|#84 SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also, MAT 5:38-39.
The words from Psalter 87 are so beautifully applicable to the message of our text.
"Jehovah from His throne on high--Looks down with clear and searching eye--On all
that dwell below." There is such a preciousness for us if we learn how the Lord is
looking upon the children of men. It says, "And He that fashioned heart and
mind--Looks ever down on all mankind, The works of men to know." The Lord is looking
upon the thoughts and the intents of the heart. This is something that is so important for
us to understand; the Lord is looking for a heart religion.
As we begin our study of the fifth contrast Jesus taught between the teaching of the
scribes and Pharisees and the true spirit of the law, let's notice that Jesus again said,
"Ye have heard that it hath been said...But I say unto you." With this
expression, Jesus is saying there is a contrast between what He is teaching and what the
scribes and Pharisees have taught. He wants us to see where this contrast is. He wants us
to understand wherein lies the contrast between the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees
and the teaching of the true spirit and intent of the law.
We must analyze why Jesus uses this repetition. We have now read five times where He
has said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said...But I say unto you." He is
showing that a full circle has 360 degrees in it; Satan's gospel is always off just 180
degrees. If Satan went beyond 180 degrees, he comes back closer to the truth again, so he
teaches exactly 180 degrees from the truth, i.e., the exact opposite of the spirit and
intent of the law. Satan uses the very Word of God out of its context to teach the exact
opposite of God's real meaning of His Word. The Lord Jesus is using this repetition to
bring to our attention the necessity of seeing the contrast between the true teaching and
the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees.
Jesus points out in our text that the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees saying,
"An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," promoted revenge, retaliation, and
hatred. This was just 180 degrees away from the spirit in which that law was given in the
Old Testament. This Old Testament teaching of "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
tooth," was not the teaching of revenge. It was not the teaching of hatred. It was
not as the scribes and Pharisees taught. They were perverting the spirit and the intent of
Jesus contrasted such hypocrisy with the original intent of the law. Take notice what
the Lord Jesus tells us about these contrasts in MAT 5:17, "Think not that I am come
to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
In other words, He has not come to alter, amend, or destroy the law or the prophets.
Jesus says He has come "...to fulfil." He is saying He wants the fulfilling of
the law; He didn't come to abolish the law. His teachings are not perverting, altering, or
amending the law. He is teaching the thoughts and true intents of the law as it was given
in the Old Testament teaching. The scribes and Pharisees perverted the meaning and the
intent of the Old Testament teaching that was given to Moses by taking it out of context.
You have to understand that even a blessed truth can be made into a lie by taking it out
of context. Satan does this with the very Word of God; this is what the scribes and
Pharisees did. They took this statement: "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
tooth" out of context.
This law was given to Moses to assure that the judges would render righteous and proper
judgment. In every instance in the Old Testament when a reference was made to "an eye
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," it was referring to judgment rendered by
judges. A punishment sufficient to serve as a deterrent to the crime was to be rendered.
This law was also to insure against a judgment being rendered that was exorbitant. For a
minor crime, you were not to lose your life; there was not to be unreasonable punishment.
The measurement of punishment had to be exact. If you had caused the damage of someone's
eye, the punishment may not exceed that of removing an eye. In other words, the punishment
had to be equal to the crime. What is being taught in the Old Testament by "An eye
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" is that the punishment rendered by the judges
must be appropriate to the crime. It was not a license to seek revenge by individuals.
In EXO 21:22-25 we read, "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her
fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according
as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
[You see, it is in the context of judicial proceedings.] And if any mischief follow, then
thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." If you have committed
murder, then you must give your life. That is still true today.
Capital punishment is appropriate for a murderer, but capital punishment is not
appropriate for putting on a demonstration for democracy. It is wrong for the authorities
to kill people for taking part in peaceful demonstrations as they did in China in 1990.
The principle taught in our text is exactly the same as the intent of the law in the Old
Testament Scripture, i.e., that the wrong doer shall pay as the judges determine.
"...And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye,
tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound,
stripe for stripe."
With this Scripture the Lord is teaching that in the judicial process, justice must be
met in proper proportion with the crime. The punishment must be appropriate for the crime
committed to work as a deterrent against crime. In today's society, people commit murder
and receive three years in jail where they sit on a sofa in front of a television set;
then they are turned free. This is not proper administration of justice. This type of
sentence for such a crime is not a deterrent. What is happening? Murder is becoming
rampant. The Lord says that in the judicial process, the punishment must be appropriate to
This does not teach revenge, but as the Lord says in DEU 25:1-2, "If there be a
controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then
they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. And it shall be, if the wicked
man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten
before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number."
Understand this, they are coming before the judges. These judges have been ordained by
the Lord; they are there to administer justice. The Lord demands that the wicked be
condemned and the righteous must be justified. The Lord wants justice rendered to each
guilty person "...according to his fault..." The Lord does not want unjust
punishment, but neither does He want a criminal to go free. "An eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth" means the punishment must be equal to the crime, not severe and
unreasonable. It may not be less than the crime, but neither should it be more than the
DEU 25:3 says, "Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should
exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto
thee." The Lord is saying that He does not want excess punishment. He does not want
us to lose our life for having done a minor crime. Neither does He want us to have a minor
punishment for a major crime. The "eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" as
set forth in the Old Testament was to show that there must be proper administration of
justice. This is an important point to understand. If we look around in today's society,
we can see that where there is no deterrent, crime runs rampant; it is unrestrained
because punishments do not match the crimes.
PRO 17:15 says, "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just,
even they both are abomination to the LORD." Condemning a just man or justifying a
wicked man is equally abominable in the sight of the Lord. To turn loose a man who is
guilty of crime is as abominable to the Lord as to take a man who is totally innocent,
such as Naboth, and unjustly stone him to death.
The Old Testament references to "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" referred to
how the judges were not to have one manner of law for the stranger and another for the
citizen when they gave sentence. There may not be diverse weights. The judges must use one
manner of law. We see this in LEV 24:20-22, "Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth
for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. And he
that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to
death. [i.e., you don't put a man to death for killing a beast, but he has to make his
damage good; if he kills a man, he shall be put to death.] Ye shall have one manner of
law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your
God." The Lord does not want diverse weights in judgment.
We may not discriminate because a man is not of our race, our background, or not of our
church and so on. I have heard of some religions that believe there are no bounds on what
they can do to a person who is not of their religion. The Lord says, however, there is no
distinction between a stranger or one of your own people; justice must be the same.
The Old Testament principle of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" was to be used
by the courts to avoid perjury. We must see that the Lord does not want perjury; He does
not want us bringing lies before the court.
As we read the following Scripture, I want you to take notice that every time the Old
Testament speaks of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," it is always
in the matter of a judicial proceeding. DEU 19:18-19 says, "And the judges shall make
diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified
falsely against his brother [this is talking about a frame-up using perjury]; Then shall
ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the
evil away from among you."
This is putting justice in a proper balance. The symbol of justice is two weights on a
scale with a balanced beam. These verses speak about the meaning of this symbol. In other
words, when the judges make diligent inquisition and find the person lied, "Then
shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put
the evil away from among you."
Verse 20-21 continues, "And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall
henceforth commit no more any such evil among you." [The purpose and intent of this
is for it to be a deterrent against crime.] And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall
go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." The Lord
teaches in this text that He wants the administration of justice in the courts of justice
to be fair, to be equal. He wants the crime and the punishment in proper proportion. This
Old Testament principle was a guideline for justice in the courts so that the punishment
fits the crime.
The pharisaical teaching of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth," in the way of
revenge perverted the Old Testament teaching in LEV 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge,
nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself: I am the LORD." The way the scribes and Pharisees taught is totally
contrary to the teaching of the Old Testament. If the scribes and Pharisees had taken the
Word of God in its full context, if they had taken LEV 19:18 along with the Scriptures
where it says "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", such as EXO
21:22-35, they would have known that it pertains only to judicial proceedings. It does not
mean that an individual person goes out to avenge himself and take the law in his own
hands. It is absolutely against Scripture for any person to go out and take the law in his
"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people,
but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...." This comes to the teaching that the
Lord Jesus says in our text, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." When you
go out to avenge, to give "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", to take
the law into your own hands, Scripture says "...That ye resist not evil...."
"...but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other
also." This is what we are being taught in LEV 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge,
nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself: I am the LORD." Jesus was teaching the spirit of the law when He spoke in
The pharisaical teaching of, "eye for eye, tooth for tooth," in the way of
revenge flew squarely in the face of PRO 24:29, "Say not, I will do so to him
as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work." Does the
Scripture contradict itself? No, it does not; this is the spirit of the Old Testament law.
The verse clearly says that one should not say they will seek revenge. The scribes
and Pharisees took it out of context; they were teaching a revengeful spirit. They taught
as though every person had a duty to revenge and make sure to revenge at least equal.
Now if I were to judge how badly someone had damaged my name by going out and saying
nasty things about me, and I thought it was my duty to see that I defamed his name at
least equally, think of how there would be no end to the chaos. When we go out and use
"an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" in a revengeful spirit, chaos
The Old Testament says in PRO 24:29, "Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done
to me: I will render to the man according to his work." We are not to say this. We
read in PRO 20:22, "Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and
he shall save thee." The Lord is saying that we must look to the Lord to give
vengeance. Do you know why? The Lord knows the thoughts and intents of the heart; not only
that, He has also ordained judges. We are to bring our cause before the court to be judged
by impartial people. We are not to judge our own cause because we will very likely judge
in favor of ourselves. We are not to go out and "render to the man according to his
work." We do unto others as we would that they do unto us. We do not do unto others
as they have done unto us. The Lord forbids people to take the law into their own hands to
gain revenge. Judges are the ministers of God to administer justice.
In ROM 13:1 we read, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.[This means
not only judges, but every person the Lord has set in a position of authority or
governing.] For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of
God." We must understand that the Lord establishes government, the Lord establishes
the judicial process, the Lord establishes those that are in authority; the Lord has put
them there. Even ungodly kingdoms are established by the Lord for His own glory. ROM 9:17
says, "For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised
thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout
all the earth." God's ways are higher than our ways as we see in PSA 115:3, "But
our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased."
ROM 13:2 says, "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance
of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." This is telling
us that we must not take the law in our own hands. We must not go out as an individual and
take "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
Verse 3 continues, "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have
praise of the same." In other words, if we walk according to the will of God and do
that which is lawful and right, we have no need to fear the judges. We don't have to fear
revenge because the judges are there to protect us from evil.
Verse 4 begins with "For he is the minister of God to thee for good...." Who
is "he"? This refers to the judges; this is speaking about the judicial process.
If we are living in compliance with the laws of the land, when we see a Law Enforcement
Officer pass by, we should look to that man as a sense of security. We should have
absolutely no sense of fear at all. Do you know why? We should not fear because he is
there to enforce the law to protect us.
Continuing on with V:4 we read, "For he is the minister of God to thee for good.
But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he
is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
This is the judicial process; this is the law enforcement. They are the ordained ministers
of God, and they are the revengers for the transgression of the law. Scripture does not
teach the principle of revenge, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," on
a personal basis. It teaches the administration of justice through the judicial process.
The principle of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," administered by
the judges was to admonish the judges to judge with equity and justice--to punish the
guilty, and to be a deterrent against crime. This portion of Scripture is to teach the
judges how they are to administer justice.
The prophet Isaiah was sent by the Lord to show His displeasure against inequity and
injustice. Injustice and inequity are most abominable in the sight of the Lord. The
prophet Isaiah teaches us in ISA 1:21-22, "How is the faithful city become an harlot!
it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is
become dross, thy wine mixed with water." What does the Lord mean when He tells us
the silver has become dross? Silver and wine are both symbols of purity, and the Lord
shows how both are polluted. The dross, scum on the surface of the silver, is being used,
i.e., He is saying that justice and equity have fallen on their face. Wine is the symbol
of sanctification. In the process of making wine the dregs, or impurities settle to the
bottom, and as the wine is emptied from one vessel into another vessel, the impurities
stay behind; therefore, you have sweet wine. The Lord says the wine is being diluted with
water; it is no longer pure!
ISA 1:23 says, "Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one
loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the
cause of the widow come unto them." The Lord is telling us through the prophet Isaiah
how displeased He is with injustice and improperly administered justice.
Therefore, the Lord will send relief. How? He will remove those judges, and He will put
in judges who will bring forth justice. This is what it says in ISA 1:24-26,
"Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will
ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: [These enemies are the judges
who give perverted judgments.] And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away
thy dross, and take away all thy tin: [What dross is He talking about? He is saying He
will take the perverted judgments that are supposed to be justice and He will purge them.]
And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning:
afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city." The
Lord is saying He is so displeased with injustice that "an eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth" must be the balance on which justice is weighed. The Lord is so
jealous of justice because it is the habitation of His throne.
ISA 5:7 says "For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and
the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression;
for righteousness, but behold a cry." The Lord was so displeased because justice was
not being met. The teaching of the scribes and Pharisees perverted the very spirit and
intent of the law by applying the court's principles to personal life and teaching
revenge, oppression, and unrighteousness which caused this cry for justice. The perversion
of the scribes and Pharisees teachings generated this crime, and oppression replaced
judgment based on Godly principles.
DEU 19:18-21 taught that, "The judges shall make diligent inquisition," to
see that justice was rendered, but the scribes and Pharisees taught that the individual
must do this on his own--thus taking the law into his own hands. They taught that if
someone did you harm, you must make diligent inquisition; you must seek revenge if
something is not equal.
This pharisaical teaching would mean that if I felt that someone had said or done
something to damage my name or reputation, I must damage his name or reputation an equal
amount. How do I know when it is equal? Revenge is so diabolical. This pharisaical
teaching was just 180 degrees from the spirit and intent of both tables of the law of
love. Love means self-sacrifice and self-denial. They taught the exact reverse of the law
Jesus said in our text, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." If
someone breaks the law, we have a duty to report it to those who enforce the law for the
good of society, but we may not take the law in our own hands to revenge. If a person
knows of someone who commits a crime, it is their duty to inform those who enforce the
law. Do you know why? It is their duty because justice must be met, but it certainly is
not their duty to take the law into my own hands.
The Apostle Peter taught the spirit of the law as Jesus did in 1PE 3:8-12,
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren,
be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but
contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a
blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from
evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:[i.e., we don't go out to revenge ourselves by
putting another's name down] Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and
ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto
their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." The Lord is
looking for a spirit of love.
As a result of our fall in Adam, we by nature are contentious, very defensive, and
quick to become tense. The scribes and Pharisees teaching of "an eye for an eye, and
a tooth for a tooth," promoted the seeds of man's fallen nature. Jesus taught the
spirit of the law saying in MAT 5:39, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil:
but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." The
spirit of the law is to resist evil; this is exactly what Peter taught in 1PE 3:9,
"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing...." This is resisting
evil. Christ is teaching that when you go out to revenge you are not resisting evil.
When we learn to see into our own failings, we understand what Jesus said in MAR
11:25-26, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that
your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not
forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." When
we start to understand our own heart, then we understand what Jesus said "and when ye
stand praying, forgive." When we start to understand our own heart, we are not so
quick to revenge and to render "railing for railing."
By nature, we are quick to the trigger to defend self, but when our eyes are focused on
all the debt Christ paid on our behalf, we have not one stone left to throw. As we learn
to look into the mirror of the law of love and learn to see ourselves, we see how much
there is in our own heart that needs forgiveness. We then start to understand the little
that we have to forgive by comparison.
When we become Christlike, we are able to beat our swords into plowshares, and our
energies are exhausted in developing and producing the fruit of love instead of murder.
Our swords, which we use to murder our brother with tongue and heart murder, are beat into
plowshares. Then our spears are beat into pruning hooks for harvesting the fruits of love.
Our words are spent to edify our brother instead of to pierce him through.
In ISA 11:6 we read, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard
shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and
a little child shall lead them." When spiritual, attacking wolves receive the Spirit
of Christ, they shall lie down with the kids of the flock. When the wolves that dwell
within our hearts are converted and brought into the Spirit of Christ, then they can lay
down with the lambs of the fold of Christ. When those spiritual leopards receive the
Spirit of Christ, they shall lie down with the kids of the flock.
We read in ISA 11:7, "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall
lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." When the Lord works
that new creation, that work of grace in the heart, when the Spirit of Christ is quickened
in the soul, those spiritual, clawing bears receive the Spirit of Christ. They shall feed
with the oxen and the fierce lions shall eat straw with the oxen. All the raging of the
spirit of Satan that dwells in us will be purged out; it will be gone. That Spirit of
Christ makes it so we can lay down with the kids of the flock.
ISA 11:8 says, "And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the
weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den." An asp is one of the most
deadly snakes, and this Scripture says a child will play on the hole of the asp. What it
means is that venom which comes forth from the evil heart will not be there anymore. When
a heart that is filled with cockatrice eggs is renewed by the Spirit of Christ, the
cockatrice eggs within will not be hatched into little serpents by evil thoughts. The
child will be safe when such are converted--when they become Christlike. V:9 continues,
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full
of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
The teaching of the scribes and Pharisees held fast the promise of Satan in Eden,
"...ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," GEN 3:5. Think of the millions
of gods that are being worshiped today! Idol worship is very much alive. Who is that god,
that filthy, ugly monster? Have you ever stopped to analyze how that ugly, monster,
"I," has to be worshiped? Everybody has to be careful that they do not offend
"I." Everybody has to see that "I" receives honor; "I" must
be worshipped. Why? "I" must be worshiped because we became like a god. Every
person who has not the Spirit of Christ will naturally esteem their own opinion above
By nature, we build the tower of Babel. The name "Babel" is a Hebrew word
which means confusion. What happened at Babel? The Lord came down and confused the
language of the people. Why? This confusion was sent because they were in harmony to build
themselves a name. They were going to make themselves an idol; they were worshipping man.
The curse of confusion in the world today shows how God is still confusing our
language. Why? He does so because there is not a oneness of purpose, mind, or spirit among
those that are in the flesh. Why is this? ROM 1:21-22 says, "Because that, when they
knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their
imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they
became fools." It is because human reasoning is held above the authority of God's
Word that God gives people over to confusion. ROM 1:25-26 says, "Who changed the
truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who
is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:
for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature."
Because of the Spiritual bondage under the king of confusion, every unregenerate person
outside the Spirit of Christ is a god in themselves. They are still reading that promise
that was given in the Garden of Eden, "...ye shall be as gods, knowing good and
evil." In other words, you are deciding what is right or wrong; you do your thing;
you do and exercise your "right."
The history recorded in Scripture about Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, typifies and
describes the heart of man in its fallen nature. This history is something that I think is
so beautiful if you understand it. He was the king of Babylon was he not? The word
"Babylon" is taken from the root word "Babel" in the Hebrew, which
means confusion; in other words, he was the king of confusion. Nebuchadnezzar, i.e., the
king of confusion, rules in the heart of man by nature.
Watch what happens in Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom of confusion. The name Nebuchadnezzar
means "defender of the boundaries." This is interesting when you really study
this out. By nature we are all defenders of our own boundaries seeking to avenge ourselves
with an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. We are all going to defend our own
rights; we are all going to defend our own boundaries. This is a Nebuchadnezzar. He is a
type of fallen man; he is the king of confusion. What is the result? As the defender of
boundaries, he is going to revenge with that spirit of "an eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth."
When we come under the spirit of the law, we understand what Jesus said in our text MAT
5:39, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on
thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." In other words, we see that
Nebuchadnezzar is dethroned. That revenger, that defender of the boundary, that protecting
our own right has to be over-thrown. Why? If the revenger in us is not overthrown,
"...ye do resist not evil...."
When we come into the Spirit of Christ, we understand what Jesus said, "I say unto
YOU." Then these words of our Saviour become personal. They are not words
spoken in a general sense, but are spoken "I say unto you." This means you
and I; it means each one of us must take this home personally. It means
Nebuchadnezzar has to be dethroned in my heart and in your heart; the king of confusion
has to be over-thrown. We stop protecting our own boundaries; we stop each man standing
for his own rights. We can say with 1PE 2:15, "For so is the will of God, that with
well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." We start
understanding that the pronoun "Ye or you" means you and me personally because
we must be Christlike. The Lord Jesus "...threatened not; but committed himself to
him that judgeth righteously," 1PE 2:23.
We learn to see the sinfulness of that sin, "...ye resist not
evil." You see that you personally are not resisting evil when you defend your
own boundaries, when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of confusion, rules in your heart with a
revengeful spirit seeking "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" on a
When the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and convinces us of sin, we see the true
nature of the wolves, lepers, bears, lions, thorns and thistles that dwell within. We
start to see that our hearts are a cage of unclean birds and that, by nature, we have a
fountain of corruption within. Now we have to come to the fountain that is open for all
sin and uncleanness to be cleansed of what? We must be cleansed of sin! Then by grace we
can beat those swords into plow shares and those spears into pruning hooks. Then we can
live by the spirit of the law as Jesus said in MAT 5:39-42, "But I say unto you, That
ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the
other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have
thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to
him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
This is the spirit of the law.
Oh, what a blessing it is when the Holy Spirit whispers into our souls from ISA
55:12-13, "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains
and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field
shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of
the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an
everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." It is such a blessed time when the Lord
gives us to see how all that thorny ground in our heart will be broken up. The fallowed
ground will be broken up and all the wolves and leopards will be tamed. Then that kingdom
of Nebuchadnezzar in our hearts which tries to defend all our borders must give way and
that Babylonian state of confusion in our hearts begins to fall before the King of peace.
When the King of peace comes in our hearts, all the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar topples and
is thrown to the ground.
God came down at the building of that tower of Babel and confused their language, but
now think of the contrast on the great day of Pentecost. What happened on that great day
of Pentecost? ACT 2:6-11 says, "The multitude came together, and were confounded,
because that every man heard them speak in his own language. [Where the Spirit of the law
is, there is liberty from the curse of the law, i.e., confusion.] And they were all amazed
and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And
how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? [They could not understand
how the confusion was taken away.] Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in
Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia,
in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and
proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works
What did the Lord do? He took away that state of confusion, and every man heard them
speak clearly in his own language. The Spirit of God was pouring forth, and in the
out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, confusion flowed away. The kingdom of Babylon fell flat by
the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit to usher in the King of Peace. When the Holy Spirit
comes and instills the Kingdom of Christ into our soul, all the confusion disappears.
Satan has his counterfeit for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit removed all the
confusion so every man heard in his own language wherein he was born, but Satan's
counterfeit for the out pouring of the Holy Spirit brings confusion by speaking in
languages unknown to any. Satan is always off just 180 degrees. Satan's counterfeit for
the Holy Spirit was sharply reproved in 1CO 14:23, "If therefore the whole church be
come together into one place, and all speak with tongues [i.e. bringing confusion by
speaking in unknown languages so they cannot understand each other], and there come in
those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?"
Satan's counterfeit could be identified in that the Holy Spirit was sent to end the
confusion of languages, not to cause confusion. The out-pouring of the Spirit was the end
to all confusion "...that every man heard them speak in his own language."
In 1CO 14:33 we read, "For God [the Holy Spirit of God] is not the author of
confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." When the Lord comes with
His Spirit, it does not generate confusion; "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there
is liberty" from the confusion of Babel. The Holy Spirit takes away the confusion of
the languages. He took away the confusion in thinking: that oneness of purpose was
EPH 4:3-4 says, "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your
calling." God is not the author of confusion. When the Holy Spirit goes forth He does
not bring confusion, but He brings peace. When our hearts are filled with the Spirit of
Christ, we have peace.
ISA 26:1-3 says, "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We
have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates,
that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Keeping Him in perfect peace is the greatest blessing that we can ever experience this
side of the grave. When the perfect peace of the Spirit is flowing within us, when the
peace of God which passes all understanding becomes our portion, then we may have trials
and we may have struggles, but in those trials and struggles we will have peace. We will
have a perfect submission to the will of God and await His will. He says "...because
he trusteth in thee."
We are then able to sit like Joseph in prison waiting for God to fulfill His promises
and be able to go from prison to the throne. We are able to come unto the throne of grace
and pour out all our heart's desires "...In perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on
thee: because he trusteth in thee." All the confusion, all of the "an eye for an
eye, and a tooth for a tooth," all the Babylonian kingdom is brought to an end when
the perfect Prince of Peace establishes His kingdom, and makes His abode in our hearts.