Summary: Inside the courtyard of the Temple/Tabernacle there were three layers/levels. Outer court, inner court, Holy of Holies. Our friends can also be put into three main categories.
Friendly Fire Sermon Series
(Inspired by Perry Stone’s book, “Judas Goat”)
“How to Pick Your Friends” 2 of 3
1/19/2014 Chester’s FBC Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson
A Inside the courtyard of the Temple/Tabernacle there were three layers/levels.
1 Outer court, inner court, Holy of Holies.
a The outer court was the only place common people were allowed to wash their sacrifices.
b The inner court (table of shewbread, Menorah, altar of incense) was where they (the Levites) would break bread together, share the glow of the Menorah as they made intercession before the Lord.
c The Holy of Holies was a special place that was annually enter by ONLY the High Priest to offer atonement for himself, the priests, & the people.
aa This chamber was the most intimate of the three - Reserved for face-to-face, one on one encounter between the High Priest & God.
bb Not everyone entered here – very few.
B Scripture identifies 3 levels of people you’ll encounter in your life – hirelings, servants, & friends.
1 John 10:11-13 (NASB) 11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 "He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 "He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. (Hireling - #1 chair)
a A “hireling” was a hired hand (not family) that was paid to watch.
aa The danger of a hireling is they tend the sheep, not out of love for the sheep but for money.
bb He’ll sees trouble/wolf – He gone.
b In the church, we call these folks “church hoppers.”
aa Travel from church to church, set up camp until he/she finds a church that offer him/her better opp, use gifts, “release their anointing.”
bb Usually don’t stay long - only as long as they are getting what they want. (Pastors & people)
cc If things don’t go as they like they create their own following & typically leave because it’s all about them. (Not about loving sheep, needs of the flock, shepherd)
2 Matthew 24:45-46 (NASB) 45 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. (Servant - #2 chair)
a A servant is one who serves his master (either voluntarily or willing)
aa As Americans, servant/slave reminds us of “slavery.”
bb Scripturally, we’re talking about volunteers, workers, severs & helpers - Serve willingly in the church, ministry, bless others because they love the Lord, they love the sheep & the Shepherd.
b Servants would be placed in the inner court/second chair.
aa Fellowship occurs (break bread, word, oil, prayer in His presence)
bb The second chair/inner court isn’t for the hireling.
c John 15:14-15 (NASB)14 "You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
d There is a difference between servants & friends.
aa Jesus said that servants are not involved with the inner circle decisions of the Master. (vs 15)
bb A servant isn’t always told the secrets that only close family members knows.
e Just as a hireling will split at the first time of trouble, a servant can get offended if they’re not allowed into the inner circle conversations & fellowship sessions. (Get offended, turn on the leadership & split instead of smiling & continuing to work their assignment.)
3 John 15:14-15 (NASB)14 "You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (Friend - #3 chair)
a Jesus said to His 12, “I’m bumping you up form servants to friends.”
aa In this context more than acquaintances, more affectionate, more relationship.
bb Some relationships will mature into a closer, family-like affection.
cc Not every relationship matures to 3rd chair / friendship. (Compare to Holy of Holies.)
b The 3rd chair is for the closest of friends.
aa Why so many of us experience hurt, disappointment, betrayal at times is because allow a 1st chair person to sit in the 3rd chair.
bb An immature person can’t handle what he/she hears/sees - eventually causes harm to the ministry & minister.