"What would it take for you to 'sell out' and compromise the Word of God? Could you be swayed from the truth of His Word because your family turned on you?
Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ, a follower and doer of His Word? If so, is there anything in this world that could separate you from the love of Christ? Think about it as we complete our study of the great tenth chapter of the Book of Matthew. Remember that Christ is about to send forth His disciples to labor in the field, thereby making them "apostles", the word itself meaning "sent forth". He has already forewarned them not to depart from His teachings but in doing so, i.e. by faithfully following the Master as His students, they could expect to be ridiculed and persecuted even as He was! However, no matter how hot things "are wont to be", as the good Shepherd He will always be there in the midst of the fire to lead, guide, and protect His own.
Let us now take heed to His final instructions.
This does not mean just to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and that you believe He is Lord, for we have already seen that there are many who cry Lord, Lord, who are not in good standing with the Father. Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." You see, the word "confess" is the compound word in Greek "homologeo, from homou and logos" which means to profess or speak openly. Remember, Jesus Christ is still speaking to His disciples who He is about to send forth to teach His Word and proclaim the Kingdom of God, and He is giving them final instructions concerning the will of His Father!Matthew 10:32
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
And so it is that "whosoever"
will confess Jesus Christ, the true Logos, the Word of God, before men
instead of the "sweet little Lord Jesus" traditions of men, is that servant
who shall be in good standing... having done the Father's will... and the
Lord Jesus Christ who now sits at His right hand in heaven shall surely
confess that faithful one before the Father!
On the other hand...
The "denying" Christ is speaking of here is in contrast to His words in verse 32. In other words, He isn't just talking about those who are non-believers and reject Him altogether as the Messiah. Do you realize that when one "confesses" the traditions of men instead of openly professing His Word, that person contradicts the Word of God which means he or she denies Him by refusing to teach the truth? Woe! But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Unfortunately there are many in this generation who come in the name of Christ claiming to be His ministers, as in Christian ministers, and they cry Lord, Lord, Praise the Lord, Jesus is the Christ, yet they deceive our people by refusing to teach His Word as it is written chapter by chapter and verse by verse.deny, G720 ????????? arneomai ar-neh'-om-ahee
Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and the middle of G4483; to contradict, that is, disavow, reject, abnegate: - deny, refuse.
In fact, this is the very first warning Christ gives concerning this final generation:
Those priests, ministers, etc., who claim to be sent of Him to preach and teach His Word better take heed to His warnings and begin confessing His Word before men, else they shall find themselves "denied" by Christ Himself and on the outside looking in (Luke 13:28)!Matthew 24:4-5
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
If you think not, then read again Mat. 7:21-23.
The sword Jesus Christ is talking about is His Word, the Word of God, as documented in Rev. 1:16, "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword...". You will find in Hebrews 4:2 that Paul also speaks of the Word of God as analogous to a two-edged sword, which means it cuts both ways.Matthew 10:34
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
To better understand this we could consider another analogy used for the Word of God... Light! From the beginning God sent the Light into the world of darkness to divide the light from the darkness, the day from the night, even the children of light from the children of darkness. It is the Plan for this flesh age. Genesis 1:4 "And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." You "see", Jesus Christ is that Light (John 1:1-12) which came into the world and those who dwell in Him are children of light. 1 Thes. 5:5 "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
It is written that in this final generation of the fig tree that Satan, i.e. the Prince of Darkness, will appear as an angel of light to bring peace to this earth. However, it will be a false peace by a false messiah for the children of light know that there can be no real and lasting peace until the Prince of Peace comes to rule all nations with a rod of iron. To that end, there is a great spiritual battle raging in these last days and the true servants of God are mentally and spiritually prepared to war against the evil one and take a stand against his fiery darts.
This is spiritual "warfare", not peace!Ephes. 6:11-17
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Christian soldiers are ready to take a stand against the beast, not fly away into the clouds! Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Armour and shields and swords are used for "war" or "fighting".Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Next, Christ tells us what happens, even at home, when we pick up that sword of truth He sent to us and begin to use it.
If you carry the sword of truth then what you teach and confess before men conflicts with the traditions of men, which are what the majority of the Christian churches our loved ones attend teach them to follow!Therefore, even some of our closest loved ones will be at odds against us... because we holdfast and confess His truth. To that end, Jesus quotes from the great book of the prophet Micah whose name in Hebrew means "Who is like Yahveh?" Of course as Jeremiah states in Jer. 10:6, there is NONE like unto the LORD: "Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might." Here is what He says through His servant Micah:Matthew 10:35
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Use wisdom and prudence and trust only in the Lord thy God and wait on Him. In other words, don't put your trust in a friend, or a leader, or even a family member such as your wife (her that lies in your bosom). Stay in His Word and hold fast to His way no matter who rises up against you. For if he can, Satan will surely use even your loved ones to come against you to divide and separate you from the love of Christ!Micah 7:5
Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
Yes, our own people, our loved ones of our own household, shall become spiritual adversaries to us. How and why is that possible? It is because of the zeal they have for Jesus, though he be the false Jesus, the one who shall soon come to bring peace on earth and convince them that he is the Messiah. It is because they are in a blind stupor of ignorance (Rom. 11) caused by the famine of these end times and they believe they are doing the right thing. To that end, those who have eyes to see and ears to hear who are part of that great witness of the brotherhood in this final generation, should always remember the words of Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross: Luke 23:34 "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."Micah 7:6
For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
So now that Jesus Christ has foretold us that teaching the Word of God as it is written will at times cut and cause division and bring about persecution even from your closest loved ones, He now gives His disciples/apostles instructions concerning their priorities and their commitment to Him. The questions that arise are, "What would it take for you to 'sell out' and compromise the Word of God? Could you be swayed from the truth of His Word because your family turned on you? How about if you were delivered up to death, to antichrist himself, as were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo in type?"Jesus Christ says that if either is the case, you are not really not a true believer in Him and so you are not worthy of being His disciple.
This is a matter of priority and by no means is meant to diminish one's love for his or her family. On the contrary, family is a wonderful thing and you should always love and spend time with your family, even and especially your heavenly Father who is your closest family member in that He is the Father and creator of your very soul. In other words, your "protos", your first and foremost love, is to God and His Word and if you leave that first love for whatever reason, then you have a problem such as those in the church of Ephesus who left their first love.Matthew 10:37
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
What are your priorities? How deep is your love and how committed are you to obeying the Word of God in doing His will?Rev. 2:4
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.first, protos, pro'-tos, Greek 4413; contracted superlative of Greek 4253 (pro); foremost (in time, place, order or importance) :- before, beginning, best, chief (-est), first (of all), former. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
love, agape, ag-ah'-pay, Greek 26; from Greek 25 (agapao); love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast :- (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.
To "hate" means to love less by comparison. In other words, your "first love" must be the Word of God and your commitment such as you will not compromise loving Him and "confessing" the truth of His Word for any reason whatsoever... no not for family or even if you are delivered up to death as were the three Hebrew children! You see, they didn't die but they were sure willing to rather than compromise their love for God and bow to the image of the beast.Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
To "take up his cross" speaks of real conviction for the only reason one "takes up his cross" is to be nailed to it! This is the deep seated love and conviction of a disciple, a student, a true follower of Jesus Christ the Word of God. Quite frankly, if you are not willing to sacrifice all you have "under the sun" (even your own life as we read in Luke 14:26) for what you believe, i.e. to follow after Christ, then you are not a true believer and your conviction is not really conviction at all.Matthew 10:38
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
The kind of deep-seated rock-solid faith and trust that would cause one to pick up his cross comes not by self determination or self will but by belief in Him, knowing with certitude because of the evidence (Heb. 11:1) of knowing His Word that we have the victory and that He is able to deliver us.cross, stauros, stow-ros', Greek 4716; from the base of Greek 2476 (histemi); a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (special) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figurative exposure to death, i.e. self-denial; by implication the atonement of Christ :- cross.
Just know that there is nothing you can lose in this flesh life in enduring unto the end and doing the will of God that shall not be paled into insignificance by the crown of victory awaiting those who love and serve Him. On the other hand, those who place their hope in "flying away to save their souls" are going to lose out on the first resurrection to life eternal. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
This can only be true if you speak His Word, i.e. confess Him, and not the traditions of men, right? In His final prayer for His disciples the night before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ prayed that they would be sanctified through the Word, which is truth, and also for "them which shall believe on me through their word". So let us be sure to speak those words which are written so that those who receive them, receive Him, the truth, the Word of God.Matthew 10:40
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Let us likewise receive those who speak the truth of His word.John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
The Greek word "prophetes" would better be translated "teacher" for it simply means "inspired speaker" or "gifted teacher". Some people get all bent out of shape because they think they should be doing more than studying and planting seeds in that they should likewise be gifted teachers. However, the point that Christ is making is that if you receive and accept a "prophet", meaning you support a true teacher who teaches the words and visions of the prophets (i.e. the Word of God) with understanding as they are written, then you receive the same eternal reward as that prophet and that teacher. You see, we are a brotherhood, meaning brothers and sisters of the same family of God, not some hierarchy such as Satan sets up his religions and churches with glorified leaders, etc.Matthew 10:41
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
And you know what else? The prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah and Daniel are all part of that same brotherhood who all receive the same eternal reward. Even the apostle John declared that he was one of our brothers (Philadelphia) and companions in tribulation (Smyrna) and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, the Word of God. In other words, John did not elevate himself above others.
So do not receive nor follow some man who sets himself above the brethren to receive glory for himself or herself, for you will not be blessed if you do. Follow Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as do the rest of the sons and daughters, the brothers and sisters, the "seed" He has sent in these last days to declare His righteousness, to confess the truth of His Word to this final generation. It is written (Ps. 22:30-31)!Rev. 1:9
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Even if all a student of His Word, a disciple of His, is able to do is give a small cup of "living water" to a thirsty babe or plant a tiny seed of truth, that wonderful work of God does NOT go unnoticed by your Father, the One who knows even when a little sparrow falls to the ground. And that one shall also be a partaker of the same eternal reward as his or her brothers and sisters.Matthew 10:42
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
You see, you cannot out give your heavenly Father, for it is NOT about volume or quantity. It is about love and doing things His way, according to His will, that which you are able. And in doing so, you show your faith and your love for Him and so you shall in no wise lose your reward!
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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