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Jesus’ brothers said to Him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that Your disciples may see the miracles You do.  No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret.  Since You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world.”  For even His own brothers did not believe in Him.  Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for Me has not yet come; for you any time is right.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify that what it does is evil.  You go to the feast.  I am not yet going up to this feast, because for Me the right time has not yet come.”[1]

Application of all things is about knowing what to do, how to do it, and above all else, when to do it.  Knowing what to do can be learnt by listening and reading.  It is the theory part of application, and anyone who listens to Jesus has begun to learn to know what to do.  As an example:  What do you do with an enemy?  From Jesus’ command, you know that you are to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, do good to those who hate you… bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”[2]  Knowing what to do in many circumstances in life can save a person, and ignorance is not knowing what to do.  The more you know what to do, the more knowledge you have, for the Lord said, “My people are destroyed from the lack of knowledge.”[3]

The words of Jesus show us what to do for ourselves and for God, and for the Father He knows.  His first preaches of repentance and faith show us what to do to be saved from destruction, just as love of our enemies shows us how to be perfect.  Included in the instructions of Jesus is not only the knowledge of what to do, but how to do it.  For instance, He commanded us to love our enemies, but how do we do it?  The how is in the instructions that follow the command:  “Pray for those who persecute you, do good to those who hate you… bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” 

However, He does not give us a prayer book to recite from, or a list of blessings that we are to pronounce, nor a recommended set of do’s and don’ts that can be considered to qualify as doing good.  In fact, the specifics are quite sparse, because the specifics of how to do things come from the Holy Spirit when you are prepared to put into practice what you have heard. 

So you know to pray for those who persecute you, then pray that which comes from your heart.  So you know to bless your enemies, then pronounce a blessing, any blessing.  So you know to do good to those who seek to harm you, then do something that you think is good.  The moment you are prepared to practise that which you know you are to do, in whatever way you can do it at that moment, is when the Holy Spirit will not only remind you of what Jesus said, but also what it is He actually said, that is, give you the meaning behind the words so that you know how it was done and how it is meant to be done.

Practice of the words of Jesus, like the practice of anything, brings forth the practical knowledge, or as we call it, the “know how”.  And the more you practise, the more you know how to do something better and faster, and from that can come new ways of doing things and even discovery of new things so that innovation can begin.  Listening to Jesus and practising His words will give you the what and the how to do things His way, the way the Father showed Him, but it is in watching Jesus that you will learn the importance of knowing when to do what you know to do. 

Jesus said to His mother, “Dear woman, why do you involve Me?  My time has not yet come.”[4]  Yet at Mary’s insistence, Jesus changed the water to good wine, and it is written:  This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee.  He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him.[5]  Yes, Jesus knew the time, but because it was His mother who asked Him, He obliged and did what He knows to do best – miracles – and changed the water to good wine.  Great miracle; and everything seemed to be great and fine.  Or was it?

Now be serious and listen closely, and learn to examine all things in detail, for you are the elect of the Holy Spirit.  You are not Israel, nor are you the disciples of Christ only, but the Holy Spirit has set you aside for His work as He set Paul and Barnabas aside.

Jesus did something that was ahead of His time in Cana, and in a way, Jesus disobeyed the Father concerning the timing as to when He would and should reveal the Life of the Son of God.  What are the consequences of this single, premature action that Jesus did because His mother had put Him on the spot?  He could have said, “No,” of course, but this was His mother who had made the request and His mother who knew what He is capable of doing wanted to show Him, her Son, off.  All very understandable.  There are twofold consequences of this single, out of perfect synchronicity, action at Cana.

The first and most obvious one, which prevails to this day, is a false teaching that is in the church where people are taught to pray to Mary and to rely on her intercession to Jesus for their prayers.  After all, the mother in John 2 persuaded Jesus to change water to good wine even though it was not yet His time, a time that had been obviously set by His Father.  The subtly of this has been exploited by Satan and his apostles.  It is like a child asking the mother after the father has said, “No,” in an ordinary family.  In this case, Jesus had listened to Mary instead of sticking strictly to His Father’s schedule. 

In the overall picture, in the grand scheme of things, it changed nothing of the Father’s plan, Jesus still died on the cross as the sin offering and nothing interrupted the resurrection, the church still got launched, and so on.  But as for the finer details on closer examination, you can see the consequences with the rise of the cult of the virgin.  Many were and are deceived into praying to Mary the mother so that she could intercede to Jesus for them in the same way as she did for the bridegroom and guests at the wedding at Cana.

The second and almost invisible consequence of the changing of water to good wine is that its impact on the disciples was literally watered down.  What do I mean?  Water to good wine—wow!  What a miracle!  But there was no teaching preceding the miracle for His so called disciples.  His disciples who were probably there that day were Andrew, Peter and one other whose name was not recorded, Philip and Nathanael.  They had been with Him only two days, two days!  Read this in John 1.  Priests and Levites questioned John the Baptist in verse 19, then the next day, in verse 29, Jesus came to John and John said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  This is the One I meant…”  And then on day 1 of the first disciples, it is written in verse 35:  The next day John was there again with two of his disciples… and that is when two of them, one being Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, followed Jesus to see where He was staying. And then in verses 43-44:  The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee.  Finding Philip, He said, “Follow Me.”  Philip went and brought Nathanael to Jesus.  Then John 2:1 records:  On the third day, a wedding took place at Cana… 

Andrew, Peter and the other disciple of John had been with Jesus for two days, and Philip had only been called the second day and he went and brought Nathanael.  Andrew and the other disciple of John may have seen Jesus on the day after John the Baptist first said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”  But they did not follow Jesus until the next day.

Whereas you might get the impression that all the twelve were there at the wedding at Cana as I did when you read:  This the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee.  He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him.  Now I hope you realise that only Peter, Andrew, Philip, Nathanael and one other would have there, and they were disciples in name only, not in practice and reality.  For to be a disciple, you have to have spent enough time with the Master and have been taught and tutored so that you are becoming like the Teacher.

As much as Jesus may have spoken to them during the first couple of days, really, how much had they been taught?  That first miracle was done to probably five disciples when they were disciples in name only.  Somehow it was premature, and because it was premature, it did not have the impact it should have had.  It is like fireworks going off prematurely in the daylight.  You hear the sound and see some flash and smoke, but the full beauty is lost because of the glare of daylight.

They put their faith in Him, yes, but how much faith?  Because Matthew and Mark recorded for us:  As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.[6]  When you read that, how often have you thought that is the first time Jesus saw them and called them, whereas John made it clear that is the second time that Jesus met with them.  They were at the wedding at Cana on the third day, and then after that Jesus called them as well as John and James.[7]  It was the fact that Jesus caused them to catch a big catch as Luke recorded that they left their boats to follow Him.[8]  Jesus got into Simon’s boat because He had already met Simon a few days earlier when Andrew brought him, and Jesus said to him, “You are Simon son of John.  You will be called Cephas.”[9]

The water changing to good wine may have caused Peter, Andrew and the others there to put their faith in Him, but it did not make Peter and Andrew walk away from their nets that day.  Jesus had to go down to the lake to find them and give them the miraculous catch of fish to do that.  You see, the Cana miracle was premature, and somehow lost some of its impact, and Jesus had to follow it up with a second more personal sign with the miraculous catch of fish.

Did that premature revelation of Jesus’ glory affect His relationship with Peter, Andrew and Philip in the long run?  Before you answer, now consider another apostle whose first encounter with Jesus was as powerful and miraculous as water changing to good wine, and as personally relevant as a miraculous catch of fish to a fisherman who had caught nothing all night and who knows that fish do not swim in deep water in a lake.  Remember Jesus said, “Put into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  Freshwater fish do not congregate in deep water where there is low oxygen, little food and weeds for shelter. 

Consider the apostle Paul whose first encounter with Jesus was at full power, a blinding light that blinded him and threw him to the ground, and he heard the voice of Jesus say to him, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”[10]  A miracle that occurred just at the right time to save the disciples of Damascus; a miracle that had so powerfully impacted Paul that the life of Paul we know was a life that never wavered from the gospel entrusted to him, and not only that, he did not compromise the way and the life that he then had in Jesus, even when Peter and Barnabas were led astray into hypocrisy by men from James.[11]

One cannot help but think now what would Peter have been like if the miracle at Cana did not occur until it was Jesus’ proper time.  What sort of an apostle would Peter have made if the perfect time for Jesus to display His glory was done instead?  Perhaps we would have had an apostle who would stand up to James the younger’s recommendations in Acts 15 and said, “Jesus taught us to eat His flesh and drink His blood, and He declared all food to be clean.  As such, avoidance of sexual immorality is the only one of your recommendations we can accept.  However, if the Gentiles would just listen to Jesus, they would know how to overcome immorality.  No, brothers, it may seem good to make it easy for the Gentiles through James’ recommendations, but it is better to teach the Gentiles to listen to Jesus instead of observing what Moses gave us.”  Imagine Peter saying that in Paul’s hearing.  You would have had Paul giving all his support to Peter as well as a discourse on the superiority of the grace through Jesus over the law through Moses for the justification of a man.

Understand and see what a difference perfect timing can make to the course of a man’s life and to history.  It isn’t what you know or what you do, but it is also when you do it that really counts.  That is why Jesus did not preach until John the Baptist had been put into prison, but as you read in Mark 1:14, it is written:  After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God.  “The time has come,” He said, “The Kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the Good News!”[12] 

So likewise now, the time has come for the set times of God to be reconciled, restored and resurrected to their perfection.  Israel knew what it had to do.  They were to worship God only, who brought them out of Egypt, and to occupy the whole land promised to Abraham, but they did not do it, and to this day God’s promise to Abraham remains unfulfilled.

The disciples of Jesus knew what to do and how to do it—to be witnesses of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, for Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem…”[13]  They did what they were told to do – preach the Gospel and make disciples, but not the way it was meant to be done with miraculous power to do the things that Jesus has been doing and the greater things than them.[14]  Instead, by and large, the way to do things was replaced with the ways and means of men rather than God’s way.  They were shown how to do it, but they did it their own way, and to this day God has not been able to send Jesus back because what has been done has not been done the way it should be done.

Now, as the elect, you have been shown what to do and how to do it, and those of you who have diligently listened and practised will now be made ready, for the time has come, the time to do what God has commanded us to do in the way Jesus has shown us when the Holy Spirit tells us.  Israel failed in what they were to do, and the church has failed in how she was to do it.  Elect, you cannot fail because the time has come.  You are born for such a time, called, chosen and elected for such a time, and the Perfecter of all God’s works, the Holy Spirit, has been waiting for His time, His time to raise up His elect, for whose sake He can shorten the days of distress, through whom He can teach the church, the disciples of Jesus, how to do what Jesus told them to do, and to help Israel finally do what God promised Abraham He would do.  They knew what to do and they were shown how to do it—but the Scriptures that are God-breathed for teaching, correction and even rebuke[15] have clearly shown us we need to know when to do what we are to do, in the way Jesus has shown us, and that is the truth.

So, let us repent, as we are called to do continuously, repent not only of not doing what we are told to do, repent of doing things the improper way without miraculous power, and finally, repent of doing things when it was not the proper times to do it.  As you repent of the improper times, so the sin and the error of incorrect, imperfect timing is removed and the consequences of those timings are removed.  You see, Daniel was told by the angel of a king who will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change the set times and laws.[16]

Anyone who opposes the Most High will try to change the set times for Jesus’ return by delaying it.  For Satan’s only hope of continued freedom on Earth is if he can delay the arrival of Jesus, and so all his apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors work to that end to change the set times for Jesus’ return by delaying it.  And as long as the saints of God do not do what they are supposed to do in the way they are to do it, the delay continues.

As you repent of your improper timing, so forgive the improper timing of your brothers and sisters, the improper timing of the friends of the Lord and His servants, so that the effect of the sin of improper timing is removed, and with its removal that which should have taken place when it should have, will be as it was meant to be, and all things will be made new.

To do what you know to do is the thirty-fold of the return on the words of Jesus.  To do it in the way you were shown is the sixty-fold of the return on the words of Jesus.  But to be able to do it exactly when it is to be done is the hundredfold on the words of Jesus, for the Kingdom of God is the kingdom that returns the hundredfold on the words of the Father and Jesus, the hundredfold, the perfect fold.

Yes, as Paul wrote:  Now the Lord is the Spirit[17]—and He is the Lord of time—He changes times and seasons.[18]  He stopped the sun and moon from moving for a day for Joshua.[19]  He made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.[20]  And He is the One who will shorten the days of distress for the sake of His elect who do what He shows in the way He shows them when He tells them.

And as Paul wrote:  And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.[21]  It is not that we are sinless and do not sin; it is not that we always do what we are told; it is not that we always do it in the way we should; it is not that we do it exactly when we should; but it is because we repent and believe that “The time has come.  The Kingdom of God is near,” and Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Son of Man, seated at the right hand of the Almighty.

It is because of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ that we will do what we know to do in the way Jesus did it in God’s perfect timing.   Amen Holy Spirit, Lord of our times.

[1] John 7:3-8

[2] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27

[3] Hosea 4:6

[4] John 2:4

[5] John 2:11

[6] Mathew 4:18 (Mark 1:16)

[7] Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19

[8] Luke 5:1-7

[9] John 1:42

[10] Acts 9:5

[11] Galatians 2:11-13

[12] Mark 1:14-15

[13] John 1:8

[14] John 14:12

[15] 2 Timothy 3:16

[16] Daniel 7:25

[17] 2 Corinthians 3:17

[18] Daniel 2:21

[19] Joshua 10:12-14

[20] 2 Kings 20:11

[21] 2 Corinthians 10:6


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