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LESSON 11

THE GOSPEL 2

MATTHEW 1

By Rev. G. Evan Newmyer



INTRODUCTION TO LESSON 11

Matthew addresses himself to those who just came to the Lord, who are standing in the Doorway, as they are known metaphorically, the seed and root. Mark is the only one of the four who says his account is the "Beginning of the Gospel" (Mark 1:1). Therefore, we must move through Matthew to establish a foundation to know The Beginning Of The Gospel. Matthew encourages us to reach to the higher ground, yet warns us of certain elements which could cause us to stumble on our path. His warning is not for us to look about to see if there is a bad fish or tare near us, but to make the firm decision to continue to Believe in order to become the Good Fish in the Net and the Wheat in the Field.

Luke writes to a teacher, thus he doesn't concern himself with chronological, or historic events as a historian, rather he is establishing two teaching points. Luke begins his teaching exercise at Luke 10:23 with precept upon precept, rather than chronological time frames, until Luke 18:35. Therefore, we can't take Luke attempting to find a chronological account of the earthly ministry events, but Luke does add some facts to the birth of Jesus, providing us with some vital information regarding the time from the Cross and Grave to the Resurrection. In essence, Luke addresses the concepts of Deny Yourself, and Pick Up Your Cross, and does so by placing many of the teachings of Jesus into groups regarding those concepts.

John fills in gaps, completing the Gospel for the Full Corn in the Ear. John doesn't contain the English or the Greek word for faith, but uses the word Believe in one form or another more times than Paul did in all his letters, thus John will give us the incentive to Continually Believe. The word Wilderness doesn’t appear in John, but it speaks on the Wilderness Jesus went through more than the other accounts.

Matthew gives us a reason to believe, Mark gives us a reason to put our faith in Jesus, Luke gives us the purpose for trusting in Jesus, then John tells us the result of our belief in Jesus, all four of the accounts give us The One Gospel.

Matthew is the longest of the Gospel accounts for good reason, thus we divided it into two lessons. We have provided Charts showing the Parables, Miracles and Healings of Jesus. From the Charts we find there are more Parables than healings and miracles,  with most of the parables in Matthew, many of which pertain to the kingdom of heaven (the womb to the Kingdom of God).

The name Matthew means, Gift of God, we know The Gift is Grace; however, there is a nature of Mercy one must grasp before they can hold Grace. The Holy Ghost put Matthew first in order to establish our foundation, thus Matthew is long and involved but it’s the Preparation for Victory in the Kingdom of God. Without Matthew we will never grasp Mark, much less Luke or John.

We are using a different format for the study of the Gospel Accounts, we included the verses for easy reference.




LESSON 11

THE GOSPEL 2

MATTHEW'S ACCOUNT - PART 1


We have four accounts forming the Gospel, each gives us something to add to our foundation, yet all four are still the One Gospel of Peace. We don’t have four Gospels according to the minds of men, we have one Gospel, with four scribes who heard from the Holy Ghost. The following chart shows how some parables are seen in more than one account, but it doesn't mean we can't gain from the various accounts; each account adds something to the others, thus they relate one to reaching the result.


CHART - THE PARABLES OF JESUS

The Parables found in Matthew, Mark & Luke

1.  Lamp under a basket: Matt-5:14-16, Mark-4:21-22, Luke-8:16-17 & 11:33-36

2.  A wise man builds on the Rock: Matt-7:24-27, Luke-6:47-49

3.  New cloth on Old garment: Matt-9:16, Mark-2:21, Luke-5:36

4.  New Wine in Old wineskins: Matt-9:17, Mark-2:22, Luke-5:37-38

5.  The Sower: Matt-13:2-23, Mark-4:2-20, Luke-8:4-15

6.  The Wheat and Tares: Matt-13:24-30

7.  The mustard seed: Matt-13:31-32, Mark-4:30-32, Luke-13:18-19

8.  The leaven: Matt-13:33, Luke-13:20-21

9.  The hidden treasure: Matt-13:44

10. The Pearl of Great Price: Matt-13:45-46

11. The Dragnet:Matt-13:47-50

12. The lost sheep:Matt-18:12-14, Luke-15:3-7

13. The unforgiving steward: Matt-18:23-25

14. The workers in the vineyard: Matt-20:1-16

15. The two sons: Matt-21:28-32

16. The wicked vinedressers: Matt-21:33-45, Mark-12:1-12, Luke-20:9-19

17. The wedding feast: Matt-22:2-14

18. The fig tree: Matt-24:32-44, Mark-13:28-32, Luke-21:29-33

19. The Wise and foolish Virgins: Matt-1-13

20. The talents: Matt-25:14-30

21. The growing seed: Mark-4:26-29

22. The absent householder: Mark-13:33-37

23. The Creditor and debtors: Luke-7:41-43

24. The good Samaritan: Luke-10:30-37

25. A friend in need: Luke-11:5-13

26. The rich fool: Luke-12:16-21

27. The faithful and the evil servants: Luke-12:35-40

28. Faithful and wise stewards: Luke-12:42-48

29. The barren fig tree:Luke-13:6-9

30. The great supper: Luke-14:16-24

31. Building a Tower, king making war: Luke-14:25-35

32. The lost coin: Luke-15:8-10

33. The lost son: Luke-15:11-32

34. The unjust steward: Luke-16:1-13

35. The rich man and Lazarus: Luke-16:19-31

36. Unprofitable servants: Luke-17:7-10

37. The persistent widow: Luke-18:1-8

38. The Pharisee and tax collector: Luke-18:9-14

39. The Minas (pounds): Luke-19:11-27

Note: There are no parables in John.


CHART - Miracles And Healings of Jesus


1.  Cleansing a leper: Matt-8:2, Mark-1:40, Luke-5:12

2.  Healing Centurion's servant: Matt-8:5, John-7:1

3.  Healing Peter's mother-in-law: Matt-8:14, Mark-1:30, Luke-4:38

4.  Healing the sick at evening: Matt-8:16, Mark-1:32, Luke-4:40

5.  Stilling the storm: Matt-8:23, Mark-4:35, Luke-8:22

6.  Demons entering swine: Matt-8:28, Mark-5:1, Luke-8:26

7.  Healing a paralytic: Matt-9:2, Mark-2:3, Luke-5:18

8.  Raising ruler's daughter: Matt-9:18, Mark-5:22, Luke-8:41

9.  Healing hemorrhaging woman: Matt-9:20, Mark-5:25, Luke-8:43

10. Healing two blind men: Matt-9:27

11.  Curing demon possessed mute man: Matt-9:32

12. Healing withered hand: Matt-12:10, Mark-3:1, Luke-6:6

13. Curing demon possessed, blind and mute man: Matt-12:22, Luke-11:14

14. Feeding five thousand: Matt-14:15, Mark-6:35, Luke-9:12, John-6:1

15. Walking on sea: Matt-14:25, Mark-6:48, John-6:19

16. Healing Gentile woman's daughter: Matt-15:21, Mark-7:24

17. Feeding four thousand: Matt-15:32, Mark-8:1

18. Healing epileptic boy: Matt-17:14, Mark-9:17, Luke-9:38

19. Tax in fish's mouth: Matt-17:27

20. Healing two blind men: Matt-20:30

21. Withering fig tree: Matt-21:18, Mark-11:12

22. Casting out unclean spirit: Mark-1:23, Luke-4:33

23. Healing deaf mute: Mark-7:32

24. Healing at Bethsaida: Mark-8:22

25. Escape from Hostile crowd: Luke-4:28

26. Draught of fish: Luke-5:4

27. Raising widow's son at Nain: Luke-7:11

28. Healing bound over woman: Luke-13:11

29. Healing man with drossy: Luke-14:1

30. Cleansing ten lepers: Luke-17:12

31. Restoring servant's ear: Luke-22:51

32. Turning water into wine: John-2:1

33. Healing Nobleman's son: John-4:46

34. Healing infirm at Bethesda: John-5:5

35. Healing man born blind: John-9:1

36. Raising of Lazarus: John-11:43

37. Second draught of fish: John-21:5

Note: The only miracle found in all four gospels is the feeding of the five thousand.


From the above charts we can dispose of any fallacy of the Gospel being four separate accounts based on the opinions and experiences of four men. These four scribes of God give us One Gospel; however, each is directed to an aspect of our growth. Matthew to those who received the Seed and are growing the Root; Mark to those who have reached the Blade; Luke to those who made it to the Full Ear; then John to those who are the Full Corn In The Ear. One can't force the Full Ear into the Root, or jump from Root to the Full Corn In The Ear. We are saved from the world to enter the Justification (Salvation) Process; thus we have two steps, one is Mercy, the other is Grace.

As we begin there are some truths we must keep in mind, or we will miss some vital information on the greatness of being Born Again. The Spirit and the ability to be Born Again was not granted until Jesus was Resurrected (Jn 7:38-39), thus the disciples before Pentecost were natural, making them limited in their knowledge and position (I Cor 2:9-10 & 2:14). John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost, but the Holy Ghost will not fill us beyond the authority of the position. John didn’t cast out devils, or heal the sick, it was not his calling. On the other hand we find the disciples were not filled with the Holy Ghost, but under the authority (Name) of Jesus they did cast out devils and heal the sick. It doesn’t take away from the Holy Ghost, it merely shows John 7:38-39 explains the Holy Ghost was not yet Given in fullness and neither was the Spirit until Pentecost. It also shows one can operate under the Name of Jesus, yet not be Born Again, or filled with the Holy Ghost. Therefore, we judge the ways, not the acts of a person.

There is also a difference between the Kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of heaven is the womb to the Kingdom of God, no one can neglect the Kingdom of heaven expecting to maintain in the Kingdom of God. Jesus as The Christ has two positions, the Son of man relating to the Kingdom of heaven with the application of God’s Mercy, then the Son of God relating to the Kingdom of God and God’s Grace. There are times when we see people refer to Jesus as “the Christ”, other times where He tells people, even His disciples not to say He is Christ. Why is it? Two positions, the disciples before the Cross could not speak on spiritual matters, since they didn’t understand the Cross and Resurrection, much less the Spirit (Mark 9:32). However, before the Cross the disciples did understand Mercy, thus Jesus will speak on matters of Grace, but operate in Mercy, showing the Greater Works are Works of Grace.

Today we think everyone and their uncle can speak on Spiritual matters, but in Truth the only ones who can lawfully speak on Spiritual matters are those who have the Spirit of Truth. Not only is it a Position, but we find it takes knowledge from heaven to understand the spiritual (I Cor 2:13-16). When someone who is natural speaks of spiritual things, they lack the respect, knowledge and understanding of what they are talking about. Being Born Again is a privilege so great and wonderful it demands respect for the Spirit and the Spiritual matters.

Next we find the disciples were in fact “special”, but knowing it, and bragging on it are different. There are some who think using the “proper name of God”, or holding one day over another, or using a particular phrase during water baptism, or having some secret rite, book or temple proceeding makes them better than the other members of the Body. The danger comes when the rest of us believe those fables and strongholds; Jesus makes us better than we were, but without the Spirit in us, we’re still nothing, regardless of some rite or special book. The disciples were special because they were associated with Jesus, yet during the earthly ministry they didn’t have Christ in them, until they received Power from on High on the Day of Pentecost (Jn 14:16-20 & I Jn 4:1-4).

Matthew's account was the second written, but the Holy Ghost placed it first in order. Mark begins by saying, "The beginning of the Gospel", but in so doing he doesn't limit his account to the Only Gospel. Rather he speaks of a Beginning, which begins when we become a Blade (Born Again). Matthew makes it clear in the Parables of the Sower,  as well as the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. We can’t assume the declaration of Justification and the process are one in the same, especially when we see there is a growth we must go through. We are declared completely innocent of all charges against us by the declaration of God, but the Witness is bringing it to pass in us day by day. It’s when the Blade comes forth exposing the Tares, allowing us to recognize what they are.

Matthew addresses Mercy more than Grace, the premise of Mercy is found in the least Commandments, but it doesn’t make them less important, rather it shows they are the least we can do. Therefore, anyone in the Body who has accepted the forgiveness of sin has the ability to walk in Mercy. However, we must be Born Again if we want the Living Waters to flow from us. The one premise dividing the vessels of honor from those of dishonor is mercy, thus the will of the Father is for us to walk in Mercy (Rom 9:21-22).

Matthew is the only one to use the term, “kingdom of heaven”, heaven is a place, God a personage, we are in the kingdom of heaven, but the Kingdom of God is within us. The kingdom of heaven is akin to Mercy, the Kingdom of God akin to Grace. Mercy is foundational element to being in the Body, thus no one is going to be formed into the Church, unless they first belong to the Body. Everyone in the kingdom of heaven has the ability to walk in Mercy, but not all are Born Again. Paul told the Corinthians they had the Spirit, but he also said they were yet carnal and not spiritual (I Cor 3:16 & 3:1). He also said he had to talk to them as “babes”; the Greek word he used for “babes” is Nepios, meaning an infant, or a place just before one is an infant. They had the Spirit, but they were not Born Again, as such they were carnal in their thinking, and unable to understand spiritual matters. Paul told the Romans there are some in the Body who mind the flesh, and some who mind the Spirit (Rom 8:1-8). However, regardless of whether a person in the Body is spiritual or not, or even Born Again they have the ability to apply Mercy. Paul put it this way, “forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Eph 4:32). Jesus will teach on this very subject, telling us how important it is.

There are layers of truth, yet the layers don't disagree or change basic truths, they simply add one to the other. Mark will refer to some of the same events as Matthew, but Mark uses the phrase Kingdom of God; however, Matthew and Mark are not debating, rather Matthew gives us the Mercy foundation to the Gospel, while Mark talks to the Blades who are Born Again. Luke expands and John will provide us the finishing touches.

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham (1:1).

Hold it, didn't Jesus come from the Father in heaven? Yes, but Matthew is giving us the "earthly" human position of Jesus as the Son of man coupled with the kingly position from the throne of David. Jesus is the Son of God, the Resurrection declared it so (Rom 1:3-4), but as the Son of man He had specifics, being the Lamb of God as the Sacrifice for one, coming back to Judge the earth another. Jesus took on the form of man, for the purpose of saving mankind, yet He will also judge mankind as the Son of man. Jesus pleased the Father, no question, but who did He die for? The Father? Or you and I? Us of course, thus He gave Himself as the Son of man, but was declared the Son of God by the Resurrection, so we could become sons of God, yet we must also be sons of men.

The two basic positions are established, son of David, giving Jesus a right to the throne, then a son of Abraham, showing He came for the Jews first. Notice, Jesus is not the “son of Moses”, since Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, not the tribe of Levi. If Jesus is our High Priest, why not come from the tribe of Levi? The Book of Hebrews tells us the Priesthood changed with Jesus: the changing of the Priesthood necessitated a change in Laws as well (Heb 7:12). Jesus as our High Priest established a spiritual position, thus a New Law was required for those who fit the Order.

In order to gain a grasp on some of the attitudes Jesus faced we must know the  history just before Jesus began His earthly ministry. The Jews went through a mess regarding the priestly and the kingly order. God separated the priestly order from the kingly, and wanted it to stay that way, but it was nonetheless left up to man to keep it so. Anyone who took on both the priestly function and kingly function did so illegally, and obviously without the anointing from God. Nonetheless there were some who did just that, the result was the Roman rule over the land, which resulted in the Romans (heathens) appointing a king in the land (Herod). However, we also find God does have an established order wherein one is both king and priest, but they must be of the Body of Christ, something not possible until Jesus made it so (Rev 1:6 & 5:10).

Matthew clears the issue, the Proceeding Word of God is not only going to correct the error removed the anointing from the priestly position, but establish a New priestly Order within a New kingly Order without fault. Was the Law of Moses faulty? No, but since it was in the hands of natural man, we find the doing of it was faulty (Heb 7:19 et al).

Jesus had to begin as the Son of man to keep all things lawful, but the mind of the Pharisees with their recent history had their minds made up what they wanted, and how they wanted God to provide it, thus they not only missed the Preceding Word, but the exactness of the Scriptures. Without the position of the Son of man Jesus would have no standing to become the “Lamb of God”. Israel being picked by God over all the nations, means the king of Israel is above the kings of the Gentiles. Since Jesus lives forever more, He is truly King of kings, yet when He came the Romans were over the land, and the only king the Jews had was a man appointed by the Romans. The kingship was not for David, it was for Jesus, but it began with David, yet for us understanding the manner in which a king reigns in the Kingdom becomes the issue.

This area also gives us an outline, the entire purpose of creation is for Jesus, yet Jesus as the Son of man was born of a woman as the Law dictates, but was He created? No, He took on the form in the time and timing of God (Ph'l 2:7-8). So then if He was not "created" how could He stand for created man? Ahh, the flesh of man was never "created", it was formed of the earth to begin with. Each fleshly aspect of man since Adam became a reproduction of the formation of the elements of the earth. Our souls are created and although they enter death because they are housed in the flesh, they don’t cease to exist. Therefore, Jesus delivered us from the hand of the devil, then granted us His Grace in the Spirit to save our souls, not re-create them.

After the great build up about the Gospel, one would think it would start with, "Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God Who came in Power and Authority to take back all man lost", yet we see so and so begat so and so. Ahh, foundational, this area is proving Jesus is the Son of man, giving us Hope. God didn't lie, there was a process to saving our souls. Hopefully it won’t take as long as the so and so beget so and so, Amen?

The long list from Abraham has many purposes; the fall took a short time based on one very wrong decision. When we were born we did neither good nor evil, but the flesh had the overall potential to sin. The soul had one element in which to operate, the flesh. Yet the flesh was corrupt, meaning the first time we used the flesh to get what we wanted, and had an awareness of what we were doing, we sinned, then we are sold under sin. Our souls were connected to the flesh, but the flesh relates to death. The soul then became slave to the flesh; although the flesh was weak, we find by the act of sin we accepted the spirit of disobedience, also known as the strongman. The strongman enforced his position with rulers of the darkness who ruled our emotions and soul. Anger, fear or any other emotion based in the flesh, governing how we thought, or acted. The strongman then  established strongholds coming against the knowledge of God. However, Jesus provided a means where a Stronger One can enter us, removing the strongman, tearing down the strongholds, establishing us in a true and holy tabernacle unto the Lord God.

The word Trespass means to enter the property of another without permission, or move into a possession of another without unlawful right. Adam’s iniquity was failing to care for “bone of my bone”, which lead him to the trespass of taking the fruit. We also know God didn’t make the fall happen, yet it was in the Plan. God's plan of redemption went further than redeeming us from the fall; He provided something far greater than Adam possessed before the fall. It's one thing to gain back what was lost, another to gain much more than anyone lost.

We can also answer the question, "are babies born into sin?". All of us, including Jesus came into a sinful world, but the Bible tells us when Jacob and Esau were yet babies they did neither good or evil, thus they were in a like position as Adam (Rom 9:11-12). Adam was natural and earthly (I Cor 15:47), yet before the fall he did neither good or evil. There isn’t one word of Adam using faith, or thanking God, really not one word of him praising God. However, he walked with God in the cool of the day, but it doesn’t mean he did either good of evil, even Balaam heard from God. However, the potential for sin was in the Garden before sin took hold, if not why even warn Adam? The second God said, “in that day you shall die”, death became a possibility. The first time we used the self, manipulation, or the flesh to get our own way, we took of the wrong fruit. Our eyes were opened to the self, and the self became our guide. We are all born under the sin nature, meaning we have a much greater potential to sin than we do anything else. It doesn’t mean we kill people, it means sin begins by using the self nature to gain some result to please the flesh. Neither Adam or Eve killed anyone, but their offspring did (Cain), thus death produces the elements of death, Life produces the elements of Life.

When we knowingly use the sin nature, then we become sinners, once it happens we enter the realm of disobedience. Infants and very small babies lack the true ability to reason enough to make the decision to put the sin nature into an action. God had a plan, but it didn’t involve killing innocent children. We as Believers have an added advantage, Paul said, “else were your children unclean, but now they are holy” (I Cor 7:14). This promise separates the child of a believing parent for a special work by God, it should bring us hope in those troubling times regarding our children. Just as the Body of Christ is Holy because of Jesus, we find our children are holy because we believe, not a bad deal all in all.

The genealogy of Jesus shows how much God put into plan; once this genealogy is completed in Jesus, the need for genealogy ceases, thus God had the records destroyed in 70 AD. Let’s face it, we all came from Adam until the flood, then from one of Noah’s sons thereafter, yet if we are Born Again we are of God, not the earth. Tracing some human genealogy doesn’t make any of us any more special than someone else, Jesus makes us special.

This genealogy also spells out a testimony, the Hebrew names all mean something pointing to Jesus. God didn't wake up one morning and say, "Yea Michael, what do you think? Let's put My Word in some flesh today, and see what happens". In order to give us something far greater than the possessions of Adam, it would take something from God greater than the original creation of God. God emptied His Word of deity, then His Word took on the form of man, becoming the Son of man. The Word of God is Jesus (Jn 1:1-8), the Bible contains the Scriptures, thus the Word in us takes those Scriptures then breaths life into them, but the Scriptures are not the only “word”, in fact the Bible defines itself as the Scriptures, and defines Jesus as the Word (Logos) of God. The Scriptures speak of Life, they can't give it. This shows a combination of elements for us to seek and obtain. The Word (New Man) in us is sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing and bringing clarity to many areas (Heb 4:12 & James 1:21). The only way to have a saved soul is by being Born Again, any other attempt is the blind leading the blind.

No creation can save a creation from the fall of creation, it would take the Creator in the form of a creation. Something only God could do. God is Love and Light, and He so loved the world He gave His Love, Truth, Life and Grace by His only begotten Son.  The wording “only begotten” means God isn’t going to do it again, there are no other ways, just the One Way of Christ in us the hope of Glory.

The Name of Jesus contains Authority in and of itself, but it also projects the Ways of God. The metaphor "Name" means Authority, any authority is representative of the position, thus the Name of Jesus is above all names. The name is granted only to those in the Body Christ as our “badge” of Authority, which enables us to ask for and receive the Power from on High.

In the Old Testament we found God referred to by many names, but in the New it’s the Authority of Jesus on earth wherein we find salvation. The “name of God” is not for identification, God doesn’t need to go around saying, “Hi, I’m God, who are you?”; His presence shows who He is. The “name of God” is relative to the authority being used at the time for those people. The names of God are conjoined into the Name of Jesus, it doesn’t negate the Father or Holy Ghost, but it does show the Seasons now pertain to two things, Salvation for the Day, Judgment for the Night. We are never told to baptize people in the “Name of El”, or cast out devils in the “Name of Elohiym”, the combined authority of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were placed in the Name above all Names, which Name relates to Authority. It’s obvious when Jesus said the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, He was included in the Son part. Simply the only way to reach heaven is through Jesus, whether it’s now by being Born Again, or finding ones name in the Book of Life on the last day.

The Permission is granted by the Father, the Authority in the Son, the Power in the Holy Ghost, one God all in all. False concepts of the Trinity, or denying the Trinity tends to negate the greatness of Jesus. Understanding the Trinity keeps us in our rightful place, while not taking away the deity of the Father, Son or Holy Ghost. When we reach the end of Matthew we will find the phrase, “Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” referring to One Name, or Authority of God. The same Authority was made inclusive in the Authority (Name) of Jesus, thus Jesus is the One who told us “go”. It didn’t remove the Father from being the Father, but it does show Salvation is found in one Authority, as the One Authority is only found in the Body of Christ. Oneness in its true form is still “the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”.

The various positions of Jesus help us understand how He could be the Son of man on one hand representing man to God, the Son of God on the other representing God to man, and God the Son maintaining the Kingdom by His Righteousness (Heb 1:8). The Trinity is not one plus one plus one; the God we serve is a God of Power and Might, thus the equation must be one times one, times one, which always equals one. Any of us, or all of us could be placed into the equation, it would still end as One. Jesus has prayed for us to be One, as He is One, how could it be? Ahh, Multiplying in the Spirit, not adding. Paul said it was the self same Spirit, thus we are not added as one individual to another, but we are considered One in Jesus. The evidence is found in the phrase, “ten thousand times ten thousand” (Rev 5:11). Of course some might say, “Well I tell you what I don’t see us as One”, but the Bible says Oneness is by The Faith in the Spirit, not the flesh. The Oneness we hold won’t be Perfect until we join to what makes us Perfect by the salvation of our souls (I Pet 1:9).

Basically we will find the title “Son of man” pertains to Mercy, “Son of God” to the spiritual attributes of Grace (Rom 1:3-40), thus we enter as sons of men in the kingdom of heaven, but we obtain the condition to be a son of God by being Born Again. We come boldly to the Throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy and Find Grace, two elements connected in the phrase “Living Waters”.

Matthew begins with Jesus Christ, the Son of man, thus our first exposure to Jesus is always Mercy. As the Son of man Jesus showed us the Mercy of God, as the Son of God He presented us with Grace. Grace was not presented to mankind until Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection (Jn 7:39), thus Paul says the Resurrection Declared Jesus as the Son of God by the Spirit of Holiness (Rom 1:4). It doesn’t mean Jesus Became the Son of God by the Resurrection, rather it shows a Declaration, which Declaration tells us we become sons of God by the power of the Resurrection by having the same Spirit.

Matthew will establish the Kingly order of Jesus, showing Jesus is the Last King of the Jews. Israel hasn't had a King or a Prophet since Jesus, Jesus is still alive, thus any king who attempts to take the throne in Israel is a fraud. Anyone who depicts an image as some king over Israel is a false prophet. A king’s position is filled when the king dies, in the world it was simple, kill the king and appoint another. However, for us we find Jesus is alive, thus He is the last and only King over all the kings.

God established a Lawful order and line, Saul was not the first king, David was. Saul was in training to be a king, thus he was a “Sur” or prince. David was the first anointed and appointed king by God, thus any king after him would be a “son of David”. It’s important to keep in mind Matthew is developing the Kingly right; Luke on the other hand will give us the Jewish side of Jesus. Luke uses the term, “as was supposed”, which is a Jewish term viewing the father of the mother of a child. Yet Luke uses the term in two ways; accordingly the way it should be written is, “Jesus the son of Joseph (as was supposed) the son of Heli”. Since the Jew didn’t use the name of the wife the “as was supposed” would take the place of the wife’s name. However, Luke moved the phase between Jesus and Joseph, showing Joseph is also the “as was supposed” father of Jesus (Luke 3:23). In Matthew we find the progression goes from Abraham to Jesus, but in Luke we go the other way, giving us two methods, yet both are correct for their purpose and both are given according to the Law. If one was attempting to determine if they were Jewish they would begin with their mother’s father with the term “as was supposed” taking the place of the name of their mother. Then to the grandfather of the grandmother, and so on. If they wanted to prove they had a right to the kingship, they would begin with David, then follow the kingly line of David. It’s exactly what Matthew is doing, but Luke does not. Luke goes to Nathan another son of David, one who was not a king (Luke 3:31). Matthew says the father of Joseph was “Jacob” (Matt 1:16), then Jacob’s father was Matthan (Matt 1:15): however, Luke shows “Heli” who was the son of Matthat (Luke 3:23-24). Two different lines for two different purposes, one showing Jesus has a right to be king in the only nation where God lawfully allowed a king. The other line showing Jesus is Jewish, giving Him the right to the Promise, yet He is the only one with faith enough to Possess the Promise (Heb 11:39).

Neither Matthew or Luke use the name Israel, rather they both stick to Jacob, the son of Isaac, showing the intent of both was to show the natural family line. Matthew will link the beginning verse with his conclusion in verse 17 giving us Six Sevens leading to the Seventh Seven. Of course the records were all destroyed in 70 AD when a drunken solider of Titus tossed a torch into the Temple. The solider not only caused a fire, but caused all the gold to melt between the stones. In order to get to the gold, they tore the stones apart, and the Temple hasn’t been rebuilt since.

Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren (1:2).

Judas is the Greek word for the Hebrew Judah; Jesus is the Lion from the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5). David was also of the tribe of Judah, the name Judas also means Judah; Judas Iscariot was called to be a sheep, but inside Satan still ruled as his lord. Although he said he would follow Jesus, he betrayed the Lord of Glory. The name Iscariot comes from two Hebrew words meaning the City Of The Self, thus Judas Iscariot means "praise to the city of the self", he lived up to his name, causing his own downfall.

Abraham was first known as Abram (exalted father, or father of many), but God expanded his promise to Abraham (father of a multitude or father of many nations). The promise we have is expandable, we move from life (kingdom of heaven or Mercy) to Life More Abundantly (Kingdom of God or Grace), yet we don't leave the kingdom of heaven or Mercy behind. When Abraham came into being, Abram ceased to exist, when we change families the promise moves upward, the old man ceases, yet we increase. We begin in Mercy to obtain forgiveness of sins, but forgiveness of our sins is not an eradication of sin, rather forgiveness removes the power and authority of sin. It's the Blood of Jesus cleaning us from the unrighteousness producing the sin, thus all unrighteousness is sin, and self-righteousness since the Cross is unrighteousness (Rom 10:1-3 & I Jn 1:7-2:2).

Isaac means Laughter, the promise in hand always brings Laughter. In the Book of Revelation, John begins the tribe list with Judah, thus we begin with praise and end with praise, making praise the element opening the door to the kingdom of heaven. Jacob means Supplanter, or to take the place of; whereas Israel means God Prevails, metaphorically it means To rule as God. Israel took the place of Jacob, but the promise continued. Jesus took our place to bring the promise; Jesus came to prevail and rule as God, thus Israel is a symbol of something yet to come. Both Levi and Judah were born to Leah, the first wife of Jacob (Gen 29:34-35). Levi was the elder, the elder still serves the younger. The Law of Moses was governed by the Levities, the Law was regimental, precise and stern; whereas, the Law of the Spirit is based in praise, spontaneous freedom by Liberty. When praise becomes regimental and restricted, it becomes boring, dry and void of zeal.

And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Tamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram (1:3).

Phares is the Greek form of the Hebrew Perez meaning A Breach. Perez was the son of Judah and Tamar (or Thamar), showing the line is from the tribe of Judah. Judah  had a twin brother by the name of Zerah (Zara - Gen 38:29-30). Matthew lists both brothers to show the transfer of the kingly position from one brother to another, even if Perez was to die, Zara would take over the family. Therefore, even if Joseph died, Jesus was still established in the kingly line; however, Joseph had to die in order for Jesus to obtain the kingly line without violating the Law. Esrom is the Greek form of the Hebrew Hezron meaning Courtyard. Jesus stood in the courtyard in front of Pilate where He took the place of all His brothers who would believe in Him. Aram is the Greek for the Hebrew Ram, and from Aram came the Arameans (Gen 10:22-23).

And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon (1:4).

Aminadab means My Kinsman Is Noble, Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer who is always noble. Aminadab was a tribal leader of Judah, Jesus is the Lion from the Tribe of Judah. Aminadab was also the father of Elizabeba, who became Aaron's wife (Exodus 6:23). Aminadab was the father of Nahshon (Naasson) who was the tribal leader of Judah during the wilderness wanderings (Numb 2:3). Naasson is the Greek for the Hebrew Nahshon meaning Enchanter, he was the first to offer a sacrifice for the dedication of the altar (Numb 7:12). Jesus is the first to give a Sacrifice in heaven in the very presence of the Father.

And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse (1:5).

We know Ruth was not a Jew, yet since Matthew is pointing to the kingly order it wouldn't matter. Adding how Ruth was before the kingly line was established, but she  would still be in consideration for the Jewish aspect, which we know means ones mother had to be Jewish for one to be Jewish. In our study of Ruth we found she was married to the son of Naomi, and Naomi was a Jew. Ruth's husband died, and Ruth made a decision to leave her past and join to Naomi, as her daughter. Naomi accepted Ruth as her daughter, and called her so (Ruth 2:2). This enjoined Ruth to the family order of Naomi by adoption, in so doing Ruth was treated as Jewish, making her offspring Jewish.

Salmon was the father of Boaz (Ruth 4:20-21), Boaz (Greek Booz) would be a symbol of the forth coming kinsman redeemer. His great grand-father was Aminadab (My kinsman is noble), Jesus came as our Kinsman, the Nobel One. Salmon means Clothed, Boaz means Strength; when we place our faith in Jesus we are promised to be clothed in a White Robe by the Strength of the Spirit. Ruth means Beloved and from the various meanings we find the Husband brings us the Strength to be the Wife as the Beloved. Matthew also mentions Rahab (the Hebrew for Rachab), Rahab was the mother of Boaz, by Salmon. Rahab means Proud, but she was the one who humbled herself before the spies and was saved when the wall of Jericho fell. She was accepted by the Jews as being Jewish, making her offspring Jewish. Obed means Servant, he would become the grandfather of David the king (Ruth 4:17, 4:21 & I Chron 2:12).

And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (1:6).

Now we know about Ruth, but Urias wasn't a Jew in any sense of the word, so how does Bathsheba fit? Doesn't matter if she was a Jew or not, her place in this is limited to Solomon and the kingly line. Luke will go into the Jewish aspect tracing the line back to Nathan the eldest son of David, not Solomon. Two completely different lines, really the "bloodline" of Bathsheba means little in the order of the kingly line, since the kingly line is based on the male, not the female. The Jewish is based on the female, not the male. Perhaps it’s why Paul said there is no male or female in Jesus.

We know Joseph had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus, but he did take Jesus as his own, thus granting Jesus the line to the throne of David. Complex? Maybe, yet God had it well in hand. Also we find Matthew using women, something the genealogy of the Jew would not allow, but something God most certainly does.

Jesse means The Lord Is, or Jehovah Is, he was a resident of Bethlehem, the location where Jesus was born. Since David was also born there it became known as the “city of David”. There are three cities of David, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Zion. The “city of David” depends on which point in David’s life one is talking about. If the Birth, then it’s Bethlehem, if king then it’s Jerusalem or Zion, all three were called the “city of David”. As for us, we find New Jerusalem is the place where Jesus rules, but He gave us heavenly Zion as the Rock upon which Jesus builds the Church (New Jerusalem).

David means Commander, David is one of those names remaining the same in either Greek or Hebrew, telling us Jesus is the same whether one is a Jew or Gentile.

Matthew didn't list Solomon's mother, Bathsheba, but shows Solomon's mother as the "wife of Urias". Bathsheba means Daughter Of The Oath, Urias (Uriah) means God Is My Light. The Oath was brought to the Daughter of Judah by the Light of the Word (Jesus).

And Solomon begat Roboam and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; (1:7).

Roboam is Greek for the Hebrew Rehoboam meaning Increase Of The Nation: Roboam became the first king of Judah after the monarchy split. Abia is Greek for the Hebrew Adijah meaning Jehovah Is My Father. Abia trusted in the Lord and successfully routed the Israelite attackers, then he captured Bethel, Jeshana, and Ephron (II Chron 13). Jesus is our Warrior, our Comforter, Our Salvation, Our Peace, Our Armor, Our Lord, Our Savior, He is I Am, regardless of the event as He works all things together for the purpose of our Salvation.

And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; (1:8).

Asa means Created, he succeeded his father as king of Judah doing "what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God" (II Chron 14:2). The New Man is a creation  (or formation, same Greek word) of God to bring us into the Character of Christ to do what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord our God. Our souls are a creation, God doesn't recreate our souls or anything else. If God recreated something, it means He made an error the first time, thus He gives us the Spirit to bring the New Birth to make us a New Creature in Christ as we are formed into the Image of His Son by the saving of our souls (Rom 8:29).

Creations are changed, not re-created, God doesn't make mistakes. The forming process is called the saving of our soul, or being Justified in the Name by the Spirit (I Cor 6:11). Our souls were not in bottles in heaven, or on some distance planet, or in some frog or cow many years ago, they were created when the reproduction of the flesh stimulated physical life as a joined egg and seed, just as God formed Adam flesh, then breathed into Adam and Adam became a living soul. The New Birth is not the same as being converted, nor is it instant with repentance, if it’s the case, all these people were converted and Born Again without the Cross, or the Spirit; thereby making the Cross a vain and moot act, hardly the case at all. Whoever is born of the flesh is flesh, yet flesh can receive Mercy and the Abrahamic Covenant, yet Mercy doesn't gain us the Spirit, or make us spiritual. The Corinthians show one can have the Spirit, yet not be spiritual, thus we are flesh (physical), have a soul (natural and earthly), but God gave us the New Birth to become Spirit. The justification by the Spirit moves us to a spiritual area, and the Holy Ghost teaches spiritual matters to spiritual people.

Asa became the only man in the Bible to turn to doctors before turning to the Lord, and he died within two years of his decision. It's not whether one goes to a doctor or not, rather it's the obedience by hearing the Lord first. If Asa would have sought God first, the result would have been different. Perhaps God would have sent him to a doctor, if so, fine it was still by obedience.

Josaphat is Greek for the Hebrew Jehoshaphat meaning God Has Judged (past tense). When Asa rejected God, and sought man for his salvation (healing) he was judged. Josaphat succeeded his father as king of Judah, and brought many back to the Lord, the God of their fathers (II Chron 19:4). God didn't hold the sins of the father against the son. It's clear David was not the only king in the genealogy of Jesus, but David was the only one picked and anointed of God. All the others followed David by birth; therefore, Jesus is the product of the prophecy, not a product of the flesh. The right to the kingly line was through the genealogy, but the title Son of David was by prophecy; the kingly line ended by the Anointing of the Anointed One as The King of all the kings. This type and shadow shows us we are kings by Birthright, Jesus is King of kings by being chosen from the foundation of the world in the Bosom of the Father.

Joram is Greek for the Hebrew Jehoram meaning Jehovah Is Exalted, yet Jehoram murdered all his brothers to gain their lands. He was married to Athaliah, the daughter of king Ahab, and Ahab was married to Jezebel. Jezebel means Without cohabitation; therefore, she is a type and shadow of false self-appointed prophets and teachers who lack the Prince of Peace in their hearts. Instead of Joram exalting Jehovah, he exalted his self and questioned God.

All this brings up a point, there are "family curses", but there are things happening in family lines which have nothing to do with family curses. Here is an example, Jezebel was not a "good lady"; she is listed in the Book of Revelation as an example of the self-appointed by her calling herself a prophetess (Rev 2:20). Joram was not exactly a pillar in the Synagogue either, yet their evil didn't pass from generation to generation. Knowing whether it was a family curse or The Curse doesn't matter, knowing all curses are nailed to the Cross does. We simply have to claim the Cross, not the Curse.

And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; (1:9).

Ozias is Greek for the Hebrew Uzziah meaning Jehovah Is Strong; although Jehovah was not exalted by Joram, it doesn't mean Jehovah wasn't exalted. God is always exalted, whether man exalts Him or not isn't going to diminish the fact God is exalted. Uzziah was the king who contracted leprosy as a direct result of his idol worship. Jotham is Greek for the Hebrew Joatham meaning God Is Upright, he followed his father Uzziah as king of Judah. Jotham's mother was Jerusha, who was the daughter of Zadok the co-priest with Abiathar. Abiathar is mentioned in Mark 2:26 as the priest during the time of David. We already know about Abiathar escaping from the sin of Doeg (I Sam 21:6-7). Achaz is the Greek for the Hebrew Ahaz meaning He Grasped or Jehovah Has Grasped. Ahaz was also the king of Judah; Hebrew historians report how Ahaz sacrificed his own son, worshipped idols and caused the people to worship idols. Again one could think Ahaz was cursed by the family curse, considering his family line, but not so. The natural mind of man is prone to follow curse thinking, Ahaz is another example of God allowing something to prove a point, the heart of man is wicked above all things, who can know it?

And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; (1:10).

Ezekias is Greek for the Hebrew Hezekiah meaning God Strengthens, or the Strength of God. After we enter Salvation then we receive the Strength of God to maintain the Kingdom to secure us as the Power of His Christ (Rev 12:10).

Isaiah was the prophet in the land at the same time Hezekiah was the king of Judah. Hezekiah was known as a great king, showing the king who hears the prophet in the land can't help but be great. When Hezekiah took over Judah, Assyria had already taken most of the land. Hezekiah spent a number of years strengthening the kingdoms (II Chron 32:5-6); by taking down all the places of idol worship (II Kings 18:22). Listening to the prophet, and taking down the places of idols always brings us into a place where the Great King waits.

Manasses is Greek for the Hebrew Manasseh, this Manasseh is not the son of Joseph, but one named after Manasseh the son of Joseph. Manasseh means Forgetting as in forgetting sins, which connects his name to Grace. Mercy forgives sins, Grace forgets sin. The meaning of Remission goes further than simply forgiving; it's wonderful to have our sins forgiven, but the Grace of God looks at us as if we never knew sin, in fact He places us in a position where the concept of Sin is unknown. There is no sin in heaven, thus sin is an "earthly" matter. Our sins are forgiven on earth, but remitted from heaven. Innocent means One has nothing to place against them, whether it be past, present or future. Which is the meaning of Justified, thus the Blood of Jesus is cleaning us from all unrighteousness, and the washing (scrubbing) of the Water (Mercy) by the Word (Rhema) is bringing us into the Declaration.

Manasseh's name is a symbol of the forgiveness of sin yet to come, but Manasseh the man forgot God's desires, and set up many heathen cults, rebuilt the pagan altars, becoming an example of what happens when one receives forgiveness of sins, but forgets the call is to be cleaned of all unrighteousness to reach the remission of sin.

Amon means Trustworthy, he was also a king of Judah, but he was murdered in his palace by his servants (II Kings 21:19-26). Jesus was crucified in His palace by Jehovah's servants but it was still marvelous in the eyes of God, for it opened our chance to meet Jesus, face to face.

The reign of Amon was more evil than his father Manasseh, again this may or may not have to do with something carried from father to son, but the son still had the choice to do good, or evil, but he picked evil. There are times when we use the curse as an excuse for a behavior needing to be removed by the application of Mercy and Grace. We need a New Nature to couple with the New Birth to make us a New Creature in Christ.

Amon's son was Josias (or the Hebrew Josiah), who took over the throne at the age of eight, he becomes the proof evil need not carry on from father to son. Josiah means Jehovah Heals, in the eighteenth year of his reign the high priest Hilkiah found a book of the Law (which law had been lost for years). He then showed it to Shaphan the scribe, then Shaphan took the found book to the king (II Kings 22:3-9). Sweeping reforms followed the discovery of the Law, as Josiah established worship toward the One true God. He destroyed the idol shrines in Samaria (II Kings 23:19), and in Galilee (II Chron 34:6). As a result of the reforms, Jehovah healed their land. God heals His children when the idols fall, whether those idols are made of stone, or contained in our minds.

And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon (1:11).

Jechonias is the Greek for the Hebrew Jehoahaz meaning Jehovah Is Grasped. Jehoahaz was the son of king Josiah, his mother was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah. This is not Jeremiah the prophet, rather this Jeremiah is from the area of Libnah, whereas Jeremiah the prophet was born in the village of Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Neco the Pharaoh had Jehoahaz summoned to Riblah, there Jehoahaz was placed in chains and taken to Egypt. Jehoahaz's half brother Eliakim took over the throne of Judah. Eliakim's name was changed to Jehoiakim by Neco the Pharaoh (II Chron 36:4). Jechonias is Greek for the Hebrew Jehoiachin meaning God Appointed, God appointed the captivity to expose the error in the children. Those in captivity who continued to believe in God, received the Reward and were spared in the end. This also shows how the throne changed from brother to brother, yet the brother was only a half brother, thus Jesus could obtain the kingly line from Joseph, although Joseph was not the true father of Jesus.

And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; and Zorobabel begat Abiud, and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim beget Azor; (1:12-13).

Salathiel is Greek for the Hebrew Shealthiel meaning Asked Of God, the Babylonian name for Shealthiel is Pedaiah meaning Saved By God. The children were put into captivity by God, and later saved by God; therefore, He never left them nor did He forsake them. Shealthiel would lead the people out of Babylon, and Jesus as the Son of man leads us out of Babylon. Zorobabel is Greek for the Hebrew Zerubbabel meaning Seed Of Babylon, or Shoot of Babylon. Approximately 42,000 Jews gathered together to leave Babylon, and Zerubbabel was the one who heard, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord" (Zech 4:6). When we are lead from Babylon (world) it's not by our will power, or our might, but by the Holy Ghost drawing us to the cross.

Eliakim means God Of Raising, the time was coming for the Son of man to be raised from the dead, bringing the promise of the Spirit for those who make the decision to believe and follow Jesus (Rom 8:11).

And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; (1:14).

Azor means Helpful, Sadoc is Greek for the Hebrew Zadoc, but this person is not to be confused with Zadoc the priest. Zadoc the high priest lived much earlier, and prior to the captivity. Zadoc means Just, the word Just means Found Innocent, pointing to "the just shall live by His faith". Achim is the Greek form of the Hebrew Jokim meaning Jehovah Will Come. From the day of the fall until Jesus the time was near at hand, with Jesus the time became in hand. These signs were being presented to those who were diligently seeking and preparing their hearts unto repentance.

And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; (1:15).

Eliud means God Of Majesty, Eleazar means God Is A Helper, and Matthan means A Present. This Matthan is not the Matthan who was the priest of the idol Baal, who was killed in front of the altars of Baal (II Kings 11:18 & II Chron 23:17). God through His majesty was going to bring the Helper as a Gift. The writer of Hebrews says, "Let your conversation be without covetousness", the preparation was at hand, but the means to come boldly to the throne would not be available until the Lord was Raised, and our Helper (Spirit) sent. Then we can say, "The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Heb 13:5-6).

And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, Who is called Christ (1:16).

Joseph is given as the husband of Mary, but not the father of Jesus, for obvious reasons. Matthew adds to the kingly position of Jesus by saying, "who is called Christ" giving us the introduction to the Body of Christ, as all things of Christ came from Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations (1:17).

There are 3 Fourteen's, or 6 Sevens, it took 2 Sevens to establish the promise from Abraham to David, it took 2 more Sevens to reach the captivity, then 2 more Sevens to the coming of the Messiah. Interesting how there are no Sevens between Adam and Abraham. In all this we find one seven of the seven sevens missing, which means there was one seven yet to come. Where is it? There is the concept of the Hidden Generation, but in verse 16 we find two elements showing it’s not hidden. If one counts the Generations from the carrying away into Babylon unto Jesus they find thirteen, but if they include the Body of Christ they find fourteen, this doesn't take away from Jesus, it adds to Him. Jesus is The Christ, He is not Jesus Mr. Christ; thus the 14th Generation as it's called is the Body of Christ, which came from Christ so we could become Christ-Like.

This also shows it took time to reach the conclusion, giving us Process, thus to be Born Again is a Process; however, being saved from the world by Mercy is instant; it's our path of justification by Grace taking faith and patience. It takes time to clean the field, it takes time to bring the Seed to the Blade. Matthew begins by telling us to have patience and faith unto the Birth; there are areas of Completeness to take place.

Jesus didn't break the womb of Mary as a thirty year old man, nor did He leave the baptism of John and go directly to the cross. What makes us think we are greater than the Master? The Gospel accounts display how the Midst of the Week (last seven of Daniel) completed the last Seven, except for the One Hour of Temptation which has two halves, we are in the first, then there is silence in heaven during the second half (Rev 8:1 & 15:8). Our Season is the Day, the next Season is the Night when no man can work.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost (1:18).

The phrase, "before they came together" refers to the culmination of the marriage by a sexual relationship, after they are presented to the families as married by God. The Jews espoused a man and woman to be husband and wife, then the two would live together for one year prior to the marriage; however, this living together also called for complete physical abstinence. If there was any physical contact, both parties would be guilty of adultery. This time element was the time of acquaintance, it equates to the Body of Christ, reflecting to our time on earth is the Espousal Time to become acquainted with Jesus. We are called the Body of Christ on earth, but the Bride in heaven.

The wicked commit adultery by holding to the spirit of man, they want God, but they want their forbidden lovers as well. They also commit fornication by rejecting the vows of the Espousal time. Adultery is an act committed by someone who is married, fornication is committed by someone who is not married. This would seem confusing in light of the words of Jesus regarding divorce, but it does make sense. To the Jew the marriage was consummated by a physical act, much like Jacob and Leah, but to God it’s the Vows  making the difference (Matt 19:9). The two shall be one is the purpose of marriage, if either, or both reject the purpose of the vows, or reject the vows, they have considered their self absent of the vows, thus the violation would fit the realm of fornication. The Wicked commit adultery if they claim the marriage, but carry on an affair with the spirit of man; they commit fornication if they reject the Vows they made when they entered the Body, and carry on an affair with the spirit of the world.

The birth of Jesus is a type and shadow, evidenced in the New Birth. Was Jesus Born Again? He didn't have to be, He is the one who made it possible. This is the first time we find the title Holy Ghost in the layout of the Gospel accounts. However, we also know John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost, we will see Mary was as well, so were they Born Again? No, our study discipline cannot ignore verses, the Holy Ghost was not given in that capacity until Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection (Jn 7:38-39). The Holy Ghost was the force behind the men of Old writing the words regarding the Spirit of Christ, but it doesn’t mean the men of Old were Born Again. The Holy Ghost will fill us for a purpose of the calling and authority granted. John the Baptist had a three prong ministry, to prepare the Way (not open it or make it); to baptize people in water for repentance under his name, saying the people should believe, and to wash and present the Sacrificial Lamb of God Who will take away the sins of the world (both Jew and Gentile). John was privy to information based on his position, and the Holy Ghost filled him for the functions of his calling, but only for those functions. The Holy Ghost will not fill us beyond the capacity of the calling, thus John did not raise the dead, cast out devils, or heal the sick.

Mary was filled with the Holy Ghost for the purpose of her position, yet we don’t read where she cast out devils. She was one woman who believed, the Holy Ghost overshadowed her to make the impossible, possible. Mary believed God, yet she was picked from among women. Mary didn't elevate herself, and she was not "the mother of God", she was the mother of the "Son of man”. The Word is Jesus, the Son of God, but the flesh He obtained from Mary pertains to the Son of man. Later Mary would visit her cousin Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), when Elizabeth sees Mary she says, "blessed is she who believed.." (Luke 1:41-45). Elizabeth felt John the Baptist leap in her womb, but even with the sign, she didn't say, "Blessed is the mother of God". Mary was one woman who believed; we can't take away from her, yet we can't add to her either. Whenever we elevate someone or something higher than God has, we have made an idol. The anointing is vital, but if we elevate the anointing higher than God has, we have made an idol out of something Godly and precious: not real smart. Paul called this error exalting things and people above measure, or above the limit God has placed on a person or thing.

Mary had a man promised to be her husband, yet she knew if she was found with child she could lose everything, including her life, However, she believed by holding to the word given her, remaining a maid servant unto the Lord. Gabriel told Mary she was Highly Favored, but the Greek word used is Charis, better known to us as Grace. Mary was found in Favor, she wasn't granted heavenly Grace, rather she would be the vehicle used of God to bring forth Jesus Who is Grace. In order for Jesus to stand for man, He had to make entry by the womb of a human woman, as the Law dictates. What Law? The Law God established when He pronounced everything after its own kind. If God needed saving, then Jesus would appear as the Son of God without Mary, but God wasn’t in trouble, we were.

Mary is told the Thing in her is a Holy Thing, by the use of the neuter, we find God prophetically saw the Body of Christ as neither male or female, neither Jew or Gentile, but One in Christ, purposed to be a Holy Thing by the Holy Ghost. The flesh of Jesus was a reproduction of Mary, but the Blood, Life, Nature and Love were products of the Heart of the Father, thus Jesus came from the Bosom of the Father as the true Help Meet, the Word made (not created) Flesh to represent mankind. Only God could put this together, and only God could finish it. God looks to the purposed result to determine the goodness, but He begins with His holiness to reach the conclusion (Luke 1:35). God doesn't look at us and decide to use the corruption in us to make incorruption, rather the New Birth gives us a New means to reach the New purpose, thus the New Man is after God’s True Holiness. Attempting to reach the goal by the flesh ends in Self-Eros, rather than Agape.

Mary was a nobody, she didn't ask to be born into the line leading to Jesus, she didn't do some great work in the temple, she simply believed, and God was looking for a woman who would believe. God wasn't looking for a woman who kept each point of the Law, or one who could prophesy, or one who had a reputation in the community as being "holy". Mary didn't go about doing deeds presuming she would be the mother of Jesus and there is no Scripture saying she prayed to become the mother of Jesus. Mary wasn't the only female in the genealogy back to Nathan, thus it was not only her belief, but the time and timing of God. It was time, Mary believed, and it all came together in the Plan. Did God know it? Sure, from the foundation of the world. Did Mary? No, it’s the truth found in predestination, God knows, we don’t.

Mary believed the words of the angel, but she had to discount her ability. Her belief removed her self-doubts, thus her desire was to be used of God, rather than use God to reach her desire. Mary didn't say, "oh yes, I'm so blessed, I have the Christ, and I am the greatest mother in all the world, oh I just can't believe how powerful my faith is, oh I must be the holiest female of all time", rather she said, "My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit (heart, nature or attitude) has rejoiced in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden, for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed, for He is mighty has done to me great things, and holy is His name, and His mercy is on them who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, He has put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever" (Luke 1:46-55). This is a statement of praise giving God the Glory; Mary knew the birth would be something to be known from generation to generation, but she also knew it wasn't for her sake alone. Mary used the term "spirit", in this sense it shows the nature or attitude of the heart displayed outwardly. We love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, but we don't see the term, "love the Lord with your spirit".

However, we find another view of the same matter, which shows the Holy Ghost speaking through Mary regarding the Salvation in Jesus. She begins with her soul giving praise (magnify) to the Lord (Luke 1:46), then she says "my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:47). This statement reflects the Trinity in prophecy, as the Holy Ghost (Salvation), Father (God or Otheos), and Savior (Son), connecting to "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased". It's after Mary makes this statement she goes into all the benefits of the Lord toward Israel. Elizabeth made statements only God would know, then Mary followed suit. Therefore, her attitude was influenced by the prophetic message through the Holy Ghost, thus the Holy Ghost allowed them to prophesy about the Lord.

Our attitude is not Born Again, we are, God doesn't take our lost, inept, corrupt heart and make it holy, rather He gives us His holiness and righteousness to form our soul into the image of His Son, which Image is Christ. “Create in me a new heart oh God”, and He does, we call it the New Birth (Ezek 36:26).

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily (1:19).

This verse can be taken one of two ways, first one could say in order to protect both Mary and himself from public ridicule, he made a choice to dissolve the relationship based on what he saw. The other is clearer, since protecting himself would merely entail having her stoned to death, thus we find Joseph loved Mary, and wanted to protect her from being stoned by the religious leaders, or mocked by the community. Joseph operated from Mercy and Love, we don’t need to be Born Again to show Mercy. However, we must be Born Again for the Mercy to become Living (Living Waters - Jn 7:39). The mental persecution and affliction came, yet Joseph was about to make a decision based on his love, not based on Godly knowledge. He lacked something, awareness, or knowledge from above, when the awareness comes, so does his obedience.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph you son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (1:20).

Like Mary, when an angel showed up to explain the matter, confirming what Mary said, the mind of Joseph changed. Joseph was a just man, he was thinking of Mary's feelings, but he also wanted to do what was right in God's eyes. This man had the factual evidence of his espoused wife being with child, yet he knew without any doubt, he couldn't be the father. Think about this for one second, God said from the beginning it would take one man and one woman to produce offspring, yet Mary says, "by the Holy Ghost". Not only was it a complete change in doctrine, but it sounded more Whacko than anything else. Belief entails trusting God, Joseph wanted to believe, but the facts were not helping matters. What he needed was Truth, not facts.

At first, Joseph's love and respect for Mary gave him the power to forgive, but he wasn’t willing to marry her; however, Joseph had ears to hear, when the heavenly news came to confirm what Mary said, he accepted the proceeding word without question. He desired to believe, thus he accepted the premise of the matter being a work of God, regardless of what it looked like. Joseph could have perceived the awareness was based on something he ate, or perhaps the devil was attempting to trick him into some evil situation, but Joseph believed the words of the angel, and adjusted his thinking to the words, regardless of the factual evidence.

According to Joseph's reasoning this event was anything but good, his espoused wife was with child, the evidence would open him to public ridicule; perhaps a stoning from the religious leaders, yet the angel said, "Fear not". He was faced with a choice, he made it in conjunction with the words of the angel. Belief is a matter of choice, we make the choice to believe, or not to.

This angel is Gabriel, Michael is the warrior angel for the Jews, we have Gabriel the angel of messages. Michael and Gabriel represent the two angels over the Mercy Seat, as representative of the two seasons. Gabriel appeared to Daniel telling him about the Gentile Dispensation, and he appeared to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, telling him his prayers were answered. He also told Zacharias how John the Baptist would be great among the people. In Zacharias' case it was an answer to prayer, and he should have rejoiced at the news, rather than question it. Why pray if you don’t think you can gain the answer? Gabriel then appeared to Mary, and told her about Jesus, in her case it was not an answer to prayer, and her questioning was in order (Luke 1:11-38 & Dan 9:21-27). Mary wondered how it would be done, Zacharias questioned if it could be done, two different things. Michael didn't appear to Mary, Zacharias or Joseph, rather he is one of the chief princes assigned to the Jews (Daniel's people), in this case the promise was all ready pointing to Jew an Gentile.

Basically dreams are warnings from God, here Joseph was warned to remain with Mary, and complete his vow to Mary; he also had his confirmation showing him Mary had not violated her vow. This event was strange at best, who has ever heard of such a thing? What could Joseph base this experience on? Some tape perhaps? Some experience of another? Scripture? Ahh, but wait, even Scripture applied to this lonely carpenter would take some type of believing. How about Abraham? Nope, Abraham and Sarah were the parents in union for Isaac. The man had Scripture, Isaiah 7:14 tells the Lord Himself shall give a sign, Behold a virgin shall conceive. However, he basically had one thing, the proceeding Word, yet it was enough for him to believe. The dream gave Joseph the thin thread of belief he needed to enter faith, yet it was also a warning regarding his vow to Mary. If he put Mary away, it would be based on a false concept of her unfaithfulness, when in fact she was very faithful. It would make him unjust, rather than her.

The word Conceived could also be translated as Begotten, thus we can add to our genealogy "and the Father begat Jesus by the power of the Holy Ghost".

The conception of the flesh of Jesus was prophecy coming to pass as God told Eve "the seed of the woman", the woman doesn't have a seed, she has the egg. The Seed is found in the genealogy of Mary, not in the reproductive procedure. Jesus is the Son of David (Son of man) Who took on the form of man, but His soul was not a recreation, nor created when the Holy Ghost overshadowed Mary, the physical forming took place as the Word of God took on flesh and became Jesus; therefore, Jesus could stand in a flesh which was merely thirty years old and say, "Before Abraham was I Am".

And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins (1:21).

The name Jesus means Jehovah's Salvation or Salvation Is In Jehovah. Jesus came to save His people, and God picked Israel out of all the nations in the world (Amos 3:2). Although Jesus knew He would be rejected by the nation appointed by God, He nonetheless presented the promise as if they would receive it. Jesus operated in the ministry of Reconciliation, not imputing the sins of the people on the people, but He won't make their decision for them, nor would He believe for them. Like the Father, Jesus operated from anticipation of being received, but He didn't ignore reality.

Matthew shows the birth of Jesus was not by chance, not some mystic performance, and surely not based on Jesus being born as a natural child showing some personal greatness by the flesh to qualify Him for the position. The plan for the Cross was already complete in the Heart of God from the foundation of the world, thus Jesus came from the Bosom of the Father. God took His Word (Truth, Grace, Love and Faith) from His bosom, and placed it in the womb of a woman who believed, then God's Word in His Love became flesh for us as all Truth and Grace (Jn 1:1-18). Jesus went to the Cross as determined, felt pain, felt remorse, faced temptation as any of us, but He never fell to the temptation, nor did He ever tempt anyone to do evil (Heb 4:15).

God didn't fall, man did, but it would take God in the flesh to save man. A drowning man can't save another drowning man, we needed someone who was already on sure ground, who had the power over the waters, not merely one who could swim out to us. The Faith of Jesus is proven, thus the New Man points our faith in the footsteps of the Faith of Jesus. The two prerequisites are to deny the self and pick up our cross, two points of death to the old, in order to reach the New.

God didn't fall, man did, but it would take God in the flesh to save man. A drowning man can't save another drowning man, we needed someone who was already on sure ground, and had the power to walk on the water, not merely swim out to us. The Faith of Jesus is proven, thus our faith follows the New Man, who follows Jesus. The two prerequisites are to deny the self, and pick up our cross, two points of death to the old, in order to reach the New.

At first salvation was a promise presented specifically to the Jews, but it also entailed receiving the ability to make it effective for the people through God’s Mercy. The Procedure is the same for us, we accept the Mercy of the Father, before we can gain the Resurrection power of the Son. No one prior to Jesus presented the kingdom of heaven, much less the Kingdom of God, thus John came preaching the kingdom was at hand, rather than in hand.

Mary made a decision, although God knew her decision from the foundation of the world, she didn't. Joseph could have reasoned the best thing to do was to obtain an abortion, after all Mary was unwed and would probably end up a single mother; however, there is more to a birth than flesh and blood. God knew which decision Joseph would make, but Joseph didn't; God knows which path we will take, we don't, thus faith entails trusting in God who does know. It's not God's salvation at stake: the day comes when we know the salvation we are playing with is our own, then we get serious about this.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (1:22-23).

This is quoted from Isaiah 7:14; the prophet gave the Word and God confirmed it. If the people in Isaiah's time would have stuck to the premise, "it must come to pass or you're a false prophet", Isaiah would have been in big trouble. There are some who point to Isaiah and proclaim the word “virgin” in the Hebrew could also mean an unmarried female; however, here in Matthew the error is put asunder by the use of the Greek word Parthenos meaning a maiden, or a female who has never engaged in sexual activity, or better a “virgin”. In this case the Greek defined the Hebrew, removing doubt.

These people knew the prophecy must come to pass, but the timing was known to God Alone. Mary had no control over Isaiah, Isaiah had no control over Mary. Mary wasn't attempting to bring the prophecy to pass, she was merely the tool to bring it to pass. Prophecy is confirmed by prophecy, when prophecy comes to pass we know it was God. Self-based, or self-induced prophecy will not confirm itself, rather the false prophet must attempt to make it come to pass, which in and of itself proves the prophecy false.

We can become paranoid over some “false prophet” coming into our midst, and miss the prophet of God at our doorstep. Far too many people are hung up on detecting false prophecy, false prophecy will expose itself. If someone is able to bring the prophecy to pass by their will power, it's not of God, thus we know there are yet many prophecies yet to be fulfilled, they will prove themselves in the time and timing of God.

There are some prophecies with a specific time to be completed, here in Matthew we find one. There will not be another “birth of Jesus Christ”, nor another virgin giving birth, nor another “seed of the woman”, one time for all time. Just as there will not be another time for Jesus to “write their names in the ground”, it was a one time event, a fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus didn’t tell the Pharisees, “Hey look guys, we got this real weird prophecy in Jeremiah, if we don’t do something about this rejection of Living Water, people will say he was a false prophet, so here is what we will do”. No, the meeting was held in John 7:45-51 without Jesus being present, suggesting, or presenting some plan. The next day in John 8 the plan to “accuse Jesus by the Law” went into effect by the religious leaders, at the same time as they were putting together their plan they were also rejecting the Living Water. The question presented by the religious leaders in John 8:5 left no answer, it was almost a “perfect trap”. Here stood this woman caught in the very act of adultery, what did Moses say to do with her? Stone her? What say you Jesus? If Jesus would have answered, “whatever the Law says”, then they would have retorted with, “Oh, really what is this Mercy You preach?”. If Jesus would have said, “grant her mercy”, then they would have their evidence, “He speaks against the Law”. Answer it Yes or No, it didn’t matter the completed result would have been, “does our law judge any man, before it hear him” (Jn 7:51). The only way to answer the question was by prophecy, thus Jesus wrote in the dirt, yet Jesus didn’t make the prophecy come to pass, but it nonetheless came to pass.

We will hear how a manuscript doesn’t have some verse, or verses, but then we hear of others that do. The “woman caught in the very act of adultery”, or the “Pericope de Adultera” is a perfect example. There are several Papyrus and Manuscripts, in fact, there are nearly 75 Latin alone, plus hundreds of bits and pieces showing the event did take place. The Sinaiticus, Alexanderinus or Vaticanus are among the most well known, but there are also the Byzanitine, Syrian and others. Although two of the early manuscripts don’t list the Pericope de Adultera in John, interestingly enough we find one important family of manuscripts placing it after Luke 21:38. Let us approach the dilemma with the thought of the Holy Ghost being the Author and man the scribe.

If we get stuck on the concept of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James or Jude as “authors”, or wrote what they desired, rather than being scribes moved by the Holy Ghost, then we bring about our own dilemma. Not only would we be trusting in the hand of man, rather than the Mind of the Lord, but we would be limiting the true Author. This in turn causes us to use the words of men we presume are scholars to judge the Bible, rather than use the Bible to judge the scholars. We know Paul didn’t pen all his letters, so when we read, “I Tertius, who write this epistle”, (Rom 16:22) does it mean Paul had nothing to do with writing Romans? No, we know from the first chapter of Romans the narrator was Paul, the scribe was Tertius. However, who was Paul’s Narrator? The Holy Ghost, therefore Paul could say, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Tim 3:16). If the Holy Ghost used one scribe, He could use another. We are also warned not to limit God; history tells us there were many oral teachings and Godly traditions not written down until the 3rd and 4th Centuries. Paul himself said “and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up….”, showing many felt the Rapture was at any second. John said there were many things not written in his time regarding Jesus, so what is the test? The Holy Ghost, the very Author who Interprets the Scriptures.

Why didn’t the Holy Ghost make these guys write the perfect text to begin with as He did with the Old Testament? Or at least preserve a perfect text? Choice, Faith and belief, the premises of the New Testament. We can search out a manuscript to excuse our unbelief, or have ears to hear the Holy Ghost Interpret text. However, the Holy Ghost did give us some “testing procedures”. When viewing manuscripts there are two methods, the internal evidence (the manuscript itself) and the external (other documents, the verses surrounding the questionable text, and the context). If we limit the Holy Ghost in either case, we could be stealing the very hope we seek. The Holy Ghost could be telling our Spirit, “it’s the truth”, but we formed a stronghold because someone said, “it isn’t in two of the very early manuscripts”, thus we miss the blessing. When in fact we also find the same sayings were well known among the disciples, as well as the disciples of the disciples.

Think about the woman caught in the very act of adultery, and how her sin was forgiven because she ran to Jesus. The evidence has been used by the Holy Ghost in ministering to others over the years, thus by the Holy Ghost ministering from the verses we find He gives them authenticity.

It doesn’t excuse false evidence, or faulty writings, if they lack a Holy Ghost witness, or if some writing is opposed to known Scripture, it’s different. We’re not talking about those areas, but take two examples, the last verses in Mark and the Pericope. Not withstanding Jeremiah’s prophecy, and how the events of the Pericope fit perfect with the time of the prophecy, there is still the Mercy of Jesus extended to a person who was used by the religious rulers in their nefarious plan. Also the most obvious, these same religious leaders not only failed to give this woman mercy in any degree, but were willing to misuse a person just so they could gain their “evidence”. The warning alone is worth the verses to keep us from condemning someone Jesus has forgiven, or find ourselves using people just to trap someone else in a fault. The Letter still kills, the Spirit gives Life.

The last verses in Mark show us the disciples had trouble believing, but nonetheless they were told to Go. Even if they didn’t believe, someone will hear who is seeking to believe, the signs follow those who believe. Jesus also said if we are baptized (In the Body), and we continue to Believe, we shall be saved. It’s an anchor to our souls, if we just hold to our belief, build it by making the decision to believe, then the result will be the salvation of our souls. The warning was enough to cause the disciples to believe, and signs did follow (Mark 16:16-20). At times it’s the “signs” offending some, for them it’s better to find some reason not to believe, then find out why the signs aren’t following them.

Nonetheless, we know we can’t force prophecy to come to pass, neither can we force a vision to come to pass. God gives us a vision, and as hard as we try to bring it to pass, we fail time and again. After we stop attempting to bring it to pass, and just “let God”, then the day will come when it does come to pass, then we know it's of God establishing our belief further.

When God told Isaiah about the virgin birth, God was looking at it. God wasn't guessing at the outcome, rather He was telling the prophet something God saw as a Were, while it was yet future tense (a not) to the prophet. The same is true with Jeremiah, when Jeremiah was speaking about the Lord writing in the dirt, the Father was watching Jesus do it. Prophecy is never a guess at the future, it’s God watching something happen in the future, then telling His prophets about the very event.

Matthew's account does give us a mystery in these verses, prior in verse 21 we found the child's name is to be "JESUS", but here in verse 23 we find the title "Emmanuel", again in the verses to follow we will find the child's name is to be "JESUS". So what is the mystery? Positional authority, as Jesus the Christ we find Jesus as the Son of man, Son of God and God the Son, which takes in all areas, whether heaven or earth. With the title Emmanuel we find God is among His people, which points to the earth alone. Emmanuel doesn't mean God's people with Him, there is a difference. The question then becomes, Will they know God is among them? If they have seen Jesus, they have seen the Father, but will they know it?

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn Son: and he called His name JESUS (1:24-25).

Joseph not only honored God, but he honored his wife as well. Joseph wasn't told to refrain or hold himself from his wife, rather he respected the gift in his wife, and respected the gift of his wife, thus Joseph is a symbol of one acting on respect for God, Mary is a symbol of belief in God beyond the limits of man, and it takes both to enter faith.

The term Firstborn, rather than Only-born indicates Jesus was not the only child of Mary, but in order to separate the thought to make Mary a mother of many, we must understand the Jewish family order. Whether Mary had other children or not isn't the issue, whether she was a virgin when Jesus was born is. James the less was a half-brother of Jesus, John shows Jesus had many brothers, Mark shows Jesus had brothers and sisters, but in the Jewish culture we find if Joseph died Mary would be taken into the house of Joseph's brother. It doesn't mean Mary would have sexual relations with Joseph's brother, but it does mean Mary would become a substitute mother, assisting the wife of Joseph's brother in raising the children. This explains why Mary was at the Cross with her sister Mary. It's seems strange for two sisters to have the same first name, unless they were related by marriage. Mark will open this area and explain the relationship as he shows Jesus would be considered the brother, yet it doesn’t mean Mary gave birth to other children (Matt 13:55, 27:56, Mark 6:3, 15:40, Jn 7:3, Gal 1:19 & Jude 1).

Luke describes the birth of Jesus in greater detail than Matthew, but without Matthew one gets lost in how many were present at the birth of Jesus. Looking at history we find Caesar Augustus had a thought to raise taxes, but his thought produced a method which may be strange at best. God not only saw the thought from the foundation of the world, but allowed it to develop into an action to accomplish the will of God, but Caesar didn't sit around and say, "this is from God brothers", rather his intent was earthly and self-based. God didn't manipulate Caesar, rather God allowed the thought to become an action, then God worked it into the Plan, even though Caesar wasn't in God's perfect will.

Caesar decided the best way to tax the people was to force them to return to the city of their birthright; forcing Joseph to travel to Bethlehem with a wife who was due at any day (Luke 2:3-5). No one in their right mind would take a vacation under those circumstances, but God allowed events to take place in a manner removing either Mary or Joseph from causing the prophecy to come to pass. Rather God allowed the civil heathen authority to produce the means; thereby, removing the possibility of someone saying, "Mary and Joseph read the Scriptures and caused it to happen". Does this mean God removed choice from Joseph? Not at all, Joseph could have said he wasn't going, but God knew the heart of Joseph was to obey.

Caesar was a heathen, he could care less if the prophecy came to pass, his goal was gaining tax money. God saw all this, then reported what He saw to His prophets, the prophets spoke as they were moved, when the timing came the prophecies proved themselves. Neither Mary or Joseph said, "let's go to Bethlehem as the Scriptures say". Prophecy will prove itself, it doesn’t need our help.

Mary and Joseph knew the child would be special, but how special was still a mystery. When God gives us a vision of a ministry, we don't know how special it can be, but we do know it takes faith to enter the vision. So, what would it be if we attempted to make the vision come to pass? A lack of faith? Sure, faith still comes by hearing, but the voice must be God, not the self. The old man will speak, then say, “faith comes by hearing, you just heard, do something”, and off we go to build another self-based yellow brick Ishmael.

When Joseph arrived at Bethlehem the inns were full, Joseph had the money for an inn, or he never would have sought a room, but even his money couldn't buy a room. God had another plan, "if" Joseph would have arrived several days prior the entire plan would have gone astray; however, before Adam was formed God saw Joseph seeking a room when there was none. Joseph did find a stable; there are times when a stable is better than nothing. To Joseph this didn't seem good, after all his wife was going to give birth to this very special child, yet all these heartless people won't even give him a room. How could a Good God allow this special child to be placed in these terrible events? How could a Good God place these special people in such an adverse circumstance? Our concept of good is often much different from God's, we tend to consider it "good" when our flesh is at ease, or our souls are appeased. Amen?

Near Bethlehem were some shepherds tending their sheep, but these were not ordinary shepherds. Accordingly the time was near October or November, this coupled with the location gives us the type of shepherds. The only shepherds who would be tending (guarding) sheep at night would be the shepherds who watched over the sacrificial lambs used at the temple. The angel didn't run around looking for any shepherds, he sought out shepherds who stood watch day and night over the temple lambs.

The angel came to the shepherds and said, "Fear Not", the phrase can also read, "I'm not of fear", in either case it was to dispel fear so faith could reign. The angel continued with, "Behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:9-10). This wasn't simply joy or good joy, it was Great Joy. This doesn’t mean Joy in the world, it means Joy to those in the world who want out of the world.

The angel didn't say, "To your people", rather he included the Gentiles by saying, “all people”. These shepherds heard an angel say something strange, why All people? Must be the devil, God would never do this to us. No, like Joseph they heard, received and gained.

After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised on the eighth day according to the Law of Moses and the Abrahamic Covenant (Luke 2:21-27). Jesus as the Son of man was Jewish, as the Word He was neither Jewish or Gentile, thus when we receive the Word in us we are  no longer Jew or Gentile.

Mary also gave her sacrifice of two turtledoves for herself according to the Law  of Moses (Luke 2:24). Some think her sacrifice was based on Joseph being poor, but they were neither poor or rich. Mary sacrificed for her issue of blood according to the Law of Moses, thus the Law dictated the use of two turtledoves. The sacrifice had nothing to do with being poor or rich, rather it had to do with the requirements of the Law.

While at the temple a man by the name of Simeon knew he would see the Christ before he died, when he looked on Jesus he knew God granted his desire. Simeon prophesied how a Light was given for the Gentiles and to the people of Israel (Luke 2:29-32). Mary knew the child was special, but this Simeon spoke about the Gentiles, yet the Jews were the chosen people! The shepherds were one witness representing the flock in the fields as “all people”, here is a second witness pointing directly at the Gentiles and all the people of Israel. Then a woman by the name of Anna, a prophetess who had been fasting as well as being in deep prayer becomes a third witness (Luke 2:36-37). She spoke about Jesus and how the redemption would be narrowed down to those who "look" for the redemption (Luke 2:38). First it was all the lost sheep, then the Gentiles, lastly it points to the Remnant, showing the Day had come before the Night , thus we are the children of the Day, we are not children of the Night or of the Darkness.

In the New Testament there are two people termed “prophetess”, one is Anna, who spoke on behalf of God. The other is Jezebel, the self-appointed one in the Book of Revelation (Rev 2:20). So, should we say “all women must remain silent as the Scripture says”? No, since the Scripture only speaks of married women, yet it’s metaphorical in nature, not gender based. We also have these verses where God used both a man and a woman to prophesy over Jesus. We also have Isaiah 47:5 which Paul quoted to the carnal Corinthians, showing their position and condition was such the only place anyone among them could learn of the Lord was at home. Hardly a praise for their holiness. Then we have the daughters of Philip the Evangelist, who did prophesy (Acts 21:8-9). The test stands, we can use Scripture to set the captives free, or make more captives, the choice is ours, the result is in the hand of God.

From there Mary and Joseph would take their Son home (Luke 2:39), it becomes obvious, we haven't seen the three wisemen (Magi), for good reason. We will also keep in mind the Gospel accounts don't disagree, they agree.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem (2:1).

The only things this verse tells us, is Herod was king when Jesus was born and when the wise men came, but it doesn't say the wise men went to Bethlehem, nor does it show Jesus was a new born baby. The wise men were Magi, or men who watched the stars, yet the prophet Isaiah makes it very clear how stargazers, astrologers and the monthly prognosticators are not of God (Isa 47:13). These three men are obviously star watchers, not stargazers, the Magi looked at the stars as they related to God; they didn't look at the stars to find their future or the future of man (prognosticators). Pointing the signs to God is Godly, twisting them to fit man is witchcraft. The three wise men came bearing gifts for Jesus, not bearing gifts for Herod, nor did they tell Herod's future. History tells us the Magi's names, as well as who brought what. Casper brought the frankincense, Melchior the gold, and Balthashar the myrrh.

Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews?  For we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with Him (2:2-3).

The term All Jerusalem refers to the religious leaders and scribes. The saying, "His star in the east", would better read for us, "saw His star from the east"; either would be correct, since the wise men came from the east, and the star was ahead of them in the eastern sky.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where the Christ should be born. And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet. And you Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, are not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel (2:4-6).

One would think the religious rulers would be excited since they had scripture, with the confirming word from the wise men. Their entire existence and training is for the coming Messiah; however, the wise men were not members of the Sanhedrin, nor trained by the religious rulers; after all no one told the religious rulers the Christ was coming.

Pharisees tend to hold to their own, while rejecting anyone outside of their limited religious confines. These three strangers coming to the religious leaders saying they saw His star, held no weight at all with the theologians. If the Wise men would have held credentials from some Jewish religious group, or came on the scene as high ranking Pharisees, then the Pharisees would have taken notice. Rejection because one doesn't fit the "group" is a trait of Phariseeism, the same trait would cause them to reject John the Baptist and Jesus.

In this setting we find the religious rulers quoting Micah 5:2; the wording, "rule My people Israel" is not found in Micah, but we do find "to be ruler in Israel", which shows two things. First we find Matthew saying "My people", but Micah refers to the land, thus Matthew by the Holy Ghost sees this as the Ruler of the people in the land of the people. The phrase "rule My people Israel", could also read "feed My people Israel", both are correct. So, how did Jesus rule? Did He sit on the seat of Herod? Or Pilate? Or take over Rome? No, a good King rules by taking care of His subjects, a bad king rules by manipulating the subjects.

The purpose of any kingdom is to carry out the will of the king, thus the Kingdom of God is to carry out God's will; therefore, we said, "not my will, but Your will". Here we find it wasn't the land, although God called it the Promised Land, rather God was concerned for the People in the land. The land was merely a place to maintain and protect the people, but the people made the land a “god”.

The leaders of Israel were rejecting knowledge, yet it began when they refused to feed the people. Feeding the people with the desire to be fed of the people is not the call. Ezekiel prophesied against the shepherds of Israel for their failure to feed, heal and lead the people. God said He would come Himself to feed the flocks and gather the lost sheep (Ezek 34:1-16), and so He did.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And He sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the young child: and when you have found Him; bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also (2:7-8).

The context shows Herod knew the time the wise men saw the star, and the approximate date of the birth of Jesus. When Herod used the Greek Paidion for the phrase, "young child", rather than the Greek Brephos for baby it became obvious we are not talking about a baby, but a child. If Herod was looking for a baby, he would have used the Greek Brephos, not Paidion. When Luke refers to the baby Jesus in the manger he uses the Greek Brephos for infant (Luke 2:12 & 2:16), Paul called the Galatians Paidion. John used Paidion in the phrase Little Children, thus when we enter the kingdom of heaven we are Brephos, when we are Born Again we become Paidion. The evidence shows Jesus was not an infant when the wisemen showed up, it’s the point.

The distance from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is about five miles, thus Herod wouldn't wait two years for the wise men to return, rather he would have waited a day or two at the most.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy (2:9-10).

We find the star was visible to the wise men as they were in the east, thus they plotted and followed the star, but it's just as apparent they lost sight of the star when they followed the directions of Herod by heading toward Bethlehem. However, it appeared Again to them in a different direction, showing Bethlehem was the birthplace, but not the location of Jesus as a Young Child. Again we find the Greek word Paidion used instead of Brephos, thus at this time Jesus was between one and two years of age. When they lost sight of the star, they changed directions, found it again and continued their journey. Clearly if Joseph, Mary and Jesus were still in Bethlehem the star would have been visible. We also have the added evidence of Jesus being circumcised at eight days old, coupled with the evidence showing after they did all according to the Law they returned to Nazareth (Luke 2:39). All evidence showing us the time for the Magi is past the time of the birth of Jesus.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh (2:11).

Again we find the Greek Paidion for young child, plus we find the word "House", thus the Wise men didn't find Jesus in the stable, rather they turned and followed the star until they came to the House in Nazareth. Although the religious leaders said, "Go to Bethlehem", the Magi knew the star pointed the way, and God places His star over us until we complete our course. Faith comes by hearing, but the hearing must be by the Rhema, here we find the words from religious leaders were producing a false direction, the same result false prophecy produces.

Bethlehem was due south from Jerusalem, but the house of Joseph was in the east, thus the star continued pointing to the east, which shows us we must keep our eyes on those things pointing to God, or we may miss the purpose of God, ending in the place we should not be.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way (2:12).

Okay, if these guys can read the stars, why a dream? The Magi never looked for people’s futures in the stars, they used the stars as “signs” relating to God. Since the house of Joseph was east of Jerusalem in Nazareth they went back in a different direction to avoid Jerusalem; however, if they departed from Bethlehem they needed only to travel in a straight direction home.

When they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying Arise and take the young child and His mother and flee into Egypt and be you there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night and departed into Egypt (2:13-14).

The Magi had a dream of warning, now Joseph has a dream of warning, but it doesn't mean all dreams project a warning; however, most do. Joseph's dream didn't come until the Magi left, thus God had all this timed to the minute. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, away from the hand of Herod. There are times when faith tells us to run, times when it says to stand, but if we mix the two, we could run from the sign or stand and be destroyed. In this case God said, Run, thus faith entailed running, whereas presumption would have stood. However, Egypt wasn't much better, but it was better than Israel at the time. In the Old Testament we find Jacob left the land and entered Egypt, Israel the nation left Egypt and entered the wilderness to find God. Jesus left the land, but He would also leave Egypt to lead us to the Father.

This is a good time to define Jew, Israel and Hebrew; Israel is the land, a person associated to the land is an Israelite, a Hebrew is a Sojourner, or one with a promise of land, but has yet to have the land in possession, a Jew is a person who has a right to enter covenant with God. Paul tells us circumcision is the sign of a Jew, whether of the flesh or heart. Circumcision of the flesh was the sign, or token for the Abrahamic Covenant, it’s still a sign for any male who desires to enter the Covenant God made with Abraham. For us it would be error, as Paul points out to the Galatians, since our Token is circumcision of the heart.

Joseph left by night, the route may have been due south along the coast, since it would have been the fastest. Jerusalem is located inland; the house of Joseph was east or nearer to the Mediterranean Sea. Joseph had to travel along the coast past Jerusalem in order to get to Egypt, at approximately the same time Herod was plotting to kill all the children in Bethlehem, which was south of Jerusalem.

Around the third century in a Capernaum Synagogue a symbol was found, which became a symbol for a nation called of God, but it represented these events, and the Magi. Paul taught in this synagogue, as did many Christians, thus it was felt the symbol was strictly Jewish, but if could relate to something else. The symbol is known today as the Magen David, or the Shield of David, or as we know it the Star of David, but it was first known as the "Star of the Son of David, the King of the Jews". This symbol is on the flag of the nation Israel, but it has only been in use since the 19th century. There is an organization in Israel known as the Red Magen David, which is much like the Red Cross. The Red Cross was originally a symbol of the Blood of Jesus with the Cross as a sign of Mercy, and the Red for the Blood of Jesus. Modern day Jewish scholars tell us most of the tribes have been incorporated into the tribe of Judah. Even the word Jew comes from the Hebrew Yehudi or Judean, although it is a generic term today, it still stands for the tribe of Judah. Whether the Jews, who are circumcised of the flesh, know it or not, they have the Testimony of Jesus (Law and Prophets), they just don't recognize it as such. Even those in the world who denounce Jesus recognize Him everyday. Each time they write the year down on a piece of paper, or speak the year, they are saying, "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ". Jesus, the Lion from the Tribe of Judah, still has His star over those who are  Israel. According to some the Star with the two three pointed triangles was a teaching tool showing the Record in heaven, intersecting with the Witness on earth. Whether it’s the case or not, one can only speculate, but we can see how it could very well be the case. There are three bearing Record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost as One. There are three bearing Witness on earth the Water (Mercy of the Father), the Blood (Grace), and the Spirit (Born Again), these three Agree as one. The Star of David was not known to David, it was not known to any Jew before the Cross, nor used by Israel, but since it was found in a synagogue, they have used it ever since. We can see it as a Christian teaching tool, but we can also see it’s referred to as “Star”, which could also relate to “The Star pointing to the Son of David”. All this is still speculating about teaching aids, no more, no less.

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son (2:15).

The prophet Hosea wrote some 710 years before the birth of Jesus: Hosea was moved by the Holy Ghost and said, "Called My Son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1). Israel the nation was known as the wife of God, but here we find "My Son" thus the prophecy didn't pertain to the nation, but to Jesus. thus the nation Israel merely left Egypt as a sign of a prophecy yet to come. Everyone of us were called out of Egypt by the Mercy of God into the kingdom of heaven, se we could receive the Grace of God.

This also shows us how some “previews” of prophecy will appear on the path to the prophecy coming to pass. One could say the prophecy was complete when the children crossed the Jordan, but they were not the “Son” of God. They were a preview, and a preview is more than a “coming attraction”, it’s a sign the prophecy will surely come to pass.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men (2:16).

The word Coasts means Borderline, rather than a sea coast. This is after Joseph took Jesus and Mary to Egypt, but not two years later. The time element would be within days of the time the wise men came to Herod. Herod wasn't looking for an infant, but for a young child. This would clear up the question as to why Jesus was in the temple when He was eight days old, yet not killed in the siege of Herod of Bethlehem. Simply, the siege was two years after the birth and during the time Jesus was in Egypt.

Also this Herod killed all the remaining rulers from the Hasmonean family, including one of his wives, and two of her sons. Herod all ready had the reputation of killing those in his way, even if they were family.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted, because they were not (2:17-18).

God did not dictate the killing, He merely saw it from the beginning of the world, and warned the people by prophecy. If any of the people would have known about the Birth of Jesus, they would have also left the land and avoided the killing. Discernment keeps us from finding ourselves in the midst of the evil taking place; God warns, but we must hear in order to gain. Notwithstanding there are times when God allows for a purpose beyond our reasoning, not saying God makes the event happen, but at times He allows. We never judge the event by the event, we must wait to determine the purpose, often in the purpose we find the reason.

Rachel will not be Comforted, because her children were not, yet the Remnant will find Comfort during the Time of Comfort (restoration of Israel).

Jesus never said He was from Bethlehem, but the Jewish records of circumcision would have shown He was born in the city of David. Jeremy is the Greek form of the Hebrew Jeremiah, and Ramah is just north of Jerusalem toward the Dead Sea. When Jeremiah spoke this prophecy he also said, "Thus saith the Lord; a voice was heard in Ramah" (Jere 31:15); which is clearly a past tense statement, indicating God saw this complete, but God is not a manipulator, rather He can work the evils of man into the Plan to benefit His called. It doesn't mean He ordains, or approves of the ways of man, it simply means God knows the events before they become events. We keep saying it until it hits home, the event may be a big surprise to us, but not to God. If He saw it, He is fully able to guide us through it, around it, or over it, while at the same time teach us a great lesson (I Cor 10:13).

God didn't allow the children to die in vain, nor did they lose a thing. The next verse in Jeremiah says, "Thus saith the Lord; refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears: for your work shall be rewarded" (Jere 31:16); therefore, the Work of these children was to die for the sake of God, thus God had a place for them far better than the earth. What the evil Herod did, God was able to turn it to Good for those called according to His purpose.

Rachel had two sons, Joseph and Benjamin (Gen 30:24 & 35:18). During the birth of Benjamin Rachel died, and she was buried in Ephrath (Bethlehem) (Gen 35:19). Since Rachel died during child birth the prophecy would reach to the Birth of the Child in  Bethlehem, rather than some new age voice speaking out of the grave. Rachel named her son Benoni meaning "son of sorrow", but Jacob changed his name to Benjamin meaning "son of the right hand". The cries of sorrow were changed when those young children opened their eyes in the Bosom of Abraham, and knew the Son of the Right Hand would soon take captivity captive. We tend to equate all time to the flesh, the age of the flesh has nothing to do with the timelessness of the soul. Our flesh has a beginning and an end, our souls have a beginning but no end. Our souls are not limited to time, rather they have coupled and equated to the flesh, and the flesh equates to time. Heaven is not bound to time or space, hell is timeless, but bound to a location.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise and take the young child and His mother and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose and took the young child and His mother and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there; notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: (2:19-22).

This dream also held a warning, Joseph went to Nazareth a city in the territory of Galilee, which is just north of Samaria. Cana, Capernaum, and the Sea of Galilee are also in the territory of Galilee, and all were areas where Jesus would minister. Cana would be the place where the first miracle was done, Capernaum would be the place for many miracles. The warning was to return to the same place as they left, and not to go to Judea, and the Scripture does say, “warned of God”.

Luke points out Jesus was twelve years of age when He and His family went to Jerusalem during a Passover Feast (Luke 2:41). This shows Joseph had to return before the time, since Jesus was a Paidion when they entered Egypt.

Although Jesus was a youth of twelve years He asked questions, those who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (Luke 2:47). It doesn’t mean Jesus was astonished at them, just the other way around. Just after Jesus is baptized He will again enter the temple on a Passover to teach and ask questions; however, the purpose will be much different (Jn 2:13-16). Luke also points out how Jesus at the young age of twelve did nothing for Himself, rather He was about His Father's business and obeyed and honored Mary and Joseph. Jesus never did one self-based action, or one self-serving act, since any self based act would produce a point of accusation. Who then can anyone save their own soul?

And He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene (2:23).

The Law of the Nazarite is located in Numbers chapter six, but there is more to being a Nazarite than not drinking strong drink, or cutting ones hair, yet both relate. The Covering (anointing) of Jesus was long, yet He didn't allow the devil to put one razor to His Protection. Perhaps its for this reason Paul uses the metaphor “hair” for the anointing in First Corinthians (I Cor 11:14-15).

The real Nazarite Vow for Jesus began at the last Passover, when He said He would not take of the fruit of the vine, thus from this saying we find the Way (Church) was also known as the Sect of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). The word Nazarite means Set Apart or Separated, and Jesus separated us unto God.

John the Baptist was also a Nazarite, he went into the wilderness to be separated from the world until it was time for his work. The word Pharisee also means Separated, it depends on what one is separated to, or from. Luke’s account is the only one showing the cup of separation, then taking the Bread, then the third Cup of Passover, for us the cup of separation is our vow and token in our water baptism to be separated unto God from the world (Luke 22:15-20 & James 1:27).

The intent is to be separated unto God, but the Pharisees separated themselves unto a religious mindset, attaching themselves to their religious conceit. Instead of using the Scriptures or the Law to set people free, they used them to accuse and slander. The word Slander doesn't mean the words must be false, rather it points to the intent; if the intent is malicious (to do harm) it's slander, whether the words spoken are factual or not.

We will find Jesus didn't take the Vow until the Cross and Resurrection, thus when speaking to the religious leaders He pointed out how John came neither drinking or eating, but Jesus did. It doesn't mean Jesus was a drunkard, nothing held Jesus in bondage, He is over all things. To suppose these people were able to make grape juice, and preserve it as such, goes beyond historical knowledge. Noah drank from the grapes, and became drunk. No, Jesus was never drunk, but the Scriptures do show He did drink wine with the people. We can't use it as an excuse to drink, or curse someone who does, it merely shows Jesus was not in bondage to anything, rather He is a good King over His kingdom, and all things are subject to Him, not the other way around. Whether one does or not isn’t the issue, whether the element has them in bondage is.

Jesus was known as "Jesus of Nazareth" (Jn 18:5), which could also read, "Jesus the Nazarite" or "Jesus the Separated One". When Jesus entered Water Baptism it was not for repentance, but for the washing of the Sacrifice as well as the opening of the ministry for the Son of man. The Sacrifice being accepted was indicated by the Father sending the Spirit "as a dove". Not saying the Spirit is a dove, rather it shows the symbol of the Father's acceptance of the Sacrifice of Peace. The Holy Ghost came to show the beginning of the ministry, but the baptism did not make Jesus the Son of God, nor did it make Him the Son of man. The baptism by John was to present the sacrifice by washing it, and the Father indicated acceptance, which opened the ministry.

Noah sent a dove twice, the second time it didn’t return, showing Noah there was dry land. In this case the Dove was the sign of the accepted Sacrifice, and the Sacrifice had to be faith based since the Father said, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased”, and God is pleased by faith (Heb 11:6).

The prophet saw the disciples separated before the fact (Ezra 8:24), Jesus was separated from the self nature long before He preached on denying the self (Ezra 9:1). We have many areas of separation, the first being separated from the world. Jesus was separated to perform righteous judgment (Ezra 10:16), we are separated from the world to avoid judgment. This shows His vow of the Nazarite began when He sat down at the right hand side of the Father, and it will end at the Judgment. God spoke through Amos and said, "I raised up your sons for prophets and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O you children of Israel?" (Amos 2:11).

John the Baptist was related to Jesus, since his mother Elizabeth was the cousin to Mary (Luke 1:36), yet John would say he didn't know Jesus. Even though John was related to Jesus, he never knew the importance or purpose of Jesus until the Spirit descended. This puts asunder any concept of Jesus doing miracles before this point in time, we find Jesus waited for the Time, in patience, without going about bragging in who He was.

John's wilderness experience is not an excuse for us to neglect studies, but it does show there are two elements, one is really no more important than the other. John was taught in the wilderness, after his wilderness he was ready to give his message. What Pharisee was going to teach John about water baptism? Or the kingdom of heaven? Jesus said John was Elijah if we receive it, but it refers to the message of the man, not the man being some reincarnation of Elijah. Elijah represents all the prophets, the message of John entailed the purpose of the prophets to announce and prepare the coming of the Lord.

For the Body of Christ we find the importance of prophecy still exists, it’s in every aspect of the Offices, Operations, Gifts and Manifestations (Rom 12:6, I Cor 11:5, 12:10, 12:28 & Eph 4:11-12). However, John was not New Testament, yet he was not Old Testament either, Jesus said the Law and Prophets were until John (Matt 11:13). John was very important, but we will find his ministry was very short, yet completed.

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea (3:1).

The wilderness was not some dry place stuck in the plains, since there had to be water for John the Baptist to baptize. The wilderness of Judea was along the coast of the Dead Sea (Salt Sea), south-west of Jerusalem. John never said, “I baptize you with sand”, thus we find the Jordan river ran through the wilderness area where John was baptizing.

The name John means Jehovah Favored or Favored Of Jehovah. The Apostle John was known as the "disciple Jesus loved", this distinction doesn't mean Jesus didn't love John the Baptist, rather it means John the Apostle did something which set him apart, toward the end of this study we will see what the something was.

This also defines the ministry of John, although he was filled with the Holy Ghost it was for the specifics of the ministry. John’s ministry had three points, to prepare the way by preaching, to baptize people unto repentance in water, and to wash the Sacrificial Lamb of God. It was the authority granted, or the areas wherein the Holy Ghost would operate. The Holy Ghost will not operate outside the confines of the authority granted us, thus John did not heal the sick, but the disciples of Jesus did; John did not cast out devils, but the disciples of Jesus did. Yet, the disciples were not filled with the Holy Ghost, but they did operate under the Name of Jesus as it relates to Mercy in the kingdom of heaven.

Luke tells us about John the Baptist's birth, dispelling the false thought of John being born of a virgin. Luke also shows, the correlation between John and the prophets. Not only did John come as Elijah, but like Jeremiah, he was called from the womb; therefore, John was a type of division, behind him was the Law and Prophets, ahead of him was the “Lamb of God”. John never operated under the “Name of Jesus”, his act of baptism ended when he was cast into prison at the same time when Jesus came out of the wilderness, the effectiveness of his baptism ended when Jesus said, “Go ye therefore” (Matt 28:18-20). It doesn’t take away from John, but shows the length of his ministry was very short.

John's father was named Zacharias, meaning Jehovah Has Remembered. Zacharias was a priest in the temple, thus John was the son of a priest. The mother of John was Elizabeth (Hebrew Elisheba), in the genealogy we found Aaron's wife was named Elisheba. John's father was a priest, his mother was from the daughter's of Aaron, and John was filled with the Holy Ghost, thus he had right standing to perform the task before him (Luke 1:5). John the Baptist pointed to the change to come in Jesus, yet John didn’t bring the change. John had to be filled with the Holy Ghost for two reasons, first and foremost was to wash the Sacrifice of God, the very Lamb of God. Second was to bare Witness (Jn 1:14), the proclamation without the authorization would lack validity.

When Zacharias was doing his priestly duties in the temple, the angel Gabriel appeared on the right side of the altar of incense (Luke 1:8-11 & Luke 1:19). The incense brought a sweet smelling offering unto the Lord, when the priests offered the incense they also dressed the lamps, and John would bear witness to the Light, it’s not saying he was the Light, thus the message of John pointed to the Light (Jn 1:6-7).

The verb Baptism means to identify with something, there is a vast difference between identifying with something, and using something to associate the identification. The act of Baptism was known to the Jews, but it was a sign, not an act, they didn't baptize anyone, but they did Wash the sacrifices and the priests Washed themselves (Ex 30:19). The first sacrifice was a free will sacrifice, it was also Washed before being presented to the Lord. John the Baptist came to prepare the free will offerings of repentance, saying the people Should believe. John came to prepare the Way, but we are those called “the Way”. How can we walk by faith if our feet are not shod with the Preparation for the Gospel of Peace? We present ourselves a living sacrifice unto the Lord, which is our reasonable (logical) service (Rom 12:1).

John did one type of baptism and preached another, but he didn't bring both. John did the baptism unto repentance, but preached on the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire (Mark 1:4 & 1:7-8). When John looked upon Jesus, he said, "I have need to be baptized of You"; John knew Jesus came to baptize with the Holy Ghost, thus John wasn't seeking water baptism, rather it was the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. This shows us John was filled with the Holy Ghost, but he knew there was more, something greater, the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, which entails the Holy Ghost bringing the Seed of God, known as the Spirit of Holiness (Acts 11:15-16).

As we now know, the word baptism is associated with the act of dipping a clothe into a dye to change its color; however, the word baptize doesn't mean dip, rather it points to the process of being enfolded and covered for the sake of identification, thus the clothe identified with the color and changed, but the dye didn’t change to become the clothe. Our Baptism is a Token, or sign of something, the water didn’t change us, it would be an act of self-righteousness, rather we were transformed by God’s Mercy. The Water didn’t forgive us, neither did the water anoint us, but it was our sign or token of our identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus as acceptance into the Body, plus our acceptance of the requirements upon the Body. Can one be of the circumcision, without being circumcised? No, but circumcision was a token giving one a right to enter Covenant, it didn’t mean they had entered. We engage in water baptism as our token of acceptance, Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Ghost to receive the Spirit as His Token of acceptance.

Our water baptism being acceptance doesn’t mean it’s some rite to enter, it’s a serious matter relating to the Mercy of God. The baptism with the Holy Ghost is to receive the Spirit is the Token of Jesus accepting us into Grace. None of us can baptize anyone, including ourselves, with the Holy Ghost since the Holy Ghost brings the Gift, yet if we are in the Body we are commanded to teach, baptize others in water and teach the more.

It's important to know the Baptism of John was Unto repentance saying the people Should believe on Jesus, but our Water Baptism is based on our repentance vowing we do believe on Jesus (Acts 19:1-5). John’s Baptism was known as “John’s Baptism”, or “The Baptism Of John” (makes sense), it was done by the authority of Jesus, it was specific in nature, and timed.

The children left Egypt and traveled through the water to enter the wilderness; however, the water didn't change them, it was a place to show a separation from Egypt. When we were in Egypt God proved His love for us by opening the door to the kingdom of heaven, we enter the wilderness to prove our love for Him.

Before John the Baptist could have a ministry, he had to be born. When Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, he did so at the one place in the temple indicating to Zacharias something very special was about to happen. Zacharias and Mary both had a hard time in believing what the angel told them, but in Mary's case the angel explained everything, whereas in Zacharias' case his mouth was closed to keep his unbelief within. The difference between the two is what both committed to, and what they expected from God. Zacharias was a priest, he should have known Abraham believed in God, yet there was another element separating Zacharias from Mary, as he was told, "for your prayer is heard" (Luke 1:13). Mary didn't pray "Oh Lord let me be the one to bring the virgin birth". When God answered Zacharias' prayer, Zacharias failed to believe it, yet he was a priest. In order to keep the unbelief from being spoken, Gabriel closed the mouth of Zacharias until John the Baptist was circumcised (Luke 1:20 & 1:59).

John had an unbelieving father, but it didn't stop John from believing, nor did it stop the course and purpose God had for John. The plan made room for the unbelief of Zacharias, thus the unbelief of Zacharias didn't stop the plan, God merely worked around it and brought the result. Why? The plan included Zacharias, but it centered on John’s duties, not the duties of John’s father; thus our unbelief will hinder us, and hinder what God desires to do in our life, but it won’t stop the plan of God in the lives of others.

When Zacharias’ mouth was open, it was opened by the prophetic word coming forth (Luke 1:67). It’s also of interest to see how Zacharias was a priest, in charge of the menorah; he prayed, yet didn’t believe he would receive an answer. Being in a body of believers, or calling ourselves Christian doesn’t automatically mean we believe.

The people prior to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus were told, "go and sin no more", or "go to the priest", thus their sins were forgiven by direct Mercy applied to them personally, but these people understood what it meant, we don't. It’s one thing to present some token in our place, it’s another to not only have God personally forgive us, but give us the power to forgive as He does. All the Acts before the Cross conducted by the disciples were Mercy based, they received the forgiveness of their sins, and operated under the Name of Jesus based on Jesus being the Son of man, yet they were able to cast out devils, preach and heal the sick.

The Law of Moses was not destroyed, rather Jesus provided another Law, one connecting us to heaven, thus moving us from one type of faith to another, from one Law to another. The Law of the Spirit is not an addition to the Law of Moses, it's purposed for the heavenly; whereas, the Law of Moses is for the earthly. These people knew if their sins were forgiven, then anything produced as a result of the sin was removed, their Sign was a healed body. Nonetheless their faith was at issue, if they believed Jesus could, then applied their faith in the result, they were healed. However, they were still subject to the requirements of the Law of Moses to remain free. The forgiveness of their sins was atonement, or a balance between the curse and blessing; whereas, we are forgiven from on high, which means the power and authority of sin is removed, thus these people before the Cross had to maintain through the Law of Moses, but we are maintained by the Cross and Blood of Jesus.

If the Law of Moses was nailed to the Cross, then the freedom didn't come until the Cross. Under the Law of Moses it was "give your sacrifice", under the Law of the Spirit it's "forgive so your Father in heaven may forgive you". These people had the faith to reach to Jesus, and knew He had the authority to grant them forgiveness. Their faith was not in their ability to have faith, it was in the ability of Jesus to bring a result in the forgiveness of their sins. The power to heal all the land was in Jesus, the means to touch was still by faith, the knowledge of what He could do was still based in their belief.

The Mercy of God forgives our sins and iniquities, Grace as the Blood of Jesus brings remission removing us from the sin nature plus all sin represents. Mercy changes our condition, but the Law of the Spirit changes our position; therefore, the prayer of faith shall heal the sick one, but only Jesus can raise them.

Salvation is the goal, and Grace the gift, there isn't one verse saying, Salvation is the gift, rather "by Grace are you saved through faith; not of yourselves: it is the gift  of God" (Eph 2:8). The gift is The Gift of Grace, not one of many, or among the gifts, it is The Gift (Eph 3:7); the faith reaches to the goal of Salvation is not our measure, yet we know our Measure of faith is a gift, but to have Access it takes the established faith of Jesus (Eph 3:12 & Gal 2:20). The Faith of Jesus has already accomplished the task, our measure of faith is pointed to the victory already obtained, it is not attempting to gain some personal victory outside of Jesus.

We are saved from the world by God's Mercy, and God's Mercy grants us life, then we enter the process of salvation by Grace to receive the promise of life more abundantly. Confusing Mercy and Grace produces the same type of stronghold is produced when we confuse water baptism with the baptism with the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist had a message, he did an act, the two were related, but not interrelated. John's baptism called for a preparation:

And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (3:2).

John was preparing the way, preparation called for repentance and belief. The people confessed their sins, which placed them in a position to receive the Mercy of God.  The belief was based in what they did, their faith in the result of why they did it. However, the people were not required to believe in Jesus, the message was they should believe on Jesus (Acts 19:4). John’s baptism faded out with John, the water baptism we conduct took over. There are only two legal water baptisms for anyone on the face of the earth, John’s during John’s ministry, then the one we do as members of the Body of Christ. God never gave anyone else the legal right to baptize anyone in water, it’s not only a privilege, but a commanded duty for those in the Body of Christ only.

The kingdom of heaven was at hand not in hand, thus when Jesus told them their sins were forgiven, it was by His Mercy, they were at the Door, but they couldn’t gain entry until the Cross. The earthly ministry was based on “the Father has sent Me”, but ours is based on “Jesus has sent me”. Not saying we don’t still hold Mercy, but Pentecost added Grace. The Kingdom of God couldn't be in hand until the Porter (Holy Ghost) granted the Spirit to us. None of these people said, “Son of David have Grace on me”, but they did say, “Son of David have Mercy on me”.

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the Way of the Lord, make His paths straight (3:3).

Some translations have Esaias, which is Greek for the Hebrew Isaiah meaning Jehovah Has Saved, which is a past tense statement, thus the meaning of the name shows God called something a not to man, but a were to Him. The name Elijah means God Of Jehovah, thus the Father as El took Jehovah from His Bosom, and Jehovah became flesh for us. The Voice of him crying in the wilderness means John the Baptist proclaimed the Way, he wasn't the Way. John was also in the wilderness, it’s a good place to be, since it's free of Egypt. In essence, John was standing on the doormat saying, Prepare to Enter in. When these people heard "voice of one crying in the wilderness", they knew it meant they could be free of Egypt, but it also meant they would still face one of the two mountains of the Law.

Matthew quotes Isaiah 40:3, but Isaiah 40:6-11 tells us what the Voice cries, as we read, "O Zion, that brings good tidings, get you up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that brings good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand and His arm shall rule for Him; behold His reward is with Him and work before Him, He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom and shall gently lead those that are with young". The people knew the High Mountain was one Mountain not two, making Zion the mountain, separating it from the Mountain of the Law. The Law was the schoolmaster until Faith came, but after Faith came in Jesus, we are no longer under the schoolmaster (Gal 3:24-25). The Law came from Mount Sinai, but heavenly Zion is the foundation for New Jerusalem (Gal 4:23-25).

Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives (Mount of Mercy), as well as the Mount of Transfiguration, and with a Strong Arm He gathered up His sheep. Isaiah would also say the Voice will "make straight in the desert a highway for our God" (Isa 40:3). The Highway or Street is the place between places, or the means of direction to lead us from one place to another; however, it doesn't mean the old place (Law of Moses) ceases to exist, it means we moved to a different position. The Voice of Elijah doesn't save the people, rather it points to the Savior, who does save the people.

And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey (3:4).

Elijah was a hairy man and John came dressed like a hairy man, and hair is a metaphor for the anointing (II Kings 1:8). Wild honey represents prophecy as sweet to the receiver, but it can be bitter in the belly if it points to judgment. Locusts devour the land and eat everything in sight, they also represent the rebellious religious rulers. John came with the sweetness of the prophecy, but with a mouth ready to expose religious conceit.

Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region around about Jordan and were baptized of him in the Jordan, confessing their sins (3:5-6).

John came as far as the wilderness, those who sought truth came to him, thus the people were still in the wilderness, which shows the Woman in the Book of Revelation is the off-shoot of these people is seen in the Wilderness still (Rev 12:14). The people came confessing their sins, but their sins were not forgiven by John. This Preparation placed the kingdom of heaven at hand preparing the people to receive Mercy, it didn't grant them Mercy. If their sins were forgiven by repentance and water baptism, why then did Jesus heal them? Why don't we see them coming out of the water healed? This was Preparation, not performance. Part of the preparation is belief, for these people it was to believe on Him who was to come, meaning their faith was at issue. For us it’s believing Jesus has come in the flesh, meaning the Greater He is Jesus in us evidenced by the Greater He (I Jn 4:1-4).

For us, we receive the death of Jesus in our place to obtain the promise of the Resurrection by the Spirit, as Jesus in us. These people not only didn’t have the Cross, they lacked knowledge regarding the Cross (Mark 9:32). In order to impute ourselves dead we needed something from God, the Cross of Jesus is the place. Without the Cross of Jesus all this is one big mind game, but we do have the Cross as our place of death, and the Resurrection as our place of Life, so we can have it more Abundantly. Paul asks us why were we baptized unto the death, if the dead raise not? Our water baptism doesn’t grant us these things, it’s our token setting us in a place to receive them with appreciation. Water baptism is like a signature, when we engage in water baptism as a candidate it’s a free will offering and acceptance. There is no commandment telling us to be water baptized, but those in the Body are commanded to teach and water baptize those who confess a belief in Jesus (Matt 28:18-20, Acts 8:36-37 & 10:47-48).

The fruit of repentance is what shows up after the person repents, often it’s a joy or relief in knowing one has confessed their sins before God. There is no requirement saying we have to confess each and every sin, for most if not all of us it would be impossible, since we committed sins we have no knowledge of. The premise is not simply to confess the sin, but take responsibility for them, then release the burden, as we turn to move in a different direction. The hardest thing for any of us is the war against self-righteousness, we want to do something to make up for our wrongs, but God simply wants us to turn and walk toward Him. These people confessed their sins, they were ready to gain the reward of forgiveness, yet in order to receive they had to make the effort to move toward Jesus. So do we, it’s the point.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (3:7-8).

John is now eating locusts, yet when the people came to repent, he ate honey. The Pharisees lacked the fruit of repentance, they wanted to know by what right John was baptizing, but they also presumed they had nothing to repent for, assuming they had life by the Law of Moses, yet their lives showed they were still using the spirit lusting to envy.

The Pharisees first sent their religious representatives (watchdogs) to question John the Baptist regarding his authority, not his wording (Jn 1:19-22). John didn't match up to their  theology, he didn't present a good religious appearance to the people, his demeanor was not proper for a man of the clothe. John didn't go to their temple, he didn’t stop to get their approval before he acted, nor did he attend their classes. In the mind of the Pharisee, John did everything wrong, thus they rejected him and his efforts, regardless of the obvious results.

We look at these Pharisees and say, How stupid, but these same Pharisees looked at the children in the wilderness and said, How stupid; therefore, it's best to submit to the New Man, and allow the Word in us to separate us from acting the Pharisee. Any of us can fall to the mindset of the Pharisee, and most, if not all of us have during those early days. We held an ineffective theology, or mixed the pride of life in our theology. Our thoughts of outward morality made us feel good, our ability to associate with religion made us fell superior, yet we were merely dressing the old man in a religious suit and calling him holy. Then one day exposure came, we were in the wilderness, all good, and all in the Process. God does His best work in the wilderness, look at John.

The men sent to question John's authority asked him, "why do you baptize then, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, neither that Prophet" (Jn 1:25). John's answer dispelled any concept of reincarnation, it wasn't the physical body of the man Elijah, but the message. They didn't question John's power, after all he was baptizing, it was the man’s authority. John was baptizing in his own name, which generated the question. They knew power used outside of authority was rebellion, producing a cause for them to stop the proceedings; however, John shows his authority is far above their own. Like most Pharisees they felt if they didn’t grant the authority, there was none.

Later this same question of Authority will be directed at Jesus, what Authority did He have to clean the temple? He had the power, it was obvious, but Authority is a major issue. The term “in the Name” refers to Authority, John the Baptist never operated in the Name of Jesus, he operated in his own name. Therefore, he never joined the Ministry of Jesus, yet two of his disciples did (Jn 1:35). John’s ministry ended the Old Testament procedures for man to reach God, but it didn’t give man the New. The Law of Moses was still over these people until the Cross, yet the procedure was different. Jesus as the Son of man stood as the Mercy in the Law, thus He could grant them the blessing. On the same note as the Son of man He never cursed anyone, or told them they were blessed for being cursed.

The Written Law and Prophets are Anointed, but the one who speaks of them may not be. The Remnant have the Testimony of Jesus, which is the Old Testament (Jn 5:39). Now wait, we have a testimony. The Word of our testimony, is what we say, it’s others say about us. Our Witness is based on being Born Again (Acts 1:6-8). The Bible testifies of Jesus, it speaks of Life, it doesn’t give it (Jn 5:39). The testimony of Jesus is what the Law of Moses, prophets and Psalms say concerning Jesus (Luke 24:44). The Pharisees read about life, but made the mistake of thinking if they read about it, they had it, they were wrong, the Scriptures spoke of Jesus, who is Life.

The Pharisees wanted to know John's authority or whose Name did he baptize in. Was it the name of Israel? Perhaps the name of the Father? Perhaps the name of Jehovah? Did John do it right? Were the people knee deep in water? Standing facing the west? Or perhaps the east? Did John hold his hands in the right position? All these are means to avoid the reason for John’s Baptism, the real question is, Did they repent? If so, John did it right. We can end in the same dilemma, what Name was spoken? Did we do it right? Are we in the Body? Was it salt water? Clear water? Running Water? Grape Juice? If we’re in the Body, know our sins are forgiven we did it right. The only reason to become baptized again is if we were baptized under John’s baptism after the Cross of Jesus which indicated we should believe (Acts 19:4-5).

John was standing in the Jordan, the same river Elisha parted, the same river that opened the promised land. John was standing waiting for the Ark of Covenant as the Word made flesh to come forth and bring the Covenant of Peace. The Pharisees on the other hand stood on the other side of the Jordan saying, "Well bless God, would you look at him, he looks so weird, who does he think he is?".

John denied he was the Christ or the Prophet, he also denied he was Elijah, but he did say he was the one crying in the wilderness! John pointed to the Voice, not the person of Elijah. The Pharisees were looking for the man Elijah, but they should have been hearing the words of the prophet. They saw this man named John speak of the Light, then heard Jesus saying, He was the Son of man, yet they rejected the entire thing because they sought after a sign not afforded them. They wanted their sign, they were not willing to submit and believe the signs before them. Generally they knew of the prophecies of old, but they made up their own minds how they should come to pass, when they unfolded in a manner they weren’t expecting, they rejected them.

John called the religious minded "vipers", and a viper kills with the contents of it's mouth, and kills for the sole purpose of filling it's stomach. A viper seeks self-benefit, and doesn't care what it kills, as long as it can eat it. The word Serpent means a Malicious person, Malicious means with an intent to harm, thus a Serpent speaks, a Viper bites and devours. Both of these are of course metaphors, and neither means the people turned into snakes.

Knowing the intent of our own words takes the discernment of the New Man, and having a New Tongue still takes a transfiguration within. Jesus said, if we continue to believe we will have New Tongues, and we will take up serpents (Mark 16:18). Mark 16:18 has nothing to do with snakes, rather the Greek word is the same word used several times to describe the religiously conceited people. Today we hear people call one another a "jack-ass", does it mean they are really a mule? Or they act like one? The context in Mark 16:18 is the same, and picking up some snake is not in context with the Scriptures (Luke 10:19). "Well, what about Paul, he took up the viper in Acts". No, the viper attached itself to him, and Paul shook it off, much different than picking up the thing.

The religiously conceited in the time of Jesus were no different from those Jeremiah faced, and no different from the religiously conceited we face today, and all of them are termed a "generation of serpents and vipers" (Matt 23:33). Why does God allow these vessels of dishonor to exist? To show His Mercy through the vessels of honor (Rom 9:21-23). The religiously conceited are motivated by a malicious intent, energized by pride, envy, or a lust to be superior. Whereas the Believer is motivated by love, and is energized by a desire to be a faithful servant of the Lord.

There is a beginning to being free, and John the Baptist is asking the religious leaders to check their own heart (attitude) before they question his activity. How? Check the words they were speaking, and ask the question, "Why did I say that?". Instead of looking at the event, they should look at the evidence. The Pharisees never saw the many people repenting in one place at one time; perhaps they never saw so many people repenting period. The result determined if John was sent by God or not, the result of the Pharisees also determined if they were acting for God or not. The people were repenting of their sins and seeking God, which was more than they were doing under the Pharisees, in fact, it was more than the Pharisees were doing. Phariseeism comes from envy, and the desire to control, and how can one be a Servant if they maintain control? Sound familiar? Sound too close to home not to offend? We've all been on the wrong side of the Jordan, but there is still time to jump in, and help out the Prophet.

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham (3:9).

The Pharisees looked down their religious noses, and made their own decision, they assumed they were far above repentance. After all their robes would get wet, what kind of stewardship is that? The Pharisees made their fame by doing the Law of Moses, but when the words Faith appeared they ran behind Abraham, if the Law was at question they ran behind Moses but they never stood face to face with their own souls. James said, Abraham believed God, and acted on the decision by obedience (James 2:21-24). These Pharisees were descendants of Abraham, but hardly the seed of Abraham. If they were anything like Abraham, they would believe, obey, and honor the prophet.

And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire (3:10).

Does it mean these people were real trees? No, it means they were of the fruit of the Fig Tree, which is the religious symbol for the Law of Moses. Instead of poor fruit, it was time for a "tree change", from the Fig to the Olive. Why? The Fig Tree was failing to produce fruit, but John the Baptist was.

These Pharisees were their own ax, and were cutting the very roots of the tree of hope, yet they refused to cut the roots of their corrupt tree, causing God to do to them, what they were doing to Him (Isa 10:15 & Heb 3:19).

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (3:11).

Without our study in the Old Testament we would have no idea what this verse entails. Rejection of John was bad enough, but these people were rejecting their only hope. If they couldn't receive he who was sent, how will they receive Him who is the purpose of John's ministry? If we receive the Prophet, we receive the Prophet's reward, John's reward was the ability to Touch Jesus. This also helps us understand the verses regarding the woman caught in the act of adultery – here they are rejecting John’s ministry, which leads to rejecting John, the attitude will lead to rejecting the ministry of Jesus, to rejecting Jesus, to rejecting the Living Water.

Can we give a sacrifice without repentance? Sure, but it's a Cain sacrifice, just as repentance can be a sacrifice to escape the present danger, rather than turn and face Jesus. The danger passes, and so does the repentance. The very first murder in the Bible was between two brothers over a sacrifice (Heb 11:4 & Gen 4:5). Did Cain seek repentance? Sure, but he was warned before hand, and his repentance was because of the result of his sin, not because of what he did, or who he sinned against. It will be the same type of repentance Judas will give, whereas Peter will be sorry for whom he sinned against.

Whose fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His floor and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (3:12).

Some think the fire of hell will last about twenty minutes, but John shows it's unquenchable or without end, thus the world without end doesn't mean it will be as it was in the time of Noah without end, rather it means the earth as the lake of fire will be without end. The word Bottomless doesn't mean without a bottom, rather it means without end. Man's soul has a beginning, but no end, and the place where he spends forever is his decision. God never sends anyone to hell, rather man makes his own decision, and God honors it, but it doesn't mean God likes it. God's control is based in His foreknowledge of all things, also He has the last word.

We have gone through this preparation to look upon Jesus: there is a time of preparation in our Jordan experience, a time of preparation in our wilderness experience, and a time for the saving of the soul, all have a purpose, all have a Godly goal.

Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him (3:13).

After John tells us about the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, "then comes Jesus", and the Apostle John told us, those who confess Jesus is come in the flesh - are of God; those who can't are of the spirit of antichrist (I Jn 4:1-4). Confession is not merely saying the words, it's living them. The fruit of the confession of Jesus is, "Greater is He in me", which shows a manner of life, or the Ways of a person, not the Acts. The spirit of antichrist resists or hinders the Christ nature, which causes the one who is antichrist to attack the work of the Holy Ghost in the members of the Body of Christ. Like the Pharisees they stand on the wrong side of the Jordan, attempting to get those on the right side to cross back to the wrong side.

John the Baptist didn't have to go to Jesus, Jesus came to John. John was sent to baptize and Look for the One who would come after him, but he was not suppose to go and find the One. All this shows us how the Sacrifice as the Son of man came to the son of a priest to be washed and presented to the Father, then the Father accepted the Sacrifice, and gave a Sign of a Dove to show the acceptance. This Dove will be seen as the Spirit and the Holy Ghost, so what have we here? A mystery? Perhaps, the Holy Ghost brings the Spirit, and the Dove not only represents acceptance it also shows the time for the Gospel of Peace. The Holy Ghost shows the beginning of the ministry, the Spirit the purpose of the ministry. It will begin with Jesus the Son of man based in Mercy, but the goal is the Resurrection and declaration of Jesus as the Son of God (Rom 1:3-4). The Holy Ghost has many functions, including reproving the world, appointing to the offices, and filling us to deal with the masses. The Spirit has functions as well, saving our souls is primary, manifesting the Witness is another, displaying the gifts another. Although John was filled with the Holy Ghost for the purpose of his ministry, he did not have the Spirit, and the disciples didn’t have either the Holy Ghost or Spirit until Pentecost. Jesus is the only one before Pentecost who could say, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me”. The preview of Jesus having both the Holy Ghost and Spirit shows the dual function of the Holy Ghost, and how the title Spirit points to Salvation. The signs give us the goal of the ministry of Jesus, and ours as well. We must have Mercy, but we must have Grace as well, to seek one and avoid the other makes us unequal.

The presentation on the Cross was yet to come, but before the Sacrifice can die, it must be accepted. John didn’t say, “Behold the repentant One”, rather he said, “Behold the Lamb of God”. John knew why he baptized Jesus, thus the baptism for the people was one thing, the washing of Jesus for the time to come another.

The Father didn't look down and say, "You know what? Those people have been sacrificing sheep for years, it's not a bad idea, I think I will present My Son as the Lamb of God". The Law was a shadow, and all the animals, and all the people who presented those animals couldn't begin to form the Shadow of what Jesus was doing. Jesus was not an human conceived as all other humans, and then picked at the baptism, the baptism was the beginning of His ministry, He was the Word from before the beginning (Jn 1:1). For this reason we find the Sacrificial Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world. The plan was the purpose, and John the Baptist saw the Will of God in heaven being performed on earth. If we Believe, we can also see the Will of the Lord performed on earth As it is in heaven.

The priest never went to the sacrifice, the sacrifice was brought to the priest. John will stand in the place of everyone who is called to the kingdom; therefore, as great as John was, the least In the kingdom is Greater. John received his authority by Him who sent him. John said, "He sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizes with the Holy Ghost" (Jn 1:33). Therein lays many answers, John may have known Jesus before, but He who sent him didn’t say, “when you see the Spirit descend on Jesus”, John wasn’t looking for Jesus, he was looking for the Spirit. In our case we can’t find the Spirit until we find Jesus. However, we also know John knew the second he saw Jesus coming to be baptized who He was; which is evident in the next verse.

But John forbade Him, Saying, I have need to be baptized of You and You come to me? (3:14).

Later Peter will forbid Jesus as well, but the intents of John and Peter are much different. Here John is being humble, later Peter is making a suggestion from his own will to stop the Will of God (Matt 16:22). If we think this means for Jesus to water baptize John we will miss the point. John preached the baptism for the remission of sin, yet he did the baptism unto repentance. John wanted to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, thus he knew who he was talking to, and knew the importance of his own role in all this. This also shows being filled with the Holy Ghost, and being baptized with the Holy Ghost are different. Why would John want to be baptized, if he was all ready filled? Two different things.

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him (3:15).

The word Suffer is the Greek Aphiemi (or Apheo), meaning to Allow or Submit, it doesn't mean to suffer pain. The first words of Jesus point to submission, allowing what God has ordained to take place in the proper order.

John's purpose was this one act of obedience, yet Jesus would say, "thus it becomes us"; showing Jesus came Both by Water (Mercy), and Blood (Grace). Did Jesus have to submit? No, but He did. Having to do something, and doing something knowing it's the right thing to do are different. Some do, because they have to, others do, because it's the right thing to do.

Hebrews 10:22 says, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water". The Purpose for the Doctrine of Baptisms is found in this verse. We are sprinkled with the Blood unto remission (Heb 9:20-21), but Water Baptism is the symbol of the washing of the flesh from the power of sin. The Cross and Resurrection relate to two things, Mercy and Grace, our water baptism is a token relating to the Mercy of God, and our vow to continue on in the other Baptisms to complete the One Baptism. Water is  symbolic of God's mercy, our submission into water baptism is based on our belief, not our faith. Belief is always the first step, Abraham believed, then righteousness was imputed, so it might be by faith (Rom 4:1-16). Whether we know it or not the Mercy of God set us free from the power of sin, but not the sin nature. It takes Grace and the Spirit to separate us from the sin nature. God’s Mercy begins the process when God does not impute sin on us, rather He forgives us based on the words of Jesus, “Father forgive them”. Our act of granting Mercy, is the assurance of securing the imparted Mercy.

These people believed their flesh was washed unto the Purifying, which they knew was the purpose of John’s baptism, and when they asked forgiveness of their sins, they expected to receive it (Jn 3:25). The word Purifying is the Greek Katharismos meaning an identification to the forgiveness of sins, it doesn't mean the forgiveness has taken place. Forgiveness of sins is still based in God's Mercy, remission from sin is based in God's Grace. These people didn't have Remission, but they received Mercy on earth, thus we find many saying, "Have mercy on me", but none of them saying, "have Grace on me".

And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him (3:16).

The Street is now being opened, and heaven's Will is found in Jesus. John the Apostle shows, "he who saw the dove" was John the Baptist, the earthly witness. This dispelled the early heresy, saying, Jesus became the Son of God at the baptism. Clearly this was acceptance of the Lamb as the Sacrifice, and the beginning of the ministry. The Father accepted, John filled with the Holy Ghost declared it, and the Son being the Lamb give us the Record in heaven, being manifested on earth.

Paul separated the two positions of the Son of man, and Son God by saying Jesus was Made (not created) of the seed of David according to the flesh (Son of man), but Declared to be the Son of God with Power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4). Without joining the two we will never know the Ways of Jesus, or see Him as God the Son.

Also Jesus came up out of the water, showing He went down under the water, rather than having John pour water over Him; however, later when Peter sees the Holy Ghost fall on the Gentiles he sought water, thus it depends on the amount of water available. Whether dipped, sprinkled or whatever, it's still our belief determining if we were baptized in water or not. For some it's merely taking a bath, or washing their head, for others it's Token based on their belief. The carnal Corinthians were more concerned with who baptized them, then why they were baptized. Pharisees always concern themselves with the mundane, Were you dipped? Did they turn a hose on you? What name did they use? I don't know, I was under the water when they speaking.

This verse doesn't say the Spirit was a dove, rather the Spirit descended like a dove, or in the form of one. The word Like in the phrase "like a dove" is the Greek Hosei meaning "As It Were", or "In The Manner Of". The dove is not only a symbol of peace (Gen 8:10-11), but a sign of the acceptance of Peace. Later Jesus will say "Peace unto you" several times, but why? Didn't the disciples here it the first time? Did Jesus forget He said it? No, it's a process. The first time we have Peace with God is when we are accepted by God. Then we find Peace in the Spirit, then Peace in the Blood.

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased (3:17).

The Father was pleased with the Son before the Son did one miracle, and it's the sacrifice God's interested in, not our ability. The Greek word for Pleased is Eudokeo meaning I Find Delight or I'm Happy (Blessed). In Hebrews 11:6 the word Pleased is the Greek Euaresteo mean Very well pleased, and both relate to this experience. By faith Jesus submitted to being the Sacrifice unto the Father, and the Father received Him as if He was sacrificed. From then on Jesus operated in faith pointing to what was just ahead, as the Son of man He forgave sins on earth, based on what He would say (Father forgive them). This is the opening of The Faith, we move from faith (our measure of faith) to The Faith (Faith of Jesus). We give ourselves a living sacrifice by faith, we have no idea what Jesus will do with us, but faith knows the result is Glorious.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (4:1).

Ah gee, if we would have known. Jesus knew the next step was the wilderness, the place to set the record straight, He was going to do this God’s way. The devil didn't lead Jesus into the wilderness, rather the Spirit did right after the baptism; therefore, our water baptism is the sign we are entering the wilderness to be proved of God. We left Egypt (world), crossed the water, now we are ready to be tested. Now wait a minute; didn't James say God can't be tempted? How then could Jesus be tempted? God cannot be tempted to do evil, neither does He tempt us to do evil, but in order for the evil temptation to be complete one must receive it, and one receives by having some lust in them, thus Jesus overcame, and the devil could not tempt Him to do evil. The three temptations prove there was no lust in Jesus for the devil to use, when the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus responded with Scripture, rather than “oh yeah”.

In Matthew, Mark and Luke we find the Spirit leading Jesus into the wilderness, the purpose then points to Grace, the devil was defeated in the wilderness, yet he came at Jesus by using the “tares”, thus Jesus said the Pharisees were of their father the devil. However, through Death, Jesus destroyed (made completely ineffective) him who have the power of death, that is the devil (Heb 2:14). We enter our wilderness to face, and defeat the old man by the New Man, and secure our rightful position in Christ.

Temptation has various areas, Jesus tempted Philip (Jn 6:6), but not unto evil. To simply say, “God will never tempt us”, leaves much to be desired. There is evil temptation, and the testing of our faith, yet they are based in the same Greek word. In order for someone to tempt us to evil, they must have an evil in them from which they tempt, and we must have one in us, in order to fall. if they tempt us from their evil, yet we discern, resist and don’t fall then it becomes a test to us. On the same note if God sends us a good gift, yet we filter it through a lust, and make it evil, it doesn’t mean God tempted us, it’s the context of James. If we use Grace, Mercy, or Wisdom in a self-centered manner and consume any of them on our own lust, or turn them into lasciviousness, it’s not God’s fault (Jude 4).

What would turn something of God into evil? The spirit of man, who also produces a proud or haughty look, a lying tongue, hands shedding innocent blood, a heart devising wicked imaginations, feet swift in running to mischief, a false witness speaking lies, and sowing discord among the brethren, all products of the old nature (Prov 6:16-19). Nonetheless, Jesus will not succumb to the temptation, thus He entered the wilderness to defeat the devil, and the Cross will destroy the devil. It was done for us, we face the works (wiles) of the devil, not the devil. Jesus made the devil ineffective (Heb 2:14), but we also know we can give place to the devil (Eph 4:27), which means two things. First, the devil can’t do a thing, unless we give him opportunity (place), second if we give him place, we can take it away.

The wilderness was not some dry place, rather the wilderness is only for the child of God, we are taken by the Spirit to discover who we are, who we can be, and how we reach the goal. We will also find if we truly love God as much as we told everyone we did. The Wilderness is our testing ground to bring forth the New Birth in confidence of faith. It becomes the place where the Greater He in us, really becomes the Greater He in our lives.

It’s also interesting to see how Jesus allowed the devil to take Him to places, but at the same time defeated the temptation. Jesus never submitted to the temptation, it’s the point. We can submit to people, and never submit to a temptation. Mercy knows when to submit, and when not to.

John the Apostle filled in many gaps in his account by answering questions and explaining many of the events happening during the forty day fast. John's account removes controversy as he defines being in a wilderness doesn't mean we're in some desert somewhere. John gives us many events of the forty day fast beginning the very next day after the baptism, then he goes to the second day, then the third and so on (Jn 1:29). In John 4:43 Jesus enters Galilee, and Luke shows at the end of the forty day fast Jesus entered Galilee (Luke 4:14). While there, Jesus entered the Temple and declared the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him (Luke 4:18). Matthew and Mark agree with Luke and show Jesus in Galilee at the end of the fast (Matt 4:12 & Mark 1:14). John 3:24 shows John the Baptist was not yet cast into prison, yet when Jesus ends the forty day fast John is in prison (Mark 1:14 & Matt 4:12). John the Apostle tells us when Jesus was talking to the woman at the well the fast was in it's last days based on the disciples concerned about Jesus eating (Jn 4:8 & 4:27-31). All this shows the battle with the devil was in the plan, and during the forty day fast Jesus taught time and again on being Born Again. Our wilderness connects to the issue.

John’s account also shows after Jesus entered Galilee from Samaria it was reported "a prophet has no honor in his own country" (Jn 4:43-44). Luke shows Jesus made this statement just after Jesus entered the temple in Nazareth (Luke 4:16 & 4:24). Matthew will also tell us when Jesus finished the fast the children of the devil came with the works of the devil, yet Jesus will continue to place the defeated enemy under the authority of the Logos. The devil came toward the end of the fast, thus the devil waits until he assumes we are in our weakest state, yet the devil is the prince of self-deception and makes more errors in one day, than we can make in a life time. Although the devil made his attacks at the end of the Fast, we find the same attacks continuing by those who have ears to hear the voice of darkness. The Romans never tempted Jesus, the people only tempted Jesus when persuaded by the religious leaders, or their own lusts (Jn 6:25-31). The religious leaders were always looking for fault, and then tempted Jesus with theological questions based in the same three temptations we find here. For us the warfare is two-fold, we war against the wiles of the devil coming at us, but we also war against using them.

And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry (4:2).

Here we find the forty days pertains to the fast; however, yet Mark says Jesus, "was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him" (Mark 1:13). We tend to look at the word Angel as a winged creation from heaven, but fail to see some angels are human beings, who are purposed as the messengers of God. Paul told the Galatians they received him as an angel of God (Gal 4:14), he also said, he spoke with the tongues of man and angels (I Cor 13:1). John shows us the angels were the few disciples who were with Jesus at the time (Jn 4:8 & 4:31).

The temptations came during the forty days and continued right up to the Cross, even to the point when the people called out, "If You be the Son of God...." (Matt 27:40). God's purpose is always good, not evil; whereas, the devil seeks to destroy us; the event never tells the story, it's the result telling the story (James 1:13). If we attend the evil, we gain nothing, if we attend the Precious, we gain all the good. The event can have freedom abounding, but if all we're looking at is the evil, the freedom will pass us by, and we are left in our self-pity.

It's important to know how the religious leaders had more power to resist Jesus than the devils. When Jesus made a command toward the devils, they obeyed, but the religious leaders resisted Him, tempted and accused Him. Jesus didn't come to save the devils, they were the interference to the plan, really only a slight hindrance to the overall picture. Jesus came for the Jewish people, thus people have more power to resist Jesus than the devils. On the same note, those same people had the power to receive Jesus, over the devil’s objection. The lesson for any of us is how much power we have over darkness, even when we were subject to it. It couldn’t stop us from coming to Jesus, how much more power do we have now?

We don’t want to confuse the wilderness with the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden experience is not associated with the devil's temptation in any way, shape or form. The Cup facing Jesus in the Garden came from the Father, not the devil. The wilderness and the Garden are two different events, with two different purposes, yet we will face both our wilderness and our Gethsemane on our path of Righteousness.

And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (4:3).

The phrase "the tempter" doesn't mean the devil is the only one who tempts, rather it means his only means is to tempt us with evil. The same is true with the phrase, "I have created the waster to destroy"; thus the only thing the waster can do is destroy; however, we also know what God creates is good. The devil found the iniquity in his heart, showing he had choice, but God knowing all things allowed choice. God being God knew, yet allowed, just as He allowed Cain to kill his brother. It doesn’t mean God created evil, it means man and the angels have choice. A good God would grant us the opportunity to pick good or evil, thus the choice is ours, the result is in God’s plan. This is evidenced in the same verse (Isa 54:16), the smith blows in the coals, he has the choice to make a dinner fork, or an idol. The smith was created by God, but has choice. Man cannot create, thus anything formed against us shall not prosper, since those doing forming them are creations, and we serve the Creator. Simply, God created the devil perfect, the devil found iniquity when he equated his beauty as a product of his hand. Therefore, the devil formed himself into evil, yet God knew it; however, it only shows a formed evil has no power over the created being, unless the created being allows it.

Looking at the temptation we can see how Jesus was hungry, yet all the devil had was a suggestion. Although it may have sounded right, after all Jesus is the Son of God, the purpose for creation. Wait, what was the first leg of the ministry? Son of man, the devil is tempting Jesus to operate outside the granted position into another position, yet both positions belong to Jesus, but each has a time. Here the temptation is to enter the lust of the flesh, to make something happen based on the desire of the flesh. God created by taking the spiritual and making it physical, witchcraft reverses the premise by taking the natural or physical and attempting to make it spiritual. We gain the Spirit to become spiritual, but if we attempt to make a spiritual change by using natural methods we have entered witchcraft.

But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (4:4).

Jesus is the Bread of Life, He gave His Body for us, thus we are the Body as the Bread (I Cor 10:17). Jesus being the Logos tells us we need the Proceeding Rhema as well as the Bread. What was the Proceeding Word here? Jesus was using Old Testament Scripture, yet He came to bring us the New. The New would not be in hand until Pentecost when the Holy Ghost brings the gift, thus for Jesus to use New methods before the time would be witchcraft. It’s the temptation, to use evil methods to reach what is presumed as a good result.

The Fall nature hovered over man like a big dark cloud, keeping mankind in the darkness, but the Proceeding Word came by Jesus, and a change was at hand, but not in hand. Later Jesus as the Logos will say the Rhema He speaks is life and Spirit (Jn 6:63). The Proceeding Word pertains to Life and Spirit, until Pentecost when Life by the Spirit was granted in the person by the Holy Ghost giving the Gift (Jn 7:39).

Although Jesus is talking about a Proceeding Word, we find He used words from the Law to rebuke the devil. The Law of Moses is a Power and a Principality, it was sent to expose and convict sin. The devil is the cause of sin, but each of us took of the fruit willingly. Why didn’t Jesus use words of Grace? The devil has nothing to do with Grace, he is bound under sin and death. It’s also obvious Jesus believed the validity of the Scriptures, and confidence in the Bible is always displayed by what credence we give it. If we approach it with unbelief, it’s what we will produce. Looking for words from other unbelievers regarding the Bible never negates our unbelief.

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city and sat Him on a pinnacle of the temple and said unto Him, If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning You: and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone (4:5-6).

Wait, hello, hold it, the Spirit took Jesus into the wilderness, but the devil took Jesus to the temple? How could this be? Did Jesus allow the devil to take Him? If not, does it mean the devil had more power than Jesus? Not at all, this shows how Jesus allowed to a point, but the purpose was to defeat the devil at the place. Now, did the devil take Him in a physical sense, or by vision? The word "took" is the Greek Paralambano which means By association, it has a meaning regarding receiving something transmitted, whether physical or mental. This verse shows the devil brought a Vision laced with a temptation. There were the people, the very reason Jesus came; there were all the religious people, all He had to do was make a show of Power to display His greatness, just convince them He was the Son of God by some great act. Who cares if it appears like “Jesus Christ and His traveling puppet show”, at least the people will be amazed, and perhaps even believe. However, this is still as the “Son of God”, the temptation is still to operate outside the call in order to obtain something at the devil’s suggestion. Grace could not come until Mercy was first granted, thus we come boldly to the Throne of Grace to first Obtain Mercy, and then Find Grace.

What did the devil use? Psalm 91:10 says, "there shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling", but this is only effective when God, "gives His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your way" (Ps 91:11). It was the “way” part the devil rejected, rather it was his way he offered. The context shows If we are seeking God, then God will protect us, it doesn't say we are to tempt God then run about assuming the angels will protect us.

All the verses Jesus quotes are from Deuteronomy, the Book of the Second Law (Deut 8:3, 6:16 & 6:13). Our Old Testament lessons will pay off in our understanding of the Gospel. The devil is the enforcer of the curse, but it's still the Lord who brings the curse, how can this be? Who spoke the Law into existence, God or the devil? God did, but He will not enforce the curse, the Law has the power to bring either blessing or cursing. The devil takes advantage of the curse, thus the curse never comes without cause (Prov 26:2). Remove the cause, remove the curse, or be removed from the realm where the curse is active to be set free. Some of us spend days fighting the curse, but fail to consider the “cause”.

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God (4:7).

Jesus didn't say, "You shall not make Me tempt the Lord My God", rather He pointed right at the devil and said, you shall not, thus God is still God, and the devil was tempting Jesus to tempt the Father by operating in a position before the Time.

Back in Genesis the devil limited himself to the three temptations he presented at the tree, but he was also limited to the “dust” or flesh of man. Therefore, if we impute the flesh dead by the Cross of Jesus, we make the temptations of the devil ineffective. The devil uses the pride of life, the lust of the eye or flesh. Each of those is being used here, if the devil had more weapons he would have used them. Jesus was being tempted, but the temptation was not complete until He did something based on the suggestion of the devil. Since He never did one thing based on the suggestion of the devil, the temptation never took effect, thus He was never "tempted". This alone shows Jesus as the Son of Man was still free of any and all lusts. The devil reached to the lust of the eye, but there was none. The devil reached to the lust of the flesh, but there was none. The devil reached to the pride of life, but there was none. When faced with temptation we run to the New Man, in Him is the victory. We discern, we don't burn.

Again, the devil took Him up into an exceeding high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and said unto Him, All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me (4:8-9).

The exceeding high mountain is Zion, thus Jesus is shown the entire nation of Israel, whether they are in Abraham's Bosom, in the pit of hell, or walking on the earth. The devil is tempting Jesus to take one step of compromise to gain every Jew from times past, to times present. The entire Mountain, each rock, pebble, or bit of sand was being presented; however, not only would this negate the choice of the person, but it's a form of deception beyond deception. The moment Jesus made the move to bow to the devil, He would have surrendered His authority to the devil. In all this we find Jesus came to do these things, but not by using the ways of the devil. The end would not justify the means.

The same three evil temptations come from the same tree, but with different wording. The religious rulers will tempt Jesus as well, but with different wording, yet still within the confines of the three temptations. Therefore, the Word of God is able to separate and discern the intent from the thought, before we either use or buy the words of darkness.

The self nature is the target for the temptations, yet Jesus was void of the self nature. Is this unfair or unequal? Not at all, Jesus took the devil on for us, our battles aren't with the devil, our battles are against the works (wiles) of the devil (Eph 6:11). How could it be unfair if Jesus also made it possible for us to have the New Man, Jesus in us, the Hope of glory? It would be unfair if we didn't have the New Man, but it’s not the case, we do.

The devil is crazy, but he's not stupid, he knows the minute we attempt to use the ways of the world to accomplish what we think is a Godly result we give him opportunity to enter our lives. Using the wiles of the devil is not Godly, the old saying, "The end justifies the means", is defeat for the Christian. The devil tempts us to use something of his to gain the result, but when we put on the New Man and submit to God’s methods we will defeat the temptation before it takes place.

Then said Jesus unto him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve (4:10).

Again Jesus says, "You Shall", thereby, pointing out even the devil will worship the Lord in the end. The devil said, "If You are", but Jesus remained as the Son of man pointing to the effectiveness of the Mercy of God. Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness not by miracles, but by Mercy. The Resurrection will bring Grace making the devil ineffective (destroyed – Heb 2:14).

Don't think it we won't have a similar experience, whether it's the wiles of the  devil, or one of his workers, there will be a time when we will be offered the "height of Zion" if we just take money, or curb our message a little. The temptation to bow to the works of the devil will come, but the Word in us is still able to warn, guide and resist the temptation. None of these temptations pointed to being rich, each pointed to something Jesus came to do. However, when these temptations are over He will say, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me”, there will be no mention of, “The anointing is on Me, because I defeated the devil”.

The word Rebuke means to Forbid, or Command Someone Not To Do Something, the command from Jesus was to forbid Satan from invading the Kingdom of God. Jesus discerned the deception and defeated it. The ministry would remain on course, the Lamb of God will remain on course as well.

Putting all three of the responses from Jesus together, we find the path we must walk in order to overcome the wicked one. We see these as, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God, you shall not tempt the Lord your God, but you shall worship the Lord your God, Him only shall you serve". This is the heart of warfare, having our mind centered on God.

Then the devil left Him and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him (4:11).

The angels are noted in John as the disciples who ministered to Jesus at the end of the forty day fast (Jn 4:31-33).

Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, He departed into Galilee (4:12).

This is a key point in time, here in Matthew and in Mark we find when the wilderness ends John is in prison, but in John we find John the Baptist was baptizing at the same as the disciples of Jesus, then we find the time when Jesus minister to the woman at the well would be the end of the wilderness experience. John also shows during the wilderness time Jesus was cleaning out the temple of those who sold doves, went to the wedding in Cana, all before John was cast into prison (Jn 3:22). The wilderness experience of Jesus was not kicking sand, but doing the things of the ministry. The wilderness for us isn’t physical, it’s internal.

Nazareth is a city in the area of Galilee, Luke says Jesus returned to Galilee in the Power of the Spirit, and taught in the synagogues (Luke 4:14-15). The purpose of our wilderness, and the saving of the soul is to provide us the ability to say, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me..." (Luke 4:18-19). The Spirit brings us the ability to be the Power of His Christ. After Jesus left Galilee, He would go to Capernaum (Luke 4:31). However, along the way He would stop in Cana, where He would perform His second miracle (Jn 4:46-54). This is not to be confused with the healing in Capernaum of the Centurion's servant (Matt 8:5). John clears up the issue, showing Jesus did the "second" miracle while in Cana, but the result was in Capernaum, it’s not saying Jesus was in Capernaum (Jn 4:46-54).

Cana is just north of Nazareth and on the way to Capernaum, thus Jesus leaving Nazareth and going to Capernaum, then Mark and Matthew pick up the events in Capernaum. Mark moves from the baptism to the temptations, then shows John the Baptist in prison, then Jesus going to Galilee, but instead of talking about anything  happening in Nazareth or Cana, Mark goes right to the sea of Galilee. Here in Matthew we pick up the events as Jesus leaves Nazareth and going toward Capernaum. From all the accounts we find after the wilderness, Jesus went back to Nazareth, the few disciples He had at the time all went back to their homes, including the two who left John’s ministry to join to Jesus. In John’s Account Jesus meets Peter, but it’s introduction only (Jn 1:41-42). Peter is not called until after the forty day fast, as Luke, Matthew and Mark show. The ministry didn’t go from “out of the water to all the disciples, to the cross”, it was Progressive in nature.

And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: (4:13).

In the time of Jesus' earthly ministry the area of Capernaum was bordered by Gaulanitis and Ulatha; however, in the time of the kings, Capernaum was known as Chinnereth bordered by Zabulon to the north-east, and Nephthalim to the north-west.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon and the land Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up (4:14-16).

The quote is two fold, first we find Isaiah 9:1-2, in which the prophet said a Great Light would come to the area of darkness. Then Isaiah 42:7 in which the blind eyes will be opened, and the prisoners will be set free; "them who sit in darkness out of the prison house", which is the definition and being set free indeed; therefore, what the devil said he could do, Jesus will do, without any suggestion or assistance from the devil.

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (4:17).

This is an important verse showing how the Process advances; clearly the Kingdom  of heaven was not “in hand”, but “at” hand. Although we find Jesus did many things during the wilderness experience, the true Advancement of the ministry didn’t begin until the Wilderness was complete. For us it’s clear, we must face our wilderness with joy and gladness of heart.

This verse doesn’t say Jesus Began, it says He began to Preach, which helps us understand His conversations with Nicodemus and the woman at the well were teaching one on one. Jesus didn’t heal anyone in the wilderness, His disciples baptized others, but they were not sent out to heal or preach (Jn 3:22-24). Time and Timing are vital, we can’t jump the gun, or  we could get shot.

The Greek word for Power is Dunamis, but even the false prophet has Dunamis; therefore, Dunamis has a range of effectiveness. We get our English words, dynamo and dynamite from the Greek Dunamis. We know one stick of dynamite can get the attention of a few, but a thousand sticks will move the mountain. One can have a few sticks of dynamite, and cause the devil concern but when we come with an unlimited amount of dynamite the devil runs as fast as he can, taking his works with him.

There is Dunamis in the natural and in the spiritual, but the only ones endowed with Spiritual Dunamis are those who are Spiritual (makes sense). Dunamis is the power to carry out a set chore, the false prophet has power to do evil, his authority is from the Beast of the Sea. Authority is the right to do something, power the ability to carry it out. We have the Authority of Jesus with the Power of His Christ, much different from the false.

And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishermen (4:18).

Andrew was one of John the Baptist's disciples, Andrew brought his brother Simon (Peter) to Jesus the day after the baptism (Jn 1:40). It was then when Simon's name was changed to Peter, thus he was already known as Peter before Jesus called him (Jn 1:42). Luke would add more to this, showing how one is called, but there is a time to wait to be chosen, then comes the training into the position. This is one of the “threes” Peter will face, in this case we find the introduction in John, the call in Matthew, the acceptance in Luke.

And He said unto them, Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men (4:19).

The prophet Jeremiah said the Lord will send many fishers, but he also said we are the hunters who go to every mountain (Jere 16:16). The fishers of men don't capture men, they toss the net (Gospel). The net grabs both good and bad fish, bringing them into the kingdom of heaven. Jude tells us to Keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (future tense), as far as the Net on some have compassion, making a difference (good fish), with others save (from the world) with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh (Jude 21-23). Ahh, the Gospel is the net, we toss it to build the Rock, but Jesus builds the Church.

Jesus tells Peter and Andrew, He will make them fishers of men, which is future tense. Later Jesus would say, "from henceforth you shall catch men" (Luke 5:10).

And they straightaway left their nets, and followed Him. And going on from thence, He saw other two brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father and followed Him (4:20-22).

James Zebedee is not the same James who wrote the Book of James. James Zebedee was the first Apostle killed (Acts 12:2), Stephen was the first disciple killed (Acts 7:59-60). Neither is this Philip the one called “Philip the Evangelist”, Philip the Evangelist was one of the Seven picked by the Apostles as deacons, later anointed by Jesus as the only man in the Bible called an Evangelist (Acts 6:5 & 21:8). Both Philip the Apostle and Philip the Evangelist cast out devils and healed the sick, but Philip the Evangelist was appointed after Pentecost, Philip the Apostle before.

A man by the name of Alphaeus would be the father of Matthew; however, before Matthew was called by Jesus, he was known as Levi (Mark 2:14, Matt 9:9 & Luke 5:27). Mark shows right after Peter, Andrew and the Zebedee brothers were called, Jesus entered the synagogue in Capernaum to teach (Mark 1:19-21). Matthew expands this to all of Galilee, but Luke shows Jesus taught on the sabbath days in Capernaum, then Jesus taught from one of Simon's ships (Luke 4:31 & 5:3-5). Luke shows Peter, Andrew and the Zebedee brothers were all partners in the fishing business (Luke 5:10). Although they left the act of fishing in Matthew's account, they would later leave all to serve Jesus.

At this point in time the boat belonged to Simon, thus he still the fisherman of fish, but he will become a fisher of men, making Simon the fisherman, Peter the disciple (Luke 5:5, 5:8 & Acts 10:1-31). Peter had to make his decision, and after he makes Jesus, Lord, then he will forsake all to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11).

During these first few days Peter would admit he was a sinful man and not worthy, which is the fruit of repentance. None of us are worthy, it's Christ who makes us worthy. All of us have sinned, it's Christ who makes us sinless. Jesus who was sinless took on sin for us. We who were completely unrighteous, were granted His righteousness.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people (4:23).

These are signs following Jesus, but Mark shows the signs follow those who believe, so who is believing here? Jesus? Sure, without question, but so are the people. Their faith brought them to Jesus, their belief was based in their baptism. Once John the Baptist was cast into prison we don’t see anyone being baptized under his ministry. His disciples will come to Jesus, but nonetheless the ministry of John ceased when Jesus came out of the wilderness.

Jesus taught, preached the Gospel and healed, it takes all three to bring the Gospel. It's interesting we don't find "casting out devils" here, but it’s included in the aspect of healing. These people were separated from the world, but they were not privy to Grace until Pentecost. Their understanding of Mercy was simple, "If I'm forgiven of my sins, I'm healed", or "if God gives me mercy, then I'm free of devils". So, what has their faith to do with it? If faith is future, then their healings were predicated on coming to Jesus after their baptism. Their water baptism didn’t heal them, nor did it cast out the devils, but it was preparation, thus once they believed the purpose of their baptism their faith reached toward Jesus.

And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments and those which were possessed with devils and those which were lunatic and those that had the palsy; and He healed them (4:24).

Matthew lists five products wherein Mercy and Pardon of sins can reverse the curse; diseases, torments, devil possession, lunatics and the palsy, all of which were products of falling into the curse of the Law. If the Law is nailed to the Cross, then it's nailed. To do any deed of the Law to gain a benefit from God, means we have placed ourselves back under the Law. If under the Law we have turned away from the Cross, and become subject to the curse. Colossians 2:14-17 says the entire Law was nailed, not just the points we don't like. The Law of Moses is a Witness, but it's a Witness unto Judgment, not Salvation. Do the Law of Moses and be judged by it, do the Law of the Spirit and be saved by it.

Jesus first went to them, now they are coming to Him. The signs and wonders drew the people, but His teaching brought a basis for belief. When Jesus spoke the Rhema, faith came, when faith came, the people were healed. All these people knew the Law, many would hear the Pharisees and scribes teach the Law, but faith only came when they Heard Jesus.

Jesus was doing what the Pharisees refused to do; Ezekiel prophesied a strong rebuke to the shepherds of Israel by saying, "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel who do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?” (Ezek 34:2). Jesus was feeding the flock, not Himself. Ezekiel continued with, "the diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed the sick, neither have you bound up what was broken, neither have you brought again what was driven away, neither have you sought what was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them" (Ezek 34:4). The Pharisees rejected the correction, refused the call, and ignored the rebuke, yet they watched Jesus going about doing the exact deeds they were suppose to do. The Pharisees had the deeds of the Law, but rejected the Mercy, God desired Mercy, rather than sacrifice. Peter would equate this to us by telling us not to take the oversight of the flock by constraint, but rather willingly (I Pet 5:1-4).

In Ezekiel the word Force means To Use Forcefulness Of Emotion or as we know it, Manipulation. The word Cruelty means To Fracture or to Break, meaning to break apart from something. It begins by some self-centered Pharisee bringing unbelief and doubt, moving us from Mercy and Love. It doesn't pass away, we move from it; however, we can move back to it faster than we moved from it.

These people weren't seeking Grace, they were seeking Mercy, by seeking they received. God is still a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him above all else. We may not break down the wall in one day, one prayer, or one sermon, but we still have the promise, if we seek, ask and knock with the expectant persistence coupled with an anticipation of receiving, the wall will fall, and the Mercy and Glory will flow again.

And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee and from Decapolis and from Jerusalem and from Judea and from beyond Jordan (4:25).

Jesus taught them, healed them, then they came to Him, now they follow Him. We maintain by following Jesus, yet there are some who seek the healing, not the Healer, some chase after the prosperity, yet they won't seek the Kingdom of God. Some make the decision for power, yet deny the call to Follow Jesus.

The ministry now goes beyond the Jordan, reaching to the outcasts, of whom many of us were.

And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him: (5:1).

Moses went to the mountain alone, Jesus takes the people to the Mountain. If we desire to follow Jesus up this Mountain, we must say to the destroying mountain, Be Gone. The Law of Moses had two mountains, one for blessing and the destroying mountain of the curse. Jesus used One Mountain for Mercy, and One for Grace (Mount of Transfiguration); however, we must follow Jesus up the Mount of Olives to obtain our Mercy.

The metaphor Olive points to the Anointing, here we find if we want the anointing to flow, walk in Mercy. There is an anointing in the office, one in the Law, and one over the prophets, but there is one based in Mercy, and one in us based in Grace. Positional authority dictates which anointing is working at the moment. Here Jesus teaches them how to maintain, or how to “go and sin no more”.

These areas of Mercy are the mainstay for them to do the will of the Father, they show us Jesus operated in Mercy, the forgiveness of sin on the earth. As yet the Door to heaven was not open, their sins were forgiven on earth, but only the Sacrifice of Jesus could bring forgiveness and Remission from heaven. This also gives the connection between Mercy and Grace, since Grace is the Kingdom of God, then Mercy relates to the kingdom of heaven. Mercy is our mainstay to keep us in line to walk in the Kingdom of God, thus we are in the kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God is within. The only difference between a vessel of honor and one of dishonor is Mercy, one grants it, the other does not.

And He opened His mouth and taught them saying, (5:2).

This teaching begins at Matthew 5:3 and goes until Matthew 7:27, some call these areas the Beatitudes meaning The Blessing Attitude or the Attitude to gain the Blessing. Mercy being the center of the Will of the Father shows these deeds of Mercy are Commandments, not suggestions. Jesus will call them the Least Commandments, but it doesn’t refer to them being less, it means they are the least we can do.

Moses went up the hill, gained the Tablets of stone, came down and found the people engaged in idol worship. Jesus goes up the mount to show the people how to cast down idols. The children in the wilderness cried all the time for food, Jesus fasted. The children lost, Jesus won. The children attacked God and the man of God, Jesus stood with God as the Son of man. The children heard the Ten Commandments and demanded a man to stand between them and God. Jesus as the Mediator will stand for all these people, and us. The Law of Moses became a barrier, Jesus is breaking down barriers. Moses had a Law with both cursing and blessing, Jesus won’t even mention the word “curse”. The Law of Moses was mandatory, either do it or be cursed. Here Jesus is presenting, if you want to be free, here are the keys. If not, at least you can’t say the keys weren’t offered. Jesus begins by showing there is a Blessing waiting for anyone who reaches out to Jesus.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (5:3).

The word Blessed is the Greek Makarioi meaning Fully Satisfied, it entails a progressive mode, rather than a static one. The word Poor here is the Greek Ptochios meaning Poor and unable to do anything about it, not just lacking. The figure of speech “poor in spirit” is also a Jewish idiom meaning “without hope”, or without reason for hope. Jesus shows if we are Called of God, we have Hope. The phrase, “poor in spirit” also reads, Humble in Heart; however, in this we find the metaphor Heart points to Spirit, these people were still under the hand of the spirit of man, thus it was making them "poor", but the promise of the Kingdom is at hand, thus it’s still receive Mercy, to find Grace.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (5:4).

Instead of rejoicing over the fall of others, we mourn. If we mourn, God will comfort us. This also reaches to the Remnant, Jesus is still Lord of both Seasons. Mourning is just the opposite of rejoicing over the iniquity of others. Pride will rejoice over the failure of others, but those who mourn over the failure of others are those who have compassion. Compassion and Mercy are sisters, they belong to the same family.

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth (5:5).

To inherit the earth doesn't mean we possess the planet, this blessing connects to Psalm 37 where we find two groups of Meek. We also find out what Meek means, as well as finding out what the metaphor Earth means. Those who Wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth (Ps 37:9), those who shall delight themselves in "the abundance" of Peace shall also inherit the earth (Ps 37:11). This isn't "peace" by itself, but the abundance of Peace, which entails Peace with God. The Jews are known by the metaphor Sand of the Sea, the Gentile by the metaphor Sea, but here we find the word Earth. The verse doesn't say the Meek will inherit the Sea, or the Sand of the Sea, nor does it say the Heavens. The metaphor Earth relates to the kingdom of heaven, thus this relates to the kingdom of heaven, not the planet earth, or the "world".

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled (5:6).

Clearly the context of these attributes of the proper attitude point to the heart, here it points to the basis to obtain the Kingdom of God and the Righteousness of Jesus. God’s Mercy gives us the position to seek the Grace of God, the basis of Mercy is the ability to forgive, much of what Jesus is teaching us here is how to forgive and why. It’s interesting how Jesus said hunger and thirst, making a reference to the Body and Blood of Jesus.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (5:7).

Here is the heart of the matter. Jesus didn't say, Blessed are the Graceful, rather this points to Mercy. Mercy is an attitude ready to forgive, before there is a cause. This also shows Process; in order to get Mercy, we have to make the decision to give it. This principle is true with a great many things in the kingdom of heaven. Our first act of Mercy is forgiving everyone, but let’s face it there are people in our past, and perhaps in our life now whom we are hard pressed to forgive. What to do? If we don’t forgive, we won’t obtain Mercy, and we won’t be blessed. Imputing: blessed is the person to whom God does not impute sin, but we’re blessed when we impute forgiveness on others. The decision is first, we want to do it because it’s the right thing to do, but we must first impute, thus we pray for them. It may take some doing, or time, but as we enter therein we find the Mercy of God beginning to flow, then comes the ability, then the freedom. Mercy is a Key, if we loose people by forgiving them, then God will loose His Mercy on us. If we bind people by refusing to forgive them, then we have bound God’s Mercy in heaven from us. Incentive.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (5:8).

The word Pure used here means To Become Pure By Washing, it points to the Washing of the Water by the Word. The metaphor Water points to Mercy, this verse shows Mercy isn’t a one time endeavor, rather in order to remain Balanced we must hold both Mercy and Grace.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (5:9).

The word Peacemaker is not to be confused with some form of world peace keeper. This connects to God's Wisdom, "and the fruit of Righteousness is sown in Peace of them who make Peace" (James 3:18). This type of Peace is a Peace with God, by making peace with the brethren. This is not a peace between nations of the world, or making peace in the world. The rebuke for lacking this type of Peace is, "from where come wars and fighting among you? come they not hence, of your lusts warring against your members?" (James 4:1). James points to this very issue, later Jesus will show when two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is, which relates to making Peace between one another. The enemy knows ungodly "division" is not only carnal, but it's very destructive. Ungodly division is a gate of hell, it hinders, causes people to go in other directions. If we spend most of our time fighting each other, how much time is left for the work of the Lord?

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (5:10).

God doesn't Persecute us, the word Persecute means To Run Behind With Hot Breath, thus God is not behind us with hot breath, but the he in the world is. The Righteousness of God will always offend those who use self-righteousness (Rom 10:3-4). God does bring affliction, the word Affliction means To Rub In Pain, but the pain is not to destroy us, but to expose the dangers come from using the works of the devil. If we jump from mountain top to mountain top, where is faith? If we seek pleasure alone, where is praise? We are not persecuted for self-righteousness, but for the Sake Of God's Righteousness. We gain God's Righteousness after we seek the Kingdom of God, not before. Cults think they are persecuted for their righteousness, but they confuse being rebuked for error with righteousness, there is a vast difference.

Blessed are you, when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (5:11-12).

This isn't saying all manner of evil against theology's sake, or saying things of truth, but painful: meaning a direct attack against the anointing, or something antichrist in nature attacking our stand in Mercy. This has to be falsely for the Sake of Jesus, the word Sake means Because Of and includes the purpose, or what caused the attack. Theology doesn't disrupt the world, in fact, they enjoy much of man's theology, it's the Ways of Jesus offending the unbeliever. Love covers a multitude of sins, but it also exposes unbelief in others.

The meaning of the word Righteousness goes further than Right Standing, rather it includes being Just In a Perfect Position, thus Mercy grants us Right Standing on earth, but being perfect in Mercy is not the same as being Perfect in Grace. Grace is a position, granting us Right Standing in heaven. Mercy is supernatural, Grace is spiritual. Mercy gives us a condition, whereas, Grace gives us a position of spiritual effectiveness. Mercy comes from making Jesus our Savior, Grace comes as Jesus is our Lord, thus no one calls Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost (I Cor 12:3).

The word Stand has several meanings, all of which pertain to "when you have done all to Stand, Stand therefore" (Eph 6:13-14). We Stand by understanding the position and condition (Eph 1:13, 1:19, 2:2, 2:8-9, 2:14-15, 2:18, 3:7, 3:12, 4:1, 4:17, 4:22-24 & 4:26-5:2). The word Stand means, to take an upright position, remain stable, unchanged, to remain without wavering, not disturbed by events, to withstand, to tolerate, to encounter and resist, to refuse complacency, to defend, and to maintain a course. When we have done all to Stand, then we can Stand.

The word Rejoice means To Be Full Of Cheer, which entails holding Cheer in the face of adversity. This is not a mask of joy to cover the anger, rather this is obtaining the Joy of the Lord to avoid the anger. The quickest way to lose clarity and discernment, is to get mad. Once anger comes, Mercy goes out the widow. The phrase Exceeding Glad means Jump High For Joy, thus it's not just jumping, but where we're jumping to. We can jump from the frying pan into the fire, or jump to reach Jesus. This phrase indicates being lifted by our joy, or jumping by Joy above the event. It's our Joy causing us to jump, thus it's not jumping to find joy, but the joy causing us to jump.

You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men (5:13).

Salt preserves and adds flavor, but it's made up from two elements. Salt is also known as Sodium Chloride, either of  these compounds by their self will kill us, but together they add zest to our food, more important they Preserve. Lot's wife became the salt of the earth, but in her case she lacked the chloride, becoming a pile of waste (sodium). This verse above all others shows the importance of the change in natures taking place in us by the Engrafted Word. The earth is Preserved by those who walk in Mercy, remove them, and it falls apart. The Engrafted Word is bringing God’s Mercy as a part of our nature, we will do by Nature what Christ did by His Nature.

The phrase, Lose His Savor, means to become Foolish or Insipid. Insipid means Lacking Interest, or losing the proper attitude. Paul used the same Greek word translated as "Lost His Savor" in I Corinthians 1:20, only there it was translated as "Foolish" in the phrase, "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (I Cor 1:20). The comparison is how losing one’s salt causes them to use the wisdom of the world, making them foolish in the manner in which they deal with events and people.

You are the Light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid (5:14).

Were these people the Light? Hardly, the Light is Jesus, their Light didn't come until the New Birth. These are teachings sent to two groups; first was the preserving of the Earth, now it’s a “city”. There are two Lights, the Greater Light of the Day and the Lesser Light of the Night, thus we find two groups in Mercy, but only one who has Grace.

Jesus said, "I Am the Vine and you are the branches..." (Jn 15:1-5). Jesus added, "I am the Light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the Light of life" (Jn 8:12). The Light of Life is the Greater Light, yet in order to Follow Jesus we must first deny the self and pick up our cross. Before we can deny the self we have to prepare the ground by the attitudes of Mercy. Mercy is something the old man hates, he will use excuses, makes his calls for justice, vindictiveness, or validation, but his methods are always self-based. The Mercy of God is granted to those who ask forgiveness of their sins, or who receive forgiveness of their sins, in either case once the step is accomplished the ability to walk in Mercy is granted.

Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house (5:15).

Our Light is not to be destructive, nor is our liberty is not to be flaunted before people. Light draws those who seek the Light, but it also causes some to flee based on their fear of the Light. Those who love darkness more than Light will attack the Light, but they will never defeat it. We have the Switch in our hand, turn it on and the Light shines, shut it off and fall prey to the darkness.

Let your Light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven (5:16).

Here we find the Light is Mercy based, since it’s related to “good works” and the “Father”. When we find the Father mentioned it usually relates to Mercy, and Grace is connected to Jesus as the Son of God, yet the ability to perform Grace is by the Gift given by the Holy Ghost, one God all in all. The Greater Light is then connected to Mercy and Grace, the Lesser Light to Mercy.

Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill (5:17).

There were two ways to claim fulfillment, Jesus could tell them, “the Law of Moses is dead”, but it can’t be since it’s the very product those who do the Law are judged of. The Law is also one of the Two Witnesses in the Night, thus Jesus isn’t doing away with the Law, rather He is presenting another Law for those who desire to be spiritual in nature. This gives the second way, we complete the Law by imputing death by the Cross of Jesus. The word Fulfill means to Complete, or Bring To It's Intended Purpose. The Law of Moses only benefits until the death of the doer, then it turns and becomes the judge of the doer. The Cross provided a way to complete the Law of Moses while we yet are alive, thus we can be considered dead, making the Power of the Resurrection available to us now.

Both the Law and Commandments are nailed to the Cross, they were handwritings against us (Col 2:14-16). Only someone with an ego as big as the earth would think they did all the Commandments to the letter, the Commandments were never “try, try again”, they were “thou shall”, meaning if we violated one, we violated them all. Did you ever what something someone else had, just because? Thou shall not covet.

For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled (5:18).

This is conditional on heaven and earth being intact, but it also shows a time of "passing", thus the Law of Moses will pass, when All is fulfilled. This has to connect to, “it’s appointed unto all men once to die, then comes the judgment”. It’s important to keep in mind how the Law of Moses is only beneficial until death, then it becomes the judge of the doer. If all physical life has ceased and the Judgment passed, there is no need for the Law. However, the Law of the Spirit continues on.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (5:19).

This points to someone who teaches us to ignore Mercy, which is done by teaching us to seek vengeance, or make flesh and blood our enemy. Paul told us there is an element to the ministry of reconciliation connected to Mercy, in II Corinthians chapter 5  we find God in Christ reconciled the world unto Himself, by Not imputing their trespasses unto them, the Word of Reconciliation is committed unto us (II Cor 5:19). It connects to, “And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Eph 4:32). We imputed death by the Cross to receive the Mercy of God, we are then expected not to impute sins on people, rather we impute Mercy.

The word Break doesn't mean to Violate, rather it means to Dissolve. To Dissolve means to cast down, or attempt to do away with, or to ignore. We can teach faith for hours, then turn around and teach people how to get even with other people, finding ourselves in violation of this Commandment. Nonetheless there is something vital here, they shall be called “least in the kingdom of heaven”, yet the Least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John! Therefore, John was greater than all those before him, including Elijah, David, Moses, or Noah. How much more do we have if we walk in the Mercy and Grace of Christ?

For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven (5:20).

The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was self-righteousness, but they worked at it twenty-four hours a day. Self-righteousness is timed, one works to obtain something, once it’s obtained the act is dead, and they must begin a new. How could a working fisherman beat that? How about obtaining a Righteousness it’s better than self-righteousness. Jesus will get to it, and Paul will confirm it by saying Christ is the end of the Law for self-righteousness, yet the beginning of the Law of the Spirit unto God's righteousness (Rom 10:4).

You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment (5:21).

God gave Moses a Law, Moses gave it to the people, thus Jesus says, Them of old time, rather than "God told you". Under the Law of Moses one could hate their brother, they just couldn't kill him. This connects to First John, the brother who hates his brother is in darkness (I Jn 2:11). Hate includes envy, slander, evil talking, using the Bible against people or accusing them falsely, all of which have nothing to do with the Bible doing the rebuking and correction, it has to do with someone using the Bible incorrectly to support their self-conclusions on what someone should, or should not do. We can't use the old man to vent our anger, neither can we use the Bible to support a wanton theology, then claim we are products of the New Man.

Clearly Jesus is giving Commandment, He is not doing away with the Old, rather He is going to show us how to go beyond the Old by obtaining the New. Like the wilderness, there is a place between, yet what we pick up from God in the wilderness we’re to carry with us to the other side.

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (5:22).

Be angry and sin not, let not your anger speak or act for you. Jesus gives us the first of the least Commandments, instead of saying, Moses said, or So saith the Lord, He begins with, "I say unto you"; thereby, as the Son of man He is overriding the prior Law of Moses with a Proceeding Word of Mercy. He will couple this area with His position as the Son of God in Grace; therefore we come to the throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy and Find Grace.

Paul used this same area in telling the Ephesians how to Stand (Eph 4:26). Paul's use of the phrase, Let not the sun go down, doesn't mean we can keep the anger until night falls, rather it means to act Quickly in Mercy, before the Night comes. Anger is destructive, it doesn't care who it hurts. We are angry at sin and what it does, but we don’t take anger out on the sinner, nor do we allow anger to guide or instruct us.

The word Fool used here is the Greek Moros, but the context is based in using it from a position of anger, not just saying it. Jesus just said, "every one who hears these sayings of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man...." (Matt 7:26). Proverbs talks more about the fool, than the wise man. When speaking about the ten virgins Jesus says five were Foolish, and He used the same Greek word (Matt 25:2). Paul used this Greek word several times, in writing to Titus, he said, "but avoid foolish questions" (Titus 3:9); in writing to Timothy he said, "but foolish and unlearned questions avoid" (II Tim 2:23); in writing to the Corinthians he would say, "..has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (I Cor 1:20); with, "because the foolishness of God is wiser than man;" (I Cor 1:25); adding, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.." (I Cor 1:27). Paul also called the Galatians foolish, thus the context in Matthew shows the intent is based in Anger, as well as saying the person is without God (godless), rather than simply using the words Fool or Raca. Both Jesus and Paul called people "fools"; however, neither used anger as their intent, and neither used the Greek Moros, thus their intent was to bring exposure unto correction to bring perfection.

The one who spoke in anger must seek to amend, but they also have to recognize how their anger motivated them. If we speak from our anger, or allow our anger to speak for us, we allowed a ruler of darkness to guide us. If it’s the case, we immediately seek the other person's forgiveness, which entails humbleness on our part, thus humbleness destroys the pride which produced the anger. We can benefit, even in some outburst of anger, if we so desire. If we're the victim, we immediately forgive the other person. Mercy entails Forgiveness on both sides.

There are three areas Jesus covers regarding anger, the first is holding anger without cause. Being motivated by Anger is not the same as "with cause", anger without cause is an Anger with Disrespect (Raca - from Aramaic meaning useless, senseless, without any purpose, or godless), developing into bitterness. The root of bitterness is the cause for falling from Grace (Heb 12:15). However, if we spoke as an oracle of God, and the other person became angry it’s different, their anger is a sign of their rebellion. The source always determines the purpose.

We do get angry when we see someone playing with faith, or using mind games, but we never allow anger to guide or motivate us. Also we never get mad at the person, get mad at what holds the person captive. It's strange at best, someone who is guided by the old man thinks they have it all together, but they are being used in a carnal way to bring about carnal disruptions. Feel sorry for them, but don’t get mad at them. On the same note we know Jesus was angry with the Pharisees, but the Pharisees gave Him just cause to be angry, yet He never allowed His anger to guide or act for Him. Jesus always gave them a way out as He always spoke the Truth in Love. Jesus told them, they were of their father the devil and the lusts of their father they would do, but it doesn't mean Jesus beat them silly every time He was confronted by them. Jesus cleaned out the temple, and it's clear He was angry, but not at the money changers, but what they were doing to the people of God. It’s the clue to God’s anger, God’s anger is kindled against evil, God hates the ways of the Wicked (Prov 6:16-19).

Peter, Paul, James, Jude and John all spoke about the false brothers in words  anything but flattering. They called them antichrist, false teachers, self-transformed, mockers, self-willed or sons of perdition. The intent behind the writers was not to belittle the false ones, but to teach what to look for; therefore we judge the ways of a person, not the person.

Jesus will explain this deeper, showing the other side of the coin, or the reaction of the victim. If some brother or sister has unforgiveness against us, we go to the person to resolve the situation. If the person tells us Raca, and refuses to release the unforgiveness, we can still forgive them. Unforgiveness binds and destroys the person who retains it, but it does nothing to the one we are holding unforgiveness against.

Therefore If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you (5:23).

The word “Therefore” links this saying with the prior one. In the Law of Moses it says, “Thou shall not”, but it never told the person how to avoid the “shall not”, rather it was the balance after the person missed the “thou shall not”. Here Jesus is giving us the taste of the Mercy found in the New Covenant, by showing us how to fix what is wrong to make it right.

The gift could be anything; this reminds us of Cain and how he allowed his anger to guide him into sin. Cain rejected the correction, yet God allowed it, but God never caused Cain to sin, or to kill. Cain was going to do what Cain was going to do, just as Balaam was going to do what he was going to do, just as Judas was going to do what he was going to do. None of them really desired change, or desired to show Mercy, the very traits of the Wicked.

Here is a way to destroy the wall of pride by entering the mindset of Mercy: Jesus is saying Before we offer our gift, yet Cain offered his and it was rejected. Now we know why, he did it because he thought he had to, showing he was all ready mad at his brother. Cain looked at the acceptance of Abel’s gift as the last straw, but his own attitude caused his sacrifice to be rejected. Jesus tells us make it right, and your gift will be honored by God.

The word Aught means something little, which builds to something greater. In this case we caused the seed of unforgiveness by our anger, it will grow until we are unable to forgive, or receive forgiveness, making us as good as dead. Whatever was done to us had a purpose, even if the enemy was involved, thus the purpose of the enemy is for us to hold unforgiveness, and accomplish for him, what he can’t do himself, destroy us. The Purpose of God is to destroy the works of the enemy by showing us to forgive as we are forgiven.

Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift (5:24).

Clearly Jesus is talking about forgiveness, it does little good to tell the Mountain to Go, yet hold unforgiveness in our hearts. Paul showed us we can have the faith to move all mountains, yet if we lack Love it gains us nothing (I Cor 13:2). How does it apply? It's the very nature of Love to forgive. The premise is our hope, since God is Love, He is always willing to forgive. We are to forgive as God forgave us, and all of us within the Body are called to the Ministry of Reconciliation, wherein we don't impute sins on others (II Cor 5:17-21). Sins, unforgiveness? Ahh, they do relate. When we hold unforgiveness against others, we are imputing sin on them. The danger? John will tell us the permission to receive the Holy Ghost was based on remitting sins down unto us. We want the Fullness of the Spirit, but the first step is Mercy (Jn 20:21-23).

Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, You shall by no means come out of there, till you have paid the uttermost farthing (5:25-26).

Wait, does this mean to agree with the devil? No, the word adversary means an opponent, it’s based on a legal term. The word agree is the Greek Isthi which is the second person imperative of the Greek Eimi meaning to submit, or refrain from debate, which simply means don’t add fuel to the fire by avoiding debate. Whether right, wrong or indifferent, seek forgiveness and be set free of the charges of the adversary.

If we are cast into prison we must pay, but if we seek to apply Mercy we are free indeed, thus Mercy is a Pardon, meaning there’s not enough evidence to apply the accusation or punishment.

In this we also have the self-based act of using the term Forgiveness in a demonic manner. We forgive in prayer first and foremost, but clearly we are to seek forgiveness from others; however, we seek forgiveness, we don’t demand it. The premise we seek their forgiveness, it doesn’t mean we tell someone we forgive them because we’re children of God. It’s the reverse of the premise, it indicates the other person was completely in error, we of course are so holy we forgive them. Sayings like, "I forgive you because I'm a child of God", or "I forgive you because my Lord has commanded me"; are forms of manipulation, not Mercy. Using forgiveness as a means to place guilt on another is not forgiving them, but condemning them. Using Forgiveness as a means to exalt ones pride and ego is hardly the context here, in fact it fits the “fool” category. We are told to Ask forgiveness, not go about telling everyone we forgive them. A very big difference; one is based in Mercy, the other in pride.

You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery (5:27).

Adultery is the unlawful act committed by a married person who is involved with someone other than their mate, or other than the one they are espoused to. We can't limit this to a sexual encounter, it also includes affection, and Israel the nation had an affection for idols, thus God called it adultery. Adultery is usually termed a short timed act, or one not continual. Israel didn't always hold an affection for idols, thus in the overall time span her adultery was short, but nonetheless adultery.

Fornication is termed an unlawful act between two people not married, it includes someone who is married, but has rejected their vows. It’s usually connected to the act of one who prostitutes their self for the lust of another, thus it’s conducted by one who doesn’t consider their self bound to the marriage, whether they are married or not, or whether they are espoused or not. The Wicked commit both adultery and fornication, they claim the marriage, yet hold to the old man (adultery), but they also reject the vows required to enter the Marriage (fornication), making them “lawless” (rejecting the Law over them).

A Fornicator has no respect for marriage, or the vows of marriage. Paul defined a fornicator as one who forbids to marry, or one who forbids the responsibility of marriage (I Tim 4:3). If we claim the New Man, we are the espoused Bride of Christ, thus if we lay in bed with the old man we are committing adultery. If we reject our vows to God by holding an affection for ways of the old man, we have committed fornication.

But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart (5:28).

The context is not merely a thought, but a plan based in a lust. This shows if the thought is constant we better know it’s a lust. Shutting the eye gate only locks the lust in, it doesn’t free us. The Jewish mindset felt if a person had the thought, yet resisted it, they were more holy than a person who never had the thought. Jesus is showing playing with the thought will bring about a plan, the plan will bring about an action. This is not merely a thought, but a continual thought one puts together, then figures some way to bring it to pass.

And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you, for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that the whole body should be cast into hell, and if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you, for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell (5:29-30).

If we take this to mean we can physically remove our right eye and the lust will go with it, we’re sadly mistaken. Taking it to the extreme means if our left eye offends, it’s okay, since only the right eye should be removed. No this area is another one of those  areas where we need to look at what is being said. The “right eye” to a Jew was the “wandering eye”, or “evil eye”, Jesus is not saying ignore it, He is saying there is a way to be free, cast it away. Say “Go” to the offending mountain, don’t play with it. This is the same as humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, by so doing you are resisting the devil. The idea is to take on the lust, recognize it is a lust, know what it’s set on doing, then submit to the New Man for the washing of the Water by the Word. Discern, don’t burn.

It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (5:31).

The Law said a man could give a writing of divorcement because his wife failed to meet his expectation, or favor (Deut 24:1). However, the wife could not divorce the  man; therefore, the only way a wife could be free was to make herself unacceptable to the husband, or go to Temple and have the rulers ask her husband to divorce her. Paul said if the unbelieving mate leaves, let them, but the Law said "if they don't meet your expectations, cast them out".

The Jewish male assumed if his wife failed to meet his expectation in any regard, it was sufficient grounds for divorce. They assumed it was the wife’s fault, but Jesus shows there is more to this teaching. Many of our disappointments come when God doesn't meet our carnal expectations, but we never ask ourselves if we have met His.

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery (5:32).

This is very interesting, since Jesus began by saying Fornication, then added Adultery. The fornication means there is no respect for the marriage, one of the partners has rejected their vows completely. Which indicates they fit among the unbelievers, if the unbeliever goes, let them we are not under bondage in such cases.

The mere fact the wife didn’t meet the expectation of the husband didn’t mean God approved of the divorce. This also pertains to the “Right eye” by viewing ones mate in an evil way, rather than looking for the precious. There are some who divorce their mate, then turn right around and marry another just like the one they put away, showing the put away mate isn’t the problem, they are. In this case the divorced Jewish woman is completely innocent, thus the one who marries her is committing adultery since the woman is still considered married. The premise for the Jewish male was based in, if she didn’t meet his expectations she was at fault, here Jesus points out the cause is not the woman, but the person who failed to keep his vows.

All this is still centered on “saving for the cause of fornication”, if they reject the vows, then for them to remain married would be committing fornication. Jesus doesn’t rule out divorce, but He does limit the cause.

Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forsware yourself, but shall perform unto the Lord your oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King (5:33-35).

This is the center of the teaching relating to “vows”, and defining the “footstool” of the Lord. The city is the city of the Great King, who is Jesus, thus we can’t base our vow on heaven, yet marriage is a vow relationship. Even the Covenant is a vow relationship, so what gives? The word “Again” is the key here, going right back to “fornication”. The vow is by the person, not heaven, not the earth, and not the city, those are places, not people. We make our vow to Jesus not New Jerusalem. If we use places, then we are avoiding the responsibility of the vow, and removing accountability to honesty and truth.

Neither shall you swear by your head, because you can not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil (5:36-37).

The metaphor “head” refers to Authority, and Authority is a thing as well. This is a lesson in accountability, make the vow by including yourself, take the responsibility of the vow and make sure your nay is nay, and your yea is yea.

You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Give to him that asks of you and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away (5:38-42).

The context was being fair or equal, if someone lost an eye, then the Law said the person owed an eye or the cost of it, not two eyes, or three times the cost. If someone knocked out a tooth, then the person owed a tooth, or the cost of it, but no more than one tooth, or the cost of one tooth. Jesus is changing the concept by introducing Mercy, which is the means to maintain. This is the legal system, this teaching includes both the one who lost the tooth and the one who owes. For the one who lost, don’t add evil, forgive. For the one who caused it, go the extra mile by giving more than what is required. However, if there is an agreement between the parties, then the agreement must be a yea for a yea, or a nay for a nay.

Turning the other Cheek doesn’t mean, “here we go ahead, I’m a child of God, hit me”, it means don’t use the same methods used against you. In respect to turning the other cheek, Peter said, "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; knowing you are the called, as you should inherit a blessing" (I Pet 3:9). Peter also said, For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God (I Pet 2:20). Patience entails Mercy, Mercy demands Love as they work together in Faith bringing a pleasing result unto God.

Turning the other cheek, yet hating the one who hit us isn't Mercy, it's self-restraint. Applying mercy to the one who hit us, gains us Mercy. These verses are not sent to destroy us, rather they hold the secret to maintaining Peace with God. Why would we want to hate someone if it means destroying ourselves? It was once said unforgiveness is like taking poison hoping the other person dies.

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love you neighbor, and hate your enemy, but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brother only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (5:43-48).

Here Jesus specifically says we must bless and not curse, which is turning the other cheek. There are things the world terms as “good”, but in most cases it’s rendering evil for evil, by seeking justice, revenge, or validation. There is none Good, but God, thus all Good gifts come from God. To the Jew it was easy, love those who love you, hate those who hate you. Here Jesus is talking about the Mercy of God, the ability to be as Merciful as our Father. It’s easy to love those who love you, or do good for those who do you good, but to love your enemies is hard, yet it holds a great reward. Pray for people, never against them.

God sends the sun and rain on the just and unjust, on the good and the evil, thus the same good and evil falls on all of us, but for different purposes. God is able to turn the event around for Good to those who love Him, and to those called according to His Purpose, but if we're seeking the evil, we will miss the Good. When the Wicked appear to prosper, or the heathen seems happy, it's temporal, we can't allow those things to effect us. Warfare? Yes, this is the Warfare of Mercy. Mercy has Her warfare, Grace has Her warfare. This is how we win the battle of Mercy; don't forget the one element separating a vessel of honor from one of dishonor is Mercy.

Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven (6:1).

The Tithe is given to the temple, alms are given to the poor. Jesus said, The poor you have with you always, thus the benefit to gain Mercy is always with us. Feeding the poor is good and always open, but there are ministries only appearing once. When Jesus told Judas, The poor you have with you always, it didn't equate the poor to Judas, or Judas to the poor, rather it showed the ministry to feed the poor is always with us, but some ministries aren't. There was only one Sermon on the Mount, only one John the Baptist, only One Cross. We don’t ignore the daily ministry, but neither do we forget there are some things appearing once in the life time of man.

Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward (6:2).

The word Hypocrite comes from two words meaning “to judge under”, showing the hypocrite judges others under them. They use two forms of measuring, the one they apply to their self is broad, the one they apply to others is very narrow. They set standards on others, they themselves don’t keep.

Cornelius couldn't come boldly to the throne, but he did pray, and take care of the poor, thus his deeds became a memorial (something in our place - Acts 10:2-3). Cornelius didn't send a message to Peter saying, "Look man, I give until I have nothing left to give, you better get yourself down here and make sure I receive what I'm due". No, the man sought Truth, and gave based on his compassion and desire to give, it doesn't take a Commandment, it takes a willing heart which is mercy centered.

But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does. That your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret Himself shall reward you openly (6:3-4).

This simply means, Keep it to yourself, it’s between you and God. Don't allow the flesh or pride to enter and take credit in the eyes of man for the things you do for God. This is the same principle Paul used in keeping one day above another, or not keeping one day above another. Keeping it between us and the Lord means we don’t force it on others as the hypocrites do. We don’t make it doctrine as the hypocrites do, and we don’t judge someone based on whether they do or do not keep one day above another. The Doctrine of Christ has six basic elements, none of which pertain to meats or days (Rom 14:6, Heb 6:1-2 & Col 2:16).

And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly (6:5-6).

Praying to impress people, or move them for the moment in order to get them to accept what we say fits this warning. There are some who won’t listen unless the prayer fits their thinking, others won’t listen unless the speaker prays first, yet we find Jesus didn’t pray with the people before teaching. Doing any religious endeavors to impress people is still vain and vexation. Attempting to impress God by doing what is expected is foolishness. This is still related to the Father, and still pertains to Mercy.

But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking (6:7).

The key here is not Repetitions but Vain Repetitions, the word Vain means Useless or Without the thought of entering into what we pray. The wording “vain repetitions” is the Greek Battologeo meaning Prate, To babble, or use Useless words over and over. This would seem strange if Jesus told us to ask continually, or accounting how Paul told us to pray continually, but this means to say things we don’t believe, or say things hoping we will believe. It’s the same context as we find in James, let him ask, but let him ask in faith.

Be not you therefore like unto them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him (6:8).

Does this mean we're not suppose to ask? Of course not, it means God knows, and has known since the foundation of the world, thus He is waiting to grant our need when we do ask. This same concept is how we received the Cross, the Cross has been around for nearly 2,000 years, but became effective for us when we received it. However, we can also pray in front of those we know have the wherewithal to meet our need, in an attempt to move them to meet our need, but it’s manipulation. Trusting in God is the key, we trust in God by asking with thanksgiving, while praising Him for the result, regardless of the result.

God granted us Mercy, but it doesn't mean He then ran off to some distant corner in space. God desires to help us, He desires to see us reach the result, which is the saving of our souls. Paul said he was instructed to abound and be abased, to go hungry and to be full, the key then is “instruction”. Prayer is not a one way street, like a rude telephone call when we tell the other person all we want, then hang up before they talk. We must speak, but we must listen as well. Prayer doesn’t move God to where we’re at, it moves us to where God wants us.

After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which art in heaven, Hollowed be Your name (6:9).

Jesus didn't say this is the way He prays, rather He said this is the way you pray. it was also directed to those who stood at the Door, not to those who had made entry. However, it is a good outline and covers many areas of Mercy, as well as binding and loosing. The direction of the prayer meant more to these people than to us, but in it we find many great things which apply to us specifically. This is to “obtain” the Kingdom, but it also points to maintaining it. The area is narrowed down to forgiveness and receiving the Kingdom, yet Luke 7:20-21 says the Kingdom is within. Ahh, these people didn't have the Spirit, and John's account shows the Spirit was not given until Jesus was glorified (Jn 7:39), thus this prayer shows how one seeks forgiveness of sins from the Father.

Location is the first venue, Our Father which art in heaven. The Report is in heaven, we need the Witness on earth to complete the Report. Next is the “name” which points to the authority of the Father, which is Mercy based.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (6:10).

Now we have a problem, in the Book of Hebrews the Father tells the Son, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom" (Heb 1:8). Here Jesus is telling these people to pray to the Father for the Father's Kingdom to come, so what gives? Ahh, the kingdom of heaven is the place of Mercy, the Kingdom of God the place where the Spirit of Grace resides in the person. God’s will is in heaven, thus we can bind His will for us by binding people to our unforgiveness, or we can loose the Father’s Mercy by forgiving others. Therefore, first must come the kingdom of heaven so the Will of the Father can be accomplished.

Give us this day our daily bread (6:11).

Okay, hold it, man does not live by bread alone, but man does need bread. The daily bread, or provision, is predicated on this prayer, yet it also shows God’s mercy. Since we are the Bread, this could show how Jesus gave us the Body (I Cor 10:16), we are renewed daily in the Body by forgiving as we are forgiven.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (6:12).

Debts are anything owed, but the premise is "as we forgive others"; therefore, if we fail to forgive, we can't be forgiven, which most of us know, but there is another step here. Not only do we forgive going in, but we must continue to forgive. This is the same context as John 20:21-23, in order for the Kingdom to Come, there had to be a Preparation, one of Faith coupled to an action. On the Day of Pentecost no one had been filled with the Holy Ghost to receive the Gift of the Spirit. Yet the people prayed forgiving in order to be forgiven, so they could receive the Power from on high. Their belief was based in what Jesus said, their faith in what was to happen as a result of obeying what Jesus said.

We are Debtors, not to the Law of Moses, which also had debts, but to the Law of the Spirit. None of us had enough money, or good works to obtain Grace, but once we obtain it, we then had the responsibility to do Grace by Grace.

We have two different Greek words here, in the T.R. it reads "forgive us the debts of us, as also we forgive the debtors of us". The first word for Debts is the Greek Opheilema meaning What is owed which is strictly due (Rom 4:4), it also refers to a Trespass or Offense. The second word Debtors is the Greek Opheiletes meaning To owe, it includes Favors and money with a meaning of someone bound to a duty. It’s here where we find this prayer is a Vow. If one enters the kingdom they have made this Vow by the mere fact they have gained entrance. We made entry by asking God to forgive us, but the proviso was for us to forgive others.

This is releasing or loosing anyone who is bound to us by some sin or wrong they have done to us; it means we don't go about demanding forgiveness from others, it's not owed. We are not told to seek validation or justice, when we stand praying we forgive, and it may take a considerable amount of time for the fullness of Mercy to come forth, but faith says it will (Mark 11:22-26).

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen (6:13).

The prior statements dictate this area; Respect for the Name of God, obtaining the kingdom, denial of our will, asking for the Bread of Life, and forgiving others. It’s not merely using the “right name” of God, but respecting what it stands for. Here it relates to Mercy, and the evil we are asking to be delivered from is the darkness. The kingdom of heaven has Power, and the Greek word for Power is Dunamis, thus there is Dunamis in Mercy. For God to lead us into temptation, would be for Him to leave us in the world. For in the world you will have temptation, but Jesus has overcome the world. Preparation for the Gospel includes these areas, we ask, we receive, we do.

This entire Prayer is useless if we don't forgive, thus forgiveness is the key to Mercy, connecting this prayer to the prior teachings of Mercy. This prayer shows us the Will of the Father is to forgive as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us.

This is still Covenant talk, we do, God does, God does, we do. This is not a mind game, but based in faith. Mark tells us to say to the mountain Go, then have faith in God to remove it. It’s the same premise as imputing forgiveness on the unforgivable, knowing God’s Mercy will come and grant us the Power to forgive.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (6:14-15).

Is this Grace? Hardly, this calls for an effort on our part first, and Grace is a gift which can't be earned. This refers to Mercy, showing Mercy is the glue keeping us on the path of Grace. This element of forgive to be forgiven is seen throughout the Gospel, it’s the very foundation to gaining entry into the kingdom. We cannot reject this area and presume we’re saved, even if we have the Spirit we must maintain Mercy.

Moreover when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward (6:16).

In reference to fasting we find the word "Moreover", which is suggestive, not a Commandment to fast, rather the Commandment is the attitude we take in fasting. The key here is not to make a big show of what we’re doing. Jesus just finished a forty day fast, but we don’t see Him talking about it. Whether we fast for an hour, or forty days, the key is not to talk about it, just do it, keeping it between us and the Lord.

But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; that you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly (6:17-18).

The first area is to Anoint our head (authority), again it points to attitude, but we also find a mystery. Since we find the word Anoint and the metaphor Head we can join this to the concept of the Unction on the Body. What is our attitude while under the anointing? Is it to brag? To exalt ourselves? Or do the work of the ministry?

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (6:19-20).

Does this mean we send our money by "angel express"? No, it means our treasure is within, found in the intent and motivation for doing what we do. The material act is a material act, but the intent will show whether it's a Treasure or not.

These people knew man was made for the earth and the earth for man, but Jesus was talking about man reaching heaven. A concept unheard of, even a theologian like Nicodemus had a hard time understanding this concept (Jn 3:5-10). Today everyone and their dog, assumes they can get into heaven, but these Jews knew the Truth. Man was not made for heaven, the breath of God didn't grant man a heavenly order, it provided man a living soul – God visited Adam, it wasn’t the other way around. When the New Birth came, the Power came from heaven unto man, when God breathed into Adam it was on the earth for the earth.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (6:21).

This doesn't say, for where your heart is, so is your treasure, rather it's just the opposite. If we place our treasure in heaven, then our heart will seek the same place.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness (6:22-24).

Here we find one Eye, but two elements. If the Light of God is Mercy centered, then all this still points to Mercy. The Eye is how we see things, if we seek the Precious, then our Light will shine. If we are seeking fault, then our eye is evil. This connects back to “if your eye offend you”, it’s removing ourselves from the old man and his deeds. What has this to do with what He just talked about? Everything, the evil eye is the judgmental one, it’s holding unforgiveness, looking for justice, it wants someone to pay, or at least acknowledge the wrong done unto us. The single eye focuses on God, it seeks the Precious, it’s ready and willing to forgive. We judge the ways of a person, not the person.

These are decisions of the heart, thus like belief we make the choice to accept God’s Mercy. Mercy has a Light, as does Grace, we don’t go about telling everyone about our Light, we let it shine. The phrase, “the Word of our testimony” is not what we say, it’s what people say about us. However, apply the premise to how the Pharisees talked about Jesus. The ways of the Pharisees and their words displayed who they spoke for, thus when they attacked Jesus they were showing how much evil hates Light, which really became a Good testimony for Jesus. When wicked people speak wickedly of you, you are still standing on holy ground, discern, don’t burn.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment (6:25).

This area cannot be separated from the concept of mercy, it’s still the foundation to Grace. If we walk in Mercy we can be assured our Father knows what we have need of, here Jesus says our Father will meet our need. All this is vital, since we will find a group who did Acts, but failed in the Ways.

The basics of faith begin in Trusting God. How can we trust in God being able to bring about the Rapture, if we refuse to have faith in Him to meet our basic needs? Did He yesterday? Becoming our Belief stand. Will He tomorrow? Introducing faith.

Do we really Trust God? The test comes when events don't please us. The word Thought means Anxious, the word Anxious means Worried, Distressed About Uncertain Events, or Allowing Something To Cause Worry.

All this is dependent on following the Mercy (forgiveness) commandments, we can't jump from Blessed are the poor in spirit, to Take no thought, while ignoring everything between. If we want things, it’s not a problem, just tithe under the Law, but at the same time we are in danger of falling from Grace (Gal 5:4 et al).

The word for Life is the Greek Psuche which is mainly translated as Soul, it means the natural, or soulish life style, not the Life given by Mercy or Grace. This tells us the same as all the other verses, take no thought for the old life in darkness, let the “eye” go back to the world, seek the Newness of Life in Jesus.

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? (6:26).

The usage of the term "fowls of the air" is very interesting, since the reference also includes the sons of perdition. Will God prosper them? Yes, not for their sake, rather the choice is still up to them to use it as God desires, or not. They are in the Body, and until the Rapture they are covered by the same Unction.

The birds seek out the places where God has provided; therefore, God can tell us where to obtain the wherewithal to buy food, clothes, and the such. God can give us a job, or tell us to wait and labor for Him, in either case He will provide. The baby birds wait in the nest, the older gather. The fowls don't worry about security, the stock market, retirement, or the other things the world is concerned about. If God will care for the unthankful, why wouldn't He care for us? “yeah, well I didn’t get the big car I wanted, I got this piece of junk”; be faithful over the little things, He will make you ruler over the greater.

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? (6:27).

Here the definition of Thought is seen as Distraction; the question makes us ponder, does worry add anything to us? Or does it take away? The Old English word for Worry means Choke, worrying over the cares of this world chokes the Seed of God out of our hearts. The deceitfulness of riches also chokes the Seed of God out of our hearts, just as the  lust for the other things will. How can it be? The Seed is the Word in us! We are the Ground, yet we are “kings”, what we allow into our kingdom, is granted permission to enter, what we banish is banished. We have the “keys”, of course we know we will give account in the end to the King of kings. Nonetheless, we may have granted visas to unwanted or troublesome elements who are disrupting the Peace in the kingdom. If it’s the case we allow the Word in us to separate and divide those elements out of our kingdom. The word Choke doesn’t mean Kill, it means to remove.

Does Worry add or subtract? Worry is a sign of our lack in trust, not a sign of our concern. Worry will make us act presumptuously, or go about attempting to meet our own need by any means we deem legal. There are times when the test of our faith includes this very area. We sought, yet we have not. Why? Have we been talking evil about the people of God? Have we engaged in slander? Are we trusting in the Body of Christ to meet our need? Or do we trust God? If God, then it will be cared for. On the other hand, someone has more than they need, but a closer look reveals it’s a Quail Hunt. The blessing in hand, or not in hand, is not an indicator of where the person is with God. There must be some element in all this for us to turn the Key!

And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin (6:28).

The fowls seek out their food, but the lilies remain in one place while God delivers their need to them. Without hearing, we can assume we're the lilies, yet God called us to gather, or we can assume we're the gatherers, when God called us to sit and wait. Knowing which we are is not a guess, yet without the Spirit we will trust in our own reasoning regarding what we think our need is, or what method we’re to use.

The fowls search out for their food, they build nests; whereas the lilies don't search, neither do they build nests. On the same note birds have a brain, lilies don't, but Jesus makes them equal regarding the provision.

Knowing where God wants us is still a matter of faith; some of us are called to the work force, some into the cave, some into the ministry, but all make up a part of the Body. Some are in the ministry, but shouldn't be, some are not, who should be. For those who are, but shouldn't be, Paul says, let him who stole, steal no more, but work with his hands to have to give. Wait, didn't Paul work as a tentmaker in Corinth? Yes, but he worked to care for his own people in his ministry, thus he worked to give. We also know the phrase goes further, telling us to work in Grace to bring about Good works; however, we don't want to discount the basic meaning. Paul worked to give, but trusted in God for his need. God moved on the Believers in Macedonia, who sent Paul his need (Ph'l 4:14-17). Paul refused to take money from the Corinthians, lest they say they own Paul. Yet, by refusing their money he felt he robbed other churches, taking from them, yet giving to the carnal Corinthians (II Cor 11:8).

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these (6:29).

In reference to material wealth, Solomon was probably the richest man in the Bible (I Chron 29:25), yet not one cent came from Solomon, it all came from God to build God's temple. In all this we must remember how labor and skill are different; God gave many skills to people in order to build the temple, just as He gave skills to many in the wilderness to build the Tabernacle. Therefore, God can give us skills, there isn't a computer made God didn't know about before the foundation of the world. The greatest of man's knowledge can't compare to the smallest aspect of God's knowledge. Whatever means God has for us, He is fully able to train us in order to gain the fullness of the skill. Man teaches other men skills, but the student is always limited to the knowledge of the instructor. It's better to have God guide us, than a man who is limited to himself.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven shall He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith (6:30).

The fowls, lilies, even the monkeys were not privy to the breath of life, yet God makes sure their need is cared for. God made the earth for man, just as He made the animals for man, why then would He take better care of the animals, who are here today and gone tomorrow, than He would those who are seeking Him with all their heart? If our confession of “Have Faith in God” is true, then our faith must reach toward tomorrow knowing God is fully able to keep up His side of the Covenant.

Therefore take no thought, saying, Wherewithal shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things (6:31-32).

This doesn’t remove prayer, it adds it, the meaning here is not to ask ourselves, “where will I get food”, rather, we ask God. To the Jew at this point in time the Gentile was a heathen or Barbarian idol worshiper. The contrast defines how God watches over His own, those outside the Covenant have to trust in their own arm. The premise is still Mercy, when we ask God we need not worry if God hears, rather our faith knows He does hear, and has the provision waiting for us.

But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (6:33).

Here is the second Key included in what we term “Covenant talk”, rather than run around asking where we will get food, our task is to First seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. We don’t seek the Kingdom by self-righteousness, we don’t seek the Righteousness, yet reject the Kingdom. In order to have the Kingdom of God within we must be Born Again, since the Seal of the Holy Spirit is the token of the Kingdom of God.

The teaching is changing courses at this point, from the kingdom of heaven relating to Mercy, to seeking the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. This is the very  Righteousness exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees. The New Man is created (or formed, same Greek word) after God’s True Holiness and Righteousness (Eph 4:24). So how do you think we’re going to get “His Righteousness”? Being Born Again? Yes, we find the Progression went from the kingdom of heaven at hand, to securing it by Mercy, to now seeking the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of heaven is what we’re in, the Kingdom of God is in us.

All this connects to the areas to come, in Hebrews we find the Scepter of the Kingdom is the Righteousness of Jesus (Heb 1:8); however, just as important is how Jesus loves Righteousness, but hates Iniquity, thus we find Iniquity is being Unrighteous, or Unjust. The prefix Un means to undo, this doesn’t relate to someone who lacks the ability to gain the Righteousness, but someone who refuses to accept it, or someone who accepts us but undoes it by inserting their self-righteousness. They seek the Kingdom, but only so they appear holy and morally correct before men. They are the ones who become the “Lord, Lord” people we are about to read about.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (6:34).

Here there appears to be something missing, yet this connects to Mark 16:16, back in verse 25 it was “take no thought for your life (soul)”, but here it’s missing. Why? This is after we seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. In Mark 16:16 Jesus said if we are baptized (members of the Body) and continually believe, the saying “shall be saved” applies. However, Mark 16:16 is not a discourse on baptism, rather the baptism shows we have entered the Body. We must also take into consideration the time Jesus was upbraiding the disciples with their unbelief, not for their baptism (Mark 16:14). The word Believe is the Aorist Participle meaning one who continues to believe, thus Jesus also said, “but he who believes not” (Mark 16:16). It wasn’t he who is not baptized, rather the context is the same we find here, it’s continual belief after the entry into the Body.

Judge not, that you be not judged (7:1).

The chapter and verse were placed in the Authorized Version for our convenience, 7:1 is then the very next sentence Jesus spoke after he talked about take no thought. Now Jesus is continuing on things relating to the Kingdom principles. The wording “Judge Not” is not the same as saying, “it’s a good idea not to judge”, or “I strongly suggest you judge not”, it’s a Commandment, but judging and discerning are different. We judge someone to exalt ourselves, while belittling them. Discernment is determining what is going on, so we know how to minister, or if we are to minister at all. Paul said He who is spiritual judges all things, but he himself is judged of no man (I Cor 2:15). For us this pertains to “things”, not people, but it also shows no man is able to judge us, because we don’t judge mankind. It has nothing to do with preaching, or presentation of the Truth, it has to do with using the sinner to exalt ourselves.

For with the same judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again (7:2).

The Greek word for Judge is Krino meaning many things including To draw to question, To discern, To condemn, To separate. It’s the Separating drawing our attention since it has two different concepts. One is separate to approve, or esteem, the other is to separate out to put asunder. This verse points to the manner in which we judge, if we are discerning in order to be able to deal with the event or person in a Godly manner, it’s how God, as well as people will judge us. In Luke Jesus said the same manner we judge, will come back shaken down and pressed together (Luke 6:37-38). Luke gives us more insight, if we deal with people in Mercy, then Mercy comes back, but if we Judge (find guilty) or Condemn (set punishment) it’s how man will treat us.

Critical thinking, regardless of the criticism involved is a dangerous method of looking at events or people. Critical Thinking is the approach of questioning the element, then if we can’t prove it untrue, it must be true. It’s the complete opposite of seeking to believe, in essence when Thomas said, “when I see I will believe”, a form of critical thinking. However, Jesus said Blessed are those who believe and have not seen. In these passages Jesus is establishing the elements of Mercy, so how does critical thinking fit? If we presume our brother has a mote and we don’t, we become critical in our thinking which in turn causes us to seek the error, while ignoring our own faults. The hypocrite does just that, they presume they are so holy water comes to them to be walked on, yet they apply the yardstick of error to others. Simply, no matter how our brother appears to us, think of how we appear to our brother.

And why behold you the mote that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? (7:3).

Our ability to see clearly is hindered by the blockage in our own eye, taking us right back to the teaching on the evil eye. How can we minister to others with a beam in our eye? The mirror of God uses the mote in our brother's eye to expose the beam in ours; we complain people aren't doing what we assume they should be doing, but are we doing what God desires of us? We get mad because someone said something, then we go about telling others what a jerk they are, yet are we the hypocrite? Many of the things we can't stand in others, are the things in us. Exposure is the first step to being cleaned, being cleaned is the faith move to being free indeed. There are times when God will show us the elephant to expose the flea in us, but nonetheless the mirror is a means we all know God uses. Of course it’s not all the time, but we can’t discount it either.

This is after we seek ye first the Kingdom, so we’re still talking about the Process of Justification. The Report is written, the Witness is bringing to pass what the Report has declared. It becomes clear the path to reach the goal is to be Born Again.

Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye: and, behold, a beam is in your own eye (7:4).

What would this Beam be? What would all this lead to? What was it based in? Forgiveness? Yes, it’s still the subject, how can we minister to a brother or sister if we hold unforgiveness against them? How can we love them, if deep inside we hate them? It’s dangerous to remain with the beam, how we see by the Light with that thing in our eye? Best to receive God’s Mercy and walk in it.

You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother's eye (7:5).

Why a hypocrite? Judging the mote while holding the beam. The way of a hypocrite always stands out is how they are unequal in their application of “justice”. They allow themselves miles of leeway, yet apply a one inch rule to others. They will claim error in others, yet never admit their own. Here Jesus shows we may see the mote, it may even appear to be the world’s greatest timber, but it makes no difference if we still have a beam in our own eye. Be wise, don't despise.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (7:6).

Here is the reverse, prior it was judge not, now it’s give not. Nothing takes the wind out of sails faster than the “look”. We have something happen, we run to “share” it, then they just look at you like you’re an idiot. Just cast your pearl before someone who lacks understanding to appreciate it.

This is also a warning, don’t expect Mercy from a dog, they don’t understand it, or appreciate it. Grant them affordable mercy, don’t debate, don’t get mad, simply walk away. They will take the Mercy you gave them and trample on it, spit on it, say all sorts of mean, nasty things. In that case we apply Mercy in prayer, as we pray for those who persecute us. This verse is pointing us to our prayer closet, don’t expect a pig or a dog to appreciate the things of God. Paul confirmed this by saying, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision" (Ph'l 3:2). Then he said, "for we are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit" (Ph'l 3:3). There is the key, worship God in your prayer closet.

Ask, and it shall be given you: seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened (7:7-8).

The entire teaching centers on Mercy and obtaining the Kingdom of God (Grace & the Spirit); therefore, the context is not just receiving anything, rather it's receiving a specific. We can ask God for all sorts of things, yet never seek ye first the Kingdom.

Jesus will talk about the time of doors, in the Book of Revelation there are all sorts of doors and keys. One door of interest is the one Jesus is standing at and knocking, if any man open, He will come in and sup with them (Rev 3:20). Jesus is doing the knocking, here we are as we seek and ask for a specific. Once we receive the Spirit, it’s not over, it’s only beginning, there is a growth process. We must seek the more, one element is the Wisdom of God. We also add virtue to our faith, knowledge to our virtue, temperance to knowledge, and so on. The promise is here, continue and you shall grow.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (7:9-10).

We’re back to the daily bread, only in this case it connects to James. If someone comes to our door in need, do we tell them, “have faith in God brother”? Or do we do something? (James 2:14-17). We do something based on our faith, thus the works of faith have nothing to do with going about telling everyone our religious philosophy.

Jesus narrowed this down to two metaphors, He didn't include a "camel", or even the "Olive Tree", rather it's Bread and Fish, two items become important, later when Jesus feeds the 5,000 and 4,000. If we ask for the Bread of Life, will God give us the stone of abuse? If we ask for the Holy Spirit, will God give us the devil? Of course not; therefore, when we ask for the baptism with the Holy Ghost, the devil has no authority whatsoever to counterfeit it. Paul verified this, no one speaking by the Spirit calls Jesus accursed (I Cor 12:3), whether it’s in unknown tongues, new tongues, prophecy, preaching, ministering, if it’s by the Spirit, then it’s holy and honorable.

This is a promise, it removes the fear of getting some devil. Our belief reads these verses knowing God is true. We add our faith in God believing we received and it will come to pass, just as it did on the day of Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost Jesus had ascended, the disciples were alone in the upper room the Holy Ghost came and they begin to speak in unknown tongues, yet none of them said, “run you got a devil”. They knew this was something which never happened before, they had faith in God based on the promises Jesus made them, can we do any less?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? (7:11)

At this time the kingdom was still at hand, Jesus isn’t belittling these people, He is only making a statement of fact. This is no different than “ye of little faith”, since it defines the measure of faith. Little, but sufficient for the purpose. Until we received the Mercy of the Father we were evil, until we were washed by the Blood of Jesus we were unrighteous. In the world we were under the spirit of disobedience, we were sinners. It’s no big revelation, we were evil, yet these people felt since they were chosen they were “not as evil”. Nonetheless, Jesus clears the issue, any evil is enough to keep us out, how then can we get entry? By Jesus, who is the Door to the Kingdom.

We want to care for our children, yet our foundation is still a Stroge (Greek for family type love) love, why then do we equate God to being more evil than we? If we won't beat our children, why do we think God is beating our brains out? If we won't give our children a devil, why would we think God would? If we love our children, we know they must be trained, why then do we curse the darkness when God trains us?

Luke's Account will confirm these areas, telling us the purpose is to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, thus we find the metaphors. The Bread of Life is representative of the Body of Christ, the Fish is representative of the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (7:12).

Now we change from Asking, to Doing. This is Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, or love your neighbor as yourself. It is not do unto others before they have a chance to do it to you. This is still Mercy, not Grace; Grace tells us to Love as Jesus has loved us. Put the two together, and you have success at every turn.

Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it (7:13-14).

At times it’s best to be among the few, here we see why. There is more than one way to do many things, but there is only One Way to reach God. The other Way is the Way of death, and many there are who travel it. Interesting, since the context is to reach God, one has to ask, Why would God send His only Son, then see Him on the Cross suffering for mankind, bring the Holy Ghost with the Gift, then begin fifty different ways all of which are based in self-righteousness? He wouldn’t, thus James says even the devils believe in one God, but they doesn’t mean they receive God’s Only Begotten Son (James 2:19). Just saying one believes in One God is not enough, they must accept His Son.

A wide road is easy to walk, but the Way of Faith is not. The Way of Faith was blazed by Jesus, His footsteps can only be detected by the Spirit. The New Man guides us on the Path of Faith, thus by the Faith of Jesus we have access and boldness.

We know the word Destruction means Perdition, the meaning for the Latin word Perdition means "To Toss Away", thus being a son of Perdition is a position, yet it can only be obtained by those who toss away their position in the kingdom of heaven for the he in the world. Therefore, Judas became the first son of perdition. Why? He was one of the twelve, he had position in the ministry, yet tossed it away. This connects to the wording, “draw back” in the phrase “draw back to perdition” (Heb 10:39), which means to draw back based on a fear. They fear exposure, they fear losing something, their pride, their power, the old authority, something it causes them to shy away from the exposure and cleaning. However, we are not of them who draw back to perdition, but of them who believe unto the saving of the soul.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  (7:15-16).

Jesus tells us to beware, then gives us means to identify them. We don’t determine who they are by their Acts, but by their Ways (fruit, or non-fruit). Paul told us they have the appearance of Righteousness, but inside Satan still rules (II Cor 11:13-14). Paul wasn’t in Corinth when he said it, but he saw the ways, among them was using people to bring the messages of Satan (II Cor 12:7 & 13:1).

Jesus then gives us two seasons, the first is equated to the Grape, Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches. Then the next season as the “fig”, the two hindering elements are thorns and thistles. Both thorns and thistles were first seen as the result of the Fall (Gen 3:18). Here we find someone may appear to be Righteous, but only their Ways will determine if they run by the spirit lusting to envy.

Since the subject matter is still Mercy, we can tell a person by the Mercy they either grant, or refuse to grant. Paul equated this to one lump of clay, if the clay receives the Water (Mercy), then it’s easy to be formed, thus God will form it into a vessel of mercy (honor), but if the clay is hard as a result of lacking Water, then God will form it into a vessel of dishonor (Rom 9:21-23). It’s the same lump, the only difference is the Water (Mercy).

Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (7:17-18).

Now we move to Trees, but it’s still based on the identifying factors, we determine the type of tree by the fruit it displays. If we see oranges, we don’t call it an “apple tree”. The Tree determines the fruit, the fruit is how we identify the tree. Jesus gives us two trees, not three or four. There is no compromised tree of half good or half corrupt, thus we know we are being moved from the corrupt to the Good. It may not seem so at all times, but if we are Born Again it is taking place.

The Good Tree is the Mercy Tree, it will do by nature what its suppose to. Many people do things by nature, some just can’t help but apply mercy, others do all they can not to. The word Good here is the Greek Agathos meaning a useful, pleasant, beneficial nature. The word Corrupt is the Greek Sapros meaning of poor quality, no longer useful or worthless. Mercy, like Belief are matters of choice. We make the choice to apply the Mercy we received, or we make the choice not to. If we do, it soon becomes a part of our nature. There are things we will do by the New nature, we won’t even think twice about.

Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them (7:19-20).

It's by their fruit, we shall know, not the trunk, or the root, or the ground upon which the tree sits. If we see a dead old tree, we know it’s only good for fire. However, if we see a tree with good useful fruit we treasure it. Again it’s by the Fruits we shall know them, this is a vital area. It’s not how many are healed under their ministry, or how many come to the Lord, it’s their Fruit. The word Fruit is the Greek Karpos which does mean fruit, but it also means the Result, Act or Deed identifying the subject.

Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils?  and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity (7:21-23).

The subject here points to doing, or not doing the Will of the Father, the substance of the entire teaching on this Mount. The word Enter doesn't mean one has entered the Kingdom of God, rather it points to the Entrance Way, or the Doorway, or the Place of Entry, pointing more to the division between two places. It would be akin to the children at the Red Sea, not yet in the wilderness or Promised Land, but ready to go there.

These verses are not separate from the prior ones, they are inclusive. In all the prior verses Jesus never once told the people to “cast out devils”, or “prophesy”, but He did tell them to walk in Mercy, which is the will of the Father.

Seeing they bring the Acts to the attention of Jesus shows they were in the Body, these are matters the Unction over the Body grants any member of the Body. Before the Cross they were doing these acts, but it’s exactly what they are Acts, they are not Ways. Judas did the Acts, it was his Ways identifying who he was.

The same authority we are granted in order to baptize people in water, will also cast out devils, and allow us to speak prophetically. It’s also clear from Acts 19:13-16 the one must be in the Body in order to use the Name of Jesus. The seven sons of Sceva were Exorcists, or those who bound devils in people. When they attempted to cast one out by the Name of Jesus, they found even the devils know the least in the Body. It’s the same context is someone outside the Body attempting “baptism”, or “using oil”, the opposite effect will take place, rather than being healed, they get sick, rather than identification into the Body, they are further away, usually in a religion with false hopes, based in fables.

When Jesus returns He does so as the Son of man, not the Son of God. The judgment will be on based on Works, which are Ways (Matt 25:31-46). These people trusted in Acts as their standard for being in the Body, but what they did was not the issue, it was what they failed to do which identified their Iniquity (failing to be Equal). Nonetheless they had to work at their iniquity, it wasn’t a slip once in awhile, it was something they labored at, showing a continuous action.

In the New Testament we find three main Greek words used for the English Iniquity, in Acts 8:23, I Corinthians 13:6, James 3:9 and II Timothy 2:19 it’s the Greek Adikia meaning Injustice, or undoing Just, it’s the opposite of “the just live by faith”. In Romans 6:19 and other places we find the Greek Anomia meaning Lawless, or Not equal, or Unrighteous, in each case it points to a failure to submit to the Law, a failure to be Equal, or a failure to be Righteous, it’s also the same Greek word we find in the Septuagint for Iniquity. In II Peter 2:16 it’s the Greek Paranomia meaning Contrary to Law, or better Beyond the Law, this word was in reference to the iniquity of Balaam, who went beyond the laws governing his prophet position as he ventured into the area of teacher, a position he was not entitled to; which shows his iniquity was failing to remain in his given position. Iniquity leads to sin, but if one never sees their iniquity they will never consider the sin, a sin. In order to be Unjust one must have the ability to be Just, thus the Wicked are Unjust because they work at it.

We also have to see the iniquity doesn’t mean they didn’t do anything, it means they had the ability to grant Mercy, but refused to; therefore, they worked at not doing, by doing other things. Which brings us to the definition of Iniquity in the Latin language, the Latin word is Inaequus meaning Not (In) Equal (Aequus), thus they failed to keep things Equal, they trusted in the Acts, but rejected the Ways of  Mercy and Holiness of the Father to keep their position Balanced. The Hebrew meaning of the word Iniquity is “not equal” (Lev 5:1, Ezek 18:25-29, 33:17-20 et al). Simply in order to commit Iniquity one must have the granter authority, a commandment and responsibility to do something within their ability, yet they refuse to, even to the point of working at the refusal. A simple example would be the Lord telling us to pray with our mate, but we paint the house next door, maybe paint all the houses on the block. We then feel secure in our Acts, we did a “good work”, but we were really working at not doing what the Lord told us to do, while doing other things. Does it mean helping our neighbors is bad? Not at all, it shows we do what the Lord told us to do, we don’t think of other “good works” to avoid doing what we should do.

There was a time when the people of God said He was unequal, they wanted to play with idols, yet go to Temple. He responded and said He was Equal, or in perfect balance. God told them they were “unequal”, then God connects it all, if a righteous person turns from their righteousness, they become Unrighteous, God calls it Iniquity (Ezek 18:25-26). However, if a Wicked man turns from his wickedness, and does what is Lawful (opposite of being without Law), he “shall save his soul alive” (Ezek 18:27).  In either case we find the ability is there, the righteous was righteous, then became Unrighteous, or failed to remain righteous.

Paul said the iniquity was all ready at work, and it would lead to the man of sin. The word “sin” in the phrase “man of sin” is the Greek Hamartia meaning sin, or missing the mark. If one works at Iniquity, they will sin. However, the cause, as Jesus points out here is the Iniquity. James gives us the example, if we bless God and curse man what would be the Iniquity? Yes, if we can bless God, then we can bless man with the same mouth. What would be the sin? Cursing man, thus the iniquity of failing to bless man, leads to the sin of cursing man. Which is the point here in Matthew, we can cast out devils, yet go about attacking the brethren. Here the problem is not what they did, but what they failed to do, thus if they would have added Mercy, they would have been Equal.

The disciples operated in God's Mercy before Pentecost, Grace came on Pentecost. The failure of Judas was refusing to show Mercy to Jesus, rather he wanted his agenda and plan completed, regardless. He compromised with the Pharisees by using them in his feeble effort, then went back to them to buy redemption, yet he never turned toward Jesus.

So, how does all this relate to us? We are required to forgive others, yet we can cast out devils, even bring millions to the Lord, but if we go about slandering the brethren, refusing to forgive, or carry bitterness in our hearts we are working harder at Failing (Iniquity) at Mercy than if we just submitted and forgave. How to forgive the unforgivable? We begin by a decision, we believe what Jesus is telling us, we speak forgiveness by imputing the forgiveness on the person, then by faith we believe what we said. Is it a mind game? No, it’s obedience. We have no problem when our pastor asks us to clean the parking lot, we don’t want to, we might even hate it, but we obey. We may not like to work around the house, but we do it because it’s the right thing to do. Forgiveness is the same, we might not want to forgive someone, but forgiveness is the right thing to do.

This in no way takes away from the Acts, for the same situation could be reversed, “Lord, Lord didn’t I use my great intellect and teach?”, sure but you never allowed Grace to operate, it would be an iniquity as well. “Lord, Lord didn’t work hard in the ministry you gave me?”, Yes you did, but you used ever spare moment to destroy other ministries. These people were in the kingdom of heaven, they had authority to do what they did, but they also had authority to do what they failed to do.

Jesus builds the Church from the Rock, but do we think He will use “un-tampered mortar”? The Body of Christ is established on Mercy, the Kingdom of God on Grace. Mercy makes us sons of men; Grace, sons of God.

Since the context shows us the Transgression or sin is a result of the Iniquity, or better it began when the person entered Iniquity, there must be an example. Judas is perhaps our best example as the first “son of perdition”, if we couple his ways with Hebrews 10:38-39 we can gain much. We are not of them who draw back to perdition, but of them who believe unto the saving of the soul; we find a failure to believe unto the saving of the soul would be an way of the “unjust”. The prefix Un shows one was in the position to be Just, but tossed it away to become Unjust. The Iniquity would be the Unjust part, but the drawing back would be the transgression. Judas received Mercy, he was told as he freely received, he was to give. The man went out two by two and cast out devils, and even held a position in the ministry, yet he failed to do the will of the Father by failing to extend Mercy toward the Lord. Rather he placed the Lord in danger to see his own agenda come forth. What he did, he worked at, but in the process he was failing to do what he was suppose to do. We have to see this teaching, it’s vital and divides “pass by My good and faithful servant” from “depart from Me, you who work iniquity”.

Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (7:24).

Here is the connection, “Therefore”, linking this to the last verses. What would be the Iniquity? Not doing the sayings, yet these sayings are all Mercy based and go right back to the "least of the Commandments". It’s not only hearing them, but doing them.

The metaphor “house” refers to our soul, knowing the Rock is the Body helps us here. Jesus will build His Church on the Rock (Christ, or Body), thus He is looking for the wise one who uses Christ principles, rather than the one who uses self-based reasoning. He wants one who desires to walk in Mercy, it doesn’t mean they always will, it means they desire to.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that hears these sayings of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it (7:25-27).

This takes us back to the Book of Proverbs, but this still relates to Mercy. The Law of Moses was based on God’s mercy toward the people, but it was nonetheless founded on the failure of the people to believe in God. The Law of Moses is not the Rock, the Anointing of Christ for the Body is. The building process for us is Mercy, we work on the Mercy, and Grace works on us.

The house is not the issue here, it’s the foundation. Jesus began this by saying, “you have heard of them of Old, but I say…..”, thus the foundation for the Rock is Mercy. We can build on Sand, or on the principles of the Rock.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (7:28-29).

This is the Doctrine of Mercy, the beginning of our walk of faith. The entire teaching on our Attitude centers around a desire to walk in Mercy. This is seen in the prayer outline, which centered on the Father and the Kingdom to come. At this point in time none of these people, including the disciples, were told to pray in the Name of Jesus. The disciples used the Name of Jesus on earth in reference to preaching the kingdom at hand, healing the sick and casting out devils, but these Acts were earth related, not heaven related. Jesus said the Son of man had power to forgive sins on earth, but He didn't say their sins were forgiven in heaven.

When the disciples were conducting the Acts during the earthly ministry, the Spirit had not yet been given, thus the Acts performed by the disciples prior to the Cross were based in Mercy, not Grace. This is very important since some of us assume casting out devils takes some super Spirit Power. When in fact it’s basic, the newest convert has the Authority of Jesus. If Judas cast out devils, what could be our excuse not to?

When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him (8:1).

When Moses came off the mountain he found sin in the camp, but when Jesus comes down He finds the result of the sin nature, but not necessarily sin itself. Moses had no recourse but to attack the sin, Jesus on the other hand heals the victim. Moses saw the burning bush, but Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Ghost and Fire. Moses and Aaron washed the sacrifices, Jesus is the Sacrifice.

And behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if You will, You can make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand and touched him, saying, I will; be you clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed (8:2-3).

There are many aspects of Suddenly and Immediately which involve Jesus; however, we can't limit Jesus to those areas alone. There are times when He removes things little by little, and times when it's a suddenly. Sickness is often the result of the sin nature or the fallen nature binding us, but regardless of the cause, there is a cure. It's one thing to be healed in body, another to be raised above the cause. Medical science can’t heal, they treat the systems. None of the medical fields can raise us above the cause, whereas Jesus will raise us above the cause. Was it the will of the Lord to heal this man? It was the immediate will of the Lord to heal this man, thus we find Jesus granted Mercy, and it's God's Mercy healing us. We forget this area, Grace is vital, it’s the New Birth, but Mercy is just as important.

These people understood repentance was a turning from unbelief to belief, the benefit of having their sins forgiven, was to be healed. Where was their Faith? In Jesus, the simple puny faith believed Jesus was able to forgive their sins, if forgiven they were healed. This man knew if he was healed, his sins were forgiven: if his sins were forgiven, he was healed. He believed in the Authority of Jesus, thus his belief connected to his faith and his healing manifested. These simple premises of forgiveness to receive forgiveness, and giving Mercy to gain Mercy are the foundations to healings. Consider your ways, search your heart, know the cause, then seek the Face of the Lord. Not all sickness is the result of the sin nature, Paul said some are sick because they fail to discern the Body (I Cor 11:29-30).

This also gives us the Authority of Jesus as the Son of man in Mercy for the sons of men who walk in Mercy. As well as the Authority of Jesus as the Son of God, for the sons of God who are in Grace. Grace is based in having the Holy Spirit, but we can also grieve the Holy Spirit by Whom we are sealed. How? One way is failing to walk in Mercy.

And Jesus said unto him, See you tell no man; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (8:4).

This leper made a request based on a suggestion, there was little faith in his statement, yet he received. The man's worship was a product of his belief, the two brought the healing. Therefore if for some reason we lack faith in an area, we work on our belief, giving our faith a foundation. At times our belief is disrupted by someone who told us these sayings were for then, not now. It implants the tares of unbelief, causing us to work more at securing our belief in the words of Jesus, before we can put them into action. As we believe so have spoken, as we believe so we shall do, it’s not the other way around.

Some who were healed were told to Go to the priest, others were not. There are twenty four healings, twelve were told to follow the course of the Law, twelve were not. The shadow points to the Two Seasons of the Day and Night. Those who went to the priest were signs against the religious leaders; whether the priests received the rebuke or not was their choice. However, Jesus sending them to the priests shows He didn’t come to destroy the Law.

The Law of Moses, concerning the Leper, said if he was cleaned he had to give his sacrifice "in the day of healing", thus the man was forgiven, but he was still under the commands of the Law of Moses (Lev 14:2). This is still before the Cross and Resurrection, thus these people were still bound to the Law of Moses, until it was nailed to the Cross.

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a Centurion beseeching Him (8:5).

First the leper who was outside the city, now the Centurion (Roman) in the city. Where are the Pharisees? Where are the theologians? Where are the leaders?

This would be prior to Jesus going to Peter's house, this is not the same event noted in Luke 7:1-10. Here the Centurion comes directly to Jesus, in Luke it was the "elders of the Jews" (Luke 4:38). Luke also shows the Centurion sent friends to Jesus saying the Centurion was unworthy (Luke 7:6), here the Centurion comes directly to Jesus. Luke also shows the day after the healing Jesus went to a city called Nain (Luke 7:11). Nain is on the same side of the Sea of Galilee as Capernaum and due south about twenty miles. Matthew shows Jesus went to the other side of the sea (Matt 8:18). In Luke the servant is near death, but in Matthew the servant was sick with the palsy, not dying (Matt 8:6 & Luke 7:2). Two different events, both with Centurions, both Centurions understood authority, thus in the mouth of two or more witnesses a fact is affirmed, showing knowledge of authority is foundational to faith.

And saying, Lord, my servant lays at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus said unto him, I will come and heal him. The Centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed (8:6-8).

The phrase "Not Worthy" was used by the non-Jews to show they were "strangers" given a right to be in the land, but not under the promise. The Centurion was Roman not Jewish; however, he also knew as a visitor, or as a family pet, he could still benefit from merely being in the house. The leper said, If it be your will, the Centurion said, Shall be healed. The Centurion knew the Word of authority was not bound by time and space. First the Centurion said, “You say the Word”, then he added his confession of faith with the word "Shall", placing him in agreement with the Authority of Jesus. The Centurion didn’t try to operate in the Name of Jesus, but he was seeking Mercy for his servant.

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it (8:9).

The Centurion isn't equating himself to Jesus, rather it's the concept of the proper use of authority. If Jesus speaks the Word, then the sickness must Go, pure and simple. The Centurion had soldiers under him, yet he was a man under authority. The orders given to his soldiers were based on the authority over him, not the authority under him. He knew he couldn’t give orders to another army, only his own. He knew his servant was responsible to him based on the fact the house belonged to Centurion. He didn’t tell Jesus, “I will heal my servant in your name”, he knew he lacked the position to use the Authority. This understanding of Authority has to connect not only to the proper use, but to position. The Centurion knew his position in the military gave him the right to give orders to those under his command. He also knew he owned the house, the servant worked for him. He did not tell his servant to fight the battles, neither did he tell his solders to clean his house. Some of us give a word, then think we’re the prophet of prophets. We gave a Word, we didn’t give direction or deliver doctrine. The manifestation of the Spirit is something every Born Again Believer has the ability to give (I Cor 12:7-11).

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (8:10-12).

The issue is faith, thus we find an aspect of faith is Respect and Understanding of authority. Great Faith is knowing the higher Authority belongs to Jesus, we are under His authority. The Centurion knew there was no higher authority than Jesus, he knew Who he had to contact in order to gain the result. This does link to the prior verses, faith must entail an understanding of what is required of us. The workers of iniquity devise their own law, they do as they want, without consideration for the Authority. They use the “name of Jesus”, because it gives them authority, but they don’t respect it.

And Jesus said unto the Centurion, go your way; and as you have believed, so be it done unto you. And his servant was healed in the self same hour (8:13).

What did the man believe? In the Authority of Jesus. His faith was future tense in reference to his servant, but it was founded on his belief. This shows us how Grace is founded on Mercy, without Mercy we lack the proper foundation for Grace.

And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them (8:14-15).

This is the third experience of healing after the Mount. The leper received based on worship, the Centurion based on faith, here it's based on being in the same house where the Lord dwells. No sickness or disease can remain in the House where the Lord dwells. One thing is evident, Jesus never brought sickness.

When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses (8:16-17).

After the three healings, many came; this is just after the Sermon on the Mount, thus  Jesus was showing the Good fruit from the Good tree.

Since this is evening, it would be the end of the Sabbath day, thus the people heard on the sabbath day, went home and waited until the sabbath ended at sunset, then they came to Jesus. In our case we can come boldly to the throne of Grace (position) to Obtain Mercy (condition) and find Grace (ability to maintain) in the time of need, regardless of the day or time (Heb 4:16). If nothing else, Hebrews 4:16 tells us the concept of Mercy and Grace being joined, but different, as we Obtain the Mercy, but Find the Grace.

Peter's mother-in-law ministered unto Them, not just to Jesus, thus she maintained by her service of mercy. Freely she received, freely she was giving what she could. Some of us are healed, yet we fail to give Mercy in return, then find ourselves in the same old condition. The leper was healed, but remained under the Law, the Centurion went his way, Peter's mother-in-law was a member of the household. Therefore, Jesus healed a Jew, a Gentile, and a member of the household; in each case we find Mercy was the key element to knowing the Authority of Jesus the Son of man.

The early Jew felt all sickness came from sin alone, but it negates the "sin nature", and negates simply getting sick, there are differences between them all. James points out strife between brothers in the Body can bring about a sickness, thus one needs to pray their prayer of faith to gain the Wisdom of God in order to deal with the situation. Sickness happens, James doesn’t discount the possibility, rather he gives the remedy. Peter wrote, “By His stripes you were healed”, but he didn’t write, By His stripes you can’t get sick, thus giving us a remedy as well (I Pet 2:24). When did the Stripes of Jesus occur? Before or after the Cross? Before, thus as the Son of man He bore our sicknesses, relating to Mercy again.

Sin is an act by the person, but the nature relates to our surroundings. The weather can play a role in sickness, circumstances can, our attitude can, being under ungodly authority and not knowing it can, stress, or being anxious can; therefore, we find we can waste a great deal of time worrying, when we should be seeking the Lord to find out the cause, and what He wants us to do. If the Lord says, “go to the doctor”, then go, if He says, “dip yourself in the Jordan seven times”, then do it.

The Resurrection declared Jesus as the Son of God, the Sacrifice in heaven proclaimed Him as God the Son, the Cross proved Jesus is the Son of Man. The Son of man still has power to forgive sins on earth. The Cross is still effective in Every aspect, it's our lack of knowledge blocks the effectiveness of the Cross, not any change in the Cross. The Cross is the same, the Holy Ghost is the same, the Spirit is still the same.

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow You wheresoever You go. And Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay His head.  And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead (8:18-22).

Prior Jesus went to the people, then the people came to Him, now He departs from the people. There are times when we go to the people, times when we stay and the people come to us, and times when we go away. It's important to know the disciples were given Commandment to go to the other side, the Authority of Jesus was spoken, all they had to do was put their faith in Jesus.

That night Jesus would be asleep in the boat, the next day He was in the house of Peter, the same house would become the center of the ministry, yet Jesus said, "the Son of man has no where to lay His head". The context has nothing to do with sleeping, but with selflessness. Jesus gave all, to give us all, this takes an attitude of service based on appreciation, rather than one based on gain. The scribe isn't told to forsake all, rather he is told to make a decision to serve. Was he willing to serve in the manner Jesus desired, or would he serve as he desired? One must love less (hate in KJV, but means love-less) their own family, or they are not worthy to serve. This isn't harshness, but priority; our love for the Lord will bring our family into the kingdom, our love for our family over our love for the Lord will cause both our family and us to lose what little we do have.

And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep. And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying Lord save us: we perish. And He said unto them, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm (8:23-27).

The Centurion said, Say the Word, the disciples said, We perish. The Command was go to the other side, not panic. Here they went to the Lord in the face of danger, but they approached Him based on fear, not faith. Did Jesus act anyway? Sure, but was He pleased with their attitude? No. From the Great Faith of the Centurion, to the Puny faith of His own disciples. The storm served a Godly purpose, but it wasn't a purpose which seemed good to the disciples at the time. The storm exposed the lack of faith in the heart of the disciples. The testing of our faith is not to belittle us, but to show us where our faith is, or isn't. The disciples put their faith in the storm, they just knew they were going to die, thus puny faith is always placed in something other than Jesus, Great Faith is when we place All our faith in Jesus.

Jesus had Authority over the physical problems of the leper, the Centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law, the many who came to be healed, why then didn’t the disciples know His authority would be over all things? Simply because the disciples lacked a prior experience of Jesus calming the storm, didn’t mean Jesus couldn’t. Some of us fall into the same thinking by trusting in past experiences to determine if God is able to deal with the one we are facing. Our belief begins when God speaks, our faith gets us to the other side. Therefore, their belief should have been based on, “let’s cross over”, Jesus didn’t say, “see if you can cross over”. From the foundation they should have applied faith, knowing the Lord saw them on the other side. They allowed the lack of a prior experience to hinder their way, some of us do the same. All this shows a Proceeding Word came with a Newness; like Abraham they had to believe God.

There are times when God will ask us to do, or not do, yet we won't find a Scripture supporting the command, but neither will we find one going against it. We walk by faith, not by sight, or at least we're suppose to. Of course it’s dependent on the Voice of the Lord, not the voice of the old man. If the command is directly opposed to Scripture, we know it’s not the Holy Ghost.

And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way (8:28).

Matthew shows Two men; whereas Mark shows One, but this is not a conflict, rather Matthew shows us the man as a victim, the demon as the tormentor. This explains not all sickness is a matter of sin, there are some who are victims. Neither does this mean sickness is equated to demon possession, rather it means the sickness is not a part of us, not our friend, not our companion in need. Sickness keeps us in the tombs, Jesus gets us out of the tombs. We will also see the two aspects of demonic control, the man had a demon within, but the people were oppressed, since they used the demon possessed man for their benefit. Jesus didn't cast the devil out of the people in the town, yet they were just as demonic as the man. The man, although demon possessed still came and worshipped Jesus, the people came and rebuked Jesus.

And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Are You come here to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them a herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought Him, saying, If You cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And He said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a step place into the sea, and perished in the waters (8:29-32).

The word "They" shows the demons as a them, but one in purpose and intent. The demons, like the devil used the title Son of God to tempt Jesus. If Jesus cast out devils as God the Son, or from the position of Grace, then He would have overstepped His calling for the time, causing all to be lost. This is the same temptation from the wilderness, but didn't Jesus defeat the devil, what gives? The same attempt to defeat the purpose is still operating, the demons know they are trespassing on the property of God. The defeat is how darkness must obey the Authority of Jesus, yet Jesus is operating as the Son of man, but we are called sons of God.

One has to ask, What are all these swine doing among these Jews? Swine were used by the Jews to eat the garbage, but they weren't kept in a Herd. The term Herd was only used in reference to food or animals used for sacrifice. Swine were considered an  abomination, thus when unclean enters unclean, madness ensues.

The demons assumed they had free reign until the Time of Comfort, when they would be bound. They knew as long as the Romans were in charge of the land, the Time of Comfort was not at hand; therefore, they assumed it was "before the time" for them to be bound. These demons had no idea Grace was on the horizon, but being bound in the pit, and being cast out are different. They had no idea what the Cross was going to bring, they only knew One With the Authority was standing before them, yet they would lie in the face of Jesus to maintain their position. Did these devils believe there was One God? Sure, and they knew He was standing before them, but they didn't have faith in the One God, making the difference.

Not only were the town people out of business, but their guard was about to become a preacher. Those who kept the pigs had to report to someone, thus they ran to those who owned the pigs. The demon possessed man worshipped Jesus, the people attacked Him. The demon possessed man was free of the devil, the people maintained a demonic mindset. Two elements, both under the authority of the devil, until the Authority of Jesus came, yet only one was set free, because only one wanted to be free.

The Greek word Daimonizomai is translated as Demon, but it holds two premises, one is possession, the other means under the control of demon forces, the latter shows one doesn't have to be demon possessed in order for demonic thoughts to invade their minds. Casting out devils also includes breaking the force of demon thinking; later Jesus will cast out the unclean spirit of a demon, not the demon, but the unclean spirit (thinking or attitude) was left behind, this is often called demon oppression. In Luke there was a woman suffering from a spirit of infirmity 18 years, yet Jesus healed her. Discernment by the Spirit is the key, knowing what we face and what to do comes by Spiritual clarity.

And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city and told every thing and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought Him that He would depart out of their coasts (8:33-34).

Now He has done it, made the pig hiding public mad. The demon possessed man was clean and restored, but he wanted to be free; whereas the people wanted their pigs. Casting devils out frees the person, they're desire to remain free determines the outcome. Matthew doesn't show us the man was made a hometown preacher, but Mark does (Mark 5:19). This was prior to sending the disciples out, and John's account shows the first preacher to proclaim Jesus, was the woman at the well, Mark shows the second was this man (Jn 4:28-29 & Mark 5:19).

Prior to this encounter Mark tell us Jesus taught on the Sower, Matthew shows Jesus will teach the same subject again, thus we will wait until Matthew's teaching.

And He entered into a ship, and passed over and came into His own city (9:1).

Who had more power, Jesus or the people? They told Jesus to go, and He left, but was it power? No, Jesus honored their request, but they failed to honor what He did for the demon possessed man.

We see the term "His own house", and can assume Jesus owned houses, but here we find the term His own city, if we follow the same premise we have to assume Jesus owned the city as well. Really all things belong to Jesus, including us, but it doesn’t mean He walks in and takes over. The term His House refers not only to the place where He stayed, but to the House of Judah, of which we are. The center of the ministry was in Capernaum, yet the house belonged to Peter. Jesus was in the business of doing the works of the Father, not setting up shop to make money. Mark supports this by showing the next events occurred in Capernaum (Mark 2:1).

And Behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; your sins be forgiven you (9:2).

Mercy is the forgiveness of sins by Pardon in the direct involvement with the Mercy of God. The Greek word Sozo means a position between positions; there will be a woman who will receive Sozo by her faith, yet she won't be privy to Grace until Pentecost. Sozo is the position in the doorway between Mercy and Grace, the place where we hold both when  Salvation is at hand. It doesn’t mean we possess Salvation, rather it means we are in a safe place to seek it.

Mark will tell us how Jesus was contacted by Jairus, who was one of the rulers of the Synagogue (Mark 5:22-42). Matthew adds to the circumstances by showing the man with palsy was healed first, then Jesus went to the house of Jairus. These events all link to the woman with the issue of blood and the daughter of the religious ruler. Matthew doesn't mention the ruler by name since Mark already did.

Jesus didn't tell the man, Sin isn't the problem, so I'm not going to forgive your sins, raise up; rather, sin was the problem, thus if the man was forgiven, he was healed. Jesus told the man to be of Good Cheer and Mercy brings Good Cheer. These people obtained Mercy from Jesus, not the Law. There are times when we work our faith, when our belief needs it more. There are times when we focus on Grace, when we should be thinking about Mercy. We need all the elements, or we end unequal. We believe Jesus can heal, but faith reaches to the result. If we fail to believe, our faith has nothing to reach for. Luke will add to this, and when we reach the study area we will see the Power to heal can be there, but faith must touch it (Luke 5:17).

And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemes. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Why do you think evil in your hearts? (9:3-4).

Jesus just taught on Mercy, here we find the heart of the Pharisees was to condemn, not give Mercy. The man was driven to reach Jesus, the men were driven to get the man to Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees were still attempting to figure out If this was God or not. The scribes didn't see the Precious since they weren't looking for it, but it was nonetheless there. This is very interesting since they were there to hear Jesus, yet they failed to see the Purpose of the teachings. These scribes also knew the people were convinced Jesus taught with more authority than they, thus envy is the mother of all watchdogs, it seeks the fault or error, even if there isn't any. Envy will dream up error when no error exists, thus the error is in the mind of the one seeking error, rather than error being in the event.

Attempting to figure out if it's God or not, and discerning what God is doing are different. The scribes, like the Pharisees, were in the God can't, God won't, God isn't mode of thinking while the authority of Christ was doing. The mind of unbelief will even take the obvious sign of God working, then call it of the devil. The spirit lusting to envy, is evil.

There are squirrels in every camp, but fortunately the squirrels only gather the nuts and hide them in the corrupt tree. Here the corrupt tree was in the minds of the scribes,  prior Jesus spoke on the corruptness coming out of their mouths. This is akin to discerning the spirit (or attitude); the Pharisees came at Jesus with Scripture and Tradition, but their intent was to stop Him, hinder Him, or find fault. Later the corruptness of the Pharisees will spill out of their mouths as their confession joins them to their father the devil.

For whether it's easier to say, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (then He said to the sick of the palsy) Arise, take up your bed, and go unto your house. And he arose, and departed to his house (9:5-7).

Sickness is earth related, not heaven related, here Jesus as the Son of man has the Power and Authority to forgive sins on earth, the Cross and Resurrection will open the area of forgiveness in heaven by cleaning of the Blood. If Jesus has Authority here, and if He gave Authority to His disciples, what then is Matthew 28:18-20 all about? Authority in Mercy on earth, Authority in heaven and earth in Grace are different. The acts performed by the “Lord, Lord haven’t we” people were all earth related, they failed to lay treasure up in heaven.

The issue of sin and sickness seems to raise the hackle feathers, but really what difference does it make, if we are willing to pray and listen to the Lord, and do as He says. Perhaps it's sin, perhaps it's the sin nature, perhaps it's being a victim, perhaps it's bitterness, perhaps it's rebellion, perhaps it's failing to discern the Body of Christ, perhaps it's the cloud of theological unbelief, perhaps it’s “just”; what matters is obeying the Voice of the Lord. The Pharisees were offended by the healing, they failed at the most simple of all premises: when someone is healed, give God the glory, never give the devil credit. Mercy is a two way street, it’s glad to be healed, and joyful when someone else is healed.

But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men (9:8).

The scribes questioned the power (authority, Greek Exousia), but the people glorified God. The scribes felt they didn't need a healing, but in fact, they needed it more than the man. The Power was given unto Men, not man, thus they equated Jesus as mere man. They missed the point by miles, God was among His people, yet His people rejected Him. Is Jesus King of kings? Sure, but one must receive the King in order to know Him.

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He said unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why does your Master eat with publicans and sinners (9:9-11).

This manner of Third Person Writing was common in all four accounts. These men knew they were scribes, it was the natural mind of man equating the accounts and letters as documents written, or authored by man, rather than seeing the men were imperfect, writing what the Perfect Holy Ghost was telling them.

Matthew heard, “follow Me”, and followed, he didn’t say, “where”, or “how much do you pay”, or “will I be an apostle”. Yet, the Pharisees heard, and failed to follow, rather the questioned, studied to see if the event fit their thinking. Later Jesus was sitting with many publicans and sinners when the Pharisees saw it. Rather than to Jesus, the religious bigots questioned the disciples. Whether the Pharisees knew it or not, they were attempting to bring division into the ministry. Matthew was still a tax collector, a servant to the Romans according to the Pharisees. According to Jesus the man Levi was still at the gate of custom, dead as could be, but the man named Matthew moved with Jesus unto Life.

There are some questions regarding the wine at the table, or if Jesus drank wine: however, it’s never the question. There isn't one scripture saying Jesus abused anything including food, drink or people. Since Jesus created all things, all things were created for Him, thus He is able to maintain all things; however, we didn't create anything, and nothing was created for us to abuse. Getting drunk as can be, or becoming abusive, then using Jesus as our excuse is four steps past foolishness, and deep into blasphemy.

But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician but they that are sick (9:12).

Whenever the Pharisees attacked, questioned or sought fault with the disciples, Jesus was always there to give the answer. Whenever we are faced with the stones of theological abuse the Holy Ghost will be there to speak for us, usually through us. The word Physician comes from the Greek Iaomai, meaning to Heal, or Make Whole, Iaomai was also used by Peter in the phrase, "By His stripes you were healed". The word Sick, as it's used by Jesus, refers to both the Condition and Position, pointing to the nature one is found in. However, instead of Iaomai we find the Greek word Echo; therefore, if Jesus would have said, "Need not physician, but they who are sick (Iaomai)" the phrase would relate strictly to sickness in body, but when He used Echo He expanded this to position and condition. The curse never comes without cause, but sickness at times just happens. It’s not a sin to be caught in the rain without a jacket, dumb maybe, but not a sin. The Pharisees may not have been physically sick, but their position was still corrupt. There is more to healing than the physical body alone.

But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (9:13).

The Pharisees and scribes gave sacrifices and held to their dietary laws to maintain a healthy body, but their efforts only displayed their love of the flesh. They were taught to view the flesh as a sign of holiness, thus to them sickness was not only an inferior position, but it also marked the sick as "sinners and cursed". Perhaps the same mistake some of us make, yet Jesus saw the sick as "opportunity", a way to show the power of God’s Mercy.

We give Mercy by forgiveness to gain Mercy (forgiveness), to give Mercy (healing) to others. Hosea 6:6 says, "for I desired mercy and not sacrifice; and knowledge of God more than burnt offerings". People are destroyed for a lack of knowledge, not because it wasn't available, but because they reject it. One can give a sacrifice and be full of hate, bitterness and envy, but when they give Mercy, they represent the will of the Father.

The envy of the scribes caused them to give the devil credit, yet there is another aspect of envy, one wherein any of us can fall into.

Then came to Him the disciples of John, saying Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples fast not? (9:14).

John's disciples started before Jesus was baptized, now John is in prison, the disciples of Jesus are walking about enjoying the benefit, yet John's disciples are sitting outside the prison wondering "Is this of God or not?". The cave of God is a lonely place, there are times when others appear to be gaining in Power, when we seem to be losing what little we do have. There are other times when it appears as if some jerk is getting away with all sorts of things, we then begin to wonder why God allows them to get away with so much, yet God wouldn't allow us to think about it, much less do it. However, what God does with someone else is between them and God. What God is doing with us, is between us and God. It appeared Judas was getting away with more than Jesus allowed either Philip or Peter to get away with, but the result telling the tale. This doesn't exclude the times when God tells us to go to a brother or sister in the Lord with a word of correction, or when we are discipling a student; however, going to someone with a "word of correction" based on our own opinion is not the will of God.

The disciples of John heard from others about all these acts, yet this Jesus didn't come to them. He didn't seek their expertise, nor did He come to John and seek John's advise. John's disciples didn't see any of the healings, they heard from a third party, and went to John. John didn't tell them, "Well brothers let me try to explain it": he told them, "You want to know? go ask the source".

And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?  but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast (9:15).

Without John's account we would assume this was the first time John's disciples heard this message. During the wilderness experience of Jesus, He did many things, before John was cast into prison. John was baptizing along the Aenon, and Jesus was further south in the land of Judea. Aenon is near the border of Samaria at Galilee, whereas Jesus was nearer to Qumran. There was a considerable distance between the area where Jesus was and the area where John the Baptist was. Some of the religious leaders came to the disciples of John the Baptist asking questions regarding the purifying (baptism - Jn 3:23-25). When asked, John said, "he that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled" (Jn 3:29). The disciples of John were confronted by some who were filled with envy, but they went to John to find the answer. Now those same disciples of John are using the same shoe which kicked them. Jesus tells John's disciples how John will be taken from them, just as Jesus will be taken from His disciples. The fasting was a sign of the Nazarite vow, which came to the disciples of Jesus, when Jesus said, "I will drink no more fruit of the vine". John was already in the vow, thus his disciples were subject to the fast, but the disciples of Jesus at this time were not.

No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse (9:16).

John brought the news regarding the Light, but John and his disciples knew John wasn't the Light. John couldn't repair the breach, neither could baptism alone, especially the baptism of John. We can't hold to the smallest amount of the Old, and attempt to patch it with Mercy or Grace. John's disciples fell into the Old and considered since their ministry was first, it held the higher rank. There was a Newness coming, but John's disciples had to be patient; on the Day of Pentecost they will join the other disciples.

On the Day of Pentecost, yet before the Holy Ghost came, the disciples were told to Tarry, but Peter and the others sought someone to replace Judas. Although it was out of order, from the experience we find when Judas Iscariot joined the ministry. Peter wanted to replace the man, thus he laid out requirements in reference to the man, one of those was for the replacement to come from the beginning of the Baptism of John, thus Peter was looking for someone who had been involved with John's ministry (Acts 1:22). Two were picked, Joseph called Barsabas, and Matthias. Neither of these two are mentioned as being apostles in the ministry of Jesus, thus they came from John’s ministry. John adds to this by showing another disciple followed Jesus from the ministry of John the Baptist, yet John the Apostle makes a point of leaving the person's name obscure (Jn 1:34-39). Peter clears the question on Pentecost, showing both Barsabas and Matthias were among John's disciples as was Judas (Acts 1:22-23). Of course we know after Pentecost holding board meetings to elect people into offices was no longer done, rather it was the Holy Ghost saying, “Separate unto Me” (Acts 13:1-3). In truth no human can appoint anyone to the Office of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher, only Jesus does through the Holy Ghost; yet leadership confirms the calling; however, leadership does appoint the roles of  Bishops, Deacons and Elders.

John's ministry brought the people to the doormat, but it was not the New, it pointed to it; whereas, Jesus was presenting the New and would bring it shortly.

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (9:17).

This is the precise reason why we are not to mix the Law of Moses with the New Birth. Truly Judas did burst asunder when he mixed the old man into his calling; in our case we find no one can mix the spirit of man with the Spirit of Christ and survive.

While He spoke these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Your hand upon her, and she shall live (9:18).

This was a certain ruler among the religious Pharisees, whether he held the same concepts or not, doesn't matter, he would nonetheless have to face those unbelieving Pharisees for even asking Jesus to heal his daughter. This also shows some of the rulers had family who were sick.

This is another reference to the doctrine of Lying On Of Hands; in this situation it was lay Your Hand on her, rather than lay Your Hands. The Hand of Mercy is one hand, the Hand of Grace another, thus we lay Hands on the sick, and we do well. It doesn’t mean we physically have to lay both hands, it means when we see the concept of “laying on of hands” it involves both Mercy and Grace.

Exodus 3:14 says God is "I AM THAT I AM"; then God says He sees the affliction of Egypt placed on His children (Ex 3:17), and God Stretched out His Hand and did wonders (Ex 3:20). Jairus knew the Hand of God would bring Mercy and heal his daughter. Moses didn't stretch out the rod to part the sea, he stretched out his hand, and God manifested (Ex 14:21). We also read, "Your right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power, Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed in pieces the enemy" (Ex 15:6). The Ten Commandments were seen in the hands of Moses (Ex 32:15), the Law of the Spirit is in the Hand of Jesus. We are protected by the Hand of God (Ex 33:22-23), we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God. Finally the free will offering is presented before the Lord, and the priest puts his Hand upon the head of the offering and it Shall be accepted (Lev 1:3).

And Jesus arose and followed him and so did His disciples (9:19).

A true disciple follows Jesus, and expects the signs and wonders to follow.

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself, If I may touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole, And the woman was made whole from that hour (9:20-22).

This woman with the issue of blood spent everything she had on doctors, but was none the better. However, when she saw Jesus she said, "If only I can touch His garment, I shall be made whole" (Mark 5:28-34). She saw hope in Jesus, but not in the doctor’s reports. However, when she reached out to touch Jesus her hope was still future tense, this then is faith with an act. Mark says Virtue left Jesus, here we find the same, as Jesus looked to see who touched Him.

One would think, if this woman spent everything she had on doctors, yet was none the better she would have lost all her hope. However, she wasn’t looking at a doctor, she was seeking Jesus. It’s interesting how these people were not Born Again, the Stripes of Jesus were not yet granted, yet they saw something about Jesus to ensure their belief in being healed. This is a lesson in itself, her faith was future tense, maybe ahead for a few minutes, but still ahead. Her belief is found in the words, “If I may touch His garment”, relating to information to support her belief; her faith was in “shall be whole”, which is future tense.         Faith pleases God seeks God, so if this woman was seeking something for herself, how could it be faith? She was seeking God to correct a situation she knew God could correct, which in truth gives God the glory and honor, the essence of “God Is”.

The woman had a fear, but it wasn't based in what Jesus would do, or not do; rather her being there in the crowd was a direct violation of the Law of Moses, plus she was looking at Jairus, a ruler of the Synagogue. The Law of Moses said a woman with an issue of blood was unclean and not allowed in public, thus one has to ask, Would the violation hinder her healing? No, she was healed, but still feared the stones of theological abuse. This is a paradox for the religious rulers, here is a woman with an issue of blood who should not be in public, but she became a healed woman who had every right to be in public.

The Law also said, a woman with an issue of blood shall bring a lamb of the First Year for an offering and she shall make the offering before the Lord as her atonement, then "she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood" (Lev 12:6-7). This woman completed the points of the Law, without knowing it. She touched the Lamb of God making her whole.

This woman had this condition for Twelve years, Jairus' daughter was also Twelve years old, it's not saying the woman was the mother of the little girl, rather we are given two areas of twelve pointing to the twelve apostles for the Gentile Church, and the twelve tribes of the Remnant. The woman was healed of her issue of unclean blood by the Mercy of Jesus, but after the woman was healed would come the raising of the daughter of a Jewish religious leader from the dead, thus the daughter represents the last resurrection. The Woman was given "comfort" by gaining a Sozo condition, thus she represents the Body of Christ. The woman came in the Way seeking after Jesus, the daughter was in a bed, and Jesus came to her.

And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose (9:23-25).

Mark says, certain from the house came to Jairus, telling him, his daughter was dead; why trouble the Master (Mark 5:35). Jesus told Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe (Mark 5:36). Why not “have faith”? Jairus entered this with belief in the ability of Jesus, the words came to discourage belief. His faith was future tense, but the call was to believe in his prior words, “lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed and she shall live” (Mark 5:23). This is very important, why would Jesus care? The man’s belief drew him to Jesus, the faith was extended to his daughter, thus his belief was at issue now. Could the same Jesus raise his daughter? Jesus did go with him, this words proved the action, but now he has signs to help his belief. This is a great lesson, at times we fight and fight to gain some faith, yet the call is to “only believe”.

The mourners were professionals who would cry and mourn for a price. If one knows the Lord and goes home, it's not a time for sorrow. Jesus didn't waste time in teaching those who scorned Him, rather He ran them out. Jesus wasn't about to put on a show, or cast His pearls before swine. We will see how Jesus handled the death of John the Baptist, and contrary to tradition, Jesus didn't go off somewhere to feel sorry, rather He thought of His disciples. Unbelief will hinder the ability of God, the mourners were mocking the Anointed One by their “no hope” attitude. Instead of entering a debate, Jesus went into action, by casting out the fake mourners.

And the fame hereof went abroad into all the land. And when Jesus departed there, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, You, Son of David, have mercy on us (9:26-27).

The cry is clearly for Mercy, not Grace. This situation is different from Blind Bartimaeus, although the phrase, "Son of David" (Son of man) is used in both accounts. The two blind men followed Jesus into a house, Blind Bartimaeus sat by the highway calling for Jesus to stop (Mark 10:46). As the Son of David, Jesus stood as the Son of man bringing the Mercy of God; as the Son of God, Jesus delivers Grace, as God the Son He maintains the Kingdom of God, three positions, yet one Jesus.

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said unto them, Believe you that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yes Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you (9:28-29).

Here is another example of belief and faith meeting in the Now, their belief was based on their actions, they “said” showing they had belief, but the faith issue was from the Now into the future. They believed He could, their faith has to say He would.

And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country (9:30-31).

There seems to be three assumed reasons why Jesus said, "tell no man"; however, all three lack in light of the Scriptures. First some contend Jesus didn't want the people to know He was a miracle worker, but Jesus did many miracles in the sight of many people. Second, Jesus didn't want His ministry hindered by too much publicity; however, the ministry was to display the signs to give the people hope. He even sent His disciples, and the 70 out to do signs. Lastly it's assumed Jesus didn't want the Pharisees to know about Him and cause His death on the cross to come prematurely; however, it would mean Jesus didn't know of the events yet to come, it also assumes God wasn't aware of the events. John's account shows Jesus was well aware of the time and timing, it would not be one minute late or early (Jn 18:20-21 & 18:36-37). These men were no different than many, they would broadcast the miracle, not the Miracle Worker. Jesus said, See that no man know "it", rather than See that no man know Me, thus the healing was the point of interest: seeking the healing without seeking the Healer produces failure. However, these two men are different, they didn’t tell about “it”, but they did talk about Jesus.

As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spoke; and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel (9:32-33).

The word "They" referred to points to the two blind men, as soon as they left, they sought out a demon possessed man to bring to Jesus. They were told not to tell “it”, and they didn't, they told of Him, then brought another in need, freely they were given, freely they sought others to receive. In essence, they did as they were told, they didn't boast in their healing, they sought those who needed a touch of the Master's hand.

Pharisees always get upset when demons are cast out, for some reason they get upset when they aren't the center of attention. If something great happens, and they don't have a hand in it, or if they aren't able to do it themselves, they fall to their envy and attack, time makes no difference, a Pharisee is a Pharisee.

But the Pharisees said, He casts out devils through the prince of the devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people (9:34-35).

This is the first time the Pharisees make this statement, but not the last. It's also interesting how the Pharisees made judgments on matters they knew nothing about, or on matters they themselves refused to do. This statement doesn't say Jesus used devils, rather it says Jesus worked through the prince of devils, which was the same as placing the Authority of Jesus subject to the authority of the devil. This is exactly what the devil was tempting Jesus to do, now the religious leaders are saying it’s what happened. Today we find some who think the same way, whether they know it or not they are quoting these Pharisees. The Pharisees believed in spirits and demons, the Sadducees did not. In this case they saw an act, but equated it to the wrong source.

Of course the other side of the coin shows when things don't go the way we want, our unbelief will attempt to say the devil did it, or people aren't doing as they are suppose to, but of course we’re perfect and doing exactly what is right. Ouch, been there? Well, most have, but we also find the testing of our faith brings many things to the surface, some good, some not so good. The test was on the Pharisees, would they give God the glory?

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (9:36).

Jesus wasn't moved in any degree by the Pharisees, those in need moved Him in spite of the Pharisees. This will connect to the next verse, before we can find the Harvest, we must be sent by the Lord of the Harvest, but there must also be a desire based in compassion, making compassion a moving force.

Then said He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; you pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest (9:37-38).

The Harvest is on the Earth, not the Sea, the disciples are being sent into the Field to bring the separation between the Wheat and Tares, yet one of them is a Tare (Judas).  At the same time they are being trained to be “fishers of men”, and ”fishers of men” fish in the Sea (Gentile world).

When we need help, pray the Lord of the Harvest, don't use manipulation on the people of God to get what we want.

These same people were in the land before Jesus started the ministry, yet the Pharisees didn't see the Harvest. The Harvest belongs to Jehovah, it's His property, thus only He can send the laborers. Without these verses we would miss the importance of the following verses. Without the other accounts we would also miss the reason Jesus told the disciples of John the Baptist, "go tell John again...".  The statement indicates the disciples of John were told once before (again). The disciples of John wanted to benefit, but it wasn't their time, they needed to learn the meaning of, "wait on the Lord". The laborers had to be called, ordained, trained, then sent out for more training, which takes time. On the Day of Pentecost John’s disciples will be included (Acts 1:22-23).

And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease (10:1).

All twelve disciples were given power over unclean spirits, yet included in this group was Judas; also this is before the Cross, before the Ingress Aires, before the Resurrection, and before Pentecost. The Greek word for Power is Exousia meaning Authority, thus Jesus gave them Limited Authority for specific reasons, to specific people, this isn't a blanket call to go where they wanted, or do what they wanted, rather their ability is supernatural based in Mercy, it does not include preaching on the Cross or Resurrection. On the Day of Pentecost they would be granted a different type of Power (Greek Dunamis) from on High in the New Birth. The disciples at this time held Dunamis on earth, not from on High. This area points to Authority as sons of men, the same Authority was granted to each of us when we received the forgiveness of our sins. What these disciples are doing, anyone who has accepted the Cross of Jesus, and the forgiveness of their sins can do.

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him (10:2-4).

James the son of Alphaeus, is the half-brother of Jesus, and the brother of Jude. Paul tells us James the less became the leader for the church in Jerusalem. Bartholomew means Son Of Tolmai, his first name is Nathaniel (Jn 1:45). Thomas was also known as Didymus, and from Didymus we assume he was a twin since Didymus means Two, but it also fits with the term double minded. It was Thomas who held doubt, and doubt comes from a double mind. Lebbaeus means Garment, he was surnamed Thaddaeus. The next disciple was Judas (Judah), thus Judas was given authority in the name of Jesus showing Judas cast out devils, healed the sick, and did many wonderful works, but in his heart the error was found. Judas failed to face his own nature, and failed at Mercy. Jesus will say Judas is a devil (Jn 6:70), not saying he has one, he is one. Later at the Supper the devil will put something in the heart of Judas, why then didn't Jesus cast the devil out of Judas? Judas wasn’t devil possessed, he was self-possessed and lacked two things, submitting to the Will of Jesus, and giving Mercy when it was required. The lust in Judas will tempt him to force things to happen the way he wants, regardless of the Will of the Lord. When Peter will tempt the Lord, Jesus will say, “get you behind Me Satan”. Judas will surrender Jesus to the religious leaders who hated Jesus, thus the only people who can betray Jesus are those of His house. The iniquity of Judas led to the sin, his self-repentance was anything but honest remorsefulness, he attempted to buy his way out of his act. Judas felt by returning the money he would be cleared of a fault, but the money wasn’t the problem, he was. Judas drew back to perdition, rather than turn from his ways. Judas as the man was forgiven by the disciples, and us, but Judas as the example must be remembered. We never see Judas mentioned again after Acts chapter 1, Judas the prophet yes, Judas the traitor, no.

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (10:5-6).

Jesus was first sent the disciples to the Jews, yet He came for the Jews. The Door to the Gentiles would be approached and opened after the death of Stephen. The Authority in the hands of these men was limited to the forgiveness of sins based on Mercy, yet it was enough to send the devil packing. They understood Mercy, they also believed the Name of Jesus was the Power of Mercy to heal the sick, and cast out devils; however, they also lacked the ability to know the Ways of Grace, the Cross or benefits of the Resurrection at this point in time. This area shows one doesn't need the Spirit to function in the Authority of Mercy, but without the Spirit they are yet carnal and unable to understand spiritual matters, thus we judge the Fruit, not the Acts.

And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand (10:7).

The apostles knew the kingdom of heaven was for the potential inhabitants of the kingdom of God; however, they also knew it was At Hand, not In Hand. Jesus didn’t send them to a people not familiar with the things of God, He wanted them to remain within the confines of the Jews. Of course they are the called, but so were the Samaritans, yet the disciples were told not to go to them. The work of Mercy in the supernatural is still:

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give (10:8).

Not one of these disciples had the Spirit at this time (Jn 7:39), more important, not one understood the Cross or Resurrection (Mark 9:32), what Gospel did they preach then? The Gospel basics, Mercy and the forgiveness of sin, not the remission of sin, or the cleaning of the Blood, or the washing of the Water by the Word, the Resurrection, or the Cross. In fact later they will be told not to speak of these matters, spiritual matters to carnal people are foolishness.

They all had their conclusions regarding Jesus, but they didn't have The Witness of Jesus in them until they were endued with Power from on High, these efforts are still on earth. These men heard, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" (Matt 6:31). They accepted the calling, heard the words, believed the words, now they were going to be put to the test. Among them was Judas, thus in Mark we find the call is to continue to believe after we make entry (Mark 16:16).

These men were sent among their own, and told where not to go. Both commands are important, not only do we hear Go, but we must hear "Don't go there" in order to be obedient to the call.

Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat (10:9-10).

This area shows they were in training, and their training involved doing. These men operated in the supernatural, not the spiritual, it’s a vital point. We must see there is a power and authority in Mercy, even if one is not Born Again, if they received the Mercy of the Father, they have authority and power in Mercy.

And into whatsoever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till you go further. And when you come into a house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you (10:11-13).

The word Salute means to Enfold In One's Arms, or Hug, as one would treat a family. John would show the other side of this coin, as he says, "if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he who bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" (II Jn 10-11). The same held true for these disciples, if they found the house was not worthy, they were not to Bless the house. So, were they to pray against it? How about cursing it? No, they were to shake the dust (flesh) off their feet, and go on.

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet (10:14).

We can't force people to believe, nor can we make their decision for them, nor can we hold unforgiveness if they reject us. We did as we were told, we brought the Word, if they reject us, the calling, or the Word, let it pass, move down the road without holding unforgiveness or bitterness toward them, or feelings of inadequacy in ourselves.

Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city (10:15).

As sinful as Sodom and Gomorrah may have been, it's more sinful to reject Jesus, or the prophet, or righteous man He sends. Consider this, Sodom and Gomorrah were Gentile cities, yet Jesus is talking about what happens when someone who is called rejects the one Jesus sends. Jesus sent His own, then spoke the words of warning over the land, once the words were spoken, they remain. Vengeance is Mine saith the Lord, I will repay. It's not up to us to render evil for the evil, Jesus prophesied the warning for us. We must  shake the dust (flesh) off our feet, and go on to the next place.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (10:16).

This is not the Sea, it’s the Field. The wolves are in sheep's clothing, which means they have to shear the sheep to get their “covering”. We are called to feed the sheep, not shear them.

It’s easy to react as a serpent when bitten by one, it's easy to bite back, when bitten by a watchdog, it takes Mercy with the softness of the Dove to overcome serpents and watchdogs. Being Wise as a serpent, doesn't mean to think like one, it means to discern the intent of the serpents. One doesn’t need to be a dog, to know when one is about to bite. One serpent can't pick up another, they either join them, or eat them. We are not told to eat serpents, we have a higher authority, thus they have no authority over us.

This warning doesn't mean we will be attacked on every side, rather it tells us how to respond when attacked. We don't have to live in the serpent's den to know the intent of the serpent. Moving to the Dove (Spirit) will discern the intent, instead of ministering from our  fears or anger, we will discern the heart and intent, then respond by the Spirit.

But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues (10:17).

What man among them fits this? If only Judas would have remembered how he received, but he failed to accept the Word spoken in reference to himself, and lost what little he did have.

This is the heart of prophesy, when Jesus prophesied He didn't have to say, So Saith The Lord, He is the Lord saying it. When someone has the mind of Christ they may or may not say, So Saith The Lord, thus it takes the Mind of Christ to determine what the Mind of Christ is saying. One may or may not say In the Name of Jesus, Paul did and didn't, rather the one In the Name, knows they have the Name (Authority). It’s always the Authority (Name) performing, not the person. When our own souls must be shocked into thinking, "Oh this must be from God", the Lord will have the prophet use, So Saith The Lord; however, ears ready to hear need not be shocked to receive, they discern. Carnal thinking seems to reverse the means, a carnal mind will say, "You have to say the Name of Jesus", but a spiritual mind knows You have to be In the Name of Jesus.

First it was beware of the false prophets (Matt 7:15), then the wolves, here it's beware of men, the context shows these enemies are outside of the organization, but in the land as natural beasts. Jesus clearly separates the groups by saying "they will scourge you in their synagogues", He didn't say "in My synagogues". Of course we know this refers to the religious leaders, but metaphorically it points to the synagogue of Satan (the gathering of the Wicked). The false are wolves among the sheep, we must beware of the attacks, and respond by the Spirit.  Check out the bait, does it have a hook in it?

The word Beware means, Be Cautious or On Guard, but it doesn't mean be Paranoid. When the attack comes, we can compromise with the serpent, we can form bitterness against the serpent, we can form self-pity, we can enter self-justification, we can become angry and attack like a serpent, all of which are snares of the enemy. The intent of the attack, is to draw us into using the same means which produced the attack. On the other hand, we can discern the purpose and intent, then allow the Spirit to use our gift of edification, rather than produce destruction (II Cor 13:10 & 10:8).

And you shall be brought before governors, and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles (10:18).

Hold it, did we miss something? When did this happen? Oh yeah, this is prophetic in nature, referring to events yet to come. Jesus is covering all three areas of attack the disciples will face after Pentecost. One might assume since these things did not come to pass at this time, Jesus was a false prophet, or at the very least mistaken. Jesus wasn’t speaking of the very moment, but He did speak over the office they all accepted, which extended past Pentecost, thus all these things did come to pass.

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you (10:19-20).

This must have sent their minds wondering, the Spirit? What Spirit? No one laid hands on them to receive, the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet Glorified by the Resurrection (Jn 7:39). Wait, this is the Spirit of the Father, the Mercy of God has a voice. The reference to “spirit” here points to the attitude gained when ones sins are forgiven.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death (10:21).

Those in our own house will turn on us like wild dogs, Judas being the example. There are a ton of metaphors here, the brother against brother is the subject matter of First John, both from the same womb (kingdom of heaven), both say they are in the Light, but only one is. The fathers of the Old Covenant will raise up against the Babes in the New. The Babes will raise up against their elders, causing them to be put to death. Did this happen? Yes, it’s history to us, but not to these disciples.

And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved (10:22).

When the world tolerates us, we lack Power, when they love our works, we lost our position and condition, yet the enemies are in our own house. The context of verse 21 is just that, the world is not the enemy, they are the fish to be caught. This refers to those who entered the kingdom of heaven, but rejected the reason for entering.

But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come (10:23)

Some of us say, "Well Bless God, I'm going to fight for my good reputation", but Jesus says, forget it. For some reason we think we are Excused from these words, yet we hold the world responsible to some moral code they never agreed to, nor have the ability to keep. We demand the Beast be Christ Like, while we act Beast Like. These matters take Wisdom, the Book of James goes to this very area. Do we merely speak words about faith, or do we act in faith? Demanding a dog to act like a bird is a waste of time, cast the net, allow changes to take place by the Mercy and Grace of God, then the dog will be able to fly.

The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord (10:24).

There a few who use this verse, coupling with Jesus cleaning out the temple to justify destroying some local church building. They say, "Well Jesus got mad, He cleaned out the temple, Bless God, now let's beat those people with a whip!". However, Jesus didn't get mad at the congregation, He wasn't even mad at Pilate, He was angry at the religious leaders who used the congregation. Although Jesus got mad, His anger did not guide or instruct Him. He always returned teaching the same messages of restoration. Using what Jesus did as an excuse to vent uncontrolled anger is not only dangerous, but stupid.

There is also the concept of hidden self-righteousness, this verse goes right to the heart of it. We are not above the Master, if He didn’t do it, why do we? Because we want to do something Jesus didn’t do, then brag about it. Self-righteousness is a dangerous game to play in the Kingdom.

Walking in Love, doesn't mean everyone will love you. We seem to think if we walk in Love, all will love us, or at least like us, not so. The sons of perdition will hate us the more, but the call is not to have everyone love us, it's to walk in love.

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?  (10:25).

This doesn't mean exactness, but Image, the New Birth is forming us into the Image of God’s Son so we can be sons of God. This area also shows if we have the precept, we better find the example. If we run off doing something Jesus didn't do, or something the disciples didn't do, we are placing ourselves above Jesus. Any of us can fall into the trap of self-righteousness thinking we’re doing Jesus a great service, it’s the Spirit in us who can guide us into the Clarity of our actions, or the actions of others.

Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in the light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach you upon the housetops (10:26-27).

Clearly the Day was dawning, there is a Light in Mercy, a Greater Light in Grace, but nonetheless there is a Liberty in Mercy. Jesus tells them to be bold, but we also have to see He is telling them to preach what they heard from Him, not what they make up on their own. Faith comes by hearing, Jesus tells them to first Hear in the Ear, then Preach. Is this only for the apostles? No, since there is no office or calling for “Preacher”, rather anyone in the Body is a Preacher.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (10:28).

This is one verse among many showing natural man doesn't have his own little spirit, rather natural man is body and soul. The killing of the body is nothing compared to the second death of the soul. The word Death doesn't mean Cessation Of Consciousness, no more than Grace defined means Unmerited Favor. It’s like saying, The Sun Is Big. The first death is when the flesh returns to the earth and releases the soul, this is called "giving up the ghost", or in the Greek ExPsuche, meaning the Soul exiting the Flesh. Yet the flesh doesn't cease to exist, it returns to the chemical elements from which it came, dust to dust. The soul was not formed from the earth, it’s a creation, thus it will continue, but since it was created on the earth it is also bound to the earth. We need something from heaven in order to get to heaven, Jesus took care of it, by making it possible for us to be Born Again.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear you not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows (10:29-31).

As long as our hearts are seeking God we can be assured of the outcome, but if we are playing a mind game with God the outcome will be much different. The Father didn't cause the sparrow to fall, He was aware of it. God didn’t make Judas betray Jesus, He knew of it, then worked it into the plan. The Greek word Phobeo translated as fear is the same Greek word from which we get the English word Phobia meaning an Intense Fear Of A Specific Thing. We are not to fear destruction, rather we fear our own natural soulish traits based on the spirit of disobedience, knowing therein lays self-deception. This is the same concept as “draw back to perdition”, the fear of exposure, or the fear of giving up something the person feels is greater than God causes them to draw back to perdition. It’s considerably different from a fear of God, our fear of God is based on our respect for God, or our knowledge of God’s Integrity. We find the Aorist tense meaning a continuing action in reference to two things, just as we are to continue to believe (Mark 16:16 & Rom 10:9), we find in order to fail one must enter a continual “work of iniquity”. Becoming among the Wicked is not a one time event, it’s a nature of remaining with the old man, while rejecting the New. Peter said, If you suffer for righteousness sake, happy are you, and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled (I Pet 3:14). The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers (I Pet 3:12). We are righteous by the Righteousness of Jesus, we gained Righteousness by the New Birth (Eph 4:24). If we have the Mercy and Grace of God, we have the ability to continue to Believe, and we will endure until the end.

Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven (10:32-33).

The word Confess means more than mouthing the words, Paul said no one can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost. In order to Confess Jesus we must confess Him as He confessed the Father. The word Confess means to agree with the Word (Logos), not merely agreeing with the Scriptures, and the Logos (Word) is Jesus in us (James 1:21). For the disciples at this time it was impossible, rather they gave their factual knowledge of their experiences with Jesus.

John said, Every Spirit confessing Jesus Is Come In The Flesh is of God, the only way anyone can make the confession is by the Greater He in them (I Jn 4:1-4). The evidence? Walk in Love and Light, if one walks in the Love of God, their Ways will show it. Those among us who can't make the confession are of the spirit of antichrist, they follow the spirit of error which is the old man. Our English word Deny means to Refuse To Believe, thus we’re right back to Continually Believe. Unbelief is a tool of the enemy, it runs with Doubt, the second destructive tool. Unbelief is the thought of God not able to begin, Doubt is the thought of God not able to finish what He has begun.

The Greek language has two words translated as Deny, one means to Deny Utterly, the other means to Refuse, it was used in II Timothy when Paul said, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He will also deny us, if we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (II Tim 2:12-13). When Jesus is in us, He will never deny Himself, thus no one speaking by the Spirit of God can call Jesus accursed, whether it’s unknown tongues, preaching, praying, talking, or by the manifestation. The word Accursed means Ineffective, thus our belief is predicated on having the Witness of the Spirit active in our lives. These same disciples walked with Jesus, sat at His table, preached the Good News, healed the sick, saw the cross, saw Jesus after the Resurrection, yet they were not Witnesses until Pentecost (Acts 1:6-8).

Jesus now separates Seasons, showing us where the Peace can be found in our Season and where there is no Peace.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword (10:34).

To think we must bring Peace to the Beast is a waste of time and energy. The Peace is between man and God, Paul called it the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus came so we could have Peace with God, later He will say the Peace He gives is not like the world gives (Jn 14:27). Many of the Jews in those days were looking for a Warrior Messiah, one to overcome the Romans and set up a kingdom on earth. Jesus is showing the kingdom of heaven is on earth, the Kingdom of God is within us, yet neither are the kingdom of man. The kingdom of heaven in our Season is the Body of Christ, based in Mercy, the Kingdom of God is the New Birth based in Grace. The affairs of Mercy are supernatural, the affairs of Grace are spiritual, we need both in order to finish the race.

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household (10:35-36).

This sounds like War, not Peace, but the context shows the world and Christ simply cannot mix, what business has Christ with Belial? (II Cor 6:14-15). Jesus just finished saying, Brother would be against Brother, Father against Child (Matt 10:21). Now it's reversed, man against Father, the in-laws after each other, but this verse doesn't mean our family will kill us, rather it’s metaphorical. The Mother is Israel, Her daughter is Jerusalem, Her Daughter In Law is yet to come in the Night. The Father refers to the fathers of Israel, instead of following the Law of Moses, the disciples would follow the Law of the Spirit, yet the Pharisees would attack them with theological jargon and strike out with stones of theological abuse.

He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me (10:37).

This points to loving the Lord above all, Jesus is not saying to hate one another, or to hate our family, rather it’s the amount of love. If we love any human more than we do Jesus, we will compromise our position. In Luke we read, "If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26). Again this doesn't mean to Hate our family order, rather it speaks of priority. The word Hate is the Greek Miseo translated as “hate” or “hateful”, in Luke Jesus uses it in contrast showing our family members are human beings; Jesus inserts His deity, thus the amount of love is the issue. This is made clear here in Matthew 10:37 regarding the commands He never said, “love others as you love Me”, it was “love others as I love you”. This area relates to “deny yourself”, which includes all things relating to the “self”. The priority of Love is a kingdom principle, if we love the Body more than God, we fail at our first love. Keeping things in their proper order is the issue here, if we love our family more than Jesus, we will compromise our stand to keep peace in our family order.

And he that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me (10:38).

This would be after “deny the self”, thus the prior teachings explain how we begin the denying of the self. We forgive, we also reject feelings of vengeance, validation, justice, revenge, or getting even. We set our Love in priority, couple it with Mercy so we can defend the faith, without causing undue conflicts. Then we accept the death of the Cross, become Born Again, then we can follow Jesus through the Resurrection by having the same Spirit who raised Him.

He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for My sake shall find it (10:39).

The word Life here is the Greek word Psuche also translated as Soul, referring to our natural soulish life style. This goes back to “take no thought about your life”, showing the ineffectiveness of attempting to use the soul to save the soul. Even if we find the soul, so what? What then? The word Find is the Greek Heurisko meaning to Discover, or Observe, thus we can use the principles and discover the soul, so what? It doesn’t save it, it only identifies it. We must “lose” our souls for the sake of Jesus, the context means the soul in the natural nature of things, not the soul in the process of being saved. This again relates to denying the self, the word Loses is the Greek Apollumi meaning to put to death, but isn’t the purpose to save our souls? Yes, it’s why we find the word “life”, thus it connects to the old nature being denied, or imputed dead on the Cross. Jesus is laying out the premise of the ability to come, this same premise of teaching is found when Jesus teaches Nicodemus about being Born Again. Jesus said, “ye must”, He didn’t tell Nicodemus, “you are” (Jn 3:7).

He that receives you receives Me, and he that receives Me receives Him that sent Me (10:40).

This verse points to Mercy and acceptance; the Father sent Jesus, Jesus is sending the disciples to preach about the Mercy of the Father. At times people make the mistake of looking at the person speaking, rather than focusing on the words spoken. “I don’t like the way he dresses”, “what is she doing up there?”, all the natural reasonings shut our minds to the Word preached, yet faith comes by hearing, but hearing by ears centered on Rhema. If we receive the words, we will receive the person. If we reverse the order we find we receive the person, then we receive Him who sent them.

He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward (10:41).

The Name of the Prophet means the authority granted to the prophet, thus it points to the office. The prophet speaks to us as if God is speaking, thus we give due respect to the person, whether we like them or not. Even a youth like David knew better than to attack the one anointed by God, although Saul failed to act like one who had the anointing. We must be willing to receive in order to be received. If we analyze instead of discern we will limit the Word to our knowledge and lose the reward.

The righteous man holds the Righteousness of Jesus, their reward is the same power of belief making them righteous. If we receive the prophet, we will discern the prophecy, if we receive the righteous man we will see the power of belief, in both cases we gain.

More often than not the prophet tells us what we need to hear, rather than what we want to hear. Jesus told the Pharisees truth, it was something they needed to hear, yet it was far from what they wanted to hear. The Pharisees rejected the prophet, and lost the reward. They had to learn the hard way, yet even the hard way didn't help them, since they retained their unbelief. Faith came, they refused to hear, and it passed them by. The reward can knock years off our training, remove the self-imposed heartache, and bring us into the joy of justification.

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward (10:42).

This is the other side; the Little Ones are the babes in Christ working to become the Little Children, this is still respecting the person. Here Jesus says "only in the name of a disciple" rather than "in My Name", thus we can receive the saying, reject and attack the person and lose. The Water is Mercy, taking this further than a glass of water, it shows we give Mercy and Mercy comes back shaken together and running over.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities (11:1).

Everything from Matthew 10:1 to 11:1 are Commandments for those who are sent among their own. God will give us a Talent, one person to minister to, how we treat the person will determine how we will treat others. We get excited about numbers, but how many will travel miles to speak to one person? Jesus did, the servant is not above the Master.

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples (11:2).

These Works Of Christ are in reference to the kingdom of heaven and Mercy. When it came time for John to baptize Jesus, John asked for the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, yet at this time Jesus had baptized no one (Jn 4:2). Jesus began by speaking on Mercy, not Grace, but the disciples of John wanted to see the baptism with the Holy Ghost. At this time John was in prison, the baptism of John had ceased, yet John gave a prophecy regarding how Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Ghost and fire. However, no one had been, did this man fool John? Is John a false prophet? John’s disciples were questioning many things, accepting none. Was this Jesus the same one John talked about? Or is He another type like unto John? They were extremely premature, forgetting about Isaiah who gave a prophecy about a virgin birth, which didn’t come to pass in his day, but it did come to pass.

It would appear this is in conflict with both Mark and Luke; however, Matthew is opening up an area for us to consider. In Luke's account the twelve are sent out and when they were out preaching, Herod heard of these things, but Herod had just beheaded John the Baptist (Luke 9:1 & 9:7-9). Matthew will show John's disciples came twice, not once; and in so doing he adds to the events, rather than taking away from them.

The prior time is recorded in Luke, at the time Jesus says, "go tell John...." (Luke 7:22). Jesus found no fault in John, or the words of John; therefore, this question is from the disciples of John. The disciples of John failed to receive the ministry of Jesus as they saw it, not only the ministry, but Jesus Himself. There were all sorts of signs, but not the one they were looking for. Strangely enough they would see the sign come to pass on the Day of Pentecost, at least two of John’s disciples were in the upper room (Acts 1:22-23).

Jesus just said, Receive them, but John's disciples began to envy the works by the disciples of Jesus, after all, John's disciples were first, their leader even baptized Jesus.

And said unto Him, Are You He that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: The blind receive their 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 (11:3-5).

Here we find the word "Again", Matthew includes Mark 3:14 and 6:7, indicating when the apostles were out doing the work, word came to the disciples of John, and again they went to John. The disciples of John first questioned fasting, now they question the works of the disciples. Jesus said, "Go show (tell) John again..."; instead of looking for signs, we should expect them to follow. The ministry was growing, it was not yet time for Grace, but it was time for the Mercy of the Father.

Before John was cast into prison we know there was a dispute between the religious leaders and John’s disciples regarding the Purifying (Jn 3:25). At the time the disciples of John told him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to Whom you gave witness, behold, the same baptizes and all men follow Him" (Jn 3:26), this is more than a question. Later the disciples of John came to Jesus and questioned why they had to fast, and why the disciples of Jesus didn't (Matt 9:14). Then they came asking if Jesus was the One, Jesus then says, this isn't the fault of John. The disciples of John are told to Look, See, and Report what they Saw, rather than report on what someone else told them.

Jesus didn't answer the question with "yes", but He did say, "look at the evidence, and believe the works". When we look at others, we will begin to wonder, especially when signs and wonders are connected, but it's the wondering about the source of the signs causing problems. John's disciples were using the same stones of abuse the Pharisees used against them and John.

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me (11:6).

The word Offended is the same Greek word from which we get the English Scandalize, or Scandal meaning A circumstance or an act bringing disgrace or offends, or something producing Shame. The disciples of John were one step from turning into Pharisees, the Pharisees were offended, they brought shame and accusations regarding things they knew nothing about. Were the acts of Jesus something to be shamed? No, of course not, but the unlearned or unbeliever will label the acts in a shameful manner.

The disciples of John didn't see what they wanted to see, they accused Jesus by saying, Are You the One or what? Really we could see this as, “If You are the one, how come You’re not baptizing in the Holy Ghost?”. Jesus wasn’t doing what they wanted, but Jesus wasn’t doing what the Pharisees wanted either. There are times when people demand one thing and God has called us to do something else, whose Voice will we obey?

Questioning what God is doing brings Scandal against God, yet the shame falls back on the accuser. At times people will not do what we think they should, or in the manner we think they should. However, the Body of Christ belongs to Jesus, we are merely the Bread (Body), not the Head, we must refrain from bringing Scandal. Speak as an oracle of God, not as someone who thinks they own the Body of Christ.

And as they departed Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yes, I say unto you, and more than a prophet (11:7-9).

Simply, Jesus asks, "what did you expect?", if John was a prophet sent from God, then what did he say? If he said it, it was from God, do you believe it? John said he was the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, he never said he came to heal the sick. Did they receive the prophet in the name of the prophet? Or are they questioning him regarding what Jesus wasn’t doing what they wanted. John said, “This is He, the Lamb of God”, so why is Jesus leaving John in jail? If this is the Messiah, why not free John? Why not jump from the top of the temple, oops someone else wanted Jesus to do the same thing. Questioning God to determine what other people are doing gets us into trouble. However, don’t confuse it with discernment, in this case discernment would have said, “time and timing”, denoting the time was coming, but not in hand.

For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold I send My messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you (11:10).

John was sent to Prepare, not establish. Jesus is establishing, it takes both preparation and established order to bring us into the Kingdom. The Preparation always begins with Repentance based on believing what is presented, then entry.

Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (11:11).

John pointed to the kingdom, he couldn't open it, or deliver it. The Greater Works are found in the Kingdom of God. As many works as were done here, not one person was told "you have the saving of the soul", nor were they told "you are Born Again". They heard about being Born Again, but they also heard "love each other", but as First John points out, hearing and doing are different. Until the Spirit was given, the ability to do the things of the Spirit was at hand, not in hand.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent take it by force (11:12).

This gives us time periods, first is from the time John began to baptize until the time Jesus sent out the disciples, next is the time after this was spoken. This is a timed event, it has a beginning and an ending. John’s baptism ceased when John was cast into prison, his disciples waited for him, they didn’t continue his ministry. It would appear as if Jesus was to continue the ministry of John, but John’s ministry was not induced into the ministry of Jesus. John baptized in his own name, thus it was the “baptism of John”.

The premise of “violent” doesn't give us an excuse to release uncontrolled anger, it has nothing to do with anger, rather it has to do with energy. The kingdom suffered violence by acts of self-righteousness, thus the kingdom wasn't around before John appeared to suffer anything. The word Violent means to Press in, or By an Energy outside the person. The only kingdom noted here is the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of man. This has nothing to do with anyone demanding some world government order to follow kingdom principles. The word Violence means to crowd into by force, self-righteousness is an act of force. In the days of Noah the earth was filled with Violence, yet the Violence was against God, not for Him (Gen 6:11-13), thus self-righteousness is an act of violence against the Righteousness of God. However, since the premise is the kingdom of heaven, the method outside the person would be the direct involvement of the Mercy of God. It’s something only Jesus could bring, thus Jesus told His disciples they had the power to tread on the enemy, meaning the least in the kingdom was grater than John.

If this pertained to the Kingdom of God then the Energy would be the New Birth, but the capability to be Born Again was not available until the Holy Ghost gave the Seed, which happened after Jesus was Glorified (Jn 6:39). Since Jesus said “now”, the time element is limited to time, making the subject the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven opened when Jesus was baptized, thus from John would be the beginning of the time element. Later Jesus will say, “on this Rock” a present tense statement, then He will add “I will build” a future tense statement. The premise of Until Now limits the time, thus Jesus brought the Mercy of God to the people, the Energy then refers to the Mercy of God, not some out of control desire to yell and scream at the darkness.

For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John (11:13).

Does it mean John ended the Law and Prophets? No, it means there would be no more additions to them, what they said, they say. When John appeared the preparation for the New began, John didn’t bring it, but he did announce it. We connect this statement to the last, the law and prophets were until John, then from John until “now” the kingdom of heaven suffered from self-righteousness. Showing a division in times, John was not old but neither was he new, thus he could not present the kingdom. This also shows the kingdom was not presented to the Old Testament saints, as well as showing by John making the announcement he was greater than David, Elijah, or any other Old Testament saint. In essence no one could enter the kingdom unless Jesus granted it, thus the least in the kingdom was greater than John.

And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come (11:14).

Jesus didn't say "receive him" but, "it", thus John was correct when he said he was not the man Elijah. Clearly, Jesus didn't say, he is Elijah, but "This is Elijah", we are no longer looking for a man, but the message of the man. Elijah held the anointing, but he didn't give a double portion of the anointing to Elisha, rather Elisha sought a double portion of the spirit of Elijah, or a double portion of the courage and ability of Elijah. How can anyone give twice as much as they have? You have what you have. The anointing is not transferable from man to man, rather it comes directly from Jesus. Our studies showed Elisha didn't see the man Elijah go, rather he saw the smoke and fire, thus Elisha had to gain his own courage, just as Joshua did. Although the mantel showing the work to be completed did pass, it doesn’t mean Elisha became Elijah.

John the Baptist came like Elijah, or came to the people proclaiming a direction. John didn't transfer his anointing, nor did he promise it, but Jesus did say, If you receive it, or receive the saying. Elijah said, If God be God worship Him; John came saying, the kingdom is at hand and This is He of whom I spoke.

Both James and John Zebedee understood the position of Elijah didn't stop with John the Baptist. Both received the call, but jumped to the wrong conclusion, and wanted to call fire down from heaven (Luke 9:54); however, wanting to call fire down from heaven means there is no God in Israel and the "king is seeking Beelzebub" (II Kings 1:1-10). Without thinking, both James and John were about to provide the evidence the Pharisees wanted to back up their foolish concept of Jesus casting out devils by Beelzebub. Jesus told James and John, You know not what spirit you are of, they were not supporting Christ, they were about to be Anti-Christ (Luke 9:55-56). The purpose of Christ (The Word) is to bring Life, but James and John were about to punish people without considering the consequences of their actions. This shows how the natural mind simply can’t comprehend the things of the Spirit, and why Jesus often said they had “puny faith”, it wasn’t a rebuke as much as it was a fact. The measure of faith is vital, but it’s still puny compared to the Faith of Jesus. The Spirit in us walks in the footsteps of the Faith of Jesus by the Holiness of the Father and the Righteousness of the Son. The same Faith proved itself by the Cross and Resurrection, thus our measure of faith is reaching to the result in our lives, but when it couples to the Faith of Jesus we know we are victors.

He that has an ear to hear, let him hear (11:15).

All sorts of ears hear sounds, but the Ear hearing is willing to receive what it hears.

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and you have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and you have not lamented (11:16-17).

Jesus points to One Generation with Two Groups, the Generation of the Jew will go until judgment, the Generation for the Gentile opened after Stephen was killed, and will close when the Gentile Door closes. There are two Greek words for the English word Generation, one is Genea meaning To become, literally it means A space of time, or Circle of time, it's the word used here with the addition of the word This, pointing to a specific Generation. The other Greek word is Gennema meaning To give birth, or What is born or produced, which is more akin to genelogy. The difference between the two explains we are not so much looking at a group of people based on their age, but a nation distinguished by birth.

This goes right back to the disciples of John, they wanted to see what they wanted to see. Here one group says, "we play the music but you won't dance to our music", the other group says "we mourned, but all you want to do is dance". Both groups are attempting to get others to do as they please, yet both know they are doing what they are suppose to do. It’s the precise error to John’s disciples, they were with John, as they should be, the disciples of Jesus were doing as they should be. John’s disciples questioned the integrity and wisdom of God in reference to the words of John, and the actions of Jesus.

On the same note, Jesus wasn't doing what the Pharisees wanted, thus they closed their ears and eyes. Ezekiel was told "son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are rebellious" (Ezek 12:1-2). Did they have ears? Yes, but they refused to hear. Did they have eyes to see? Yes, but they refused to see. God didn’t keep them from knowing, their own Rebellion turned their eyes to the wrong conclusion, and turned their ears to the wrong source, resulting in witchcraft (I Sam 15:23-24).

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children (11:18-19).

Here are the differences, Jesus isn’t talking to the Pharisees, rather He says, “they say”, thus this is still in reference to the questioning of John’s disciples. When John came he didn’t eat anything unclean, nor did he drink anything outside of the Nazarite vow, yet they said John had a devil. Jesus as the Son of man came eating and drinking, showing the time of His Nazarite Vow was yet future tense, yet they said Jesus was gluttonous and a winebibber (drunk). They allowed their rebellion to interpret what they saw, then made a fable regarding their own reasoning. If Jesus came first, they would still have attacked and refuse to accept based on their envy. Jesus is warning John’s disciples, in the same manner as Paul warns Timothy, beware you don’t turn out like the accusers (II Tim 2:16-18).

Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not: (11:20).

Why the cities, why not the people? We will see the cities are a product of the people, rather than the people being a product of the cities. The prophets spoke to mountains and cities by saying, So Saith The Lord, now the Lord is speaking directly to the cities. Jesus doesn't upbraid us for our unbelief, He upbraids us with our unbelief. Jesus doesn't have any unbelief to place on us, neither will He receive our unbelief, thus He exposes our own unbelief by showing what happens when someone who believes operates (Mark 16:14-18).

These cities saw His works, yet failed to dance with Him, rather they rejected the works, in so doing they rejected Jesus. It was once said, If one is seeking to believe, they need little evidence in order to believe, but if one is seeking to disbelieve, it doesn't matter how much evidence they see, they will still refuse to believe. Eyes can see, but they can be blinded by their own unbelief. “I want to dance”, “I don’t think it’s time to dance”, “well you’re not of God”. Making determinations based on our reasoning is dangerous.

Woe unto you, Chorazin! woe unto you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you (11:21-24).

It is not what Tyre, Sidon or Sodom did, rather it's what Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum didn't do. This is Iniquity, the failure to do what we have the power to do.

Tyre, Sidon and Sodom never saw the Son of man, never saw the works, yet they were destroyed. Today we know the works of the Son of man are Mercy based, and the men of Sodom saw Mercy applied to Lot, who was saved from the destruction, but did they repent? No, yet we find John calling for repentance, Jesus and the disciples healing the sick and granting direct Mercy, but will they believe?

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes (11:25).

After the rebuke, did Jesus seek to condemn? No, He sought the Precious and found there were some who opened their ears by believing and opened their eyes by faith.

Jesus answered Himself, and saw the destruction on one hand, but those who receive on the other. The word Prudent means Sagacious, Shrewd, or Intellect Coupled With Conceit. Intellect without the Spirit always ends in conceit. The word Wise is not the same as the Wise man in Proverbs, rather this word means one who is wise in their own prideful ability, meaning they are wise in their own eyes, but they were fools in God's eyes.

Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him (11:26-27).

The phrase "All Things" is inclusive, not exclusive, thus All things are found in the hands of Jesus, meaning All things are of God. Although Love believes All Things, it doesn't join All Things. If it's not a Thing, it's not to be considered. Well Judas is a thing, should we thank God for him? No, we thank God for making sure we don’t end like Judas.

On the same note we know from the Letter to the Ephesians we war against Principalities, but we are also told Jesus created Principalities (Eph 6:12 & Col 1:16). We also know the devil is a creation, if we truly believe God knows all things, then God knew the devil would be the devil before God said, "Let there be Light". Simply because it's a creation, or a formation from a creation doesn't mean we join it.

However, once we say we believe all things, some Pharisee will say, "oh you believe All Things, then you must believe the devil is God". The premise is a fable, it’s not backed up in Scripture, thus it's not a Thing and moot. It's not saying we don't believe the premise, rather it's we lack the evidence to consider it. This fine line keeps us from picking up aspects of unbelief; instead of saying, "I don't believe it", we simply say, "I lack the evidence to consider it". Often we are too quick to say, "I don't believe it", when there is nothing to believe, or not to believe.

When we have to teach anyone not to believe in something, in order to convince them to believe in something else, we are nonetheless teaching unbelief, and know not what spirit we are. The Things need not please us to be Of God, thus whether we like it or not, whether we understand it or not, if it's a Thing we believe it.

Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (11:28).

The phrase Heavy Laden means to have Anxiety, or Worry, including holding to the cares of this world. When worry mixes with the cares of this world, it causes us to fall for the temptation to change the world, rather than be Changed from the world. If we worry about the world, is it Faith? Jesus will tell us certain things must happen, why then do we assume we must change them? Because we want God to dance to our tune, while we refuse to dance to His? Jesus didn't change the Romans or Israel, He brought Change, then beckoned the people to enter the process to be Changed.

Through the references of Burden and Yoke we find this is another verse pointing to the Sabbath; it was a violation for anyone to carry a burden on the sabbath day, but the purpose was to reflect on the burden the people were carrying in their hearts. The Pharisees didn't carry a toothpick on the sabbath, yet they carried the greatest burden of all in their hearts, unbelief.

God rested on the seventh day since His works were complete; therefore, we need to consider what type of burden we are attempting to carry and why. The change in yokes brings Rest to our souls, reflecting to the saving of the soul. The children in the wilderness kept the sabbath day, but failed to enter the Rest of God (Heb 4:3-4, 4:6 & 4:9). We also know the reason was their unbelief, yet if we enter the Rest of God, we cease from our works; which means we cease from seeking our own self-righteousness by holding to a continual belief in all Jesus told us.

The word for Rest is the Greek Anapauo meaning to be exempt from labor, this same word was used to describe the Sabbath in the Septuagint. The Jews kept a day they called Sabbath, we hold Jesus, Who is Sabbath, thus He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Rest of God). There has to be a change in yokes, but how do we remove ours? The yoke was destroyed because of the anointing, we simply remove the destroyed yoke, then join to the yoke Jesus has for us. When we take His yoke we become a sabbath, we don't keep one.

Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls (11:29).

How do we obtain this Yoke? It begins by being meek and lowly of heart, which means we are easily entreated. The word Meek is the Greek Praos meaning Gentle, the word Meekness is the Greek Prautes, the same Greek word used  in James 1:21. It doesn't mean in man's outward behavior, nor does it refer to man's relationship toward man, rather it denotes an inward behavior producing an expression toward God, which makes the soul easily entreated.

The word Lowly is the Greek Tapeinos meaning Not high, as in not high minded, or prideful. It was used in James 4:6 in reference to piety toward God, thus Meek and Lowly of Heart refers to being humble, which allows God to grant us Grace.

The Meek shall inherit the earth (kingdom of heaven), the Meek cease from anger, and Fret Not the self, which means they fit “take no thought for tomorrow” (Ps 37:7 & Matt 6:33-34). Humbleness is an act of being void of pride, but Meek is an awareness, or submission to authority. The Meek have the patience to wait upon the Lord (Ps 37:9), yet the Rest of God endures by the Patience of God. James said our souls are saved by the engrafted Word (James 1:21); the saving of the soul brings Rest to our souls. From the Rest we enter the True Peace of God; showing he who loses his soul for the sake of Jesus, shall find it, the Just still live by faith.

There are two elements to any Yoke, one is the Yoke itself, the other the Burden placed on the Yoke. A Yoke was used to guide and direct the animal. A two party Yoke called for one animal to guide another, but here Jesus is talking about leaving one yoke to take another. Jesus isn’t going to force the yokes, this is a Covenant, we must put away, then He gives. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, then the things shall be added. Clearly we do things, but we do things pertaining to the gifts God gives us. We are not going to do Grace without Grace, but Mercy calls for us to impute Mercy before we receive it.

Jesus is going to tell us His yoke is Easy, thus if we go about saying, "the yoke of the Lord is heavy", we've given ourselves to the wrong yoke. Since it's "easy" why does it seem hard? Ahh, the old nature attempting to work itself into the yoke.

For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (11:30).

The word Light is not the same Greek word used for the Light of God, rather it means Weight Less. Paul used this same Greek word when he said, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (II Cor 4:17). James said when we go through affliction we are to worship God (James 5:13). When we attempt to save our own soul, it’s the wrong yoke. It does get heavy, but when we take the Yoke of Jesus, the work becomes light. The word Easy displays this, it has a greater meaning than something relaxed, it means Gracious with a root word meaning, "to furnish what is needed". The Yoke of Jesus is Sufficient, the burden is Easy, whereas our yoke is worrisome, the burden is full of doubt, pride, envy, self-centered thinking, self-based methods of control and a self-love looking to inherit self-ability, all of which come from the spirit lusting to envy.

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat (12:1).

The day prior to any sabbath was called the Preparation Day, the purpose of the preparation day was to Prepare for the Day of Rest by doing all the labor needed to get through the sabbath day. The Passover day itself was the preparation day for the High Sabbath day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; however the High Sabbaths came on a date, the weekly sabbath a day. When the verse speaks of the weekly sabbath day, or the sabbath according to the Commandment it would fall on Saturday, regardless of the date, but the High Sabbaths fell on a date, regardless of the day. It will be a very important issue when we get to the Cross, but for here we find this was a Saturday.

The ears of corn are not the western corn, but kernels of wheat. The only preparation for raw wheat was shaking the husk from the kernels, here the disciples used a method known to the Jews. They held the raw wheat in their cupped hands, then blew into their hands, thus blowing the husk from the inner portion. They were not cooking, or using any means other than their hands, yet the Pharisees saw something, did they have eyes? Yes, but their eyes were centered on finding fault, rather than seeking the Precious. The mind of the Pharisees were attempting to find out what the people were doing wrong, a sure sign of being a Pharisee. However, they were doing their job as they understood it, they were required to take tithe and to enforce the Law. However, they neglected the Mercy of God, yet it was God’s Mercy provided Moses the Law. Like most legalists, they had an answer, but they didn't know the question.

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

The word Behold means Take Strict Attention, or be Strict in our attention. What the disciples were doing was not unlawful, but eyes searching for fault, will always find it, whether its there or not. Jesus just talked about the Yoke, here the Pharisees were running around placing Yokes of burden on people, yet it was the “day of rest”. This merely proves the point, the Rest of Jesus is the Rest of God waits for the person to receive it by belief.

But He said unto them, have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? (12:3-4).

Jesus uses the Scriptures to telling the Pharisees to Read, not so they gain faith, but to expose their unbelief, and to show God still desires Mercy. After the Day of Pentecost the disciples would be known as kings and priests unto the Lord, here Jesus uses the time when David was the anointed king of Israel, but was yet to sit on the throne (I Sam 21:3).  David was not a priest, but he went to one, we recall how Doeg the Edomite killed the priests, here Jesus uses the example to show the intent of the Pharisees may not have been to physically take a life, but they were going about killing mercy (I Sam 21:7 & 22:18). The Pharisees were using the word to destroy and hinder, not to encourage, they claimed to be among the religious order of Israel, but they were acting more like Doeg the Edomite.

Or have you not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? (12:5).

This reference points to the priests, but Jesus pointed to David the king, showing both priests and kings are exempt from the sabbath law. Keeping the day is still between the person and the Lord. If one is weak in the faith and feels more comfortable in keeping a day, fine, but they must keep it between them in the Lord. They don’t tell other people, use as a point of pride, they don’t make it doctrine, they don’t expect some special attention from God for keeping it, but it also means they are still under the Law of Moses.

But I say unto you, That in this place is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day (12:6-8).

All this is leading to the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, which takes a course of action to set oneself against the anointing in or on another.

Jesus is greater than the temple of brick and stone, greater than the temple of flesh and blood, and without Him we can have a temple, but no Lord to run it. Prior it was placing the family in the proper priority, here it’s religion and the buildings of religion.

Prior Jesus told the Pharisees to find what it means, "I will have mercy" (Matt 9:13). Whether they looked or not we don't know, but we do know they never applied Mercy toward Jesus. Jesus gave them a homework assignment, for us as disciples it’s just as important to do our homework, as it is to have our experiences.

And when He was departed there, He went into their synagogue, And behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked Him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? That they might accuse Him (12:9-10).

This would be the same day, and still the Sabbath. The man who will be healed held Silent Faith; Silent Faith is based on an action, rather than words spoken. The Pharisees knew they didn't have a violation in the wheat field, but now Jesus is in their realm, among the minds of condemnation, yet they are still playing theological mind games. The Pharisees will have an opportunity to receive Jesus as the Highest Priest, but the wall of prideful theology is a hard stronghold. These Pharisees were maintaining high things against the knowledge of God, two elements of warfare we fight against, by having the Word (Logos) in us.

And He said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days (12:11-12).

What is the Weapon against these high things? The Word preached in Love. The one sheep was the man, the pit was his condition, yet the Pharisees were more concerned over keeping the Law, than saving the sheep. To do well, is to do an act of Mercy, it was the question, is it better to do Good on the sabbath, or do nothing?

In all these events Jesus presents choice, He never made their decisions for them, but He did present them ample evidence to make their own. How much would it take for them to believe? Who knows they never did, but there did come a time when the mantel was taken and given to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28).

Jesus also takes them back to the Old Testament, rebuking them for not healing on the sabbath. God said through Ezekiel, "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel who do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" (Ezek 34:2). With, "The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed what was sick, neither have you bound up what was broken, neither have you brought again what was driven away, neither have you sought what was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them." (Ezek 34:4). When Jesus made the reference to Sheep it was not by mistake or chance, the Pharisees had to know what He was saying.

Jesus finishes with the conclusion, it's always lawful to do good on the sabbath days, on that Truth, there is never an argument. Simply, the Pharisees didn't know God, yet they talked about Him.

Then said He to the man, Stretch forth your hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other (12:13).

The man didn't ask to be healed, his faith was not spoken, but it was obvious. By obeying Jesus the man's faith was evident; reaching toward Jesus in the midst of unbelieving, self-serving Pharisees takes Great Faith. The man's hand was Restored, or brought back to the condition is was prior to being injured. Silent faith brings joy, it brought this man a healed body.

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from there: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; and charged them that they should not make Him known: (12:14-16).

This is the beginning of a John 7 meeting, the religious leaders were offended, but will they use Truth, or not? Did Jesus respond in Love? Yes, did the Pharisees love Him? No, thus whether someone loves us or not isn’t a sign of us walking in love. Our Ways will determine if we're walking in love, here is a perfect example. The Pharisees held their envy and unbelief, yet they were offended because Jesus showed an act of Mercy and Love. The Witness to this would be the healed man, was he healed? Yes, the man became the evidence of a good deed.

The Pharisees could have praised God, but they stood with the stronghold of unbelief joined to the high thing of corrupt theology. This would be the big step toward blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, making plans to come against (anti) the Anointing (Christ).

While the Pharisees condemned the disciples of Jesus for eating wheat, Jesus brings a healing to rebuke the Pharisees, thus, showing them, "I would have Mercy". Adding, is the thought process of the Pharisees; according to them if someone "violated the Law, then God is not with you". Here Jesus shows how they assumed He violated the Law, yet the Power of God healed. Leaving them with one of two alternatives, either submit and admit God Is, or accuse and attack the more.

Confusion is not a product of Truth, but Confusion will come when Truth comes. If someone holds a fable but then Truth comes, the fable will produce the confusion. Therefore, confusion is in the mind of the confused, based on holding fables. If we hold the Truth we will not be confused, or fooled by fables.

Although truth exposes fables, we find the sons of perdition use the confusion to promote their fables. They introduced the fable, then Truth comes and so does the confusion, so what do we think the sons of perdition will say? "Were you confused before? See, they brought the confusion". Not so, if we are based in Truth, then we will not be confused, even if the fables come at us by the bucket load. The Pharisees were confused, but only because they held fables, Jesus was not confused, since He is Truth.

Jesus removed Himself to give the Pharisees time to Consider their ways: this was their chance to receive or reject. However, we know their decision, and the result. From this event the Pharisees would begin to form their nefarious plans, even if they have to twist or manipulate Scripture to either produce fear in the people, or to trap Jesus. They knew their ineffectiveness against Jesus, yet they still held the hammer of cruelty over the people. When we use people as tools to destroy or trap others, we are of the wrong spirit.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet saying, 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 show judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory. And in His name shall the Gentiles trust (12:17-21).

The wording "Shall Not Strive" indicates Jesus left before a debate ensued. Jesus didn't debate with the Pharisees, He persuaded them, there is a difference. The only debate was on the side of the Pharisees, the Truth was on the side of Jesus. Jesus wasn't attempting to pull the Pharisees to an opinion held by Jesus, or to satisfy some prideful thought. Rather He provided evidence to persuade the Pharisees to make a decision, yet Jesus never forces change. The Pharisees on the other hand attempted to debate Jesus to exalt their position, although their position was so low, they had to look up to see bottom. Religious conceit places us in low places, yet our pride thinks we are higher than all men. Praying for the Spirit to expose any self-deception we may have is a primary aspect in our spiritual warfare.

Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils (12:22-24).

The Pharisees made a fatal mistake of allowing their foolishness to spill out of their mouths. They are not within the ministry, but they are joined to the nation God called. Their iniquity was their failure to grant mercy which coupled to their unbelief, the sin was the result. They were unbalanced, unequal, and their hypocrisy was demanding for Jesus follow their traditions and thinking.

The people said, "this is the Son of David", the Pharisees said, "This is the work of the devil". Pharisees will give the devil credit for the works of God in a heartbeat, unless they are the center of attention, then they claim the same work is of God. The Believer always says "God Is", the Pharisee retorts with the "devil is", the son of perdition says "God Isn't, I Am". Those who are bound in religious traditional thinking, are so natural anything spiritual offends and exposes their pride and self-righteousness. When the exposure comes their minds say, “can’t be”, then they Attack. This is leading to the blasphemy, first they fail to submit and yield to the Truth, then they form plans to attack and trap.

Beelzebub means, "lord of the flies" it holds the thought of "existing off of death". Here the Pharisees claim Jesus received His ability directly from the devil; thereby making Jesus subject to the devil. This is exactly what the devil was attempting to do in the temptations, now the Pharisees are voicing the desire of the devil, or doing for the devil, what the devil couldn't do.

The one with the devil sought to be delivered, but the Pharisees spoke for the devil and rejected deliverance. The Pharisees were not demon possessed, they were self-possessed, and rejected their own freedom when it came. Do we think the Pharisees were heathens? Not at all, they spent their entire lives in the religious order established by God, yet when God sent them the Reward, they rejected it. Something to consider.

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (12:25).

Jesus discerned their thoughts, thus their thoughts produced the words, Jesus is in the process of “discerning the spirit”, or detecting the intent. The division of kingdoms is not limited to the devil’s kingdom, it also refers to the kingdom of heaven. If we allow our own kingdom to be divided we too can fall, but no one can ever make the kingdom of God fall.

When Paul talked about Communion he added a comment not found in the Gospel accounts, the Broken Body of Jesus, not the Broken Head, but Body. Although Jesus broke the bread, we find Paul is the only one telling us why. When the Rapture takes place the kingdom of heaven (Earth) will be divided, the faithful will be lifted, or Sleep in Jesus, but the unfaithful (Wicked) will remain and appear as the Second Beast out of the Earth. However, the Kingdom of God is established in heaven, where no thief can enter. Jesus will tell us the kingdom of heaven is divided, but we have a choice in which half we dwell in.

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, how shall then his kingdom stand? (12:26).

This is an area where “even if”, it doesn’t say Satan can, rather it says even if they were right, they are in error for giving the devil the glory. Even If Satan was casting out Satan, they should rejoice, for the kingdom of Satan was doomed, but no, they attack. Therefore, instead of looking for the fault, we should praise the Lord (Eph 5:17-20). Jesus uses the same faith statements as the Three Hebrew Children, telling the Pharisees to look for the Fourth Man before the fire consumes them. This doesn’t say Satan casts out Satan, it says “if” he does, he is divided.

And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges (12:27).

Again this is an “IF” statement, showing the prior statement was also an IF statement. Even If Jesus by Beelzebub, who them do the children of the nation cast them out? The Apostles are the children of the nation, they were casting out devils at the time. However, after Pentecost the Apostles and others will be Born Again, they will have the Spirit of Christ. At this time the Pharisees are speaking against the Ability, or the Anointing by which Jesus operated. It’s the context, by what Authority and Power the acts are being done.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you (12:28).

Here is another IF, but it’s also projected to the future. The disciples at this time operated under Mercy, they had Authority by Jesus, but they were not Born Again, neither did they cast out devils by the Spirit. Later they will, part of the Authority under the Name of Jesus for anyone in the Body who believes is the ability to cast out devils (Mark 16:17 et al). Jesus gave them several IF thoughts, here is another If, If the power and authority is in the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come. Casting out devils before the Cross, and after still saw the devils cast out, but the point of Authority and Power changed (Matt 28:19-20). The Kingdom of God is within, we are in the Kingdom of Heaven, thus the Kingdom of God is the New Man, the Gift of the Holy Ghost which did not come until Pentecost. If someone does a good work, never give the devil the credit. Are there some who do? We know there is, beware of them, they are of the wrong spirit, they search for error, because they are motivated by the spirit of error (I Jn 4:1-4).

There are two positions, both will be referred to here, and in Mark chapter 3 on this same subject. Jesus as the Son of man established the Mercy on earth, thus those who are “sons of men” have the Mercy. As the Son of God Jesus established the Kingdom of God, which we know is within, thus the same Spirit who raised Jesus will raise us, the Spirit of God bears witness with the Spirit that is of God in us telling us we sons of God. No one is a Son of God without the Spirit in them by residence, that born of the Spirit is still Spirit.

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

Here Jesus isn't talking about the demon in the man, but the strongman the Pharisees were using. This is not demon possession, it’s retaining, listening to, and following the spirit lusting to envy. The strong man is the old man, the fallen nature, thus we loose people, but bind the strongman. The word Bind means to restrain, the Pharisees could have kept their mouths shut. However, we do have a problem, if we truly bind the strongman, what do we use? Will power? No, we gave up our will power back in chapter 6. The strongman? It’s all we have, but will it work? No, Jesus is going to give us the answer, pray for God to give us the Stronger One, the Greater He, the Spirit of Truth, the New Man, Another Comforter, the same Spirit as Grace in us. The method we use is allowing the Stronger One to bring the attributes of God to drive out the things of the Strongman.

He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me, scatters abroad (12:30).

The word Scatters means Division, the unsaved soul has its own armor of pride, ego and self-centered thinking, gaining self-glory, self-exaltation and looking for self-justification, to establish a self-serving gain. When the Spirit prepares the tabernacle in us, all these self traits are exposed. However, the tares can only be handled when the Blade of the Seed of God comes forth, thus we know if God is exposing these tares we are Born Again.

First John tells us there is a difference between the forgiveness of sin, and the cleaning from unrighteousness. Yet, all unrighteousness is sin, thus one can have their sins forgiven, yet refuse to submit to the cleaning by the Blood. Only the Spirit can destroy these self elements, the strongman tends to look at these elements as treasures, or methods of his warfare; therefore, Satan will not cast out his treasures, he attempts to protect them. Satan attempting to cast out Satan is still the blind leading the blind, both fall into the ditch.

With all this, we will find Jesus came to bring division, so does it mean He brought strife as well? No, there are two forms of division, one is a division from the demonic realm, the other is a division producing the demonic. Jesus divided the demon from the man, the Pharisees were attempting to divide Jesus from being the Christ, two completely different types of division.

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (12:31-32).

This is somewhat different from Mark 3:28-29, but still connected, here Jesus uses “Son of man”, not only connecting this to Mercy, but narrowing it down to one person. This is connected to the kingdom of heaven, giving us an example of being a Son of man. These verses by themselves leave something to be desired, what is the difference between speaking against the Son of man, and blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? Much, in Mark we find, “all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men”. Here it’s against the Son of man, thus they are different. Here it points to coming against one person, in Mark it’s for those who act in Mercy. In Mark is forgiveness for the sons of men, here it’s things spoken against the Son of man. Here it’s a sin against, not sin done by, changing the context some. If All Sin shall be forgiven, would it not include this sin as well? All used to mean All, or has it changed? It has not, but the sin here is part of the nature, thus they refused to allow Mercy to penetrate their hard hearts. These would be the vessels of dishonor Paul speaks of in Romans (Rom 9:21-23). This points to someone who is continual in their fault finding efforts, they are the ones who see an act of God, yet continually give the devil credit. They may even pray “Lord forgive all my sins”, yet they turn right around and seek the fault in the people of God. Their nature shows they really didn’t associate their evil ways as a sin, they didn’t turn from them, they didn’t seek to be free of them, rather they used them over and over again. First John 3:9 speaks of a continual sin against the brethren, it doesn’t mean a brief slip, rather it’s more of a nature the person retains. The context of First John is between two brothers, both say the walk in the Light, one does, the other says it, but hates (slanders) his brother, showing the ways of this brother are in darkness (I Jn 2:11). We will not fellowship with God, if we don’t treat the people of God in the same manner as God. It’s the point here, the religious rulers were not treating Jesus in the same manner as God was. They were in fact doing for the devil, what the devil could not do for himself.

The Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost points directly to the Holy Ghost bringing the Seed of God, or speaking against the work of the Holy Ghost. All this is a speaking sin, it’s not one of ignorance, but done openly. Hindering the growth of the Seed would be an iniquity, but if we speak against the Seed of God, it would be a sin. All this gives us two groups, this is not the “workers of iniquity”, since it refers to a sin. The workers of Iniquity have a command to do something, but refuse to, while doing other things, making them unequal. Here we find people who Trespass, or move into an area they have no right to. Speaking against what God is doing in others in a continual effort is speaking against the work of the Holy Ghost in others. For this reason Jesus will tell us, “What do you care, you follow Me”.

In Mark we find even If we did speak against the Holy Ghost, we now know it’s a sin, we can repent, change to walking in mercy; however, there are those who speak against the acts and ways of the Holy Ghost as a part of their nature, they never consider what they are doing wrong, a sin, or against the Holy Ghost. Even if they ask forgiveness by the blanket “Lord forgive me all my sins and iniquities”, if they continue to speak against the Holy Ghost, they have done so a their nature.

Matthew 12:31 doesn’t say the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost won’t be forgiven against the “son of men”, but it does say “men”. The division is based on the difference in positions, a “son of man” is one who walks in mercy, “men” means mankind who hears and follows the spirit of man, yet the context points to being within the called, as were the Pharisees.

It is important to know this is not an error of spontaneity, it's premeditated as a spoken sin with conviction as a matter of ones nature over a continual period, based on their refusal to submit to have a nature change. These are the mockers, who walk after their own lusts, sensual are they, having not the Spirit; But Beloved build your most Holy Faith by praying in the Holy Ghost (ability to deal with the masses) keeping yourselves in the Love of God (Jude 10 & 17-21).

Since this is a nature issue, the recovery or prevention would be a change in trees, a circumcised heart, the Greater He to bind the strongman to have him evicted.

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

This still refers to the area of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, but in this case it's how to avoid the sin. This doesn’t say “receive the tree”, it says we have to Make a change, we do so by submission and admission to the Holy Ghost.

This takes us back to "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father which is in heaven" (Matt 10:32). Confession is not talking about Jesus, or what Jesus has done, it’s being like Jesus (I Jn 4:1-4). It’s having the Greater He in us, walking in the God granted Mercy while allowing the change of nature and character take place by the Spirit.

Confession is the fruit of the tree, we can't paint the fruit and proclaim a new tree, we can't change our confession by the pride of life and become self-deceived into thinking we have a new tree. Our confession tells us the type of tree we're using, we don't confess things in order to believe them, we have believed, therefore have we spoken, it’s not the other way around (Ps 116:10 & II Cor 4:13).

Prior Jesus said a false prophet is known by his fruit, and the fruit is the product of the tree (Matt 7:15-17). It’s exactly what we see here, if one joins the Body, yet retains the spirit of the world they have a corrupt tree it will produce corrupt fruit. It’s not saying they can’t change trees, rather they fail to. The failure causes them to be unequal, they seek the things of God, but do so through the old nature. This is another example of someone who enters iniquity, which leads to sin. From the corrupt tree they will speak corrupt words, for by their words they are known.

O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (12:34).

The context is Speaking, linking this to the blasphemy, the context is How can one speak good things from a corrupt tree? There has to be a tree change, a heart circumcised without hands, a new nature, with a new way of thinking.

The Pharisees used Scripture, but used it to destroy. Wrong tree, this also shows the Tree is the Heart, the base of the intent. The Pharisees felt they were the holy or the holy, the righteous of the righteous, a very dangerous mode of thinking. God will put events in our path giving us the opportunity to be humble, it’s what Jesus is doing here. The Pharisees needed to view their words, look at what they said to determine the source.

The word Viper points to words of poison, this is not belittling them, it merely shows they lack the source. The question is how can they? They can’t, but their time is coming, they will have the opportunity to have a tree changing experience, if they so desire.

Jesus is still teaching on Mercy, which points to the Living Water, or Mercy coming from having the Spirit of Christ in us. instead of rendering an evil confession in the face of an evil confession, He is applying Mercy to the Pharisees, thereby giving them the immediate choice to repent.

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 (12:35).

This clearly shows the Tree is the Heart, we are given a New Heart, which is the New Man. We don’t have a Good Tree until we are Born Again, painting reverse collars on the old fruit won’t make it holy. Here it’s not only words, but Things. We also see there is an “evil treasure”, something the old man retains, or we retain thinking it’s a “treasure”. It is, evil, but still a treasure. The word Evil here means Hurtful, showing the intent is slanderous in nature, thus the Word in us separates Thought from Intent to detect the source (James 1:21). Debates are based on opinions, winning a debate exalts the self with pride, anyone who has won a debate knows the feeling of pride has invaded. There is a vast difference between winning a debate and giving someone Knowledge so they can be healed and saved.

It’s just as obvious this is a warning, they were right on the border of slandering the Holy Ghost, and slander is based on a malicious intent. The word Malice has a similar meaning in our civil law as it held in the time of Jesus. Malice means, "the intent without just cause to commit an unlawful act resulting in injury of some innocent person".

The context is simple, how can we remain as we were inside, and still produce good things out of our mouths? We can paint the stronghold, or use the same old foundation with a religious twist, yet be none the better. We will quote verses, yet be so prideful in the effort we are more the Pharisee. One can still speak highly of Jesus, yet do so to exalt the self. Their words are hurtful toward the Holy Ghost, they grieve the Holy Spirit, forcing Him to turn to be their enemy. On the other hand the good heart brings comfort, edification, exhortation, ministering grace to the hearer.

Exposing the fruit and destroying the person are two different things. We expose the fruit so the person can make a decision to have a different tree, but if we destroy the person, there is no place for a good tree to grow.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned (12:36-37).

Jesus is still teaching on the subject of speaking against the Holy Ghost, now He tells us how we become justified, or how we remain condemned. This is of course the Fruit, displaying the two trees. The phrase, Idle Word, means Vain Rhema the context is directed to the religious leaders, not the world. The Rhema is the ability dependent on the motivation, idle rhema ears are still a type of hearing, but it's an evil type, one either twisting, or coming from the tree of condemnation and corruption.

First John also covers this and it's not just denying the Holy Ghost, this still centers around the words of the Pharisees, they spoke of the things of God, but in a negative tone. They continually spoke against Jesus, thus continually speaking against members of the Body of Christ is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. This is also seen in the test of the spirit, and how our confession is an indicator to detect if we're speaking from the Spirit of Christ, or speaking words anti-Christ in nature.

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from You (12:38).

What? When our carnal confession is questioned, we demand a sign, when Paul questioned the confession of the Corinthians, they demanded proof, or a sign of Christ speaking through him (II Cor 13:3). When the fruit of our confession shows we're wanton, we will spill forth more corrupt fruit to justify the prior corrupt fruit. There is a time to seek God for a bit in our mouths, we need a watchman over our words, to keep corruption from becoming our calling card.

One would think the sick were being healed, the dead raised, plus the other signs would be enough to give the God the glory; however, the religious minded were looking for their sign, they wanted Jesus to perform and condone to their thinking. The Pharisees will reject the presented signs, thinking they are matters not worthy of consideration, but if they could see God face to face, or see heaven open, or see us jump from the tower and have the angels hold us up. Oops, it’s what they are doing isn’t it? Again they are speaking the desires of the devil, by demanding a sign to fit their thinking, rather than receiving the signs God was giving them.

All these teachings are warnings to the Seed and Root, while at the same time encouraging us to continue on until we have the fullness of Christ.

But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold a greater than Jonas is here (12:39-41).

These verses also help us understand the unpardonable sin, which is the sin unto death. They rejected the signs, they rejected the words, they rejected the warning, then demanded their own sign, while speaking words of condemnation. Their unbelief was obvious to everyone but them. On the same note, they didn’t think they committed this sin; therefore, if one is concerned about having committed the unpardonable sin, it's a good sign they haven't. However, if one exists in  continual unbelief they are also self-deceived, assuming they can exist in unbelief, yet be saved. If someone goes about attacking, mocking, and rejecting the signs of God, yet think they are so holy they could never sin, they are committing this sin. The unpardonable sin is unpardonable, because the person refuses to ask pardon, they assume they have committed no sin, they are doing God a great service, so why repent? The same attitude these Pharisees had, we can see they are self-deceived by their own religious conceit. They weren’t laying hands on the sick, or praying for the sick, yet they attacked the one who was.

The sign of Jonah would be the greatest of all, through death, Jesus destroyed (made ineffective) him who had the power of death, that is the devil (Heb 2:14). The name Jonas is the Greek for Jonah, it was the preaching of Jonah caused the people of Nineveh to repent, however, it shows the prophecy of Jonah was not what he said, but his experience with the whale. The Whale Belly ministry for Jonah came before he preached, thus Jesus is showing the Resurrection will come, then the religious rulers will be preached to, not by Jesus, but by Peter, John, Stephen, and later Paul. Jonah gave the shortest sermon in history, yet had the biggest repentance meeting in history. However, there was One Greater than Jonah before the Pharisees, but they missed it. Jesus is speaking of a prophecy, yet He will also give a prophecy regarding the three days and nights, if it wasn’t three days and nights then Jesus was error, hardly the case as we will see.

Seeking a sign and having the signs follow are different. If one is seeking a sign, they are looking for some tangible element in which to place their belief, or something to condone to their thinking before they will believe. On the other hand signs follow those who believe. Wanting confirmation to be sure it's God is not seeking a sign, but seeking a sign to condone to our thinking before we believe, is still unbelief. Jesus gives us many parables, in which we keep finding two groups, one group decides to remain in the same condition, and the other seeks change.

The queen of the south shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold a greater than Solomon is here (12:42).

Jesus is greater than the prophets, greater than the sabbath, greater than Jonah, now greater than Solomon the wisest and richest Jew up to this point. When the queen of Sheba found Solomon had great wisdom, she said, "Blessed be the Lord your God" (I Kings 10:9). Even this heathen queen knew to give God the glory. The Pharisees also came to Jesus with difficult questions; when He spoke to them in Truth, they said, "It's of the devil". They said they wanted answers, but they didn’t, they wanted to trap Jesus. Although they heard the Truth of God, they failed to give God the glory, rather they gave the devil the credit, making themselves children of the devil.  All they had to do was give God the glory. One lawyer will, and he will hear "you are not far from the Kingdom of God", receiving the Truth is enough to crack the stronghold.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he said, I will return into my house from where I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked then himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation (12:43-45).

This doesn't refer to the time when someone has a demon cast out of them, as much as it refers to any of us who were devil run while we were in the world. All of us were evil, there is none righteous, no not one, but when we entered the kingdom of heaven we gained authority over the devil. To draw back to perdition makes our last state worse than our first. The foundation of perdition is unbelief, the same spirit of disobedience governs the world.

This also refers to the latter days when the devil is bound, then turned loose. It will be seven times worse in the latter end, than it was when Jesus was casting out devils.

The word Swept means Clean, it refers to the forgiveness of sins, rather than remission of sins. The metaphor House points to the soul, but we can also see Jesus is talking about the religious house for these Pharisees, relating to the cleaning of the temple.

Jesus also warns of the error of receiving the forgiveness of sins, yet denying the Cleaning by the Blood, the end result will be much worse than the beginning. A clean temple is not a filled temple, it needs to be filled with the Newness of God in order to survive. The word Garnished means Attractive or Conducive explaining how the House is ready to be filled, but unless it's filled with the Spirit, it will remain as it appears, Conducive for the spirit of man. Removing the old tree is not the goal, gaining the New Tree is.

Like the Corinthians, one can be the temple of the Spirit, yet remain carnal, and unable to understand spiritual matters. Mark shows some have a gladness when the Seed is planted, but they lack the Root and soon fall. When the event doesn't please the person, they are offended. If they appear to be defeated by the event, they are offended. If someone mocks them for their stand, they are offended. If God didn't meet their soulish expectations, they are offended. If they are corrected they are offended and angry. All these offenses are based on exposure; however, they lack the foundation for the Seed. The Seed is not the Birth, it's the point of conception, the Root is equated to the Fetus, the Blade to the Birth into the family of God. If one truly loves the Lord, the persecution and affliction will perfect them, rather than destroy them.

Jesus is not discouraging us, rather He is explaining what these various stages of growth will face. If many of us would have known the process, the many events would have been easier to take. Jesus explains there is a process, a method of growth for each person. None of us jump from conception to the full corn in the ear. None of us are going to be free of the persecution and affliction. It's for our own good, it brings the full growth, and it's purposed to expose the enemy, not exalt him.

While He yet talked to the people, behold His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him. Then one said unto Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brethren stand without, desiring to speak with You (12:46-47).

Does the Faith of Jesus show us not to be Partial? Yes, as James points out (James 2:1-4). The mother of Jesus is of course Mary, and Mark tells us Jesus had half-brothers and sisters. It doesn't mean Mary gave birth to them, rather it means under the Law she received them as hers when she entered the house of Joseph's brother after the death of Joseph (Mark 6:3). The concept here is favoritism, or being partial, which is not picking one over the other, since Jesus did. He picked James, John and Peter over the others, He treated those who believed different than those who didn’t. Partial means to pick one over the other based on the self-benefit we can gain or acquire (James 2:3-4). When all believed, or when all did the Will of the Father, they were His family.

But He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brothers! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (12:48-50).

What was the iniquity? Failing to do the will of the Father, here we find if we do the Will of the Father we are of the family, thus the workers of iniquity said they know Jesus, but He doesn’t know them. These verses support the concept, displaying a failure to do the Will of the Father means Jesus doesn’t know us, even if we use His Name.

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore (13:1-2).

It was against the traditions of the Jews to sit on dirt, it wasn't a sin or transgression, but an admission of being in the wilderness again. This was a time for these people to humble themselves and admit, their people left the wilderness, but their hearts didn't.

This is still the same day starting back at Matthew 12:22, it will continue until Matthew 13:53. Mark chapter four and these verses are the same, Matthew adds details for the Seed and Root.

And He spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold a sower went forth to sow (13:3).

A Parable is not some cute little story, nor is a parable an illustration. The word Illustration means to use some vague word picture, pointing to a more profound subject, but an illustration need not be true to make its point. In fact, an illustration is based on some made up situation, thus to assume Jesus spoke an untruth to explain a truth is calling Jesus a liar. Each Parable is based on a Truth to explain a more profound Truth. We can use a bird to explain the flight of an airplane, but both the bird and airplane fly. We can toss a rock through the air to show how a bird moves, but rocks don't fly, nor were they intended to. The latter is an illustration based on an untruth to show a truth, the former is a Parable based on a truth to show a truth. The growth of the Seed, the area of Paradise, the tree, the net and many other things are all truths. Paradise was called the Bosom of Abraham, not the Bosom of Moses; therefore, whether Jew or Gentile, one still gains by faith, not by the deeds of the Law.

The concept is a division, the Seed and the Ground. The Seed is sown by the Sower, the purpose of the Sower is to sow the Seed. The Seed is dependent on the Ground for the growth, leave stones of abuse, hard unbelieving thoughts, remove the Water, and the Seed will not grow. In all the parables we must remember the Seed is the Word, the Word is Perfect, but dependent on the Ground for growth. If there is a problem, it’s not the Seed, but the Ground.

Whatsoever we Sow we Reap, the truth of this is found in all lands. A farmer doesn't plant corn and worry about dogs growing, nor does a farmer plant orange trees, then assume apple trees with grow. We can plant grass, yet weeds grow because we failed to prepare the ground, or check the seed. We prepare the ground, then we are assured grass will grow. The grass seed is grass, not weeds, the seeds to produce the weeds produce after their own kind. It's the enemy who planted the Tares, not the Sower of the Good Seed. This is also a hope; Good Seed will drive out the bad, thus sowing Good, reaps Good. This also goes back to the good tree and the corrupt tree; the corrupt tree was planted by the enemy, it needs to be removed, if we are to be free.

When a seed is planted it grows the root first, then comes the blade, when the blade breaks forth the growth has been birthed. Our physical birth was no different, first came the seed to join the egg, then the fetus stage as the root, then birth. The New Birth is similar, the Seed is conception, then comes the Root to bring the Blade, it's when the Blade comes forth we are Born Again. None of us celebrate our conception day, we celebrate our Birthday; therefore, assuming conception is birth is a false concept to avoid the faith it takes to reach the Blade. The parable shows us the Seed was planted on all sorts of grounds, the grounds made the difference in growth. The Seed is life, it’s the Word, but Born Again and the Seed being panted are connected, but not the same.

All of us have sinned, as long as we have this flesh the potential to sin exists.  Mercy removes the authority of sin, the Blood of Jesus removes the power and conscience of sin. We need something so holy, sin can't exist in its presence, something so righteous wherein we are assured we always have right standing before God. John says, the Holy Ghost uses the anointing to plant the Seed of God, thus through the Seed we become sinless (I Jn 3:9). How is it? If we say we have no sin we lie. The Seed of God is created after God's Righteousness and Holiness, it gives us the Ability to walk in the Light, to have the Love and Life of God, thus Love still covers a multitude of sins. Our Hope is the Seed of God, therein lays the difference, not our intellect, discipleship, church position, dress code, or any of the carnal elements we tend to attach the word “holy” to. The fact remains, Greater is He in us, than he who is in the world. The Greater He is the Spirit of Truth, the New Man, the Word, Jesus in us, the Hope of glory (I Jn 4:1-4). Okay, who is the he in the world? The spirit lusting to envy, the spirit of the world Paul says is opposed to the Spirit which is of God (I Cor 2:12).

This parable explains the saving of the soul to those with the Seed and Root who have decided to Seek the Kingdom. The condition of the ground is softened by Mercy, connecting this parable to the Sermon on the Mount. The Mercy condition prepared the Ground, it was ready for the Seed, the decision of the person to forgive, as they are forgiven opened the Mercy to prepare the Ground. All this makes sense when we know the metaphor for Mercy is water, when we attach Grace to Mercy it becomes Living Water.

In all this it’s vital we keep in mind the Sower is the same, the seed is the same; the only thing causing any difference is the ground.

And when He sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up (13:4).

The purpose of the Seed is to bring growth with joy, but here the seed fell outside of the purposed ground, then came the Fowls to Devour it. The Fowls are not devils, rather fowls represent the Satan nature, or the fall nature, or the spirit lusting to envy. Here the ground loved the ways of darkness, it wanted the feeling of the flesh more than to be saved by God. This is made clearer by the phrase “way side”, which is the Greek Hodos referring to a well traveled road, metaphorically it points to a course of conduct, or a nature treasured by a person. It’s the case here, the Seed was Sown, the Sower did His job, but the Ground rejected the seed, the ground allowed it to be wasted by the Waster.

This ground is the person who says, “I don’t need anyone to die on a Cross for me, I’m a good person”. They may be likeable, but they confused good for nice, or good for likeable. Do we give up on them? Not hardly, but neither do we cast our pearls before swine. We grant them the opportunity, but we don’t “share” with them, they will only mock the experiences we’ve had with Jesus.

Some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth (13:5).

Here we find “not much earth”, or shallow, or lacking a heart for God. Paul said the only ones who lack faith are the unreasonable and wicked. The Wicked waste their faith by seeking the he of the world, the unreasonable are the unteachable. This group spring up quickly, but they lack the Root, they never allowed the Ground to deepen. Mark calls this Stony Ground, which would mean not much earth (Mark 4:5). This Ground being stony shows it lacks Water in any degree, or lacks Mercy. The word Stony is the Greek Petrodes meaning a ground full of rocks, metaphorically rocks (plural) in this case point to areas of bitterness and hardness. All Seeds will face the two areas of persecution and affliction; however, the Ground can become offended and reject the Seed to maintain the desire for revenge or validation, or something else rejecting the principle of Mercy, at times it’s demanding justice, or validation.

And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away (13:6).

The Roots draw the water from the ground, although the seed begins to grow root, it still has to break the surface ground to be Born. The Seed already suffered death for us, thus the Seed of God is the result of the Resurrection, but we must die in order to gain life. However, the Word of God will offend the old nature, the purpose is to bring awareness to the condition of the ground. All Roots are the same, the grounds are different, some grounds have more tares than others, some more rocks than others, but all have tares and rocks hindering the growth. However, the desire of the ground to receive the Water (mercy) of God makes the ground soft and teachable. The key to this parable is still, “I would have Mercy, rather than Sacrifice”. The Pharisees were about as religious as one could be, but the lacked Mercy. The lack of Mercy promoted the corrupt tree to grow, producing strongholds, ending with the strongman in control.

The metaphor Root shows us a growth is taking place, yet it is not visible. The root must grow in the ground, before birth takes effect. The Seed is Grace, but it takes Mercy to bring the Root. This group received the Seed, but rejected giving Mercy, thus they lacked the ability to have a healthy Root, without the Root they had no foundation making them unable to stand in the heat or adversity.

And some fell among thorns and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: (13:7).

The rocks are in the ground, the tares to produce the thorns are in the ground, but here the thorns came first to hinder the growth. The ground granted the thorns respect, or honor by holding to them. The saving of the soul identifies those thorns before they can have effect, instead of turning the stones into bread, the saving of the soul removes the thorns by producing the attributes of God. The hindrance is not the Seed, but outside elements the Ground accepted, then refused to cast off when the opportunity to apply Mercy came. The tares, rocks of abuse, fears, deceitfulness of riches and other elements not conducive to the Will of God can choke the Seed if they are not dwelt with. The Choking doesn’t mean the Seed dies, rather it’s the person moving from the Seed, thus the word Choke means to remove. Jude says they separate themselves, Paul called it a falling away.

Up to this point things don't look good, but these are warnings, giving us an awareness of the obstacles so we cam avoid them. The first group wanted the Seed, but they loved the spirit of man more. The Second group wanted the Seed, but they refused to give Mercy. This group received the Seed, but held to the things which motivate the world, thus allowing bitterness of the curse (thorn) to choke the Seed. Each of these areas show us how the Seed is the ability to gain the Good Tree, but there is a growth dependent on the ground. The New Tree will produce Good Fruit, which is joyful, confident, secure in knowledge and wisdom, loves to give what it freely received.

But other fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold (13:8).

This is Good, or Honest Ground knows to ask for Mercy form God, meaning we also forgive as we are forgiven. This Ground is teachable, easily entreated, desires to be with God, on God’s terms.

This also shows how they have the Root, applied Water, then are Born Again. Mark shows the Fruit begins with the Blade, thus the Beginning of the Gospel begins with the Blade, not with the Seed or Root (Mark 4:28). The Blade produces thirty, the Full Ear sixty, the Full Corn in the Ear a hundred.

The key to all this is the Ground, connecting this to the prior Mercy teachings. Mercy is the Water for the Seed of God, later in John we will find Jesus turning the water into wine, it’s more than a miracle to produce wine to drink. The Water was provided by people, the miracle by God. The Water is Mercy, without Mercy the Seed will not grow. Since the Seed of God is a New Creation, it's from God, thus we must Water it, or we will choke it. Jude says the wicked are twice dead, without the Spirit, clouds without water (Jude 11, 12 & 19). They choked the Word out, the Word wanted to stay, it wanted to Grow, but this is a Covenant. It’s obvious the growth is depended on the ground, not the Seed. If it was dependent on the Seed, then all the grounds would have growth, but they don’t. Jude also shows the wicked separate themselves, showing they drew back from the Seed, or choked it out of their hearts. Is it easy? No, it’s why they are called the workers of iniquity.

Who has ears to hear, let him hear (13:9).

The willing ear who desires to submit to the truth sees this parable as Process, Hope and Obtainable. The Word is sown all over the place, but not all receive. If we received, applied Mercy the Seed will Grow, it’s still able to save our souls (James 1:21).

It’s not our job to receive for other people, or believe for them, it is our place to preach the truth in love, and prepare our ground. What is the best way? Forgive the unforgivable, it produces plenty of Water for the Growth.

And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why do You speak unto them in parables (13:10).

Mark says the disciples "asked of Him the parable" (Mark 4:10), thus Matthew gives us the words spoken by the disciples, whereas Mark shows the intent behind the words. Matthew explains to the Seed and Root how Jesus looks behind our words and exposes the intent; there are times when we ask the Lord something, yet the answer does not seem to fit the question. Discern the answer, it’s to the intent. Jesus spent many hours teaching on how Mercy prepares the Kingdom Ground, this parable explains what happens when we prepare the ground, as well as what happens when we don't.

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given (13:11).

For one to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, they must be a disciple. One can know fifty translations, have every verse in memory, yet never know the mystery. Grace is a free gift from God, without it we lack the ability to do the things of Christ, we would also lack the Power of the Resurrection. We are the only people who are Dead, yet we Live (Gal 2:20).

The mystery begins knowing how important Mercy is to our everyday life. Paul said, ear has not heard, nor eye seen the things God has for those who Love Him, but then God gave us His Spirit, and the Spirit searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us (I Cor 2:9-10). The premise is only for those who Love God, not mankind in general. The Holy Ghost compares spiritual to spiritual (I Cor 2:13); therefore, the Holy Ghost searches the deep things within us to bring us the deep things of God. The spirit of man hasn’t a clue to the things of God, thus we need the Spirit that is of God to understand the Spirit of God (I Cor 2:11-12). The Spirit of God brought us into the Body so we could have the Spirit that is of God, enabling us to be with the Lord in heaven.

For whosoever has, to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has (13:12).

The ground who receives the Seed with meekness, always walks in Mercy. Here is the very premise of Mercy, to those who have Mercy, they will gain the Abundance when they are Born Again. To those who rejected Mercy, what little they think they have will be taken from them at the time of the Rapture as they go into the Night.

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand (13:13).

Did they have eyes? Yes, but they refused to see. Did they have ears? Yes, but they refused to hear. The Book of Proverbs tells us the purpose is to know Wisdom and Instruction, in order to Perceive the Words of Understanding, but one must be willing to Receive Instruction of Wisdom, Justice, Judgment and Equity before Truth can be received (Prov 1:1-3). This shows the Honest, or Good Ground has received the Mercy of the Father, and has forgiven in the same manner.

Jesus wasn't keeping the Truth from the people to punish them, rather a Parable separates the seekers of God, from the self-seekers. One can hear a Parable then mark it up to a fable, or they can search out the mystery gaining the reward. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of the king to search out the matter (Prov 25:2).

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (13:14-15).

Jesus didn't tell parables to bring the prophecy to pass, rather He told parables because the prophecy did come to pass. The Cross was seen by God before the foundation of the world, these people would look back at these parables, and know God was among them of a Truth. Some of those who stood before Peter on Pentecost saying,  “what shall we do to receive?", were among those who said "Crucify Him" days prior. The proof of all manner of sin shall be forgiven the sons of men became apparent on the Day of Pentecost.

But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear (13:16).

These men were fishermen, a tax collector and such, none of them were trained in the great religious institutions, not one was considered a scholar in any sense of the word. It is better to have ears to hear, than a mind filled with theological unbelief.

Now wait, did they see? Did they hear? Hardly, when Jesus spoke of the Cross and Resurrection, they understood it not. What then is Jesus talking about? Is He calling things a not, as though they were? Yes, He knows they will receive the Spirit, then they will have Clarity to understand the things of God as well as do the things of Grace.

The Holy Ghost is the guide and teacher, not man. There is nothing wrong with learning, it’s when we keep using the natural knowledge of man, rather we get into trouble when we use the knowledge of man as if it is the Knowledge of God.

For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them (13:17).

Luke uses this same area as he begins linking premises to show what the prophets and righteous men sought. The primary Reward of the Prophet is Jesus, the Reward of the Righteous Man is the Righteousness of Jesus in the New Man. If we hear the Prophet, we won't have to learn the hard way, if we receive the Righteous man, we gain Right Standing, both areas bring us Jesus by the Spirit.

Luke uses phrases to separate the historic or chronological order into premise upon premise for the teacher. Luke uses phrases such as, a Certain Place or a Certain Person  showing the last thing he is concerned about is chronological order. Both Matthew and Mark were around and believed (Luke 1:1); therefore, Luke talks to the Full Ear, the Teacher of the Word by linking precepts and concepts.

Hear you therefore the parable of the sower (13:18).

The disciples didn’t get the Parable, but now Jesus will explain it, in so doing He will explain the basics for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus will show the Rock, or kingdom of heaven has good fish and bad fish, wheat and tares, fisher of men, and man slayers; however, all of them had the same opportunity, authority, power and ability. If the field has both good and bad, will it be divided? Yes, but will the bad enter the Church? No.

When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which receives seed by the way side (13:19).

Jesus doesn't say Hear the Scriptures, He says the Word, thus this is in reference to the Word in us as we are Born Again. This is also a warning to the teacher or pastor, or anyone else in the Body. When someone receives the Seed, do we pile traditions, unbelief, rules and regulations on them? If so, we are the “wicked one”. Understanding the purpose gets our attitude right, and places our feet on the path. Ignoring the old nature in us is hardly being honest, the signs to the unlearned may appear vague, but obvious to the spiritually minded. Deception, manipulation, self-traits, unbelief, and other self-elements give away the corrupt tree from which they came.

Thinking the Seed of God completely cleaned us in one second is hardly wisdom, the process is one of growth. The lack of understanding opens the door for the Wicked One to invade with pride or religious conceit. What were the Pharisees doing? Voicing their unbelief in the face of the crowd, right after Jesus set a person free. They were hindering the act, thus the Wicked One is the old man, the strongman who goes about bringing words discouragement.

Paul used the same phrase in describing the False Prophet, the son of perdition, the Wicked, the Law Less One, the one who works at iniquity (II Thess 2:8). The false ones trust in their natural intellect and reasoning by using the spirit of the world, thus they oppose the Spirit that is of God.

Jesus said "the heart", thus this shows they wanted the Seed, but they also wanted the "old heart". The Wicked one is the strongman of the old tree of the fall nature, run by the spirit of disobedience. Those who use the old man love the feelings the strongman (flesh) produces, they love the way or wiles, thus they rejected the Ways of the Seed of God. “This is the way God made me”, wrong, it’s the way the fall nature made us, we need God to renovate us into a Tabernacle fit for God’s resident Spirit.

But he that received the seed into stony places the same is he that hears the word, and anon with joy receives it; yet has he no root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended (13:20-21).

The foundation of the backslider is lacking a Root, yet we know the Root is hidden from the surface, thus it takes continual Mercy to water the Seed, while making the ground soft. How do I know the Root is growing? Apply Mercy at every turn, the Root will grow.

Matthew uses the word Tribulation, whereas, Mark uses the word Affliction, both show a type of pressure to bring Water to produce the growth. The word Tribulation means Trouble; Affliction means Mental Suffering or To Crowd Against. God brings His Fire of Affliction to crowd against the old man in order to expose the old man and his stronghold, in order for us to gain clarity. God will trouble our soul to bring the hidden self to the surface, but the purpose is to save us. In the process the old man will attempt to protect the stronghold, but Truth knows the stronghold must be destroyed, the strongman vacated, the foundation renovated before victory is in hand. If we are really serious about this, we will accept the words of the prophet and search our ways and words.

Faith is directional, it knows regardless of the event, God has a Reward for those who diligently seek Him. Doubt will stop short, curse the event, blame the devil, then justify the self to preserve the pride of life. Unbelief refuses to accept the Seed is planted, yet everyone who is serious has asked by faith, has received.

He also that receives seed among thorns is he that hears the word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful (13:22).

The phrase "cares of this world" means caring for the same things the world cares for, or being consumed in the things concerning the world. This is a very difficult area, the world will rebuke us for not caring like they do, but the Care is fear motivated, thus the cares of this world are the enemy to faith.

All three of these areas are products of the spirit of man, they connect to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. This goes right back to “take no thought”, showing how all these elements are set to choke the Word out of us. If we are seeking the Kingdom of God we have entered the kingdom of heaven. If we are seeking His Righteousness, it means we are seeking to be Born Again; if we are seeking to be Born Again we are seeking to have the New Man, and follow Jesus. When we are centered on the premise, we will not be dragged away by the cares of this world. It’s not easy, there are tons of cares out there being added to daily. However, we have a authority, we can say “No” to being overtaken.

The deceitfulness of riches means the person thinks riches will cure the their ills, and the ills of mankind. If only we had enough money we could do this or that, if only we could get our hands on enough money we could preach the Gospel. The Gospel comes from the anointing, not the money. Take no thought for these things, for your Father Knows you have need, you seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, the things shall be added. Judas felt money was the answer, so much so he used it as his sign of repentance.

The Lust For Other Things points to the Things, but it also shows the motivation behind the spirit lusting to envy. James we have not because we want to consume the product on a lust, thus the Word will combat the lusts, the lusts combat the Word.

But he that receives seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it, which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (13:23).

This is progressive, we receive, we hear, we understand, then we do. Therefore, it's not only receiving the Word, but Understanding the process of the Growth of the Word (Jesus)  in us. As we grow, the further from the flesh we move, while we gain the truth of “that Born of the Spirit is Spirit”. At some point in time our nature begins to change, things we did, we no longer do, our view of things changes, we begin to see past the facts to the Truth, past the words to the thought, past the thought to the intent.

Understanding comes mainly by experience, there are times when our faith is tested in order for it to grow; times it's tested to show where we have been putting it. Our faith is designed to be in God, no where else. The Faith of Jesus designed a path for us, as we are led by the Spirit. We can attempt to force the Word to agree with us, or we can bow and agree with the Word, the latter produces growth, the former does not.

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field (13:24).

First it was the Ground, now it's the field, this takes the concept to a greater area. The field belongs to the house owner, the Seed is Good, thus God will not tempt us to do evil, but the devil has planted his tares in the same field. The Blame is not God's, the Sower did His job by Sowing the Good Seed. Our measure of faith is good, it contains all good elements from God; however in order to apply we had to use the spirit lusting to envy, thus corrupting the result. The Field belongs to the Master, it’s the place of division, the place where the tares are identified and dwelt with.

But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way (13:25).

What did Peter do when Jesus was in the Garden? Slept, this points to us, the fishers of men. Yet we find Jude telling us we can’t expect the fish to be clean when we catch them; On some have compassion, knowing we made a difference, these are the good fish, the wheat, the sons of men. However, on others save with fear, pulling them from the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh, these would be the workers of Iniquity, the bad fish, the tares (Jude 22-23). Why pull them in? Opportunity, the same reason the Seed is sown on different grounds.

Philip the Evangelist baptized Simon of Samaria in water as a token to welcome him into the Body, yet the same Simon was rejected when it came to receiving the Spirit (Acts 8:12 & 8:20). What did Philip do? Should he take Simon and run him backward through the water? No, Philip did nothing wrong, Simon said he believed, the water was there,  completing the requirements (Acts 8:12). Simon was told to pray, then he turned it around and said “pray for me”, Peter having the Spirit knew not to mix into the folly (Acts 8:19-24). Clarity by the Spirit saves us much grief, but all this shows the Wheat and Tares are in the same field. However, any Tare can repent and become a Wheat by gaining a Heart.

This parable covers both Seasons, before the 1,000 years begins the enemy will plant his tares. Then when the devil is bound those tares will come forth as the Beast of the Earth. The Rapture is when the Body of Jesus will be Broken, the Tree will then be Cut, those who remain are the Wicked, the drunken who go into the Night. What then is the Wheat in the Night? The Remnant. However, in our Season we find those who received the Seed of God, then walked in the Spirit to become partakers of the First Resurrection, in the Night the premise is Judgment, thus the Remnant will be overcome, yet be received in the end. Jesus is merely warning us the danger is in the field, it’s true, the sons of perdition are worldly in nature, since they continue to use the authority of  the world, but they are not outside the Field, they are in it.

For our Season we find this parable gives us the method of operation the enemy uses. When we were in the world he planted tares, rocks and thorns in us, or had his workers do it, all to hinder us when we entered the kingdom. The cleaning does not come in the world, it begins when we accept the Cross and enter the Kingdom.

But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also (13:26).

Our ability to discern the Tare comes when we reach the Blade, until the time the Babe in Christ is encouraged to Water and Water, endure and endure, hold on and move forward until Birth takes place. The Babe will discern tares in others, but can't discern them in their own soul. They go about pointing out the mote while ignoring the beam in their own eye, but when the Blade comes forth all those tares, self-pity and self-based thoughts, foolish intellectualism, and the pride of life are exposed. This is the Blessing of exposure unto perfection, instead of hiding those evils in the corners of the field, it's time to produce Good Fruit to destroy the old.

First John is a warning to the Little Children, not the Youngmen who have overcome the Wicked, or the Fathers who know Him who was from the Beginning (I Jn 4:1-4). The Greater He is in us, He is working to rid us of the he in the world, but the he in the world will not fall down, or play dead. We must hold to our Mercy by granting Mercy at every turn while Grace does His perfect work in us by the Spirit.

So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did not you sow good seed in your field? from where then has it tares? (13:27).

The servants of the householder are not the same as the disciples, a disciple is one in training, a servant is one who is trained. The Babe in Christ attempting to save a Babe in Christ is the blind leading the blind. This is the position between Root and Blade, Paul called it the Novice stage. The word Novice means a Sprout; a Sprout is the first leaf or germination product above the ground, but it still has the dead covering of the seed on its head (I Tim 3:6). The word Paul used with the Corinthians was not a Babe as a Little Child, but a Babe as a fetus. All these stages tell us two things, Process and Purpose.

The servant runs to the Master and says, "Master, there are tares in Your field", but the servant has no idea where the tares came from, or how to remove them without damaging the wheat. It takes one who knows where the tares came from to remove them. In reference to the sons of perdition, who are the Tares, it's not our job to destroy them, we don't know the difference between a Tare who goes into the Night, or a Tare about to be converted into a Wheat. On the same note, don't allow the words of the Tares to harm the Wheat.

He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? (13:28).

It was An Enemy, who is The Enemy? The tares are the product of the Enemy's works, not the enemy possessing the mind of the person. What would an enemy do? Blaspheme the Holy Ghost? Yes, become a worker of iniquity? Yes, hinder the wheat? Yes, bring division and strife? Yes. The actual Tare looks just like the Wheat on the outside, but a Tare has no grain, metaphorically we find the Tare as a person lacks a pure heart, they are still using the old man (he in the world).

But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them (13:29).

The servant has difficulty in discerning the Tare from the Wheat, as well as the wheat with a tare paint job. Removal of the Tares takes spiritual discernment, not carnal evaluation. Using the spirit of the world to detect the spirit of man has to be dumb at best. The natural minded servant tends to use formulas, past experiences, psychology to remove Tares. What may appear to be a Tare to a servant, could in fact be a sprout of Wheat with the Tares near it exposed.

Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (13:30).

We are not going to fire the sons of perdition, or kill off the Wicked, we are not going to say they are not of the Body, they will grow in the same field until the end. Paul shows when the Rapture comes the only ones left in the field are the Tares (son of perdition). Here Jesus also says He isn’t going to remove them either, so we can stop praying to have them removed. We better learn the Godly method of warfare, and deal with them in a Godly manner. However, it’s the Tare as a person, the process of our mind being the field is different, anything not planted by the Father will be uprooted. The tares in our minds will be removed by the Spirit of Truth, we do have a point of perfect freedom.

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof (13:31-32).

The Grain of Mustard Seed has the unique growing ability, the use of the Mustard Seed was not by mistake, or chance, the Mustard seed retains the dead grain until the Sprout casts it off. The Mustard Seed is small, the Seed of God is so small we can't see it. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, faith itself is the evidence of things not seen, thus faith will have a fruit to prove its source.

Prior it was the Tares who caused the problem, now it's the birds. When the Seed was planted the fowls came picking at the ground attempting to consume the Seed on their own lusts, but they can't stop the growth of one who endures. When the tree came forth with fruit, the birds started picking at the fruit, stomping on the branches, building nests on the branches, and causing problems. Jesus said we are the Branches, even if we bring forth Good Fruit, the Father will still trim us to produce better fruit (Jn 15:1-5). Each area of affliction is a preparation to bring forth Good Fruit, each event or circumstance is a matter of exposure to be trimmed, in order to grow the more. Simply because we don't have control over the event, doesn't mean it's not God produced, or a product God can’t use. Simply because we don't like the feeling doesn't mean God isn't using it to produce Good Fruit.

Another parable spoke He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (13:33).

A little leaven still leavens the whole lump, thus this parable points to the Tares, Birds and Beasts of the Field. The three measures take us back to the Cares of this world, the Deceitfulness of riches, and the Lust of other things, any of these are leaven, without the Spirit exposing and cleaning us, we will honor them as tools, or goals, when in fact they are the wiles of the devil. The leaven is hidden, it’s not out in the open, it takes the Spirit to search it out.

All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitude in parables: and without a parable spoke He not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world (13:34-35).

The "Them" is the multitude, thus Matthew is putting these parables together to give the Seed and Root choice. Some seem to think once they are Born Again it's mountain top to mountain top, anything not pleasing to the senses is the devil attacking them. If Pharaoh couldn't cross the water, surely the devil can't. If our problem is the devil, we're too close to Egypt. No, our problem isn't the devil, our problem is found in the wiles of the devil we keep ignoring in ourselves. The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil  (I Jn 3:8). How? Greater is He in you (I Jn 4:1-4).

The disciples were given the understanding of the parable of the Sower, but the multitudes were given many parables, all of which were purposed to move them from “should believe” to “believe”.

Parables make us think of our condition and position, causing us to pray for God to expose those tares and deliver us from evil. The reason we ask God to deliver us, is because we can’t. These parables pertain to the kingdom of heaven, not the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of heaven is where we dwell, the Kingdom of God in us where the Spirit dwells. The kingdom of heaven is the Womb to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of God is within our hearts, the kingdom of heaven is about us. The kingdom of heaven is the field of Mercy, the Kingdom of God is the Spirit of Grace. We are in one kingdom, the other is in us.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field (13:36).

Jesus explained the parable of the Sower, then said if they understood this one parable, they would understand all parables, yet within hours they will say, "Declare unto us the parable of the Tares". Some of us would have said, "You idiot, didn't I just tell you to listen?". Jesus will apply Mercy, and explain the parable.

He answered and said unto them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; (13:37-38).

Jesus gently goes back to the Parable of the Sower, showing all parables connect to the Seed of God being Planted. It’s not unusual for a teacher to answer the same question more than once, even if it comes from the same person. The person has a stronghold, yet Truth is still a hammer to the stronghold.

Here Jesus expands the field as the world, or the worldly, but it doesn't mean the world is the kingdom, rather it shows the kingdom of heaven will expand to bring in the Gentiles. The children of the Wicked are the offspring of the devil, the term Wicked is associated with the sons of perdition. The Wicked are in the field, thus the danger is not outside of the field, but within. The children of the kingdom are potential offspring of God who are promised the Kingdom of God. Wheat has a useful grain, or heart, thus the change in hearts takes place in the field to bring us into the House.

We can look at this field as it relates to the Parable of the Sower, didn't Jesus say if we understood this Parable we would understand all parables? The ground and field are the same, the enemy came along and planted his tares, God allowed it in order for His the riches of His glory to be seen on the vessels of mercy (Rom 9:22-23).

The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels (13:39).

The devil planted the tares and left, casting the devil out isn't going to rebuke his works. There are times when the unclean spirit (attitude and thought process) of a demon remains, it must be cast out as well, but we have three areas, demons, the spirit of an unclean demon, and Tares, we must listen to the Spirit to know which we are dealing with.

This parable explains how Jesus could say Judas was a devil, thus Tares are humans who love darkness as they use the spirit of man, rather than submit to receive the Spirit of Christ. They use the wiles of the devil to the point they are more like the devil, than the demons. The devil is bound during the 1,000 years, but his children aren't, they come with all the working of Satan, thus they held those wiles in our Season, yet use them later.

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (13:40).

This Parable goes to the very end, explaining the unpardonable sin. The Wicked are the Tares, who remain as Tares, the bad fish who kept those spots, they are the workers of iniquity, the ones who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, yet in the end they proclaim, “Lord, Lord haven’t we”. It’s far better to know, “Lord, Lord haven’t You”.

We are Baptized with the Holy Ghost and Fire, the Holy Spirit in us divides and separates removing the Tares. It’s only painful when attempt to hold to those self-traits as some treasure. This is the real seat of warfare, knowing what the wiles are, as well as where they are.

Instead of sending our watchdogs to kill what we assume is a Tare, instead of using the shotgun of theological abuse to kill the birds, we put our minds on allowing the Spirit to remove the tares in our own hearts; God will take care of the birds, sons of perdition and the watchdogs. Their time comes at the end of the world.

The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity (13:41).

Jesus uses the title Son of man, rather than Son of God, meaning the concept is still Mercy, as it relates to the end times. The judgment on the last day has nothing to do with Grace, it has to do with Mercy. Jesus returns as the Son of man, He has authority over the kingdom of heaven; as the Son of God, He has authority over the Kingdom of God. In our Season we are granted the Kingdom of God, thus the Remnant will be in the field as they do the Commandments of God, the Commandments are based on mercy.

This is very interesting, since Iniquity is a failure to do something we have the authority and power to do, yet here we find they Do Iniquity, showing they Work at it. This is the same premise we saw prior in 7:21-23, they fail to do the Will of the Father, but they also work at it.

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (13:42).

This is a warning to any of us who sit in the lap of religious conceit ignoring the call to seek the fullness of the Spirit. To those who proclaim Jesus, but deny the purpose of Faith. For those who asked God to forgive them, but refuse to walk in Mercy. Our salvation is a process unto the saving of the soul, just being pulled from the world by the Mercy of God isn't enough, we must seek to be Christ Like by the Spirit. We must reject the deeds of the old man, refuse the wiles of the old character. The old man is a destroyer, he is incapable of producing anything good, he is the spirit lusting to envy. The “wailing and gashing of teeth” indicate a body, thus there is a resurrection unto damnation.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, who has ears to hear, let him hear (13:43).

The clue here is the term, "Their Father", rather than "My Kingdom", or "My Father", thus showing the very end. This is not the same as Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, rather this goes to "Israel": as Paul notes, not all who say they are of Israel, are Israel, but all Israel will be saved in the end. The Remnant have a task, one of Judgment, but still a task as they become the means to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for the joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field (13:44).

Many of us think we entered because God just so happened to purchase the field, then when He saw us, it was some big surprise. Not so, God knew what He was doing, He picked us, then we picked Him. We were not some unseen element sought after God, then God all of a sudden said, "Oh my, look here". No, God picked us before we knew anything about God, then He gave us the interest to find Him. It was all God, He gets the glory.

This field also has Tares, each Field is a representation of a child of the kingdom, and a child of the wicked. The child of the wicked is the old man, the old nature, the corrupt tree, the blasphemer, the waster, the nature must be put off when we are crucified by Christ. The old man is not our friend, nor is he our help in time of danger. The cleaning process removes the child of the wicked, so the child of the kingdom can have peace in Christ.

God called, we answered, now He is forming us into a Great Treasure. The prize  is still our souls, if we weren't worth saving, why even produce the Cross? No, we are worth something to God, He gave His Son so might know how much He really does love us. God purchased the Field, we didn't, but He also purchased the good and bad, so the good can be with Him.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking good pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it (13:45-46).

This is the second element, the first was a Treasure, which points to our Season, but here we find a Pearl, which points to the Remnant. Jesus is showing us the kingdom of heaven is earth based, and expands two Seasons, one for the Treasures, and one for the Pearl. However, the Kingdom of God is heaven related, we will be removed before the Time of the Pearls.

The merchant looked for pearls, not just a Pearl, the Good Pearl is the Remnant who keep the commandments of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus. Jesus said, The Testimony was in the Law, Prophets and Psalms (Jn 5:39-47 & Luke 24:44). These two parables give us the Day and Night, and how the division is found in the kingdom of heaven, not in the Kingdom of God.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to the shore, and sat down, and gathered the good vessels, but cast the bad away (13:47-48).

The Sea is a metaphor for the Gentile world, we were fish in the Sea, the Net is the Gospel. This is different from the Field, the Sea is the place where the catch is made, the Field is the place of Harvest. The Harvest separates the Wheat and Tares, and the Treasure and Pearl, it is not for catching Fish.

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just (13:49).

The metaphor End of the World, speaks of an Age, the word World is the Greek Aion, thus showing a Time, or an Age. It's not the same as the end of the earth, this speaks of a certain Age, or Season, thus the Rapture ends the Day, then the unchanged Tares will remain through the Night. Since Jesus said the "angels" will come forth, this points directly to the very end, or the time when the Seven angels in the Book of Revelation bring the plagues. However, there is another Age, the Day, which still holds Grace unto Salvation,  thus the Just still live by faith.

And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (13:50).

Why hold unforgiveness against a son of perdition who has been attacking us, when their end is so tragic? Peter described the new earth as one turned inside out to become a ball of fervent heat (II Pet 3:10). When the Rapture comes, those who are "drunk" with power will go into the Night, there will be no room for their repentance after the Rapture, bringing the saying, You can't Crucify Christ twice. This is evident when we see their sin will not be forgiven at the end of this Age, and can't be in the next; thus John sees them in the lake of fire before the Judgment. Better to seek the Kingdom of God, than sit around planning the destruction of someone. They commit the unpardonable sin, we recall how it's unpardonable, since they refuse to ask pardon in this Age. We can see if we are seeking God, we will not commit in the sin of slandering our brothers and sisters.

Jesus said unto them, Have you understood all these things? They said unto Him, Yes Lord (13:51).

A misguided thought would be thinking God is done with the Jews, or the Christian is “True Israel”; however, the Letter to the Romans, and the Book of Revelation dispels the thought. A True Jew is one who is circumcised of heart, but it’s a Jew, thus the nation Israel is still a nation. All Israel will be saved, but not all who call themselves Israel, are of Israel. The word Jew is a generic term used today to describe all Jewish people, but it really means one from the Tribe of Judah, or one who has a right to a Covenant. Jesus is the Lion from the Tribe of Judah, we are the Tents (tabernacles) of Judah, but Judah is not the only tribe forming the nation Israel. If it were, then the Book of Revelation would not list twelve tribes, the crown on the Woman would only be one star.

Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which brings forth out his treasure things old and new (13:52).

Understanding the Time of Comfort entails knowing the words of the Prophets of Old have not passed away. We have to use the old to find the promise to the Remnant as well as finding our promise, while not one into the other. Our understanding of the Time of Comfort is vital to our salvation, it separates us from the transgression of running to the Law, or running to promises not afforded us, thus removing the iniquity of failing to seek the fullness of the Mercy of God, the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. And when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Where has this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works (13:53-54).

Three elements made Jesus stand out from the rest, His Knowledge, His Wisdom and the Signs. It took all to bring the assurance, Paul said, the Gospel is not in Word alone, but it must be coupled with Power and the Holy Ghost (I Thess 1:5). When Paul said "Word", he pointed to the Logos, thus the Scriptures are not the Logos, Jesus is. The Power isn't mind power, rather it's the Power of His Christ (Rev 12:10-11). Preaching Jesus is good, but it’s not the Gospel, the Gospel is proven by signs and wonders. One of those wonders is how someone in darkness sees the Light as they receive the Cross, which is a Greater Work.

Jesus went back to Nazareth to teach; however, by this time it was no longer His synagogue, but "their synagogue". The ministry at this point in time is still very young, yet already we find the division is becoming clear, some put their trust in a religious system, causing them to reject the Proceeding Word. When Jesus finished the forty day fast, He went into the synagogue in Nazareth proclaiming, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me...." (Luke 4:18-19). However, He was rejected, but He also knew a Prophet is without honor in His own country (Luke 4:24 & Jn 4:44).

The religious leaders made the decision to cast Jesus out of the synagogue, yet He came back to preach again. Why would He do that? Seems to me, if they reject you, reject them, but it’s not what Jesus did or thought. These people had more than one chance, in fact, they had many. Not all the miracles, healings and words of Jesus are written for us, but we have more than enough to give us a firm foundation of belief.

Is not this the carpenter's son? is not His mother called Mary? and His brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? and His sisters, are they not all with us?  Whence then has this Man all these things? (13:55-56).

Natural minds look for loopholes by comparing flesh to flesh. All they had to do is  consider "wasn't Moses the son of a common man?", or "were not the prophets sons of common men?". They had signs before them, the words were there, yet they looked for some way to avoid the truth so they could hold to their fables. Twisting what people say is an attempt to avoid what they said is a sign of self-deception. Twisting what we say, and then saying they twisted our words is deception on our part. The Spirit is able to separate the thought from the intent displaying where the deception lays.

First it was Great Signs and Teachings, then comes the offense when their unbelief is exposed. Unbelief is a weed growing to choke out the Truth, Hope, Love and Faith. Rejecting Jesus caused the Weeds to grow, although the signs were there, although the Word was preached with Power, it was still rejected. Faith came to them, but they refused to See and Hear. The Pharisees used their natural reasoning, yet they had the opportunity to Forgive in order to be Forgiven, but they rejected the gift and lost the reward.

And they are offended in Him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house. And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (13:57).

Wait, didn't Jesus just say Woe to the one who brings Offense? Wow, does this mean Jesus is a Woe? No, two different things, there is an offence causing someone sin, it’s the Woe, but there is an offence when Truth strikes the stronghold, the offence is unto correction to bring repentance, which we find here. The people were offended "in Him", not "because of Him". It’s a far cry from one who brings a stone of stumbling.

This is a different timing and location than the like statement found in Luke and John, rather, this is spoken to the disciples, proving unbelief will destroy our hope. Jesus just finished teaching on the Sower, here we find the Seed was Sown, but Satan came immediately. Why didn't Jesus cast the devil out of them? It wasn't the devil, but the works of the devil. They were not privy to the Spirit as yet, they were still using the spirit lusting to envy, yet they also had the measure of faith, the conclusion shows they held to the spirit lusting to envy, rather than apply their measure of faith, thus making them the fowls of the air.

The Prophet came among these people speaking the Truth, but they lost the reward. All based on a foolish natural equation, "didn’t he live down the road?". Well here is a good place to stop, we will pick it up the events in the next lesson.



By Rev. G. E. Newmyer - s.b.i.les11rev7/© 2003