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MATTHEW CHAPTERS 11 & 12

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Mat 11-1 -- No Entries

 

Mat 11,2-6

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death -- John the Baptist began to doubt that Jesus was the expected one and had forfeited his life for a con-artist. He probably was listening to the jailor and his fellow prisoners. John spent his whole life preparing for the coming of Messiah, so he was not afraid to die, but he didn't want 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 live after he had built up so much hope that the kingdom of God had come. That would have been worse than death. Nothing is worse than futility; we want our lives to mean 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 – There is a glaring similarity between this passage and Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees in Jn 10-32 when He said, “I showed you many good works from the Father....?” The life of John the Baptist was about to end; he was lying in Herod’s dungeon awaiting execution and began to wonder if he had made a mistake; maybe he was too hasty in calling Jesus the expected One? Satan was putting doubts in his head, wondering if he had thrown his life into the dumpster. Jesus’ answer to John came from Isaiah 35-5, outlined as it were in a bulleted list, so when Jesus cited the Old Testament for John's benefit, it proved His identity that testified about Him as the healer. John knowing about these verses as a disciple of the word, he must have been greatly comforted and reassured by the report.

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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 use of words, in that it painted Jesus as a little man, as though He were a crack in the sidewalk and we must avoid stumbling over Him. We stumble over Christ when we are not looking for Him, or are actually trying to avoid Him, such as those who stick their nose in the air and consequently cannot see the obstacles at their feet. God is big, like a brick wall; but we don’t stumble over brick walls; we run into it. We stumble over something that is smaller than us, usually a lot smaller. We are like giants in our own mind 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 elsethe world. We need to humble ourselves and come down to His level, where the truth about our stature is waiting for us. See also: Least is greatest; 13a

(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 a 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 face, and suddenly we are no higher than He, who is ready to judge the fallen, the living and the dead. God will execute judgment on those who consider themselves bigger than His Son. See also: Least is greatest; 22n

(22n) Sin >> Pride comes before a fall God took a position lower than all mankind, so He could judge the street person and the homeless person who has not a single possession to his name, becoming lower even than them. Many of them have nothing to lose except their pride, which the wealthiest man on earth considers his greatest possession, using his will that God has given him to exercise his right to be a god unto himself. All his possessions mean nothing to him without his pride that lifts him above his fellows and above God and places him on a pedestal where his pride says he belongs. This is the value of human pride: people would rather go to hell with it than sacrifice it for heaven. This goes for the poorest and the richest man on earth. Jesus says to them both, “Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.” See also: Least is greatest; 37i

(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 of heaven as the Creator of the universe to the lowest creature on earth, having 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. God had a personal reason for sending His Son, so He could experience death for Himself and experience humility more than any man to 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.” See also: Least is greatest; 64i

(64i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness makes Him small compared to men -- Jesus the Son of God became the son of man, the smallest of all men. He accepted the humble condition of His humanity and lived accordingly, whereas we tend to deny the human condition and exalt ourselves as though we were something great, as though we were like God. The only way we will ever see eye-to-eye with Him is to humble ourselves to His level. This is where we will understand our own humanity and God's wisdom and divinity, where everything becomes clear and where pride no longer blinds our eyes and deafens our ears to the truth about ourselves and God. See also: Least is greatest; 169k

(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 the forgiveness of sin and live a repentant life and worship God through Him. None of these things appeal to the selfish pride of man. It is an insult to think that they must worship God in order to avoid going to hell. People spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort thinking about themselves and sprucing their egos, trying to prove their true worth and importance to the world. Meanwhile, God says they are sinners in need of a Savior, 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. See also: Least is greatest; Mat 11-11; 56k

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

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Mat 11,7-9

         (63e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God>> Exaggerate the truth to make a point -- See commentary: Lk 7,24-28 

 

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 John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ's ministry, breaking the ice as it were like the giant ice breaking ships that make a way for other ships to follow in the cold regions above the arctic circle. This way Jesus didn’t have to begin from scratch, but received an introduction, John having laid a baptism of repentance as the foundation for Jesus to follow with His baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire (Mat 3-2). This shows that 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 in our lives. Secularism is at the top of the list of sins to avoid; it is the most insidious—like extracting a malignant cancer before it metastasizes. For this reason the Church needs to repent of its carnality and worldliness and start living for God as He expects.

(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 – Jesus said two things that are opposites: man’s perspective versus God’s perspective. He was saying that of all who were born of women, no one was greater than John the Baptist, thus giving tribute to John as the greatest prophet Israel had ever known, greater even than Elijah. When we compare Elijah to John the Baptist, we know what exploits he did, yet what did John do? He spent his adult life living in the wilderness eating locust and wild honey, and when the time was right, he reentered civilization and preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin in preparation for Israel to receive the Messiah. Jesus was saying that His ministry was greater than any other prophet’s administration. John the Baptist and Elijah were often compared in Scripture; his ministry of preparing the people to receive their Messiah to Elijah calling down fire from heaven, yet to come at the end of the age. John’s similarity to Elijah will be seen in the last days when the Two Witnesses come, who will invite Jesus back to the earth as John the Baptist came as a forerunner for Christ at His first coming and prepared the Church to receive the Messiah. That is how Jesus presented John the Baptist in human terms, but He also said that the least in heaven is greater than John, which is how God thinks. The least is greatest and the greatest is least, referring to humility. Jesus was saying that there are many people in heaven who are greater than John the Baptist, but no one whose ministry was greater in the world. God sees man differently from the way man sees himself. John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn 3-30). The more John decreased, the more he was able to glorify Christ.

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. Elijah was a great prophet, as was Isaiah and Jeremiah, yet Jesus said that John was greatest of all, because he had the greatest ministry as one who prepared the way for the son of man. He had to pay a price for this privilege: what’s for lunch? Grasshoppers! Want some honey with that? Steal it from a 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 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, yet nary-a-one corresponds with God’s truth, because man has an aversion to his Maker. The god of this world leads man from the truth, so he will consistently arrive at conclusions that contradict the ways of God. See also: Least is greatest; Mat 11-6; 2l

Mat 11-12

(46a) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Violent take it by force >> Taking the kingdom by force -- See commentary Lk 13-34,35

(59a) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Jesus is the kingdom and violent men hung Him on a tree /

(233g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Do not 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, isn't it. If we seek to excel in the faith, we will get opposition from every direction (even from the brethren in the church), doors will slam on us on every side, except the one door that God opens. It is a miracle when someone who seeks the Lord with all his heart finds his way to a powerful ministry, other than going to "cemetery" school and becoming the pastor of a church, which is what almost everyone does who wants a ministry. Gee, I wonder why that is? Maybe it is because there is no other ministry in the Church! Jesus didn't ask anyone for a ministry, He got His ministry directly from His Father. Did we see anyone give Jesus a ministry? That would have never happened because those who would have given Him the ministry would have taken it from Him the minute they saw Him do something they didn't approve, or else controlled Him into the dirt. The more we receive from God the less we can depend on others in these evil days. Those who wonder what God thinks of Church clergy, stealing the ministry from the saints, should continue reading the next few verses (Mat 11,20-24). See also: Rejecting Christ; Mat 11,20-24; 26k

(163a) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to peoples’ expectations of you

(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 – No matter what we do, the world will find fault and reject us and smear our name and manufacture excuses why nobody should believe our gospel. Jesus traveled throughout all Israel in His 3½-year ministry, walking many miles just to find a person here and there who would believe in Him, and the rest rejected His words, using many excuses for their rejection, yet Jesus was able to confirm through their own Scriptures everything He said and did, using the very Scriptures they claimed to believe. Man’s blindness toward God goes to the very core of his being. People talk very confidently about their unbelief and their doubts in the face of more proof than they could possibly request. The creation with its intricacy and mystery of life and the incomprehensible elements that are its composition all declare the glory of God, and it cries to mankind that God has all wisdom and knowledge. He cannot be evil and make the universe, lest wickedness erode His creative ability; therefore he can be trusted. Yet, in the face of all this man denies Him to His face for reasons that are incomprehensibly foolish, having literally nothing to gain from it, sacrificing their eternal future for the sake of the elect, just to prove the Scriptures that not all go to heaven. What is the point of their unbelief, and why do they believe it so strongly, refusing to surrender in the face of convincing evidence that is stacked on God’s side, if they would just stop and listen?

(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

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. For this reason 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 that 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 has given us. See also: Rejecting Christ; 64d

(48i) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your knowledge of God – Our response to the gospel with faith or unbelief has ramifications that reverberate all the way back to the Father, whom we must fear. We could even say that if Jesus didn’t have a Father, we would not need 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. Jesus became a man and died for our sins, and so we should 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 too, but in another sense we don’t. For example, we know He is holy, but we don’t know anything about his substance. Jesus is flesh and the Holy Spirit is spirit, but what consistency does the Father have? No one really knows! From what little we know we can presume that He consists of faith. Therefore, if we do not worship and serve Him, He will judge us to the degree of our faith. 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 God, but people have come to their conclusions through philosophical terms and not through a genuine pursuit of the truth. We know that God is truth (Jn 14-6) and that all things originate from Him and that we are called to seek Him instead of His creation (Rom 1,24-26). See also: Father is an abrupt mystery; Rev 4-2; 215i

(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 Lot, a man righteous by comparison. Jesus said that judgment far greater than than this will befall a city that has rejected Christ, because God has revealed Himself through His Son more than He did to Old Testament Sodom and Gomorra, who hadn’t even received the Law of Moses. If Sodom and Gomorra had no excuse for their rejection of God, much less will the city that rejects the message of the cross. Therefore, how much more severe punishment can we expect in the age of grace against those who have rejected so great a salvation (Heb 2,1-4), after Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead on our behalf? No excuse will hold water and pleas of ignorance will go unheard on the day of judgment, because in fact they do know and rejected Him. See also: Rejecting Christ; 154h

(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 and to erase all excuses for their unbelief. See also: Rejecting Christ; 202i

(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 of 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

(202j) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running from walking in faith >> Running from God through unbelief – The Kingdom of God has come near to these cities and they were slow to receive it. Jesus spent a lot of time in Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida, though much of His effort was in vain, because the people refused to 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 were willing to accept of Him. God follows the evangelist and distributes grace to those who believe and judgment to those who don't. Jesus didn’t promise they would receive retribution in this life, but promised it in the life to come with a warning to his servants, “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 in both word and power. See also: Rejecting Christ; Mat 11,21-24; 218a

(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 -- The people of Chorazin and Bethsaida saw Jesus as a contemptible magician with a good show. They could not explain anything about Him, and when the novelty of His miracles wore off, they simply discarded Him.

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 to reject God, it is His turn to respond. He is stronger than us and knows how to turn the tables on wicked unbelief. How will He respond to our rejection? See also: Rejecting Christ; 11,25-27; 221d

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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 God's favor of His 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 didn't, and then showed that it is not wisdom or intelligence that believes in God, but humility and faithfulness. See also: Rejecting Christ; Mat 11,16-19; 75l

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 of humble circumstances can be no less prideful. Smallness is a state of heart that understands that God is greater than them. Since God is small in His own eyes, though greater than His creation, we can stand to decrease our self-image to become smaller than Him, which is an accurate measure of ourselves. 

(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, it becomes clear that He gives wisdom only to His children who believe in Him. Unbelievers have complained that Christianity is like a club that only those with faith in Christ can see Jesus, and the rest of the world walks in darkness. Actually, 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 lived here in the flesh. To the people who use brute force in effort to obtain it don't have a chance of knowing God, who reveals Himself only through His 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. 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 – The major topic before this was called Working (with) the Grace of God. If we worked and never rested, we would soon burn-out. Look at Paul, how much he accomplished in His life; no one could keep up with Him. He pushed his companions to the brink of exhaustion trying to reach as many people as possible with the gospel, yet He also understood what it meant to rest in Jesus. So, the question is: how do these two seemingly opposite ideas relate to each other? Is it like working a full shift and then going home and resting? Jesus and His disciples traveled for days and spoke to hundreds of people about the coming Kingdom of God, Jesus finally turned to His disciples and led them to a secluded place in the mountains and rested a while. Jesus knew the best places to go; He was keenly aware of the need to rest, but the concept is not that we work and then rest but that we do them both at the same time, meaning that working with the grace of God is actually a type of rest. We are not the ones doing the work, but God is working through us. Still, we must get up and do the things that God has called us to do, and that takes work.

(117b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Rest in His yoke of obedience – The man who operates the backhoe can dig an entire basement of a house in one day all by himself; but if he tried that with a shovel, he would be there for weeks. Nevertheless, the backhoe operator gets tired at the end of the day, and he goes home and rests. The backhoe is doing all the work, while the operator is pulling various levers, and so we see that working with the grace of God and resting in Jesus occur simultaneously. If we get burned out in our ministry, it is an indication that we are not working with the grace of God but working in the flesh, and that always leads to spinning our wheels, exerting energy and getting nowhere. Jesus said He had a burden for us to bear, but it was lighter than the burden of sin, analogous to digging an entire basement of a house using a backhoe as opposed to using a shovel. He comes home tired, but imagine how tired he would be if he used a shovel. The next week he wouldn’t show up for work, and the basement would be only half dug, but the next day the backhoe operator comes to work refreshed, because his load is light. Jesus said that we should learn from Him; we must learn how to work with the grace of God at the same time that we enter his rest (Heb 4-11). If we feel we are working too hard in our ministry, it is an indication that we are employing our flesh. We must force our flesh to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him, while we let the Spirit rise in our heart and let Him work through us. The backhoe operator comes home with clean hands, because he hasn’t touched the dirt that he is moving, and so we should never touch the work of God with our flesh. God has called us to do His work by the Spirit, and He will give us rest for our souls. This is how we know we are working with the grace of God, if our soul is at rest.

Mat 11-29,30

(5l) Jesus’ Yoke (Key verse) – Jesus' yoke is "easy," comparatively speaking. That is, compared to the world’s yoke it is easy. There is nothing easy about being persecuted wherever we 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 that point their torment will never end. In that sense, we have it pretty easy. There is something else we should consider: some of the most difficult circumstances seem trivial in light of the comfort we receive from Him. 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, yet not doing it is even harder. This statement, “You are not under law but under grace,” is in reference to the yoke of Christ. We abstain from sin and pursue His truth as students of His word disciples of prayer. This is our primary ministry toward Christ; our secondary ministry is to the world, finding and making disciples.

 

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MATTHEW CHAPTER 12

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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 suggests that He validated it as a reliable source, 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 that He believed every word of it, and if He did, who are we not to believe it? The Old and the New Testaments have a symbiotic relationship, as the Father bore witness of Jesus as the messiah, and as Jesus worshipped the Father. They were in perfect agreement with each other, for just as Jesus performed miracles through Him, so He directed His audience back to the Father, according to His High Priestly Prayer, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You" (Jn 17-1). They are truly and magnificently one. See also: Father sent the Son (Only begotten of the Father); Heb 5-5,6; 253f

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 ourselves from those who would attack our faith, whether through ignorance or through malice, or whether from religious devils or from actual demons. 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 used the Sabbath to place people in bondage; it was one of the Ten Commandments that was given to lighten our burden, but man distorted it to exceed his burden with the precepts of men (Mat 15-9), making them work harder on the Sabbath than any other day of the week. This just sounds like something Satan would do, or man would do; what's the difference? God gave man the Sabbath because He knew people would work seven days a week and forget God. He gave the Law of Jubilee that every seven years the Israelites would become free of their debts. The Sabbath is a law that is related to work, thus the economy, as a weekly Jubilee. It was an important law given to Israel so people would stop what they were doing and reflect on God once a week, but like everything else it was perverted and took on the opposite meaning, becoming the most arduous day of the week. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12-7; 169h

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 argue with Him from zeal for the law or from a good conscience but from jealousy. They were looking to pin something on Jesus to get rid of Him, because He was infringing on their business of religion. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12,8-15; 117d

(249a) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> The Highest Values >> Spirit over the law

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 anyone went over the allotted amount, they would come and arrest them, but Jesus put no limit on the amount of good that people could do on the Sabbath. The problem with the Pharisees, 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 people serve the Sabbath instead of the Sabbath serving them, which was meant to give them a day off work, but people worked harder on the Sabbath to keep from violating the plethora of Pharisaic laws. A few verses later in this chapter it says 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. Reversing the order of things is a very common problem when people get their thinking twisted. That is, the Pharisees didn’t use the Sabbath for the wrong reason but for the opposite reason that God intended. As an example of what man has done since Jesus ascended to the Father, people have misconstrued the gospel, so now instead of the grace of God setting people free, it often leads them into further bondage through various legalistic doctrines that cannot be found in Scripture, no different from the Pharisees adding laws to the Sabbath. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12,9-15; 16j

Mat 12-8

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

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Mat 12,9-15

(16j) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Having hidden motives – The Pharisees were by no means interested in the truth. They were convinced about their own beliefs, and nothing would dissuade them. God Himself came from heaven to explain the way of Truth, still they did not believe Him. The Pharisees were bullheaded, stubborn, blind and deaf; they refused to listen to reason. They passed off their belligerent attitude as committed to the truth, when in fact the truth was opposite what they believed. In no way were they committed to God but to worldliness, the love of money and social prestige. See also: Pharisees; 175b

(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 say anything to win an argument, and once they “won”, they convinced themselves they didn't lie about it, but they never won an argument with Jesus. Winning the argument had top priority with them, because their egos were fragile as their truth, and if someone poked holes in their doctrines, it would leak blood but not their own. They claimed their beliefs meant everything to them, though money held more value in their hearts, and when Jesus challenged them, they denied everything. Their denial kept them from recognizing their own faults, claiming to have a clear conscience though they were murderers. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12,9-14; 241k

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 religious establishment, who hated Him. He was in direct conflict with everything they believed and taught, yet He made fools of them, proving they were devoid of all substance when it came to leading their nation in things pertaining to God. Jesus poked holes in the Pharisee’s teachings and shattered their egos and dotted His exclamation point by the miracles He performed, stripping them of any defense. Being ineligible for salvation, they conspired to kill Him. The miracles Jesus performed we think should have awakened them to realize there was more to Him than meets the eye, but their hardened hearts would not go there. Their egos were not worth protecting in light of the greater truth presented to them, but they were completely without hope. Having a reprobate mind, they had destroyed their conscience long before they met Jesus, so when He told them the truth and proved it through His miracles, they rejected Him in the face of divine evidence. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12-12; 128c / Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Pharisees denied that Jesus was the Christ); Mk 3,20-30; 195c

Mat 12,12-17

(62a) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Responding with wisdom to your enemies >> Outwit them

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. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12,16-21; 89j

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 that. He may have been terse with the Pharisees, but He was by no means contentious, as we know people who love to argue. Jesus proved His points without arguing about them, not just through His miracles, but through truth and wisdom, which are indisputable in their purest form. 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 a person who wants to argue is only interested in defending His own points for the sake of ego. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12,24-29; 160d

 

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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, though Jesus made it a point not to minister to gentiles with 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 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 our conscience is defiled, and we struggle to believe in God. Those are times we should be looking to Him, when we are down and out, when it appears that all is lost. Those are the times we should open our eyes and lift up our heads, for our redemption is drawing near. God is in the process of saving us throughout our lives, both in good times and in bad times, and in times of deep despair. See also: Grace versus mercy; Act 5-32; 35f

(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 demon-possessed. The Bible is a spiritual book; what seems to be a case of a blind mute may also be a case of demonic activity. This doesn't insinuate that the person is more evil than others or that the person has committed a grievous sin to become demon possessed. Rather, the demons have simple found a weak point, a crack in the armor, an opportunity to infiltrate through a biological anomaly.

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 -- See commentary 37e

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Mat 12,24-29

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satan determines the world's direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine – The Pharisees were fighting for prestige in society as spiritual leaders of Israel, who were living in grandeur above the standard of regular people. 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 way He spoke with such authority? See also: Pharisees; 178k

(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, whereas for the Pharisees, they were working with the devil, and as usual, what they believed was the exact opposite of the truth. This is something we consistently find in people whose minds are twisted and whose motives are opposite their words. Like the devil, they twisted their words until no one but God could unravel them. They were the spiritual leaders of Israel, but their intent was to serve themselves, and when these opposite motives collided, it twisted the truth into knots. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12-24; 164e

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 though He were a high ranking demon Himself, when in fact they actually knew He was the Christ. They were religious rulers of Israel, though their position in the hierarchy of religious government could not be found in the Law of Moses, in that they invented their position, as Jesus said in Mat 23-2,3, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them." The Pharisees were right about one thing, the world operates under 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: People who practice unrighteous judgment accuse others of the very evil they practice. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12-25; 69a

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 strongman by dying on the cross and subsequently rising from the dead before He could plunder the souls from Satan's grasp, and an aspect of His blood sacrifice was His ministry which He performed with His twelve disciples, spreading the gospel and telling the truth about God, thus binding the strong man. This is what the truth does: it resists the devil. Prayer 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 crash through the obstacles placed in the way of His advancing kingdom.

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 His 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 clothing robbing a bank, thinking no one could see them. They thought they were clever, but the only people they fooled were themselves. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12-31,32; 186b

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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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 – This verse states a principle of Scripture, that the Truth was with the apostles, and everyone who didn't gather with them, gathered instead 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 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. Therefore, 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 he desired everyone to agree and unite around one faith (1Cor 1-10; Eph 4-5). Instead, everybody is playing a different song, and the various melodies and rhythms conflict with each other, so it doesn’t even sound like music. How can we expect anyone to gather around that noise? So long as the Church remains in apostasy, this statement about gathering with Jesus cannot be fulfilled, for we cannot gather around that which is scattered, and so we are waiting for God to restore the Truth among his people so that we become a single entity, no longer fragmented. People will gather around such a Church in the last days, built around Christ’s return. 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 everyone who gathers around them will be saved, and everybody who rejects their ministry will scatter. See also: Unity; Mat 14,28-31; 68g

(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 those who try to live in that indefinable gray area that claims nobody can know the truth, thinking it gives them license to believe whatever they want, because nobody can authoritatively tell them they are wrong. When we tell them verses like this, a spirit of unbelief wells inside them and rejects whatever we say, because it conflicts with their unbelief-system and with the demonic spirits that control them, which have led them into humanistic thinking, where they have concocted their own secular ideas about what is truth and error, and what is right and wrong, to the point of questioning God's existence and His expectations of mankind. See also: Atheism, the Religion of unbelief (Secular humanism); 1Jn 3-8; 166j

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 not 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 we read the Bible and don't believe it, that is forgivable, but if the Holy Spirit reveals His word to us and we still don't believe it, that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here is another example; if a person witnesses a miraculous sign such as healing and they don't believe it is from God (they think it was a setup), that is forgivable, but if they have indisputable proof that it is a genuine act of God (the person healed was a relative or a life-long friend) and they still will don't believe it, that kind of unbelief leads to a hardened heart from which they cannot believe, and therefore cannot be saved. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was their Messiah, yet they refused to believe it, thinking it was more important to protect their worldly status as religious leaders of Israel. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12-33,34; 175a

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 good or bad, but He least prefered 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 facade, but Jesus exposed them as frauds. See also: Pharisees; Mat 12,3-7; 79l

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 its contents is all he has to offer.

Mat 12-35

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

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, especially idle words 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 this writing? The judgment will be severe, Christian and non-Christian alike. God will impose judgment on the wicked, forgetting all the good they have done, but the believer’s judgment pertains to withdrawing rewards, which will primarily affect the quality of our resurrected bodies and our position with Christ. God doesn’t care what good sinners do, for none of their works were done for His namesake but for their own selfish interests, and God only rewards faith. Few will receive a full reward according to their faithfulness, and they will shine like the stars of heaven, while others will scarcely sparkle with a dull sheen, reflecting their unfaithfulness. They never bothered to ask God what He wanted them to do, and they never developed a hearing ear. They just wanted to be Christians and do their own thing and go to heaven after this life. Mankind in general has never been faithful to God, but there have always been some who loved Him throughout the ages. See also: Rewards; Mat 12-37; 45j / Judgment of fire; Act 4-1,2; 39c

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 the fact that what we say is part of what we do. There is an old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but what we say is part of what we do. We tend to treat our works and our words as two separate things, but actually they are one. Jesus said that our words have power to justify us, and our words have power to condemn us. When we hurt someone's feelings with an unkind word, we might just as well have slapped her if the face. Our words can hurt people just as much as the things we do to them. The believer’s judgment is straightforward (2Cor 5-10); if the Holy Spirit dwells in us, the door of heaven will be opened to us, but we will still have to go though the believers judgment and be stripped of many if not most of the rewards that God wanted to bestow on us from a lack of obedience (Mat 16-27). The believer’s works have no power to justify or condemn him, only to reward him, since he had previously been forgiven through 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. See also: Rewards; Mat 12-36,37; 84k / Lk 15,11-32; 225f

Mat 12,38-45

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

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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 the son of man has come and given His life a ransom for sin, He has proven that He is also better than us, and so is the Father, for He 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 to condemn 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. See also: God Judges the wicked through the cross; Mat 13,37-42; 47b

(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.' We answer, 'No doubt you are a good person, but Jesus is our judge, and we 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 instead of Christ, it will not go well with us.

(48i) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your knowledge of God – At the White Throne Judgment God will judge a person to hell based on his rejection of Christ, but his level of judgment will be on a comparative basis. On one level He will judge nation against nation; on another level He will judge one group against another; on another level He will judge one person against another. 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 love the truth, and God will use this fact against the wicked when He judges them for their unbelief, easily proving that the sinner had access to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. See also: God's judgment is comparative; 193j / Heb 11-7; 49b

(193j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Consequences of not repenting – What exactly did the Queen of Sheba know about Solomon? She knew that he was king of Israel, and she heard about Israel’s exile from Egypt and God’s judgment against pharaoh, and 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 and took over their land. She knew about David, Solomon’s father, who had a passionate love for God and was a great warrior, who had a son, Solomon, endowed with 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, which contains all the wealth of wisdom and knowledge that has been collected since the times of Moses at their fingertips, meticulously recorded and bound in one book, the Bible. At their leisure they could have become students of the word and great prayer warriors as children of God, but these things didn't 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 was open their Bible and read it. God will include this in their judgment. He will itemize their sins, not forgetting what they said and did against His laws and His holy people, but what will go against them worse than their sins will be their omission of righteousness as the root cause of their attendance at the White Throne Judgment, and there they will be sentenced to eternal punishment. See also: God's judgment is comparative; 48i

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 – 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. He built a beautiful city, overlaying nearly everything with gold, but he made a few mistakes along the way, such as he married foreign women who drew him away from his God; in his later years he worshipped Baal and other deities from foreign nations, and his whole family and the entire nation of Israel suffered from his disobedience. 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), finds new covenant wisdom that exceeds the wisdom of 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 within that property and then buys the field (Mat 13-44); that is a cunning move that shows no concern for the owner of the treasure chest. When it comes to salvation, Jesus wants us to care more about our eternal future than about our neighbor's interests. Each of us has an opportunity to possess this wisdom, and we will understand our way with God, but there aren’t many who invest their lives in His Kingdom as 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, so that they have only recently regained their nationhood. Jesus dislodged Israel's devils, swept and put them in order, but they rejected Him, and they paid a horrific price for not managing their freedom. Jesus in this passage was prophesying about Israel's demise, saying that as it goes for individuals, so it goes for nations.

(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 godlessness that they invite demons into their lives. Demon possession seems uncommon 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. Suicide bombers are masochistic and possibly demon possessed, for how else would they come to their conclusions that murdering innocent people is a good thing to do? Demons talk 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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