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.