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MATTHEW CHAPTERS 11 & 12

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1-5 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" 4 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 

 

Mat 11-1 -- No Entries

Mat 11,2-6

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death -- John the Baptist became worried that Jesus was not the expected one and that He had forfeited his life for some con-artist. (He probably was listening to some of the stories that were coming from the jailor and his fellow prisoners.) John didn't have a life outside his jail cell and prisons are generally immersed in an environment of doubt and unbelief. He spent his whole life up to that point preparing for the coming of the Messiah. John was not afraid to die; he was afraid He was about to give up his life for nothing. Had Jesus not been the expected one, the worst thing john's captors could have done to him was let him go, making him to live a normal life. That is our greatest fear too, worse than death. Nothing is worse than futility; we want our lives to count for something, so if we live for God our lives will count, just as John's life counted, which made Jesus say, "No one is greater than John the Baptist, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he."

Mat 11,3-5

(142f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a good reputation >> Jesus’ reputation

Mat 11,4-6

(141e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ ministry >> Jesus as the healer – Jesus said to the Pharisees in Jn 10-32, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” There is a glaring similarity between this passage and Jesus’ answer to John the Baptist when he began to doubt. His life was about to end; he was lying in Herod’s dungeon waiting execution and began to wonder if he made a mistake; maybe he threw his life away for nothing; maybe he was too hasty in calling Jesus the expected One? This was throwing everything in the dumpster that John knew about the Messiah; Satan was putting doubts in his head. Jesus’ answer to John came chiefly from Isaiah 29-18;35-5. Speaking about stumbling over Jesus, this described the Pharisees to a tee. These were the works of the Father that Jesus performed, outlined as it were in a bulleted list. When Jesus cited His works for John the Baptist, He was not only using them as proof of His identity, but more so, he was implying a greater proof from the Old Testament that wrote about Him as the healer. John knowing about these verses in Scripture as a disciple of the word, he must have been greatly comforted and reassured by the report.

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6 "And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."

 

Mat 11-6

(2l) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Do not stumble over Him – The NAS before 1995 put it this way, "Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me." That was an interesting version in that it painted Jesus as a little man, as though He were a crack in the sidewalk and we must give Him our full attention to avoid tripping over Him. We stumble over Christ when we are not looking for Him, or are actually trying to avoid Him. God is big, like a brick wall; but we don’t stumble over a brick wall; we run into it. We stumble over something that is smaller than us, usually a lot smaller. We are like giants in our own minds to Christ, but the only thing that is big about us is our pride. Jesus made Himself smaller than any man so we would need to humble ourselves to work with Him. We stumble over something because we don’t see it. We don’t see it because we are looking at something else – the world. We need to humble ourselves and come down to His level, where the truth about our stature is waiting for us.

(13a) Servant >> Jesus is a servant of mankind >> He is smaller than any man People stumble over a crack in the sidewalk that is only one or two inches high, whereas the person is five to six feet tall. Jesus is at our feet, but we can’t kick at Him anymore than we can kick concrete without breaking our toe. If we don’t notice Him down there, we will trip on Him and fall on our faces, and suddenly we are no higher than He before an almighty God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. He will use as a measuring stick the faith we had in Jesus to judge who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, whether they were willing to lower themselves and accept Christ, or whether they simply tripped over Him. God will execute judgment on those who consider themselves bigger than His Son.

(22n) Sin >> Pride comes before a fall God wanted to experience the lowest position of all mankind. This way He could judge the street person and the homeless man who had not a single possession to his name. He became even lower than them. Many of them had nothing to lose except their pride, which is the so-called greatest possession of the wealthiest man, the God-given right to be a god unto himself. All his other possessions mean nothing to him if he doesn’t have his pride to plot his own destiny, and to determine for himself what is right and true. He doesn’t want to depend on God to tell him these things; he would rather decide for himself. This is the value of the human will to many people; they would rather go to hell with it than sacrifice it for heaven. This goes for the poorest and the richest person on earth. Jesus says to them both, “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

(37i) Judgment >> Blood of Jesus >> He emptied Himself >> From equality with God to human frailty – In conjunction with this verse, Phi 2,6-8 says, "Although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Jesus had more to empty of Himself than any man. He went from the very pinnacle as creator of the universe to the lowest creature of mankind, making His act of humility greater than anyone could portray. Now He has experienced both ends of the spectrum, that He might be all in all (Eph 1-23). God had a bigger reason for coming here and dying for our sins than the fact that we needed Him to make us holy and acceptable to the Father. God had a personal reason for sending His Son, so He could experience death for Himself. This way He could experience humility more than any man and become the least significant human being on earth, as Isaiah 53-3 says, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

(64i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness makes Him small compared to men -- Jesus, who originated from heaven chose to become a man, fully accepted and understood the humble condition of His humanity and lived accordingly, whereas we, who tend to deny our true human condition, do what we can to live as though we were like God. The only way we will ever see eye-to-eye with God is to humble ourselves to the level of Christ. Then we will understand our own humanity and God's divinity, and everything will become clear to us, but until then, our pride blinds our eyes and deafens our ears to His glory.

(169k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Stepping on people to get to the bottom >> Ignoring Jesus to satisfy your flesh – Jesus might look small, but don’t underestimate Him; His essence and influence in every person’s life will eventually fill the earth, and He will become King of the nations. Then God will create a new heavens and a new earth, and He will reign over the entire universe. That is His real size. For now, though, He is under our feet, hardly noticeable. The number one problem that most people have with Jesus is that His message is an offense. People don’t like to think of themselves as sinners, and they don’t want to humble themselves and confess their sins to God and receive Jesus’ blood sacrifice for their forgiveness and live a repentant life and worship God through Him. None of these things appeal to the flesh. It is such an insult to so many people to think that they must worship God in order to avoid going to hell. People spend an inordinate amount of time and effort thinking about themselves and sprucing their egos, trying to prove themselves to the world their true worth and importance. While they are doing this, God says they are sinners in need of repentance, which is a current that is going in the opposite direction, and so the vast majority of the world rejects the gospel, seeing no application to themselves, because they don’t want to humble themselves and serve God.

(199k) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Unwilling to receive Christ >> Ignoring Christ

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7-19 As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 "But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces! 9 "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 "This is the one about whom it is written, 'BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.' 11 "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 "And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15 "He who has ears to hear, let him hear. 16 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' 18 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon!' 19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds." 

 

Mat 11,7-9

         (63e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God>> Exaggerate the truth to make a point

 

Mat 11-10

(8k) Responsibility >> Responsible to defend God’s cause >> Preparing for the ministry

(80d) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to learn the ways of God >> Leading to the truth This is John the Baptist preparing the way for Christ, breaking the ice as it were like the giant ice breaking ships that make a way for other ships to follow in the cold, arctic regions of the earth. This way Jesus didn’t have to begin from scratch, but received an introduction. John laid his baptism of repentance as a foundation for Jesus to follow with a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire (Mat 3-2). Therefore, repentance is the foundation of the gospel of Christ. We study Scripture to learn the ways of God and we repent that we might implement His ways into our lives. Of all that entails, secularism should be at the top of our list of most destructive sins to avoid, and also the most insidious—like extracting a malignant cancer that has metastasized. For this reason the Church needs to repent of its many worldly viewpoints and start seeing their lives the way God sees them.

(141d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ ministry as the savior

Mat 11-11,12

(224j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Those in heaven are blessed indeed

Mat 11-11

(56k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Least are greatest >> Smallest in the eyes of men are big to God -- This verse goes with verse 25. Jesus commended John the Baptist as one of the greatest prophets of all time, and that is saying a lot, because there were some great prophets. Elijah was a great prophet, as was Isaiah and Jeremiah, yet Jesus said that John was one of the greatest of all, not because he was most faithful or had the greatest truth, but because he had the greatest ministry as one who would prepare the way for the Son of God. He had to pay a price for this privilege. What’s for lunch? Grasshoppers, more grasshoppers! Want some honey with that? Steal it from an bee hive! He lived in the wilderness away from everybody, so he wouldn’t be influenced by society. He only knew what God was saying, so when he entered His ministry and people asked him what he was doing, he had only one answer, and as far as John knew, it had no interpretation. There was only one John the Baptist and his message was one, and there was never any confusion about him, having come with a message that was untainted. People have ideas; there could be a million memes roaming through society, yet nary-a-one corresponds with God’s truth, simply because man has an aversion to the truth. The god of this world will also lead man from the truth, so that man will consistently arrive at an idea that is contrary to God’s word.

Mat 11-12

(46a) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Violent take it by force >> Taking the kingdom by force

(59a) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Jesus is the kingdom and violent men hung Him on a tree / Church protects the kingdom from their own flesh

(233g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seek the kingdom by the flesh

Mat 11,13-15 -- No Entries

 

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Mat 11,16-19

(17d) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Accusing God and others of sin

(75l) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Creating a no-win situation -- It is frustrating to be stonewalled. If we seek to excel in the faith, we will get opposition from every direction (even from our brothers and sisters in the church), doors will close on us on every side, except the one that God opens. It is a miracle when someone who seeks Christ with all his heart finds his way to a powerful ministry. Jesus did not ask anyone for a ministry, He got His ministry directly from His Father. Did we see anyone give Jesus a ministry? That would never happen because they would monitor it and find fault with it and shut Him down! Jesus depended on no one for His ministry. The more we have from God the less you can depend on others (nor do we need to depend on anyone). 

(163a) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to peoples’ expectations of you -- When people try to put us in bondage, the best solution is to reject their expectations of us, get on our knees and find out exactly what God expects of us.

(166h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Nature Of Man’s Wisdom >> Man’s wisdom will not allow the righteous to succeed

(200k) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Putting God in a no win situation

Mat 11-19

(128m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Evidence of your fruit >> Good fruit is proof that God is working in you

 

20-24 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 "Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 "Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."

 

Mat 11,20-24

(26k) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> God’s blessings are a curse if you don’t walk in them -- God's expectations of us are based on a ratio between How much He has invested in us and how much we have used what He has given us. Jesus' expectations for repentance were heightened in Chorazin and Bethsaida because of the extent of miracles that He performed in those cities. He said in another passage, "To him who has been given much, much is required" (Luke 12-48). Perhaps the reason certain people don't want to believe in miracles is they don't want to be accountable to God. We should embrace the evidence of God's power in our presence with the attitude that we intend to do something with everything He gives us.  

(48i) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your knowledge of God – Our response to the gospel, whether faith or unbelief, has ramifications that reverberate all the way back to the Father, and it is the Father whom we must fear. In fact, if Jesus didn’t have a Father, we would have nothing to fear at all. It is the Father whom we least understand about the trinity. Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, and so we should understand Him at least a little, and Jesus became a man and died for our sins, and so I guess we understand Him too, but the Father remains an abrupt mystery, except for this one statement Jesus made to Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn 14-9). Therefore, to know Jesus is to know the Father, and we know Jesus through the Holy Spirit, and so in this sense we know the Father, but in another sense we don’t know Him at all. For example, we know He is holy, but we don’t know anything about his substance. Jesus is flesh and the Spirit is spirit, but what consistency has the Father? From what little we know He consists of faith and knowledge, but if we do not worship and serve Him, He will judge us to the degree of our faith and knowledge of Him. We have been made in His image, having the ability to fellowship with Him, but if we are not pursuing these things and seeking the will of God, then we are rejecting Him in favor of the world. There are many who believe there is more truth in the world than there is in our understanding of God, but these have come to their conclusion through philosophical terms and not through a genuine pursuit of the truth. We know instinctively that God is truth and that all things originate from Him and that we are called to seek Him rather than His creation (Rom 1,24-26).

(64d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Limits of God >> God cannot help but judge sin – Go back to Sodom and Gomorra and the fire and brimstone that fell on them after being visited by a man righteous by comparison, Jesus said that judgment far greater than assailed those beasts will befall a city who has rejected Christ and his followers after presented with the gospel in power, because God has revealed Himself more to them then He did to Old Testament Sodom and Gomorra, who hadn’t yet received the Law of Moses. If Sodom and Gomorra had no excuse for their behavior, much less does the city that rejects the message of the cross. Therefore, how much more severe punishment can we expect in the age of grace who have rejected so great a salvation (Heb 2,1-4), after the love of God has been lavished on a sinful world, Jesus the crucified and raised on their behalf? No excuse will hold water and pleas of ignorance will go unheard on the day of judgment, because in fact they did know and rejected Him without ever a serious thought about Him.

(154h) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is rebellious against God >> Witness against unbelief -- God knows from the beginning how each individual will respond to Him, and He knew that Chorazin and Bethsaida would not repent though Christ would pour His miracles into them. He spent His time and effort on these cities to prove that the world is evil, so that no one had an excuse for believing in this world. 

(185k) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Responding with contempt to the Holy Spirit >> Indifferent to the Holy Spirit

(193j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Consequences for not repenting

(201i) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Man’s will over God >> Man is unwilling to repent

(202i) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running from walking in faith >> Running from God through disobedience – The Kingdom of God has come near to the cities that Jesus mentioned and they were slow to receive it. Jesus spent a lot of time in Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida, and much of His efforts were in vain, because the people did not believe in Him. They brought the sick and lame to Jesus and He healed them, and if He was offering any free meals, they would hop in line, but that is all they wanted from Him. God follows the evangelist and distributes judgment to those who have rejected him. Jesus didn’t promise they would receive retribution in this life, but He did promise it in the life to come, but He also said, “yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near” (Lk 10-11). We are to present the gospel in a lucid manner, not in word only but also in power.

(222c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not invest yourself in dogs -- I am sure that the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida saw Jesus as a contemptible magician with a good show. They could not explain anything about Him, so after the novelty of His miracles wore off, they simply disregarded Him, instead of contemplating what He said and did and repenting. 

Mat 11,21-24

(218a) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> You cannot control the judgment of God >> You cannot control how God responds to rejection -- Once we have exercised our tiny will and have rejected God, it is then His turn to respond. He is stronger than us and knows how to turn the tables either in or out of our favor. How will He respond to our rejection?

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25-30 At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

 

Mat 11,25-27

(221d) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from the mind of man >> He hides behind man’s intellect -- After rebuking the cities that stonewalled Him, Jesus changed His tone when He began speaking about the children of God. He made a special effort to rub the favor of God's elect in the faces of unbelievers, who thought that obeying Jesus was below them. He classified people into two distinct groups: those who believed in Him and those did not, and then showed that it is not wisdom or intelligence that understands God, but humility and faithfulness. 

Mat 11-25

(56k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Least are greatest >> Smallest in the eyes of men are big to God -- This verse goes with verse 11. God's children are the world's little people, yet according to God's perspective, we are greater than those who consider us small. Tall people can be small inside, and people in humble circumstances can be no less prideful. Smallness is a state of heart that is an accurate stature before God. Even He is small in His own eyes. Since He is greater than His creation yet more humble than anyone, we stand to decrease in our self-image to become smaller than our Master. 

(57i) Paradox >> Opposites >> More you profess wisdom, the less you have of it

(221a) Kingdom Hidden From The World (Key verse) – After rebuking the cities in the passage above, He gives wisdom only to His children who believe in Him. Unbelievers have complained that Christianity is like a believers' club that only those with faith in Christ can understand Him, and the rest of the world lies in darkness. That is an accurate depiction of Christianity! The world hates that it can't get its grimy hands on the elusive Kingdom of God (they can't see it or even fathom it), any more than they could control Jesus when He was here in the flesh. To the people who use brute force to obtain what they want and operate in the all-too-common me-first mode, they don't have a chance of ever knowing about God's alternate world that is powered by the Holy Spirit.

(224i) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The people of heaven >> Traits of those who make it to heaven

(254a) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is subject to the Father >> Jesus worships the Father

Mat 11-27

(66g) Authority >> Jesus’ authority >> He owns everything from the father

(144g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Trinity bears witness of Jesus >> Father bears witness of His Son

(153a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Church bears witness of the Father through Christ -- The Father bears witness of His Son, who bears witness of the Father to the Church. Once the Church is formed, it bears witness of the Father through Christ to the world. 

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Mat 11,28-30

(6e) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Rest in Jesus’ yoke – A lack of contentment is a heavy burden, and Jesus wants to take it from us and give us His yoke of freedom; for His will makes us content. His struggles and hardships are not wearisome, for we have them from obeying Him, for which God will reward us. That generates hope, and we can be content with hope.

(117b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Rest in His yoke through obedience

Mat 11-29,30

(5l) Jesus’ Yoke (Key verse) – Jesus' yoke is "easy," comparatively speaking. That is, compared to the world’s yoke it's easy. There is nothing easy about being persecuted wherever you go, though we will inherit eternal life in the Kingdom of God and our persecutors will die and be buried if they don't repent, and from there their torment will have no end. In that sense, we do have it pretty easy. There is something else we need to consider – walking in the Spirit, some of the most difficult circumstances seem trivial in light of the comfort we receive from His presence. His comfort is so addicting that His devoted followers will walk through fire just to get a little closer to Him.

Mat 11-29

(128h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Jesus is gentle – Jesus is talking about the contrast between bondage and freedom, saying that if we want to be free, we must accept His yoke. Absolute freedom does not exist in this life. In heaven we will be totally free, sin and the yoke of Christ will be removed, but in this life we are slaves to God. The better we understand the Lord’s meaning of freedom, the more potential we have to be free. The question remains: what is His yoke? Paul said in Rom 6,12-14, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” This is probably the hardest thing we will ever do, and it will be our greatest achievement, yet not doing it is even harder, suffering shame as a Christian and the consequences of our sin. This statement, “You are not under law but under grace,” is in reference to the yoke of Christ. We abstain from sin, which is our primary ministry toward God. Our secondary ministry is pursuing His truth as students of His word disciples of prayer. These two ministries work hand in hand to build our faith.

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER 12

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1-8 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." 3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 5 "Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? 6 "But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 "But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 

 

Mat 12,1-7

(141i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Old Testament is for our instruction >> Teaching from the Old Testament -- The fact that Jesus frequently used the Old Testament, particularly in this passage, more than suggested that He supported it as a reliable source of information, both as a predictor of the coming messiah and as a historical record of Israel's past. When looking into the Old Testament, it is easy to wonder if it all happened the way it was written, until Jesus showed us that He believed every word of it, and if He does, then who are we not to believe it? The Old and the New Testaments have the same symbiotic relationship as the Father and the Son in that as Jesus validated the Old Testament, it in turn bore witness of Jesus as the messiah, in the same way that Jesus worships the Father, who glorifies the Son. They are in perfect agreement with each other, for just as the Father bore witness of His Son by performing all His miracles through Christ, so Jesus was directing His audience to the Father. They are truly and magnificently one.  

Mat 12,3-7

(79l) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word as a sword in spiritual warfare >> To defend yourself from religion -- Jesus more than anyone taught us to use the word of God to defend yourself from those who would attack our faith, whether through ignorance or through malice, whether from spiritual devils or from human devils. It is all the same; we are tearing down strongholds that are raised up against the knowledge of God. Too bad someone with authority didn’t tell Israel centuries earlier what Jesus told the Pharisees in Mk 2-27, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." They misused the Sabbath, weighing it down with regulations, tying people down and making them work harder on the Sabbath than any other day of the week just to avoid breaking their rules. What did God intend by the Sabbath? He gave it to man because He knew people would work seven days a week and forget God. Then he made other laws, such as the Law of Jubilee, that every seven years the Israelites would become free of their debts. What we see in the Sabbath is a law that is related to work and the economy, a weekly type of Jubilee. It was an important law given to Israel so the people would stop what they were doing once a week and reflect on God, but just like everything else it evolved to take on a different meaning, ending up being one of the most arduous days of the week.

Mat 12-7

(123f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion is greater than sacrifice

(169h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Love to be noticed by men -- The Pharisees who confronted Jesus about breaking the Sabbath in the grain fields didn't do it out of zeal for the law or out of good conscience, but out of jealousy. They were looking to pin something on Jesus to get rid of Him, because He was infringing on their lucrative religion.

(249a) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> The Highest Values >> Spirit over the law -- Generally speaking, sacrifice is taught in the Old Testament, while compassion is taught in the New. Being that walking by the Spirit is infinitely more fruitful than walking according to the law, it is no surprise that compassion is greater than sacrifice.  

Mat 12,8-15

(117d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Let Jesus do the work >> Let Him work on your circumstances – The Pharisees, if they lived in our day, might have required everyone to wear a pedometer that counted footsteps on the Sabbath, so if someone went over the allotted amount, they would come and arrest them, but Jesus put no limit on the amount of good people could do on the Sabbath. The problem with the Pharisees is they lost touch with the intent of the Law, for, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2-27). They put the cart before the horse; the Pharisees were making the people serve the Sabbath instead of the Sabbath serving them, which was meant to give them a day off work, but the people worked harder on the Sabbath to keep from violating Pharisaic law. A few verses later in this chapter it says that Jesus went to a place where there were many sick people, and He healed them all on the Sabbath, the same day He was chided by the Pharisees not to heal on the Sabbath. That is, He rebelled against their regulations. In fact, Jesus probably performed more miracles on the Sabbath than on any other day of the week, just to break their laws. The Sabbath was man’s day that God had given him. Reversing the order of things is a very common problem when people get their thinking twisted. The Pharisees didn’t just use the Sabbath for the wrong reason but for the opposite reason that God intended. After the New Testament was written, everything was fine for 200 years, and then people started misconstruing the gospel, so now instead of the grace of God setting people free, it often leads them into bondage through various doctrines that cannot be found in Scripture, no different from the Pharisees.

Mat 12-8

(12n) Servant >> Jesus serves mankind >> Jesus is the son of man

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9-16 Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"-so that they might accuse Him. 11 And He said to them, "What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 "How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." 13 Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!" He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. 15 But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, 16 and warned them not to tell who He was.

 

Mat 12,9-15

(16j) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Having hidden motives – The Pharisees were no way interested in the truth. They were convinced about their own beliefs, and nothing would dissuade them. Even if God Himself came from heaven and explained to them, they still would not believe. The Pharisees were bullheaded, stubborn, blind and deaf; they refused to listen to reason. They passed off their belligerent attitude as being committed to the truth, when in fact the truth was just the opposite. They were no way committed to God but were committed to worldliness and to the love of money and to social prestige. If we offered them an opportunity to know God for the price of a nickel, they would rather keep their nickel.

(145c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus healed them all

(175b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Using religion as a front – The Pharisees were professionals at lying to themselves so not even they knew they were lying. They were professionals at not letting their left lobe know what their right lobe is thinking, and they were willing to lie and say anything to win an argument, and once they “won” the argument, they convinced themselves they never lied, but they never won an argument with Jesus, because He would not let them lie to Him. Winning the argument had top priority with them, because their egos were fragile as their truth, and if someone poked holes in their doctrine, it would leak blood but not their own blood. They claimed their beliefs meant everything to them, though money held more value in their hearts, and when Jesus challenged them, they just denied everything. Their denial kept them from recognizing their own faults, and by this they considered themselves to have a perfectly clear conscience though they were murderers. When they cleaned up the crime scene, they simultaneously cleansed their minds from the incident as though it never happened. This was exercising mental calisthenics 101, being self-justified the moment the last drop of blood washed from their hands.

Mat 12,9-14

(241k) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Kill Jesus because of what He did Before Jesus could heal on the Sabbath, He had to make space between Himself and the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, the religious leaders of Israel, who hated Him. He was in direct conflict with everything they taught and believed, yet He made fools of them, proving that they were devoid of all substance when it came to leading their nation in things pertaining to God. Jesus not only poked holes in the Pharisee’s teachings and shattered their egos, He put the exclamation point on His teaching by the miracles He performed, so they had absolutely no defense. Jesus utterly demolished them; they were men incapable of being saved, and for this reason they immediately conspired to kill Him. There was no way to win an argument with Jesus; we would think the miracles He performed would have awakened them to realize their truth and egos were not worth protecting in light of the greater truth presented to them. The Pharisees were completely without hope, having a reprobate mind. They had blasphemed the Holy Spirit and destroyed their conscience long before they met Jesus, so when He told them the truth and proved it through His miracles, they rejected His words in the face of divine evidence.

Mat 12-12

(128c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Doing good transcends the law -- The Pharisees didn’t learn anything from Jesus. He told them God's will for the Sabbath and unraveled the twisted ball of string they had made of the Law, but they rejected everything He said. They never stopped to consider that Jesus was right or conferred with each other that doing good on the Sabbath makes sense. Doing good will never violate God's law, and if someone argues this point, we can tell them that righteousness transcends the law, and if someone makes a law that prohibits doing good, we know their law is not good.

Mat 12,16-21

(89j) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Jesus is the wisdom of God – Have we ever heard loud and obnoxious people? Jesus is the opposite of them, personality-wise and probably every other way. It says that He will not quarrel; He may have been terse with the Pharisees and rebuked them, but He didn’t actually quarrel with them. He was by no means contentious, as we know other people who love to argue. Jesus proved His points without arguing about them, not just through His miracles, but through truth and wisdom, which is indisputable in its purest form. However, when it is laced with a lot of twisted doctrines formulated over centuries, it opens the door for argument. We should not quarrel with anybody about the truth, unless they are teaching false doctrine and hurting people. If someone is open to the truth, we should tell them, but if they just want to argue, then it is time to leave. A quarrelsome person is not open to the knowledge of God, only in defending His own points for the sake of ego.

 

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17-23 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 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 PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES. 19 "HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS. 20 "A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY. 21 "AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE." 22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" 

 

Mat 12,17-21

(141a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ ministry >> Jesus as the great shepherd – Jesus’ ministry was toward the Jew only, yet the New Testament claims that He fulfilled this prophecy regarding the gentiles. Therefore, through Old Testament prophecy Matthew equated the ministry of Christ with the ministry of the Spirit, that they are one and the same, even though Jesus made it a point not to minister to any gentiles with very few exceptions. In other words, the ministry of the Spirit is a continuation of the ministry of Christ. Although He personally is in heaven seated at the right-hand of His Father, Christ is ministering to us through the Spirit, and we should recognize that this ministry is exactly the same as if Jesus were standing right next to us.

Mat 12-20

(32e) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Grace (Undeserved Favor) >> God gives grace to the afflicted – It is good that the Lord does not condemn us when we become a smoldering wick. He attempts to restore and rebuild us during those periods when our flame is low, when the world is holding our back to the mat. We fall to temptation and now our conscience is defiled, and we struggle to believe in God. Those are the times we should be looking for Him, when we are down and out, when it appears that all is lost, those are the times when we should open our eyes and lift up our heads, for our redemption draws near. God is in the process of saving us throughout our lives, both in good times and in times of deep despair.

(128h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Jesus is gentle -- Have you ever felt like a smoldering wick? Isn't it good to know that God is for the underdog? When He sees you smoldering, He will come alongside to help you burst back into flame instead of putting you out. 

Mat 12-22

(146g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Deaf, dumb and blind spirits – There are many people who are blind and mute, and no one thinks about them as being demon-possessed. It seems the Bible uses this phrase very liberally, according to some people’s thinking. The Bible is a spiritual book; what seems to be a case of a blind mute might also be a case of demonic activity.

Mat 12-23

(128m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Evidence of your fruit >> Good fruit is proof that God is working in you

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24-29 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons." 25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 "If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

 

Mat 12,24-29

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine – The Pharisees were fighting for positions of prestige in society as the spiritual leaders of Israel, who were living a life of grandeur far above the standard of the average person. They spoke this against their own conscience, since they actually knew Jesus was the Son of God. Everyone knew it, but many were unwilling to admit it or confess it. Who else could perform the signs that He performed and speak the word of God with such authority?

(178k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for accusing Him of Sin – Jesus is the man who binds the strong man, where the strong man is Satan, his household is the world, and his plunder is human souls. By this He told the Pharisees that the devil was his worst enemy. In fact, the Pharisees were working with the devil, and as usual, what they believed was the exact opposite of the truth. This is something we find consistently when we meet someone whose mind is twisted, whose motives are opposite their words. They twist the truth until no one but God can unravel their thoughts. They were the spiritual leaders of Israel, while their intent was to serve themselves. When these two opposite motives collided, it twisted the truth into knots.

Mat 12-24

(164e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> Satan’s hierarchy of evil -- The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons as a high ranking demon Himself, when in fact they were telling secrets about themselves. The Pharisees were religious rulers of Israel, which at that time was under Roman rule. The Pharisees were right about one thing, the world is a hierarchy of evil; however, Jesus was not part of it. They falsely accused Him of being part of something evil of which they centrally controlled, underscoring a fundamental principle of Scripture: unrighteous judgment accuses the very evil it practices.

Mat 12,25-29

(45l) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Satan VS the saints >> Fighting against Satan – The strong man is Satan, his house is the world and his property is lost souls. Jesus had to first bind the strong man before he could plunder the human souls from his grasp, and that is what He was doing by telling them the truth, binding the strong man. This is what the truth does: it resists the devil's resistance. Prayer is also plays a part. We must preach the word of God to the lies and deceptions that are in the way of the truth and pray for God’s power to bind the strong man.

Mat 12-25 

(69a) Authority >> Discernment >> Judging truth and error >> Correcting false reasoning – It appears that the sons of the Pharisees believed in Jesus, some were Jesus’ disciples, possibly even members of the seventy, and they were laying hands on demon-possessed people and seeing them released by the power of God. These Pharisees were so creepy that even their own family members despised them, refusing to be like them. When a child is born to alcoholic parents, they can go either way; they might become alcoholics themselves or they might despise their parents' way of life, seeing their dysfunction and wanting nothing to do with it, and never touch a drop their whole lives. With the Pharisees, they were such disgusting people that it makes sense some of their children went the opposite direction, because they knew better than anybody just how depraved they were and how twisted their minds had become. The Pharisees were like men in camouflage robbing a bank, thinking no one could see them. They thought they were clever, but the only people they fooled were themselves.

Mat 12-27

(153i) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Shame >> Walking in condemnation >> Walking in hypocrisy

Mat 12-28,29

(46l) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Jesus casts out demons

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30-35 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. 31 "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. 33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

 

Mat 12-30

(50db) Judgment >> Last Days >> Great Endtime Revival >> Jews lead the world into revival >> Prophesied to unite the body of Christ at the end of the age – The back half of this passage is stating a principle of Scripture. Jesus spoke these words while He lived among His disciples and was telling them, “He who does not gather with Me scatters,” meaning the Truth was with the disciples, and everyone who didn’t gather with them, inadvertently gathered with like-minded people, creating pockets of belief systems that can’t get along with each other, hence the scattered denominations of Christianity we see in the world today. Where is the truth that we may gather around it? Jesus elucidated Truth from God that no one even imagined until He came and revealed it to us, and everybody who did not gather with His disciples were not pursuing the truth, and so it is to this day. If anyone does not gather with the saints and go to church, scatter, but when we look at the Church, it too is scattered. Paul said that he desired everyone to agree and unite around the truth. Instead, everybody is playing a different song, and the various melodies and rhythms conflict with each other until it doesn’t even sound like music. How then are people to gather with Christ? So long as the Church remains in apostasy, this statement that Jesus made about gathering with Him technically cannot be fulfilled, for we cannot gather around a scattered Church, and so we are waiting for God to restore the Truth among his people. It will become a single entity again, no longer fragmented. Everybody will gather together in the last days, drawn by Christ’s return, as His disciples gathered around Jesus. This will take place at the restoration of the Jews, who are prophesied to return to the faith in the last days, and they will launch a Great Endtime Revival so that everyone who gathers around them will be saved, and everybody who rejects their ministry will scatter.

(200k) Whoever Is Not With Jesus Is Against Him (Key verse)

(200l) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever does not receive the Church is against Christ – This verse leaves no room for gray area and really grinds against those who try to live in that indefinable gray space that claims nobody can know the truth, thinking it gives them license to believe whatever they want, because nobody has authority to tell them they are wrong. When they happen across verses like this, a spirit of unbelief wells inside them and rejects whatever we say, because it conflicts with their belief system, and because it conflicts with the spirit they are serving, demons that have led them into the gray area of humanistic thinking, where they have concocted their own secular ideas about what is true and false and what is right and wrong, even questioning God's existence and His expectations of mankind.

Mat 12-31,32

(186b) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Cursing the Holy Spirit >> Consider the work of the Holy Spirit to be sin -- Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is one of the least understood and most feared teachings of the Bible. The rule of thumb is, if we are afraid of blaspheming the Holy Spirit we will never do it. There is a forgivable unbelief that is based on ignorance and an unforgivable unbelief that can ultimately send us to hell. Herein lies the difference: If the Holy Spirit is responsible for miraculous signs and wonders, and they don't believe it is from God (they thought the healing was a setup), that is forgivable, but if they have indisputable knowledge (such as the person being healed was a relative or a life-long friend) and they still will don't believe Jesus healed him/her, though they know the truth in their heart, that kind of unbelief is unforgivable, and leads to a hardened heart from which they cannot repent, and therefore cannot be saved. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was their Messiah, yet they were unwilling to believe it because they refused to give up their worldly status as Israel's religious leaders.

Mat 12,33-35

(85b) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> How can you, being evil, speak what is good? -- Jesus said He would prefer our treasure be either good or bad, but He least prefers a mixed bag. Paul said in 1Cor 5-7, "Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened."

Mat 12-33,34

(175a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Trying to bend kingdom principles -- Jesus laid down a simple and fundamental principle when He said, "The mouth speaks that which fills the heart," but the Pharisees were trying to skirt around it by tailoring their speech to make themselves look good. They had a form of godliness that they used to protect their religious racket, but Jesus exposed them.

Mat 12-34,35

(74g) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is central value system >> Man’s treasure chest -- Man's treasure is locked in his chest, and the contents is all he has to offer.

Mat 12-35

(4k) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your thoughts

 

36-38 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." 38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."

 

Mat 12-36,37

(84k) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> They will condemn you – Think of all the words that are spoken throughout the world, millions of conversations at any given moment. Everyone will give an account to God for the words of his mouth. He intends to judge our hearts, and He will use our words to prove what we were thinking. It is the idle words that people speak that come from the heart. If God will judge us for every idle word, how much more will He judge us for the words we carefully prepare, such as in writing? The judgment will be severe, Christian and non-Christian alike. The difference between godless sinners and Christians is the difference between God imposing judgment on the wicked while taking away rewards from the saints. He will send them to hell for every idle word, forgetting all the good they have done. In contrast, the believer’s judgment pertains to withdrawing rewards, which will primarily affect the quality of our resurrected bodies and our position with respect to Christ. God doesn’t care what good things sinners do, for none of their good works were done for His namesake but for their own selfish interests, and God only rewards faith. No one will receive a full reward, yet according to our faithfulness He will bestow upon us the things we did that corresponded with His will. Some will shine like the stars of heaven, while others will barely glow, because they were unfaithful in their calling. They never bothered to ask God what He wanted them to do, and they never developed the hearing ear. They just wanted to be Christians and do their own thing and then go to heaven after this life. Mankind has never been faithful to God, but there have always been those who loved Him throughout the ages.

Mat 12-37

(45j) Judgment >> Judged believer’s sin >> God will judge us for the words we speak – There may be no greater revelation than our words being an attribute of our works. We tend to treat our works and our words as two separate things, but actually they are one. That is, our words are part of what we do. Jesus said that our words have power to justify us, and our words have the power to condemn us. We will be judged according to our deeds, including our words. There is an old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but what we say is part of what we do. When we hurt someone's feelings with an unkind word, we tell ourselves that at least we didn’t do anything bad to them, but actually we did. Our words can hurt people just as much as the things we do to them. The believer’s judgment is straightforward (2Cor 5-10); Christ will simply note that His Holy Spirit is dwelling in us, and we will be automatically justified and the doors of heaven will swing open to us, but the one who does not have the indwelling Holy Spirit will be judged according to his works (Mat 16-27). The believer’s works have no power to condemn him, only to reward, because he had been previously forgiven by faith in Jesus. They have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them as a free pass into the Kingdom of Heaven, and they will receive rewards for practicing their faith in their walk with God, and they will also lose rewards for their disobedience, but there will be no punishment or judgment beyond that. 

Mat 12,38-45

(20f) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Seeking a sign 

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39-41 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 

 

Mat 12-39,40

(135l) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Abortion >> God’s opinion of abortion >> Father did not abort His son -- Just as a baby remains three trimesters in the belly of her mother, so Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, and Jesus was thee days and three nights in the heart of the earth. When the whale spit him out, Jonah was reborn on the beach with a new relationship with God and a new attitude. Likewise, God did not leave His Son in hell, but raised Him from the dead and gave Him a better ministry in heaven than He had in the flesh. This too is what happens to unborn babies, they go to heaven. God's opinion about abortion is seen in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and He will give life to whatever we allow to live.

Mat 12-41,42

(40a) Judgment >> Jesus is the judge >> Jesus judges the world’s unbelief – According to these verses, to say that the judgment of God has been exponentially increased after the suffering and death of Christ is an understatement. Without the cross God had no basis to judge mankind, except that He is bigger than us; but now that Jesus has come and given His life a ransom for sin, He has proven that He is also better than us. Not only is Jesus better than mankind, the Father is too, in that the Father sent the Son. The Father sent Jesus to die on the cross for two reasons: to free mankind from their sins and to establish a court by which He would judge those who rejected His free gift. The Father ordained the cross as a condition by which He would accept sinners into His heaven after cleansing them by the blood of Christ through faith, and He also sent His Son to die on a cross to justify condemning unbelievers to eternal punishment. Without the cross, sentencing mankind to the fires of hell would not be justifiable, but now that He has given His life for the sins of the world, those who stand before Him at the White Throne Judgment will have no legitimate defense, knowing that He had provided a way for them to avoid the sentence of eternal punishment.

(47k) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Eternal judgment against unbelief >> Rejecting Christ -- When we ask people how to get to heaven they almost always say, 'I'm a good person.' Then we retort, 'No doubt you are a good person, but Jesus is your judge, and you are not as good as Him.' The question is not whether we are good, but whether we trust Jesus for His grace and mercy. If we do, then there is room for us in heaven, but if we trust in ourselves, it will not go well with us.

(48i) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your knowledge of God – God will use people to condemn other people, and He will use nations against other nations to testify against them. The White Throne Judgment won’t just be the individual and Christ standing alone in judgment, though that too will happen. Instead, God will judge mankind in tiers. On one level He will judge nation against nation; on another level He will judge people against people; on another level He will judge person against person, and finally He will judge the individual. When we look at Jesus’ description of endtimes where He said “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,” He was speaking in reference to war. However, what is war but judgment? Nations pass judgment against other nations by going to war with them. In an earthly sense this has taken place many times, but at the White Throne Judgment it will formally occur with Christ as the referee. America will not fair well in judgment by the fact that nearly every household has a Bible. Both America and Europe have been graced with the gospel and have had every opportunity to know and practice the truth of God from the Scriptures, and God will use this fact against them when He judges the nations for their unbelief, for He will easily prove that the sinner had access to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

(193j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Consequences for not repenting – What exactly did the Queen of Sheba know about Solomon? She knew that he was king of Israel; she knew about Israel’s past; she heard about Israel’s exile from Egypt and God’s judgment against pharaoh; she knew that God cared for His people in the wilderness for forty years, and she knew that when they entered the promise land, they destroyed their enemies. She knew about David, Solomon’s father, who had a passionate love for God and was a great warrior, who had a son endowed with the wisdom from God, and she came to hear him speak, whose mouth was divinely inspired. There are many people whose Bible remains closed on a shelf in their house, and all the wealth of wisdom and knowledge has been collected since the times of Moses are at their fingertips, meticulously recorded and bound in a single book. At their leisure they could have become students of the word and great prayer warriors as children of God, but none of these things happened. The book remained closed throughout most of their lives, and when they enter into judgment with God, He will remind them that there are far better people than they, who traveled the ends of the earth seeking the wisdom of God, when all they had to do is reach for their Bible. God will include this in their judgment. He will itemize their sins, not forgetting what they said and did against His holy laws and against His holy people, but what will go against them worse than their sins will be their omitted righteousness, which is the root cause of their sin. Their omission of righteousness is what led them to the White Throne Judgment in the first place to be sentenced to eternal punishment; their sins are just the anecdote of their lives.

 

42-50 "The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 43 "Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 "Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came '; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation." 46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." 48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."

 

Mat 12-42

(89g) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom is the key that unlocks the mysteries of God – The Wisdom of Solomon said that the only meaningful thing in life is to fear God and obey His commands (Ecclesiastes 12-13,14). However, that was after he performed an experiment to see how much pleasure his flesh could absorb with his many concubines. He also built a beautiful city, overlaying nearly everything with gold. He made a few mistakes along the way, such as he married foreign women who drew him away from his God, and in his later years he worshipped Baal and other deities from foreign nations, and his whole family suffered for it, and then the whole of Israel suffered from Solomon’s disobedience, but the one who does what Jesus said, who finds one pearl of great value and sells all that he has and buys that pearl (Mat 13-45,46), this is wisdom exceeds Solomon. The person could live on the street; he might not have a pillow to lay his head, yet he still has wisdom greater than Solomon. A man goes for a walk in the woods that is for sale and finds a treasure chest and moves it to secret location and buys that field (Mat 13-44), this is wisdom that far exceeds Solomon. Each of us has an opportunity to possess this wisdom, and he will understand his way with God. There aren’t many who go this way, who invest their lives in the Kingdom of God to the degree that Jesus advised in His parables.

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Mat 12,43-45

(26k) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> God’s blessings are a curse if you don’t walk in them -- When God delivers us from bondage (not necessarily from demon possession), it is imperative that we walk in that new found freedom, lest we lose it and a greater form of bondage is assigned to us. There are principles at work in the world, however inexplicable, they are real, and we must not cross them. The laws that govern the spirit world are as concrete as the laws that govern the physical world.

(49a) Judgment >> Nations are destroyed >> Israel judged as an example for us -- As we know, Israel rejected their Messiah. Jesus was sent to them and He cast out their devils and brought God's light to them, and their response was to kill Him. The result was that Israel was destroyed as a nation not long afterward, and they have only recently regained their nationhood. Jesus dislodged Israel's devils, swept it and put it in order, and they paid a horrific price for not taking advantage of their freedom. Jesus in this passage was prophesying about Israel's demise, though making the application to an individual. The point is, as it goes for an individual, so it goes for nations, and vice-versa. We can draw from scores of cases of this throughout history. 

(185l) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Unwilling to obey the revelation from heaven >> Unwilling to walk in God’s freedom

(202e) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running to your sinful nature >> Laziness has plenty of ambition to run from God

Mat 12-44,45

(145k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Their behavior >> Being possessed by demons – For those who are lawless and ungodly, the law stands to judge and condemn them, and it is by their godless lifestyles that they invite demons into their lives. Demon possession does not appear common in America, but it only appears that way. Demons manifest so long as it doesn't expose them. For this reason demon possession it is more prevalently manifested in other countries where there are bizarre religions that dramatically deviate from Christianity, such as voodoo from Haiti and Hinduism from India. Another example is radicalized Islam, which is inherently violent. Many terrorists who kill themselves in hope of killing others are masochistic and demon possessed, for how else would they come to their conclusions that murdering people is the right thing to do? Demons are talking them into doing these things. Their entire religion is enveloped in demonic forces, feeding off jealousy extending all the way back to Ishmael.

Mat 12,46-50

(224c) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> Describing the kingdom after he makes all things new >> Description of the new creation -- Jesus had a vision for mankind; He lived and breathed it. There are many things that God wants us to do, like: don't swear, don't be immoral, be kind to strangers, love your family, etc., but there is one thing that God would really like us to do, and that is to adopt Jesus' vision for mankind. He viewed Himself as already in heaven and those around Him were brothers and sisters of Christ.

 

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