TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

Matthew 12

Matthew 12

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn [grain, in 1611 English word “corn” meant a kernel or grain of something]; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of grain and to eat.

Notice: They gleaned a few heads of grain as one might take an apple to munch; they did not pay for this, they did not cook it, and they did not take a basket to harvest, nor did they bear any burden in removing any to their homes.

12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

Those with this same attitude who seek excuses for sin should know that there is NOTHING WRONG with eating on the Sabbath, as long as the cooking and preparation is done before Sabbath. These men did NOT cook, pay for, or in any way do any amount of work beyond grabbing a handful of grain and eating it.

Actually Sabbath preparation is easy and takes little time. The term “preparation day”, does not mean that it takes the whole day to prepare; it means that all necessary preparation is to be done on that day. Simply having ones clothes ready, shining ones shoes, filling the gas tank and making sure there is enough food ready, is all that is really needed.

12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

Of course David and his men were fainting with hunger and fleeing for their lives, while the priests are commanded by God to do what they do on Sabbath! And that is the point! Jesus is saying that he was the very Creator of the Sabbath; and they had his consent as LORD of the Sabbath!  Just like the priests have his permission to keep their commanded  Sabbath activities;  and the act of mercy towards David in his genuine “Ox in the ditch” situation had Christ’s approval as the LORD of the Sabbath.

As the priests worked on Sabbath in obedience to Christ commanded Sabbath activities, and acts of mercy towards man and beast are appropriate; so they are for us today.   Further as we shall see; the Sabbath was made for man to rest and enjoy; and suffering, even of hunger is to be relieved, this is done through proper preparation, but one may grab a handful of grain or an apple off a tree to serve an immediate need, as one is walking along!

12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

It is certainly permissible to do the commanded Sabbath activities, to relieve suffering and to eat on the Sabbath; however we are to properly prepare for the Sabbath and Holy Days on the preparation day.  We are not to buy or sell; or to do any regular work, including food preparation and cooking on Sabbath or Holy Days. 

12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Here is the core of the issue; they were being instructed by the very Lord of the Sabbath!

12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

The narrative continues about the Sabbath day, with the people asking him if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath, trying to trap him into admitting that his conduct was Sabbath breaking.

12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

Christ explained that it was lawful to heal and alleviate suffering on the Sabbath, and then healed the man in front of them.

12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

The Pharisees then went out in anger, feeling that they had lost face being humiliated in front of the people; instead of rejoicing at this new understanding being presented to them. So it is today.

12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known:

Christ preached to the masses and kept himself from the Pharisees by remaining in the crowds and charging his disciples to keep his plans and location hidden from others.

12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Christ did not lift a finger to physically defend himself, he did not call for others to build an army to defend him or take the kingdom at that time; but preached sincere repentance and the righteousness of obedience to God; which we are to do also; until he will come to take the Kingdom and in righteousness shall be victorious.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

The religious establishment of that day did not rejoice at the knowledge being given to them, or for the healings; but condemned themselves by condemning any zeal for the WORD of God;  and upholding a zeal for their own false traditions. Just as today’s Ekklesia condemn any zeal for keeping God’s Word.

Matthew 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Jesus declares that his power over Satan and the demons was the proof and seal of his godliness.

12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

The kingdom of God is the sum of the nature of God, as defined by the Word of God, and is entered through sincere repentance and the application of the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God.  The Kingdom of God was among them; because Jesus Christ the King of that kingdom under the Father; was with them, with power over all spirits!

12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 2:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Christ here claims that he is of God, because he has the power of God the Father in heaven, over all of the spirits.

12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

He asks how is it that he has power over these spirits if he is not from God.

12:30 He that is not with me is against me; . . .

Here we have the truth that the church of God is not any one corporate entity, but consists of every person who is FOR Christ and DOES what Christ has commanded! Any corporate Group that says that they are the true church of God is either ignorant or LYING.

The Ekklesia are those persons who follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth; and that lets out all the major Religious Groups and distils the true Ekklesia down to those individuals who are zealously faithfully DOING the commandments of God; as Christ himself commanded us to do.

12:30 . . . and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

He who does not faithfully keep all of the commandments of God; IS creating DIVISION between the brethren and GOD!  He is scattering the brethren from Christ and NOT gathering the brethren TO Christ.

Let’s get this straight: WE are called to UNITY WITH GOD! and not to unity with other folks in some organization! Those who are united with God will have that common ground as the foundation of unity with each other!

UNITY WITH GOD is the foundation of unity in the spiritual Ekklesia!

To try and achieve a physical unity of men; through compromising with our unity with God; is counterproductive and spiritually catastrophic!

It is those who teach men to tolerate sin, to compromise with the commandments, to teach a false Gospel of inoffensive lukewarm skim milk; in a desire for unity among brethren: It is such men who preach organizational unity that are dividing God’s Ekklesia! By scattering and separating the Ekklesia from their GOD!

The Holy Spirit is the nature of God and leads us to internalize the nature of God as defined by the whole Word of God.  Any spirit that teaches us that Christ will tolerate sin, or that we should tolerate sin; works against God’s Spirit which leads us to zealously keep the whole Word of God.  Such a spirit is NOT God’s Spirit but a counterfeit spirit which is of Satan and is antichrist; for Christ kept the Word and commanded us to do likewise! 

Blasphemy against God’s Spirit, is teaching that Christ will tolerate sin [which is rebellion against the Word of God].

Blasphemy  is wilful and unrepentant sin, which the sinner justifies and refuses to repent of; desiring to decide for himself what is right and wrong and refusing and condemning any zeal to keep the whole Word of God. 

Just like the religious establishment of those days, today’s COG groups are standing on the very precipice of this justifying of their own ways and adamant refusal to repent of rebellion against any zeal for keeping the whole Word of God. 

Brethren most of today’s Ekklesia, including the leaders and elders are in  grave danger of being hardened into the unforgivable sin of justifying their own ways against the Word of God!  It is for that reason that they will be vast into the loving correction of the great tribulation:  So that by afflicting the flesh the spirit may be saved! 

The great tribulation is the loving correction of a merciful God: and is designed to humble and SAVE today’s wayward Ekklesia, and to prepare the whole world to keep the laws that bring eternal salvation!

12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against [who rejects the Spirit of God and rejects God’s Spirit’s lead to follow and keep the whole Word of God] the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

This refers to a refusal to repent and accept the lead of God’s Spirit; a rejection and hardened refusal of zeal for the Word of God, to do as we decide for ourselves as Eve and Adam did in the garden after having tasted and fully understood the good things of God.

This is a reference to the converted who turn away; deliberately and wilfully from a zeal to follow and keep the whole Word of God; choosing instead to follow idols of men.  

This is not referring to slipping in a temporary temptation, but to a deliberate and wilful insistence on doing things our own way and knowingly rejecting any zeal for God’s ways; which is a  common practice today. 

This is a reference to calling the Sabbath and Holy Days holy and then polluting them because; “The minister said it was all right;” a reference to following idols of men in rebellion against any part of the Word of God.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

This is a hard thing, yet I tell you the truth: All the major groups of today’s spiritual Ekklesia have rejected the lead of God’s Spirit and insist on doing what they think is right, instead of what God has said is right. They refuse instruction from the scriptures, saying in their hearts that they know it all and have need of nothing (Rev 3); and they will NOT repent before God; instead exalting their leaders, organizations and traditions ABOVE the Word of God.

These groups as organizations today and most of their members; are in grave danger of the great and unpardonable sin; for they are rejecting God’s ways for their own ways. The ONLY thing that is saving them right now is that they have for the most part been deceived into this attitude.

ONLY when their fears have come up in their very faces; will they wake up and humble themselves before their God in repentance for their IDOLATRY.

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

No halfway measures; NO lukewarm attitude; NO going through the motions and paying lip-service, while doing things our own ways: ONLY a whole hearted commitment to total faith and obedience to all of God’s commandments, will and ways: Will do.

12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

This is addressed to the Pharisees, the teachers of the day; and it applies to the teachers and elders of every age, including today’s professing Christians. If we teach zeal for God and his commandments, it is because that is what is in our hearts.

And if we teach a zeal for organizational unity and  idols of men a lack of zeal for God’s instructions, will and commandments:  That is what is in our hearts.

We shall be required to give an account for every word that we teach; If we are zealous for God, we shall teach that zeal and we shall be justified before God.

If we separate men from God by teaching idolatry of men and organizational unity; with faithfulness to men, organizations and the traditions of men:  We shall be condemned by Almighty God.

12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Christ here gives a major sign of his Messiah-ship; yet many signs were already given as Christ told the disciples of John. The dead are raised, the sick are healed, the blind see and the true Gospel of repentance reconciling with God and empowerment to overcome sin is taught

12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

This same thing shall come upon this generation of the church of God. The Queen of the South traveled a great distance to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and today’s Ekklesia turn up their noses at the wisdom of God; preferring their own false traditions. The men of Nineveh repented at the warnings and today’s brethren in the main will not repent of their idolatry of men.

12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

If a man repent and is cleansed; committing himself in baptism to keep all of God’s commandments with enthusiastic zeal, right through all persecution even to death; if he have the Passover sacrifice of Christ applied to himself; and if he is then given the gift of God’s spirit; tasting of the wonders of God: If he be thus cleansed and then he turn back into Egypt and the uncleanness of his former sins: His state will be far worse then in the beginning.

So it is with all who accept the things of God with rejoicing, only to later turn away from zeal for unity with God! 

Those who after their initial love and zeal for the Word of God, later turn towards making an idol out of corporate organizations, leaders and false traditions; turning away from any zeal for unity with God and his Word;  by having tasted the truth of God and then turning away, are more guilty than those who are sinning in ignorance. 

12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

Now to stress the point that it is unity with God that is paramount, he declares that it not his immediate physical family, but ALL those who are united with God who are his true spiritual family.

12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother

Today many teach the brethren that: This corporate organization is your family of faith, you must tolerate the weakness and sins of your brethren, for we are all brothers in the faith.

DON’T BELIEVE THAT LIE!

Brothers are children of the SAME Father, and good children obey their Father!

If any person will not obey his heavenly Father and will not accept correction from his Word and follows idols of men and the false traditions of men instead of being zealous to follow our Father in heaven: he is NOT a son of the Father in heaven, and he is NOT the brother of the faithful!

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without [will NOT endure correction] chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Here is the key; in the very words of Christ:

Matthew 12:50  “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Our unity is to be with God; through the enthusiastic faithful DOING of the WILL of the Father; especially as revealed in his LAW and WORD!

Unity with men as a priority over unity with God and the keeping of all God’s commandments without compromise; is idolatry and emotional spiritual adultery against our espoused Husband.

If we do NOT do the will of God the Father; if we DO NOT KEEP all of the commandments of God with true passionate zeal: We are NOT the family of Jesus Christ!

We are in unity with sin; and in unity with the father of sin! We have abandoned UNITY WITH GOD!

Those who teach organizational unity as a priority over zeal for God and his commandments; are deceivers and scatterers of the flock away from Christ and God the Father!

 

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