EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 20-Jan-2008


by Robert Daniels


Last time I was up here, a few weeks ago, I was looking at someone in the Bible who seems to be a child of God, but he was not saved.  But I did not get the chance to finish what I was saying, so I am going to try to finish the rest of it.  Remember, last time I was speaking about Demas, and for all intents and purposes it seems that he was saved.  He was a part of the Apostle Paul’s disciples; he was one of his disciples.  But as we look a little closer at Demas, we realize that he was not saved. 

This is a warning to all of us who claim to be children of God, that we are to examine ourselves as the Bible commands us to do.  Am I a child of God?  Are you a child of God?  And if there was ever a time that we want to do this, it is today, because we fully well know that we are approaching the end of the world.  We are very close to the end of the world.  It will only be a few short years away, a few months away when you think about it. 

We are in this end-time mode, and although you may claim to be saved for many, many years, we should still look at ourselves because our evil hearts can deceive us into thinking that we are saved when we are not.  We do not have to go around looking at someone else; we look at our own heart.  We point the finger at me.  Although someone may give the appearance that they are saved, that does not mean that they are saved.  Or they may know quite a bit about the Bible, but that does not mean that person is saved.  I do not know; it is God’s business.  I have to look at my own life. 

If you would turn to Philemon verses 22-25, I am going to review it a little bit.  In Philemon 22-25, we read:

But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Paul here, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is calling Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, and Lucas my fellowlabourers.”  So you see what God here is calling them?  They are fellowlaborers.  Just like someone today who is handing out tracts, they are doing all these good works.  We are laboring together in getting the Gospel out.  But that does not mean that this person is a child of God, does it?  No. 

Let us look at another verse.  Let us turn over to 2 Timothy 4.  God gives us a little bit more insight here of Demas.  2 Timothy 4:7-10:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas…

Here is his name again.

For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…

Remember, God says that he was a fellowlaborer.  And here, God is now telling us, “Demas…having loved this present world.”  See where his heart was?  Right here.  He was a fellowlaborer.  If you looked at him, you could not tell the difference.  When you look at someone, you do not know whether they are saved or not.  But here Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling us:

For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Do you see where his heart was?  He was not a child of God.  There are many today who profess that they are children of God, but their hearts are right here.  When you start talking about how the end of the world could be a few years away, many people do not want to hear it; they do not want to hear it.  It does not matter if the Lord decides to come 100 years from now or 2,000 years from now, people are still going to say the same thing. 

And there are many, like Lot’s wife, whose heart is still here in this world.  They do not want to talk about it.  They are arguing with the Bible about the possibility of the end of the world in a few years.  Is it possible that their heart is still right here in this life?  They hate to give up these things because their career is going well, this and that are going well with them.  They do not want to face the issue that we are at the end of the world.  But whether we like it or not, God is going to end the world, is He not?  No matter what you are doing, or where you are going, God is going to end the world very shortly, very shortly. 

We have to look at our own life.  Where do I stand before God?  God is telling us here that Demas “loved this present world.”  God knows the secrets of the heart.  He knows your heart; He knows.  There is nothing you can hide from Him, nothing we could hide from the Lord Jesus.  “He knoweth the secrets of the heart.”  Although this person may give the evidence of salvation or of not being saved, God knows.  He knows each and every one of us; He knows us.  So we are kidding ourselves into thinking that we could hide from God, or that God does not know me.  Yes, He knows all of us very intimately.  He knows. 

Let us turn over to Matthew 6.  God clearly tells us there in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot “serve two masters.”  It is impossible.  Matthew 6:24:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

You cannot have God in this hand, and this world in the other hand; you cannot do that.  God tells us here that we cannot do that.  We cannot “serve two masters.” 

He goes on in Matthew 6:25:

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

In Matthew 6:31-32, He tells us:

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)…

We should not be so worried about things in this life.  God knows we have need of these things.  If you have a job, He has given you a job.  No matter how little it might be, God has provided for you.  If you are truly a child of God, your heart is not set on these things.  What is going to happen to all these things in a few short years?  They are going to be burned up.  They are going to be destroyed.  And God goes on:

…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

In Matthew 6:33, God is going to tell us what ought to be the priority of our life.  He says:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God…

If we are a true believer, this is our priority, to “seek ye first the kingdom of God,” not the things of this life.  It is vanity; it is useless.  It has no meaning to it.  As a true believer, this ought to be our priority:

…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is not talking about worldly things.  People just take this verse and run with it, “and all these things.”  Their mind automatically goes to the things of this life.  These are spiritual things. 

It goes on in Matthew 6:34:

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

It is sad to say that we live in a society that is materialistic.  Everywhere we go, buy, buy, buy.  In a lot of our homes, we have junk, nothing but junk.  I will speak for myself, just junk, useless things that we do not need.  You buy a shirt here, you see it, you take it home with you and you may wear it once, and then it goes to the bottom of the pile and you will never wear it again.  Then one day, “Oh, look at this shirt; I bought it.”  It is meaningless; it is vanity.  “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”  So we have to be very careful about these things. 

The last time, I remember that I spoke about Judas.  Remember what God tells us about Judas?  The disciples did not know that Judas was not saved.  As they looked at him, he was a part of the twelve.  Christ had picked all of them.  What did he have?  The disciples did not know that Judas had a devil in him.  You cannot look at someone and know that.  Judas was not saved, yet you might imagine that he was since he was there with them.  He was listening to Christ; he went out with the disciples more than likely.  He was there.  And here, Christ stood in front of him, the perfect Preacher, and he heard what Christ was saying, and yet the Bible tells us that Judas was not saved. 

Let us refresh our minds.  In Matthew 26, God tells us about Judas.  In Matthew 26:14, it says:

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

Do you see where he was?  See what was going on in Judas’ heart? 

In Matthew 26:15:

And said unto them, What will ye give me…

This is what Judas is saying to them.

…What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?…

This is referring to Christ.

…And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

He wanted money.  That was where his heart was. 

Matthew 26:20-22:

Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

Again, this is Christ.

And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

Look at the response of the disciples.  They did not know who it was:    

And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

They did not know it was Judas.  Now Judas was infilled by Satan.  This is why I tell you that you cannot look at someone outwardly and know whether they are saved or not.  However, Christ knows the heart. 

Judas was infilled by Satan.  See how it is?  It is not because we are sitting here, or we know certain things about the Bible—that does not make us born again.  God has to make us born again.  He has to give us a new heart.  Intellectual knowledge of the Bible does not mean someone is saved; we cannot rest in that.  We have to cry out to God for mercy, for mercy that He might create within us a new heart.  These are serious warnings to all of us who claim to be children of God.  I have to look at my own self and examine myself.  Am I truly saved?  Or is my heart right here in this life and the things that money can buy? 

Let us turn over to Colossians; this is where I stopped last time.  Here God is going to tell us some very important things.  We are going to look at the first 3 verses, Colossians 3:1-3.  Here God is going to tell us:

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above…

God is going to repeat that.  Set my “affection on things above,” not on things of this life.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

See where my eyes ought to be?  On “things above.”  And the things above are what?  Spiritual things.  We should not be caught up with the things of this life.  It is an illusion.  It does not bring true happiness; it does not, if you look at the world today.  That is why God tells us in Psalm 73 that we should not envy the wicked when we see them prosper in this life, because this is all they are going to get.  This is their portion in this life and it is all going to be destroyed on the last day. 

Let us look at Colossians 3:1:

If ye then be risen with Christ…

If you are born again.  When we become saved, spiritually, we are raised from the dead, the Bible tells us.  Hold your hand here and look at Ephesians 2:4-7.  We read there:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

So you see, we were raised together with Christ.  Spiritually, we were raised from the dead.  We were raised up with Him when we become born again; because spiritually, we were dead.  Yes, we can know a lot about the Bible, but that does not make us born again.  But a resurrection takes place in our life when God saves someone. 

That is why it tells us here in Colossians 3:1:

If ye then be risen with Christ…

Remember, the only way we are going to “seek those things which are above” is if we are born again.  The only way we are going to truly, in a God-glorifying way, “seek those things which are above” is when God has raised us from the dead, and then we are going to “seek those things which are above.”  

The “things which are above” are spiritual things, things out of the Bible, spiritual things.  We no longer have our attention focused on the things of this life, earthly things.  The unsaved of the world seek earthly things because they are deceived by them into thinking that things are going to make them happy.  The more you have and the bigger home you have, the world looks at you as if you are successful and that you are doing well for yourself.  

Really?  No, the things that we are to be seeking after is where Christ is seated, Heavenly things.  These things are eternal because we know that when we die, we will not take any of this world’s goods with us.  We came in with nothing, and we are going to leave with nothing. 

So you see, these things are not important; these physical things are not important.  Yes, we know that we have to pay the rent or mortgage and all these things, but that is not our focus.  The Lord knows that we have need of these things.  But our priority is, what is my relationship with God?  Am I serving God in a God-glorifying way?  Am I born again?  That ought to be our priority in this life.  It is not how much I can get—that is not the way we ought to be thinking.

Look at Colossians 2:10-15.  We have to have our priorities straightened out.  We cannot just live our lives like unsaved man does.  Colossians 2:10-15; here we read:

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation

This word “operation” here, I believe that it could be translated as “working.”  So you could read this as “the faith of the [working]”: 

…of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

So you see how God is the One whom we are “buried with” and then He raised us up.  This is a spiritual thing.  Remember, we are spiritually dead; and now when we become saved, He raises us from the dead by going to the Cross. 

If you look at that closely, you see the victory of the Cross.  When Christ went to the Cross, He paid for all the sins of His people and He rose on the third day.  He had victory over sin and death and hell.  When He comes on the last day, those who are truly born again and who were “risen with him” will be caught up to be with Him.  So you see that Christ is the One who raised us from the dead; and when we are risen from the dead, we are going to be seeking “those things which are above.”  That is where our priority is; that is where we are. 

It goes on in Colossians 3:1:

If ye then be risen with Christ…

You are born again; God has given you a resurrected soul.

…seek those things which are above…

We know that these “things which are above” are spiritual things. 

Let us turn over to 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.  There we read:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen…

These are the things that we see, all the blandishments of this life.  It says:

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal…

All the things you see in this life are temporary.  It says:

…but the things which are not seen are eternal.

We are going to seek after spiritual things, and these things are spiritual things from the Bible, because we know that whatever is written in the Bible is absolute truth.  These things, these spiritual things, are eternal.  We should not be looking at these things the way unsaved man is doing.  All we need is enough to keep body and soul together. 

Some people think they have to have a certain status in life, that there are certain things they have to have, or buy this expensive thing, or “Look at this, how much I paid for this”—all that is nothing.  So what if you have to shop at a thrift shop, what is the big deal?  Our focal point is not on things of this life, remember?  So what if I have to shop at the Save-A-Lot, or wherever.  These things are not important.  We should not be looking at these things the same way unsaved man is doing it.  Our eyes are focused on spiritual matters, spiritual things, things which are eternal. 

Let us turn back to Colossians 3:1; here God tells us:

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

See the last phrase there: “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”  We know that Christ is reigning; He is sitting “on the right hand of God.” 

Let us look at Ephesians 1:19-23:

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The Bible tells us that Christ is sitting in Heaven; He is ruling over all things.  Christ finished the work that He came to do, and now He is seated “on the right hand of God” and He is ruling over all things.  So you see, Christ is ruling, and that is where we have to have our attention, “where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” in the Heavenlies.  That is where He tells us we ought to be. 

Here in Colossians 3:1, it says:

…seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

That is where our eyes ought to be focused, because Christ rules over all things in this world and in the world to come.  All things were given unto Him, and that is where our focal point ought to be.  This is our focus, if we are a child of God; this is where we ought to have our eyes. 

Look at another passage.  1 Peter 3:18-22 says:

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

So you see where we ought to have our attention?  Christ is ruling.  He is “King of kings and Lord of lords.”  Our focus ought to be there, where Christ is, not on the things of this life.

Going back to Colossians 3, if you look up the phrase in the Bible “right hand,” God uses it a lot in the Psalms, right hand.  God uses it when speaking about judgment, or about His grace, or about Him ruling.  So He uses it in a number of different ways in the Bible, that right hand.  He uses it as Him being the Judge.  He uses it many, many, many times in the Bible in several different ways.  But one way that we do see already is that He is seated “on the right hand of God” and He is ruling. 

If you will look at Psalm 21, turn over to Psalm 21.  As I said, it is used many, many times in the Psalms in different ways.  In Psalm 21:8-13, here we read:

Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

God is speaking here about Himself as the Judge by using the phrase “right hand.”

Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

So you see how God is using the phrase “right hand” as coming in judgment upon the unsaved of the world, because we know that God is the Judge.  He is mighty and His right hand at times has to do with strength or ruling. 

Let us look at Psalm 48:8-11; here we read:

As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.

In His “right hand” is righteousness; it is “full of righteousness.”  And we know that God is righteous, He is the essence of righteousness. 

Let us look at another one.  Turn over to Matthew 25, another way He uses “right hand.”  There are many, many other places you could look at.  If you take out your concordance and look it up, there are a whole host of listings in the Bible of how God uses this phrase, and these are just a few.  In Matthew 25:31-34:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit…

The same word “sit” comes back.  He is ruling.

…sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand…

The “right hand” here is a picture of the true believers.  They are the sheep; they are seated “on his right hand.”  Those who are truly saved, they are “on his right hand.”

…but the goats on the left.

The goats are a picture of the unsaved.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand…

These are the true believers.

…Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

This is spiritual language of course.  Who is seated “on His right hand”?  Those are the ones who have been truly saved, His elect, and they are going to inherit the New Heaven and the New Earth. 

Look at verse 41; the “left hand” has to do with the unsaved.  In Matthew 25:41:

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

So you see, it says here about using the terms “right hand” and “left hand.”  The “right hand” has to do with Him ruling.  He is the Judge, He is gracious, He is merciful.  You see that those who are truly saved are seated “on His right hand.”  Those are His elect; those are the ones whose sins have been paid for.

Let us go back over and read Colossians 3:1 again:

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…

These “things which are above” are spiritual things, the Bible. 

…where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

There is a verse I was thinking about: “at thy [God’s] right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  That is where our focal point ought to be, “on things above,” on spiritual things.  If you are born again, that is what you are obsessed with, the Bible.  What better thing to be obsessed with than the Bible?  This is because we look away from this life, the things of this life, and we want to place our attention on things that are important, which are Heavenly things, spiritual things. 

Remember the song we sing?  The song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”  When our spiritual eyes are opened, we begin to see the vanity of this life.  But before that, before we were saved, we were caught up in these things right along with the unsaved.  We were just loving the things that money can buy and all these things this world has to offer.  But when our spiritual eyes have been opened by God, then we begin to see clearly.  We see what the things of this world are all about, that they are nothing.  They will not make you happy, they do not.  The more you have, the more you want.  It never ends until God in His mercy, if you are one of His elect, opens your eyes to truth and then you begin to see.

Let us continue on a little bit in Colossians 3:2.  Here God says:

Set your affection…

See how He is driving home the point?  He tells us in Colossians 3 that we are to seek the things “where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God,” and that He is coming back again.  

In Colossians 3:2:

Set your affection on things above…

He is driving home the point again and again.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

It is plain as day, “not on things on the earth.”  We look away from the things of this earth because that is not where out attention needs to be.  It says, “If ye then be risen with Christ,” we are to “seek those things which are above.”  If you are born again, that is where your focal point is going to be. 

That word “affection,” I was trying to work with it some.  If I am wrong here, please correct me.  It is the Greek word Strong’s #5426.  The way I think it is used in the Bible, it has to do with our mind.  Set our mind on the spiritual, “on things above.” 

Let us look at Matthew 16.  It is translated here in Matthew 16:22-23; it is used one way here.  Let us pick up the context.  In Matthew 16:22-23:

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Tell me which word here you think might be translated “affection”?  It is the word “savourest.”  And the word “savourest” is also translated as “mind.”  See what Peter was doing?  He was minding these things, not the “things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  The word “savourest” is here in Matthew 16:23 and it could be translated the same way as “affection” or “mind.”  “Savourest,” he was minding the things of men.  That ought not to be. 

Let us look at the way it is used in another verse.  Romans 12:15-16 says:

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind

Same word there.

…same mind one toward another. Mind not high things…

Same word “mind.”

…Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

So God says, “Set your affection on things above”; “set your [mind] on things above.”

Let us look at another verse.  Look at Philippians 2:1-2:

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded

Same word.

…likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

When God says, “Set your affection,” it is the same as saying, “Set your [mind] on things above.” 

Philippians 2:5:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Mind, spirit, they are the same thing; because when we become saved, we become spiritually minded.  The only way we are going to become spiritually minded is when God makes us born again.  So if we are spiritually minded, our mind is going to be “on things above.”  You have to be born again for that. 

Turn to Philippians 3:15; this is another example:

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect…

Who are those who are perfect?  Those who have become born again.

…be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

So you see, one way that word is used in Colossians 3:2 says:

Set your affection

Or set your mind:

…on things above…

When we become born again, that is where our mind is going to be, not on what this world has to offer.  He spells it out before us, He says:

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

All that we see is going to be destroyed soon. 

Let us stop here.

(There was no question/answer session pertaining to this study.)