paul talks about how that they were a sweet sacrifice to the Lord in  them that were saved and in them that perished.  So when men faithfully teach and preach the gospel, it is pleasing to God.  Those that receive the teaching, of course, will have salvation.  Those who reject the teaching are left in their sins.  But God is still well‑pleased that the gospel is preached.  It still is a sweet sacrifice to God when men teach and preach the gospel correctly. 


Matthew Five

Now, we will turn to Matthew chapter five.  Matthew is the only one that records the full length of the sermon that Jesus gave which is spoken of as the Sermon on the Mount.  Mark and Luke record portions of it, but it looks like Matthew gives the whole sermon.  Matthew chapter five beginning with verse one, "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain:  And when he hath sat down, his disciples came down to him:  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, blessed are the poor in spirit:  For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  I wish that you would write out by verse three an Old Testament reference, Isaiah 66:2.  The latter part of that verse reads, to this man will I look.  He that is poor and contrite spirit and trembleth at my word.  Don't those two passages mean the same thing?

STUDENT:  I would think so, yes, sir.

BROTHER TURNER:  A man poor in spirit who recognizes that he is sinful, that he is lost without the Lord, like Peter said, to whom shall go, thou hast the words eternal life.  Poor in spirit is surely the opposite of having that puffed up spirit like the scribes and Pharisees had. They were puffed up and arrogant. They were like the publican in the temple who stood and thanked God as to how good he was, and not like other men.  So the poor in spirit are those who really have a sense of being helpless without God's salvation.  In regard to Isaiah 66:2, instead of poor, some other versions read humbled, contrite spirit.  But, anyway, he is talking about that person who is ready like the publican who would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote his breasts, saying, Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.  He was poor in spirit.


Verse four,  "Blessed are they that mourn:  For they shall be comforted."  Jesus is talking about the kind of mourning that leads men to repentance and the kind of mourning where people mourn because of sins in our American Society.  Think of the terrible way that our American society has been going now for many years.  And all sincere people should be mourning in a sense, because of the way our country has been going down the wrong way, and those that mourn for their own sins and those that mourn for members of the family, members of the church that have turned back into sin.  Do you remember the fifth chapter of I Corinthians how the Corinthians were puffed up instead of mourning over the man that had his father's wife?  Paul rebukes them for their being puffed up when they should have been mourning.  Well, after Paul wrote that letter to them, then they, at least the great majority of the church, did mourn over their sin.  Please turn to the seventh chapter of II Corinthians, and picking up with verse five, "For, even when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no relief."  He is so concerned about news from the Corinthian church. In chapter two he tells how there was an open door for him to preach at Troas, but he was so concerned that  Titus was not there, and he was  concerned about whether or not they received the epistle in the right way, that he left that open door and went on into Macedonia.  So verse five, "For, even when they were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.  Nevertheless, he that comforteth the lowly, even God comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only but also by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in you, while he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more.  For though I made you sorrow with my epistle, I do not regret it, though I did regret it:  For I see that that epistle made you sorrow, though but for a season.  I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorrow, but that ye were made sorrowed unto repentance:  For ye were made sorrow after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing.  For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret, but the sorrow of the world worketh death."  They did what Paul commanded them to do.  They disciplined the fornicator, and it  brought sorrow to them when they got to thinking about how they had conducted themselves in the wrong way.  "So blessed are they that mourn."  But this has to do with that godly sorrow. 


Verse five, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."  One of the best examples of meekness in the Old Testament would be Moses.  He is spoken of as being the meekest man of all the earth in his day.  And do you remember how he pleaded for the people of Israel when God was ready to destroy them?  When they sent the twelve spies from the wildness of Paran to spy out the land of Canaan, a man from each tribe, and they came back, all twelve of them giving a true report, that it was “a land flowing with milk and honey” as God had described it.  And they brought back of the fruit of the land to show it, and one bunch of grapes that they had to carry on a pole between two of them.  My that would be some bunch of grapes! But then ten of them brought up a lying report that the land devours  its inhabitants.  Numbers chapter thirteen, verse thirty‑two, "So they brought to the people of Israel an evil report of the land, which they had spied out saying, The land through which we have gone to spy out, is a land that devoureth its inhabitants."  And, of course, that was a lie.  "And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature."  That is another lie.  There were giants in the land, but not all the people were giants.  "There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come  from giants:  and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them."  So they had a grasshopper complex.  Sometimes today members of the church have a grasshopper complex.  We cannot do this, and we cannot do the other, and they do not put forth the proper effort to do. And notice that they rebelled.  In chapter fourteen and verse two in the latter part, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt or would that we had died in this wilderness.  Why does the Lord bring us into this land to fall by the sword.  Our wives and our little ones have become a prey?  Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?  And they said one to another, Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt."  God was so displeased with them, and notice what he said to Moses.  Verse ten, "But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.  Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all of the people of Israel.  And the Lord said to Moses, How long will this people despise me?  And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs which I have brought among them?  I will strike them with pestilence, and disinherit them, and I will make of you a greater and mightier than they."  So God said to Moses, just get out of our way and I will kill this people with pestilence and disinherit them and I will make of you a new nation greater and mightier than they.  If there had been any proud or arrogant spirit in Moses, he would have taken God up on that, don’t you think?

STUDENT:  He would have.

BROTHER TURNER:  He could have said, Lord, I regret that they are so sinful, but I see that they are, so  I am willing for you to do as you plan to do.  But notice that Moses pleaded with God for the people.  Numbers 14:15, "Now if thou dost kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard thy fame will say, because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he swear to give them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.  Now, I pray thee, let the power of the Lord be great, as thou hast promised, saying, the Lord is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children upon the third and upon the fourth generation.  Pardon, the iniquity of this people I pray thee, according to the greatness of thy steadfast love, and according as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.  And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to your word." So as spoken of in Psalms 106:23 , Moses' prayer had a part in saving the people.  Ezekiel 22:30, he stood in the gap for the people.  "And the Lord said I have pardoned according to your word:  But truly as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, none of the men who have seen my glory, and my signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me proved these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; shall see the land which I swear to give to their fathers, and none of those who despise me shall see it:  but my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit.  He tried to still or quiet the people and said, let us go up at once, for we are well able to overcome them,  and have followed me fully, I will bring into the land which he went; and his descendants shall possess it."  Verse twenty‑nine, "Your dead body shall fall in the  wilderness; and all of your numbered, numbered from twenty years old and up, who have murmured against me, not one shall come into the land, where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.  But your little ones, who ye said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised." 


So that first generation did not receive the land, the land of Canaan, because they rebelled against the Lord.  And God made them to wander in the wilderness for thirty-eight more years.  They could have gone into the land of Canaan in that two years if they had not rebelled.  Deuteronomy is spoken of as the doubling of the law for it is.  Moses gives the law again to that second generation.  All of those men twenty years of age and above died.  Thus the book of Deuteronomy is giving of the book of the law to that second generation.  Deuteronomy two and fourteen reads, "And the time from our leaving, Kadesh‑barnea."  And that is where they were when the spies were sent to spy out the land.  "Until we crossed the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until the entire generation, that is the men of war hath perished from the camp, as the Lord hath sworn to them."  So they would have wandered a year for a day.  It had been approximately two years since they left Egypt until the time of rebellion   Do you remember Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if any man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."  And it talks about a man who thinks himself to be something when he was nothing, is a man who thinks that he is so holy and righteous that he will not help those who are over taken in sin. So a meek and kind spirit, always seeks that which is best for people.  So blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

Verse six, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness:  For they shall be filled."  I believe that we understand that there is not a hungering and thirsting after righteousness so far as American society as a whole is concerned.  And it looks like that even in the church, I guess we are all guilty ‑‑ that we do not hunger and thirst after righteousness like we should.  I am of the opinion that about the only time that the average member of the church reads the scriptures enough to amount to anything is when they read at church.

STUDENT:  I share that opinion.

BROTHER TURNER:  And that does not sound like hungering and thirsting after righteousness, does it?  Hunger and thirst are two of the very strongest drives of the body.  But Jesus said blessed, and remember the word blessed means happy.  "Happy are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness:  For they shall be filled."  Awhile ago we read that “he that willeth to do his will,” he shall know the teaching, whether they be of God or not.  So those who have that strong desire to know Jesus said “they shall be filled 


Verse seven, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."  And, again, Moses was a man ready to show mercy, wasn't he?  He pleaded with the Lord for him to show mercy.  And a reference that all of us need to keep in mind is James, I believe it's 2:13, that man will be judged without mercy to him that showeth no mercy.  And mercy glorieth against judgment.  James 2:12‑13, "So speak ye, and so do, as man that are judged by a law of liberty for judgment is without mercy, to him that hath showed no mercy; mercy glorieth against judgment."  Now, what man wants to stand before God and be judged just on the basis of just and righteous judgment?  No man will be able to stand on that basis! But the Lord will be able to show mercy to  those who have practiced showing mercy to others. Every man like that stands uncondemned.  And so we need to learn to show mercy, and Jesus our captain is full of mercy and compassion.  "So blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. 


Verse eight, “Blessed are the pure in heart:  For they shall see God."  The pure in heart are those who are controlling their thinking.  The heart of man as spoken of in the Bible is the mind and will of man.  Do you remember how that the writer of Proverbs said,  “keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” Every man becomes a product of his thinking.  So blessed are the pure in heart, those who control their thinking. 


Verse nine, "Blessed are the peacemakers:  For they shall be called the sons of God."  Christ is spoken of in Isaiah chapter nine, among those other identifying words, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  So our Savior is the Prince of Peace, and if we follow him, we will be peacemakers.  Not peacemakers on the basis of compromising with wrong, but peacemakers on the basis of things that are right.  We are to be peacemakers in the family, in the church, at work, and in the community; always ready to try to keep peace and good will among men.  After the angel had appeared to the shepherds, remember the heavenly host of angels were singing, Peace on earth and good will toward men.  The Prince of Peace had been born. 


Verse ten, "Blessed are they that had been persecuted for righteousness' sake:  For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  Not just blessed are those that are persecuted, but for those that are persecuted for righteousness' sake.  How does righteousness come?  It comes by keeping the law of God, Psalms 119 and verse 172, “For all thy commandments are righteousness.”  So a person becomes a righteous person by keeping the commandments of God.  And blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake.  Like Peter and John and then all of the apostles being persecuted by the Sanhedrin court, because they were teaching the commandments of God, they were persecuted for righteousness sake', for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  "Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:  For great is your reward in heaven:  For so persecuted they the prophets that were before you."  So Jesus taught very plainly that if you are faithful in my service, you will be persecuted.  And a good reference that all of us need to keep in mind is II Timothy 3:12, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."  Not may, but shall.  And I think I got the right verse.

STUDENT: That's the right one.

BROTHER TURNER:  That is the right reference?

STUDENT:  Yes, sir.

BROTHER TURNER:  II Timothy 3:12.  That would be a good verse that every Christian ought to have in mind.  Just as surely as we are faithful to the Lord, we are going to be persecuted in some way or the other.  Now, we are not to go out and try to do things in a spiteful manner, so people  will persecute us, that wouldn't be for righteousness' sake.  "But blessed are ye, when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:  For great is your reward in heaven:  For so persecuted they the prophets that were before you."  Remember how they persecuted the prophet Jeremiah.  On one occasion, they let him down in the cistern and he sank in the mud.  They not only persecuted them, but they killed some of them.  And the apostle Peter in I Peter chapter four says,” Inasmuch as Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind:  For he that hath suffered is free from sin”.  I am not getting that exactly right, but, anyway, arm yourselves that just as surely as Christ suffered in the flesh, you are going to suffer in the flesh.  And then further in the chapter, he talks about count it not as a “strange thing,” as though a strange thing has happened unto you.  And he says, let none of you suffer as a meddler in other men's matters, but if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in this behalf. 


Verse thirteen, "Ye are the salt of the earth:  but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men." They say it was the custom for them to store up salt in some kind of a house, and the salt would be on the ground, and that which was closest to the ground would receive enough moisture until it would loose its saltiness. They would not throw it out in the field, because that would ruin the production of crops, but they might put it in the walkway.  So Christians people are the saving influence in any society. Ten righteous people would have saved Sodom and Gomorrah.  The salt of the earth has a special saving power in keeping meat, and I remember the day of the old meatbox. When you killed a hog, or whatever animal you killed, you salted it down in the meatbox and it preserved the meat.  Christian people are to be this saving power, they are the salt of the earth,  the saving influence in the earth.  If there were not a lot of Christian people in the world, this whole world would have already been destroyed, wouldn't it? There were not enough righteous people in the days of Noah to save the world, and God destroyed the world with a world wide flood.  There were not ten righteous people in Sodom.  Ten righteous people would have saved Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction.  And Christian people are the saving influence in the earth.  "Ye are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt hath lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?"  And so Christians can lose their saving influence, they can turn around and be unfaithful to the Lord to the point that they are no more a saving power in the earth but to the contrary, helping to lead men the wrong way.  "So if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted.  It is good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to trodden under the foot of men.” 


Verse fourteen, “Ye are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.  Even so let your light shine before men, and that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  The good, black American preacher back yonder, Marshall Keeble, I have heard him say that the Lord did not say shine your light, but let your light shine.  Some want to make themselves shine, but it says let your light shine.  We let our light shine by living as Christ wants us to live.  Remember Christ is the light that came into the world  (John 3:19).  And that is also given in the eighth chapter of the gospel of John.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world, and he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,  but shall have the light of life.  And so just as surely as we follow Christ faithfully, we are going to be a light to those who want to follow the light.  I like to hear the children sing, going to let the little light shine.  "Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.  Even so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”


Verse seventeen, “Think not that I came to destroy the law of the prophets:  I came not to destroy, but to fulfill."  So Christ did not come to destroy the Old Testament law, the law of the prophets.  I came not to destroy but to fulfill.  And, of course, he was the fulfillment of so many of the prophecies concerning him.  But the primary way in which he came to fulfill the law is by keeping every provision of the Old Testament law.  He kept the law perfectly.  I came not to destroy but to fulfill.  "For verily I say."  And then when Christ died on the cross, that was the end of the Old Testament law, because he had fulfilled it.  You remember Colossians 2:14 says, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took them out of the way, nailing them to his cross."  So Christ's death on the cross of Calvary marked the complete fulfillment of the Old Testament Law.  " For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished."  And one jot or one tittle, I guess, that would be about like dotting the I's and crossing the T's, emphasizing that everything in respect to the law of Moses is going to be fulfilled, that he was going to keep the law perfectly.  It would not pass away until all things be accomplished.  "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven."  Please remember that Matthew used the term kingdom of heaven as Jesus was using that term more than thirty times.  And this would be especially meaningful for the Jewish people that his book was written especially for the benefit of.  "But whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven:  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed, the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees.  ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven."  So Jesus is saying to his disciples, you have got to go beyond what the scribes and the Pharisees do. In their judgment, they were so faithful in carrying out the commandments of God, but they had changed God's law by their traditions. That brings us down to verse twenty‑one.  We will count Matthew 5:21 as the beginning place for our next class session.