It Is Written – Man of Faith

♪[theme music]♪>>John Bradshaw:
This isIt Is Written.I’m John Bradshaw.
Thanks for joining me. ♪[dramatic music]♪ There’s no other place
like it in the entire world. People flock here from
all around the planet– pilgrims, many of them. They come to walk
where Jesus walked, to see places
spoken of in the Bible, to see where Jesus died, or, just a few miles away in
Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Unlike some historic
sites in the world, there’s no doubt that
this one is legitimate. Jesus, the Son of
Mary and Joseph, the Son of David,
the Son of God lived here. Now, He didn’t spend as much
time here as many people think. Matthew 9:1 describes
Capernaum as Jesus’ own city. It was there in Capernaum on the
north side of the Sea of Galilee and in other places nearby
that Jesus cast out demons, healed the mother of Peter, healed the man who was lowered
through the roof of that home. It was in Galilee that many
of the disciples were called. Some were fisherman, and they
fished on the Sea of Galilee. It was there, 70 miles from
Jerusalem in a straight line– and, of course, much further
if you walked, like Jesus did– that Jesus walked on water,
that Peter walked on water, that Jesus calmed the storm. When Jesus spoke of the
future of the church and told Peter that He would
build the church upon a rock, the rock being Jesus Himself, that was north of Capernaum
in Caesarea Philippi. The Sermon on the Mount
on a hillside in Galilee, not here in Jerusalem. But there was
something in Jerusalem that drew Jesus here often: the temple. The temple in Jerusalem
was first built by Solomon and was destroyed some years
later by Nebuchadnezzar. That temple was rebuilt by
exiles who returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. It was refurbished
by Herod the Great, the ruler in Israel
when Jesus was born. That’s the man
who was so alarmed by word that a king had
been born in Bethlehem that he ordered the
killing of every baby boy under the age of 2
in Bethlehem. Herod was ruthless–and
an incredible builder. He built the fortress at Masada. He built the royal complex
called Herodium, another colossal palace,
fortress-type building, where his own tomb was located
by archaeologist Ehud Netzer. He built a lot more,
all of it grand, including that third temple. He was determined to make
it a huge complex. So he constructed–or at
least hehadconstructed– the Temple Mount, an enormous platform upon
which the temple would rest. Enormous stones were used in
the wall of the Temple Mount, many of them weighing
an estimated 120 tons, or almost 109 tonnes
in metric. And some of those
stones, much more. He built the Western Wall, where Jews still come
to worship today. When Jesus visited the
temple during Passover, it’s said in John 2, verse 20, that the temple had been under
construction for 46 years. When it was destroyed in 70 AD, it’s thought construction
had been fully completed only a few years earlier. ♪[solemn music]♪ [machinery whirring] Visit the Temple Mount today and you’re able to see
prophecy fulfilled. Of course, there’s no temple
on the Temple Mount now. Jesus, speaking to His
disciples in Matthew 24 from the Mount of Olives, just across the
Kidron Valley from here, told His disciples that the
temple would be destroyed to the extent that there
would not be one stone left upon another. I’ve been asked about that
by people many times who see the wall, very much
intact, stones on top of stones, and they wonder whether
that prophecy failed. But no, Jesus was
speaking about the stones in the buildings of
the temple complex. And if you come here today, you’re able to see some
of those same stones, pushed off the Temple Mount,
lying in piles today. ♪[foreboding Middle Eastern
instrumental music]♪ In the 2nd century AD,
the Roman emperor Hadrian built a temple for the worship
of Jupiter on the Temple Mount, later demolished by
the emperor Constantine. The area later became
a rubbish dump. But today, the Temple Mount is
home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered to be the
third holiest site in Islam, and the magnificent
Dome of the Rock. It was completed
in around 691 AD and then rebuilt a little
over 300 years later. It’s the most recognized
landmark in Jerusalem today. Now, there’s no shortage
of controversy and tension in Jerusalem concerning
the Temple Mount. There are some Jews
and some Christians, too, who believe that the Jewish
temple will be rebuilt here. Now, the question is asked, how can that possibly happen
when the site is currently under Muslim control? That’s a fair question. And then there are those
who ask whether the temple even needs to be rebuilt, considering that Jesus
brought about an end of the sacrificial system
when He died on the cross as the Lamb of God who takes
away the sins of the world. Jesus came and went
from the temple that stood on the Temple Mount
during His life and ministry. It was there that
Jesus overturned the money changers’ tables. It was on the steps just in
front of the Temple Mount that Jesus anointed a blind
man’s eyes with dirt and saliva and had him go and wash his
eyes in the Pool of Siloam, which the man did–
it was very nearby. The man received his sight. It was on that same
Temple Mount when, as a 12-year-old, Jesus engaged the religious
leaders in a discussion. His parents had left town, not realizing that they had
failed to bring Jesus with them. That was all right there. But another very significant
event happened on that same spot 2,000 years earlier, an event that prefigured the
coming of Jesus to this world. Let’s take a look
at that story now. It’s a story of
faith, great faith. Well, some great faith and a
fair amount of faithlessness. But it’s a story in
which faith triumphs. It’s a challenging story. But this story announces that
Jesus would come to the world to save us from our sins. ♪[instrumental music]♪ God promised elderly Abram, whose name was later
changed to Abraham, that he would have a son. In fact, God told the old man
that his descendants would become a great nation. The Bible says the Lord
visited Abraham in Mamre, which was located
southwest of Jerusalem, down near Hebron. “And He said, ‘I will
certainly return to you according to the
time of life, and behold, Sarah your
wife shall have a son.’ (Sarah was listening in the tent
door which was behind him.)” That’s Genesis 18:10. The next verse says, “Now
Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed
the age of childbearing.” God stated a physical
impossibility, and Sarah reacted as many people do when they’re
confronted by God’s power, God’s promises, God’s Word. “Oh, there’s no way
in the world a big fish could possibly
have swallowed up Jonah.” “How could a virgin
possibly conceive?” “Really? Jesus raised
Lazarus from the dead?” There are a lot of doubters. “How could God possibly
forgive me of my sins?” Same thing. When God speaks–
and He has spoken– the right way to respond is by
exercising faith in God’s Word. But that’s not what Sarah did. “Therefore Sarah laughed
within herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old,
shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, “Shall I surely bear a child,
since I am old?” Is anything too hard
for the Lord? At the appointed time
I will return to you, according to the time of life,
and Sarah shall have a son.'” Now, there’s a question: Is there anything
too hard for the Lord? God had spoken,
so, it would happen. There’s nothing too
hard for the Lord. Believe that and
you’ll be in good shape. I’ll be right back. ♪[music]♪>>John: Jesus said He came
into the world to give us a more abundant life. And you can have that
by making simple changes that bring profound results. And with that in mind, I’d like
to offer you a special book. It’s called
“Confidence in Chaos.” If you want to get your
heart right with God, this is the book that’s going
to set you on the path to that place. In order to get this book,
call right now. The number is
1-800-253-3000, and simply ask for
“Confidence in Chaos,” or visit us online at>>John Bradshaw:
Thanks for joining me today onIt Is Written.Jerusalem,
the city of peace. Well, of course, over
the last number of years it hasn’t been a city
of a lot of peace. Jerusalem, most of it, was
under the control of Jordan until the Six-Day War in 1967. At that time, a large amount
of territory was taken, including the old
city of Jerusalem. Jews hadn’t held the old city for hundreds and
hundreds of years. And when Israeli soldiers
made it to the wall of the Temple Mount,
they wept. Which is why the Western Wall
is referred to today as the Wailing Wall. And since then, there hasn’t been anything
resembling real peace, in spite of many attempts
at securing peace. Jesus is referred to
as the Prince of Peace, and you’re left thinking
that surely the only way to real peace in this part
of the world is Jesus Himself. And this is a city of miracles, and a city where great faith
was demonstrated again and again in Bible times. The Pool of Bethesda
is here in Jerusalem. It’s been excavated, so it’s possible to see just
what it was like in Bible times. In John chapter 5, we read
an account of a man who was at the Pool of Bethesda
waiting for, as the Bible says, “the moving of the water.” He’d been suffering from a
physical problem for 38 years. And Jesus saw him there. Now, keep in mind, Jesus didn’t
go from Galilee to Jerusalem for the purpose of healing. He was there, well,
here, for the feast. But He saw this man suffering,
and His heart was touched. Jesus’ heart is still
touched by suffering. It was touched by the
plight of this man. And if you’re going
through something, remember, He’s touched
by your plight as well. There’s no hardship
that you go through that Jesus doesn’t notice,
that doesn’t touch His heart. And on this day at
the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus’ heart was touched. He said to the man, “Do you
want to be made whole?” And here’s where
the man told Jesus about this interesting tradition
that when the water was troubled in some mystical way, that the first person put into
the pool would be healed. But here was the source
of life and healing, the Creator and Re-Creator, and He longed to give
the man true healing. Jesus said, “Rise, take up
your bed, and walk.” Now, what would you do if you
were in the man’s situation? You’ve been ill or
disabled for 38 years, and someone you’ve
never met says to you, “Take up your bed and walk.” You might doubt. You might think the man
was out of his mind. But this man exercised faith. He heard the word of
Jesus and believed it, acted upon it. He heard the word, and he
did what the word said. That’s faith. And as he exercised
faith, the Bible says, “Immediately the man
was made whole, and took up his bed,
and walked.” And there’s another
great story of faith that has its culmination
in Jerusalem. It started a couple of hours
away in a place called Mamre. God spoke to Abraham, known today as the
“father of the faithful,” and told Abraham that he
would become a father, and that his elderly wife
would give birth to a son. When God told Abraham that,
Abraham was flabbergasted. Sarah, previously
Sarai, laughed. You might understand why. They just couldn’t understand
how, at their advanced age, they were going to welcome
a baby boy into their home. But God said they would, and the
same God had asked the question, “Is [there] anything
too hard for the Lord?” Now, that’s something
you want to remember. When you get into a scrape,
when you get into a tough place, when it seems like
things aren’t going well, remember that God is with you. And that there is nothing
too hard for the Lord. Now, why did God choose
Abraham for this? Genesis 18:19 tells us,
“I have known him, in order that he may
command his children and his household after him, that they keep
the way of the Lord, to do righteousness
and [judgment], that the Lord may
bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” You know, it’s interesting
that Abraham wasn’t always a man of great faith. He went to a place called Gerar. Of course, Sarah
was with him, but he explained that his wife
was actually his sister. As a consequence,
the king, Abimelech, took Abraham’s beautiful
wife to be his own. It wasn’t until God appeared
to Abimelech in a dream and told him that he had
taken another man’s wife that he returned Sarah to
Abraham–and rebuked Abraham. Seems Abimelech acted with
more honor in this situation than Abraham, the father
of the faithful, did. You see, Abraham evidently
was scared that his wife would be forcibly
taken from him and that he would be
harmed in the process. Seems that in Abraham’s mind, it was preferable that his wife
be violated rather than him. The father of the faithful? Seems like he wasn’t
acting that way, except we’ll remember
a couple of things. People grow in their faith, and people of faith
can make mistakes. But when God brought
the big test to Abraham, Abraham didn’t stumble. I’ll have that in just a moment. ♪[music]♪>>John: Thank you for
remembering that It Is Written exists because of the kindness
of people just like you. To support this international
life-changing ministry, please call us now at
800-253-3000. You can send your
tax-deductible gift to the address
on your screen, or you can visit us online at Thank you for your prayers
and for your financial support. Our number again is
800-253-3000, or you can visit us online at>>John: It’s one of the
great stories of the Bible: a shepherd boy against a giant. It’s a story that
speaks to your story, human beings weakened
by years of sin up against an enemy with
years of experience in sin. I’m John Bradshaw. Join me on location in Israel
for “David and Goliath.” We’ll go to the
Valley of Elah, where the conflict between Judah
and the Philistines took place. We’ll visit the stream where
David selected five stones and see the hillsides on which Israel and the
Philistines camped. The Bible comes alive
in “David and Goliath.” Faith in the face of darkness, faith in the midst of
faithlessness and failure, and reliance upon God
when all other hope is gone. “David and Goliath,”
filmed on location in Israel. Hope in the midst of trials,
the power of a mighty God, deliverance when
deliverance is needed. Don’t miss
“David and Goliath,” brought to you by
It Is Written TV.>>John Bradshaw: Passing
his wife off as his sister wasn’t the only serious
mistake Abraham made. This happened because
Abraham and Sarah decided that God needed some help. They knew that God had said
Sarah would have a baby in her old age. But Sarah figured
that would never happen. So she suggested that Abraham
take her handmaid Hagar and have a child with Hagar. Now, Abraham very obviously
should have told his wife that that was a terrible idea, but instead he agreed,
and Ishmael was born. But immediately this caused
all kinds of problems. And it still does. The descendants of
Isaac and Ishmael have been at each other
ever since. The trouble in the
Middle East today? Isaac’s descendants
against Ishmael’s descendants. If Sarah hadn’t
tried to help God, history would have
turned out very differently. Abraham was a hundred
years old when Isaac was born. Sarah was 90 or 91. When they believed
God, trusted God, they demonstrated faith, and their faith in God was
very clearly vindicated. Sarah had a baby boy, and he
was the child of promise. Ishmael could never be
the child of promise because taking Hagar
was not an act of faith. God said Sarah would give birth. He didn’t say
anything about Hagar. As impossible as it
seemed, when God said, “Sarah will bear a child,” all they needed to do
was believe that, and it would be done,
because God had said so. And that’s faith, believing that what God says
will happen because God said so. You don’t need further evidence, just faith that God can do
what He says He can do. But it’s in Genesis chapter 22 that things really
get tough for Abraham. Based on his previous failures,
you might think he’d fail here. God brings a severe test. Starting in verse 1: “Now it came to pass after these
things that God tested Abraham, and said to him,
‘Abraham!’ And he said,
‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Take
now your son, your only son Isaac,
whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there
as a burnt offering on one of the mountains
of which I shall tell you.'” Imagine that. God said, “Sacrifice your son.” And in spite of his
previous failings, Abraham doesn’t fail this time. Verse 3 says this: “So Abraham rose early in the
morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men
with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood
for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place
of which God had told him.” Verse 4: “Then on the third day
Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.” The place he saw
was Mount Moriah, which is where the
Temple Mount stands today. And so you can imagine, Abraham having traveled about
three days with his son, now starting slowly to
ascend the mountain. In fact, it’s, it’s really
little more than a hill. So he’s traveling up
the hill with his son, with a heavy heart,
knowing what he has to do. Interestingly, Muslims
believe it was Ishmael that Abraham took to the top
of Mount Moriah to sacrifice. But the Bible says it was
Abraham and Isaac. “And Abraham said
to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go
yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.'” Now, that’s interesting. He knew what God had asked, but he believed that God would
raise Isaac from the dead. It says this in Hebrews 11: “By faith Abraham, when he was
tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received
the promises offered up his only begotten son,
of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed
shall be called,’ concluding that God was
able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received
him in a figurative sense.” But still, this was a colossal struggle
for the loving father Abraham. Back to Genesis chapter 22. “So Abraham took the wood
of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the
fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two
of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham
his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said,
‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look,
the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb
for a burnt offering?'” Now, notice these
beautiful words: “And Abraham said, ‘My son,
God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them
went together. Then they came to the place
of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son
and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham
stretched out his hand and took the knife
to slay his son.” So how do you dothat?Well, faith. God had said Isaac was
the child of promise. So, very clearly, the boy’s life
couldn’t come to an end. God had spoken, and
Abraham believed God. As Romans 4, verse 3 says, “For what does the Scripture
say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him
for righteousness.'” And as Abraham was in the
throes of taking his son’s life, God intervened. “The Angel of the Lord called
to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’
So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Do not lay
your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for
now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your
son, your only son, from me.'” “Now I know…you fear God.” And why was that? Because you believed, and you demonstrated that
belief by your actions. You believed, and you obeyed. You believed, and you showed
that belief in your life. So how are things with you? Are you living a life of faith? Are you living
“by every word that proceeds from
the mouth of God”? That’s what faith is.
It’s trusting God. It’s taking God at His word. That’s what Abraham chose to do. Now, if you’d like another
example of great faith, think about Isaac. A young man more than likely
in his late teens. His father says, “God has
told me to sacrifice you.” Now, what would you have done? No one would have blamed
Isaac if he’d jumped up and, jumped up and run off and said,
“Dad, you’re crazy!” But that’s not what he did.
He submitted to his father. Which tells us at
least three things. One, he loved his dad. Two, he trusted and
respected his dad. And three, Abraham had lived
the kind of life as a daddy that inspired faithfulness
in his son Isaac. I think there’s a lesson
there for parents everywhere. And the story ends with
a truly beautiful verse. Abraham had said to his son, “[My] God [shall]
provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” That’s exactly
what God did. ♪[soft music]♪ Genesis 22:13, “Then Abraham
lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was
a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went
and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt
offering instead of his son.” [traffic noise and
indistinct voices in background] And what was this? This was prefiguring Jesus, who would die for
the sins of the world. God did give Himself a Lamb
for a burnt offering: Jesus, God in the flesh, who
died for the sins of the world. And He did so pretty much
in exactly the same place that Abraham offered that ram. A beautiful story,
a story of faith. Is anything too hard
for the Lord? No, nothing. An elderly woman giving birth? If that’s God’s will, sure. A patriarch choosing
to offer up his son? Yes, because the man had faith. Do you have faith in God? Real faith? Not just church-once-a-week
faith, but real faith? I’ve decided to follow Jesus. His Word is my will. When the Bible says it,
I believe it. And I want God’s will
done in my life. What a beautiful story of faith. And Abraham’s story of
faith can be your story.>>John: Jesus said He came
into the world to give us a more abundant life, and you can have that
by making simple changes that bring profound results. And with that in mind, I’d like
to offer you a special book. It’s called
“Confidence in Chaos.” If you want to get your
heart right with God, this is the book that’s going
to set you on the path to that place. In order to get this book,
call right now. The number is
1-800-253-3000, and simply ask for
“Confidence in Chaos,” or visit us online at>>John Bradshaw:
Let’s pray together now. Our Father in heaven, we come to You in the name
of Jesus, and we thank You. We thank You for
the gift of faith. And we pray, as
the disciples pray, “Increase our faith.” Friend, is there something
for which you need more faith? Is there a struggle
you’re having where, where you can’t see God, where
you’re battling to see God? Or are you drifting, and
you’re not living your life on the Word of God? Tell God now, “I want faith. I want to lean on Your Word.
I want to stand on Jesus.” Believe His promises.
Believe the Bible. Father in heaven, we thank You.
We thank You for faith. Grow our faith, we pray,
in Jesus’ name. Amen. Thanks so much for
joining me today. I’m looking forward to
seeing you again next time. Until then, remember: “It is written, ‘Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds
from the mouth of God.'” ♪[theme music]♪

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