The time has now come for Jesus Christ to openly begin His ministry.
The time has now come for Jesus Christ to openly begin His ministry according to and after the manner of that which is already written in the law and the prophets! It is truly amazing how one can trace and follow His ministry from the Old Testament! In fact, anyone who is familiar with the prophecies contained therein, many of which we have already covered (e.g. His birthplace, called out of Egypt, etc.) and all of which Messiah must needs fulfill, can easily discredit a phony, an imposter who comes claiming to be the Messiah, with a few "it is written's"!
Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God, knows that John the baptist's ministry has ended and it is now time for the Call to Repentance and the Proclamation of the GOOD NEWS that Kingdom of heaven is NOW AT HAND for WHOSOEVER will come and follow the Light that has come into the world. How is it that the kingdom of heaven is now "at hand"? Because the King of the dominion of heaven has come to earth and now dwells among men!Matthew 4:12
Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison*, He departed into Galilee;
Also, it is important we take note that Jesus Christ, the Light which shines in the "darkness", openly began His ministry in Galilee, which means "the heathen circle".
Galilee = Galilaia, gal-il-ah'-yah, Greek 1056; of Hebrew origin [Hebrew 1551 (Galiyl)]; Galil'a (i.e. the heathen circle), a region of Palestine :- Galilee.
We will not take the time to review the history of this region in detail. Just know that this land was the first to be afflicted by the armies of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29) and so it was promised that it would be the first to see the Light of Messiah! How beautiful and how perfect is the Word of God. Here are the translations (meanings) of the names of the towns in verse 13. You can substitute them for the proper names and read the verse anew. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
Nazareth = the guarded one
Capernaum = city of consolation
Zabulon (Zebulun) = dwelling place or habitation
Napthalim (Naphtali) = my wrestling
Now we are now going to see the Light go forth and begin to shine in the great darkness! To that end, Jesus Christ will begin His ministry by announcing that the door to the kingdom of heaven is now open and all those who will repent (change) and follow the Light can see their way and enter in.
How fitting indeed that this is a fulfillment of that which is spoken by Isaiah the prophet for his very name means the "Salvation of Yah" which Christ has come to bring to the world of darkness. Of course it is by no accident that it should be so... for everything Christ did and even said was preordained of God. John 12:49 "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." And so it was that Christ began His ministry in Galilee because it was written that He would do so over 700 years prior to the event. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
He brought light into the depth of the great darkness to shine unto and encompass ALL nations (Galilaia).Isaiah 9:1
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
If you remember from Gen. 1:3, the great Light was the first thing God brought into the world of darkness which had become "tohu va bohu", utterly void and desolate, at the rebellion of Satan. Genesis 1:2-4 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Jesus Christ is that Light and the hope of our salvation. John 12:46 "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." To walk in the Light you must follow Him! Thus repentance is coupled with the proclamation of the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of the Kingdom of God and the establishment of the King of Righteousness.
The joy and happiness and exultation that the Light shall bring to the world really is Good News and you know what else is GOOD NEWS? You can have all that joy and peace of mind even now if you will hear His call and follow Him. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
Here is how Dr. Bullinger translates verse three after noting on page 943 of the Companion Bible the error of translation caused by dividing the Hebrew word "haggil'o" into two words thereby adding the word "lo", which is "not". You will also find this consistent with Dr. Moffat's translation.
And there is more GOOD NEWS!Thou hast multiplied the exultation,
Thou hast increased the joy:
They joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest.
And as men exult when they divide the spoil.
It shall be a jubilant Jubilee indeed for Freedom and Liberty shall be "proclaimed throughout the land" and there shall be no more bondage and oppression. His rod and His staff which provide comfort and peace (Ps. 23) shall replace that staff of burden and that rod of oppression wielded by the taskmaster and the oppressor! For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
The Kingdom comes in not without "Spiritual Warfare" so put on the whole gospel armor of God... but always remember it is written that "our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29)" and when He and His spirit of Truth comes in contact with evil rudiments and iniquitous works, those things are "burned up", as in completely and totally consumed away! Peter documents this for us in 2 Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [evil rudiments] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
And so it is that God sent His only begotten Son into the darkened world to bring the Light and therefore salvation unto any and all who will now follow that Light (Jn. 3:16, Jn. 12:46).However, at His second advent He shall come as the King of king and Lords of lords to rule all nations and every knee shall bow to His name, i.e. His authority. The question is... since the kingdom of heaven is at hand will you accept Him as King and Lord now and be part of the kingdom that shall reign?
These "5" titles ("5" is the number of grace in Biblical numerics) are all part of the Comfort He gives to those who love Him. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(1) Wonderful means "miracle or marvelous thing" and so it is that the Word of God works wonders and miracles in our lives.
(2) Counsellor means "to advise or consult" and so it is that we seek wisdom and counsel from His Word to lead us in the paths of righteousness, i.e. to do the right thing in all our affairs.
(3) The Mighty God has all power in heaven and earth and so it is He who is our Rock and our Fortress. Psalm 18:2 "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
(4) The Everlasting Father. Only through partaking of the fruit from the Evergreen (Ever-Living) Tree of Life can we have everlasting (eternal) life. In fact, our Father likens Himself to and evergreen (fir) tree: Hosea 14:8 "Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard Him, and observed Him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found."
(5) The Prince of Peace (see next verse) is the only ruler who can "order" true and lasting peace on this earth and "establish" it with truth and justice.
It is also written in the Book of Revelation concerning this child who was born to "rule all nations" in righteousness! Rev. 12:5 "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." Of the increase of his government and peacethere shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
So we see that the 9th chapter of Isaiah speaks of the ministry of Jesus Christ being fulfilled in Matthew 4, concerning that Light coming into the darkest hour of the world and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God and that the Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace shall come and set up that kingdom to be established forever.
Next, we are going to "hear" from the King of kings and Lord of lords Himself (who we know now sits on the throne at the right hand of His Majesty in heaven) that the kingdom of God is at hand... which means that Christ, the Light, has already come into the world and that whosoever will believe in Him and follow that Light can be part of that great ruling kingdom RIGHT NOW! And they shall rule and reign with Him a thousand years throughout the Millennium (Rev. 20:6). So let us now return to Matthew 4 and pick up where Matthew quotes two verses from that great 9th chapter of Isaiah which declares the Lord's Proclamation of the Kingdom and the call to repentance! How perfect is the Word of God!
The Light which has "sprung up" to break the darkness is so beautifully called "the dayspring" by Dr. Luke.Matthew 4:15
The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Want peace and happiness... from now until forever? Then come out of darkness and into the light of His marvelous truth (His Word) and He will guide your feet and keep you in the paths of His righteousness.Luke 1:77-79
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
The very King of the Dominion (king-dom) of heaven was right there with them, dwelling among them. Do not make the simplicity of this complicated nor mysterious. Very simply, if you love God and follow Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God (i.e. keep His commands which is His Word) then He is with you and dwells with you now! Again, the only condition is YOU loving Him by seeking Him through His Word. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
You see, the Father Himself says that if you do not follow Christ, which is to study His Word and keep His sayings, then you do not love Jesus Christ!John 14:15-17
If ye love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Here it is:
At no time is going to church made to be a requirement of loving Him! In fact, and this may shock some, but church has little or nothing to do with the reality of Christianity unless His Word is taught there chapter by chapter and verse by verse for the purpose of setting God's children free. You "see", it is His Truth that sets men free... and that means free from the many church traditions which hold our people captive. Let's learn from Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, and see how it should be:John 14:24
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
Peter and Andres were commercial fishermen which is how they made their living.Matthew 4:18
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Do you hear Him? You see, if you follow Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as one of His disciples, you too will become a fisher of men's souls. However, the fishing is not done for the purpose of self gain by putting them into your own boat (which will ultimately sink if you do, Luke 5:7) or the boat of some church or ministry (which shall incur the same fate), but to bring them to Jesus Christ, the Light of Truth, the Word of God... for to be fed meat and bread from His table, for they are His and they belong to Him, not captive in some boat (read Jn. 21:9-11). And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
There was no emotional, guilt laden, pleading altar call at some church service which caused them to follow Jesus Christ. It was when they "heard" the words of Jesus Christ, the Word of God! Following Him then immediately (straightway) became the TOP PRIORITY in their lives. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.
Notice that the first ones to be called of God are "brothers", which is "aldelphos" in Greek. (Of course, those with eyes to see and ears to hear are thinking "Phil-adelphia"). The first two brothers were Simon (hearing) who was called "Peter" and "Andrew" his brother whose names mean "Rock" and "Man or Husband" respectively. The second two brothers were James and John whose names mean "Contender or Supplanter" (James is a form of Jacob) and "Gift of Yah" respectively. Amazing, isn't it? Simply amazing! And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.
So the disciples, when they "heard" with their ears the Words of Jesus Christ, they knew it was the true Word of God and so the "nets" they were casting, i.e. their career goals in life, the commercial "ship" they were sailing as they were setting their future in order (mending their nets), and all their earthly "gifts" (Zebedee means 'gift') including their earthly father (if you have understanding, Luke 14:26) immediately became secondary priorities to the Word of God and His kingdom. Yes, it is that exciting to "hear" the true voice of the Great Shepherd! And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.
And so it is that Jesus Christ began to teach His Word and proclaim the GOOD NEWS of the kingdom all around Galilee and heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people! You "see", it is Jesus Christ who heals all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Man most often looks only upon the flesh as being sick while the true illness lies in the mind of the soul which is void of His Word. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching [proclaiming] the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them.
Those with eyes to see, while taking note that the word "Decapolis" means 10 cities (deca = 10, polis = city), should be reminded of that which is yet to come in the "metropolises" headed by the 10 men of Zech 8:20-23. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.lunatick = seleniazomai, sel-ay-nee-ad'-zom-ahee, Greek 4583; middle or passive from a presumed derivative of Greek 4582 (selene); to be moon-struck, i.e. crazy :- be lunatic.
Nevertheless, in our next study we are going to learn the characteristics of a true disciple of Christ. If you think you already know what they are, you just may be surprised!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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