The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2506a

 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Now, 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!

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.
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.

Matthew 4:15
The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

[16] 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.

The Light which has "sprung up" to break the darkness is so beautifully called "the dayspring" by Dr. Luke.
Luke 1:77-79
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, [78] Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, [79] To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
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.
[17] From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
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.
John 14:15-17
If ye love me, keep my commandments. [16] And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [17] 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.
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!

Here it is:

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.

Just going to church on Sunday won't cut it. He said, "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings"

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:
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.
Peter and Andres were commercial fishermen which is how they made their living.
[19] And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
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).

[20] And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.
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.

[21] 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.
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!
[22] And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.
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!
[23] 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 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.
[24] 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.
Again, the true "healing" that can restore one to spiritual "wholeness" comes from Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Therefore, bring His children to Him and He will heal them, even those who the full "moon" (symbolic of Satan) has made crazy! To wit, the word "lunatic" means "moon struck".
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.
[25] And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
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.

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.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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