From the book: Sermon on the Mount. Vol. 3

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Sermon on the Mount, #28
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AN EYE FOR AN EYE

#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 the law.

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 the crime.

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 crime.

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 own hands.

"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 our text.

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 results.

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 of love.

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 others.

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 personal basis.

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 of God."

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 restored.

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. Amen.


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