At first, Matthew 8 Part 5 is going to APPEAR to look like the opposite of what I wrote in the “Blanket of Peace.” But the truth is - it is actually the other side of it!
You see, the opposite of Peace is complete Chaos;
and the opposite of eternal life is eternal death.
Matthew 8 Part 5 symbolizes what is to happen to the spiritually dead when they get to the other side if they don’t have Jesus.
I invite you to hop into this message, and join me for the ride.
“When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him.”
The scripture says, “They came out of the tombs and were so violent that no one could go through that area.
They began screaming at him and said,
“Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s APPOINTED TIME?”
There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them.
So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs,
and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.”
Don’t you SEE?
This story is the epitome of our eternal damnation when Jesus is NOT with us.
This story represents what is waiting for us on the other side of physical death!
If we are NOT clothed in God’s blanket of peace, which is His Divine Spirit,
and if we do NOT carry HIS Seed of Promise, which is God made flesh - then we are just like the men, living in caves, who live in the dark, indwelled by demonic spirits.
Lord, help me to shed your light on this.
First, we have to SEE that Jesus has always been with us!
The Word of God was spoken and manifested since the beginning of time!
Jesus IS the Promised Seed, and through His spiritual
bloodline, the children of God are birthed through His spiritual DNA. And it's through the expression of the gene of faith, that they are no longer birthed through the Seed of Adam.
Humans were given a spirit that will return to God,
but God has already declared eternal damnation for the children of Adam. And God is not like a man that He should lie!
And yet, because of His abundant love,
God made a way to save humanity from eternal death -
He kept His Word. He kept His promise, and He declared war between Satan and the Woman. He said to Satan, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; her seed shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
This passage is the first mention in the scripture of God's redemption plan because it came right after the fall of man. Satan will have temporary power over the Seed of Adam, but the Seed of God's Promise (which is Jesus) will destroy His opponent by stomping on his head.
Isn't it amazing that God loves us so much that He sent His beloved Son to die for us. The Apostle John wrote in Revelation Chapter 5 that no one in heaven or on earth was worthy enough to open the scroll, except for the Lamb of God.
"Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
God made a way! He came out of heaven to be made flesh so that His blood could purify us.
As Isaiah described,
“It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord.
He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings.
With two wings they covered their faces,
with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.
They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations,
and the entire building was filled with smoke."
Then I said,
“It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
It is so unreal to think that by His blood we are purified. By His blood our sins are forgiven.
It's crazy to me that the Lamb of God came out of Heaven, to be slaughtered - so that His blood
could be placed on the alter of God as a final sacrifice for our sin.
It's unbelievable that those with faith who place His blood on the doorposts of their hearts,
will have the angel of death pass over them.
What an image!
Human beings are like boats, they are just physical vessels who carry the spirit of man within them.
And we must understand that the spirit of man, through the seed of Adam, has been declared as spiritually dead.
Unless our spirit is impregnated with the Word of God, through the Seed of Jesus Christ, they we will not live.
This is so important! I urge you to listen with spiritual ears.
Let me say this again.
The Word of God has always existed, and at the appointed time, God put on flesh and came as a man to redeem those who would listen, trust and follow Him.
You must know that “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Peter 1:20-21
These words are not my own! For I am human and way too dumb to have this kind of wisdom.
Salvation does not come by man alone, but by the very Word of God. For it is written,
"Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
The question is, when the Word of God comes to the spiritually dead person, who is infected by the curse that was placed upon the Seed of Adam - will they receive Him?
When His light is shed into the tombs of dark places, what will happen?
The fallen angels who hate God have inhabited men for long enough.
They know that the Son of God, the Lion of Judah is coming for them!
“Have you come here to torture us before God’s APPOINTED TIME?” the demons said.
The demons begged Jesus, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” “All right, go!” Jesus commanded.
You SEE, even the demons knew who Jesus was! And they also know that they only have an appointed time. They absolutely know who has complete authority over them! And they know, for a fact, that God is preparing a new Heaven and new earth, while also preparing their eternal death!
In the meantime, until the appointed time comes, the demons use our bodies as their playground,
but the time is coming when they will exist no more!
We must SEE.
Every human who is not inhabited by the Spirit of God is nothing more than the walking dead, and their body is an open door for Satan.
And then there's the herdsmen who "fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.”
This is no different then what happens today. The Word of God is seen as a threat to most humans, and they cast Him away. It’s only through mustard seed faith that humans can come to believe “that the Word of God is alive and active. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”
My prayer is that many hearts will return to the Lord before their vessel reaches the other side.
I remember when I was 12 years old,
my mom and step dad had a fight.
All I heard were vicious attacks
coming from their mouths
and from their hands.
The storm was coming in so fast,
I didn’t know how to control it.
I ran to my room and fell on my bed,
And yelled out to God
to make the sounds stop.
The thunder and lightning
that filled my head,
were completely gone
in less than a second.
All of sudden,
silence filled my room,
in a way that I
had never experienced before.
It was as if a blanket of peace
had dropped over me,
and all I wanted to do was rest beneath it.
In that moment,
I knew God had come,
in the most translucent form of peace.
I stood up
and looked outside my window
and saw the most beautiful
It was right before the sun went down,
but it appeared as if it was dusk to dawn.
It was only a minute
before the sounds came back,
but if felt like a lifetime had passed.
I remember feeling
as if the cares of the world
had been taken off my back.
In that moment I realized that
God had come into my room.
His presence was so intense -
that I spent the rest of my life
chasing after Him.
Later on, I went to college
to become a counselor,
and for my electives
I took all kinds of religious classes.
I attempted to find the Spirit of God
that had fell upon me.
I figured if I searched long enough,
studying the major religions of the world,
then I would surely be able to identify
the One who found me.
I was filled with so much knowledge
that I doubted myself,
and denounced the experience
to a traumatic hallucination.
But God never quit on me.
When I was just 23,
the Lord put a desire in my heart,
He said, “Read My Word”
and “Come and Find Me.”
So I responded to God’s voice,
and did as He said.
It was my birthday and I asked for a gift,
that would forever change my life.
I received a Bible and began to read,
but it made no sense to me.
I asked a woman who loved God,
to teach me what to do.
She said lay your hand on the Bible
and ask God to guide you.
“You are His daughter,
He will certainly help you.”
What started as a mustard seed of faith,
has grown abundant inside of me,
and now I am pregnant with His Word.
Holy Spirit has fathered
the sweetest fruit,
a peace that surpasses
And as I reflect back on my life,
I see how God has been leading me
to get on the boat to go to the other side;
from Mt. Sinai, the physical law,
to Mt. Zion, where there is spiritual freedom -
as described in Hebrews 12.
My life of running in circles
and constant chaos
has been replaced
with balanced vision.
And the vessel I once used to lay in,
has been replaced with new wine skin.
“Then Jesus got into the boat
and started across the lake
with his disciples.
Suddenly, a fierce storm
struck the lake,
with waves breaking into the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping.”
“The disciples went and woke him up,
shouting, “Lord, save us!
We’re going to drown!”
“Why are you afraid?
You have so little faith!”
Then he got up
and rebuked the wind and waves,
and suddenly there was a great calm.
The disciples were amazed.
“Who is this man?” they asked.
“Even the winds and waves
Yes there are still times
when I get super frustrated,
there are even times
when I begin to doubt.
There are times,
when I get overwhelmed
but it's usually when I'm relying on self
instead of trusting God.
Instead of focusing on Him,
I focus on the storm.
But then I close my eyes,
the new Jerusalem that lies ahead -
the land of Eden Restored.
And then I feel the blanket of peace
that fell upon me when I was just 12 years old.
There is nothing in this world
to the Holy Spirit covering you
with His love.
Did you know there’s a cost to following Jesus?
Well, there is. The Lord requires you to lay down your life and follow Him. And sometimes that means we have to do really hard things, like walk away from the spiritually dead or not mourn those that we love.
Listen to this...
In Matthew 8 verses 18-22, "Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.'
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
Now some would think Jesus is being way too harsh. I mean, really, who would tell another human being not to mourn their parent’s loss? Even worse, who would refer to a person's father as spiritually dead?
Well, Jesus did not worry too much about a person's feelings, rather He preferred to speak the truth in love. It seems many people wanted to listen to Him, even when His words were offensive. Scripture says large crowds would follow Him from all kinds of cities, just to hear Him teach!
That's so different than what we see today. People will come to a building when a preacher is speaking about unity and love, but they refuse to attend when a pastor shares the actual Word of God.
Unfortunately, today's "Christians" do not accept the majority of what Jesus said because the Word of God does not go with the times of the culture, and is not very progressive. But Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."
We must remember that "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
When we see Jesus as our Savior but not as our Lord, we have totally misrepresented who he is.
We must remember that Jesus is the "Word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us."
He is the Lamb of God - the only One worthy to open the scroll.
It's so important that we don't flip the script, and create our own narrative based on who we think God is. He spoke His thoughts into existence and gave us His Word in so many ways - through the Prophets, the Law and the fulfillment of Jesus.
God wrote us a Book so that we would not forget where we come from and who He is. He sent His Seed into the world to break the curse and be a blessing to us. And all that He asks for is for us to believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior - the fulfillment of His promise!
In this heaven, Jesus is known as the Lamb, who sacrificed himself to save the spiritually dead. But when he returns he will come as a Lion, ready to rule those who spiritually live, in the new Jerusalem - when Heaven and Earth are reborn.
You see, when a human comes to the end of their physical life, their body returns to dust. Their spirit ascends into the courtroom of heaven, where God administers his final judgment based on his just justice.
If a person chooses to accept God’s gift, the blood of Jesus pumps through their spiritual heart.
And Jesus who is our great advocate, will rebuke every accusation that comes out of Satan.
And the sevenfold Spirit is witness to this.
If the Spirit of God is not in them, then the gavel of God will come down, and that spirit of man is cast out of heaven, like chaff in the wind.
Don't you see the importance of this?
We spend so much time attending to the cares of this world, that we forget how important salvation is. So many people focus on the works of the flesh, that they forget to impart the Word of God! We do such a good job at feeding the poor, but we forget to attend to the spirit of the man who is physically rich. And while caring for the poor is our Christian obligation, so is ministering to the man who has not heard the gospel message.
Do you know what God told His prophet, Ezekiel?
He told Ezekiel that he was about to lose his treasure, his wife; and that he could not take time to mourn her loss - because the Word of God had no time to stop!
“Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.”
“So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do.”
Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”
So I said to them, “A message came to me from the Lord, and I was told to give this message
to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will defile my Temple, the source of your security and pride, the place your heart delights in. Your sons and daughters whom you left behind in Judah will be slaughtered by the sword. Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought by friends. Your heads will remain covered, and your sandals will not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done.
Ezekiel is an example for you; you will do just as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold - their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure - I will also take away their sons and daughters.
And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened. And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Brethren - for some reason the Lord has laid on my heart the need to speak His Word out loud! Do not take what I write for granted, because it reflects the Word of God! Take what you hear back to scripture, and discern for yourself if it is a reflection of Him. If there is something that does not line up, then shame on me for being a false prophet. But if I write what the Word of God says, then you can be sure it is trustworthy and true. I pray the words that come into my heart and out of my mouth glorify the Most High God!
“When Jesus returned to Capernaum,
a Roman officer came and pleaded with him,
“Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed
and in terrible pain.”
“I will come and heal him.”
But the officer said,
“Lord, I am not worthy
to have you come into my home.
Just say the word from where you are,
and my servant will be healed.
I know this because I am under
the authority of my superior officers,
and I have authority over my soldiers.
I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go,
or ‘Come,’ and they come.
And if I say to my slaves,
Do this,’ they do it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.
Turning to those who were following him,
he said, “I tell you the truth,
I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
And I tell you this, that many Gentiles
will come from all over the world -
from east and west -
and sit down with Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob at the feast
in the Kingdom of Heaven.
But many Israelites, those for whom
the Kingdom was prepared,
will be thrown into outer darkness,
where there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said
to the Roman officer,
“Go back home.
Because you believed, it has happened.”
“And the young servant was healed that same hour.”
The faith of this Gentile is unbelievable.
He probably did not know
the written Word of God,
the Law or witnesses to it,
yet he recognized His sovereign power.
Jesus responded by saying the promise was his;
he would have access to the Kingdom of God,
which was created for God’s chosen people,
the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I wonder if the Kingdom that Jesus speaks of
is the city of New Jerusalem
that sits at the top of Mount Zion?
Faith over fear is to be revered
“for the law applies to those
to whom it was given, for its purpose
is to keep people from having excuses,
and to show that the entire world is guilty
For no one can ever
be made right with God
by doing what the law commands.
The law simply shows us
how sinful we are.”
The Roman Officer, upon seeing Jesus,
knew that he did not come
“to a physical mountain,
to a place of flaming fire,
darkness, gloom, and whirlwind,
as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.”
He did not hear the awesome trumpet blast
and a voice so terrible that he would beg God
to stop speaking to him."
The Roman Officer
did not stagger back under God’s command:
“If even an animal touches the mountain,
it must be stoned to death.”
The Roman Officer
was not like Moses
who experienced God’s voice -
“so frightened at the sight
that he was left terrified and trembling.”
Instead, the Roman Officer saw Jesus,
and the Love of God.
With a heart of faith,
produced from God’s spiritual DNA,
which only is birthed through the divine Holy Spirit,
this Roman Officer, a Gentile, came to Mount Zion,
to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem,
and to countless thousands of angels
in a joyful gathering;
to the assembly of God’s firstborn children,
whose names are written in heaven.”
The Officer came “to God himself,
who is the judge over all things;
to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven
who have now been made perfect;
to Jesus, the one who mediates
the new covenant between God and people,
and to the sprinkled blood,
which speaks of forgiveness
instead of crying out for vengeance
like the blood of Abel.”
We must remember what the Apostle Paul said,
“We are made right with God through faith
and not by obeying the law.
After all, is God the God of the Jews only?
Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles?
Of course he is.
There is only one God,
and he makes people right
with himself only by faith,
whether they are Jews or Gentiles.”
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile,
there is neither slave nor free,
there is neither male and female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
“God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared,
and there was no sea anymore.
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God.
It was prepared like a bride
dressed for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice
from the throne, saying,
“Now God’s presence is with people,
and he will live with them,
and they will be his people.
God himself will be with them
and will be their God.
He will wipe away
every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death,
sadness, crying, or pain,
because all the old ways are gone.”
The One who was sitting
on the throne said,
“Look! I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this,
because these words
are true and can be trusted.”
While on earth, completing His mission
of reconciling men back to God,
Jesus healed many people.
At this point, in Matthew 8,
a man with a chronic skin condition
asked Jesus to heal him -
And Jesus did.
This is what Matthew said,
“Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Jesus
and knelt before him.
He said, “Lord, if you are willing,
you can heal me and make me clean.”
Jesus reached out and laid hands on him.
“I am willing.” “Be healed!”
And instantly the leprosy disappeared.”
After Jesus healed the man,
he told him not to tell anyone.
Instead he sent him to the priest
to be examined,
and told him to take
the offering required in the Law,
as described in the Book of Leviticus.
“This will be a public testimony
that you have been cleansed.”
At first, it didn’t make sense.
Why would Jesus send a healed man
to the priest?
And why would he tell him
not to tell anyone else?
But then I realized this...
The priest was considered a professional skin diagnoser,
and he would confirm the healing occurred
through the authority of God.
In this way, the Law would testify to the priesthood of Jesus.
Also, once the priest accepted the offering;
the priest could then declare the man fit
to return to the community.
Everyone would know that Jesus healed him.
Not to mention that Jesus was giving
the priest an opportunity to consider the spirit
that the healing power was coming from.
In Mark, Chapter 11, the teachers of the law
questioned Christ’s authority.
“As Jesus was walking through the Temple area,
the leading priests, the teachers of religious law,
and the elders came up to him.
They demanded, “By what authority
are you doing all these things?
Who gave you the right to do them?”
“I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things
if you answer one question,” -
“Did John’s authority to baptize
come from heaven, or was it merely human?
They talked it over among themselves.
“If we say it was from heaven,
he will ask why we didn’t believe John.
But do we dare say it was merely human?”
For they were afraid of what the people would do,
because everyone believed that John was a prophet.
So they finally replied,
“We don’t know.”
And Jesus responded,
“Then I won’t tell you
by what authority
I do these things.”
It’s not miracles or the powers
that reveal the essence of God,
for scripture says that Satan himself
will show all kinds of power,
signs and wonderful things.
Rather, sheep know their shepherd’s voice,
and they respond through their faith.
You would think that a priest
could discern the Spirit of Christ,
but that is not what we see.
The priest did not see
the Promise of God,
the Passover Lamb,
the Suffering Servant,
the Prince of Peace,
the High Priest,
standing right in front of him!
As Christians, we must know,
that we are in the royal priesthood;
heirs to the kingdom of Almighty God.
And when we walk in fellowship with God,
no other human stands between us and Him.
In the past, priests were humans
who made intercession for all men.
They were anointed and ordained
and to offer sacrifices as atonement
for humanity's sin.
“But now Jesus, our High Priest,
has been given a ministry
that is far superior to the old priesthood,
for he is the one who mediates for us
a far better covenant with God,
based on better promises."
If the first covenant had been faultless,
there would have been no need
for a second covenant to replace it.
But when God found fault with the people,
“The day is coming,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
This covenant will not be like
the one I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.
They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them."
"But this is the new covenant
I will make with the people of Israel
on that day,
“I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
And they will not need
to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need
to teach their relatives,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will know me already.
And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
"When God speaks of a “new” covenant,
it means he has made the first one obsolete.
It is now out of date and will soon disappear.”
“And so, dear brothers and sisters,
we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place
because of the blood of Jesus.
By his death, Jesus opened a new
and life-giving way through the curtain
into the Most Holy Place.
And since we have a great High Priest
who rules over God’s house,
let us go right into the presence of God
with sincere hearts, fully trusting him.
For our guilty consciences
have been sprinkled
with Christ’s blood to make us clean,
and our bodies
have been washed with pure water.
Let us hold tightly, without wavering
to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted
to keep his promise.
Let us think of ways
to motivate one another
to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect
our meeting together,
as some people do,
but encourage one another,
that the day of his return
is drawing near.
if we deliberately continue sinning
after we have received
knowledge of the truth,
there is no longer any sacrifice
that will cover these sins.
There is only the terrible expectation
of God’s judgment, and the raging fire
that will consume his enemies.
For anyone who refused
to obey the law of Moses
was put to death, without mercy
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Just think how much worse
the punishment will be
for those who have trampled
on the Son of God,
and have treated
the blood of the covenant,
which made us holy,
as if it were common and unholy,
and have insulted and disdained
the Holy Spirit
who brings God’s mercy to us.”
Today I write about the last doctrine
taught by Jesus in Matthew Chapter 7.
“Beware of false prophets
who come disguised
as harmless sheep
but are really vicious wolves.
You can identify them by their fruit,
that is, by the way they act.
Can you pick grapes from thornbushes,
or figs from thistles?
A good tree produces good fruit,
and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
A good tree can’t produce bad fruit,
and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.
So every tree that does not produce good fruit
is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit,
so you can identify people by their actions.”
This is written in Matthew 7:15-20,
right between his teachings
on The Narrow Gate and True Disciples.
As I am writing this
I feel the weight of its importance.
give me a deeper understanding
of what you mean.
This is what I hear...
"This passage is about discerning truth.
False prophets will look like sheep but be wolves.
They will appear to do all the right things.
They will baptize people in My name.
They will feed the poor and cast out demons in My name.
They will prophecy about future things.
But they are not My sheep.
They are not listening to My voice."
The Lord says,
“Remember what I said in Matthew 7 21-23.
I will tell many people who do these things
in MY name
to depart from Me.”
The fruit that Jesus speaks of
is not necessarily the works that we see;
it’s the reason behind why the fruit is happening.
The Lord is speaking about Kingdom trees,
and the fruit that grows from Kingdom seeds.
There are four types of human hearts;
and only one produces a Kingdom result.
Each of us has spiritual ground,
and each of us will experience
the voice of God, the question is...
Will His Seed Grow?
“For since the creation of the world
God’s invisible qualities -
his eternal power and divine nature-
have been clearly seen,
from what has been made,
so that people are without excuse.”
Good soil hears the Voice of God
God's rain gives life to their bones,
and their thirst is quenched
from His unending cup.
Then there’s those who have hard hearts,
they hear God’s voice but they don’t receive it.
Many people are just like that:
they come to church, hear the Word,
and seem to like it,
but the Word is ON their hearts,
instead of In it.
Some have hearts of stony ground.
The soil is shallow and superficial.
These are the the people who say
they know God,
but when push comes to shove,
they give up on Him.
Finally, there’s hearts that are full of weeds,
They tend to be double-minded
and preoccupied with money.
These are the people who are very worldly.
To me, these are the ones that are most scary!
These hearts have lost their first love,
because the weeds of the world
get out of control
and before you know it
Satan is suffocating their souls.
We see this in the church today,
Pastors who are driven by what people say.
They are the ones
who speak about God’s love,
and hold on to the culture
that pushes being progressive.
they choose not to speak the truth in love,
and they omit the scripture that speaks about
correction and discipline.
The gospel they teach is limited,
because they don’t share ALL that Jesus said.
They sow into a worldly kingdom,
and Satan certainly rewards them.
Many grow in worldly success,
attaining money and many possessions.
These are the the ones who behave
like Ananias and Sapphira,
who gives some but not all of them.
It’s very rare to hear
Christians preaching the truth in love,
because of what Jesus said
in Matthew 10 -
“Look, I am sending you out
as sheep among wolves.
So be as shrewd as snakes
and harmless as doves.
For you will be handed over
to the courts
and will be flogged with whips
in the synagogues.
You will stand trial
before governors and kings
because you are my followers.
But this will be your opportunity
to tell the rulers
and other unbelievers about me.
When you are arrested,
don’t worry about how to respond
or what to say.
God will give you the right words
at the right time.
For it is not you who will be speaking -
it will be the Spirit of your Father
speaking through you.”
“A brother will betray his brother
a father will betray his own child,
and children will rebel
against their parents
and cause them to be killed.
And all nations will hate you
because you are my followers.
But everyone who endures
to the end will be saved.”
“Don’t be afraid
of those who threaten you.
For the time is coming
when everything that is covered
will be revealed,
and all that is secret
will be made known to all.”
“What I tell you now in the darkness,
shout abroad when daybreak comes.
What I whisper in your ear,
shout from the housetops
for all to hear!”
“Don’t be afraid of those
who want to kill your body;
they cannot touch your soul.
Fear only God, who can destroy
both soul and body in hell.”
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly
here on earth,
I will also acknowledge
before my Father in heaven.
But everyone who denies me
here on earth,
I will also deny
before my Father in heaven.”
“Don’t imagine that I came
to bring peace to the earth!
I came not to bring peace,
but a sword.”
“I have come to set a man
against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law.
Your enemies will be right
in your own household!’
“If you love your father or mother
more than you love me,
you are not worthy of being mine;
or if you love your son or daughter
more than me,
you are not worthy of being mine.
If you refuse to take up your cross
and follow me,
you are not worthy of being mine.
If you cling to your life,
you will lose it;
but if you give up your life for me,
you will find it.”
“Anyone who receives you receives me,
and anyone who receives me
receives the Father who sent me.”
“If you receive a prophet
as one who speaks for God,
you will be given the same reward
as a prophet.
And if you receive righteous people
because of their righteousness,
you will be given a reward like theirs.”
“And if you give even a cup of cold water
to one of the least of my followers,
you will surely be rewarded.”
You see, a prophet is one
who speaks what they hear,
the seed of the Word
that is planted in their heart,
a prophet is one who hears from their "god / GOD”
and then speaks what they hear into the world.
Either the soil of the heart of the prophet is good
and they speak the truth in love,
or the soil of the heart of prophet is bad
and speak to the twisted word of Satan.
“When Jesus had finished
saying these things,
the crowds were amazed
at his teaching,
for he taught with real authority -
their teachers of religious law.”
May those who have ears to hear, respond.
This is the way we bring the light of God
into this dark world.
Are you ready to consider another juxtaposition?
In Matthew Chapter 7:8,
“Everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds.
And to everyone who knocks,
the door will be opened.”
Then, at the end of Chapter 7,
“Not everyone who calls out to me,
will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Only those who actually
do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘
We prophesied in your name
and cast out demons in your name
and performed many miracles in your name.’
But I will reply, ‘I never knew you.
Get away from me,
you who break God’s laws.’
Which is true?
If a person comes to the door of the Kingdom,
and says, "Jesus, Jesus...let me in."
Doesn't that mean that person knows the Lord?
According to scripture,
people are distinguished
by the desires of their heart.
And Jesus divides us into "sheep" or "goats."
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit on his glorious throne.
All the nations
will be gathered before him,
and he will separate
the people one from another
as a shepherd separates
the sheep from the goats."
“He will put the sheep on his right
and the goats on his left.”
“Then the King will say
to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father;
take your inheritance,
the kingdom prepared for you
since the creation of the world.”
“For I was hungry
and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty
and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger
and you invited me in,
I needed clothes
and you clothed me,
I was sick
and you looked after me,
I was in prison
and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry
and feed you, or thirsty
and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger
and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick
or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply,
“Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you who are cursed,
into the eternal fire
prepared for the devil and his angels.”
And then Jesus proceeds to say the same,
but in opposite, to the goats.
“For I was hungry
and you gave me nothing to eat,
I was thirsty
and you gave me nothing to drink,.”
“He will reply,
‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did not do
for one of the least of these,
you did not do for me.’
Jesus ends with this,
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”
Now, at first,
it looks like the separation occurs
because of “good works.”
But, we can trust that Scripture
does not contradict itself;
the Bible says, over and over again,
that salvation comes by faith alone
through God's grace alone,
and not by the works of men.
In Matthew 25:34,
the inheritance has belonged to the sheep,
“since the creation of the world” -
which means long before people were born
they were chosen by God.
And we all know
“faith without works is dead.”
The good works by people of faith
are not the cause of salvation
but the effect of it.
As Christians become more like Christ
we grow the fruit of the Spirit -
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, gentleness,
faithfulness, and self-control.
The good works
completed by faithful servants
occur because they are led by the Spirit.
And this explains why I have to share the truth in love.
A mission given by God that I am NOT comfortable with
but I do it because I am obliged.
On the other hand,
the same works completed
by the spiritually dead
they are trying to earn salvation.
the difference lies in a person's heart,
and whether their desire is to please God
or to please themselves.
While “goats” may be able to talk the talk,
by hiding themselves in sheep's clothing;
the "sheep" walk,
taking many small steps,
to the voice of the Lord.
Do you think Jesus was lying
when he said,
“You can enter God’s Kingdom
ONLY through the narrow gate.
The highway to hell is broad,
and its gate is wide
for the many who choose that way.
But the gateway to life is very narrow
and the road is difficult,
and ONLY a few ever find it.”
It seems to be a very important question
because most human beings
believe the opposite is is true.
Most people I know,
whether “Christian” or secular;
believe that everyone goes to Heaven;
unless of course,
a person has committed an unforgiveable sin,
then they believe that
God will not forgive that!
But we must consider this observation -
Either Jesus’s character is completely flawed,
and sometimes his words are true,
and sometimes they’re not,
OR it is the human heart
and the human mind that decides
what is true and what is not.
And going along the same line...
Many people believe
that since the Bible
was written by a variety of men,
then they should not
trust all the content.
do not believe
that scripture is
the inspired Word of God
which was given
as profitable for doctrine,
and for instruction
2 Timothy 3:16
The prophet Jeremiah said,
“The heart is deceitful above all things;
it is completely sick and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?”
Well, let me tell you,
I used to be a person of great pride,
who "believed in Christ"
the way I have just described.
I cherry-picked the parts of the Bible
I wanted to believe;
the parts that seemed loving and endearing -
and I tossed out the rest
as man-made doctrine,
especially the parts
that spoke about God’s wrath!
I believed that since
God so loved the world,
and sent His son to redeem us,
that every person would go to Heaven.
But then the Lord allowed me
to die to self;
and in that position, dire submission,
God treated me like his child
and provided correction.
“My child, don’t make light
of My discipline,
and don’t give up
when I correct you.
I discipline those I love,
and accept to be My children.
I provide divine discipline
to those who have legitimate spirits.
My discipline is always good,
so that you might share
in My holiness.
No discipline is enjoyable
while it is happening -
in fact, it is quite it’s painful!
But afterward there will be
a peaceful harvest of right living
and you will be trained to follow My way.”
Then the Lord encouraged me with this,
“You have come to the assembly
of God’s firstborn children,
whose names are written in heaven.
You have come to God himself,
who is the judge over all things.
You have come to the spirits
of the righteous ones in heaven
who have now been made perfect.
You have come to Jesus,
the one who mediates the new covenant
between God and people,
and to the sprinkled blood,
which speaks of forgiveness
instead of crying out for vengeance
like the blood of Abel.”
And I finally realized that
“Since I am receiving a Kingdom
that is unshakable,
I am so thankful!
My desire now is to please God
by worshiping him with holy fear and awe,
for He is a devouring fire.”
I send out this call...
Let those with ears hear the Spirit;
heirs of the Kingdom come to understand,
“God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
The true heirs of God’s heavenly Kingdom
are not the ones who think they can decide
what is considered righteous.
The true heirs to the throne
are the ones who believe that God is sovereign;
and though they don’t understand fully, they are faithful.
Jesus is an extension of God’s love.
He is the Lamb in Heaven -
the ONLY ONE
worthy to open the scrolls!
He was birthed as man by the Spirit -
He came to earth to break
the Genesis 3 curse and give us freedom.
is the Highway to Heaven,
the Way of Holiness;
and He is there for those who choose,
to trust and believe and follow Him.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it."
Jesus IS the fulfillment
of the Law and the prophets;
for they knew Him and obeyed him
before they saw Him.
He is the Word of God
and from the beginning
He was spoken!
Know this -
For it has already been declared!
“Open the gates
to all who are righteous;
allow the faithful to enter.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock.
He humbles the proud
and brings down the arrogant city.
He brings it down to the dust.
The poor and oppressed
trample it underfoot,
and the needy walk all over it.
But for those who are righteous,
the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
and you smooth out the path
ahead of them.
Lord, we show our trust
in you by obeying your laws;
our heart’s desire
is to glorify your name.
For only when you come
to judge the earth
will people learn what is right.
Your kindness to the wicked
does not make them do good.
Although others do right,
the wicked keep doing wrong
and take no notice
of the Lord’s majesty.
O Lord, they pay no attention
to your upraised fist.
Show them your eagerness
to defend your people.
Then they will be ashamed.
Let your fire consume your enemies.
Lord, you will grant us peace;
all we have accomplished
is really from you.
O Lord our God,
others have ruled us,
but you alone are the one we worship.”
Have you heard about the golden rule?
“Do unto others
as you would like them
to do unto you.”
“This sums up all that is taught
in the Law and by the prophets”
What do you think Jesus meant by this?
I think of what He said in Matthew 5:17,
"Do not think that I have come
to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them
but to fulfill them.”
It appears to me that the LOVE of GOD
IS the fulfillment of the Law,
and the WORD that the prophets foretold.
The apostle Paul said
in Romans 13, verses 8-10,
“Owe nothing to anyone -
except for your obligation
to love one another.
If you love your neighbor,
you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
For the commandments say,
'You must not commit adultery.
You must not murder.
You must not steal.
You must not covet.'
These, and other such commandments,
are summed up in this one commandment:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no wrong to others,
so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.”
In the verses that follow, verses 11-14,
Paul exhorts us not to drag our feet.
In essence, he says time is running out
and that we need to be urgent
and put away our doubts.
Because we belong to the day,
and not to the night,
we must put on the shining armor
of right living
by clothing ourselves
with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you see?
Jesus is the fulfillment the Law,
He is the Passover Lamb!
In John 15:9-17, Jesus says,
“I have loved you
even as the Father has loved me.
Remain in my love.
When you obey my commandments,
you remain in my love,
just as I obey
my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
I have told you these things
so that you will be filled with my joy.
Yes, your joy will overflow!
This is my commandment:
Love each other
in the same way I have loved you.
There is no greater love
than to lay down one’s life
for one’s friends.
You are my friends
if you do what I command.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a master does not confide
in his slaves.
Now you are my friends,
since I have told you everything
the Father told me.
You didn’t choose me.
I chose you.
I appointed you to go
and produce lasting fruit,
so that the Father
will give you whatever you ask for,
using my name.
This is my command:
Love each other.”
Jesus modeled exactly what love means -
to lay down your life, swallow your pride,
and all of your fleshly desires.
From the fall of man, God showed his love.
He prepared His Word
to come as a Lamb,
as a blood sacrifice for humans -
to save us from eternal damnation.
Christ nailed our sins to the cross
and took on our punishment.
Romans Chapter 3, verses 19-28,
does a good job of explaining this.
“Obviously, the law applies
to those to whom it was given,
for its purpose is to keep people
from having excuses,
and to show that the entire world
is guilty before God.
For no one can ever be made right with God
by doing what the law commands.”
“The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
But now God has shown us
a way to be made right with him
without keeping the requirements of the law,
as was promised in the writings of Moses
and the prophets long ago."
"We are made right with God
by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
And this is true for everyone
who believes, no matter who we are.”
“For everyone has sinned;
we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Yet God, in his grace,
freely makes us right in his sight.
He did this through Christ Jesus
when he freed us
from the penalty for our sins.”
“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.
People are made right with God
when they believe
that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.
This sacrifice shows that God was being fair
when he held back and did not punish
those who sinned in times past,
for he was looking ahead and including them
in what he would do in this present time.”
“God did this to demonstrate
for he himself is fair and just,
and he makes sinners right in his sight
when they believe in Jesus.”
“Can we boast, then,
that we have done anything
to be accepted by God?
No, because our acquittal
is not based on obeying the law.
It is based on faith.”
“So we are made right with God
and not by obeying the law.”
if we emphasize faith, does this mean
that we can forget about the law?
Of course not!
In fact, only when we have faith
do we truly fulfill the law.”
Jesus told His disciples:
“A new command I give you:
Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know
that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”
We must understand
that Humanity is not capable
of loving the way God loves
without the help of God Himself.
“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
Matthew Chapter 7
is full of Christian doctrine,
and it’s all built upon
the rock of our salvation.
In this section,
Jesus gives specific instructions
on how to govern our thoughts
and our actions
according to a Kingdom position.
“Anyone who listens
to My instruction gains wisdom.
He is like a person who builds a house
on solid rock instead of sand."
In this poem,
I will focus in on what Jesus says
about passing judgment on one another.
“Do not judge others,
and you will not be judged.
For you will be treated
as you treat others.
The standard you use
in judging others
is the standard by which
you will be judged.”
Paul spoke about this same concept
in his letter to the Romans.
In Romans Chapter 2,
“You may think you can condemn
(the people described in Romans Chapter 1
as being wicked and evil in the eyes of the Lord),
but you are just as bad!”
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant
and patient God is with you?
Can’t you see that His kindness
is intended to turn you from your sin?”
The Lord says,
“Why worry about a speck
in your brothers eye
when you have a log
in your own eye?
How can you think
of saying to your brother
‘let me help you get rid
of that speck in your eye’
when you can’t see past
the log in your own eye?
Let me ask...
Do you remember the story
of the woman in the Book of John,
who was caught in an adulterous act?
The religious leaders
brought the woman to Jesus,
and made her stand in front of everyone -
accusing her of what she had done wrong.
They literally put her on display
for all to condemn, and all to stone -
but in the end, the Word of God
was a giant mirror for each of them.
“Teacher, we caught this woman
in an an adulterous act.
In his teachings, Moses ordered us
to stone women like this to death.
What do you say?”
John 8:6 says,
“They asked this to test him.
They wanted to find a reason
to bring charges against him.”
So here we see controlling men
who were accusing a woman for her sin,
who were actually trying to condemn
the Son of God.
Let us see -
how did Jesus respond?
“Jesus bent down and used his finger
to write on the ground.”
“When they persisted in asking him questions,
he straightened up and said,
‘The person without sin
should throw the first stone.”
"Then he bent down again
and continued writing on the ground."
“One by one,
beginning with the older men,
the experts of the Law left,
and Jesus was left alone
with the woman.”
“Then Jesus straightened up and asked,
Where did they go?
Has anyone condemned you?”
“The woman answered, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I you.
Now go and sin no more."
This has to be my favorite Bible story,
because it speaks to the heart
of everyone who was lost but found.
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord chases after us?
What man intends for bad,
the Lord turns into good!
In Matthew 7
the Lord teaches another doctrine,
“Do not waste what is holy
on people who are unholy.
Do not throw your pearls to swine;
If you engage,
they will trample your pearls,
then they will turn and attack you.”
The religious men that held to the Law
had no idea that they were perfectly imperfect.
They didn’t understand that the Law,
given by God, to His servant Moses
was actually meant to be a mirror for them -
to be a true reflection of their imperfections,
and their need for God.
In Matthew 5, Jesus said,
“Do not think that I have come
to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them
but to fulfill them.
For truly I tell you,
until heaven and earth disappear,
not the smallest letter,
not the least stroke of a pen,
will by any means disappear
from the Law
until everything is accomplished.”
By grace through faith,
we are made right with God.
Jesus came to forgive all the sin
that separates us
from an eternal life with God.
none of us are good or holy
on our own,
for we all fall short of the glory of God.
The first doctrine of being a Christian,
after accepting Christ as your Savior,
and being baptized by the Holy Spirit,
is to love the Lord your God
with all your heart and mind,
and to love others as you love yourself.