What part of three days and three nights don't our church leaders understand?
There is so much precious truth and wisdom contained in the Word of God that if one will only take the time with "opened eyes and ears" to go to His Word (open the Book) and ask and seek and knock, then the door to spiritual riches beyond compare to any material riches "under the sun" shall be opened unto him. In fact, one can find eternal life and peace and happiness contained therein! John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think [means to know] ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
However, some would rather play church and rather than search the scriptures which testify of Him, building their foundation of faith upon the Rock, they choose rather to seek other things as evidence to testify of Him, like sideshows and signs and wonders.
Therefore consider the following scripture which begins today's study:
The incredible part of all this is... that standing right before their very eyes was the One foretold of by the prophets, the Messiah, "Emmanuel" which means "God with us", and they knew Him not!Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
Stop and think about it a moment! Think about the fact that they had "in their midst" the "Tree of Life", the Living Word of God, yet even after seeing His power whereby people were healed and demonic spirits were cast out they still would not open their ears to "hear Him" and believe His words.
Well I suppose as wise old Solomon (mentioned by Christ later in this chapter) said, there is nothing new under the sun, for many people today have the written Word of God "in their midst" and yet they likewise will not open their ears to "hear Him" and believe His words! No, they would much rather listen to men and follow vain religious traditions which make void the Word of God.
Nevertheless, these "certain scribes and Pharisees", no doubt the same "generation of vipers", i.e. kenites, that He has been addressing, answered Christ by tempting Him (Luke 11:16) and challenging Him both as a "Master" (teacher of the law) and as one whose power and authority comes from God. As the saying goes, "Like father, like son", for their father the devil (Jn. 8:44) did tempt Christ after the same manner in Matthew 4:6 at which time "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Mat. 4:7)."
Of course those who possess wisdom concerning "good trees" and "corrupt trees" as per our last study, know that a "sign" would not satisfy the unbelief of these "certain scribes and Pharisees" which stems from an unrepentant and idolatrous heart. Here is what Jesus said to the gathered crowd concerning their demand for a sign:
The prophet Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites as Luke 19:30 declares, as well as a type and forerunner of the ministry of Christ. You "see", Jonah as a type of Christ was willing to die to save his brothers and sisters of the House of Israel from the onslaught of the Assyrians, who were a type and forerunner of the false-christ and his locust army to come upon God's people in this final generation. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
And so it came to pass that Jonah, whose name means "Dove" which is used symbolically of the Holy Spirit, did die and was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights and was then vomited up on the shore to bring salvation to the gentiles, even the Assyrians! And guess what? When Jonah preached unto them they did repent*!
* It should be noted that the Assyrians worshipped Dagon, the "fish god", so when the people saw and/or heard that their god brought forth Jonah alive from its mouth, they took heed and "heard Jonah's words" and did repent. In other words, in their minds they believed Jonah was sent from God, and He was, just as Christ was sent from God!
Therefore as Jonah was sign unto the Ninevites, so likewise
it would come to pass that the Son of God would be brought forth out the
heart of the earth after three days and three
nights and bring salvation to the gentiles... to
Christ quoted this from Jonah 1:17 giving credentials to the Book of Jonah as representative of His ministry. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Now the "Master" gives them a witness and a Bible lesson!
Imagine that! What an indictment against that generation to show that the heathen Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah while these hardened religious hypocrites would not heed nor repent at the preaching of One greater that Jonah, Messiah Himself! The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
And not only would they not repent, they had no desire to seek His wisdom, the wisdom from the Living Word of God who was standing right there before their very eyes! Compare that to the following testimony of the Queen of Sheba.
Again, the entire embodiment of all wisdom, the Living Word of God, was standing right before them and yet they sought NOT after that wisdom! How about you? Do you seek wisdom from the Word of God and if so, to what length are you willing to go to seek and find that wisdom? The Queen of Sheba "heard" about the wisdom God had bestowed upon Solomon and she traveled from the far south (from the utmost parts of the earth, Luke 11:31) bringing great riches and spices and precious stones in exchange for having the opportunity to speak with Solomon and hear his wisdom and "commune with him of all that was in her heart". How precious indeed is that wisdom, the Word of God! The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
What an example this heathen queen was for all the world to see, even for those hardened scribes and Pharisees. It is certainly a tribute to her enthusiasm and heartfelt desire to seek wisdom and truth and justice and for that she was not in the least bit disappointed. In fact, she was filled with awe at the wisdom God had given Solomon for it far exceeded her expectations. You "see", that is precisely how the rich wisdom from the Word of God is to those who seek it. It becomes more precious than any material wealth this world has to offer. Proverbs 3:13-15 "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her."Of course it goes without saying that rubies and fine gold do not lie in an open field for the lazy and non-laborers to gather and possess. One must seek and dig for fine gold and stones that are precious.To wit, if you seek and dig into His Word you shall find exceeding wealth and treasures that will make you spiritually rich beyond measure, even giving you eternal life. A word to the wise is sufficient.1 Kings 10:1-2
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.  And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
The Queen of Sheba blessed and gave thanks and praise unto the LORD God for that which she had received and then gave graciously and liberally of her gold and silver and presented to the king more abundance of spices than anyone ever had before!1 Kings 10:7
Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
All this is in contrast to these cold hearted and hypocritical Pharisees who seek not wisdom from God but actually labor to destroy that wisdom and snuff it out by covering up the light of truth. That is why Christ used the common sense analogy in the like account in Luke 11:33-36 concerning "light" in which He pointed out that one doesn't light a candle and then try to hide it or place it under a bushel where no one can see it."No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.  The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.  If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light."1 Kings 10:8-10
Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.  Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.  And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
Chances are you are not even aware that they wrote it because the "light snuffers" have had it removed from the publications of most Bibles... which only gives further witness to the darkness of their motives!
Here is just one excerpt from that letter (emphasis ours):
Therein lies the understanding of why the period preceding the Renaissance is called the "Dark Ages"! Satan tried to snuff out the "Lucifugae Scripturarum", the Light of Scripture. That's right the hypocritical religionists stuffed the light of truth under a bushel just as these certain scribes and Pharisees Christ is addressing also wished to do."Now the Church of Rome would seem at the length to bear a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift: [Sophecles] they must first get a License in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth that there should be any License granted to have them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the Fourth. [See the observation (set forth by Clemen. His authority) upon the 4. rule of Pius the 4. his making in the index, lib. prohib. pag. 15. ver. 5.] So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (Lucifugae Scripturarum, as Tertulian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn men, no not with the License of their own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the people's understanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confess, thatwe forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touchstone, but he that hath the counterfeit; [Tertul. de resur. carnis.] neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be reproved [John 3:20]: neither is it the plain dealing Merchant that is unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and return to translation."
You "see", if one goes to the Word
of God and is enlightened by the Tree of Life, then he or she will discover
that there is only one High Priest and there is only one Mediator between
God and man and that One is Jesus Christ.
The truth will then sent that person free of the captivity of religion
and men's traditions (as a sheep lifted out of the pit) and their blind
eyes shall be opened and their withered hands will be made whole whereby
they can labor for Him.
Do not make this mysterious nor complicated for Christ's personification of unclean spirits is really quite simple. When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it may be gone for awhile but you can rest assured it will return and try to move back home! Religious leaders tell people to clean up their act and become good Christians, but without taking in the light from His Word the darkness that left them shall return.Matthew 12:43
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
If one cleans up his or her house and does not invite Christ, the Word of God, to dwell therein, then there will be no strong man there to protect it, or you could use Paul's analogy and say there is no armor of protection against evil spirits (Eph. 6). You "see", Christ has given His servants His power, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, to tread on serpents and scorpions thereby making the evil spirits subject unto His servants! Luke 10:19-20 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Understand, it is not your power they are subject to but rather His power, the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in your house! Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
However, if your house (mind) remains empty and swept and garnished, then you are inviting in more trouble than you started with!
Christ used the two states of this man, i.e. the former and the latter, to show us that because of the religious process of cleaning and sweeping and garnishing without taking in the Word of God, the spiritual wickedness of the final generation which shall be present just before the "rising of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba" shall be seven fold more spiritually wicked than the former. Those who have sought and found the wisdom Rev. 13:18 know that the spiritual wickedness of the house of Cain and those who have joined with that house have brought it to pass. As it is written, Babylon (meaning "confusion") the great shall become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and cage of every unclean and hateful bird! Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
How can one escape from such confusion and religious captivity? Been paying attention to Christ's teaching? Repent at the hearing of the One greater than Jonah and diligently seek the precious wisdom of the One greater than Solomon to "commune with Him all that is in you heart". Then shall He dwell with you and you with Him and you shall be part of the family... the loving family of God. Let the Word of God explain it...Rev. 18:2
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Do you seek and desire to commune with Christ, the Word of God? You must then go to Him and He will teach you wisdom.Matthew 12:46
While He yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him.
His brethren (adelphos) and his mother "stood without", which means to stand outside of doors, and desired (did seek) to speak with Him! Christ will now use this as an analogy to teach "whosoever will" how to enter in at the door and become part of the family of God. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
Who are those of the family of God? But He answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
His disciples, which means "students, disciplined in His Word" are the brotherhood, the beautiful family of God. And who can be a disciple of Christ? Anyone (whosoever as the next verse shows, even a kenite) who is willing to "hear His voice" (and repent like the Ninevites) and then "seek His wisdom" (with the hunger and thirst of the Queen of Sheba) can be part of the family of God. And He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
The Father's will is His Word. If you love Him you will be a doer of it! John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Then shall your lamps be full of oil and your "house" shall be blessed with the seven spirits of God (Rev. 5:12 & 7:12) instead of the seven spirits of Satan! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
In our next study we are going to begin the great 13th chapter of Matthew wherein is contained a parable that Christ said must be understood if one is to have the wisdom to understand any of His parables!
How truly precious is the Word of God and we plan to do some digging!
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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