Click to donate today!
Matthew 10:1-17 ; Mark 2:15-22 ; Luke 5:29-39 . Luke “And Levi made a great feast for Him in his own house; and there was a great multitude of publicans and others who were sitting with them. And the scribes and Pharisees were murmuring to His disciples, saying, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus, responding, said to them, They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Levi is a name of Matthew, the author of the first Gospel. He was a rich Jew, holding the office of publican i.e., collector of the Roman revenue living at Capernaum. Jesus passed by one day, spoke to him, and said, “Follow Me.” Unhesitatingly leaving all, he becomes a disciple of our Lord, and was afterward promoted to the apostleship. The publicans, as a rule, were proverbial for wickedness, dishonesty, and popular odium, as the Jews loathed the Roman Government, whose financial officers they were. We see how dearly Matthew loved his unsaved companions. Consequently he makes a great feast, and compliments them with an invitation, at the same time inviting Jesus and His disciples, hoping by this costly festival to bring them under the influence of the sinner’s Savior; thus giving us all an example we would do well to appreciate, also answering the hackneyed question, “How shall we reach the masses?” Give them a kind invitation, like Matthew, to come to a feast especially prepared for them in your own house, meanwhile you do your utmost, by prayer and timely conversation, to win them for God and heaven. We observe the same phenomenon this day which confronted Jesus and His disciples, thus intimately associated with the publicans and sinners at Matthew’s feast; i.e., the scribes ( i.e., the pastors) and Pharisees ( i.e., the influential and official members of the popular Churches) rejecting, contemptuously, drunkards, harlots, and other notorious reprobates, especially if they have no money. Matthew says: “Going, learn what this is, I wish mercy and not sacrifice. For I came, not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” What does our Lord mean by mercy and not sacrifice? When you are utterly destitute, bankrupt, and broken-hearted, there is a wide, open door for Jesus to come in. With this He is delighted. So long as you realize your own possessions, you bank on them, and expect to win Divine favor by your contributions. In this way million’s plunge into hell. God is not poor. He does not need your money, nor anything else you have. He wants you, and not your possessions. Jesus wants immortal intelligence to glorify Him through all eternity.
THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN & JESUS
Mark 2:18 . “And the disciples of John and Jesus were fasting. And they come and say to Him, Wherefore do the disciples of John and the Pharisees, and Thy disciples do not fast?” Fasting, in both dispensations, is not only a concomitant, but an auxiliary of prevailing prayer. Elijah, Moses, and Jesus all fasted forty days, Divinely kept in a spiritual rapture, the physical organism abiding in status quo. The disciples of Jesus, during His personal appearance, were an exception to this general rule, because of its disharmony with the power, the glory, and the infinite and extraordinary privilege peculiar to the immediate companions of the Omnipotent Savior; as fasting has a melancholy and lugubrious influence upon its votaries somewhat incompatible with that paradisiacal felicity characteristic of the Divine presence.
“And Jesus said to them, Whether are the sons of the bride’s chamber able to fast as long as the bridegroom is with them? So long a time as they have the bridegroom with them they are not able to fast.” The sons of the bride’s chamber here mentioned as the men who have charge and are commissioned to the work of preparing the chamber in the house of the bridegroom for him to bring the bride into his own home; i.e., the great work of getting the bride ready and the bride chamber in order for the coming of the Bridegroom when He will take the bride to His heavenly home. We are betrothed to Christ in regeneration, and married to Him in sanctification. Jesus makes the application to His own disciples, and especially the twelve apostles, who were then laboring in the evangelistic field, destined soon to broaden out and encompass the whole world; thus calling out the bride from every nation under heaven, getting her sanctified, robed, and ready to meet the Bridegroom. Hence, God’s holy people, preaching the gospel of full salvation to the ends of the earth, “are the sons of the bride chamber,” faithfully laboring to get the bride ready for the Coming of the Bridegroom. Our Lord here fully settles the problem in reference to the expediency of fasting in our dispensation, when He states “And the days will come when the Bridegroom must be taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” Hence you see from this Scripture the pertinence of fasting ever since our Lord ascended into heaven. In His presence there was too much sunshine and glory for His disciples to fast. Since His departure, the widowed Church has not ceased to fast and pray for the return of our Lord.
THE NEW GARMENT, NEW BOTTLE, & NEW WINE
Luke 5:36 . “And He spoke a parable to them, That no one putteth a piece of new garment on an old garment; as in that case the new tears it, and the piece which was from the new does not harmonize with the old. No one puts new wine into old bottles; as in that case the new wine will burst the bottles, and it will be poured out, and the bottles will perish; but the new wine is to be put into new bottles, and both will be preserved.” Every conceivable entity has both an exterior and an interior, which are equally indispensable to its existence. In the lucid and diversified symbolism of the gracious economy we have the most beautiful and perfect elucidation of both of these hemispheres, constituting the grand globe of full salvation. The new patch sewed on the old, thread-bare garment is too heavy and strong. It tears out all the fabric with which it is connected, making the hole several times its former size, and if repeated would actually tear the old garment all to pieces. What are we to do in this case? Let the old garment wear out, and never patch it. Oh! so our Lord has something better for us than the old tagged garment, and wants to take us out of the patching business altogether. He has for us the “best robe,” snowy white, washed in the blood of the Lamb, which will never get old and never wear out. Counterfeit religions are always patching up an old experience. Be sure you get this royal robe, which the King of glory furnishes His faithful bride without money and without price, which will never get old, nor wear out, nor need patching, but will shine with ever-brightening splendor through the flight of eternal ages. The garment represents the exterior of a Christian character, while the wine and the bottle typify the interior. You must keep your mind off the glass bottles of modern times, and contemplate the leather bottles, the only kind in use in the days of our Savior. It is wonderful how the Orientals never change, but perpetuate the customs and institutions of the Bible times. On the streets of Jerusalem, Hebron, Joppa, and all Palestinian cities, we constantly see the water- carriers bending under a whole goat-skin, full of water, thus carrying it from the fountain to supply the various demands. The fermentation of new wine, Increasing its bulk will break the old leather bottle, which is not strong enough thus to endure the pressure. While, of course, these strong metaphors illustrate the fact that Christianity is not simply a patch on Judaism, or some new wine poured into the old Mosaic bottles, but a de novo institution, such an interpretation merely reaches the surface, leaving the grand interior unexplored. The bottle is the heart. In a genuine conversion, God gives you a new heart. (Ezekiel 36:26) God’s work, like Himself, never gets old. Hence the bottle He gives you is always new. Wine symbolizes the Holy Ghost, whom you receive as an indwelling Comforter in sanctification; of course, He can never get old. Therefore you see, with a true regeneration, you get the new bottle, which will never get old; while in the genuine. sanctification, you receive the new wine of the kingdom, which will never ferment nor get old. Hence, you should have nothing to do with the old bottles of a backslidden experience, nor the old wine of a counterfeit sanctification. The reason why the dead, worldly Churches are so timorous of sanctification preached in their pulpits, is because they are afraid the new wine will burst up their old bottles. But that is just what ought to be done. The bottle which the new wine will burst is of no account. The Lord’s genuine new bottles are elastic enough to hold a hundred-fold without detriment. The very thing we need in the fallen Churches is a glorious, Holy Ghost revival, whose first work is the bursting up of all those old bottles, and tearing up their old garments, thus showing them their need of the new. Then what a glorious time for all of us, when they all get new robes, bright and beautiful; new bottles, and all filled with the delicious, sweet, new wine, bright as ever sparkled from the grapes of Eshcol!
“And no one drinking the old immediately wishes the new; for He says, The old is better.” How is this? We find it universally illustrated. The heathens constantly meet our missionaries with the response, “Your religion suits you; but ours is ‘better’ for us.” Roman Catholic hears a Pentecostal sermon, but turning away, says his dead formality and priestcraft are “better.” As Luke says, he does not “immediately desire the new, but says the old is better.” Go into a dead, formal Church anywhere, and preach the living power of full salvation, and the people at first get angry, become sullen, and say their old religion “is better.” Go ahead, wait on the Lord, till these people get pungently convicted, and they will change their mind and want the “new.” Now remember, Jesus does not say “the old is better,” but that dead professor says it, and he is mistaken; for he soon changes his mind, when conviction strikes him like lightning, and takes it all back, turns round, seeks and finds the new bottle i.e., the new heart and never stops till he gets it filled with the new wine ( i.e., the Holy Ghost), in the rich and glorious experience of entire sanctification.
HE SENDS OUT THE TWELVE
Matthew 9:37-38 . “Then He says to His disciples, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest, in order that He may send out the laborers into His harvest.” Our Lord, seeing the awful state of the Jewish Church, destitute of competent spiritual guides, going miserably into eternal ruin, and consequently calls on all of His disciples to unite in a prayer to God to send out more laborers into the harvest. This prayer ascends up to Heaven, and receives a speedy answer, so that, instead of a single evangelistic force, He determines to multiply seven-fold, sending out the twelve apostles, two by two, to scour the whole country of Galilee and Judea, moving with all possible expedition, and preaching the gospel in every city and village. O how inconceivably urgent a similar policy this day! N.B. The time has not yet arrived to unfurl the gospel banner to the Gentile world. Hence, all of this evangelistic movement was confined to the Jews; i.e., in the Churches, preaching in the synagogues, as well as to the multitudes in the open air.
Matthew 10:1-42 ; Mark 6:7-13 ; & Luke 9:1-6 . Matthew: “And calling His twelve disciples, He gave them power over unclean spirits, so as to cast them out, and heal every disease and every malady. Luke says, “He sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” The kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven, is the Divine government, which prevails among the angels and redeemed spirits throughout all celestial worlds; hell having none of it, and earth a mixture some, citizens of God’s kingdom; others, the denizens of Satan’s pandemonium.
Matthew “Jesus sent forth these twelve, commanding them, saying, Go not into way of the heathens nor enter ye into a city of the Samaritans; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” As the Jews were the organized Church of God, and the custodian’s of the Divine Oracles, God’s plan was first to give them the gospel, so they might turn evangelists, and carry it to the ends of the earth. For a similar reason, we should now begin with the Churches, and get all of them saved who will receive the living Word, and then go to the world. You see our Savior repeatedly mentions “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Do you not know that this included the rank and the of the ministry and membership? There were a few honorable exceptions, like Simeon, Anna, Zacharias, Elizabeth, and the apostles. The Divine economy originally contemplated the Jewish Church en masse receiving Christ, and enjoying the immortal honor of heralding Him to the world. This they missed, both preachers and people, except the elect few. In a similar manner, it is the glorious privilege of the whole Church to receive Christ at His second coming; but amid the sad apostasy of the latter days (2 Thessalonians 2:0), we see that only the elect few will enjoy this transcendent glory. “Going, preach, saying, That the kingdom of the heavens draweth nigh.” This was significantly true, because they were the heralds of the kingdom, enjoying citizenship in the same, and commending it to all others. “Heal the sick, raise the dead.” We have a number of instances, in the ministries of Paul and Peter, of healing the sick; and at Joppa, Peter actually raised Dorcas from the dead. Her tomb was pointed out to me when I was there a few days ago. “Cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Paul at Philippi ejected the fortune-telling demon from a damsel. The genuine, regular work of the Holy Ghost in the gospel dispensation, saving and sanctifying souls, is constantly accompanied by demoniacal ejectment and bodily healing. “Possess neither gold nor silver, nor copper in your girdles;” i.e., do not wait and prodigalize God’s precious time and opportunity in order to get money of any kind, as God can feed and clothe you as well out in the evangelistic field as at home. Have faith in Him to feed you like the birds and clothe you like the lilies. “Nor valise, nor two coats, nor sandals, nor staff; for the laborer is worthy of his food.” Hence, you see, we are to wait for nothing, but go as we are, taking what we have, and trusting God for everything.
“Into whatsoever city or village you enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and abide there until you may depart.” This is not an interdiction of house-to- house preaching; but their time was short, and the work too great to admit of it. Hence they are commanded to find some place with God’s elect, and thence radiate out everywhere, preaching the Word, till they traverse the field. “And going into a house, salute it. And if the house may be worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it may be unworthy, let your peace return unto you.” Salvation is optionary, and never goes begging. God is infinitely rich, and can get along without any of us. “Whosoever may not receive you, nor hear your words, going out from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Truly, I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” When we go to a people and offer them the gospel, we have done our part, and will be rewarded in eternity as if they had received it. When they reject our message, they relieve us, and assume the responsibility of their own damnation. Sodom and Gomorrah were Gentile cities, in the beautiful, rich, and productive Vale of Sidim, which were destroyed for their wickedness, the very site they occupied being now covered by the Dead Sea. These heathen cities never had the opportunities of the Jews and the Christians. Consequently the latter, who reject the gospel, will sustain a more grievous responsibility in the judgment-day, and sink to a more terrible doom in the world of woe, than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, with all their dark vices.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” The serpent is the symbol of Satan, who has a wonderful intelligence, shrewdness, and cunning; while the dove is the symbol of the Holy Ghost, full of innocent, sweet, regenerating, and sanctifying love, and ready to pour it out into every penitent, believing heart. “Harmless” is akeraioi, from akeranumi, from a, “not,” keranumi, “to mix.” Hence the word means unmixed, the strongest statement of entire sanctification. Sinners are full of unmixed evil; holy, sanctified saints are full of unmixed good; while unsanctified Christians have a mixed experience, the pure love of God in a heart which is not free from depravity, but needs the second work of grace to eliminate it all away, leaving nothing but the pure love of God to fill the sanctified heart. We see from this commandment that, while we are to be innocent, holy, and faithful, trusting God for everything necessary to soul and body, we are still to carry with us the good, common sense with which we are born, and to utilize all the intelligence God gives us, “watching” lest we enter into temptation. Ministerial failures are constantly being made, simply because people do not use their common sense. “Beware of men; for they will deliver you up unto the Sanhedrins, and scourge you in their synagogues.” You see how they arrested, beat, and imprisoned Paul and Silas. “And you shall be led before governors and kings, for My name’s sake, for a testimony to them and the Gentiles.” Whereas the former clause specifies Jewish punishments and persecutions, this gives those they will encounter among the Gentiles; e.g., Paul, at Paphos, on the Isle of Cyprus, testified, when arraigned before Sergius Paulus, and won him; but when, in a similar manner, at the tribunal of Felix, another Roman proconsul, at Caesarea, he testified; but Felix rejected.
“But when they may deliver you up, do not he solicitous, how or what you may speak, for it will be given to you in that hour what you shall say; for it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father who is speaking in you.” Wonderful has been the testimony and preaching of the martyrs, in all ages, when brought face to face with the burning fagot or the blood-thirsty lion. This Scripture has been most wonderfully verified, the heathen historian’s of the first three centuries certifying that the testimony of the dying martyrs often won their own murderers, so that they embrace the Christian religion, likewise sealing their faith with their blood. “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and father the child; and the children will rise up against the parents, and put them to death.” It has been estimated that two hundred millions of martyrs, during the Pagan and Papal ages, have died for Jesus. You can readily see how families would all be divided during those times of peril and bloodshed, the persecutors requiring them to testify against each other, and even participate in their martyrdom, as the only way of escape from a similar fate. “You shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake; but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Those apostles, to whom He gave this commission and appended these stringent liabilities, all proved true to the end, except poor Judas. Matthew suffering martyrdom in Ethiopia; Mark, in Egypt; Luke, in Greece; James the Elder, the first of all, beheaded by Herod in Jerusalem; and James the Less, at a later date, hurled from a pinnacle of the temple; Matthias, the successor of Judas, suffered martyrdom in Abyssinia; Thomas, in India; Jude, in Tartary; Andrew, in Armenia; Bartholomew, in Phrygia; Philip, at Heliopous, in Syria; Paul and Peter, at Rome; and John, miraculously delivered from martyrdom in the caldron of boiling oil at Rome, and, as we believe, finally translated into heaven without seeing death.
“And when they may persecute you in this city, fly into another.” Thus you see, the people of God who bear this message of love and grace are not to use carnal weapons in self-defense, but run away, trusting the Lord for another open door. “For truly, I say unto you, That you may not complete the cities of Israel, till the Son of man may come.” You must remember, the immediate commission of these apostles, under which they are now going out, is restricted to the Jews, that restriction being removed when our Lord ascended, and the Holy Ghost fell on them, qualifying them for the conquest of the world. They are only gone out about three months in these duets, traversing the territory of Israel, till they return to the Lord, and accompanied Him the ensuing year of His ministry. N.B. The Mount of Transfiguration was really a prelude of the Lord’s second and glorious coming. This they actually witnessed in a few months from that date, thus verifying this mysterious declaration, as they had not yet gone over all the cities of Israel till the Son of man did actually come in adumbration on the Mount of Transfiguration, thus preliminarily revealing to them His second and glorious coming.
“The disciple is not above his teacher nor the servant above his lord.” Where we have “Master” so frequently in E.V., the word didaskalos, the noun, from didasko, to teach, hence it literally means a teacher. Jesus is the world’s Great Teacher, without whom the black darkness of the pandemonium would envelop it. “It is sufficient for the disciple that he may be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they called the landlord Beelzebub, how much more the inmates of his house?” Our Savior here reveals to all who would be His witnesses, and herald His truth to a dying world, that we must be ready for any fate and disappointed at nothing.
“My rest is in heaven, My home is not here; Then why should I murmur at trials severe?
Come trouble, come sorrow; The worst that can come, Will shorten my journey, and hasten me home.”
Our Teacher and Lord, our great Exemplar, was homeless, destitute, and the world combined against Him, not even permitting Him to live on the earth which He had created. If we can riot accept the situation, and walk in His footprints, we can not be His disciples.
“Therefore be not afraid of them. For nothing has been hidden which shall not be revealed, and secret which shall not be known.” This follows as a logical sequence from the preceding affirmation in reference to the grave, criminal, and even diabolical affirmations which have invariably been adduced against the people of God. The Roman historians, Seutonius, Pliny, and Sallust, have all chronicled the gravest sins and darkest crimes against the Christians during the Martyr Ages of the heathen empire, thus apologizing for the bloody persecutionary edicts issued against them by the emperors. Of course, these historians only recorded hearsay, not claiming ocular testimony in the case. They said of Jesus, constantly, “He hath a demon,” “He is gone mad,” and “He is beside Himself.” They finally killed Him in the most disgraceful method, even hanging Him up between two criminals, notorious for robbery and murder. Similar accusations have been arrayed against the martyrs of all ages, thus signally verifying these prophecies of our Savior. Millions of people have been put to death, under gravest accusations, who, in the judgment-day, will shine like angels, while their accusers and persecutors, who stood at the head of the Church, will be calling for rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne. While, of course, the primary application of our Lord’s affirmation as to the revealment of all secrets is the ultimate and eternal vindication of His saints, it certainly follows that we should, in this life, become perfectly lucid and transparent to all illuminated eyes, so they can actually look through us, and read the hieroglyphics the Spirit has written on the tablets of our hearts, thus sweeping away the oath-bound secrecy of lodgery in all its forms and phases. “What I say to you in the darkness, speak ye in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, proclaim ye upon the house-tops.” This is a confirmation of the preceding, showing up the thorough transparency of God’s true saints. When filled with the Holy Ghost, secrecy evanesces.
“Be not afraid of those who kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The sainted mother, by her godly teaching, baptized with loving tears and fired with the prayer of heavenly inspiration, should put the hell-scare on her infant so thorough that the tomfoolery and superficialism of the popular religion, which brings a polar iceberg into the Church to melt in hell-fire, can never be able to obliterate; but an early conversion will only add expedition to the race-horse speed with which you are running from an open hell and an unchained devil, and sanctification give you eaglewings to expedite the velocity of your precipitate flight from the awful, deep-toned thunders of that quenchless damnation which awaits all who, by the intrigues of men and devils, shall fall below the Bible standard of “holiness to the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14.) “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father; indeed, all the hairs of your head are numbered.” The infinite minutiae of the Divine cognizance, absolutely passing by nothing, but taking in everything indiscriminately, are here mentioned as a constant and potent inspiration to us all, peremptorily to settle matters for judgment and eternity by actually getting rid of the devil and everything belonging to him, in the glorious experience of entire sanctification and the constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as nothing short of this can actually settle that awful problem, whose solution is the “destruction of soul and body in hell.” “Therefore be not afraid; for you are of more value than many sparrows.” “Perfect love casts out fear.” Consequently the poorest and weakest saint, if true to God, can shout perennial victory from the mouth of hell to the gate of glory.
“Therefore, every one who shall confess Me before the people, I will confess him in the presence of My Father who is in heaven; but whosoever may deny Me in the presence of the people, I will also deny him in the presence of My Father who is in the heavens.” O what a potent inspiration to Christian testimony, semper et bique, “always and everywhere!” The awful delinquency in this duty and depreciation of this glorious privilege, thus turning the Churches into graveyards instead of battle-fields, is the “Ichabod” superscribed on the walls of modern Churchism. In the face of these glorious promises on the one side, and terrific denunciations on the other, voiceless pews are an incontestable proclamation of dead Churches. “Do not consider that I came to send peace on the earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.” The Bible abounds in riddles and enigmas, inexplicable to the carnal mind. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, and at the same time described as a mounted military General, leading His embattled host into deadly conflict, deluging the world with blood, and heaping it with mountains of the slain. Both of these characteristics are literally true. The peace which He gives only follows a bloody war with sin and the devil, fought under the black flag, which means victory or death. The sword in this passage is the formidable weapon wielded by the Holy Ghost in the extermination of sin and the decapitation of Adam the First
“For I came to divide a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and the enemies of a man shall be the inmates of his own house.” All this is the normal effect accompanying a true work of salvation; Satan’s grip on the people being so tight that he is certain to hold enough to represent him in every family, unless literal miracles of grace flood the home with heavenly conquest and stampede the devils down to hell. Bogus, popular religion makes no disturbance in families and communities, from the simple fact that the devil is not fool enough to waste his ammunition on dead game, as there are plenty of live people to shoot at. Whenever the holiness movement gets so it does not arouse the devil in dead Churches and stir up hell in debauched communities, you may go and write “Ichabod” on its banner, and prepare its winding sheet as quickly as possible, to bury it speedily, before the stench of a putrifying carcass disseminates pestilential malaria far and wide. “He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and whosoever does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Here we see illustrated the absolute sine qua non confronting every aspirant to discipleship and heaven; i.e., the utter subordination of consanguinity, affinity, home, friends, and earthly possessions to the great Captain of our salvation. This is the fatal maelstrom into which many a bark has foundered.
“The one having found his soul, shall loose it; the one having lost his soul for My sake, shall find it.” The E.V. here has “life,” instead of soul. The word used by our Savior is not zoe, “life,” but psyche, the regular word for soul. In every instance in the New Testament, where the E.V. has “soul,” the Greek is psyche. Hence I give it just as Jesus said it. While King James’s translators were scholarly theologians, they were not eminent for spirituality, but much on par with the English clergy. I do not think they saw down into the profound depths of our Savior’s meaning in this passage. There never was but one creation of the human race. We were all created in Adam seminally. Hence, in the fall, we all fell with Adam, forfeiting the Divine and receiving the Satanic or carnal mind. James speaks of the “double-soul man.” (James 1:4; James 4:8.) The sinner has but one mind, and that is bad. The wholly sanctified has but one mind, and that is good; while the unsanctified Christian is James’s double-minded man, having the carnal mind in subjugated state, and the mind of Christ, received in regeneration, ruling in his heart and life, but must have the carnal mind sanctified away before he can go to heaven. Psyche, “soul,” is the word used by James. The reason why so few get saved is because they are not willing to travel the death route to heaven. Millions, intimidated by the grim monster, lifting up the battle-ax to decapitate Adam the First, turn away, and travel some other road, which does not require so much self- denial. We are born into the world with an evil soul, which must die, or hell is our doom. Hence this awful test: Unless you are brave enough to die, and take chances for life beyond the black river, your heavenly hope is Satan’s ignis tatuus,
“whose delusive ray Glows but to betray.”
“He that receiveth you receiveth Me; he that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me.” Christ bridges the chasm between God and man. Hence the wonderful feasibility of the redemptive scheme. He sends out His saved people to save others. The lost millions of earth have nothing to do but receive us, with our messages of truth and holiness, and in so doing they receive Christ; i.e., the loving, sympathizing Brother, Jesus. But He is not only man, but God. Therefore when the condescending, tender-hearted Nazarene takes you by the hand, behold! the hand of the Omnipotent grips you, lifting you from the lowest hell to the highest heaven. “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet’s reward; he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” O what a thrilling incentive to wide-open door and generous hospitality, ever ready, with joyful enthusiasm, to receive the saints and prophets, whom Jesus sends forth into this dark world to rescue the perishing and save the lost! The reward of God’s prophets and righteous people what is it? None other than a crown of life and a home in heaven. The departure of hospitality from the Church is the death-knell now ringing from ocean to ocean, pealing out the mournful funeral of the great Protestant denominations.
“Whosoever may only give one of these little ones a cup of cold water to drink in the name of the disciple, truly, I say unto you, Can not lose his reward.” We must remember that God sets great store on little things, appreciating the giver rather than the gift. How these promises should inspire us all to lend a helping hand in the expedition of every gospel pilgrim on his way, publishing salvation to the ends of the earth! “And it came to pass when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, He departed thence to teach and to preach in all the cities.” The preceding discourse, delivered by our Savior to His twelve apostles, when He sent them out, two by two, to traverse all Israel with the uttermost expedition, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, should receive the especial and diligent study of all who read these pages. O that He may so pour on you the Holy Ghost, meanwhile, that you may hear His interior voice calling you into the evangelistic field! I assure you, this is the grand incentive inspiring the humble writer of the Commentaries, praying incessantly that all the readers may catch the heavenly flame, respond to the loving call, and enter the gospel-field unhesitatingly.
HE CALLS THE TWELVE APOSTLES
Matthew 10:2-4 ; Mark 3:13-19 ; & Luke 6:13-16 . Mark: “And He goes up into a mountain, and calls to Him those whom He wished, and He made twelve, that they may be with Him, and that He may send them out to preach, and to have the power to heal the sick and to cast out demons.” Luke says that “He went out into the mountain to pray, and was spending the night in the prayer of God. And when it was day, He called His disciples, and selecting twelve from them, whom He called Apostles.” Bishop Taylor used to make it a rule to spend a night in prayer before he sent away the missionaries to their respective fields of labor. Rev. A.B. Simpson anticipates those wonderful, unprecedented, and paradoxical missionary collections by a night of prayer. O what an example here for Annual Conferences, and other responsible transactions in the kingdom of God! Where E.V. says, “He ordained twelve” (Mark 3:14 ), the original is epoiese, which simply means “made;” i.e., He selected twelve out of the company of disciples who followed Him, and made them apostles. The word apostle is from apo, “from,” and stello, “send.” Hence it means persons sent forth, as the inspired Twelve were commissioned and sent into all the world. King James’s translators used the word “ordained,” here and elsewhere, in order to sustain the Church usages and authority, there being no such a meaning in the original. Our Savior made the twelve apostles just like He makes you what you are, if true to His providence and grace. He has a vast diversity of workers in His kingdom. He made them all what they are. We have nothing to do but perfectly submit to His Word, Spirit, and providence, and rest assured He will make us efficient workers in His vineyard, though infinitely diverse, either from other. Paul says,
“He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints.” (Ephesians 4:2.)
Hence, you see, all of these offices are perpetuated to the end of time. Under the shibboleth of Church ordination, floods of ecclesiastical misrule and tyranny have been turned on the Church, terribly to the detriment of her efficiency in the salvation of the world. The great dogma of ordination, as claimed and practiced by the High-Church isms, is unknown in the Bible, a true translation eliminating it altogether. It is all right for the Churches to corroborate the Holy Ghost in the ordination of God's saints for the work to which He calls them.
Matthew: “He placed on Simon the name Peter;” i.e., “rock,” which the world never saw till after the fires of Pentecost burnt up the debris, and swept away the cowardice, and revealed the solid rock. “James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and on these he put the names Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder.”
This name is very significant, showing that James and John had tremendous voices, so they could roar hike thunder. O, what a blessing a stalwart physical constitution and stentorian voice! If the Lord has given you a strong voice, appreciate the honor of a Boanerges, and consecrate this rich and valuable gift to God. “And Andrew, Philip, and Bartholomew;” i.e., son of Tolmai, a patronymic for Nathanael. “Matthew, Thomas; James the son of Ahpheus [also called James the Less]; and Thaddeus [i.e., Jude], and Simeon the Canaanite.” Matthew and Mark call him the “Canaanite,” while Luke says, “Simon, called Zelotes” i.e., “the zealot.” Now if you will look in a Greek dictionary, you will find “ zelotes ” and “ canaanite ” synonymous, neither of them being proper names, as E.V. has them. The simple lexical meaning is, “ zealous,” setting forth the fact that Simon was a red-hot holiness evangelist, full of life and fire. “And Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.” What a momentous transaction took place on this mountain, when our Lord selected these twelve men, not from the colleges nor the palaces, but from the lower walks of labor and private life, and invested them with the commission to preach the gospel to all the world! To this they all proved true but Judas Iscariot, whom Satan unfortunately captured before he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, the indispensable qualification of them all. However, he was nobly succeeded by Matthias, who, with the other eleven, received his allotment in the distribution of the world among the Twelve, going to Abyssinia; Mark, to Egypt; Matthew, to Ethiopia; Peter, to Rome; Andrew, to Armenia; Bartholomew, to Phrygia; Philip, to Syria; Jude, to Tartary; Thomas, to India. After our Lord's ascension, He augmented this number by the addition of five more noble apostles i.e.,
Paul, Apollos, Barnabas, and James and Judas, the brothers of the Lord the two Jameses included in the original Twelve both suffering martyrdom in Jerusalem.
Luke 6:17 . “And coming down along with them, He stood on a level place.” The Mount of Beatitudes, hanging over the city of Capernaum, has a nice plateati, about half-way down from the summit, which is doubtless the plain on which our Lord halted with the Twelve, whom He had constituted apostles . “A multitude of His disciples, and a great host of the people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and Tyre and Sidon by the seaside, who came to bear Him, and to be healed of their diseases, and those troubled with unclean spirits; and they continued to be healed. And the whole crowd sought to touch Him, because power was going out from Him and was healing all.” After the night of prayer, spent high up in the Mount of Beatitudes, calling His disciples to Him, He proceeds to select from them the twelve apostles, accompanied by whom He descends from the summit about 8 A.M. No sooner does He descend to the plateau till the people, recognizing Him, come rushing from all directions. Moved with sympathy, He now does a mighty work of bodily healing and demoniacal ejectment, thus wonderfully saving the people, both from sin and sickness. Where E.V. says, “Power was going out from Him and was healing all,” the Greek says “dynamite,” a word which men of science have recently Anglicized and adopted, to indicate the greatest mechanical power in the known world, and very appropriately, as it is the word constantly used in the New Testament to reveal the matchless wonders of omnipotent grace.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Godbey, William. "Commentary on Matthew 10". "Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany