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  • Feb 10 / 2019
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Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:13-22

Exorcism used to be a more common practice. Even in Korea, we once could see this happening on the street.

Some people tried to call on the name of a stronger demon to cast out a weaker demon. (Often this meant “more money”).

But when these people saw extraordinary miracles happening with Paul’s aprons and handkerchiefs, they thought “Wow, this Jesus must be the most powerful evil spirit!” So they started to use his name in their own exorcisms.

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

Acts 19:13

These people thought that they could use God’s power (Christ’s power) for bad practices. They realized they couldn’t use his name like a magic charm – they were calling on his name without knowing him personally.

Even today, we must be careful not to misuse this name. This is the most powerful, strongest, purest, holiest name.

One of the 10 Commandments says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” (Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain).

Jesus says, “Many will come to me and say, ‘Lord, did we not drive out demons, perform miracles, preach in your name?’ But I will tell them, ‘I never knew you! Away from me evil doers!'”

Yes, we may use his name, but we must not misuse his name.

Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

Acts 19:15-16

These men were overpowered and received a beating.

  • The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent.
  • Satan is NOT everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful. But he KNOWS Jesus.

In the gospels (Luke 4:34), when a man encountered Jesus he cried out, “What do you want from me Jesus? Have you come to destroy me?” Yes, demons KNOW about Jesus, but they don’t KNOW him.

John 17:3 “This is eternal life: that they know God and him he sent.”

Knowing about Jesus is totally different from knowing him personally. This includes having a personal relationship, fellowship with him.

Do you know the US President? I know about him, but since he doesn’t know about me, then I can’t say I know him. Knowing Jesus saves us – not knowing about him.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.

Acts 19:17

8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11

Please remember, God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that all would bow and worship him.

18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Acts 19:18-19

The lesson from this story is: we should do our best to avoid all kinds of evil.

1 Thes 5:22 “Avoid every kind of evil.”

  • sorcery
  • black magic
  • magic arts
  • fortune telling
  • idolatry

These are all Satanic, demonic, evil jobs. We must keep ourselves clean from these things. You know, making a clean break from sin can be costly. How much was the cost here? 50,000 drachmas – consisting of fortune telling scrolls and books. They burned them publicly.

NLT (New Living Translation) says, 50,000 drachmas = several million dollars. (Drachmas were silver coins at that time).

This means that a person CANNOT believe in Christ and hold onto the magic, demonic arts. It is too easy to become obsessed with these things. Satan is VERY powerful, but God’s power is even greater. That’s why we have hope.

1 John 4:4 “You, children of God, can overcome all these things because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in this world.”

Satan’s nickname is “god of this Age.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Remember that one of the main purposes of Jesus’ appearance in this world was to destroy the work of the devil.

  • save us
  • make us children of God
  • give us eternal life
  • destroy the works of the devil

1 John 1:8 “Whoever does what is sinful belongs to the devil for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The purpose of the Son of God in this world is to destroy the works of the devil.”

Yes, we know the Holy Spirit has many ministries, but the KEY ministry is to “testify about Christ.” To encourage us that we have eternal life. If we know this ministry, then we can also understand the ministry of demons. Also, they have many jobs, but their key job is to “prevent us from believing in Christ.”

2 Cor “Satan has blinded the eyes so they cannot see the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”

One of Jesus’ main purposes: remove sin + undo the work of Satan

His coming brought defeat to Satan (already). So, do not be afraid, for Satan is already a vanquished foe. He has lost his hold on his subjects. Someday (soon), he will be cast out into the lake of fire, and all things he has worked through sin will be undone.

If this is true, Jesus’ purpose is to remove sin, then we must also NOT compromise with sin in the purposes of the devil – or we will find ourselves fighting against Christ! Do you prefer to serve Christ or fight Christ? If you sin, you fight Christ. We should not fight him, but worship him.

20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Acts 19:20

This is another progress report in Ephesus. Events demonstrate that the gospel was spreading. Christ was building his church (“I will build my church,” he says, “On this rock [this confession of faith], I will build my church, and the power of hell cannot overcome it. I give you the keys to heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Did you know you were so powerful, holding these keys? So, we have a mission.

Paul’s final resolution

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:21-22

Paul’s resolution: to visit Rome

Do you have also New Year’s resolutions?

Let us follow Paul’s resolution – he is a good example, a good martyr. His resolution: to go to Jerusalem, and then to Rome. Why?

  • Why go to Jerusalem?
  • Why go to Rome?

Jerusalem

It was very poor financially, materially. So, he wanted to take a collection through all the churches he planted in Macedonia – as a contribution to the Jerusalem church. The references to these collections are in his epistles: Corinthians, Romans

25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.

Romans 15:25-26

His first purpose for going to Jerusalem was to collect money for the church – he had two reasons:

  1. To emphasize the unity of the church, the ONE body of Christ
  2. Also to take them away from a single church focus and give them a vision of a universal church

You know, Antioch church is a complete unit, a church, but itself is also just a part of the universal body of Christ.

“Let us love not only in our words, but also in action and truth.”

Rome

This was his final mission place. Where is your Rome?

“I must visit Rome also.” He had a sense of divine conviction to go. Everywhere he looked, he could see the influence of Rome. So, he wanted to take the eternal truth of God to the “eternal city” of Rome – the center of influence at that time. How old was he at that time? Mid 50s (older than me). At that time, this was very old.

We know that Paul had already finished his two fruitful, but difficult missionary journeys. And now, he was at the end of the third missionary journey. But, he never thought of retiring from ministry.

When he wrote Romans, he wrote, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers. I pray, now, at last, the door may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you to give you a spiritual gift to make you strong. I planned to come to you so many times. I’m a debtor to the gospel, to the Jews and Greeks, and all, that’s why I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome.” This is not the eagerness of a sightseer, but an evangelist.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation for all who believe.”

Yes, after this, we also must go OUT into this world.

Jesus says, “As my Father sent me into this world, so I’m sending you out to the world.” (not into the church) – even twice he repeated this.

We cannot sit back. That is the example we have in Christ. Before man came to Christ, Christ came to man. This is the story throughout the Bible. Before we called him “Lord, Lord” he called us. Before we chose him, he chose us (even before the foundation of the world) to be holy and blameless in his sight – to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Christ.

Do you want to be happy? (Raise your hand)

Also I want to be happy. Our Lord Jesus says, “He who wants to save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” What does this mean practically?

In our application – to be happy – do not live for happiness. That is the secret. I know this secret, so I am standing here.

  • If you want to be happy, do not live for happiness.
  • If you want to be happy, live for the mission given you from God, then you will be happy as a bonus.

If I want to be happy, do not live for happiness.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 08 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is ALL the Signs of God to Us (Matthew 12:38-50)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Christ is ALL the Signs of God to Us (Matthew 12:38-50)

06.08

06.08.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus Christ is all the signs of God to us
Matthew 12:38-50 (Pastor Heo)

The Sign of Jonah
12:39-42pp — Lk 11:29-32 12:43-45pp — Lk 11:24-26
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 43 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
12:46-50pp — Mk 3:31-35; Lk 8:19-21
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”


This is the family of God in heaven.

This chapter (12) is the religious leaders continual challenge to Jesus.

  1. (v.2) The Pharisees condemned Jesus, “Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
  2. (v. 10) “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
  3. (v. 14) They want to kill him.
  4. (v. 24) “This fellow drives out the demons by Beelzebub.”
  5. (v. 37) “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”

Nah, they didn’t really want to see it to believe it. They were just challenging him. Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation wants a sign.” To ask for a sign = evidence of unbelief.

1 Corinthians = “Jews look for signs, Greeks look for human philosophy. But we preach Christ – a stumbling block and confusion… God will save some through the foolishness of what is preached.”

3 Responses today

  1. 38-42: Their history
  2. 43-45: Their (bad) hearts
  3. 46-50: He rejects their honor

#1: Reveals their history

  1. The sign of Jonah.
  2. The queen of the south = Arabia (Yemen)

2 stories: Jonah + the Queen of Sheba

  1. Jonah = in Jonah in the OT
  2. Queen of Sheba = 1 Kings 10, 2 Chronicles 9

Jonah (a Jew) was sent to the Gentiles – Ninevah – under the conquest of Assyria – one of the great enemies of the Jews.

The Queen of Sheba was a Gentile, but came from her country to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.

According to the culture of that time, the fact that Jesus mentioned Gentiles, probably irritated the Pharisees.

This sign of Jonah was important – Jonah experienced a kind of death, burial and resurrection in the belly of the whale. All the signs we need today are Jesus’ death and resurrection. That’s why the whole first half of the book of Acts focuses on this, and why Acts has many, many witnesses to the resurrected life of Jesus.

Jonah was in there for 3 days and 3 nights.

Jesus, however, was in there from Friday night to Sunday morning. At that time, the Jews used “3 days and 3 nights” for emphasis to mean simply “3 days” – also they would say “40 days and 40 nights” for emphasis though it would most likely be 40 days and 39 nights technically.

Jesus is much greater than Jonah here.

  1. Jonah = man, Jesus = man + God
  2. Jonah = disobedience at first, Jesus = obedience to death
  3. Jonah’s grave = in the belly of the whale, a symbol of death, Jesus = a true death and resurrection
  4. Jonah’s ministry = once, to one place, Jesus = one day for a timeless salvation for all people of the world
  5. Jonah’s love = non-existent, animosity in fact – he was a messenger of the wrath of God, Jesus’ ministry = a message of love, grace, and salvation

Jesus is greater in his wisdom, wealth, and works

Now, Solomon was very wise, wealthy, and had many works done for him – but Jesus was/is much greater. To see and hear his words is much more satisfying than to visit the kingdom of Solomon.

The moral: The citizens of Ninevah and the Queen of Sheba will witness against the Jewish Pharisees because (1) they repented (Pharisees rejected), and (2) she traveled a long distance to hear (they ignored). The greater the message, the greater the responsibility.

The wisdom of Solomon caused the Queen of Sheba to worship God. “Praise be to your God, he has delighted in you and placed you in the throne of Israel. God has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.” How unsearchable God’s ways. God can never be limited by our imaginations. Who would have imagined that this woman would become an example of Jesus’ for us today. Please, don’t put God in the small box of your imagination. Surprises may come – strange moments we could not predict. If we understand God clearly, we can take all accidents as Opportunities, not Problems. Please think of all people in your life as Willing Listeners. If we believe in God truly, we receive all Problems as Opportunities to pray.

Proverbs 16:19 “A man determines his way, but God sets his steps.”

What are our reactions when confronted with Jesus Christ? What do you think?

#2: Jesus reveals their hearts (v. 43-45)

Do you believe your heart is being revealed by Christ?

Even today, this is happening (”this wicked generation”). Satan’s house = the body of the person possessed by a demon. Our bodies can be the house of Satan. The demons are restless, peaceless, wandering all the time looking for bodies to rest in and dwell in.

When that demon left, that man’s life was changed for the better. BUT, if that man’s life is still empty, when the demon returns, he brings other spirits and the man’s life becomes worse than before – a tragedy.

Yes, evil spirits can be driven out, can be conquered, but cannot be destroyed. They are constantly looking for an opportunity to counter-attack and regain ground. They are never eliminated until Jesus’ Second Coming. So, we must be always vigilant, watchful, and alert.

Lesson 2: It isn’t enough to clean your house (your mind/body). After cleaning it, we must invite in the right tenant. A negative religion cannot be enough. A religion that has only “Thou Shalt Not” etc you will always fail. One religion around us = “Everything is useless. Desire makes our lives stressful and unhappy. So, you must try to remove all desire and passion. Remove all desire, all passion, become empty, become passionless, ambitionless.” Is this good? No, emptiness makes our lives only more terrible.

For example, if we try to eliminate bad habits, that’s good, but not enough. At the same time, we must decide to do something good.

The best way to rid a garden of weeds is to feed the plants good things. Fill your head and heart and energy and time with something good. What’s the BEST? Jesus. The only cure for evil action = Christian action. Our goal is not only removal of negative action, but also “regeneration” – replacing the negative action with positive action.

Revelation 3:29? “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…”

That’s why the Bible encourages us to constantly “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Remember, our lives can never remain empty. They must be filled with something or somebody. With what, or with whom is your life filled now?

#3: Jesus rejects their honor

Even Jesus’ earthly family didn’t fully understand him or his ministry. Some of his close friends even thought he was mad (crazy). But he didn’t want human honor.

He wasn’t disrespectful toward his earthly family, but he emphasized the family of God. Why? They will live together eternally.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. I’ll give you peace. Peace I give to you, I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

1 John “This world and all its passions pass away but the man who does the will of the Lord will live forever.”

Matthew “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father.”

Do you have true membership in the true family of God? This is only found in obedience to the will of God in heaven – putting our faith in Christ and putting our faith into action.

“Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Let’s pray.

  • May 11 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Pardonable Sins vs. Unpardonable Sin (Matthew 12:15-32)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pardonable Sins vs. Unpardonable Sin (Matthew 12:15-32)

05.11

05.11.2014

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Matthew 12:15-32 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Chosen Servant
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick,16 warning them not to tell who he was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Jesus and Beelzebub
12:25-29pp — Mk 3:23-27; Lk 11:17-22
22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub,the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. 30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.


This is the Word of God in human language for our understanding.

v. 15 – Jesus knew…

Remember the last part of the last story? Jesus healed a man with a paralyzed hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Simply because he “worked” and healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees tried to kill him. So, he withdrew from them. Why?

He was not afraid of them. He was not afraid of death. His purpose to come was to die for the sins of the world. So, why did he escape? Now was not the time. He still had many things to teach and do.

In spite of his withdrawal, many followed him – crowds and more Pharisees. After healing the people in the crowd, he told people not to tell others about him.

Jesus:

  1. didn’t fight his enemies
  2. didn’t want people to come before him with wrong motives
  3. didn’t want to become a worldly powerful person

Isaiah’s prophecy (v. 17-21)

“This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:…”

This is the longest OT quotation in Matthew, so let us see how Jesus fulfilled this beautifully.

4 points:

#1: He will tell the nations what justice is

He shows us how to live in such a way that God and man receive their proper places in our lives. He shows us how to behave toward God and man.

#2: He will never fight, quarrel, cry out in the street

No one will hear his voice in the street. He’s a man of meekness and humility.

1 Peter “To this we are called – because Jesus suffered for us – and we should follow in his steps. Jesus committed no sin, no deceit was found in his mouth – when he suffered he made no threats, instead he entrusted himself to Him who judges rightly…by his wounds we have been healed.”

#3: He will never break the bruised, crushed weed. He will never distinguish a smoldering wick.

A reed may be bruised and hardly able to stand. A wick may be smoldering. A man’s witness, faith may be a flicker, not a flame. But Jesus didn’t come to discourage nor treat with contempt. He came to encourage and treat with compassion and mercy. He didn’t come to put out your flame, but to coax it back to a full flame.

#4: In Him the nations will put their hope

An invitation is present for ALL nations to put their hope in him. In Jesus, there is an offer of peace, and mercy.

But, the Pharisees here say, “He’s a devil himself!” How terrible of them to say!

v. 22-32

Jesus said, “If Satan drives out Satan, how can his kingdom stand?…”

Again, a blind mute man was brought to Jesus. He was blind and mute because of demon possession.

But because of this event, the Pharisees said, “This is the power of Beelzebub!” (Beelzebub = Lord of the flies (poop))

At this moment, Jesus pointed out that their statement was illogical and impractical because Satan has his OWN kingdom. (The god of this age, the ruler of the air, the king of this world).

One of the reasons Jesus came (1 John 3:8) into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. The business of Satan is:

  1. to sin
  2. to cause men to sin
  3. to hold/blind unbelievers in their unbelief

That’s why Jesus came to destroy this business of Satan. One day, Jesus said to them (John 8:44) “You belong to your father the devil! He was a murderer from the beginning. There is no truth in him.” When he speaks lies, he speaks in his native language. This is his mother tongue. He is the father of lies.

We must remember that we must not compromise with the devil by sinning, or we will find ourselves fighting against our Lord Jesus. But:

  1. we must not underestimate the devil – he is very wise and cunning. He never gives up his business until his VISA period is expired in this earth.
  2. we must not overestimate the devil – he is NOT omniscient (all-knowing), not omnipotent (all-powerful), not omnipresent (everywhere at once). He is limited in his power by God and can only do what God allows him to do.

Because of this fighting between Satan and God, there is no neutrality. (v. 30) “He who is not with me is against me. And he who does not gather with me, scatters.”

What does this mean?

Jesus is a victor over Satan. If we believe this without a doubt, we must decide on who’s side we will stand. There is no “between” sides. No middle ground. We are either for God, or against God.

  1. It is impossible to know God and remain “neutral” indefinitely.
  2. It is impossible to know Jesus and not serve him as Lord.
  3. It is impossible to serve Jesus and not witness.
  4. It is impossible to love Jesus and do nothing to serve the church (the body of God).

Here is one thing to make this CLEAR:

Mark 9:40, Luke 9:50 – the verse is reversed

“He who is not against me is for me.”

Very contradictory looking. How can we apply these two verses? On what context does Jesus say these things? Every verse must be read and understood based on its appropriate context.

The above verse, one man cast out demons in Jesus’ name – but he wasn’t one of the “special” 12 disciples. Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! No one who does a miracle in my name can say something negative against me in the next moment.”

  1. The one who is not with me is against me. = a test to apply to ourselves.
  2. The one who is not against me is with me. = a test to apply to others.
  • Judge ourselves with a closed mind.
  • Judge others with an open mind.
  • Judge ourselves with sternness.
  • Judge others with patience, tolerance, and kindness.

The pardonable sins vs. the unpardonable sin (v. 31-32)

  • Pardonable? ALL sins – even saying something against the Son of Man.
  • Unpardonable? Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Does this mean the Holy Spirit is more important than Jesus? No. (They are ONE, they are EQUAL.) There is no difference in their divinity. So, then, what does this mean?

Jesus = God from eternity to eternity forever, definitely.

Jesus did not say, “the sin against the Son of GOD can be forgiven” but “the sin against the Son of MAN can be forgiven.” Jesus was a MAN for 33 years on this earth. He was a man, a son of man. To speak against Jesus while he was the son of Man could be forgiven. So, those who spoke against him on earth could be forgiven.

For example: his brothers – James, Judas = Jude, Simon

  • They didn’t believe in him while he was on earth.
  • But, they believed in him AS GOD after he ascended to heaven.
  1. James wrote “James” in the Bible and became the head of the church in Jerusalem.
  2. Jude wrote “Jude” and also said, “A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Both of them sinned against Jesus while he was a man – by not believing. But both believed after he was resurrected, and were forgiven.

“If I drive out the demons by the power of the Holy Spirit, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” What does this mean? The Holy Spirit is testifying to Jesus’ divinity on earth. The most important business of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus (John 15:26) as Messiah – the Truth, the Way, the Life.

After resurrection before ascension – for 40 days, the main topic he talked about was the Holy Spirit “don’t leave Jerusalem until you receive the Holy Spirit.” The last word of Jesus before his ascension is our 2014 verse (Acts 1:8).

1 Corinthians 12:3 “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”

The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (who reveals Jesus as Lord) = the whole lifetime rejection of Jesus Christ.

It is contradictory to believe in Jesus and doubt forgiveness. How can you get forgiveness (assurance of forgiveness) without believing in Jesus as Lord?

God cannot forgive sin JUST based on your repentance. He will forgive only when the penalty is first paid. Jesus PAID it all, first. When we believe in him and repent, we will be forgiven.

May God bless us with the assurance of forgiveness, because without that we cannot have assurance of salvation – based on what Jesus did on the cross.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 24 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Following in Faith is True Following (Matthew 8:18-34)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Following in Faith is True Following (Matthew 8:18-34)

11.24

11.24.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Cost of Following Jesus
8:19-22pp — Lk 9:57-60

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus Calms the Storm
8:23-27pp — Mk 4:36-41; Lk 8:22-25 8:23-27Ref — Mt 14:22-33

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

The Healing of Two Demon-possessed Men
8:28-34pp — Mk 5:1-17; Lk 8:26-37

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.


Jesus is healer. 

Last time, Jesus healed many people at Capernaum – his ministry gathered a lot of attention. He gathered large crowds, but he had to do ministry in other places as well.

At that time, a scribe (teacher of the Law) came to him specially. They were highly respected, professional students and teachers of the Law. They were generally his opponents.  

But this one came to him personally and said, “Teacher, I want to be your disciple.”

Jesus answer here is a little strange. This is the first time Jesus calls himself the Son of Man – it is repeated 80 times in the gospels – but only by Jesus of himself. No one else ever uses this term. This is his private term for himself – pointing to himself as the suffering servant. 

He started his earthly life in a borrowed body, in a stable – he was originally homeless.

Jesus answer was not “Yes” or “No” but “think about what you are doing – count the cost”. In the context of his present ministry, following him, and being his disciple meant to be constantly on the move, from place to place as itinerant preacher.

Once a disciple, your whole life = discipleship. Without commitment, we can’t be his true disciples. If we are true disciples, we must willingly put aside our worldly security. We must be willing even to give up our homes, our security. The way to glory always involves the cross. Luke 9:23? “Whoever wants to follow me must take up his cross daily and follow me.”

What does he mean “let the dead bury the dead”?

“Let the spiritually dead bury the physical dead.”

It’s much better to not just wait for them to die and bury them nicely – so no matter how many “important” things we have to do, we should follow Christ without delay. Even though we have others human loyalties competing for our attention.

There are many OT stories to show what true discipleship is. For example, Ruth. Ruth told Naomi, “where you live, I will live. Where you die, I will die. Your God will be my God.”

In the genealogy of Jesus, she is mentioned. True discipleship is like this, wherever Jesus is, we follow. But don’t worry, the final destination of Jesus is the place of glory, eternal life.

Then Jesus once again showed his power and authority over all nature (not only diseases). He is the Creator of nature. (v. 23-27)

Jesus was sleeping in the boat. If Jesus sleeps near you, sleep. Don’t wake him up.

The Lake (Sea) of Galilee is about 13 miles long (N-S) and 8 miles wide (E-W). At that time, it wasn’t unusual for violent storms to come. Undoubtedly he knew the storm was coming – but he ALLOWED it. Why? To give some spiritual lessons for us today. 

In the OT, do you know Jonah? Jonah met a storm because he disobeyed God’s command. But in this case, they met a storm BECAUSE they followed Christ.

We can meet storms whether we follow Jesus or not. This world is a world of storms. What is most important is our reaction to storms. 

They followed Jesus in body, but not in faith. Still today, it is possible to GO to church all the time with little faith. It is FAITH (Heb 11:6) he wants to see in us. ( “Without faith, it is impossible to please God..”)  If they’d had true faith, they could have enjoyed the storm, they could have slept beside Jesus even in the storm. If we have true faith in Jesus Christ, we can even enjoy storms. In order to sleep in storms, don’t sleep in sermons.

“You of little faith.”
Jesus rebukes the wind, the waves, persons, demons, ALL creation – he rebukes and they obey completely. In life, Jesus is still king, Lord, master. Wherever Jesus is, the storms of life become calm. 

The most terrible storms turn to peace when the cold wind of sorrow blows, there is calm and comfort in the presence of Jesus. When the HOT storm wind blows, there is peace and security. When the storm of doubt blows, there is security and safety. In every storm that shakes our heart, there is peace if we are with Jesus. Jesus is in control of any storm in life. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Jesus shows his power in the supernatural realm next. 

After the storm became calm, they arrived at the next place (and another storm – spiritual – was waiting). Yes, in our lives, one storm finishes and another is waiting for us. But don’t worry. The solution is if you are with Jesus Christ.

At that time, tombs were fit only for lepers, demon-possessed, and dead. The demons said, “What do you want with us? Jesus, Son of God, are you here to torment us before the appointed time.” The demons KNEW Jesus and his power and authority and their own final destruction. Rev 20:10 “The dragon will be thrown into the lake of fire and tormented forever and ever… 

“What do you want with us?” means “What do you mean to us, we have nothing to do with each other.” Jesus purpose = heal, give life. Demons = kill, destroy. This shows their ultimate rebellion. 

From some distance there was a herd of pigs. Probably 2,000 pigs (Mark 5).

“Please send us to the pigs” = they wanted to avoid their final destruction – they knew Jesus could do it at that time. Why didn’t he? The time for that work had not yet come. 

Jesus healed so many people from the destructive effects of demons, but he didn’t send them to their final destruction. That job had not yet come. Revelation shows Jesus’ final victory over demons and evil. 

Some people even today ask “Why?” Why does’nt Jesus destroy demons now? Why do evil people prosper and the righteous have a hard time? The time for that has not yet come. 

Demons have no faith in Jesus. By faith we must believe what Jesus has done for us – he is the only one who can save us from sin. We must live out our faith by obeying his commands. Jesus said to the demons “GO!” and they went. They lost their powers totally and immediately they rushed into the herd of pigs and rushed them out off the sea bank where they died. 

Can you imagine this picture? More than 2,000 peaceful pigs were feeding, and immediately, they all became crazy and stampeded with full speed to their destruction and floated at the edge of the lake. Can you imagine this marvelous picture? All the town’s people came to see Jesus.

They could have responded with:

  1. Joy – for the full recovery of these men
  2. Overjoyed – at seeing this Jesus in their town
  3. Fulfilled – as eyewitnesses
  4. Repentance – seeing Jesus and accepting him

Instead, to our sadness, they begged and pleaded “Please, go away! We don’t need you.”

There is no record that Jesus ever returned here again. How foolish, but easy it is to value materials, money, possessions more than human lives. Please remember, ONE human life is MORE valuable than ALL the money and investment in this world. Still today, Jesus wants to heal us and give us everlasting, exciting life. 

This kind of life can only be obtained in Jesus Christ – he is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen