Monday, December 14, 2015

John 4:22

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Samaritans worshiped God in their own way, but they did not know whom they worshiped. They were worshiping as only Gentiles would worship. The Samaritans were mixed-blooded, partly Jew and partly Gentile; but they did not worship as did the Jews in the Jewish way, keeping the ordinances that were types of the coming of the Messiah, though they knew of the Messiah's coming.

As a matter of fact, even the Jews did not know what they worshiped. Many recognized Jesus as the Messiah, but most of them rejected Jesus as the coming Messiah, hated him, and eventually crucified him.

When Jesus said here "We know what we worship," he was speaking of those who worshiped God Jehovah and knew Jesus as the coming Messiah, followed him and were his disciples.

God has chosen the Jewish nation to bring light to the Gentiles, so salvation was of the Jews. Jesus came as a result of the promise and covenant given to and through the Jewish people. Jesus was a Jew, and his message was a Jewish message; but Jesus' purpose was to eventually put out the Gospel to all people in the world.

Remember that, when Jesus sent out his disciples the first time for a witness, he said in  Matt. 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Again in Matt. 15:24 he said, But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Later Jesus said in Mt 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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

John 4:5-21

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe


To preach through this story would take many hours of study and preaching, but now I would like to bring out some expressions that caught my attention as I was reading this today. They tell much about the story.

1.  Then cometh he to the city, Verse 5

Notice that the woman did not come seeking Christ, but Jesus came to the city seeking the woman at the well. It was not by chance that he came at the time of day when women come to the well. God's providence is amazing!

2.  There cometh a woman, Verse 7

The woman did not arbitrarily come to the well, but she was drawn there by circumstances, and Jesus took advantage of the opportunity to speak to her about spiritual things, as he "must needs go through Samaria" (See verse 4).

3.  How is it that thou . . . askest drink of me? Verse 9

Why would Jesus choose to bring the Gospel to anyone, but especially to a woman with which the Jews had no dealings? This is the heart of Jesus. The Gospel message is to all people, and that is why he asked water from the woman at the well.

4.  If thou knewest, Verse 10

She did not that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior who would save his people from their sins. If she had known that, she would have asked him for spiritual water, which could give her eternal life, but she did not know; therefore, she did not ask.

People do not know, so they do not ask. The Gospel must introduce and describe the Savior to the world; he can be known no other way.

5.  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, Verse 14

The water is not in the well but in Jesus himself. Only he can give the water that is a fountain springing up into everlasting life, and whosoever drinks of the water of Christ shall live forever.

6.  I perceive that thou art a prophet, Verse 19

Nicodemas knew that Jesus was a man come from God, and now that Jesus had spoken to this woman, she conceived, or understood, that he was a prophet. He spoke as a prophet.

7.  Woman, believe me, Verse 21

The final thrust of the discussion with this woman was the essence of salvation through the Gospel--believe me. Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

John 4:1-6

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Jesus, while in Judea, had heard that the Pharisees rumored that Jesus was baptizing more people than John, no doubt trying to discourage John from his work of baptizing, which job was given to him by God. So Jesus then removed to Galilee, leaving John to do his work in Judea.

On his way to Galilee Jesus "must needs" go through Samaria, a city with no good relationships with the Jews. There are varying views as to why Jesus "must needs" go through Samaria, but I believe we all understand that it was so that he could "work the works" of his Father, for the day will come when he cannot work, and he fulfilled all the Father's will while he was here on earth (John 9:4; 4:34). One meaning of the Greek word translated "must needs" is "to do that which is right." If for no other reason, Jesus went through Samaria, because it was the right thing to do.

When Jesus came to the city of Sychar, he came to the place where Jacob's well was. This well becomes very important in the story of Jesus' conversation with a woman who came to this well.

But before we consider that conversation, let us think of the humanity of Jesus as we see his weariness from the journey to Samaria. He was wearied because of his flesh, having been made in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom 8:3), with all of the fleshly susceptibilities of the human body. He was not "sinful flesh," but he was made like unto sinful flesh.

As we go through this story later, we will find that Jesus was made, no only in the likeness of sinful flesh, but was "made sin" for us, who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Both human and divine, both sin and sinless. This is the great mystery of the incarnation! He must be divine to obey God's law perfectly; he must be human to be made sin for us, dying on a cursed tree that we might by grace through faith in him have eternal life.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

John 3:36

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

This is one of the greatest verses in the Bible, if there is such a thing--they are all God's word. The statements made in this verse are in negative correlation, which means that one statement is positive and one is negative, together making a full statement of the condition of man whether saved or lost.

The First Statement - Positive
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.  This statement is simple and straightforward. The person who is believing (believeth) on the Son (believing, a gift from God, Eph. 2:8-9) hath (has) everlasting life.

By the grace of God a person must believe on the Son, Jesus Christ, as the object of his faith. He must have a complete surrender to and a commitment to the Son, depending upon His character and His work done in his righteous life and his ignominious death as our substitute, suffering in our place, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18), that he might bring us to God. This is eternal life, and every true believer in Jesus Christ has everlasting life (Rom. 8:1). This life, then, never ends but is eternal in its nature, because it is dependent upon the eternal life of its object, Jesus Christ, who said, "before Abraham was I am" (John 8:58), and he was "before all things" (Col. 1:17).

The Second Statement - Negative
. . . and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.  The man who is lost in his sins, and never comes to know that he has broken God's law, does not believe on the Son, so he shall not see life, for Christ is the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. (John 14:6).

A lost person cannot see life, because he is in darkness (See Matt. 4:16). Not only so, but he is blinded (John 12:40; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 2:11).

Through God's grace, faith opens the minds of the spiritually blind and allows them to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3) and to enter into the straight gate (Matt. 7:13) to serve the living God (Heb. 9:14). This is what believing is all about.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

John 3:35

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Father Loveth The Son

 Evidently we need to know this, because the Holy Spirit inspired it to be written in our Bibles. If God loved His Son, then why did God allow Jesus to experience so much temptation, pain, sorrow, etc.? That is a question that only God can answer, but it is one that we can know in part, since we know that without his suffering we could never have eternal life. God shows His love to His son in giving him some things.

And Hath Given All Things Into His Hand

God gave "all things" into the hand of Jesus so that Jesus could execute God's perfect will in earth. That is both a challenging and a blessed thought.

He gave to Jesus wisdom:   Matt. 6:2 . . . and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

He gave to Jesus those who would believe:  John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

 He gave to Jesus all authority:  Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

He gave to Jesus the disposing of the lot:  Prov. 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

When Jesus was about to die to carry out God's perfect will, then, he cried in Matt. 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt

 Jesus executes God's will perfectly on earth as it is in Heaven. That is done, because the Father loves the Son:  John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

John 3:31-34

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

These verses give us a good description of Jesus Christ and his origin (if you can call eternity an origin). Verse 31 tells us that he "cometh from above." That means he was not born the normal human way but was sent here from God's spiritual realm (Heaven) where he dwelt as the eternal Son of God until the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) when God sent his Son to earth to redeem His people.

As though necessary, the Holy Spirit mentions that he "cometh from heaven." This is a precious redundancy, which declares something of the worth of Jesus Christ, which deserves our eternal praise.

Verse 32 tells us that Jesus testifies of that which he had seen from heaven. These are eternal truths are the basis of "the faith," which the Bible encourages us to believe and follow; but no one receives these eternal things, that is, on their own, which is explained in the next verse.

Verse 33 mentions those who HAVE received his testimony. It is not customary that man receive these eternal truths, but they are given to men by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, which we learn from many other scriptures. Those who receive his testimony have "set to his seal" (or attested to the fact) that God is true. Salvation comes from God, salvation is beneficial in allowing us to receive Jesus' testimony, and salvation, then, is a seal of the truth of God. Jesus is that truth (John 14:6).

Verse 34 tells us that Jesus speaks the "words of God," because Jesus completely understands and can properly teach and disseminate the truth of God, for Jesus is the only man who has the mind of God without measure, thus the phrase "the Spirit without measure unto him."

People of the earth can and do receive this eternal and truthful testimony of Jesus, since it is from God, and the dissemination of it is from God. God has opened the hearts of many, as he did in Lydia long ago, to receive these truths, trust in Jesus, and receive eternal life.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

John 3:30

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

This text is only one small verse, but it is so powerful and applicable to us as well as to John the Baptist, who uttered it.

John loved the Lord and served Him. He obeyed his call to baptize, though that was a new thing to the Jewish community, especially the way John was doing it. His ministry was powerful and successful, but he knew it would be brief and passing; because he knew that Jesus would soon take over the prominent scene in the history of redemption. Therefore, he said, "He must increase."

Jesus was born a helpless baby, a human being, a kinsman redeemer. He grew daily in favor with God and man:  Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.  He grew to be a man at twelve years old and discussed technical theology with the superiors in the temple, knowing he must be about His Father's business (Luke 2:49).

He grew to maturity in the flesh and remained in His spirit the same God that He was before the foundation of the world, the Great I Am, the image of the invisible God, the creator of heaven and earth (Col.1:15-16).

But John said, "I must decrease." To know that Jesus is the Great Shepherd is not a hard thing, but to know that man must decrease in order for Jesus to increase is quite another thing. Man is basically a selfish being, and he in general does not want to be ordered by others; but, if Jesus is to act as Lord in our lives, we must first humble ourselves before Him and summit ourselves to him as John did.

John was soon arrested and killed, but Jesus began to increase in popularity and at the same time in persecution and eventually died the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8), being humbled and obedient to His work of Redeemer. He increased by being victorious over the cross, over death, over hell, and over our sins. Then He sat down at the right hand of His Father, being worthy of that position (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22;).

We also must decrease and be humbled in order that we may be exalted in His service: Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

John 3:28-29

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Some people misidentified John the Baptist to be the Messiah or at least to claim to be the Messiah, but here John flatly denies that he is or that he claims to be the Messiah. His mission is a forerunner: sent before him.

John's explanation goes deeper in verse 29, when he says He that hath the bride is the bridegroom. It is Jesus who is the bridegroom. It is Jesus who is the Messiah. It is Jesus who is doing the work of redemption. It is Jesus who is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, not John.

The idea of claiming that he himself is the Messiah, the Christ, is obnoxious to John. He would never do such a thing, for it is God who sent John to baptize, but Jesus was sent to seek and to save that which was lost (Matt. 18:11).

John is only a friend of the bridegroom, not the bridegroom. Therefore, John rejoices in the voice of the bridegroom, Jesus, rather than in his own words; and John's joy is fulfilled in the hearing and preaching of Jesus rather than the hearing and preaching his own words.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

John 3:24-27

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Soon after both John and Jesus (through his disciples) were both baptizing people, John the Baptist was imprisoned; soon afterward he was killed.

While John was still working, some people brought up questions concerning John's disciples and purifying. This purifying would be Moses' commandment concerning this rite, or it could have even been the command of the Jews in their commandments of men added to Moses' law to go through certain rituals for purifying. This baptism of John may bring into jeopardy the rites of Moses or the traditions that men had added to them. So, these men were actually dismissing John's baptism as unnecessary and even destructive to the Jewish theology of the day.  These men came to John emphasizing the work of Jesus in other places and how that Jesus was drawing "all men" to himself and that the ministry of John was deteriorating.

John knew, however, that his ministry must decrease and the Lord's ministry must increase (John 3:30). John is not to build the church, but Jesus is to build his church. John's disciples must be Jesus' disciples in the end, and the churches were to go to the uttermost part of the earth.

Now John answers these critics in a very important and powerful way. He says in verse 27, ". . . A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." What a powerful defense of the Gospel! God must grant repentance (Acts 11:18), and salvation is by grace (the work of God). Later John would say in John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

What a mighty work that God does in our hearts as he draws us unto himself, gives grace to believe, and seals us with his Holy Spirit! Jonah confessed in the fish's belly, "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).

Therefore, the Gospel message goes to all people in the world to repent, confess sins, and trust completely in--and only in--Jesus Christ as Savior.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

John 3:22-23

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Verse 22: Jesus went into Judea and baptized. In John 4:2 we read "(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)." When he got a reputation of baptizing more people than John, he left Judea and went into Galilee (John 4:1-3).

Jesus had come into Judea, which is said by John Gill and others to mean the countryside outside of the city of Jerusalem.

Verse 23: John was also baptizing in a place called Aenon near to Salem. Aenon was about half way up (north) from the Dead Sea going toward the Sea of Galilee on the west side of the Jordan River.

He was baptizing in Aenon "because there was much water there," which brings our thoughts to the idea that in order to baptize according to John's practice one must have "much water."

This infers the practice of immersion for baptism, which many of our Protestant friends deny. Many Protestants not only exercise the "sacrament of baptism" upon babies, but nowadays they only sprinkle water upon them or pour water upon their heads.

Baptists have always been known for immersing candidates in water for baptism, showing forth in a symbolic way the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the heart of the Gospel message.

Thus Baptists throughout the years have been called Dunkers, Drowners, Dippers, and other like names. We care not for those names, but we carry them with thanksgiving to God, who has shown us the way and has given us the grace to hold true to that biblical practice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

John 3:18-21

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Verse 18 is very simple: there is condemnation to anyone who does not believe in Christ, and there is NO condemnation to those who do believe in him. In other words, salvation is by faith alone by the grace of God.

Those who do not believe are "condemned already," because they have not believed, since faith alone will make us free from condemnation -- Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.   Jesus, of course, is the object of our faith: in the name of the only begotten Son of God, (18).

The condemnation is described in verse 19. It is that light has come into the world (Jesus), and men loved darkness (the world, blindness, wickedness, etc.) rather that the True Light. They love darkness, because their deeds (works) are evil, and they do not desire that light would reveal their deeds (20).

Believers "do" the truth, which means they come to the light (Jesus) by grace and believe in Jesus Christ. They desire their works be manifest in the light, because their works are wrought (produced, worked out) in God (21).

Notice Phil. 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

After repentance and faith, God works in the believer to bring about His good will. This is the desire of every saint of God. I pray it is your desire; for, if it is not, then you may still be in your sins.

Friday, October 16, 2015

John 3:9-16

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

After Jesus explained the new birth to Nicodemus, he asked the only question that a human being can ask: "How can these things be?"

Jesus' disciples were also astonished at the doctrine of the new birth, recorded in Mark 10:26-27  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?  27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Certainly the new birth is impossible with man, thus Nicodemus could not understand it with his natural mind, which is enmity against God (Romans 8:7).

Jesus now tells Nicodemus of heavenly things (John 3:12-13). He speaks of the descending and ascending of Jesus, who is the only one who could and did both of these.  Note Romans 10:6-7  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) It is this descending and ascending that is the basic message of the Gospel.

Jesus, then, puts the story in brief in verse 14 when he compares the lifting up by Moses of the serpent in the wilderness to the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. If an Israelite, after being bitten by a serpent, lifted up to view the brazen serpent on the pole, he would live; if not, he would die.

So it is that, if any man will look at Jesus on the cross and believe in His work of redemption, he will live; if not, he will die eternally (verse 15).

God brought redemption through His love for people, and those who come to him in repentance and faith will never perish but have everlasting life (verse 16).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

John 3:7-8

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

We mostly marvel as Jesus tells Nicodemus "Marvel not." How could he not marvel at the marvelous, challenging, and deep teaching of these wonderful words of Jesus?

Nicodemus was a very important figure in Israel and, no doubt, a great and good teacher of the Jews; but he could not grasp the mystery of the new birth. That mystery brought him to Jesus by night.

Jesus commands him "Ye must be born again." These words are difficult for us to explain, though the explanation came easily for the Lord. Jesus gives an illustration of wind in verse 8.

The wind blows where it "listeth." This means that the wind blows where its intention is to blow, where the natural laws of God will guide it. We can hear the wind, but we cannot understand the wind. Even scientists, who know many particular things about wind, cannot give a full explanation of it.

Jesus is telling Nicodemus that he has no effort, direction, or intention concerning his own spiritual birth. He is without ability to birth himself. The wind (the new birth) comes to us, as the natural wind does. We cannot bring it or control it.

Remember this hard verse for some:  John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. This verse is so hard that in the next verse we find that many disciples went back and did not follow Jesus after that.

To reach a little beyond our text, we see in verse 12 that men cannot comprehend heavenly things, so the wind must blow. The only way it will blow, according to God's own restriction, is through the preaching of the Gospel.

1 Cor. 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.So, let us preach the Gospel to every creature, since it is the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation -- Romans 1:16.

Friday, October 9, 2015

John 3:4-6

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Jesus' answer to Nicodemus' question in verse four is divine and can be only divine. Nicodemus asked whether he would need to go back into his mother's womb and be born. I think he knew that was impossible, but he was entering into a dialogue with Jesus and thinking logically to see how Jesus would answer.

Jesus' answer was that he must be born of water and of the Spirit. The water birth, as we shall learn in the next verse (verse six), is the natural birth: "that which is flesh." The birth of the Spirit is the work of grace in our hearts that the Spirit of God brings about when he convicts us of our sins, grants us repentance, and gives us faith, and we turn from our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a result of this new birth, we have an old man (that which is born of the flesh) and the new man (that which is born of the Spirit).

Thank God for the new birth, since without it we would still be completely in the flesh and not in the Spirit.

Notice this revealing verse:  Rom. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

John 3:1-3

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

This section of Scripture is one of the most quoted passages in all the Bible (especially verse 3).  This man, Nicodemus, a ruler (teacher) of the Jews, was very knowledgeable and wise in regard to the Jewish law, but he was very ignorant of the truth of God.

He met Jesus by night, no doubt to meet in secret so that his equals in the Jewish society could not see him or know of his meeting with the Messiah.

He seemed to be desiring to be a part of the "Jesus Movement" of that day with a desire to be a part of the kingdom of God and the work that Jesus was doing. I do not know what his plans were, but I do know what Jesus' instructions were.

Jesus wasted no time getting right to the essence of the problem with Nicodemus. In order to see (the word see is Greek eida, which means "to perceive," not the normal word to see with the eyes) the kingdom of God. This impresses upon us the first chapter of John, when John instructed us that "the darkness comprehended (perceived) it not," that is, the Light. We cannot at this time see the kingdom of God with our eyes, but we can comprehend it through the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:9).

Jesus pertinently said to Nicodemus "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The essence to seeing the kingdom is the new birth "which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13).

Have you been born again? "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:6-7).

We are born again by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10; John 3:16; Acts 16:31).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

John 2:23-25

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

After performing miracles (we do not know how many at this time), Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover. There many people professed to believe in Him and at least in their minds followed Him. They believed because they saw the miracles that Jesus had done.

But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew their hearts. It is not what we do or how we think in a physical or a carnal way; it is important that the heart be changed and we become new creatures in Christ. Jesus knew what was in man, and He knows your every thought as well as your every deed.

Our mind is carnal, so we can understand only carnal things: 1 Cor. 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. The carnal mind cannot know God:  Rom. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Notice also Matt. 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Has God revealed His Son to you? Have you heard of Jesus, the Messiah? Do you know that Jesus came from God, being God in essence, to save the lost? Do you know that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, died and resurrected from the dead? Do you know He was a substitute for sins for everyone who believes on Him?

Can you, will you believe on Him today?  Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Friday, October 2, 2015

John 2:18-21

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

This section of Scripture tells us of the Jews' wanting a sign for Jesus' sayings. He gave one sign, the sign of the destruction of the temple, which He would raise up in three days.

This made no sense, as the Jews thought He spoke of the temple in Jerusalem, when actually He spoke of His body. His body would die, but it would rise again. It was not until after His resurrection that the disciples realized He was speaking of His body. This is a great mystery, but it is a great joy to believers.

After His resurrection, the disciples began to believe Scriptures that before his resurrection were a mystery. Now the mystery has been revealed, and we now know the Gospel and praise God for his finished work on Calvary, in the grave, and in His resurrection.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

John 2:12-17

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

In this short passage we read about what is commonly called "The Cleansing Of The Temple."  Here are a few devotional points:

The Jews' Passover
This was a time of celebration for the Jews, which commemorated the passing of the death angel over the land of Egypt when the children of Israel were in bondage there. With the blood upon their doorposts, the Jews were spared the death of their firstborn sons due to their obedience to God. In Jesus' day, this celebration continued yearly.

The Changers Of Money
 There were in the temple at Jerusalem some of the Jews who were wrongfully selling animals and exchanging money inside the temple. This was an abomination to God, and Jesus' attitude came to a fever pitch when He saw it.

Take These Things Hence
 Jesus came to the temple, and seeing this abomination to the Lord's house, he commanded these men to take these commercial things "hence," which means "away from here." These men were making God's house (the temple) a house of commerce, a selling plant.

His Disciples Remembered
The Spirit of God put into the memory of Jesus' disciples a scripture in Psalm 69:9, which predicted this occasion. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. Many times we, too, need to be reminded of the things of God, which only the Holy Spirit can do.

The Zeal Of Thine HouseWe must remember that God's house is a place of worship, not a place for commerce, business, entertainment, or social excitement. It is a place for us to retreat from the duties, sensations, and pleasures of the world and meditate upon the things of God. It should be a house of zeal, or being about the Father's business.

The lost religionists have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:2). Paul had a zeal to persecute the churches of the Lord (Phil. 3:6).

We must be zealous of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:12), zealous of good works (Titus 2:14), and zealous to repent when we sin (Rev. 3:19.

Monday, September 21, 2015

John 2:1-11

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

This is, of course, Jesus' first miracle. He changed water into wine in this story, but he also has some important things to say.

First, he said in verse 4, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come."  Here Jesus is letting his mother know that, now that he has been baptized and is in his proper place as a minister of the word of God, he is no longer under the tutelage of his mother. There is no disrespect to his mother in this. She knew the fact; she simply did not know the timing.

Second, Jesus said in verse 7,"Fill the waterpots with water." This was nothing more than water, plain, simple water, and they knew it. The men obeyed and "filled them to the brim." The word for fill in this verse is the Greek word GEMIZO, and it is used only here in the New Testament translated fill. It means "to fill full." So, the men took him at his word and filled the water pots to the brim, or they filled them fill. This, no doubt, so that everyone could see that there was nothing in the pots but clear water.

Third, Jesus said, "Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast." This they did, and the wine was the finest that could be made. The governor of the feast was amazed that this had not been served earlier. Jesus gives his best only at the proper times, when that which he gives does the most good, teaches the best lesson, and brings the most glory to himself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

John 1:51

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Heaven Opened

This opening of heaven is a metaphor for the spiritual reality of how heaven has been opened to us both in the incarnation of Christ, revealing the only begotten Son to us, which we are to believe and trust, but also of heaven's being manifest in the hearts and lives of believers as they come to Christ in faith and follow that faith with their work.

Heaven is open to all who believe, and we are citizens thereof (Phil. 3:20). Heaven was literally opened to Steven as he was being stoned and to Paul as he was taken up to the third heaven. It is opened, perhaps, to some as they are dying and see angels and other manifestations of their future home (which things may be questioned but never completely denied).

Heaven is opened to all who follow Christ, for it is from heaven that we have our authority to preach and to teach, using the word of God, which is also from above, inspired by God's Holy Spirit.

Heaven is also opened to us daily as we follow its format for faithfulness in God's Kingdom, which is within us and will be manifested in its final form to us literally and eternally.

Monday, September 14, 2015

John 1:47-51

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

 I saw thee under the fig tree

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he called him "an Israelite indeed." this is because he saw him under the fig tree.

We all have our fig trees that we sit under from time to time for various reasons. What were you doing when Jesus saw you under the fig tree? Were you doing something honorable to Him, or were you doing something you did not want anyone to see, because what you were doing was not good?

Jesus always sees what we are doing, so we may as well admit to him what we are doing. If we are doing wrong, we must confess; if we are doing good, we must praise Him for his grace and mercy and continue to worship and serve Him.

Nathanael believed Jesus because of what Jesus said, but he was to see great things than these things.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

John 1:43-46

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Here we have another story of a believer giving the good news of our Savior to another. Philip was called of the Lord, and he went to Nathaniel to tell him of the Savior.

Nathaniel asked a very intriguing question: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said, "Come and see."

Wow! What a question! Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Well, the great Nazarene did. He came out of a country in which Jesus was without honor. As a whole they rejected Jesus as the Messiah. But what good is a man who is rejected in his own country?

Well, Jesus is called "the good seed" in Matt. 13:37.  That seed is none other than the "seed of David" (John 7:32; Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8).   He is the "seed" mentioned in Genesis 3:15. He is the seed (as of one) as stated in Gal. 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Jesus is also "the good shepherd" John 10:11-14. He gives his life for the sheep. He knows them, and he is known by his sheep. Then he said in John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Jesus is called "Good Master" (Matt. 19:16; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18 -- all the same occurrence). This man, who wanted to know how to inherit eternal life, may not have known how good this Master was, but he called him "Good Master." We know that Jesus is a Good Master.

I am sure that many bad things had come out of Nazareth, but there is one certain thing: there is at least one "good thing" that came from Nazareth, and that is Jesus Christ, the righteous.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – September 9, 2015

    I really don’t know what death is, but I know it’s there–somewhere. Scripture says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Scripture says that “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Scripture speaks about the “hope that is in you.” But Scripture never says what death is. Scripture tells us why death is and where death leads, but it does not tell us what death is.

    The Scriptures, however, do tell us that the end of all temporary things is death, that the wages of sin is death, that to be carnally minded is death, and that death is an enemy; but they never really define death. I suppose if we delved deeply enough into the nuances of Scripture that one could argue that there is ultimately a definition of death, but I am sure that could be debated ad infinitum.

    Death is a calm, silent type. I shall portray death as a person–or personify death. He is like a shadow (Psalm 23). He haunts me, and I am fine until he reminds me of his presence very near to me. I don’t know just where he is, but I know he cannot be far away. He is as near as a phone call, a front-door visit, or a sit-down with a friend. He seemingly comes when he wants and warns no man.

    His memory is cruel. We see death only in the stone-cold faces of those who have been visited by him. As loved ones stand silent and crushed in emotion beside the beautiful bier, they cannot help being reminded of his black heart and his anxious torture. Tears drop down from spectators as some of them kiss the forehead and gently touch the hand and even talk as though the deceased may be able to hear. They make promises to a corpse–what silliness death brings to our minds to act in such a way!

    Does death hurt? It seems it may, as we notice the beautifully soft cloth on which the cadaver lies. Each touch is tender and hesitant; each kiss is soft and gentle. Hair is stroked in fond memory of a passed life, which this demon, death, has ended with his cruelty.

    Youngsters fear him not. Their minds are solidly set upon their futures and their fortunes. Their minds are set upon a life that must last forever and cannot easily be snuffed out. But the train comes rushing along to suddenly crush a vehicle and take a life unsuspecting. Often have I preached the funeral of a young child upon which this curse has come, and death seems to have no care as to the age or the condition of his victim. The reasons for death’s temporary victory is questioned, but it makes no difference; he is there, and he pounces his prey; and he wins the battle under subjection to the Holy One.

    As I approach old age (no one knows just when that comes), I am mindful of death more often. I speak of him more plainly and reveal to my grandchildren the brief extent of their grandfather’s life, though, I am sure, they cannot fathom the depth of that truth. Appalled at my mentioning it, they offer me twenty or thirty more years to enjoy this present life. They want to be sure, but I cannot be sure.

    Death is watching me closely lest any craft of humanity, any mindful divergence from God’s law, any crush of temptation, or any beauty of sin should capture me and offer my life to death himself. He gladly would oblige. Now, my sin is ever before me and before my God; and God knows the way that I take, so I am grateful to God that He watches death as death watches me.

    One day death will come to me, and in quiet collusion I shall acquiesce to his demands. God will be honored in it. Then, as death gives way to victory, I shall see his doom, for 1 Cor. 15:26 says, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

    1 Cor. 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Now, death, where are you, hiding behind some dark corner? sitting on a park bench nearby? following me as a shadow, stuck to me in strong bond? What is your thought? What is your plan? No matter, for it is God which dispenses the way of his children, and you, oh death, cannot persuade Him my life unless he wills it.

    And when I die, it will be precious in His sight, though you mean it for evil. One day I shall be past death and graduate temporariness into God’s great tomorrow, a world filled with blessedness with no pain, no sorrow, and no death. No, death will be gone, and I will no longer think of his clinging presence, his accusing spirit, or his threatening air. 2 Cor. 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

John 1:40-42

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The DiscoveryAndrew was one of the men who heard Jesus. What a thrill it must have been to hear Jesus' message from His own lips. His words were pure words; His words were eternal words; His words were perfect words. All of these adjectives are used in the Scriptures to denote the words in our Bible, because every word we read is either directly or indirectly the words of Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Andrew and the others with him had discovered the Messiah, who had spoken to them. It was a high day for Andrew. He knew truth as he had never known it. He had heard words that were so harmonious, so true, so penetrating that he could hardly receive the power of Jesus' words.

The Discipleship

This discovery of Jesus as the true Messiah was so amazing to Andrew that he went to his brother, Simon, and told him that the men had found the Messiah. Simon, no doubt, had long thought about the Messiah and studied about Him, but he had never thought, perhaps, that he would ever see Him or hear Him speak.

We can all hear the Gospel and the whole word of God with our ears, but that is not the same as hearing His words in our hearts. Our hearts burn within ourselves, as it was with the hearts of those men who were on their way to Emmaus when Jesus came to them, appeared to them, and spoke comforting words of His death, burial, and resurrection. See, now, what words were spoken concerning these two men:  Luke 24:31-32  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.  32  And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? When we hear the true words of God, we, too, should be prompted by these divine words to approach others with these same words and introduce these ones to the Messiah, Jesus.

The Demarcation 

Jesus answers the appearance of Simon with these words:  John 1:42 . . . Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. At the point of this conversation, Jesus changed Simon into a spiritual stone, knowing that He was to use this vulnerable man to do a great work for Him.

Simon would not have been my choice, especially if I had known his character; but Christ called him to be His disciples despite his changing nature. Simon Peter was arrogant, gregarious, and loquacious; yet Jesus called Him to be a disciple. When Cephas (Peter) was crumbling under the load of temptation, Jesus prayed for him that his faith fail not (Luke 22:32).

The line of demarcation between believers and unbelievers is the calling of God, the energy of life given by the Holy Spirit, and faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and, once you have been changed, you will never be the same as before.

Monday, September 7, 2015

John 1:37-39

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Spending The Day With Jesus

How would you like to spend the day with Jesus? What if He invited you to come to where he stayed to continue with him until eventide? Would not your heart yearn and burn within you to have that great privilege? Would your mind not fill with a myriad of questions you would like to ask the Messiah? Would you not well up with praise in your heart to be with Him? Would you not wonder what it was going to be like to sit with him in a private place without thousands around Him? How would it be to spend the day with Jesus?

I certainly do not know fully what an experience that would be, but I am only a little envious of that time, for I have always desired to have a closer walk with Jesus and to be nearer and nearer to Him. I have often sued for his favor and his comfort. I have time and time again wished that I could ask him about certain portions of Scripture that have given me doubts as to their meaning. I have, too, wanted to tell him so many things of my daily experiences and ask him many questions that begin with why.

Many times I have approached the Savior in prayer and have felt His presence through the Holy Spirit. Now I wonder how much greater the experience would be if I could not only feel his presence from within my soul but also see Him with my eyes. But now my soul must be pleased to see in His word what he has said to me in these last days:  Heb. 1:2 (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

That will be my most humble wish and my most mounting desire and the result of His great promise, that I shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

Oh, what glory that will be
When His shining face I see
And begotten by His grace,
I shall see him face to face.
-Ronnie Wolfe 9-7-2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

John 1:35-36

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Lamb Of GodIn these two verses Jesus is related to us by John the Baptist as "The Lamb of God." See John 1:29 also.

The Death & Burial. Acts 8:32 quotes from Isaiah concerning this Lamb. Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

A Lamb without blemish:  1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

The Resurrection. Rev. 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

The Appellation. This appellation is related 27 times in the book of Revelation. May God give us intimate knowledge to know this Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world, to be near to him, surrender to him, pray to him, worship him, speak of him often, and love him with our whole hearts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

John 1:30-34

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Preferred One, Verse 30

Jesus is preferred by God the Father in many ways. God has given him a name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9). He has made him better than the angels (Heb. 1:4), greater than the temple (Matt. 12:6), greater than Solomon (Matt. 12:42), greater than Jacob (John 4:12), a greater witness than John (John 5:36), the greater One who is in us (1 John 4:4), and was before Abraham (John 8:58).

The Unknown One Vs. 31

No one knows Jesus until he is revealed by God the Father. John knew him as a man, but he did not know Jesus as the Son of God until the Father revealed Jesus to him. Notice Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

The Revealed One, Vs. 32-34

John saw the Spirit of God as a dove, and God the Father through the Spirit of God revealed Jesus to John so that John could reveal him to the masses.

Jesus was first revealed as the one who "baptizeth with the Holy Ghost," which took place on the Day of Pentecost in a mighty way to accredit and empower the Lord's churches.

Jesus was also revealed to John as the "Son of God." Later Jesus would reveal himself in the synagogue in his own city that he was the "anointed" one (Luke 4:18). The shocker to the hearers is recorded in Luke 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Now the final result of this revelation was that some would have Jesus do the same miracles in his own city that he had done at Capernaum; but Jesus said that a prophet is without honor in his own country. Then the hate came from those in Nazareth, as revealed in Luke 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

So, some in our day, after hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will desire miracles from him; some will believe; some will hate the message and the man, as they did in the days of John the Baptist.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

John 1:29

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Israel's use of a lamb for sacrifice began in Exodus Chapter 12 when the Passover was instituted, a practice which Israel was to continue throughout their generations.

That lamb was a type (a picture or shadow) of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. The lamb in Exodus had to be "without blemish" (Exodus 12:5). This is a type of Jesus' perfect, sinless life, which was lived in our place so that He could later impute His righteousness to us:  2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In our text today Jesus is said by John the Baptist that He is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world -- John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus is a Lamb due to his tenderness, mercy, grace, meekness, and humility. It is this mercy that Titus 3:5 says "saved us." Therefore, Jesus is the Lamb of God, not just a lamb that is an animal, for He is a man, made as the express image of His Father, God. This Lamb takes away the sin of the world, not the entire world as individuals inclusively, for many of these will die in their sins; and, if the Lamb did actually take away all the sins of the world, then there would be no sins for those who are lost to die in.  But He took away the sin of His people, those whom He came to save; therefore, His dying was effective and effectual to "us-ward" (Eph. 1:19). This Lamb we shall see in His character and His work as we go through this grand book of John.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

John 1:24-28

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

It was the Pharisees who came to John the Baptist to ask him questions about his baptizing people. The Pharisees claimed all religious authority, and they knew baptism was a religious ceremony. How could John be baptizing people when the Pharisees had total authority? Actually it was God who gave John his authority to baptize; that was John's ministry given to him by God Himself.

The Pharisees mention "that Christ" in verse 25, but they were not talking about Jesus. They were talking about a Messiah that they expected who was yet to come just as even today many Jews look for another Messiah besides Jesus, for John says that this Jesus, who stands among them (verse 26) they do not know, a man whose shoes he is not worthy to unloose.

This man the Pharisees did not know. They knew Jesus, but they did not know him as the true Messiah, the only begotten Son of God, the Lord of Heaven and earth, the One who can fulfill all righteousness. Most Pharisees rejected Jesus as Messiah, but a few of them, as Nicodemus, rejoiced in Him and believed in Him.

The next day after these events would be a day of introduction to this Messiah, Jesus, as the Lamb of God, which He is. He came to seek and to save the lost, and that He does well.

Friday, August 7, 2015

John 1:19-23

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

At this point we are considering who John the Baptist is. The Levites sent word to ask John who he was, and John answered in a very specific way, a way which would relate his identity to that of Jesus Christ.

It was necessary that he would confess that he is not the promised Messiah, since they supposedly thought that he may claim to be; but John confessed immediately that he was not the Messiah. John knew there was no Messiah but Jesus, and he was not about to try to deceive people to think he was.

John was through his baptisms, they thought, acting as a prophet, so they asked him if he were a prophet, such as Elijah. He confessed that he was not any of the prophets mentioned in the Scriptures.

When asked who he is, John made a statement that made the Levites shake in their boots. He said in  John 1:23  I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias (Isaiah 40).  In other words, John was saying that he was a fulfillment of this Scripture. The Levites did not like this, because they looked for others to fulfill this Scripture.

There is only one John the Baptist, for it is "the voice of ONE crying in the wilderness. The Jews interpreted it to be plural, referring to a number of angels or prophets; but John was to preach the baptism of repentance and to proclaim the Lord, which he knew to be Jesus. He was the only one who was to do this in the way that he did.

May you today hear the words of John the Baptist as he stated later, "Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

John 1:18

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

No one has seen God at any time, because God is invisible -- John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. He cannot be seen, but he can be heard (through his word, the Bible). He can be felt through his Spirit, and he can be known through his Son, Jesus Christ.

But God reveals himself to certain people, not to everyone, except his general revelation, which he gives to all who will seek his knowledge through creation. Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. God's Son, Jesus, must reveal the Father to us. There is no other way to know God except through his Son, Jesus.

"He hath declared him," our verse says. There is no clearer image of God than that which is portrayed in his son, Jesus.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Col 2:9

Have you seen God? You know there is a promise that we shall see God -- Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matt. 5:8. When we see God, we will be seeing Jesus, for Jesus himself said If you have seen me, you have seen the Father," John 14:9.

Monday, August 3, 2015

John 1:17

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The law came by (by the instrumentality) of Moses. God is the author of the law, and he is the overseer and the Judge of the law and those who either keep it or disobey it. Every man will be judged upon his obedience to God's law.

Moses was a type of Jesus, for Deut. 18:15 says, The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

So here we have two men, one a type, the other the antitype (or fulfillment) of the type, and they meet in this one verse to show the contrast between the law and grace and truth.

Christ was like Moses in that He was a Prophet, and Moses was a prophet. It is to that greater Prophet that we shall hearken (see Deut. 18:15 above).

Moses was the instrument through which the law came to the children of Israel, but that law could not bring life (Gal. 3:21-22). We are, therefore all under sin, because we have all broken the Mosaic Law.

But Jesus brought grace, and grace is the ultimate prize of redemption. It is only by God's grace that we have any connection with the spiritual world. The carnal (fleshly or worldly) mind cannot conceive God nor his truths (Rom. 8:7).

Grace and truth go hand in hand, and truth came by Jesus Christ, also. He said himself in John 14:6 . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. A detailed study of truth is welcomed at this point and perhaps needed.

The truth is that  . . . all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom. 3:23 and that . . . the wages of sin is death; Rom. 6:23. But it is also true, as given us in this same verse, . . . but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Eternal life is a gift, then, and the curse of the law is lifted from us by grace through faith Gal. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: See also Eph. 2:8-10.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

John 1:16

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
We receive nothing good except it come from God (James 1:17). It is from his fulness that we have received. That fulness is the fulness of grace and truth. It is difficult for some to realize that even their repentance and faith are gifts from God.

Repentance is a gift -- Acts11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.  See also 2 Tim. 2:25.

Faith is a gift -- Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

We have also received the truth, of which the Lord is full. 2 Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

We also have "grace for grace." We receive the grace of God in order that we may extend through the preaching of the Gospel grace to others as God dispenses it according to His own will and purpose--grace for grace.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

John 1:15

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

John was a witness, a personal, physical witness of the Lord, Jesus Christ. What a privilege that was. Even though John was not called an apostle nor called to be an apostle, he certainly was right up to their par and lived his life to fulfill his short but successful ministry.

What Message Did He Witness

John witnessed that Jesus was preferred before him. John was born before Jesus , but he was  preferred in a higher position than John. John was the baptizer; Jesus was the actual Savior of sinners. John saved no one, but Jesus saves His people from their sins.

Why Did He Preach This Message?

John preached this very message, because, as John says, "He was before me." He was before John, not in birth, but in position and in time.

Remember John 1:1 where John said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  Before John was born of his mother, Elizabeth, Jesus was in existence. He existed before the foundation of the world. He has always been and always shall be. Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Even when Jesus was in the tomb dead in the body, He was alive in the Spirit, and he resurrected from death so that now he lives forever and shall never die.

Therefore, those who believe and trust Him through saving faith shall live forever. John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  

Do you believe this?  Read the following verses regarding the blind man that the scribes threw out of the temple . . .

John 9:35-38 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  36  He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?  37  And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  38  And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

Monday, July 27, 2015

John 1:14

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Word here, of course, is Jesus. He was the one who was made flesh. He was the one who dwelt among us. He was the one who had the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. He is the one who was full of grace and truth. This is our Savior. He came from above and is from above, not from the earth.  John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

The "we" in this verse speaks of the people who saw Jesus with their physical eyes, who touched him with the physical hands, who heard with their physical ears the words of wisdom and instruction that he preached and taught along his way.   1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

This Word of life has been seen by us, also, through faith; and that is the great mystery of the Gospel and the great comfort to us, for we are blessed by it.  John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

We can see Him with our eye of faith, and we can comprehend him commensurate with the level of grace he bestows upon us as we study His word. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

We can also hear his words and are blessed:   Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

It is God's great grace that has revealed God's Son to us through the Gospel, and it is that Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).

The Bible's instruction to us is:   Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

John 1:13

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Verse 12 tells us that all who receive Christ become the sons of God, even to the ones who believe on his name.  This is a great truth.

Verse 13 explains to us that this salvation is not gained by anything that we do. John mentions three things concerning how a person cannot become a son of God.

First, he mentions that we are not born "of blood," as it is explained in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews says, Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Second, he mentions that we are not born by the "will of the flesh," or man's free will. Man's will is in bondage to his depraved character and cannot direct his will toward divine truth and life. If "free will" means liberty (as the term implies), then man is already born again with his own free will; but he is not alive unto God and needs the grace of God and the Spirit of God to be born from above.  John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Third, he mentions that we are not born by "the will of man," or by his own good will, the good that we may seem to have in the presence of other men, but indeed our goodness is nothing to God. Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Paul puts it a different way in Titus 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;

"But of God."  Yes, God must do the birthing. He brings us to himself, grants repentance and faith, and we believe the Gospel. Thus, God is the author, and we are the recipients of salvation.  1 John 5:1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

If you are not born again, may God grant you grace to repent and believe the Gospel.

Friday, July 24, 2015

John 1:9-12

 Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

The true Light, as we know from the context of this very chapter, is Jesus Christ. There is only one true Light. In this verse (9), Jesus is the TRUE Light. We read that he is "full of grace and truth" (verse 14).

Also, Jesus is the Light of the world (John 9:5). He says he is the Light of the world as long as He is in the world. He is the author of physical light, mental light, and spiritual light.

Jesus is also the "Light of life." In John 8:12 the verse mentions this. If we follow Him (in faith), we shall not walk in darkness "but shall have the light of life." This, of course, is speaking of spiritual light.

1 Timothy 6:16 speaks of a light "which no man can approach unto." This is the divine light of God's dwelling realm. This is where Jesus is and from where all spiritual knowledge comes. We cannot approach unto that light unless the Holy Spirit illuminates us (See Heb. 10:32).

In John 1:10 we find that Jesus, the Light, lights every man who comes into the world. This is life itself, both physical life and soul life, or that part of oneself that exists forever, that life which will be in eternity, either in Heaven or Hell.  Many also believe this is intelligence that is above the animals. We as humans have reason and self-awareness that animals do not have. Jesus is the author of all life.

Not only so, but verse 11 tells us that the world was made by Him. This is spoken of often in the Bible. John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, 10.

But the world knew Him not, not by nature. That knowledge was lost in our fall into sin. The only way that any person can know God is through His revelation of Himself to man. This is a wonderful miracle of grace.

He came unto his own world, his own created things, and his own people (Jews) knew him not. Even those who should have known Him did not know Him.

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

BUT -- As many as received him, to them he gave power to become sons of God, even to them that believe upon His name. This is also a great miracle and gift of grace.

Have you believed upon Him? Turn now from your sins and know Him as your Savior through faith in Jesus and in His work for those who will receive Him. He lived a perfect, sinless, pure life, died on the cross to pay for sins, lay in a tomb for three days, and resurrected the third day. By this we are saved by grace through faith.

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

John 1:6-8, 15

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

Just to emphasize the point, the word "was" here is not the same word as "was" in verse one. Jesus "was" in an eternal existence; John "was" because he "became." He was born and did not exist before his conception.

He was a man, and he was sent from God. God has and does send people to do specific jobs. John's job was to be a witness (verse 7) of the Light (Jesus Christ). The purpose of this, as it is in all Gospel preaching, is that men might believe . . . and be saved.

John was not that Light (verse 8), for he could not fit the bill for such a grand architect as Jesus. He was not eternal; he was not all-powerful, all-wise, and all-present as Jesus was. Jesus needed a witness on the earth, and John began that witness. Later the churches of the Lord were used for that as commission was given to them.

Many a person has tried to be that Light, but everyone has fallen far short of that goal. There is no other like Jesus. He is the only way, truth, and life.

John fulfilled his mission when he bore witness of Jesus (verse 15) and said that the One coming after him is preferred before him, because he was before John. John was older than Jesus by about six months, but Jesus was still before him, for Jesus is eternal, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

John 1:4-5

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
In him was life . . .

This life is not life as we have it. Our life comes from God, not ourselves, and not from any energy or source in the universe. Acts 17:28 says, For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. We would have no life if it were not for Jesus Christ. He is the life-giver, and we are the recipients of that life.

This life was "the light of men." That means that we as living beings would not have any light of life if it were not for Him. We must never forget that. Read here John 8:12.

This light shines in darkness, the darkness of this world, of men blinded with sin and cannot know nor understand the virtues of God and of the spiritual world.

This world did not comprehend that Light, Jesus. They resisted Him, as we will see later. The word comprehend has the meaning of "to lay hold on." The people of the world could not lay hold on the superiority, the transcendence of Christ. Neither could they lay hold on Him with their minds; they could not understand Him. They neither understood His words nor followed his teachings.

Neither could they take hold of him physically until it was God's will that they do so. It was God, then, that "put him to grief" (Isaiah 53:10). It was God who "bruised him." It was by the hands of Romans and Jews but by the execution of God that they killed Him.   

Neither do people today comprehend Him. They cannot in any way capture him to crucify Him afresh; neither can they take mental knowledge of Him, Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be (Romans 8:7).

The disciples said to Jesus in John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. This, of course, would not suffice their understanding, because "No man hath seen God at any time," John 1:18; 1 John 4:12.

And yet the pure in heart shall see God (Matt. 5:8). This is a wonderful mystery. How shall we see Him? I don't know, but I believe the Bible is true. I can hardly wait to see Him as He is.

Friday, July 17, 2015

In The Beginning . . .

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

These first three verses in the book of John are extremely important. The phrase "in the beginning" is used 17 times in the Bible, but only three of these (as far as I can tell) have to do with the beginning of everything.

1.  Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2.  John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3.  Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Other references have to do with the beginning of the reign of a king, the beginning of a year, etc. In the three verses given above we see the very beginning of everything.

. . . was . . .

 In the beginning there "was" nothing but God. There was no time nor space. The things that God created were made from nothing. That is true creation.

In that first beginning, the Word was. This unusual word was is the Greek ain and carries with it the idea of real existence, existence within oneself and nothing dependent on another for existence, as we do.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

This was a was in eternity, not in time. Was was not subject to limitations of time. It is eternal existence; so the Word was in the beginning. He was not created in the beginning. He is the I AM, the ever-existing One.

In this was existence, the Word was with God, meaning that the Father and the Son are two persons, as we say. The Holy Spirit is the other, or third, person of the Trinity. They were (was), however, all God equally, because verse one continues by saying that the Word was God. He had all the characteristics and all the authority and power of the essence of God.

We know from John 1:14 that Jesus was the Word, for it states that he was made flesh and dwelt among us. Now verse 2 repeats the importance of the fact that Jesus was with God in the beginning.

All things were made by him . . .

Speaking now of the Word (Jesus), verse 3 says that everything that exists in this created universe was made by Jesus, the Word; and, just in case you did not understand this positive statement, John writes it again in a negative statement, and without him was not anything made that was made.

Then, if Jesus is not the Great Creator, then we shall forever be wont to be suspicious about these verses. Faith, however, declares and confirms the truth of these verses.

Jesus deserves all the praise we can give him, because He is the Great Creator. Paul put it well in Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Psalm 119:176

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

I have gone astray like a lost sheep

Haven't we all? Isaiah said in Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  The "all" in Isaiah 53:6 refers to all men everywhere, since we are all related to Adam, so Adam's sin came upon all of us, and we as sheep went  astray from our perfect relationship with God and are still in that state until grace overwhelms us and grants repentance and faith. When we believe, we are taken from under the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13) and brought into the liberty of Christ (Gal. 5:1).

. . . seek thy servant

When the Lord looked down from heaven, he saw that  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Psalm 14:3). So, Luke 19:10 says, For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. If He does not seek us, then we will not be found. This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after (Jeremiah 30:17). Rom. 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Luke 15:4-7  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Thank you, Lord, for seeking me, since I never would have sought you at any time.

. . . for I do not forget thy commandments.

What rejoicing there was in Heaven when I believed! I do not understand this completely, but I know it to be true. Now I remember the commandments of the Lord, because that law was my schoolmaster to bring me to Christ, and the moral law is good for me. I must as a believer keep His commandments; for, if I do not, then it is evidence that I do not belong to Him. John 15:10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s command- ments, and abide in his love.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Psalm 119:175

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Let my soul live . . .
It is only by the power of God that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  John tells us in John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  We owe our whole life to Jesus Christ, for He is the Great Creator of everything.  As long as we live, then, we shall give our souls to him in faith and our bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).

. . . and it shall praise thee
That is, our soul shall praise God. Psalm 3:2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.  These are the many who do not see the reality of God's Providence and His care over His creatures. The hairs of our head are numbered (Matthew 10:30), and no sparrow falls to the ground without his knowledge and care (Matthew 10:29). 

Since this is so, we should praise our God, who gives us life and strength and sustenance every day of our lives. Praising Him is being joyful in the heart for his benefits and singing, praying, speaking, and writing of Him.  We also praise Him in our church attendance, which the Scriptures tell us not to forsake (Hebrews 10:25) and giving of our substance to support the Kingdom of God and His churches.

. . . and let thy judgments help me.
God's judgments refer to His word, the Bible. These are the judgments which each one of us needs to heed. Therefore, we must read it much, learn it, memorize it, write it, and practice it. If we are alive and are praising God, then we will love his commandments, which are not grievous (I John 5:3). Enjoy this day by praising God and allowing his judgments to help you.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Psalm 119:173

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Let thy hand help me
2 Samuel 24:14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

Sometimes we just need to relax and rest in the hand of the LORD. He is there to support us and to help us. Sometimes we try too hard to help ourselves, but human help (although necessary in our faithfulness to God) is sometimes in the way of our trust in God.

The psalmist calls out for help from the Lord many times, as in Psalm 38:22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

The hand of the Lord is many times used for discipline toward his people and toward the wicked, as in Psalm 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

. . . for I have chosen thy precepts  
We must remember that our help comes from the Lord and from His word: Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.  God's word is precious; it is true; it is the sword of the Lord; and we can receive strength from it. The hand of the Lord is in His word; therefore, "I have chosen thy precepts."

Where else can we go for refuge? Psalm 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Psalm 119:172

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
My tongue shall speak of thy word
Now that David has learned the word of God, being taught of God (119:171), he is now ready to speak of God's word, to teach others so that they may be able to speak to others and others until the truth of God's word encompasses the world. That is the commission to the churches of God, but we must be first taught of God (John 6:45).

The tongue must be trained in order to speak properly of God and His word. We must be abecedarians (of or relating to the alphabet) and grammarians (grammar) in order to understand the depth of the word of God. It should be considered a shame for preachers and teachers to have a shallow understanding of the alphabet and the grammar which make up the words, phrases, and clauses which teach us the true meaning of God's word. Many a verse has been misunderstood and misrepresented in teaching due to a lack of understanding of elemental English.

. . . for all thy commandments are righteousness.
If we can know and understand the words of scripture in their context, we will realize that these words are holy words, not words to be trifled with. They are the very righteousness of God in word form, which form our understanding of our lives as believers and prompt us to faithful service in God's kingdom.

The righteousness of God is unveiled in the words of scripture so that, when one hears the true gospel of Jesus Christ, this righteousness of God may be imputed to a lost sinner, and salvation shall be forthcoming through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is by grace through faith in His once-for-all work on Calvary, his perfect life, his fulfillment of prophecy, his full redemption on the cross, and his victory over death through his own resurrection.

Why should we not preach and teach these righteous things? God has commanded us to be witnesses -- Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. He has also made us ambassadors of reconciliation -- 2 Cor. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Psalm 119:171

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

My lips shall utter praise 
Did you ever read a passage of scripture and just yell out "Praise the Lord"? He is worthy to be praised, especially when He illuminates his word to us through reading and meditation on it.

We have many teachers, professors, pastors, and friends who can be a great help in our learning and understanding God's word, but there is none like the Holy Spirit to bring those truths to our minds and hearts.

. . . when thou hast taught me thy statutes  
Yes, we are thankful and worshipful when we realize that it is God who teaches us. Sometimes we try and try to learn a passage of scripture and cannot grasp its content and its concept, but then it seems that at the appropriate time God intercedes and brings the pure, clean, rich, and blessed meaning in simple and convincing thought. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 

Have you been taught of God concerning your sin (Romans 3:10, 23)? Have you been taught of God that Jesus lived a perfect life, without any sin at all (1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:)? Have you been taught that you must repent (turn from) your sins (Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.)? Have you been taught that you can be saved by grace through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:)? Have you been taught that through faith you have eternal life (John 3:16), and that He will raise you up in the last day (John 6:40)?

If so, then you are ready to praise God, for you have been taught his statutes, and you are eternally saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and shall not come into condemnation (Romans 8:1). What a day to praise God!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Psalm 119:170

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

My Supplication
This is an interesting word, supplication. The word means to ask or to pray for in deep humility and in earnest, a sincere prayer, truly brought about by experience of great trial.  David had had many trials, and he is here asking God for deliverance.

God has many ways of deliverance. He can deliver us from trails in removing the trials from us, giving much comfort and peace; or he can give us strength to endure the trials with that same comfort and strength. I believe David had experienced both; therefore, he is ready to quickly, and without reservation, plead again and again for that same deliverance. Read of these in the books of 2 Samuel and also in the Psalms.

Psalm 18:17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Deliver me according to thy word
David does not desire that God deliver him from his trails in just any way but that they be delivered accord to God's word, that is, God's divine judgment and accord to His plan. That is because  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path, Psalm 119:105. 

But this is probably not a request for a deliverance from physical suffering or great human trials but a deliverance from the stress of sin in which Satan can have a victory and cause more discouragement and heartache. God had given David a promise as recorded in Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

God gives us the same promise, that those who come to him by faith, knowing who He is and that He is a rewarded of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6), that he will deliver from all sins -- Heb. 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

To the believer the promise is that, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse -- 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Psalm 119:169

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Let my cry come before thee . . .
This is the cry of a seasoned believer, yet it is a cry of desperation. This can be a cry of supplication or entreaty, or it can be a cry of praise or joy, like the cry of an excited child who sees balloons for the first time, or the cry of a child in need. We cry out to God for help in time of weakening spiritual culture, yet we cry out to Him in praise for our salvation and our daily sustenance.

Where else can we cry except to our Lord, Jehovah? He is our Creator and our Sustainer. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  Can we call out to our Lord in covetousness? Can we cry out to Him in our desire for more earthly things? No, we must cry out to him in thanksgiving and praise and for our necessities both earthly and spiritually.

. . . give me understanding
We need understanding to perceive spiritual things, for only God can teach us these thing. We cannot, in our own earthly bodies and minds, conceive the thoughts of God nor comprehend the depth of his riches: Rom. 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

. . . according to thy word

Jesus said to his Father in John 17:17 " . . . thy word is truth," so we understand truth from God's word. We have understanding from God's word. We must be constant in our reading and studying God's word, for it is there that we find the great depth of God's opinion about life and death, his understanding of everything, and his provision for us as his children.