The Renewed Mind

The Blessing of the Renewed Mind

Book of Ephesians 4:14-24

 

Last week we learned that God’s plan is that all the Church join in “Unity” according to the Word of God and the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not only God’s plan but God’s commandment.

So, let’s all denominations lay aside the petty differences that have nothing to do with salvation and cling to a literal translation of the Word of God and go to war against evil in these last days!

If we have been “Born Again” into the family of God, we all have this in common.

Let’s lay foolishness aside and become mature Christians.

After all we all have a renewed mind that we are not using very well!

*****Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

When we are babes in Christ, we can be easily swayed by those who teach a false doctrine, but we must not remain babes. We must begin a growth into mature Christians!

The Word of God must be our compass in this life, for only the Word of God will lead us in the direction God has chosen for us!

There so many places of so-called worship today who deliberately will lead those astray who sit before them, by compromising the Word of God.

The means to defend ourselves from this is to study the Scriptures ourselves and we can defend ourselves against false doctrine.

1) It’s sad but there is still such a thing as “sleight of men”. These are deceivers, cheaters in the faith, men and women who will cheat us out of the truth of God.

2) There are still those who use cunning craftiness. These are also deceivers who act cleverly and have great sounding new ideas that are treated as the truth, but these things are only deceptions of the truth of God.

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

We must obtain ourselves a sound doctrinal knowledge of the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must be established in the truth!

We must see that our hearts are conformed to the truth!

We must walk in the truth!

It is Jesus Christ that is the head of the Church, which means that He is the only Head of true “believers”!

As we observe this world we see great evidence of those who deny the Lord Jesus and His truth!

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

If you have kicked Jesus Christ out the doors of the church by ignoring what He has said, then you are no longer a church and cannot be part of the “Body of Christ”!

We must follow the Lord by “faith” in His promises, not the promises of some deceiver that teaches a false doctrine!

There are even those who say that the Messiah has not yet come. Yes, such fools still exist!

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

There is more evidence of the first coming of the Messiah than you own birth!

We can see that we have been warned and we see these things today just as the Scriptures say.

We must grow up in the Lord.

Our Pastors must proclaim the truth.
Our Teachers must proclaim the truth.
We as believers must proclaim the truth and reject all those who compromise the Word of God!

Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

We can only be sanctified by the truth!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Our souls cannot be purified without the truth.

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

The church cannot be in unity, until we know and claim the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our God!

If Jesus Christ is not your God, then you serve a false god!

We already know that God deals with us individually so as individuals it is our job to press for unity in the church.

There is only one Church!
There is only one Word of God!
There can only be one “Faith”!

We must speak the truth of God with love because it is the love of God that came to us in the form of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah.

And make a note, The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back, and it may not be very long.

We should never forget this truth!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that (insert your own name) whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The promise of His return:

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you (insert your own name), I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and this can never be changed!

*****Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

We must understand the Church as a united body and if your place of worship is not, then this must be the first goal of your place of worship.

An actual body of Christ.

The church is not to be some material or tangible body, but the actual Body of Christ, with Jesus Christ the Head!

The Holy Ghost, Christ filled Church is a Spiritual power upon this earth that will soon return to Heaven, it’s home.

The Church is alive with the Head, Jesus Christ supplying, the nourishment to each and every part of its body.

Col_2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

The Church is best described as the “Body of Christ”!

1Co_12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

As we learned from other lessons, each member of the Body of Christ is to be specifically placed by the Lord.

Each member must have the proper work assigned to him or her.

Each member is to perform that work according to the measure of faith that God has supplied to them.

Each member is to be coupled together so that everyone plays their own part without causing harm to the whole unit.

Each member is to be governed by one Will and one Intelligence which is from Heaven and is the Lord!

Each member is indebted to the Head and the Head lives for the body!

The Church is to work in harmony as the voice of God by using the Words that He has already given to us.

God’s Word will never change, and neither should anyone try to change it!

Isa_55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The best example of the church is the human body that cannot function properly without each part doing what is was intended to do.

1Th 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

If we know all these things, then we also know that we are not to walk like we are part of this world!

This is where we fail the most today!

*****Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

When we were lost we walked in this world searching for anything and everything that would satisfy our desires. Some may disagree, but this is the truth.

You can ask those you meet today who do not know the Lord, especially our young people and you will find that the majority will say this today.

They are all searching for things that satisfies their own desires. Much of this is immoral. Much of this is depraved. All of it is foolish!

When we walk like those out in the world we are walking against the Word of God!

We will lose contact with our Father in Heaven if we walk like the world walks!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

A new creature of God the Father, will not be out in the world!

When we push God out of our minds, our mind become empty and void of the truth and be easily filled again with the evils of this world.

These will seek worldly pleasures, worldly possessions, worldly religion, and worldly gods.

Psa 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

As Christians we must never be afraid of being singular in this world!

We must understand that where there is ignorance of the truth, there will be no life, their understanding will be darkened.

To understand this is to begin to grasp hold of the truth.

A darkened mind is blind and unable to see God!

The darkened mind will give itself over to the world!

As Christians we are only better than those who are lost by the “Grace” of God.

As Christians we must still live our lives above those out in the world.

This is not thinking we are better than but just avoiding those pitfalls of sin that we have left behind for the Lord.

The unbeliever is spiritual dead and then doomed to eternal death, cut off eternally from God.

The unbeliever will always have hostile feelings toward the believer, no matter who they are!

It is not God that causes this, it is their own ignorance of the truth!

Remember what Jesus said just before He gave up His life:

Luk_23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

They have chosen to be ignorant of the things of God.
They have chosen to harden their heart against the truth.
They will be responsible for their own eternal death!

God has provided, through His Son and the power of the Holy Spirit, the only means of eternal life!

Those that depart from the truth of God will only grow worse.

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

*****Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Without God the more callous they will become!

They will no longer live by God’s standards of morality.

Lasciviousness is shameless conduct of any kind, wantonness, in most cases being completely vulgar, as far from “Grace” as possible.

In another place Paul wrote:

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

They no longer feel the pain of their sin and consider it just another acceptable way of life. What a travesty.

We see this all over America today.

We know that sin is contagious, but it also multiplies. The more we walk in sin, even more will we walk in sin!

Lasciviousness also brings “greed”.

A craving, a desiring to have more and more, hoarding all they can get and still craving more.

I believe this is what rules our world today.

But they are in fact in bondage to the things of this world, this has become their god!

2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

Enough of the unbeliever, we know a lot about them because we were once a part of them.

*****Eph 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, “as the truth is in Jesus”:

What do we do as Christians after we have accepted Christ?

1) We repent; we renounce our previous lifestyle. This not partial but complete. We cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in Christ.

This is to be a complete moral revolution that can only happen by the Holy Spirit and our “Faith”.

To be honest, we need to daily examine ourselves to see if we are complying with the Word of God and the Commandments of Jesus Christ.

From time to time, we need to look in the mirror and see what we look like.

2) Self-discipline. To be a Christian is not always easy, it takes a personal effort but more important we must rely on the “Grace” of God.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We must realize that we are renewed every day by the Holy Spirit and it is by the Holy Spirit that our mind is restored, and our vision cleared to see our Savior for who He is! The Greatest gift God could send to us!

3) We must wear the robe of righteousness of our Lord! It is very important that we know all we can about Jesus Christ, but it is even more important that we learn all we can from Him!

We must strive for that personal relationship with our Savior. He wants this relationship much more than we do so, our part is very easy.

The Lord Jesus is truly waiting with open arms to receive us!

We are to literally walk in Christ and not as men walk!

We must have a living spiritual union with the Lord Jesus Christ!

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

We are to put off the old man and put on the new man!

*****Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

That old man is that person we were before we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.

In this sense, our old man has already been put to death and we are made alive by Christ Jesus.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
You see to put on Christ means that our Father in Heaven counts us buried with Jesus Christ and united with Him in the likeness of His death.

This is the true meaning behind baptism!

The deeds of the old man are put off.

Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

The power that evil had over our body of flesh is gone and we are no longer in bondage.

And notice it is our job to put off the old man, we are to exercise our own will because we have realized the truth.

God says the old man is dead, so we must also count our old man as being dead.

Rom_8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

It is now our job to reject temptation just as the Lord did when He walked upon this earth to become the perfect new man!

Even our mind will be made new and we will no longer have a reprobate mind.

We live in a world full of reprobate minds.

We are governed by many who have reprobate minds.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

It is only by the presence of Jesus Christ that our mind can be renewed. There is no other way!

When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our life, we receive His mind also. We truly have the power to reject temptation!

We truly have the power to focus on God and His Word.

We truly have the power to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us to make us a new creation of God!

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The new man has been regenerated, renewed, “Born Again” when we become Spiritually minded!

We will be in fellowship with God through His Son.
We will be obedient to God’s will because we will realize the safest place for us to be is in the will of God.
We will be devoted to God’s service and work within the calling we will receive from God!

None of these things can happen without the power of God in our lives by the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the children of God, we can stand before God in the righteousness and the holiness of His Dear Son, Jesus Christ.

To put things as plain as we can, we can say we are now alive to God when we were once dead to God!

Amen

Jonah, Part 1

Jonah; The Disobedient Prophet

Book of Jonah 1-2

When it comes to the true prophets of God there are some things we must always remember:

1) The words that they wrote came from the mouth of the Supreme God and should be treated as the Word of the Lord!

2) Their words are absolute, imperative and final and preempt all other laws!

3) They were commissioned by the Lord and their words are to be associated with their Commissioner!

We will read of a time in the life of God’s prophet Jonah, that he totally disagreed with God and we can be sure God told Jonah to include this in his writings.

I am sure that Jonah would have rather left some of these words out!

It would have been easy for God to just put good things in the Scriptures but they would not have seemed real.
God just teaches us the truths and gives us a view from both sides or I should say all sides.

The first lesson we will learn from the Book of Jonah is that you cannot run away from God.

King David put is this way:

Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Book of Jonah Chapter 1 verse 1

*****Jon 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Jon 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

If you have ever tried to run away from anything you can understand Jonah.

Records show that at least a million people, mostly young juveniles, successfully run away from home every year. Most of these runaways end in devastation for themselves and their families.

Jonah was a runaway prophet!

Jonah was called of God to preach to the Northern Tribes of Israel just as Hosea and some others. He also had preached to Judah the wonderful Word of God.

Jonah felt that to preach the Word of God to the Ninevites was God asking to much. These were the enemies of Israel.

What is the truth of God?

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We all pretty much understand the plan of God but what we cannot understand is how God will go about completing His plan.

God says, it is not for us to understand, it is only that we have “Faith” and trust Him to do what is right.

Israel felt that God was the God of Israel but that He did not care for any other nation.

We already know that God sent His Son to save the entire world.

One day while Jonah was resting God gave Jonah a new commission.

We already know the God spoke to His prophets in dreams and visions and Jonah clearly understood what God had called him to do.

Even today God calls us to activities that we may really want to do.

The truth is, it is our duty to be obedient to God in everything He ask.

The physical side of us is just a tool for God’s use.

The most important part of serving the Lord is our willingness to do so!

When we are not willing to serve the Lord we will then become a tool in the service of others!

Nineveh was a great city not only because it was heavily populated but Nineveh was the capitol city of the great Assyrian Empire.

The city of Nineveh was probably 60 miles in circumference, more like New York rather than Jerusalem.

The Assyrian Empire was second only to the Empire of King Solomon in riches and royalty in it’s day.

Nineveh was established by Nimrod and the probable home of the Tower of Babel.

We know that the Assyrian Empire later fell to the Medes in the time of Daniel and later to the Babylonians.

But before these things could happen God was going to allow the Assyrians to destroy the Northern Tribes of Israel and scatter the remnant throughout that empire.

God’s plan for Jonah was to preach the salvation of the Lord so they would not be so harsh on the people of Israel.

God spoke through His prophets in that day but today God speaks directly to each individual!

Heaven is open to every people. There is only one race in the eyes of God. God sees “souls” and not the color of the skin!

Nineveh was a Gentile City and much hated by most Jews for this reason.

Jonah was assigned to go to Nineveh to warn them of the “Judgment” of God if they did not turn from their wicked ways.

In the days of Jonah the Assyrians were a dominant economic power but also a dominant military power and they were known to be a cruel, violent and wicked people.

**They were one of the most cruel people to have ever lived on this earth.

Nah 3:1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;
Nah 3:2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.
Nah 3:3 The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:
Nah 3:4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

History, and archeology has proven all these things to be true!

In reality this commission given to Jonah is much like the “Great Commission” given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jonah was one lone Jew sent into a city of over 600,000 cruel and evil people.

Until Jonah, no Jewish prophet had ever been given such a task.

Amos and Hosea also were prophets of that day but only Jonah was chosen for this particular task.

As believers our soul duty is to share the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

But Jonah rebelled against God.

*****Jon 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah made a tragic decision, he rejected God’s commission.

The truth is, it is impossible to go to Tarshish if God sends you to Nineveh!

Jonah left his home.

Jonah left his nation.

Jonah fled from the Lord.

But those were God’s winds. (The winds would not push that ship through the water)

That ship was sailing on God’s Seas. (The Seas would not bear him!)

Those whales new better than to reject God’s calling. (The natural world is directly under God’s command)

Luk 8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
Luk 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Luk 8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.

When we are disobedient to God it will always affect others.

*****Jon 1:7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Now we are never to take part in a lottery but when all lawful means have been seen as worthless then we may have to seek other means.

Sort of like drawing straws or pulling a name out of a hat.

Even these things must be done in a Holy fashion and accompanied with prayer, and great reverence.

We must never treat such a thing as idolatry and we must never apply the Word of God to this action.

If we honor God as the moderator of such a thing, then we must respect the answer we obtain.

Jonah was in open rebellion against the Lord.

Jonah had made a deliberate decision to travel to Tarshish, which was probably to Spain as we know it today.

At that time this was as far away as any ship would sail and Jonah fled to Joppa a seaport to find his ship.

We will notice that any time we are disobedient to the Lord, we can endanger other people.

God also loved the Ninevites as much as Jonah and God would not allow Jonah to destroy his ministry and his life showing His great love for him also.

This ship had no longer left port until God brought a strong storm that endangered the ship.

Jonah became so seasick he went to the bottom of the ship to lie down.

Jonah found himself very weak and completely helpless!

The captain of the ship went to Jonah knowing he was a prophet of God and rebuked Jonah for not praying for the safety of the ship and all who were aboard.

What do we know about prayer?

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Jonah was intended to be a prophet of salvation but instead he had become the minister of doom!

Jonah’s disobedience had destroyed his testimony.

The men of this ship worshipped the many pagan gods of the seas and they had come to the conclusion that the God of Jonah was showing His wrath.

We should remember as long as God is chastising us, He is trying to get us to change our ways. No child of God will ever see His wrath but chastisement can still be painful and it is still possible God will just take us on home rather than ruin His testimony or His message.

Jonah said it was certainly His God, Jehovah, who was the Creator of all things, including the wind and the storm that was causing the terror of that day.

These men were terrified to hear of such a God as Jonah worshiped but their question was why would anyone do such a thing as try to run away from such a God.

We should all ask ourselves this same question!

Why would anyone reject such a God as we have?

The only answer they had was that Jonah must be sacrificed so that they could live.

Jonah accepted that it was only fair that he would die for what he had done because not only would these sailors perish but all the Ninevites would also perish.

Certainly God would require his death!

These men tried their best to save Jonah’s life but no one can fight against God and win!

But God will take any situation and make some good come from it!

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God always knows what men will do!

*****Jon 1:15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
Jon 1:16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.

First God had to show these sailors that He was the true God as Jonah had said and He calmed the Seas.

We can just imagine how they felt when Jonah hit the waters the Seas became instantly calm.

God had shown His mercy and His grace to these men and it was time for them to make a choice and they made a sacrifice to the Lord and made (vows) not to worship any other god, only the God of the Jews.

God presents opportunities, it is up to us to recognize the work of the Lord and then choose the right way and repent just as these sailors had done.

Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

We are fools when we witness such things as these sailors did and not realize that only God could have done such a thing!

Christ Jesus showed this same power to the apostles.

Mar 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
Mar 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
Mar 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
Mar 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mar 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Mar 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Most all of us in our lifetime have had a near death experience, whether it be a serious accident, a serious illness, a disease that could end in death, or maybe in combat, or a robbery, or an assault.

Over time we have realized that our only hope is in the Lord!

God usually will do one of only three things.

1) He will save us from that danger.
2) He will go with us through that danger and then deliver us.
3) He will carry us above that danger and take us on home to live eternally with Him in Heaven.

God had a special plan for Jonah!

It was God’s intent to cause Jonah to repent and do as he had been sent to do.

*****Jon 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

What we see about God is that He always uses things that are part of His creation and not some out of this world object in His disciplinary actions.

God had used His control over nature to teach those sailors.

Now God uses a great fish to swallow up Jonah.

This was not some random fish that just happen to be swimming by but an especially prepared fish!

This not the only time that God prepared a fish for His own use.

Mat 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Preparing a fish was a miracle in itself but the greatest miracle was that Jonah survived to write all these things down for us to study!

Now we should be clear, it is impossible for God to lie.
It is impossible that God can contradict Himself.
It is impossible for God not to stay consistent with His message.

As Jesus said, these are the signs of Jonah.

Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Mat 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
Mat 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

And Jonah finally realized the one thing he had not done which was the most important thing of all!

*****Jon 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,
Jon 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “you can pray anywhere” then it must be true. Jonah prayed from the belly of this “Great fish”.

This story is not a parable but the actual truth of the Scriptures. All we need do is believe and we can accept why God would do such a thing.

Jonah had no doubt that he was facing death!

It may be physically impossible for anyone to live inside the belly of a whale for three days but there is nothing to hard for God!

Mar 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

There are many who disagree about the truth of Jonah but the simple truth is, those that believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God have no problem believing the Book of Jonah!

To not believe in the Book of Jonah is to not believe in miracles!

The miracles that God does are all outside the possibilities of this natural world.

We worship a Supernatural God!

Why would God do such a thing?

1) The first thing is obvious. Jonah needed to be saved from drowning but he also needed to feel the irony of being in Hell. Jonah had condemned all the people of Nineveh to Hell. God wanted to show Jonah a taste of Hell without sending Him there. Jonah was indeed a child of God who could never really be sent to Hell because of God’s promise.

Jonah had been seasick on the ship, we can only imagine how he was now.

Jonah describes his journey in the darkness of the whales belly:

Jon 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
Jon 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

2) After a taste of Hell, the same Hell he had condemned the Ninevites to, God showed Jonah a taste of “Grace”.

Jonah got to see a true picture of God’s love.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jonah would also be this picture of God’s love to the Ninevites.

3) The Lord used a “great fish”. Jesus said it was a “whale”, which in reality was a type of the death of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

There was also a fourth reason.

4) The Ninevites worshiped a false god they had named Dagon.

Dagon was the fish-god, Dagon had the body of a fish with the head and the hands of a man.

There was also a female version of this false god and this is where the Mermaid gets her start in folklore.

Jonah continued to pray.

*****Jon 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

Jonah realized that God was listening to his prayer.

When we are in dire circumstances we may shut out hope but that is when “Faith” will take over.

When we realize that the Temple actually was a “type” of Christ, we can realize the only hope we have in this world is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Looking for the Lord with a constant expectation and with joy is the only answer to lusts of this world.

Jonah began to realize that his “faith” was based on his hope for righteousness which comes to those who have been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jonah realized the hope that is laid up for us in Heaven comes from the Word of truth from the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jonah realized that we are saved by our hope, but that hope is not in the things of this world, for how can we place our hope in things that we can see and not God who we cannot see but know that He exists!

As Jonah looked toward Heaven in believing and faithful prayer, he realized his prayer had been heard and God was going to answer him but in his own time which in this case was 3 days and 3 nights.

Every thing God does is for some one to get an opportunity to hear the “Gospel” and all we need do is to obey His calling.

What is the truth of Jonah and to each one that serves the Lord?

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Jonah then became the first submariner.

*****Jon 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Jon 2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

The truth is the Lord will always hear us and help us when we face critical situations!

We must first repent of our sins and then call upon His name to be acceptable to Him!

The Lord will accept no one who lives in sin!

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The Lord gave Jonah a new life, a new beginning and a second chance.

It was the Lord who had led this whale to save Jonah and it was the Lord who led this whale to spew Jonah out as close to Nineveh as it could.

Jonah had been humbled and he would go to Nineveh and preach as God had called him to do.

Many lessons can be learned but we must remember that Jonah’s 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of this whale points to the “death’, the “burial”, and the “resurrection” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are no Scriptures in the Bible that are not important!

This is another proof of our own resurrection!

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Another lesson we must learn is that we can save ourselves a whole lot of trouble just by saying yes to the Lord and not trying to run away from His calling!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!