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Matthew 12:43-45; Infinite Prosperity? PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given on February 29, 2015

 

We are incredibly blessed in this country. The opportunities that we have, the freedoms that we enjoy and the safety that we we live with all can arguably be tied to our Judeo Christian heritage. At the same time there is a truth that is emerging that we must all accept, especially in these times. This truth is that the blessings of a people who were influenced by Christ will not remain with that culture as Christ is rejected. We see this outlined in Matthew 12:43-45.

 

43 "Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.  44 "Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.  45 "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."  

 

Within the context, Jesus had come and done many miracles among the people. Jesus, in essence, had put their "house" in order through His ministry. But the people did not receive Him. They essential told Him to leave, so He left. This opened the door for demons to return. Jesus was saying that they should not think that just because He had been casting out demons that this is a good sign of God's future blessings. It was not a good sign because their rejection of Christ would open the door for a worse condition to emerge. The resultant condition would be a worse state than the first.

 

This warning can be applied to a society or culture as well. The prosperity of a society does not come through the laws that it has because laws can always be broken or selectively applied. Prosperity comes when the culture has the right spiritual foundation. A culture's, or person's, spiritual foundation is what drives their behavior. We, as a culture, are rejecting Christ. There is a warning here for us. It is a universal principle that if a culture experiences the blessing of embracing Christ and then moves to rejecting Him, not only will the blessings will be removed, but it ushers in a worse condition because it opens the door for greater corruption than the initial condition. This is where we are at.

 

For those who still embrace Christ, we need to be all the more fervent to seek Him and walk with Him in all of lives. We need to be preparing spiritually for the loss of the blessing that we have so enjoyed until now. Praise God that He has not left us!

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 July 2015 08:50
 
Matthew 12:38-42; The Sign PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given on February 22, 2015

 

The Sign, It Has Been Given.

 

There is a concern that in the interest of "political correctness" there will be more and more pressure on the church to remove anything that would be considered divisive. The fact that Jesus Himself said that He would divide (Matt. 10:20-22) families and that He would be the reason for being hated would put the focus on Christ Himself. It is here that we must be vigilant to make sure that we do not succumb to those who would advocate removing Jesus or the gospel from the church or our message. We must be vigilant to keep Christ and the gospel front and center of our faith and message. On of the reasons that we must keep Jesus front and center is found in Matthew 12:38-42.

  

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."  39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;  40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 

 

The scribes and Pharisees wanted a sign. They wanted Jesus to prove Himself. If we were to think about it, what they were saying is that they expected Jesus to prove Himself to them. Their self arrogance is self evident. Jesus answers them. They will be given only one sign of which Jonah was a type or an example. Again, we need to look at Jesus' response within the culture. It would be understood by those who were listening that the term "days and night" was synonymous with "day." It was customary that if a person spent any portion of time in that "day" it counted as one day. Jesus was telling them that His death and resurrection 3 days later would be the validating sign that He is the Messiah.

 

Jesus then cites two example of where others were given less than what the Pharisees were given and they "believed." Thus the Pharisees had no excuse for the hardness of heart against Jesus.   

 

Those in Nineveh repented with less.

41 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 

 

According to Hendriksen the difference between what the Pharisees had to work with and what the Ninevites had to work with is summarized below:

 

Pharisees                         Ninevites  

Son of God                       minor prophet

mult. miracles                   just authenticating messenger

Christ sinless                    Jonah was sinful, rebellious, foolish

grace                                doom

God's people                    Gentiles

 

As you can see, the Pharisees and scribes had much more to help them see the truth which also made it that much worse for them when they denied Christ.

 

The Queen of the South sought out Wisdom based on less.

42 "The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 

 

Again, according to Hendriksen, the difference between the Pharisees and the Queen of the Sought is captured below.

 

Pharisees                            Queen of the South

close proximity                    from far away - (from area known as Yemen today.)

Christ                                  Solomon

gave nothing                       expensive gifts

religious advantages          she just heard reports

invited/urged to Christ        no report of invitation.


"The queen of the South is the queen of Sheba, a kingdom of Semitic Peoples in southwest Arabia. Her visit to Solomon is reported in 1Ki. 10:1-13; 2 Ch. 9:1-12. 'Ends of the earth' is a hyperbolic and reflects OT idiom." Nolland NIGTC

 

Here again, Jesus tells of a person who had much less available to them and yet recognized the truth when it was communicated to them. 

 

We have the sign. Jesus is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is the Cornerstone of our faith and we must always keep Him the center of our faith. May God grant us the strength and courage to not compromise. 

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 07:48
 
Matthew 12:34-37; Our Words PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given on February 15, 2015.

 

Is the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" true? This little nursery rhyme implies that word can be meaningless. But these words are not just words, for they are really reflections of who we are. It is more accurately to say that the words that we speak represent who we are. This is the point that Jesus is making in Matthew 12:34-37. 

 

34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.  35 "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.  36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.  37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." 

 

What is important for us to remember is the context of this passage. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees. They had just accused Him of working with Satan and thus committing the unforgivable sin. Jesus is pointing out to them that their words are revealing their true nature. While doing this Jesus states a universal principle. This principle is that our words reveal who we are. If you ever wanted to see into a persons heart, listen to what they say.

 

So how can we apply this. The first thing is that we need to listen to what we are saying. We should take some time this week and listen to what is coming out of mouths. It is a great diagnostic tool to see what is going on in our hearts. Notice in verse 35 that Jesus refers to the "good treasure." The word for treasure can also be translated as treasury. A good treasury is the place where we store spiritual valuables. It is the new creation, or heart. When we draw from the good treasure we are drawing from our relationship with God through Christ and the truths that this relationship is built upon.

 

The second thing is to ask ourselves the question, What treasure are we drawing from? Are we drawing from the one that we obtained from the world or the one that we have obtained from God. It boils down to the question of, who do we really want to be? Do we want to be a self centered person who uses people for their own gain, seeking to be recognized and "worshipped" by those around us or do we want to be ones who are a blessing to those around us by emulating Christ? Our words will reveal how we have answered that question. The make the God honoring decision is a decision that we will make many times in our life time. There will be times when we make the wrong decision but praise God that we have a Savior Whose sacrifice has covered all of our self centeredness. 

 

The third thing is that we need to think about what we are saying. Jesus says that every careless word matters. There is a saying in carpentry that you are to measure twice and cut once as oppose to measure once and cut twice. We can easily adapt this to say that we should think twice and speak once as oppose to think once and speak twice. 

 

NLT Ephesians 4:29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

 

May we all learn to control our words and use them for His glory. Again, praise God that we have a Savior in Jesus, Whose sacrifice covers all those times when we didn't use our words to give His grace.

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

 
Matthew 12:22-33; The Unforgivable Sin PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given on February 8, 2015.

 

This is a difficult passage. We are told that Jesus' sacrifice is both necessary and sufficient to take care of any and all of our sins. While this is true, is there more to it. As we look at Matthew 12:22-33 we find that there is.

 

The accusation:

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.  23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?"  24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons."

 

Remember that Jesus just finished healing a demon possessed man and as a result the crowds amazement over Jesus grows. They begin to associate Christ with the Messiah. The Pharisees, upon hearing this increase their attack against Jesus and accuse Him of working for Beelsebul or Satan.

 

Jesus responds to their accusations with three polemics or rebukes.

 

The First Polemic:

 25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.  26 "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?

 

Jesus' first argument against the Pharisees' accusation was that a divided kingdom cannot stand. What we must understand that Jesus just decreased Satan's "territory" when He exorcised the man. It was obvious that Jesus was working against Satan through this exorcism.

 

The Second Polemic:

27 "If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.

 

Jesus' second argument against the Pharisees' accusation is that the Pharisees' "disciples" were also casting out demons and if casting out demons is a work of Satan, then they must be also in leagues with Satan.

 

"For this reason they will be your judges." implies that by what the Pharisees have just said, the Pharisees students will condemn the Pharisees. There are several implications here. One implication is that the Pharisees' will become isolated in their position. Another one is that they will be judged. Lastly, the "masters" will be judged by the "students."

 

The Third Polemic:

28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  29 "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.  30 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. 

 

It is only the Spirit of God that can come into a strong man's house and bind him. It is only God who can bind Satan. It is only God Who can plunder Satan's house by healing a demon possessed man. It is the kingdom of God that has come upon him. Verse 30 identifies the centrality of Christ. We are either with Him or against Him. There is no middle ground.

 

A Warning:

31 "ThereforeI say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.  32 "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.  33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 

 

Blasphemy is saying derogatory things about another person and in this context specifically about the Spirit of God. The Pharisees were doing this by attributing the Spirit's work through Christ to Satan. According to Hendriksen, blasphemy is "defiant irreverence."

 

From the context, blaspheming the Holy Spirit goes beyond not just recognizing that it was God's Holy Spirit working through Jesus Christ. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit arises but out of a hatred of Christ that would associate the work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus to the work of Satan.

 

To the question of, is there a sin that Jesus' sacrifice will not cover, the answer is "no." But as we have alluded to before, there is more to this question. While Jesus' sacrifice has the ability to cover all sins there is a sin that God will not apply Jesus' sacrifice to. This sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

 

Praise God that He has applied Jesus sacrifice to us through the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

NAU John 16:14"He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:31
 
Matthew 12:14-21; Hope! PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given on January 25, 2015.

 

Matthew 12:14-21: Hope!

 

Hope is a key ingredient to life. When we have hope we can endure the greatest challenges. Without hope the greatest fortune can be like the greatest curse. The main propositions in Matthew 12:14-21 is that Jesus is the One of Whom the prophecies foretold. This passage links Jesus to the fulfillment of Isaiah 42. But the application of this passage  provides the foundation to the answer of the question: Where do we find hope for today?

 

14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him15 But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all,  16 and warned them not to tell who He was.  17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:  18 "BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.  19 "HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS.  20 "A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.  21 "AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE." 

 

In verse 14 we see that the Pharisees of the day grew in their hatred of Jesus. So much so that they were now conspiring to destroy Christ. Jesus responded by leaving the area, healing those who followed Him and instructing them to not tell others Who He was. These actions fulfilled an OT prophecy found in Isaiah 42.

 

From this prophecy we find three pillars of our hope.

 

1. He is chosen and loved by God the Father (vs 18), God the Father and God the Son are united. It also adds validity to all that Jesus said and did. For example, His claim to sole access to God, His claim to deity and His claim to be able to forgive sins. He is the right Person to go to.

 

2. He is humble (vs 19,20 & Matt 11:29) and will not promote Himself. Verse 19 refers to not inciting others to riot for his purpose and cause. He is not going to make a lot of "noise." He is not arrogant nor self promoting. This translates into that He is approachable and not oppressive.

 

 NAU Matthew 11:29"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS."

 

3. He will bring justice to all, even the Gentiles, and as a result they will hope in Him. Justice implies God's recognized rule or just order under God for the oppressed (vs 18,20,21). Justice is synonymous with that which is right and that which is best. A battered reed and smoldering wick are both deemed damaged and/or worthless. Those deemed discards of society will not be discarded. There will be justice for all, not for a select few. The oppression by evil people will come to an end for even those who are deemed the outcast or broken, or cast offs of society.

He will bring about justice or the best.

 

Is our hope in Christ? Are we trusting that Christ is working in our circumstances in bringing about the best. Hope is such a vital part of life. With hope we can conquer mountains and persevere through the worst trials. But without it we basically die. Are we trusting that Christ is at work every moment of our lives transforming us to be more like Jesus? Is our hope Christ? The challenge is that sometimes we need to wait for the future to see the blessings of today. 

 

 

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2015 08:23
 
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