|Matthew 12 |
1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath day, and his disciples were hungry and began to pluck the grain to eat.
2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day."
3 But he said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, along with those who were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have you not read in the law, how on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say to you that in this place is one who is greater than the temple.
7 And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day."
9 And when he had departed, he went into their synagogue,
10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?" They asked the question so that they might accuse him.
11 And he said to them, "What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold of it and lift it out?
12 How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days."
13 Then he said to the man, "Stretch forth your hand." And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against him, how they might kill him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew from there; and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all,
16 And warned them that they should not make him known;
17 So that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
22 Then a man possessed with a devil, who was blind and dumb, was brought to him; and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb man both spoke and saw.
23 And all the people were amazed and said, "Is not this the Son of David?"
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebub the prince of the demons."
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
29 How can one enter into a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
30 He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.1 [You may think you are helping to save people by witnessing to them, but if you haven't been authorized, sent under direct orders, and only speaking words heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking, you are seeking your own glory, (not God's), and you are scattering the true sheep; any converts you make, are twice as fit for hell as yourself.
31 Therefore I say to you that all manner of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this world or in the world to come.
33 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.2 [From the Word of the Lord within: "A tree that is holy is a good one."]
34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.3
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say to you, for every idle [non-edifying] word that men speak, they will give an account of the same in the day of judgment. [From the Word of the Lord within: "People don't realize the evil that comes from their mouth. All talk is an abomination. Conversation is to be restricted so much that you are ostracized. Let your words be as few as possible." "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth except what is edifying, so that it may minister grace to those who hear you." Eph 4:29. "But let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no,' 'no;' for whatever is more than these comes from the evil one (the spirit of Satan within you)." Mat 5:37.]
37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."4 [For we all err in many things; and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man. James 3:2. So if you are going to be condemned for speaking idle words, and if you cannot control your words until you are perfect, then perfection is obviously required to be justified and saved. We must make the tree good, (perfect) to produce good fruit, or it will be cut down and cast into the fire. From the Word of the Lord within: "A good tree is a holy tree. You must be holy as I am holy. Pursue righteousness and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." ]
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees said, "Master, we desire to see a sign [miracle] from you."
39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh will rise in judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here.
43 When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44 Then he says, 'I will return into my house from where I came;' and when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so it shall be with this wicked generation."
46 Now while he talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, desiring to speak with him.
47 And someone said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to speak with you."
48 But he answered and said to him who told him, "Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?"
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples and said, "Behold my mother and my brothers!
50 For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."5
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1He who does not gather with me scatters. When you don't work according to the Lord's direct specific instructions heard and addressed to you, you do him harm; you scatter the true sheep. You cannot be working for the Lord unless you hear him tell you exactly what to do, when to do it, and exactly what to say. Otherwise you are like Nimrod, hunting in front of the Lord. You may think you are "saving" people by preaching to them, but if you haven't been authorized, sent under direct orders, only speaking words heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking, you are seeking your own glory, (not God's), and the converts you make, are twice as fit for hell as yourself.
So-called Christians, with evil still in their hearts, are told by their sects to witness to others. In some African countries, churches go beyond simple witnessing and stress that their members must win souls, teaching that: 1) they are responsible for saving their neighbors and friends, 2) their heavenly reward is dependent on the number of people they have saved, and 3) if they don't at least preach to their neighbors, they will go to Hell with them. Yet the converts such people make are twice as much as child of Hell as themselves; and they are scattering the true sheep because they are evangelizing without the specific instructions and words of the Lord, so that they are gathering with Him. To gather with Him, you must be specifically sent by His specific orders to you, and you must then only speak words heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking; if you are deciding with your brain what to say, you are speaking from yourself and seeking your own glory, not God's glory. To be seeking God's glory and not your own, you must first be sent and then only speak words heard from the Spirit immediately before speaking. Even simple witnessing is seeking your own glory and your words scatter the true sheep.
2 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit. From the Word of the Lord within: "A tree that is holy is a good one." Bring forth fruits proper for repentance. Matt 3:8. By your producing of much fruit, my Father is honored and glorified, and you show that you are truly my disciples [true followers]. John 15:8. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Mat 7:19. We are all trees with corrupt fruit to start; but we must be changed to produce good fruit. Christendom would have you simply label the bad tree good, still producing corrupt fruit; but such trees will be cut down and sent to the fire, regardless of the label on them. Look at what Jesus says in the next verses. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Notice, he does not make allowances for those who call him Lord, Lord. For we must be righteous, even as he is righteous. 1 John 3:7. We must be perfect as our Father who is in heaven is perfect. Mat 5:48. We must be merciful as he is merciful. Luke 6:36. We must become pure as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3. We must be as he is. 1 John 4:17. There is no flexibility and no equivocation in any of these stated requirements.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faith, Gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, passions, and desires).
To receive the fruit of the Spirit, by the power of God you must first rid yourself of the sinful nature, which includes: sexual immorality (including adultery and fornication), impurity, lust, idolatry (including covetousness), sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousy, anger, ambition, divisiveness, factions, envy, drunkenness, revelry (partying), and the like. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. Gal 5:19-24.
Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Mat 7:19
3 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Don't read this and think the Jews were particularly evil because all men are evil vipers until their hearts have been cleansed by the grace of God to become pure in heart. Man is selfish and his heart is defiled until cleansed:
Jesus said, .. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lack of restraint, an evil eye [envy], blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within a man, and defile him. Mark 7:21-23
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jer 17:9
Notice, until your heart has been cleansed, you are defiled — a ravenous beast who serves yourself, rather than others.
The Lord's prayer of: deliver us from evil, means to be delivered or freed from the evil in your heart, which is salvation.
Although we can hide our anger; although we can avoid committing adultery; although we can restrict our flesh from running to or reaching for evil; we cannot change the fact that we get angry, that we look at others with lust, that we want more, etc.; we are selfish creatures intent on pleasing ourselves. Only the power of God can remove our selfish human nature. To become pleasing to God; to rid ourselves of our defiled hearts; we must be completely changed by the power of God to receive a new heart, mind, and spirit.
Men are evil due to Adam's fall, which William Penn eloquently describes:
"This drove him out of paradise; and instead of being lord of the whole world, Adam becomes the most wretched vagabond of the earth. A strange change! Instead of becoming as gods, they should fall below the very beasts; in comparison of whom, even God had made them as gods. The lamentable consequence of this great defection has been an exchange of innocence for guilt, and a paradise for a wilderness. But, which is yet worse, in this state Adam and Eve had gotten another god than the only true and living God; and he who enticed them to all this mischief, furnished them with a vain knowledge, and destructive wisdom — the skill of lies and equivocations, shifts, evasions, and excuses. They had lost their plainness and sincerity; and from an upright heart, the image in which God had made man, he [man] became a crooked, twining, twisting serpent; the image of that unrighteous spirit of the serpent, to whose temptations he yielded up with his obedience his paradise of happiness.
Nor is this limited to Adam; for all, who have fallen short of the glory of God, are born sons of his disobedience."
Each of us is part of the fallen human race, walking with a mind and imagination that instead of being in the spiritual image of God, is in the image of Satan and is incapable of being pleasing to God. Each of us is a slave to our wanting more (lusts), pride, sexual immorality, anger, pleasures, passions, etc.; each of us is a selfish, sinful being.
Christianity leaves people living in the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts of their minds, just like the rest of men; they are left in their sinful natures, walking according to the flesh, whose aim is satisfying things of the flesh; in their lusts, desires, affections, pleasures, pride, anger, vanity, fear, worries, plans, etc.; they are left walking in the ways of the world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan) Eph 2:2-3.
However, Jesus is eager to destroy sin and the works of evil in us — if we go to him.
For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. 1 John 3:8
4 But I say to you, for every idle [non-edifying] word that men speak, they will give an account of the same in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Until your tongue is controlled by the Spirit of God, your words come from the evil one: let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no,' 'no;' for whatever is more than these comes from the evil one [the spirit of Satan within you]. Mat 5:37. Until the tree has been made holy, it yields briars; until you have been made holy, your words are from Satan, and those spoken words will be part of your condemnation on the day of judgment; therefore, speak as little as possible, and strive for perfection so all your words are supplied by the Spirit before you speak, with every word being perfect and virtuous.
Before you are perfect, you are speaking from your carnal mind, which is enmity with God; so we all should practice speaking as little as possible. To help us minimize our words, the following messages are from the Word of the Lord within: (the words in parentheses are not the Lord's and have been added for further understanding.)
This will be hard at first, but it gets easier with practice. Don't start the unintended conversation with, Hi, how are you, just wave hello. Use email instead of initiating phone call conversations. There will be times when it is absolutely necessary for you to initiate an oral communication; make them as few as possible. When asked a question, answer yes or no if possible; and if not possible, stay conscious of what you are saying as you speak as few words as possible. Watch yourself in reaction to others speaking, and you will realize you are paying little attention to what they are saying and instead thinking what you want to next say; unfortunately that is what most conversations are — listening to oneself talk.
In your occupation it is often necessary to orally communicate; some of you even have jobs where you are in phone support. My advice is practice making your answers short, and avoid trying to establish rapport with war stories and asking pointless questions such as "how are you today," or "how's the weather out there," or "how about that xxx football team," "who's your favorite yyy?", etc. Net: stick to business.
The early Quakers practiced speaking as few words as possible as William Penn describes below from his Introduction to George Fox's Journal:
"They recommended silence by their example, having very few words upon all occasions. They were at a word in dealing; and their customers' many words could not tempt them from it; having more regard to truth than custom, to example than gain. They sought solitude; but when in company, they would neither use nor willingly hear unnecessary or unlawful discussions. Thus they preserved their minds pure and undisturbed from unprofitable thoughts and diversions. ... Their practices opportunely and profitably halted conversation; by making their company uneasy to their relatives and acquaintances, it gave them the opportunity of more retirement and solitude, where they met with better company, even the Lord God their redeemer. They grew strong in His love, power, and wisdom, and were better qualified for His service; and their success abundantly showed it; blessed be the name of the Lord."
If anyone among you considers himself to be religious but does not bridle [restrain] his tongue, he deceives his own heart [thinking to be religious], and this man's religion is worthless. James 1:26
For we all err in many things; and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man. James 3:2
So if you are going to be condemned for speaking idle words,
and if you cannot control your words until you are perfect,
then perfection is obviously required to be justified.
We must make the tree good, (perfect) to produce good fruit, or it will be cut down and cast into the fire.
Look at ships, which though they are so great and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the pilot wants to go.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can boast of great things. Consider how great a forest a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. It is set among our members, defiling the whole body, and setting on fire the course of our life; and it is set on fire by hell.
For every kind of beast, and of bird, and of serpent, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
But no man can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:4-8. (Only the grace of God can tame a man's tongue.)
Even a fool, when he doesn't speak, is considered wise; and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Pro 17:28
A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it back. Pro 29:11
In a multitude of words there is no lack of sin; but he who refrains his lips is wise. Pro 10:19
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit. Pro 18:21.
[Those who love to talk will never see salvation; the fruit of a tongue that roams is death.]
But let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no,' 'no;' for whatever is more than these comes from the evil one. Mat 5:37
(Until cleansed and purified, the Spirit of Satan is in every man's heart generating the words that men speak.)
5 Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my mother and brother. And how is one to do the will of the Father?
Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to [believe and obey] Him!” Luke 9:35
Whoever comes to me, and listens to my spoken words and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you what he is like.
He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep, and laid the foundation securely built on a rock; and when the flood arose, the torrent beat violently upon that house, but could not shake it because it was founded upon a rock.
But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice is like a man who built a house upon the ground without a foundation; against which the torrent struck violently, and immediately it collapsed; and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49
Listen to and obey my voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people;
and walk completely in the ways that I command you. Jer 7:23
If a man loves me, he will obey my spoken words;
and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
He who doesn't love me, does not obey my spoken words;
and the spoken words that you hear are not mine, but are the Father's who sent me. John 14:23-24
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