BUT I SAY UNTO YOU
Matthew 5:21 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
The outline of this chapter:
1. Those Liberated from Sin vs. 1-12
2. The Light of the Saints vs. 13-16
3. The Law and the Saviour vs. 17-20
3. Legalism & Spirituality vs. 21-48
The Lord Jesus Christ is the great prophet whom Moses revealed that God said would come to give clarity to the commands of God. Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Therefore the Lord made it clear to his disciples that he was not come to destroy the law, but to clarify and fulfill it. For we read some five times in this chapter the words, “Ye have heard.” And they are followed by his words, “But I say unto you.” Therefore we understand that he was not against the law, but against the false, legal interpretation of the law.
And in giving his true interpretation of His law, we are given to see a far different realm of Christian belief, including that which is the true character of the believer, than we have heretofore seen! For the true believer is not a religionist striving to maintain a system of morality! But he is a soul within whom the Holy Spirit is moulding into perfection! Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. For Almighty God did not set out to make a bunch of sinners morally better, but to make his chosen ones perfect.
And this perfection is achieved by the indwelling of the Third Person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit. Which is also included with the believer’s continuous awareness of God, who looks upon his heart. Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. For perfection cannot be attained without one’s walking, or living in a present consciousness of God.
The Father’s viewing of the Lord Jesus was not just in the outward appearance of his physical suffering on the cross. But he was looking at the travail of his soul! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: And even so it is with the viewing of the Lord God to the souls of men. 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Therefore we see the Lord first addressing the matter of murder. And, as he looks upon the heart, he states that the guilt of murder is not strictly limited to the physical act of killing another human being. But God’s view of murder is hatred of another without a cause!
You See?!? True Christianity is not simply outward morality! It is not just refraining from physical murder. But it is a conquering of the heart to bring it into a God-pleasing examination, that it is without secret and unjust anger! Therefore under the term, Ye have heard, only the physical taking of another human’s life put one in danger of the judgment. But in the following term, But I say unto you, we are instructed that unjust anger places one in danger of the judgment! 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Now all anger is not sinful. Psalm 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. Mark 3:5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Not only has the Harlot religious system taught us a wrongful interpretation of the law, but it has failed to teach us of God’s dear love of the human race. (That statement got this writer listed in Marc Carpenter’s “Hall of Shame!” But the statement is still true!) A careful reading of the first two chapters of the Book of Hebrews, reveals that it was not the angelic race, but the human race into which the Eternal Son of God came to give redemption. And it is in this light in which we can rightfully understand John 3:16 and 17. Therefore God’s love fell upon his created humans, for he came not to condemn humans, but to bring salvation into their realm, not into the realm of the angels!
For the Eternal Son did not choose to come into the realm of angels for either his Incarnation, nor his redemption! In fact, it was a once powerful angel whom he came against to relieve the bondage of sin, in which he had kept the humans in fear of death. Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
For the Lord God identifies with humans, whom he loves above the realm of the angels. Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Therefore the Lord God takes it as a special offense to himself when those of his image are shown disrespect. For in our verse twenty-two of our text we also find that, not only unjust anger against a human being puts one in jeopardy of being judged, but also hurtful words against them, spoken in unjust anger, also puts one in line for God’s judgment.
The word, Raca is as the term in 1 Samuel 6:20 translated, “the vain fellows.” It is to call someone “stupid,” or literally, to have a “shallow-brain.” We must ever keep in mind the truth of that Matthew 25:40 verse, (listed above), that an offense to “one of the least” is received by God as if it were done against him! For any who belittle those who are made in God’s image, belittle God Himself! Now you can see that the law is not to be kept in outward compliance only. But it is only rightfully kept within the inner purity of the heart.
Then in that same verse the Lord informs us not to speak to our fellowman with the words, “Thou fool.” For this is an expression of the highest guilt! It is of the word, “villany,” as found in Isaiah 32:6. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. 7 The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
These words are not given any notice in our society today. For even those of our leaders use demeaning words to level against their political opponents, giving us horrible example, and aiding the influx of satanic workings within others hearts. For Satan is the great slanderer. And we must never lend him our tongues to blaspheme mankind. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Our tongues are but a little “member” of our bodies. But they can be “set on fire of hell,” doing great damage, not just to others, but to our own souls! Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
James 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
And we shall have to give an account of every idle word! For our words reveal the inner recesses of our hearts! Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
We are therefore commanded to learn to be quiet! 1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: Man has two ears, but only one mouth! That alone should tell us something.
But this is the generation of the blog! Multitudes of words dumped onto the World Wide Web, without having to be in the presence of those concerning whom they are written. For it is one thing to be bold in writing of letters in private, than speaking those words in the immediate presence of the ones to whom it is addressed. Many cowards “tweet” hurtful things.
2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. 10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. 11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
For even the words of our bibles, without the presentation of the Holy Spirit, are a danger to us. For faith does not come by our bibles word’s to our ears! Faith comes by the effectual hearing of the person of the word – the Lord Jesus Christ – to our hearts! Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2 Corinthians 3:6 ¶ Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. The “engrafted word” is that word which is implanted and rooted within our souls.
Listen with your hearts, dear Readers, to the Lord saying to you, “But I say unto you.”
Pastor Gene Breed
February 7, 2019