THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Matthew 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 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.
Do you find it amazing that high profile religious leaders would become furious towards sinners who are given an awareness of Christ, because it was without their aid? It would seem that no matter how a soul came to envision the Lord Jesus as their Messiah-Saviour, everyone would be thankful and happy for them. All those in the presence of angels are joyful! Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. But not these boys! Then they reverted to their demonic tactic of slander! Being the offspring of snakes, they spewed their venom out against even the very Son of God!
But how precious is our Lord, the Lamb of God! For he informs them that the sin of blasphemy against him is the greatest forgivable sin! He has continuously forgiven those of us who are now believers, for our former lack of giving him the honor due to his name! But they are equally informed that if they persist in this rebellion against the Holy Ghost, when he is given, for this there shall be no forgiveness. Because this is the great unforgivable sin! This is that “Unpardonable Sin,” religion refers to! (See Matthew 12:32.)
We must keep in mind that Satan and all his snaky offspring would do anything to hinder the Lamb of God from any of his purposes in accomplishing redemption. If they had their way, He would be killed apart from the Father’s purposes. They would have his death be a murder or an execution, but never a sacrifice! For if the Jews kill him, it would be but a murder. And if the Romans did it, it would be an execution. Only the Father could order it so that it will be an atoning sacrifice! Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Therefore it was our Lord’s intention not to be in Jerusalem until he could lift up his eyes to heaven and pray, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (John 17:1). Listen to his words that inform us of his knowledge of the time of his death: Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
And he gives his church instruction from his present experience. Matthew 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Therefore here is that which he did. John 10:40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
He was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. (John 7:2). And then back again for the Feast of Dedication, (John 10:22), after which he left again before his final entry into Jerusalem.
And in this discourse, (a portion of which is listed above), he begins to instruct the Pharisees concerning the true Kingdom of God. And we have already seen in our lesson of August 24, 2014, that there were Two Shepherds. For we saw in John chapter ten that he was the true Shepherd, the door into the kingdom. And that all who ever came before him claiming to have authority to grant entrance into the kingdom were but “Thieves and Robbers.”
Now let us see that there are Two Kingdoms. For in verses 25 through 28 of our passage, we see that there is the Kingdom of God in verse twenty eight, and also the phrase his kingdom, referring to Satan’s kingdom in verse 26.
To disavow Christ and his kingdom will cause one to deny the reality of Satan and his kingdom! Satan and sin only exist in order to show the magnitude of mercy in God’s grace! Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
For this is the stated reason that the Son of God came into the world! 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 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;
Therefore to deny that the eternal Son of God has come into the world as the Lord Jesus Christ is but antichrist! 1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Then notice in the very next verse that the power of Christ within the believer is made known by the resisting power of Satan! 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Then the Lord reveals in verse thirty of our passage that there are Two Loyalties. For the relationship regarding these two kingdoms is an either/or situation! For one either gathers with Christ, or he scatters with Satan! There is no middle ground! Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Those who imagine themselves to have no part in religious and spiritual matters are positively for Satan! You cannot ignore the Lord Jesus and it not have horrible, eternal consequences for your soul! Luke 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
Dear Reader, because we have been brainwashed with modern “works” salvation, and humanistic evangelism, we have come to view the redemption of Jesus Christ solely from the viewpoint of man’s comfort. It is as if all evangelical religion believes that God owed us salvation, therefore Jesus had to die for us! But the salvation of man was but the result of the two main purposes spoken of by the Son to the Father at the very hour of his sacrifice!
John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. The Son here speaks with the Father in their understood purposes of his crucifixion. First, it was for the glory of God. Secondly, it was for the Lordship of Christ over all flesh! And then, the third and last mentioned, was for the giving of eternal life, but even then, only to as many as the Father had given him! – Hardly anyone in religion today believes that! They want man first, and lastly, Jesus as expendable in order to comfort humans! But dear soul, the glory of God is always first over all things!
We’re not even supposed to chew our food, or drink a swallow of water except for the glory of God! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. We don’t know of this glory, even with thousands of religious houses across our landscape. And our religious leaders have their imagined purposes as the preached issue, rather than the glorifying of the Lord Jesus Christ! We are in a disastrous condition in this nation! May God have mercy!
And remember, it was in the matter of losing that glory that we were brought down into sin and the bondage of Satan! Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And this entire generation will be separated into the eternal outer darkness unless someone turns us back to the seeking of that glory! John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Keep in mind that it is only the Holy Spirit who can direct any soul back to the glorifying of Christ! And keep in mind that failing to do so makes us one who “scattereth abroad,” and therefore, one who commits the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Ghost by refusing to bow to Christ in humble belief! The issue of the day is not in the commonly selected matters of religion’s disdain. The issue of the day is as it always has been. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30.). But sadly one can stir up the entirety of the religious community, even swaying national elections, with these selected issues. But seeking to recover the glory brings silence.
And there are Two Sources of Witness. For in verses 38 through 42 of our scripture passage we are told that the Lord shall call two previously judged cases to witness against their present unbelief. The first listed in verses 38 through 41 was the population of Nineveh, who were warned by God through the Prophet Jonah. Remember that he said the day of our judgment would be as that day! They had both his preaching, accompanied by a resurrection from the great fish’s belly to make them aware of their sin! But these Pharisees had the picture of one greater than Jonah among them! They had both Christ’s preaching, and later his resurrection, but they would never even admit to being sinners! John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Then in verse 41 we have the second witness to be called against them. It was the Queen of Sheba. And the Lord told them that she would judge them because she travelled far just to seek Solomon’s higher wisdom. But they were neither made aware of their sin, nor of their need of wisdom! And the Master and Creator of both Jonah and Solomon was standing before their very faces! Col. 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
And lastly, there are Two Stages of Rejection. In verses 43 through 45 of this Matthew twelve passage is listed the result of the denial and rejection of Christ. For if the gospel only renders you a temporary, and legal morality, it has but swept your heart of immorality. And of this kind we are told that it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, … If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4,5). Like the dog who vomits out impurities, and the sow who has temporarily abandoned the filthy mire, (2 Peter 2:22), their natures have not been changed, and will therefore return to these practices with more aggressiveness than ever before. For sheep may fall into a mud hole, but they never “wallow” in it! For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
Pastor Gene Breed, August 28, 2014