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Dogs, Swine, Islam, Asking Seeking Knocking Mt. 7:6-11

January 11, 2015 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 7:6–7:11

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6“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10“Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

[quoting the "Washington Post, LONDON — As British war planes arc through Middle Eastern skies and security services race to unravel terrorist plots at home, the nation’s most prominent propagandist for the Islamic State sits in a London sweets shop, laying out his radical vision between bites of dessert.

Iraq and Syria, Anjem Choudary says confidently, are only the beginning. The Islamic State’s signature black flag will fly over 10 Downing Street, not to mention the White House. And it won’t happen peacefully, but only after a great battle that is now underway.

“We believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam,” says the 47-year-old, calmly sipping tea and looking none the worse for having been swept up in a police raid just days earlier. “That may sound like some kind of James Bond movie — you know, Dr. No and world domination and all that. But we believe it.”]

After the assassinations of the folks at Charlie Hebdo, the newspaper, USA Today gave this same Anjem Choudary a voice on their opinion page. Here's what he said;

["Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires.

Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, "Whoever insults a Prophet kill him."

However, because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see."] end quote

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6“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

We gave this a quick once over last week, but it continues to haunt me.

In view of what happened in France last week, terrorists assassinating people in the name of allah, are we to consider all dangerous people as dogs and swine, and protect our own skin?

First off, let me squash any notion that allah and God are the same deity.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob doesn't need us to avenge Him. He says, Vengeance is mine . . I will repay.

Allah is powerless. He apparently needs radical crazed angry men to get any vengeance.

Some guy dishonors allahs prophet, allah can't do anything about it. Crazy people have to avenge allah and his prophet.

Our God; He not only takes care of His own business, he commands us to leave it alone. Vengence is mine saith the Lord. I will repay. He doesn't need us to carry out His revenge.

In 2Kings 2:23-24 Elisha is dishonored. A real prophet, for the real God, and young dissidents dishonor him. 23Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!" 24When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.…

Normally it doesn't happen that way. What has been normative through the centuries of waiting is that the people of Satan's kingdom, which we are living in as aliens and strangers according to 1Peter 2:11, have latitude to taunt and punish us. Why?

Because God is saving wrath and vengeance for a day of His choosing.

In Deuteronomy 32:34 - 36 in Moses song, it is written; 'Is it not laid up in store with Me, Sealed up in My treasuries? 35'Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.' 36"For the LORD will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, And there is none remaining, bond or free.…

Paul develops this idea further in his letter to the Romans 12:17 - 21 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Stay with me now, because we're getting to something pertinent in last weeks headlines.

There's a little sentence in there that the very very secular French have forgotten. We treat our enemies, and God's enemies with respect. We don't draw cartoons of their prophets and deliberately cause them angst. Paul wouldn't do that. He says; Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

We don't do incendiary things to taunt our enemies. We don't burn the Qu'ran. That is a direct disobedience and disrespect of our own scripture. Paul says, again;

18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

We christians need to take a higher road. Islam is the enemy of our God. Paul says if someone in that religion is hungry, you feed them, and if they're thirsty, you give them a cup of water.

God will have His day of vengeance. By the way, we should note that in Isaiah 61, the passage that Jesus quotes in the Synagogue at Nazareth, the prophet speaks of the "year" of the Lords favor, and the "day" of vengeance. 7,000 years of favor. 7 years of vengeance. That's how our God rolls.

So, back to our verse in the sermon on the mount.

6“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

By the way, those are the very terms that Islam uses to refer to us. We are dogs and swine to them. Vile. Unclean. Scum. Refuse. Filth. Better dead than alive.

Is that how we feel toward them? Do we reciprocate hatred? Psalm 67:4 says May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

We're at the other end of 6000 years from the promise given to Abraham way back in Genesis 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

We have 20-20 hindsight. We can see the sweep of history since God said that 1000's of years ago. How the sons of Ismael became the arab nations and are with us to this day in the religion of Islam. But the verse doesn't say that God is going to only favor the Nations that grew out of the chosen son, Isaac.

It says all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. How many tribes in the kingdom. All of the tribes of the earth will be there. Every ethnos.

The tribes that comprise the peoples of Islam are our beloved enemies. They are not dogs and swine. They are beloved by God. They need to hear the gospel, just like everybody else does.

Do you realize the power in the gospel is enough to save even the young men that firebombed that building. Romans 1:16, Paul says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the Power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the people of Islam

Sure they're dupes of Satan in a system that is enemies to everything we love and believe, but the gospel has power that reaches out of this world. It can save any in Islam that are chosen by God.

Who are the dogs and the swine then?? This is all very confusing Jim!

Go back to the sermon on the mount. Who was there? The religious leaders of Israel had experienced a level of revelation that no one before or since has had the privilege to experience. They spent time in Jesus presence. They saw all of the evidence, firsthand, the miracles, the healings, they listened to this sermon, they still rejected Him.

The dogs and swine are not the poor dupes of Satan who desperately need to hear the message about Jesus, they are those who have heard and understood, all of the evidence, and then still rejected Him in favor of their false religion.

I'm a lot more frightened of liberal theologians who study Jesus every day and then stand in front of students and tell them He isn't God. Those are the folks I'm going to avoid.

So, who has crossed over that line, and how do we know it?

It would be nice if God put something on their foreheads so we could know who the dogs and swine are. This isn't particularly easy, is it.

And that, dear friends, was the introduction, which brings us to vss. Mt. 7:7 - 11

Janis Joplin said,
"Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?"

We didn't firebomb Janis. In fact, if anything, it's to our shame that she saw something in modern organized christianity that made her write down those words.

Blasphemy, but, are we, like the jews that God said Ro. 2:24 For "THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU," the cause. Did Janis look at organized religion and instead of seeing God at work, she saw people spending it all, on themselves.

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Is this a blank cheque? I'm going to surprise you. Yes! It is!

Sort of. There are some strings attached. Let's see if we can't get to the bottom of this.

The Bible addresses this a couple of ways in a couple of other places.

First, and easiest, is James, who you can read through his little book and see that it's like a commentary on the sermon on the mount. The great teaching of Jesus keeps showing up in James book. And James says; James 4:2 - 4

ye have not, because ye ask not. 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

First caveat then. The blank cheque isn't for you to spend on your pleasures. Janis Joplin is a better theologian than a lot of the so-called christians I see in mega-church America.

We're far too comfortable in this world with it's pleasures. Friendship with the world is what? enemies?

We're in a war people. We are strangers and aliens in this world that belongs to Satan.

You received Christ into your heart one day, you woke up the next day in a battle. This world is a battle ground. It belongs to Satan and you're an intruder. An enemy combatant. A dangerous dissident! Or are you? Maybe you're going to sleep this one out. Snooze this battle away.

Second caveat is in the parable of the talents. I'm surprised, since I've been given this pulpit, how many times I've found myself in this parable. It's kind of long, but it's important, and I'm going to read the whole thing . . . again.

14“For it (the kingdom of God) is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15“To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17“In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18“But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

22“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. (did he just call his master a thief?)25‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’

26“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

29“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The kingdom. The authority of God to reign, over us, as opposed to Satan, who reigns over everyone else, is like a man who had slaves.

And he gave them a blank cheque to invest, for His interests, and make a profit for Him.

And one slave said, I'm not really interested in making money for someone else. It's all about me. This is my life. So he buried the masters money and went on about living for himself.

We have a blank check here. But we are slaves to a master who expects us to draw from that account in order to benefit . . . His kingdom.

We're in a war. We're George Patton in the heat of battle, and we phone the supply chain and say, I need 300 more jeeps and 80 tanks, and I need them NOW! And by the way, I could use some more soldiers!

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Let's talk about the words for a moment. Ask, Seek, Knock. verb. present imperative active. 2nd person plural. Verbs are words that encompass action. This is something we DO. present imperative active means - don't stop doing this. Keep asking! Keep seeking! Keep knocking!

Notice the sequencial order. First we ask. That isn't enough so we go looking, searching, and then we find the door and we start banging on it.

Back to George Patton. I'll bet the guys at the other end of the field phones at the supply depot had a running joke. It's George again. Isn't it your turn to talk to him?

But that's exactly the opposite of how God sees His supply chain to us. Look at vss. Mt. 7:9 - 11

9“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10“Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

This is the classic lesser - more argument. evil people give good gifts. How much MORE!! will your father in heaven give ...

Note that, even though we're children of the King, we're still broken. Part of the lesser - to - greater argument is this word, evil. We're still fallen. We're still battling the evil that dwells in us. Yet, my heart aches with love for my little grand daughter. I would give anything, if she needed me to.

How much more, our heavenly father, to us.

It's almost as if God is up there saying, Go ahead, try to wear me out with the asking.

In 1779 John Newton, slave trader, who was gloriously saved and has given us the hymn Amazing Grace, wrote these words;

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare:
Jesus loves to answer prayer;
He Himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not say thee nay;
Therefore will not say thee nay.

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much;
None can ever ask too much.

Thou art coming to a King. Large petitions with thee bring!

Paul in Ephesians 3 gives a great benediction; Eph. 3: 20 - 21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Beware little church. Since we studied the Lord's prayer, well, actually before that, I have been petitioning the King to do something spectacular in Tonopah. Do a work here that will make His name magnificent. And . . let us join in, whatever it is.

Will you join me in that prayer?

What would be more fun than, drawing on the bank of God, and watching Him spread His wealth in Tonopah, in a way that makes the onlooking world say, God must be real! We know the folks in that church didn't accomplish this! Only God could have made this happen.

I want to return to something I quoted at the very beginning. Anjem Choudary;“We believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam,” says the 47-year-old, calmly sipping tea and looking none the worse for having been swept up in a police raid just days earlier. “That may sound like some kind of James Bond movie — you know, Dr. No and world domination and all that. But we believe it.”

They believe that. What do we believe? Do we believe Jesus meant what He said on a mountainside 2,000 years ago? Ask and it will be given you. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened to you.

If we have a blank cheque, why is it that the muslims believe they're going to dominate the entire world. What do we believe. All they've got is useless allah.

The world isn't paying any attention to Jesus right now. They're scratching their collective heads and talking about allah. Anjem Choudary believes, and the muslims believe, allah is going to take over this world.

What are we doing about it? Spending our blank cheque on ingrown toenails?

IF we are, it's a reflection on what we believe as opposed to what they believe.

Jesus is up in heaven at the right hand of God. We're down here living luxuriantly while the battle rages somewhere else. Why are we not engaging? We have a Great King, at the ready.

Who will pray with me that God will #1, wake us from our slumber, and #2 do something radical, right here in Tonopah, Nevada, that will bring great glory to a Great King.