BIBLE STUDY: Bishop Blake Teaches God’s Timing
Our Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake presented the Pastoral Bible Study based on John 18:33-36 titled “Kingdom Deferred. ” In the Scripture, Pontius Pilate asks Jesus questions before sentencing Him to death. Jesus’ answer, said Bishop Blake, states “one of the most fundamental truths of the Christian faith.” Please join our anointed pastors and dynamic speakers from around the country for our Pastoral Bible Study every Wednesday night at 7:00 PM at West Angeles’ North Campus Sanctuary. For highlights, please read more below.
Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here”
– John 18:33-36 New King James Version (NKJV)
In our text, we have before us a picture of 2 rulers. What a contrast these 2 rulers present to us:
- One, a judge; the other, a defendant to be judged.
- One surrounded by military guards, the other standing by Himself.
- One, excitable and wavering; the other, calm and resolute.
- One attired in royal emblems and delicate clothing, the other worn and haggard from a long and trying ordeal.
- One with his head lifted in pride; the other, stung from the pressure of the crown of thorns crushed into His skull.
- One drifted aimlessly with the tide of public opinion and clung resolutely to the people’s thoughts and words; the other asserted and clung to the Truth.
- One, denying his responsibility; the other willingly accepting the responsibility given to Him for the foundation of the earth.
- One willing to kill, that the public might be pleased; the other willing to die so that mankind might be saved.
Pontius Pilate’s wife warned him that he should have nothing to do with Jesus. As she had dreamed about Jesus’ uniqueness and significance, Pilate was shaken by a dream that Jesus was driven by a vision of the lost souls of men finding eternal life. But Pilot was a weak, wicked person. Many years later, he would be called to Rome and charged with extortion and cruelty. He ended his life by suicide while in exile; it may be possible to trace his suicide to his experience on the night he and Jesus spoke to one another.
Pilate could have kept Jesus alive; he alone had the power to prevent Jesus from being crucified. But he was already determined to do what the people wanted him to do.
In the scripture, Jesus states one of the most fundamental truths of the Christian faith:
“My Kingdom is not of this world.”
Jesus asserted that His kingdom was not of an earthly nature; that it was postponed and set off for a future time. Yet, certainly, of all the men who had ever live Jesus could have possessed an earthly kingdom; Jesus could have been an earthly king. No one surpassed Jesus in the ability to influence the masses; His words meant more to them than food itself. Jesus was powerful. He was attractive to all sorts of people: from the Chief priests who came to see Him by night, to a harlot who washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
Christ alone could still violent storms, walk on water, raise dead men from the dead. He could turn water into wine, feed 5000, open blinded eyes and deaf ears, and heal sick of their afflictions. He produced money from the belly and mouth of a fish, called forth the spirit of Moses and Elijah, and disposed more than 12 legions of angels.
Jesus could have possessed the world. He could have possessed armies and powers and greatness. But Jesus knew that men’s earthly lives were only part of their existence. He knew that earthly possessions and institutions would decay before one’s eyes. He knew that man’s needs overwhelmed him, and those needs went much deeper than material and the political.
He knew that life in the world was but a testing ground for life in the world to come. Jesus knew that His primary role was to help men to become free from the wickedness of the world and to make it possible for them to obtain eternal life.
THE KINGDOM TO COME
One of the most tragic facts of this world today is that many Christians have forgotten that the kingdom is not of this world, and that the world and all of its treasures will one day pass away. Jesus remembered that His Kingdom was deferred for a future time and that He was going to have to suffer before he could reign.
In every area of life, men are confronted by deferred hopes and deferred achievement:
The farmer who consumes all of his produce and seed will have nothing left to plant for the next season. He patiently cultivates and waits for his crops until the time of the harvest. Deferred hopes.
The woman who is pregnant faithfully awaits the day when she will hold a little bundle of joy in her arms. Deferred hopes.
The investor who has anything to invest does not waste it on objects of enjoyment or pleasure. He invests what he has so he can gain a profit. Deferred hopes.
The athlete who lives for the contest must train, and he must postpone relaxation and pleasure until after he’s won the victory. Deferred hopes.
The Christian life is a life of deferred hopes, deferred involvement, deferred affections. But I just came by to tell you, “Don’t you get discouraged! Hold on, because a better day is coming. Hold on because God is going to turn it around! “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning!”
We all have a responsibility to Jesus to witness, to serve, to obey His will. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” What God gives to us nobody can take away. What you give up for God, God will provide for you; He will take care of you in this world. If you work toward the world to come, God will see that your needs are met in this present world. I know He will.
Adapted from the sermon, “Kingdom Deferred”, by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake Sr., at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.
Image: Kyle Wright for Creation swap.
DO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Are your dreams too big to achieve? Let Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.
PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.