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He who is not with Me is against Me Mt. 12:22 - 37 Pt. 1

August 23, 2015 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 12:22–12:37

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22Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”
25And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26“If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27“If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
30“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
31“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
33“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35“The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

What a remarkable age we live in. Words words words.

Daniel 12:1 - 4 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.

I wanted to introduce this passage with the idea of words and knowledge that has increased in our life times. Exploded, really. So I wanted to read to you these words that Daniel wrote 2,500 years ago.

In the google search block at the top of my browser I entered 4 words. Go thy way Daniel. Then I clicked on any number of returns that came up that take me to Daniel Chapter 12.

20 years ago I would have taken this same Bible you see here in front of me, and turned to Daniel 12. Then I would have written down all of these words on a yellow tablet. Some copied from Daniel and some of my own. I knew where the words were at, I simply wanted to go to the Bible Hub dot com page and copy them from there and paste them into this document I'm typing.

and knowledge will increase. Thus said the man dressed in white linen who spoke to Daniel. He said a lot of things, but those words are what struck me just as I considered Jesus warning about words.

At the time of the end, knowledge will increase.

NPR, Dec. 16, 2010
Perhaps the biggest collection of words ever assembled has just gone online: 500 billion of them, from 5 million books published over the past four centuries.

The words make up a searchable database that researchers at Harvard say is a new and powerful tool to study cultural change.

The words are a product of Google's book-scanning project. The company has converted approximately 15 million books so far into electronic documents. That's about 15 percent of all books ever published. It includes books published in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian and Hebrew.

That was 5 years ago. That 500 billion words is just a drop in the bucket. There are trillions of words in databases stored on line and you can find out anything, in nano seconds.

But, you still can't find out God. Men can search through trillions of other mens words and they don't know . . God. He is beyond finding out. What He generously gives to us is all in this book. A mere 788,280 words by one count. A paltry number compared to the trillions on google.

A manageable number really. 66 books of words. Easier to find than ever. Type any 3 in a sequence from memory and google will tell you chapter and verse. Quite remarkable.

What's the point of my rambling? This. Trillions of words spoken by men are recorded for us. Billions of ideas. Trillions of words and every one of them ever spoken by anyone anywhere must be judged by the 788,000 words in this book. This book is truth. All of the other words stand or fall, by what the words in this book say.

And Jesus says; Google may have trillions of words in it's data base, but God has every word ever spoken, in His data base. And He will judge men by those words. The most casual of words.

But we're jumping the gun really. I've jumped to the end of what Jesus said in this teaching. So, how did He get there? What happened that brought these words from Jesus lips? And what does He mean by all the things He says here. Eternity hangs in the balance here. He said so. We should listen.

Here's our outline.

Incident vss. 22-23
Indictment vs. 24
Indisputable logic vss. 25-30
Irreconcileable sin vss. 31, 32
Impeccable argument vss. 33-35
Insolvency exposed vss. 36, 37

I couldn't resist doing that just once. I doubt I'll make a habit of it.

Let's go back and begin with the incident.

22Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”

Notice this is a compound miracle. We've seen Jesus authority over the demon realms and His authority over natural realms but here we have a combination. Authority over the demon who was causing the disfunction, and authority over the natural realm restoring sight and speech.

He could have done this miracle in a boat with a mega-storm and then created food to feed the man after He calmed the storm and healed the man and dismissed the demon. It wouldn't have mattered to the pharisees. But it's a double miracle. Double authority. Demon possession and sickness.

By the way. Speaking of trillions of words. Matthew can't be accused of adding many to that number. An amazing economy of words. 26 to describe an event that shattered the spirit world and the natural world. Verse 22 is 26 words.

We've talked a lot about miracles. Miracles are what? Sign posts. Sign posts that point to God. They point to Jesus as Son of God. And this miracle was having that effect. These folks reacted to the supernatural in a most natural manner.

The spirit world crushed! The natural world, overcome with the supernatural. By words out of this man's mouth. These folks had the most logical, the ONLY logical reaction. The finger of God is in our midst. No man can do what this man does . . with a word from His mouth. No one!

Vs. 23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”

That's the right response! That response is on the pathway to knowing God. If we were there that day we would be thinking, Yes! Hellelujah! Yes! This is the Son of David! The Son of God.

But the religious leaders of Israel immediately poison this crowd. This is the indictment of the pharisees. 24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

The responsibility of those men for doing that is terrifying.

Mark 9:42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.

Some little ones, some folks with tiny baby faith are wondering out loud, is this the Son of David? Is this the messiah? Is this the Holy One of Israel who speaks and demons flee and body's are healed?

And the pharisees see that tiny flower and crush it! Is it any surprise that we'll see Jesus saying Woe! to these religious leaders, these pharisees. They've just crushed something most precious to God. A tiny budding faith. Hell waits for these. A greater judgement than the sodomites who try to rape angels is waiting for these religious folk who spoil God's pleasant flower.

So what is their argument. Who is beelzebul? What exactly are they accusing Jesus of?

The threat to the religious leaders is that the people will follow Jesus and not them. They'll lose their grip on the masses. Their power base. Their authority. They've got to come up with something fast.

Is this the Son of David?? He obviously has authority in the spiritual realms. He just sent demons packing. The issue is, how did He make the demons obey Him.

Their argument is that Jesus has a connection with Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Beelzebul is sometimes associated with Satan himself. Other times seen as a chief fallen angel in the fallen angel hierarchy. Like Michael the archangel is a prince, Beelzebul would be a prince of the demons.

So they're saying yeah, He made the demon flee, but only because He's in cahoots with the chief demon. Jesus has the head of the demons at His command to do His bidding in order to make it look like He has authority over demons. But it's a trick. He's made a deal with the prince of demons who makes the lesser demons take a hike.

Jesus is aligned with Satan. That's how He does it. I told you they had to come up with something fast. Thinking on their feet. Come up with an explanation to poison this beginning belief. This baby faith. Jesus has Satan on His side. That's the power source.

Vs. 25 is interesting. It doesn't say, Jesus overheard them saying these things. It says He read their minds.

Wouldn't you start putting 2 and 2 together. The guy who's connected to Satan can also read our minds? He knows what we're thinking, what we're going to say, before we say it?? Indisputable logic His argument is impossible to dispute.

25And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.

Besides what Jesus is going to teach us in the spiritual realm, here's a little free message to our country. Congress, you would do well to take heed. This logic is true on every level. Civil war in any kingdom will bring that kingdom to it's knees. This nation only survived because of the providence of God. Jesus is talking about civil war.

And then He takes His argument to a realm that we can't see. The Bible tells us there are spirits and angels. Innumerable. Some fallen. Those are the demon realms. Paul tells us they are organised. Ranked like armies. Some princes in high command. Some seargents. Some grunts.

Thousands upon thousands of them. Organised. Obedient to those over them. All with a common purpose. They are at war with God. The holy angels are at war with them. We can't see them. We can read this book and learn truth and certainly see the results of their war though.

They're fighting over this rock that's hurling through space that we live on. Earth. Go back to a rudimentary line in a prayer that every child should learn for a life time. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, like it is in heaven.

Satan and his realms have a temporary abode on this earth. Satan has a kingdom, and authority to reign, on this earth. Satan has armies of demons who are at work, with human dupes that they use, to do evil, on this earth.

God's will is the rule everywhere else in the universe, except for this earth. This rock that He gave authority to man, and man defaulted that authority to Satan and his hordes of evil spirits.

It's all very real, and we can't see them, but . . . we can read the headlines daily as evil incrementally wins battle after battle after battle in our nation that was set up to honor the principles of the 788,000 words in this book.

Death by murder. Abortion. Euthanasia. All that darkness. Satan and his realms. Marriage, family, every definition given in this book, obliterated. By 5 erring humans in a court. You think Satan and his demons weren't behind Roe V Wade? You think there wasn't dancing in the Satan ranks when the same court redefined what God clearly defined in this book?

We can't see the demons, but we can clearly see what they are doing. Bringing this nation down! There have been headlines in the New York Times within the past 2 months calling for this book and anyone who believes it's premises and would act on them to be crushed. They are after the book. They want to crush these 800,000 words in this book. Crush anyone who believes them enough to act on them.

It's getting to be an exciting time to be alive. Back to our text. Jesus talks about these things exactly like I've just been talking about. Army against army. We can't see them, but He can. And they can see Him! And His authority trumps their supreme leader. They must obey Him. Early on they would shout out in fear when He arrived. He has given the blanket order to shut up. They have to obey Him. No more shouting out.

Listen to Jesus words as if He's talking about 2 armies in a battle.

Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26“If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?

That word kingdom is not talking about real estate. It's talking about an authority to reign. The president of our nation has a kingdom, over our military. He has an authority to reign. He can command them and they obey.

The Army and the Navy and the Air Force and the Marines each have a chief officer who has a kingdom over those realms. An authority to reign. The chief officers, generals and admirals have authority over their respective realms. That is a kingdom in the sense of this word. It's talking about authority over realms of beings. Listen to it again;

Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26“If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?

Here Jesus recognizes that Satan does in fact exist and does in fact have an authority to reign, a kingdom over the demons who reek havoc on this earth. And war in those ranks is illogical for them to achieve their evil intent. Satan doesn't cast out satan.

27“If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.

Remember the story of the seven sons of Sceva. Those were jews who were in fact working in the spiritual realm with help from God to cast out demons. I don't think that was common in their world, but we have that one incident, and here Jesus seems to recognize that God did have some righteous folk who were doing this with His power.

Jesus says, If you're going to hook me up with Satan to accomplish what I just did, who do your own sons have a connection with? Their logic is impossible. Their logic is inconsistent.

Evil logic is always inconsistent. This book is the base for consistency. When you jettison the truths of this book, consistency goes away. The logic of evil requires no consistency.

28“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

What did Jesus preach from day one of His ministry. What's the first recorded words out of His mouth after the temptation in the wilderness?

The kingdom of heaven, is here. The authority to reign of heaven is here. The authority of heaven, the kingdom of God, has come to earth where Satan dwells. The war of heaven with the authority on this earth, is declared.

A man who is demon possessed is mute, tongue tied, and blind, and Jesus over-powers the demons of hell who have caused this and makes the blind man see and the mute man speak, and the demons are ordered out of him.

That was a demonstration of God's authority over Satan's authority. The finger of God just stirred up the water in Satan's pond. The logical answer is obvious. Some one with authority that trumps Satans authority, is present. Thy will be done on earth, like it is in heaven. That just happened. The kingdom of God has come upon you.

29“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Here is a word picture that illustrates exactly what we've been talking about. Two opposing armies at war. A conqueror arrives, binds up the king of the opposing army, and carries off whatever He pleases.

Jesus lands on Satan's real estate where Satan has authority, and He binds up Satan and orders any of Satan's hosts to do His pleasure, and they obey the King who has more authority.

I've been thinking about this, this week. In view of our eroding religious liberties, our opponents openly declaring war on anyone audacious enough to believe this ancient book and act on it. All of a sudden, anyone who believes this ancient book and would act on the things it says, is an extremist.

We're losing ground folks. And quickly. And suddenly I'm waking up to the fact that in Satan's world, we are massively out numbered. It just dawned on me as I studied this passage. We're grossly outnumbered by evil in sheer numbers.

I grew up oblivious to that because I was born into this time period in a democracy founded on truths from this book. I took that for granted. Good and evil seemed to be in a balance that was workable. I never considered the numbers.

The truth is we who belong to God, who live in Satan's world, are massively outnumbered. Hundreds to one. I'm a pessimist. I don't think it's thousands to one, but certainly, hundreds. In giant population centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco and New York, it could be 1000's to 1.

By pure numbers alone, Satan could crush us. Think about it. The newspaper just published the number 3,000 who live in Tonopah. We don't have 30 people sitting here. Pure numbers; we're overwhelmed. Satan could crush us. Except for this verse.

29“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

We are massively out numbered, but we have a King who trumps the king of this world.

Why are we losing ground then? Why is Satan winning new inroads every day? Only because it is in the plan of God for this place for this time.

The darkness is increasing and the light is decreasing. God is in ultimate control. He still has the strong man bound, but events are leading up to the images already given to us in John's revelation of Jesus.

There's no picture of Mayberry and Sheriff Taylor and Opie and Aunt Bee in the book of Revelation. That's where we're going. And God our King is in full control.

Vs. 30“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

This is as far as we're going to get this morning. We only made it through 3 of our 6 "I's" in our outline. But the things said before and after this pivotal verse encompass the great drama of the entire Bible.

The 788,000 words of this book can be boiled down to these 18 words.

Really?? REALLY??? That's quite a statement Jim.

He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Folks, it's the war of the worlds out there. Satan and his hordes and all the people on earth that he can dupe into following him, against the God of the universe.

This book describes that battle. How we lost control in the garden. How sin entered the world and men were cast out of God's holy realm into Satan's world. How God planned to regain this lost world. How He dealt with the problem of sin by sending His own son to die in our place. How the victory was proven by the resurrection from the dead of this Jesus. How He ascended back into heaven and reigns supreme at the right hand of God. And how He, Jesus, will return to this world and cataclysmically depose Satan and his hosts and rule here, on this earth, for a thousand years.

It's all right here. 780,000 words. It's an easy read. Get busy.

And Jesus says, there are only two sides in this battle. There's no neutral ground. We're pulling WITH Jesus, or we're working against Jesus.

That's huge. The book illustrates us as valuable, but not sovereigns. Humans, people, are valuable enough that God came and died the death that sin caused, in our place in order to purchase us. To redeem us.

But in view of the image Jesus is giving us here, we are not sovereigns. Independents. There are no free agents. We are slaves either on one side of this battle, or the other. Soldiers and slaves are basically the same thing.

In Matthew 11, at the great invitation of Jesus, we're shown just that way. Let's quickly re-consider what He said there.

25At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26“Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

In those verses, God is ultimately sovereign over who enters His kingdom. He hides the light from some and reveals it to others, according to His good pleasure.

Then it says Jesus has been given all authority. And then Jesus throws the doors of heaven wide open and says Come unto me! Anyone can come! Come!! and do what? Take His yoke upon you.

We are slaves either way folks. It's the war of the worlds, and we are slaves on one side of the battle, or the other.

But here's the thing. It's going to get real scary and real ugly before it's over, and this book has already declared the winner. You're a slave, on one side, or the other.

Oh! come over to the side that's easy. The side that's pleasant. The side with real joy, for etenity. The side where there is rest, even in the midst of conflict. The side that's winning, even though it looks like darkness is winning at the moment. Be a slave for Jesus.

Jesus says; “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

I urge you, as obedient slaves, to give yourselves completely to Him, to be under His yoke, gathering for His glory. That offer is wide open. Still. There is urgency. The battle lines are getting well defined. Get on the side that's winning.

This is what we call a "no brainer". Yet there isn't 1 in a hundred in this town who are slaves on Jesus side of the battle.

We christians, I'm preaching to myself now, we need to see ourselves as slaves in an army involved in a great battle, and live each day for the advancement of the causes of our King.

He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Let's pray.