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Lesson # Matt. 10:17-18
Study Material - Matt. 10:17-18
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
17 But [de] beware [prosecho] of [apo] men [anthropos] : for [gar] they will deliver [paradidomi] you [humas] up [paradidomi] to [eis] the councils [sunedrion] , and [kai] they will scourge [mastigoo] you [humas] in [en] their [autos] synagogues [sunagoge] ;
18 And [kai] ye shall be brought [ago] before [epi] governors [hegemon] and [kai] [de] kings [basileus] for my [heneka] sake [emou] , for [eis] a testimony [marturion] against them [autos] and [kai] the Gentiles [ethnos] . KJV-Interlinear
17 'But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. NAS
We have seen the threat which exists in this world (the wolves of the jungle). We have seen the attitude which we should take in the face of that threat (be smart but maintain your integrity). Now for the persecution.
Our enemies or agents of adversity come from religion, government, family, and society in general. But people are not the real enemy in life. They are merely the agents turmoil. What, you say? Agents? An agent is as representative, knowing or even unknowing of someone else. Now here would be a good time for a test, but since we are not really interactive on this study, we can only pretend to take a test. This on the honor system. Promise you won' peek at the answer, Eph. 6:12. Write your answer down first and cover the next paragraph.
Some of you peeked, I know. Ok, our fight is against higher powers - namely Satan. And our armor of protection is Bible doctrine in the soul (spiritual maturity).
Since we cannot face Satan directly, we are forced to face him indirectly, and that comes to us in the form of all manner of false doctrines, false philosophies, false religions, false ideas (even true ideas with false interpretations), and so forth.
Satan is said to be the big deceiver of the nations. He deceived all the angels who followed him. One-third of them even have held onto that deceit. He brought deception into this world first through the serpent in the Garden and fooled Eve, then his deceptions continued in human history in various forms of Satanism, false religion, false concepts of various types. And this false wisdom has been handed down from generation to generation throughout history. Each generation has added its own little twists to the beliefs of the generation preceding.
Deceptions are not limited to one on one contact with friends of family, but they run rampant throughout society, from the lowest ranks to the highest offices of the land. Even the institutions that supposedly were established for the promotion of faith in God have their false side. The synagogues as mentioned in this passage (or any theological organization promoting false teachings) can become a source of great adversity for believers in Christ.
Around the world we have seen many religions that would just as soon shoot you as to look at you, unless of course you subscribe to their point of view.
Governments become anti-christ vessels when they pursue ideals contrary to those taught in the Bible. This does not mean that a government should promote Christianity. That would probably result in an even greater distortion of Christianity and tyranny for society. Islam is a good example of a religion that when woven into national leadership, becomes cruel and inhumane toward its citizens and the world at large.
By the way we should view Christianity not as a religion, but as a relationship with God through Christ. This is an important distinction. Religion looks to mans efforts of rising to the levels which will satisfy God. And of course we have already seen that any rejection of Gods Plan (Christ on the Cross - mans efforts are excluded) is in itself a rejection of God, and therefore false.
People, society in general, are cruel or a source of cruelty. We face politics in the office and in the social circles. Family can be cruel as well. Pressures from family can divide ones attentions, and family can sponsor man distractions that can pull you away from your Bible study.
Institutions such as government and churches, business, and charities, and any organization can become a source of difficulty for the believer. We can be subjected to ostracism, ridicule, bias, prejudice, and even outright condemnation for our belief. We can even fall on economic hard times and that in itself might feed the gossip fires against us.
Regardless of our situation, we should not focus on the problem or predicament that we are in, but instead focus on our overall objective - spiritual maturity. Pressures will come and go. We know this because Jesus Christ is in control of history. So fret not at whatever your adversity might be. Your trouble might be of a limited nature (perhaps you are worried about something in the next few days), or your trouble might last you throughout your life here on earth (such as a permanent handicap of some kind). No matter!
Whatever your difficulty, it will cease one day. Whether in this life or the next, it will cease, and if you have been faithful to your spiritual life, then there will be great blessing both during this life (despite your problems, despite your enemies) as well as in the next.
You are a testimony to all of history. Angels watch, as we have already studied. History records. And one day you will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and receive from Him, the highest of honors. Something that nothing in this world can even come close to matching.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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