David Butterworth - Portugal Convention - 2005

David Butterworth continued to speak of Jesus and the power of the resurrection.  Through His great mercy, He has regenerated us by the means of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  This resurrection meant a lot to Peter, had a special meaning for Peter when he felt very discouraged.  Maybe he thought that never had anyone sunk so low in denying his Lord and Master, he did not have any intention at all to do that. 

Jesus had a special thought for Peter when He rose from the dead, the same hour He said, "Tell Peter I’m risen again."  We feel there are times in life when we sink so low without intention of doing it, and this shows the heart of God, shows the
heart of Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep.  It was this news of the risen Christ that revived Peter.  We sometimes come to convention similar to this, feel in the same condition as Peter.  Then we hear the voice of Jesus, like the tenderness of the shepherd, and it revives us and it makes us to be born again. 

We are brought back to life again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Sunday morning is the day of the resurrection and certain things cannot be separated, first the sacrifice of the lamb and then 3 days after we
have the resurrection.  We cannot divide this as it is the most important thing for it means so much to us.  Jesus spoke that I am going to prepare a place for you and there would be no place prepared for us without His sacrifice.  Now He comes back to life again and it is through His sacrifice that heaven is opened up to us.  We can now draw near to God with a pure heart and a clean conscience, bodies washed with pure water. 

One feels that we cannot really enter into the feeling in this life the greatness of the sacrifice of Jesus.  The main message of the Apostles after Jesus ascended to heaven was the message of the resurrection.  The Jews had tried to hide this from the people.  They tried to say that His body was stolen and then the highest religious authority in the land paid to have it covered up.  The Apostles made it clear that Jesus was risen, they made it clear, they were witnesses of this.  Peter spoke this message to the gentiles, to Cornelius how they had eaten with Him after He was risen and been in His presence for 40 days, been enjoying fellowship with Him and so gave a clear confirmation of the resurrection of Jesus. 

Jesus never appeared to the religious people after He was raised from the dead but only to His own.  This is a very precious thing for God's people alone and many cannot take it in.  It is like
one of the pearls of the kingdom, this thought.

Jesus took a few of His disciples to Bethany and ascended to heaven.  It was in Bethany where the home was of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, a home where He loved to go and often resorted to.  There we have it, imagine a humble home and He loved to go there.  We think of some homes that are like that to us, a wonderful warmth of reception where Mary sat at the feet of Jesus.  I do not like to think of Martha in a negative way.  Her spirit got irritated as ours does at times for she was listening to Jesus.  She heard the story of the resurrection for later she could say to Jesus, "I know that my brother shall rise again."  A wonderful faith that was in both sisters. 

Then in Ephesians we read, that ye also have been raised up together with Christ, ye also.  We also and we sit in heavenly places in the present, we have experienced a present resurrection.  We can never enter into this experience unless we have been raised up to a newness of life today, unless we have been born again today for I cannot see how we can enjoy these things unless we are born again. For how can we enjoy eternity with Christ, with the Father, with the angels, with all the heavenly atmosphere if we are not experiencing this now?  Today for we have been raised up together to sit together in heavenly places. There will be another surrounding later, another spiritual body but we enter this now, today when we are changed and born again. 

You take the fish out of the water and it will die.  They are still fish but without water they will die.  If we put the birds in the ocean, they will die.  It is the same for God's child.  There is a change of spirit, a change of life, a change of body like to His glorious body and this is the hope of the resurrection.  Now is the preparation time to be prepared in our spirit becoming like Jesus for this is the greatest message of all time to all mankind.  He is risen and we are raised to this living hope in Christ.  All our living, the essence of our living is this hope.  This is the message the Apostles gave to the world after the resurrection.

Peter spoke that we have not been redeemed with silver of gold but by the precious blood of Christ.  This was real for Peter, wonderful how Peter changed and in his letters we see so clearly the counsel that he gave.  All goes back to Jesus as the example, how He was reviled and threatened not.  It is not an easy thing for us to do this but it is the example Jesus gave.  He opened not His mouth.  In the judgment hall He was spat on, the soldiers scourged Him but really they were commanded to do this.  They were doing it in ignorance.  It was to those that Jesus spoke to His Father to forgive them for they did not know what they were doing.  Jesus then gave up His Spirit to the one who judges righteously.  There is a very great lesson in this for us:  we may be accused wrongfully but how good to leave our spirit, our cause in the hand of the Lord. 

One time a person was accused wrongfully.  She did not reply.  She said, "My Father is the judge and my brother is the advocate."  That finished the case and we have an elder brother taking our cause when we are accused wrongfully.  We are also cleansed from an evil conscience, we have a quickened conscience now that is more sensitive to the will of God as we begin to walk in the light.  An evil conscience can be cleansed but it is very difficult to cleanse one that has been seared.  Like a blacksmith’s hands, they are so used to being burned that they are no longer sensitive to heat any more.  They can touch a hot iron and not feel it.  This is like the person who continues to sin, becoming insensible to sin.  There is no value to baptism if there is no resurrection if there is no new life.  So glad that we were buried with Him in baptism and now live in newness of life and have a good conscience.