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Lesson # Matt. 12:43-45
Study Material - Matt. 12:43-45
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43 [de] When [hotan] the unclean [akathartos] spirit [pneuma] is gone [exerchomai] out of [apo] a man [anthropos] , he walketh [dierchomai] through [dia] dry [anudros] places [topos] , seeking [zeteo] rest [anapausis] , and [kai] findeth [heurisko] none [ou] .
44 Then [tote] he saith [lego] , I will return [epistrepho] into [eis] my [mou] house [oikos] from whence [hothen] I came out [exerchomai] ; and [kai] when he is come [erchomai] , he findeth [heurisko] it empty [scholazo] , swept [saroo] , and [kai] garnished [kosmeo] .
45 Then [tote] goeth he [poreuomai] , and [kai] taketh [paralambano] with [meta] himself [heautou] seven [hepta] other [heteros] spirits [pneuma] more wicked [poneroteros] than himself [heautou] , and [kai] they enter in [eiserchomai] and dwell [katoikeo] there [ekei] : and [kai] the last [eschatos] state of that [ekeinos] man [anthropos] is [ginomai] worse than [cheiron] the first [protos] . Even so [houto] shall it be [esomai] also [kai] unto this [taute] wicked [poneros] generation [genea] . KJV-Interlinear
43 'Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 'Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 'Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.' NAS
Here is a parable which compares the moral life with a spiritual life and an evil life. The moral life is in fact an evil life in disguise. Jesus compares the moral life of the Pharisees to that of a man who has been possessed by a demon (unclean spirit), and that possessed man had his demon removed, but even though he was no longer possessed, he failed to fill his home (body) with something better, therefore he was susceptible to the repossession of the spirit and worst than that, more unclean spirits moved in and the man was worse off than before.
He would have been far better off as an immoral person who had recognized his shortfall and repented to God, rather than a moral person who did not 'need' God.
The Pharisees, as we have already seen have lived very stringent moral lives. They followed a rigid, complex, and demanding code, or set of regulations that controlled their entire lives. They looked to this pattern of life as their ticket into a moral heaven and they did not recognize God as being necessary in their lives, but looked to God as someone who would give them the stamp of approval for their 'moral efforts.'
The Pharisees had so followed their life style of self righteousness that they had become 'self sufficient' in their own eyes. And this concept was not unique to their own thinking. They did not originate the idea of self sufficiency. They borrowed it from scripture. You will recall the story of Moses and the burning bush and the 'I Am' name of God and what that means or a describes of God. God is all powerful and self sufficient. There is nothing more that God needs. There is no one and no thing that can provide anything additional to God that God doesn't already have.
Thus the Pharisees, and anyone who maintains a similar attitude (self righteous, indifferent and so forth), followed their pattern of life to such a degree that they became 'self sufficient and self sustaining' in it. Of course they ignored the world of hypocrisy in which they lived. They lived high on the hog as it were. The Temple activities had become such a profitable enterprise that God was secondary to their annual budget and sales planning. You'll recall the money changers and so forth where Jesus overturned their tables in the Temple. At least He will be doing that later in His ministry.
When Jesus declared them as evil in their righteousness, they not only rejected Him but they became antagonistic, then hate filled them with rage and finally they crucified Him (murder). Their self righteousness was so real to them that they failed to see the illusion in which they lived
Now in the man who was demon possessed, the demon left the man. The reason was not given but implied that the demon left due to an order or directive from God. Demons, which are simply another name for a fallen angel (those who have rebelled against God in the great rebellion of Satan long, long ago), are disembodied spirits. A spirit is a name for a life form. The spirit or 'pneuma' or breath is a form of life. This spirit is unclean - wicked, evil, and without a home. He seeks residence in something or someone. Warm humans are the preferred site of residence. The spirit would not leave unless forced to leave, and since there is no other power greater than Demons in this universe other than God then there is no other power by which demons can be ordered about. So the conclusion is that the demon is now removed and is roaming about without a body.
Two things occur here. The demon is roaming and looking for a new home, and the man who was possessed now is demon free and ready to take on a new indwelling the spiritual life. The demon finding no other suitable home meets up with other demons and they get together and decide to go back together into the previous home of the first demon. The find the home still there and available. What does that mean? The man though given a new opportunity in life remained indifferent to God and had not accepted God. The man had only to rely on his morality for his life (comparison to the Pharisees to whom Jesus is speaking) and that is not enough.
The home (the mans body) is swept clean and unoccupied (no faith in Christ, no indwelling of the Holy Spirit, no spiritual life period). The man had given himself back to he demon, and trapped and lost or in a far worse position than he was before with only one demon. Now the tormenting life was all over him and would follow him into eternity and eternal separation from God.
Jesus declared to the current generation that so it would be with them. Before that generation passed they would see not only the final rejection of Christ on the Cross, but they would witness the final rejection by God of their hypocritical Temple society (Rome would destroy Judea within 40 years).
A person does not have to be demon possessed in order to succumb to an evil life. Self righteousness is far worse. Demon can be removed, but mental rejection of God cannot be removed unless the person clearly recognizes the need for a change in their way of thinking.
Self righteousness, stubbornness, and the like are but a couple of the greatest of enemies a person can have. Just as the demon possesses a body, so these philosophies possess the thinking of the person. If you do not get rid of them, and not only get rid of them but replace them with Gods thinking, then they come back and they take an even greater hold on your soul.
Defiance, rigidness, stubbornness all invite self righteousness and therefore misery and doom in ones life. Humility is the attitude of the open minded person who is willing to hear God first, and then believe God second, and then third, to embrace God.
The Ninevites was bad and immoral peoples, but they listened only to the threat of doom and they repented. The Queen of Sheba, was a fine and wealthy person, yet she heard only of the wisdom of Solomon (Bible doctrine) and she traveled a long way and at great expense just to hear him speak and teach. These people were positive and stopped at nothing to get that which they lacked in their lives - Bible doctrine.
The 'self righteous' person see no need for God and therefore are blinded to what they really need. They refuse to see their deficiency and we should all check our lives and double check our lives to insure that none of us fall into that kind of trap. The self righteous person is a crusader of sorts. They decide what is right. They establish their own standards, and they expect everyone else to fall into line with their ideas. Those who refuse them are gossiped and maligned against, plotted against and even become the recipients of violence. The self righteous persons arsenal is comprised of gossip, hate, lies, deceit, and violence among other vindictive attributes they possess.
They cannot support themselves in fact or in illusion, though they perceive themselves as greater than all others not on their pedestal. Often times only death brings the truth to them and then it is too late. And during their life they have imposed great hardships on others who have fallen prey to their self righteous attitudes. So they are not a great resource for their own support, but a great resource for misery imposed on others.
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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