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

 

MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1 - 4

KJV    NAS / Parallel Gospel

1-25 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. 8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations. 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

 

Mat 1,1-25

(37e) Judgment >> Jesus’ humanity >> He was part of the lineage of David -- This may seem like a boring part of Scripture, but it is necessary to enumerate the people who were part of the lineage of Jesus Christ for two very important reasons: first, the list of names becomes a chronological human chain from which we can easily tell time. Matthew did a bit of research and gave us a brief historical summary that we can use to go back as far as Abraham. This helps to better understand certain aspects of the Bible, such as the times and epochs of prophesy. For example, we see 2000 years between Adam and Abraham, and 2000 years between Abraham and Christ. Therefore, we see the pattern that every 2000 years is the end of one era and the beginning of another. Many people predict the second coming of Christ partially based on this passage of Scripture.  Secondly, and more crucially, it becomes a record of the physical origins of Jesus Christ, the man in whom we have set our hope. The fact that the Holy Spirit conceived him implies that He did not come solely from His ancestors. It is significant that we have information proving He did not pop into existence from nowhere. On the contrary, we not only have a list of names of His forefathers, but also some of their achievements recorded in the Old Testament, most of them being listed as kings of Israel in ancient times. God wants us to know that Jesus was a well thought out plan whose roots can be traced to the very beginning of time.

Mat 1,18-25

(36m) Gift of God >> Adopted >> We are adopted in the flesh – It was determined that Joseph should be Mary's husband; an angel had to intervene, otherwise he would have dismissed her, for there was nothing anyone could say to convince him what God was doing in her life. She had no poof that the Holy Spirit conceived the child that was growing in her. Since nothing like this has ever happened to any woman, nor did it happen again, it was just too hard to believe. It would have required him to trust Mary in a way that nobody could be trusted, for her story simply wasn't believable, but when the angel spoke to Joseph and he understood and accepted Mary, her parents believed Mary through Joseph. Only the inner circle knew what was happening; this was a secret, not something they could blab to friends and relatives, because this person was important and would have enemies who would want to kill him. Nobody could be trusted with the knowledge of that which originated from heaven so innocent and vulnerable.

(98i) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith Suffering [Integrity] Glory [Reward]) -- Joseph had a legal right to dismiss Mary, because she was pregnant with someone else’s child. However, after the dream from the Lord, he believed that God spoke to him and his faith changed everything about the situation. It was his integrity that led him to believe God's message, and kept him on course until the baby was born, which led him to receive the reward of his faith, which was the privilege of raising the Son of God.

Mat 1-20,21

(15f) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to change our perspective – The angel said to Joseph that Jesus would save His people from their sins. The angel didn’t say He would save all mankind, just His people, whomever would come to Him for eternal life. This was God’s perspective, just as it was written in the prophets, but our perspective is contained in 2Pet 3-9, “[God] is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” This was spoken from a human point of view, whereas the angel spoke from God’s perspective to Joseph, regarding those who were not only called but also chosen to inherit eternal life, who would believe in Jesus’ blood sacrifice and repent by reason of His resurrection.

(117ia) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Having Dreams – God occasionally speaks to us in dreams, though the angel came to Mary while she was wide-awake, because she was open both to his presence and his message, but if an angel had appeared to Joseph as he did to Zacharias and not believed him, he would have received similar consequences as Zacharias, which would have been disastrous to Mary, for she needed Joseph to believer her. God did not want to risk sending an angel to Joseph and having him reject his message, and then pronounce judgment against him, which would have left Mary without a man to take care of her. Instead, he spoke to Joseph in a dream, so the angel bypassed his conscious intellect.

Mat 1-20

(23m) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of the unknown >> Fear the appearance of angels 

Mat 1-22,23

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life – One of the better descriptions of being with Jesus is this word “Emanuel,” which translated means God with us. For the disciples being with Jesus was like being with God! Jesus will do things with His people, just like He did when He came to us 2,000 years ago. His prayer was: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6-10). That is how He taught us to pray, so if we get our prayers answered, then Jesus will be with us in heaven in very much the same way He was with His disciples on earth. We will live with God and do things with Him, and He will live among us. He never felt He was above anyone, and in heaven He will feel the same way. It will be a lot of fun. He will live with us; He will not live above us; that would defeat the purpose of suffering for us, and then sending the Holy Spirit who suffers with us in the trenches even now. Just as the Holy Spirit is on our level at this very moment, so Jesus has raised us to His level in heaven, and in many ways we will be His equal, as He became our equal, though He was Lord and Master to His disciples, and He will be our Lord and Master in heaven, and we will worship Him.

Mat 1-23

(253c) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Father >> Jesus has all the external qualities of the Father >> Son is inherently equal with the Father – The Scriptures themselves have translated this word for us, so there is no risk of mistranslation, but we should be concerned about our interpretation of the translation, and the best way to interpret the phrase “God with us” is to not interpret it at all. People in cults interpret this verse to mean something other than what it says, because they don’t want to believe that Jesus was God in human flesh. Instead, they lower Him as just another prophet, which forces them to interpret the entirety of the Bible. To them “God with us” means something other than what it reads. Virtually every translation of the New Testament uses this phrase, “God with us,” but its interpretation varies from cult to cult. They try to fit it into their theory that Jesus was nothing more than a prophet, and they have an uphill battle with every verse that refers to Jesus as deity. The chapter on the Trinity can be used as apologetics against the heresy of cults. Using this chapter, we can prove that Jesus was God in human flesh, thus we can defeat the false claims of virtually every cult in the world, in that they all deny His deity.

 

 

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

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER 2

KJV    NAS  / Parallel Gospel Navigation Bar

1-6 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.' "

Mat 2,1-23

(46g) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Fall of Satan >> Removing Satan’s obstructions – Jesus fought a war against demonic forces throughout His life in the flesh, starting on the day He was conceived in His mother’s womb. Before He was even born, the devil was making attempts on His life, and in His infancy His parents ran with Him from place to place, until His enemies were either dead or confused about His whereabouts. His parents settled in the unassuming place of Nazareth to live a simple life. Throughout the entire time of His youth, Jesus was fighting demons to keep from sinning, for Satan knew that if He could make Jesus sin, it would be the end of Him, because then He would have become a common sinner like the rest of us, and whatever was God’s plan for sending Him would have been foiled. Jesus ultimate test was in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. After He passed that test at His weakest point, the devil knew his options were dwindling. Satan was beginning to realize that causing Jesus to sin would not be possible, so once He entered His ministry Satan switched his tactics from deception to murder. If he killed Him, Satan couldn’t have been confident this would produce the desired result, but He had no other choice. Satan had Jesus murdered, and that is what God used to forgive mankind. It was His temptation in the wilderness that defeated Satan; after that He went on to make a way to forgive mankind through His own blood, and the resurrection proved man’s forgiveness of sin and sealed Satan’s fate, having destroyed the power of death over those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Mat 2-1

(212f) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> He is the creator >> Evolution (Defaming God) >> God created atheists too -- This verse goes with verse 11. Joseph had a legal right to dismiss Mary, because she was pregnant with someone else’s child. However, after the vision he received from the Lord, he believed that God spoke to him and his faith changed everything about the situation. It was his integrity that led him to believe God's message, and kept him on course until the baby was born, which led him to receive the reward of his faith, which was the privilege of raising the Son of God.

Mat 2,2-5 -- No Entries

 

Mat 2-6

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life -- This verse goes with verse 15. We will look at four verses:  v6 “Out of Bethlehem shall come forth a ruler” (Micah 5-2), v15 “Out of Egypt I called My Son,” (Hosea 11-1) verse 18 prophesied about a male infant genocide perpetrated against Bethlehem in effort to destroy the Christ child (Jeremiah 31-15), and v23 “He shall be called a Nazarene,” it becomes obvious that no one could have linked these passages together to make a cohesive chain of events about the early life of Christ before it came to pass, because they were spread throughout the Old Testament, but after it happened it was easy to see how they fit together. This is the case in all aspects of prophecy, including endtime prophecy. We can do what we can to create an expected sequence of events based on the Scriptures; some of it we can know for sure and other parts will be speculation. There is nothing wrong with speculating the future through endtime prophecy, but when the last days come, and endtime prophecy begins to unfold, we can look to the Scriptures and see where it was written of these things. If we are proven wrong, we shouldn’t be surprised, for unless the Lord Himself reveals His word to us we will be wrong in most cases. The word of God needs a revelation from the Holy Spirit in order to understand even salvation, much more endtime prophecy. Note that there is no OT reference for the prophecy that Jesus lived in Nazareth (v23). One author's postulation is that since is says, "Spoken through the prophets" we should take that literally and say it was a prophetic oral tradition that was handed down through the years, having never made it in the Scriptures.

(240a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Jesus is the chief shepherd – When it says that a ruler will come from Bethlehem to shepherd Israel, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy during His 3½ year ministry. However, when Jesus walked the earth, the multitudes followed Him, but it is questionable if He shepherded them, for they followed Him for many reasons, mostly for the wrong reasons. It is more accurate to say that He shepherded His closest disciples. Jesus will be a more effective shepherd at His second coming, and He will fulfill this prophecy throughout eternity. The Jewish race will persist in the Millennium, and then their purpose will be completed, and thus their heritage will become obsolete, for all of mankind who loves and serves the Lord will be considered His chosen people.

KJV    NAS  / Parallel Gospel Navigation Bar

7-11 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him." 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 

Mat 2-7,8

(182h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Lying to others – There was nothing in Herod’s words to the Magi that was true. First, he told them to go to Bethlehem, but Herod would not have known to send them to Bethlehem had they not already been going there; he wanted credit for their wisdom in knowing where to go. Then, he told them to report to him their findings that he too may come and worship the child; this we all know was a lie. When nothing someone says is true, we can safely say he was a liar. Even the devil says some things that are true, though his motives are always wrong, which makes his truth false. In his own mind Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem as though they were working for him; this is the mindset of kings: they consider everybody working for them. The difference between a president and a king is that all kings are dictators by definition, and all dictators require all authority over their dominion, which means he had to be in authority over the Magi. He had to phrase his words in such a way as to make it appear the Magi were under his authority, but in reality they were not. If Herod really believed what the Magi said to him, he would have sent soldiers with them in their search for the child; instead, he let them go by themselves, but then something changed in Herod after meeting the Magi that made him send soldiers to Bethlehem to slaughter every child two years old and under. This lets us know that Jesus was born two years earlier, or any time after meeting the Magi. Something happened two years after meeting them that convinced Herod that the Magi were right about their assertion. He spoke to the religious leaders of Israel who revealed to him the prophecies that were written about a king that would be born in Bethlehem, in the city of David. Herod became convinced that a future king was born in his province, so he sent soldiers to kill Him, indicating that He did not believe in God. This is an example of believing the Bible without believing in God.

Mat 2-7

(147e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Signs and wonders – Herod didn’t know when the star first appeared, suggesting that it was a subtle change in the sky, not a blazing new star with a candle-power that dominated the night. Rather, it was a small star, one that only an astronomer would notice who studied the sky. Many people say this star was a supernova, an exploding star many light-years into space, and for that reason it appeared in the sky and then vanished, but the Bible doesn’t say it vanished, for all we know it is still shining in the evening sky, but we don’t know which one among all the twinkling objects in the night.

Mat 2-9 -- No Entries

 

Mat 2,10-23

(7f) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending the truth -- Just as Joseph and Mary protected the tiny treasure that God had entrusted to them, so God calls us to protect the tiny seed of faith that He has entrusted to us.

Mat 2-10,11

(125e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of partaking of the Holy Spirit >> Joy of the revelation of Jesus Christ -- It is no wonder we celebrate Christmas so fervently, it really is a wonderful holiday. Imagine the wise men who searched and found the child; they must have been very intelligent, real wise men! Herod, though, was a king so evil he would have killed the child the moment he saw Him. God nullified the evil influences of wicked men, cutting through it like butter by the overwhelming Spirit of God. This is what we hope will happen at Christmas, oh holy night.

Mat 2-11

(173a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Relationship between Jesus and His mother >> Jesus is our savior, not Mary -- When the Magi bowed down and worshiped, they were worshipping Jesus, not Mary.

(189d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> Costly sacrifice -- When the Magi worshipped the Lord, they did not do it for free, but they brought gifts with them. The gifts that God expects from us, His true worshippers, is the sacrifice of our evil passions and desires.

(212f) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> He is the creator >> Evolution (Defaming God) >> God created atheists too -- This verse goes with verse 1

(252b) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship Jesus (Because He is equal with God) >> Jesus is worthy of our worship >> Worship Jesus for who he is

KJV    NAS  /  Parallel Gospel Navigation Bar

12-15 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON." 

Mat 2,12-23

(117ia) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Having Dreams

Mat 2,13-23

(91f) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Walking along the narrow way >> Walking in God’s calling is to fulfill His purpose – God leads His people through a set of circumstances like steps along the narrow way. God had in mind for them to settle in Nazareth, but Joseph didn’t know that. He went to the synagogue on Saturday and heard the teachings of the time, but it was never mentioned that the Christ would come from Nazareth. Instead, they were expecting Messiah to come to them in great power and glory, not to come as a baby and live in a small, insignificant town. They overlooked everything about Jesus and all the prophecies concerning Him as a humble servant. Among those who are following Christ, we can see the slow and steady progress of God’s will performed in his life. The amazing thing about this is that the follower of Christ has no idea where he is going, but God knows, and in Jesus’ case He was predestined to settle in Nazareth. God didn’t simply tell Joseph to go to Nazareth, but through a set of circumstances, some positive, some negative, God directed him and his new family into the city of prophecy. God leads us in many of the same ways that he led Joseph through both the good and the evil. When good things come to us and we follow in those footsteps, it all makes sense, but when evil comes and we are forced to make decisions that are difficult, they lead us just the same, causing our foot to step on the soil of God’s intension.

(209h) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Righteous saved with difficulty >> Fulfill your calling with difficulty

Mat 2,13-20

(48m) Judgment >> Jesus’ enemies are destroyed >> Enemies of His grace – It is not a coincidence that the enemies of God’s child are dead, meaning that God took the circumstances into His own hands and turned the events in His favor, killing Herod. God prefers to give life but does kill when necessary.

(163e) Used By Satan (Key verse)

(163h) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the word of God >> Used to destroy Jesus -- There is an evil force loose on the earth that hates everything about God, and we have been made in His image. Therefore, Satan hates us with an aversion greater than the indignation of man. The only person with a greater and more perfect hatred is God for sin, of which Satan is the embodiment. Just like Herod was told that when the Christ child becomes an adult, He would become a great king, so the antichrist will hear about the prophesied second coming of Christ, and attempt to destroy believing Jews and Christian gentiles. Christianity during the days of the antichrist’s reign will be his greatest threat. In those days, any sign of unbelief in the antichrist’s empire will be interpreted as dissonance and will be immediately expunge. The antichrist, likened to a child killer, will institute a program of rounding up Christians and systematically martyring them in the last days, thinking that if the Jewish race doesn't exist, endtime prophecy cannot occur. The thought process of a madman is not something a normal person can understand, but events like this have happened in the past, guaranteeing that it will happen again. Hitler tried to rid the Jews from his region of the world. His hope was to become a world ruler so he could spread his anti-Semitism to every corner of the earth in attempt to make the Jewish race extinct, for he knows God intends to use them in the last days, and prophecy culminates with him being thrown into the lake of fire. His logic is irrational like that of a psychopath. Hitler may have had his motives, the Jews were infringing on the German markets, but Satan had his motives too, but they were not the same. 

Mat 2-13

(15e) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to impart information – This verse goes with verses 19&20

(241g) Kill Jesus (Key verse)

(241h) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Kill Jesus >> Kill Jesus because of who He is -- It seems unimaginable that anyone would want to kill Christ, but there are spiritual forces among us that evil. John called them antichrists. Unfortunately, there are also people who have allied themselves with these evil forces and are working in partnership with them for some trifle temporary reward. These rewards will rot before their consequences for doing Satan's will are paid in full. The scary part is, these people are increasing in numbers at a staggering rate.

Mat 2-15

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life -- This verse goes with verses 18-23. God had Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt to protect the child from Herod, who wanted to kill Him from fear and jealousy, because he had heard through the magi that a great ruler would be born in Bethlehem, and as an adult he would compete against his throne. He was so audacious as to perform a preemptive strike against God, employing soldiers to enter Bethlehem and kill every male child under the age of two. This suggests that Jesus was born up to two years before Herod gave this order, but Mary and Joseph has since fled to Egypt, outside of Herod’s jurisdiction. This thing Herod did, committing infant genocide, was unimaginably evil, and was very telling regarding his times that he could even find soldieries to carry out his orders.

KJV    NAS  / Parallel Gospel  /  Navigation Bar

16-23 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 "A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE." 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 "Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead." 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: "He shall be called a Nazarene."

 

Mat 2,16-23

(61f) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> The dragon—King Herod / Satan -- Only Satan could devise a remedy this evil. Look at Rev 12,1-10 for a repeat performance of this atrocity which will occur in the last days. Here we see a great red dragon whose tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. There was also a woman involved whose baby he wanted to destroy, representing Mary and the Christ child. Although these verses are smothered in symbolism, which we will not get into right now, it is interesting to consider the correlations of two nearly identical events. One is the actual historical record of the birth of Christ, while the other seems to be a symbolic rendition of the same event. The words in Revelation are tailored to dovetail into the other, so that we may draw upon the gospel's record for a fuller, more meaningful interpretation, one passage giving depth to the other.

Mat 2,16-20

(21k) Sin >> Premeditated murder – This was a horrific attempt to destroy one child. To want something bad enough to kill children after hearing that Jesus would become a king in His adult life shows the level of insecurity under which this man suffered. In contrast, the poor who have nothing, some even living on the streets, do not feel insecure as Herod. King Herod had everything, yet all his fame and fortune wasn’t enough to cure his deep insecurity. He was thinking thirty years down the road at a time when he might not even be alive. People this selfish usually don’t think about anybody but themselves, and they certainly don't think about their own death, not even considering his own progeny who would take the throne after him. What was Herod’s true motive? The fact that he learned about Jesus from the Magi, who were Bible scholars among other things, indicates that Herod was directly attacking God Himself, revealing the true level of his arrogance. This is exactly the scenario that will take place in the last days when the antichrist looks for the people of God to destroy them. In this way Jesus represents the woman in Revelation chapter 12, who in turn represents the 144,000 Jews, and the children who were slain represent martyrs of the gentiles. Jesus became a man and confronted the son of Herod just as his father had feared, but He never threatened his kingdom, at least not in the conventional way; in fact, He never even said a word to him, refusing to answer any of his questions, yet Herod and his throne were abolished shortly after Jesus rose from the dead; Herod’s body was eaten by worms.

(176j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Extremes >> Truth is never found in your conduct on either extreme of any circumstance -- Going to extremes almost never leads to the truth. It explains how so many strange religious heresies have gotten started throughout the ages. There are essentially two ways that false doctrines find their way into the Church: either through our conduct or through our thinking process, and they are accepted and believed based on their prevalence in society. Hitler was quoted as saying, "If you continue to repeat a message long enough, loud enough, and often enough, eventually, the people will believe you". This fact has proven itself in the commercial market place. Take Herod, most of his mindsets were already entrenched in the people before he took office; i.e., the soldiers allowed Herod to do what he did.

Mat 2,18-23

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life -- These verses go with verse 6. This is in reference to Herod slaying all the male children two years old and younger in Bethlehem. It was a horrible evil, and it was based on jealousy. Herod was afraid that the child would mature to become a king and rival his throne, though he would be an old man by then and probably no longer king, but that is not the way people like Herod think. Apparently he assumed he would remain king forever. Old Testament prophecy is one of the greatest proofs of the Bible. People can argue that the story of Jesus didn’t happen the way it says in the New Testament, but they cannot argue that the Old Testament prophesied these things to happen. For them to ignore it all, claiming that it is a coincidence or a great deception is to close their eyes to the reality of these facts and to believe in something else that requires just as much proof. They believe what they want to believe, indicating they are not actually seeking truth but a perception of truth that allows them to continue in their lifestyle of choice, not so different from Herod.

Mat 2-19,20

(15e) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to impart information – These verses go with verse 13. The angel spoke to Joseph in dreams; he never personally saw an angel, whereas Mary did. Part of the reason for this is that Joseph is tagging along with God’s plan and purpose for His Son through Mary. Also, the first time the angel spoke to him in a dream, he may not have believed the angel had he spoken to Joseph in person, as he did with Mary, and God was not willing to jeopardize the child’s life. We don’t know much about Joseph; we know that he was a good man, but it seems he could better receive God’s truth through dreams than by an angelic visitation. It could be that Joseph had strong opinions; had the angel appeared to him, he may have argued with the angel as Zacharias did (Luke chapter 1). When an angel speaks to us and we don’t believe him, there are immediate consequences, and God didn’t want to risk that, because He needed Joseph.

(48k) God’s Enemies Destroyed (Key verse)

(170i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Temporary >> All suffering is temporary -- It is not a coincidence that those who sought the child's life are dead. God is willing and able to manipulate the circumstances when His divine plan and purpose are at stake. His protection not only goes for preserving the plan He had for His Son, but also for preserving the purpose He has for us, if we are willing to follow His plan.

 

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

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER 3

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1-6 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!' " 4 Now John himself had a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. 

Mat 3,1-12

(154i) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is rebellious against God >> Witness against hypocrisy -- Baptism was unheard-of in the Old Testament, which made it a completely new concept to the New Testament. Knowing the Jews' resistance to change in their customs and religion, it was an incredibly smooth acceptance for everyone to flock to John the Baptist. It probably went smooth because of the Spirit and forcefulness that John used to present it. Baptism went from non-existent to so popular that everyone had to be baptized or you weren't "with it".

Mat 3,1-3

(8m) Responsibility >> Responsible to defend God’s cause >> Preparing process >> Laying the foundation of freedom – God already promised that our sinful nature will remain with us throughout our natural lives, so the question is not whether we can become sinless but whether we can become free. It is not so much the sins we commit that keep us from faith in Jesus, but our omission of righteousness. This fuels our bondage to unbelief. Our omission of righteousness makes it very difficult to believe that we know the truth. Many of our bondages and sinful addictions will plague us throughout our lives; we may get victory over them for a while, and then fall back into them again. Therefore, the question is not whether we can rise above our addictions but whether we are still fighting the good fight. When the Bible says that we have overcome the world, the flesh and the devil (1Jn 5-4), it means sin has not overcome us; we have overcome it by our faith; sin has failed to trap us in its deceptions and pull us into its darkness. We are still living and walking in the light.

(193b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Turn from your evil ways >> Turn from sin – People in today’s apostasy who advocate an easy-believism gospel don’t feel the need to prepare the way of the Lord or to make His paths straight. They think all they have to do is believe a set of doctrines and they are suddenly Christians; repentance doesn't enter the equation. If they don’t go to a church that teaches repentance, there is hardly a chance they will repent or believe in Jesus according to Scripture. Repentance is part of faith, yet many people have a difficult time understanding this, because they were taught that we are saved by grace through faith, not as a result of works that no man should boast (Eph 2-8,9). How does repentance fit into a gospel like that? What is the grace of God but the indwelling Holy Spirit? So we receive the Spirit through faith, but we walk in the Spirit through a perpetual state of repentance. The fruit of the Spirit pertains to what we do, while repentance pertains to what we don’t do, like two people pushing and pulling in the same direction on a car to help it out of the mud.

Mat 3-2

(231g) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Body of Christ is the organism of God’s kingdom >> Jesus is the head of His body’s kingdom >> The Kingdom of Heaven is where Jesus is -- What makes heaven heavenly? Is it a place that is heavenly, or is due to the owner? The owner makes heaven a heavenly place. Therefore, wherever He goes He brings heaven with Him. 

Mat 3-3,4

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

Mat 3-3

(14g) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are set apart from the world Seeing John the Baptist as a helper in the ministry of helps helps us understand the ministry of helps. We know that he was a prophet and was also the one prophesied about in Scripture as the one coming before Christ to make ready the way of the Lord. Although he was special in that way, he was also a minister of helps in that he helped Christ fulfill His ministry. The purpose of the ministry of helps is not to be served, but to serve, regardless of your status in the church.  

(142c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Prophesy about evangelism – John the Baptist’s ministry was to make ready the way of the Lord and make the path to Him straight. This was the voice of His ministry to the people, which means John gave the people an assignment to get their lives in order before they met Jesus. There are really only two things that keep unbelievers from believing in Jesus: sin and self-righteousness (they are both sin, though one has the appearance of righteousness). One feels good enough that they don’t need a savior, and other is so laden with sin that Jesus would not fit in their lives. The Bible doesn’t teach that we need to first get rid of our sin before we can be saved, since it is the savior’s job to help us repent. John’s purpose was to break the ice before they met the Lord. The Bible teaches that we can be saved “just as we are,” but John was telling the people to repent beforehand so they would be ready to receive Him. John the Baptist had a special ministry in that no other prophet had the privilege of introducing the savior to the world, and the big advantage of that was to begin a campaign of repentance before He arrived.

Mat 3-5,6

(144a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Men who follow God are popular

Mat 3-6

(194j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Yielding >> Confessing your sin to God

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7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 

Mat 3,7-12

(122m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness to rebuke the world for unbelief -- Take another look at the things John the Baptist said to the Pharisees. "Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Why did John associate Jesus with wrath? I thought He was good-natured and came only to help mankind. That's right! Anyone who accepts His offer of eternal life through the forgiveness of sin will receive God's blessing, and anyone who tries to hinder that work of redemption, like the Pharisees did, will be removed. The nature of God's curse is a reprobate mind, a state of mind that is unable to accept the things of God, no matter how convincing the circumstances. This makes it impossible for them to believe God and receive His blessing.

(171f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Decorating the outside to simulate the inside >> Playing the part to be accepted by men -- We can do great things for other people, but if we have ulterior motives, God will take that into account more than the good itself. In the same way, we can have a good heart, but be stuck in bondage, and God will consider what is in our hearts more than the deeds we produce from the bondage of our flesh. God is completely aware of what we are experiencing right down to our thoughts and emotions. Take the Pharisees for example; going out to be baptized by John the Baptist was a good thing if they were doing it for the right reasons, but they went out to him because it was popular at the time, so they might look righteous in the eyes of the people. They did not seek John's baptism with pure motives, and thus did not receive his reward, which is a repentant heart in preparation for the soon coming Christ.

(173l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s Religion >> Deeds that are not initiated by God >> Deeds that are not initiated by the Holy Spirit -- There were many people who went out to be baptized by John, and they may well have been led by the Holy Spirit, but the Pharisees were not led by the Spirit to be baptized by John. If you want to be baptized for any reason other than faith and love, it is the wrong reason. It is a profound truth that everything we do through faith will produce spiritual fruit that will lead to greater spiritual insights and a closer relationship with God, while everything we do outside of faith, will not produce the same result. That is not to say it won't produce fruit, it just won't be spiritual, and God will not bless it.

(185a) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Dragging God’s Grace Through The Mud >> Operating His grace through religion -- There are many people who think that the very act of being baptized will save their souls. They also think they can go on from there and live any way they want, completely ignoring God their whole lives and expect to be in His favor just because they were immersed in water in the name of the Lord. The Scriptures do not back up such theology. Baptism is a symbolic representation of our salvation, not the very substance of it. Christ Himself is the substance, but we must not pursue Him through religion, rather through faith and love. Religion makes a mockery of God's truth.

(230b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> What we must do to partake of the kingdom >> Partaking which requires our participation -- With the right heart we may approach God's provision and participate in His ceremonies and offerings and be fully accepted with no questions asked. God has prepared not only these things, but also a whole life of service filled with good fruit to enjoy along the way and share with others. Although it is a simple act, being baptized makes a statement that we believe in Jesus and that we consequently have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and of the age to come. To go through God's sanctioned ceremony says that we are willing to do whatever God requires of us, regardless of your past history.

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Mat 3,7-9

(21i) Sin >> Premeditated sin >> Intending to abuse the grace of God – John the Baptist summarized much of what Jesus said to the religious horde in Matthew chapter 23, calling them a brood of vipers, and in John chapter eight the Jews brought up the fact that they were children of Abraham, being the testimony of Jesus’ most brutal statements against the Jews, telling them that they were children of the devil just the same. John the Baptist, before they even had a chance to say a word, forewarned them not to justify themselves by relying on their lineage as children of Abraham to find favor with God, telling them “God is able with these stones to raise up children to Abraham,” similar to creating Adam and Eve from the dust of the ground. Likewise, God created the Church and invited the gentiles to take part in His spiritual kingdom on earth, being less intuitive than the method used to create man, suggesting that God is not limited to any method to accomplish His goals. 

(40d) Judgment >> Jesus judges the world through His own death – John questioned how they knew to flee from the wrath to come. What wrath? Jesus came as a dove, as the youngest of all, as someone who wouldn’t harm a flea. Jesus may have been innocent of all evil, but He was the man that God will use to judge the world because of His very innocence, for how else could God use Him to judge the world if He wasn't innocent of evil? The wrath of God was not to send some brute to earth like Hercules to beat down the rebellion; the world would have understood that; instead, He came as an innocent man, and people hated Him for it, because He wasn’t violent and hateful like them. God used His Son to show the world how people ought to live, showing them what to expect in God’s heavenly kingdom. It will not be ruled by an iron scepter, though that will be the case during the Millennium, but His eternal kingdom will be based on the principles of righteousness and peace that He demonstrated for us, and people who love the ways of Christ will inherit these things.

(68i) Authority >> Discernment >> Judging truth and error >> Perceiving wicked motives – How does a person develop a sense of discernment? It is one of the spiritual gifts, listed in 1Cor 12,8-10. Some say about people who pursues the gifts of the spirit that they prefer a showy version of Christianity, instead of a fruit-based faith. However, the gifts of the Spirit have their place, especially the gift of discernment. The person who would shun the gifts are inadvertently shunning their own right as a Christian to demonstrate Christianity on a spiritual level. We cannot condemn the gift of discernment and have the gift of discernment at the same time. Show me a person who condemns the gifts and I will show you a person who is spiritually ungifted, hence without discernment. Without discernment how do they even know they are making the right decision when they condemn the gifts of the Spirit, since discernment is the manner in which God has given us to perceive the truth? We can sit in church and listen to the preacher do an expository on the Scriptures and learn the truth that way, but without discernment we cannot personally arrive at the truth. We will need someone with the gift of discernment to teach us. If our teachers also condemn the gifts, then neither do they understand the Scriptures except that someone has taught them who had the gift of discernment. Therefore, someplace in the chain of knowledge the gift of discernment made its mark, otherwise the teaching is a haphazard assortment of ideas without any way of determining its validity. Doesn’t that sound like Christianity today, and isn’t this the reason no one can agree on the truth?

(186j) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> God’s role in forming a reprobate >> Marked out for destruction -- God's role in the formation of the reprobate mind is to simply give the person what he or she wants. The searing of the conscience is the central theme in the teaching of the reprobate mind. Everyone is guilty of this to some degree, but the reprobate does not recognize sin as evil, and before long they can't tell the difference between right and wrong. God's role in all of this is mostly to let it happen, but there is an active role He plays at the end that seals the person's fate, which can be seen in Romans chapters 1 and 2. Essentially, He places His mark upon that person, so they cannot be saved.

(211b) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> God gives the Gentiles Israel’s place – If God wants to route around unbelievers, whether Jew or gentile, He has unlimited means to do that. He can raise up children to Abraham and bypass Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, chief priests and all who are rebellious, which is exactly what He did by establishing the Church and inviting the gentiles to take part in it. The Jews played a game of checkers with God and lost, and they are still bitter about it, but they should have known there is no winning against God, only with Him. If we find ourselves fighting against God, it is inevitable that we will lose. In fact, every aspect of our lives that is immersed in rebellion will suffer loss. Therefore, we should take an inventory of our lives and be brutally honest with ourselves and equally objective and attempt to discern the various ways that we are resisting the will of God and repent, knowing there will be consequences if we don’t. Circumstances will turn against us in every way that we resist Him. However, if we suffer as a result of our obedience, we can know that circumstance will eventually turn in our favor, whether it be in this life or in the life to come. Invariably, we are the primary beneficiaries of our own service to God.

Mat 3-7,8

(92i) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> What kind of trail is this? >> All other paths are crooked

Mat 3-7

(76f) Thy kingdom come >> Wicked motives >> Motives based on self-righteousness

(166d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Man’s wisdom excuses his sinful nature >> Have a religion to avoid hell -- Prior to his ministry John lived a solitary, nomadic life, though raised by his family in his childhood years. When he became an adult, he made the desert his home, living somewhere between the city limits and the desert interior, eating grasshoppers and honey. This implies that he was mostly unfamiliar with the townspeople, so he probably didn’t personally know these men he reproached, yet he knew their hearts were not with God, and for this reason he refused to baptize them. This is what every pastor should do. If he knows certain people are not saved and have no intensions of repentance, then he should not baptize them, according to John’s example. He would be doing them a grave disservice, tempting them to put their trust in a ceremony instead of putting their faith in Jesus, making it that much harder to reach them with the gospel. If someone approaches them with the gospel, they might present their certificate of baptism and tell the evangelist they are covered; meanwhile, they are living the life of a heathen. It is much better for God to excuse our sinful nature than for us to do it ourselves. If our religion does not have repentance and faith and love at its center, we have the wrong religion. 

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8-12 "Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father '; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 "His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 

Mat 3-8

(156f) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> You will know them by their repentance – Some people think that since repentance does not save us, what is the point of it, but the Bible teaches that without repentance there is no way to prove our faith. We may not be obligated to prove our faith to anybody else, but we are obligated to prove it to ourselves. We need confidence in God, and without repentance confidence is impossible. How can we be sure we believe in Him if we don’t repent? There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about this. A person who would latch onto Eph 2-8,9 and ignore the rest of Scripture is fighting against God and will lose. Essentially, their faith reduces to merely affirming a certain set of doctrines.

(193f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance >> Instruction to the Church – Israel had gotten off course and had centuries to develop false doctrines that Jesus tried to untangle for them, but they mostly didn’t listen to Him, though not every Pharisee and Sadducee was corrupt; the book of Acts reports many Pharisees getting saved. Some Pharisees and Sadducees came to John with a right heart for baptism, but others came to ask him for a license to publicly baptize or to inquire who gave him authority to inaugurate a new religious practice in Israel (which was against the Law of Moses). Unfortunately for the insincere, they came without any intension of repentance. Some people today get baptized and then going on their merry way. Probably everybody knows somebody who has sought favor with God through baptism, which merely symbolizes true faith in Jesus. John wouldn’t baptize certain individuals whose hearts were not right with God, and neither should we. He had a strong sense of discernment and for this reason he wasn’t going to cater to them.

Mat 3-9

(200i) Denying Christ >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Using irresponsibility as an excuse to reject God >> Trying to talk your way out of accountability -- John seemed to think that the Pharisees would try to defend themselves and use the old disclaimer that they were sons of Abraham. The Pharisees were very proud of their genealogical status and their laws, being the center of their religion, not God. By contending that God was able to use “stones to raise up children to Abraham,” John made common what they worshipped.

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Mat 3,10-12

(103g) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Spirit like water >> Anointing cleanses you from the practice of sin -- In verse 11 compare the significance of John's baptism with Jesus' baptism to help come to terms with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. John used water to perform his service, while Jesus used a substance that is not of this world. As different water is to the substance of the Holy Spirit is different as these ceremonies are from each other, yet they are similar enough for both to be baptisms. Moreover, John's baptism was defined as one of repentance, whereas Jesus' baptism is meant to help fulfill our calling from God.

(191e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven from the Church -- When we look at John's words, we see a prime example of how the majority of Scripture was written. What he said applies to every generation since he spoke these words, but none so much as those who live in the last days, and we are those people. For the past 2000 years the Church has feebly attempted to fulfill bits and pieces of God's word, but the last days church will completely fulfill  it as a culmination of all things. How this applies in this passage is a fearful and terrifying reality about how many people in the Church will fall away from the faith as their response to the anointing reclaiming the Church. Those who want it will embrace Christ, and those who reject it will reject Christ. Look at verse 12 again; In John's day the threshing floor represented Israel, but now it represents the Church. Since the days of its persecution-filled beginnings, the Church  has gotten by without the anointing, but a time is coming when the Church will need to remember the power it once had to surmount unimaginable difficulties. Get ready here it comes; enjoy the ride!

Mat 3-10

(49d) Judgment >> Those who are unfruitful in His kingdom are destroyed -- This verse goes with verse 12

(157d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Being displeasing to God >> Leading a fruitless lifestyle -- Those who reject the anointing will be unacceptable to God, because He has previously stated that everything that is not from faith is sin (Rom 14-23), and rejecting the anointing is not from faith. 

Mat 3-11,12

(104d) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by fire >> Purified through the fiery anointing -- See verses 10-12 for commentary. 

Mat 3-11

(111f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Word and the power (meaning) of God >> Word in obedience cannot evade the power of God -- There are essentially two components of the anointing: the Spirit and the word. They can be described in many different ways, and manifested in many different forms, in this case through obedience. God is using baptism as an analogy for understanding the anointing. Getting baptized takes a simple act of faith. The anointing is the same way. With a simple faith in God anyone is eligible to walk in His power. So, don't look to intelligence or popularity, for those qualities do not qualify anyone for the anointing. If anything, human abilities tend to make people arrogant. 

(190k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Baptism of the Holy Spirit – In regular baptism the person enters the water and comes out wet on the exterior without wetting the inside; that is, our clothes might get soggy, but if done correctly our lungs should not fill with water. The water targets the location of the anointing, which helps us to obey God, thus manifesting the Kingdom of God by superimposing His power over our obedience, so the more we obey Him the stronger the anointing. God wants us to possess our own souls by harnessing the sinful nature and keeping it under control. To the degree that we do this is the degree to which God can anoint our lives and use us for His purposes, but if we allow the sinful nature to run our lives, it will reek havoc and keep the anointing from resting upon us. The dove represents the anointing, which perched on Jesus at His baptism, and as we know if we make a sudden move, the dove flies away, a sudden move depicting sin. We must be very careful with the anointing not to scare it away.

Mat 3-12

(49d) Judgment >> Those who are unfruitful in His kingdom are destroyed -- This verse goes with verse 10

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13-17 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" 15 But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

 

Mat 3,13-15 

(44c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Fulfill the requirements – Jesus left nothing undone; He fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament; He fulfilled Moses’ old covenant law; he fulfilled all the requirements of temple worship, and He fulfilled His duties as the Great High Priest, which was to be spotless and blameless, perfect and without sin. People like to be ruled by law; go to do something and there is a law against it, and where there are no laws there are policies, and where there are no policies there are ethics. Jesus came to set us free from the law by fulfilling its requirements, abolishing temple worship, abolishing the need to live by a set of rules. We should live the way Jesus lived by the Spirit.

(219i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestined according to the word of God (Prophecy) – Jesus wasn’t following the law being baptized; rather, He fulfilled all righteousness and prophecy (Isaiah 40-3; Malachi 4-5-6), which is higher than law. Bible prophecy is not a prediction of the future but God going into the future and seeing what exactly transpires, and then reporting His findings to His prophets. It is so sure to happen that telling us doesn't keep it from happening, though there are many antichrists who would love to prove God wrong, yet they can't! When Jesus sought to fulfill all righteousness by being baptized by John, He was fulfilling a prophecy that was not only required but had already been fulfilled according to God’s foreknowledge. For Jesus to be baptized and thus fulfill prophecy was performing a work that was predestined to happen.

Mat 3-16,17

(113k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Resurrection power – John water-baptized Jesus, and at the same time the Father baptized Him in the Holy Spirit, indicated by the dove that came to rest on his shoulder, which led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and returned forty days later to begin His ministry. When we think of Jesus before this, He struggled throughout His life to remain completely free of sin; His conscience was flawless; He never did anything against His Father’s will, this being His greatest miracle. He remained free from sin without the assistance of God’s anointing. When Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit, that is when the anointing came upon Him and He began His ministry and helped Him through the wilderness. When He started His ministry in earnest, He was able to perform miracles through the anointing, which He promised to bestow on each of us in various portions to help us fulfill His calling on our lives. The anointing is the external manifestation of the Spirit that He imparted in us. We can make choices within the parameters of His will, but His interests come before our interests.

(253f) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Father and Son glorify each other >> Holy Spirit honors the Son through the Father >> Father honors the Son who honors the Father

(255g) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> The process of imparting the substance of God >> Father discloses the Spirit by the word -- All three members of the trinity are here in these verses. Jesus is there of course, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven like a dove, and finally they heard the voice of the Father. It is imperative to understand the two-fold system God uses to communicate with us through the Spirit and the word.

 

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

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER 4

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1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 

Mat 4,1-11 

(8k) Responsibility >> Responsible to defend God’s cause >> Preparing for the ministry – Prior to a powerful ministry is a time of hardship and difficulty wherein people must go through many things they do not understand. The end result is that they come to realize that difficulties don’t destroy them, but help them realize they don’t have any alternatives besides trusting the Lord, which strengthens their resolve to keep the faith.

(15c) Servant >> Ministering spirits >> Angels give help in time of need

(16ab) Sin >> The sin nature is instinctively evil >> Man’s flesh is related to the devil >> Man's flesh is tempted to deny God – The Father gave Jesus a wilderness experience for the purpose of being tempted by the devil, having fasted forty days, and now He was starving. He knew if He didn’t eat soon He would die. He was using the last of His energy to climb the pinnacle of the temple, not thinking straight, yet was still accountable to His Father. We visualize the devil leading Jesus to the pinnacle saying, ‘Turn here, now walk up these steps,’ but the devil doesn’t lead us that way. The devils temptations come subtly, seemingly natural, so we cannot distinguish our thoughts from the devil's subliminal thoughts, and in many respects they are a composite of the two. He reached the pinnacle and was about to throw Himself when He came to His senses. When Jesus quoted the word of God, He was speaking as much to the devil as He was to His flesh. In verse nine when the devil said to Jesus, “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me,” worship was the devil’s goal in his first two temptations. Making bread from a stone at the devil’s request would have been sin, since Jesus would no longer be following His Father but the devil. In this example of temptation, Jesus was just as interested in making bread from a stone as the devil was in seeing Him sin; therefore, teasing the differences between them would be virtually impossible. We think it is just our flesh tempting us, but we should know that ol’ sleufoot has his fingerprints all over our temptations. Conversely, we might think the devil made us do it, but God holds us accountable for our actions, because we were involved in our temptations through the will of our sinful flesh. Essentially then, there is no difference between the devil’s temptations and that of our evil desires. We could say that all temptation comes from the devil or that all temptation comes from the flesh; it is in some ways the same.

(39j) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Jesus defeated this world system >> Jesus defeated Satan in the world

(94o) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective is your personal reality >> How your location influences you – Jesus was under the conviction that He should not eat, and the devil regarded him with contempt. Rom 14-3 says, “The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat.” This entire scenario between Jesus and the devil happened in the playground of the mind as it were a virtual reality machine, as in the movie the Matrix, if you die in the Matrix you die in reality. Had Jesus fallen to temptation, it would have broken unity within the trinity and order throughout the universe would have unraveled, so the stakes were high. Under other circumstances Jesus could have turned stones into bread and it wouldn’t have been sin, any more than feeding five thousand people with a hand-basket of food was sin. Everything is a matter of perspective, and when we couple that with our attitude, we can look at them as a Cartesian coordinate system, like the crosshairs of a scope. Draw a vertical line and then draw a horizontal line through the first one, making a plus sign (+). Next place a dot anywhere within that coordinate system; the dot represents our perspective, our point of view, our location as it were on the map. Next draw a straight line from the center of the crosshairs and through the dot; that line represents our attitude, which determines our direction in life. Note in this visual aid that our attitude is dependent on our perspective. If we change our perspective, our attitude changes with it, but it doesn’t work the other way. Attitude always follows perspective. People tell us to change our attitude, but what they should say is change our perspective. Whenever we develop a poor attitude about something or someone, the challenge is to seek a better point of view, like walking around a city while looking at a tall building, and then stopping where we find the perspective we need to photograph the building.

(99h) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring circumstances >> Endure temptation – There is something inside us that is no less evil than the devil Himself. We have a mirror image of the devil living inside us, that is, living in the sinful nature of our flesh. We have two obstacles working in tandem against us, and they are so similar that we usually get fooled thinking we own our sinful desires, when in fact we own only our reactions to them; our identity is sealed in a vault by our faith in Jesus. We are not defined by our sinful nature or its evil passions and desires, which identifies with the devil. Moreover, the whole world is in agreement with both the flesh and the devil. 1Jn 5-8 says, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” There are three that testify on either side: the world, the flesh and the devil on one side, and the Spirit, the water and the blood on other. These are opposites. We can either side with the world, the flesh and the devil, or we can side with the Spirit and the word, which are in perfect agreement with Christ, who obeyed the word of God by the Spirit to the point of death on a cross. Jesus resisted temptation and we can resist temptation too, because we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, who teaches us the Word and trains us to obey Christ.

(105lc) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit into the fire >> Into the wilderness >> Jesus suffered the wilderness of nature Many think they can obey the Lord without ever having to prepare. We need to develop a strategy to obey God and to learn His will and do it. Most people when they hear the voice of God driving them into the wilderness just won’t go. Maybe they will take a sack lunch on a stroll in the woods for the afternoon, afterwards expecting God to do exploits through them. Jesus was in the wilderness forty days and forty nights without any food, and He got to a point of death before His Father finally released Him to eat and sustain His flesh. Virtually every person in the Bible who was anybody had a wilderness experience. It trains our mind to hear the voice of God and become willing to do whatever He says.

(108f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance >> Conscience is the balance between God and man – Certain things may not be sin, but if we think they are sin, then to us they are sin. If we engage in activities that we think are sinful, if God does not condemn them, we are sinning just the same, because we are acting against our conscience, and sin is defined as a breach of conscience. The next person may not consider the same thing to be sin, and so he is free in that regard. It is not the act itself but the knowledge of sin that makes us sinners, as in the story of Adam and Eve. They didn’t ingest poison when they ate the fruit; it was that they acted against their conscience. God probably picked any tree near the center of the garden at random and told Adam not to eat its fruit. That tree was probably no different from any other tree, but soon as God told Adam not to eat from it, suddenly it became sin. God doesn’t want a lot of people in His heaven acting against their conscience. He is trying to build an eternal kingdom, and He needs everyone to be on the same page. Acting against our conscience doesn’t seem bad; we think of sin as the horrible things we do to one another, such as robbery, murder and adultery to name a few, but those things are the result of a wounded conscience. There are things not written in the law that if we do them may be sin, depending on what we think of them, depending on our perspective. In this life we serve our conscience; it is our master, even if it directs us to avoid things that are not sinful. James said, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Jm 4-17). 

(160h) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation >> Overcoming temptation >> Jesus was tempted

(183j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Truth is the enemy of the spirit of error >> Spirit of error interrogates the truth -- Tell me, what do you think? Would Satan have really given Jesus all the kingdoms of the world had He fallen down and worshipped the him? Of course not! Rule number one: never believe the devil. All of his promises are hollow. He never comes through with his guarantees--ever! Satan would have met his goal the moment Jesus' knee touched the earth, severing the tie between He and His Father, and would have no need to follow through with his promise to give Him all the kingdoms of the world, since Christ would no longer be a threat to him.  

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Mat 4,1-7

(182j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Telling the truth with an evil motive -- Later, Jesus fed 5000 people with five loaves and two fish. Do you think He could have turned a rock into bread? He told the people who came for Him at His arrest that a myriad angels surrounded Him; He could have called for help and they would have saved Him from that mob. Don't you think those angels would have also caught Him had He jumped off the pinnacle?  Jesus testified that Satan was the ruler of the world, so he was not lying about owning all the kingdoms of the world. Satan did not lie about anything he said to Jesus, yet he has the reputation of a liar and the father of lies. So what did he say that was a lie? Everything! How? He told the truth with an evil motive. That is just as much lying, because it is just as deceptive. 

(253ea) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Father >> Jesus has all the internal qualities of the Father >> Jesus is the Son of God >> Contested the Son of God by sinners and demons

Mat 4-1

(64j) God Helps Satan (Key verse)

(65c) Paradox >> Anomalies >> God helps Satan >> God leads His son into temptation by the devil -- Probably, most people think of being led by the Spirit as being sent by God into some heavenly bliss, but that is not where Jesus went. This verse says that God's will is not that predictable. If we are going to pretend to know God's will we will send ourselves into as much comfort as possible in the name of the Lord, but if we want to get real with God, get ready for a bumpy ride, because He will sacrifice our flesh to prepare us for a ministry, just as He did with Jesus. When we are in the midst of our trials, it seems that God is helping Satan and not us, but that is the paradox. We must go through a cleansing of the flesh in order to create the mindset we need to fulfill His will and to understand His ways. It is our fleshly mind that is paradoxical and not God.  

(71j) Authority >> Ordained by God >> God ordains us through His commandments

(105f) Led By The Spirit (Key verse)

 

2-14 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.' " 5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and 'ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.' " 7 Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.' " 8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.' " 11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. 12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 

Mat 4-2

(189j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Fasting >> Fasting simulates dying to self – Fasting is not popular; most Christians don’t fast, and those that do often fast under the guise of promises that don’t deliver. Jesus fasted forty days and nights, and ironically the result was that He was tempted by the devil. Instead of getting closer to God and understanding Him better, it became an opportunity for Satan. Jesus was on the brink of death when the spiritual realm opened to Him, not just the realm of heaven but also the demonic realm, and He fought the devil at His weakest point and won, because He was in tune with His Father. While fasting we become more sensitive to the spiritual realm; we understand that what is happening to us is real, whereas in times when we are not fasting and encounter a spiritual experience, we might misattribute it to indigestion, as in Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol”.

Mat 4-3,4

(77c) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Doing the will of God is more important than our food

Mat 4-4

(46f) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Fall of Satan >> Resisting Satan’s deception -- This verse goes with verse 7

Mat 4,5-11

(160f) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil into the wilderness

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Mat 4-6,7

(9d) Responsibility >> Prevent disunity within the body of Christ >> Prevent false doctrine – All too often the problems we face in our churches stem from slanted teaching, usually based on ignorance, but there is a line drawn at the word "ignorance," that maintains a person’s guilt regardless of how little he knows. That line is defined by the measure of opportunity he has to educate himself above a reasonable level of ignorance. With so many Bibles in America, there is no excuse for being ignorant of its teachings, especially the pastors who claim to have devoted their lives to the book for the purpose of helping others with their faith. Without making a conscious effort to study the Bible and consequently misinterpreting it, there it is no difference in distorting its teachings deliberately. If we commit to the knowledge of God, no one will be able to lie to us.

(108b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance between truth and error >> Jesus brings balance between truth and error -- This is how false doctrine is started. It begins with people in charge of the word, who have no commitment to it, having mindsets that are not trained on the Scriptures interpreting it and making decisions about the Church. Those who put others in charge of the word are guilty of neglecting to protect the word of God from being distorted by distorted minds. We need people who have a heart for Jesus to protect the word of God against those who have minds that have been trained by the devil.

(177a) Distorting Scripture (Key verse) – There are countless people who don't read the Bible because they don't understand it; they say it seems to contradict itself, and they don't know which side to believe. If we start picking sides, we won't understand either one, and we will inevitably pick the side that most appeals to our flesh. It will lead to either licentiousness (spiritually entitled), or legalism (trying to become spiritual through the flesh). If we studied the Bible enough to show ourselves approved, we would see that the Bible actually does not contradict itself.

(177c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Distorting Scripture >> Distorting Scripture for personal gain

Mat 4-7

(46f) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Fall of Satan >> Resisting Satan’s deception -- This verse goes with verse 4

Mat 4,8-11

(196b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping the devil

Mat 4-11

(15c) Servant >> Ministering spirits >> Angels give help in time of need

Mat 4,12-14 -- No Entries

 

 

15-18 "THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES - 16 "THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED." 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 18 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 

 

Mat 4-15,16

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

Mat 4-16

(25k) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Dead in sin >> The human condition without Christ

(112c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus’ light overcomes darkness >> The light of His truth – The people were living in spiritual darkness, and the light was just as spiritual, referring to the truth. There are lots of things that are true; we could study one of the disciplines of science, packed full of facts, most of them proven true, but we reserve the word Truth with a capital “T” to mean the facts about God. Truth goes beyond proven fact, the spiritual entity in the person of Jesus Christ, even as God is Spirit. The Truth is one side of God that is great as His Spirit, who is the essence of Christ and the person of the Father. The Truth about God is not just facts about Him but is an aspect of His essence that transcends factual knowledge. If we cannot rise above the facts of the Bible, we cannot be born-again; we cannot be saved and we cannot go to heaven. This indicates the importance of Truth, and the light that dawned on the people who lived in spiritual darkness was God’s truth that Jesus revealed to the Jews first and also to the gentiles. The Jews had the Old Testament and studied it, having many of the words memorized, but they hardly knew what any of it meant. The facts about God lay before them but His Truth was still hidden, until Jesus came. He revealed the Truth to them about God, and they didn’t recognize it in their manuscripts.

(184e) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Darkness >> God controls darkness >> Darkness is the absence of light

Mat 4-17

(192i) Repent (Key verse) – There are many subtleties in the Bible that howl at us, but we still do not see it. One such topic is repentance, which has a purpose. It was John the Baptist's message. Not coincidentally, repentance is meant to prepare us for the ministry of Christ, according to John's ministry. Although it was Christ Himself preaching the message of repentance in this verse, He was preparing them for the ministry of the Spirit, both for when He came to their town and more importantly after He ascended to heaven, he would send the Spirit in His place. Therefore, repentance is how we prepare to receive the ministry of the Spirit. Without repentance the sin that is active in our flesh will blind us to the things of the Spirit.

(193c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Turn from your evil ways >> Turn to God

(231g) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Body of Christ is the organism of God’s kingdom >> Jesus is the head of His body’s kingdom >> The Kingdom of Heaven is where Jesus is

Mat 4,18-22

(93f) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Leaving everything behind to follow Him – If we do not respond to His invitation, we cannot be His disciple. A lot of people might say, ‘That’s okay, I just want to be a regular Christian,’ but the Bible doesn’t teach that there are regular Christians; it teaches that there are disciples of Jesus. That is not just another name for a Christian; it means the believer is wholly committed to Christ. Religion would tell us that we can be regular Christians, for there are many who are not disciples of Jesus, and for that reason there are many pseudo-Christians. Christians are disciples of Jesus or they are not Christians at all. Becoming a Christian is our choice after we are called, but it is God’s choice to call us in the first place. Discipleship is not a choice for Christian believers. The Church today shows almost no signs of discipleship in those who call themselves by His name. In fact, discipleship in the Church today is defined as those who are committed to their religion but not necessarily to Christ Himself. Discipleship according to Scripture is defined as someone who is committed to the Kingdom of God and to the cause of Christ, which involves the Great Commission, making disciples of all nations. Most people place their careers over their faith. They may not admit it, but by their actions they prove what is important to them. A true disciple will sacrifice everything for his faith, but what we see in the Church today are people sacrificing their faith for a firmer grip on the world.

Mat 4,18-20

(106c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Attaining the hearing ear >> Knowing the sound of His voice >> Flowing with the wind of His voice – This isn’t the first encounter that Simon Peter and Andrew had with Jesus, so when He invited them to follow Him, they knew they were being chosen as His disciples. This was something they wanted; the moment of His invitation they immediately left everything and followed Him. The same is true in our own generation; we have known about Jesus, and when the day comes that He formally invites us to be His disciple, we must immediately drop everything and follow Him. This is His expectation, and if we vacillate, He may bypass us and continue on His way looking for other disciples. We don’t know if He will ever return, anymore than we know what the wind will do, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (Jn 3-8). We do not control the wind and we cannot control the Spirit. The weatherman doesn’t control the weather; He only makes predictions, but when it comes to spiritual matters there are no forecasts. So when He calls on us we are to drop everything and follow Him, for He may never call us again.

(194b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to Jesus when He calls for you

(248k) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Some things take precedence over others – The word “immediately” is an important one, for it proved the disciple’s priorities. If we hear Him calling, we are to immediately obey Him as one who has more authority than any man. If the president called on us with a request, would we immediately drop everything and go, or would we tell him to come back tomorrow or next week? We plod through the mundaneness of life, practicing our faith in our religion of choice, but one day God becomes real to us and we are instantly and forever changed. Many have made excuses and lost their place in the Kingdom of God, such as: “‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come’” (Lk 14,18-20). Imagine Simon Peter and Andrew saying to the Lord, ‘We are going fishing; we’ll meet You later.’ Jesus would have said, ‘Don’t bother.’

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19-25 And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. 23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. 24 The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

 

Mat 4,19-22

(215l) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> The disciples immediately followed Jesus – This was not the disciple's first encounter with Jesus; they had seen Him and listened to Him before this and developed a great fondness for Him, and in their minds they were already His disciples, but He had not called them until now. There is a difference between choosing to be Jesus’ disciple and Jesus choosing us to be His disciples. There are many Christian people throughout the ages who decided to become disciples of Jesus, and God received them, and they now dwell in heaven, but there are a select few whom Jesus has chosen to be His disciples. He had seventy others, and it doesn’t say that Jesus chose them; instead, they probably chose themselves to follow Jesus, and they became a wider circle that surrounded the inner circle. Jesus didn't choose Judas Iscariot either; rather, Judas invited himself, and Jesus merely allowed it to fulfill prophecy. All the prophets of the Old Testament were people whom God had chosen to be His disciples, for no prophet chooses himself to become a prophet. There are many people who seek the gift of prophecy, and many of them prophesy and minister to people, and it is a good thing, but there is a huge difference between a prophet and someone who prophesies. It is the difference between them choosing to prophesy and God choosing them as prophets.

Mat 4-22

(109g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of God's word >> Revelation of the truth – Did Jesus’ disciples, including James and John, did not realize that Jesus was the Christ when they left the boat and their father and followed Him but received that revelation later as they continued walking with Him, though undoubtedly they suspected He was the Christ from the beginning. The revelation didn’t come like a great flash of light, rather as a slow and methodical process of understanding. As He spoke and as He performed the works of God, they realized that He was a prophet, and the more He spoke and the more miracles He performed, the more they realized He was Israel’s Expected One, until finally Peter spoke for the group in Mat 16-16 and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” All Israel was waiting for Messiah to appear, but they were not expecting Him to come the way He did. Rather, they were expecting Him to come in power and glory, and the first thing they expected Him to do was deliver them from their physical enemies the Romans, and then to take over the world and become king of the earth for a thousand years. In other words, they were looking for the Millennium way back then.

Mat 4-23,24

(145c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus healed them all – Jesus healed every sickness and disease; there are many sicknesses and diseases in today’s world that would be truly miraculous if God healed them all. There was one thing Jesus didn’t heal and that was old age; He may have healed their diseases, but they eventually died; He never turned back time for anybody. Note that it speaks about teaching and healing at the same time and in the same context, meaning they go together. Jesus wouldn’t heal people without speaking the word to them, for the whole point of healing someone was to give them further reason to believe in Him. God is interested in faith; He wants us to believe in Him. The word “believe” means both trust and obedience, but “faith” means something else. They may be synonyms and interchangeable, but they’re not the same. They are used in place of each other in the Scriptures, yet when we read the whole of Scripture and understand exactly what is being said, we realize that “faith” is a God-given ability to believe in Jesus. “Belief” in contrast, is a man-made choice. We can choose to believe in anything we want; that is our prerogative. Faith is a God-give ability to believe in God’s truth by His Spirit, though admittedly there are many people, especially these days, who believe in error through a spirit of error. When Jesus healed people, after his sermon the people associated their healing with the word of God that they heard. Just as God apart from the Spirit can heal no one, so no one apart from the Spirit can believe in Jesus.

Mat 4-23

(239h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers are construction workers >> Jesus is a teacher

Mat 4-24,25

(143j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Jesus is popular because of His works

Mat 4-25

(93l) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> The multitude follow Jesus – Jesus was getting attention of the people, who were starting to lift up their eyes and see this man, for His miracles were getting people's attention. Once they fixed their eyes on Him, He began to teach them the word of God, which meant more to Him than healing their diseases. That is, understanding the truth of God is more important than our health. Paralytics are better off believing in Jesus, saved and and going to heaven, than the healthy person in control of his faculties and going to hell. Once Jesus got their attention, He preached the word of God to them and some listened, but many as we would expect to listen to His word because of His miracles, we would be wrong. As it was then, so it will be again in the last days when signs and wonders return. It will pull some heads, but few will believe the word when it is spoken to them, though they will readily believe in the antichrist.

 

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