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(IT'S NOT THE MESSENGER, BUT THE MESSAGE THAT COUNTS)
SCRIPTURE - MATT, 11:18-19 SEPTEMBER, 2006
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.
But wisdom is justified of her children.
SUBJECT - IT'S NOT THE MESSENGER, BUT THE MESSAGE, THAT COUNTS!!
Mat. 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
This month's message, is one that let's us know, that no matter who you are, or what you do, when it comes down to showing people the error of their ways, and doing good, so much so, that others are offended, because you are making them look bad, they will look at you, they will look at your past, they will dig up dirt, or make it up, just so they can continue to feel good about themselves.
Look at the two experiences that Jesus had, as noted in the subject verse, and in Mat. 13.
In each case, He, is in the process of doing good, by teaching people the ways of God, healing the sick, and fellowshipping with those, that others, would stay away from, and what is the result?? People, mainly the religious leaders, politicians, and the elite in the community, are going in to His past, His lineage, trying to find anything they can, to discredit, not only Him, but especially His message. If they can succeed in doing that, then they can keep their reputations.
Jesus spent most of His ministry, teaching what God, the Father, had told Him to teach, and demonstrating, not only the love, but, the power of God, for His Creation, especially man, who is made in His image.
In the subject verse, Jesus starts out, showing how the elite, politicians, and the religious leaders, did not like the message of John the Baptist, because he did not socialize with them, and essentially followed the way of the prophets of old. He didn't drink (intoxicating beverages), and his food, was wild locusts, and honey [Mat 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.]
When John, came in to town, or held his meetings, out in the wilderness, they looked at him, and the way he dressed, and said, he had a devil in him. They did this, because his message was one that challenged their
power and control over the people, by revealing the hypocrisy, of their beliefs, and actions, to the common people.
John, was later beheaded, by order of King Herod, after John called the relationship Herod had, with his brother's wife sinful, in the sight of God. [Mat. 14:1-12].
Now, contrast that with Jesus, whose message was the same, but, He, came in to town, and went in to the houses of the common folk, and ate with them.
Then, they, the religious leaders, politicians, and the elite, called Him a glutton, and a winebibber.
They, were threatened by both messages, and set about to discredit the messengers, in hopes, that their message, would be made of none effect.
Now, Jesus said, [John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.]
Fast forward to today.
What do we see??
Anointed men, and women of God, coming before the people, telling them what, 'Thus saith the Lord', and getting attacked by the same types of people that Jesus, and John the Baptist faced, thus fulfilling the statement Jesus made in the scripture above.
Because their power over the people, is being threatened, and they can't have that.
Now notice, I mentioned the word 'anointed', that means, they are called of God, and are delivering His message, exactly the way God wants it delivered, and that is, without compromise, or adding anything to it, that doesn't belong.
Most of the popular people in our communities, especially the black community, are popular, because they tell us, what 'we want to hear' and not what 'we need to hear.'
The majority of our community, and others, are suffering, because we are
listening to people, who, for the most part, have no clue, to what they are doing. They are leading their followers down the path of destruction, by giving them the idea, that God, really doesn't care, what they do, they will still go to Heaven, when they die. This then, leads people to reject any one that brings a message that says, the people need to repent, or end up in hell.
So, what makes the people reject the message?? Those that they follow, setting about to discredit the messenger. And, they figure, if they discredit the messenger, then his message will be discredited. And that is just what happens, in most cases. Find something negative about someone, and his whole message, is tossed out, with the bath water.
And this, my friends, is the dumbest thing we can do. Why?? Because, no one, walking the face of this earth today, or in the past, or who will walk it, in the future, is perfect, or, without sin, in their lives. The only exception, was Jesus Christ.
Those that are considered the leaders of our communities, and the elite, try to portray themselves, as being the standard, for the rest of us to follow. They are the most intelligent. They are the gods, if you will, that we should worship, and look to, for advice.
But, the message of God, is that, [Rom 3:10, 23 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;]
Well then, that being the case, who does God use to deliver His message??
He uses imperfect people, that have all sorts of flaws in them, because, there are no, what you would call, saints [perfect in our sight], among us. Yet, as long as they keep telling you, what you want to hear, you treat them, your leaders, and the elite, as saints. And for the most part, they are the biggest devils, that there is.
You will bestow sainthood, on anyone that will make you feel comfortable with your lifestyle, no matter how far it is away from what God says it needs to be. All you want, is to be able to sleep at night, and go through the day, happy, and care free.
But, God, whose Love, goes far deeper, than just sitting back, and letting you feel good about something that will land you in hell when you die, [Prv 14:12, 16:25 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.], sets about, to get the warning to you, that your ways are displeasing to Him.
And how does He do this??
By using others, who are imperfect, to bring the message to you, in hopes that you will listen, and turn from your wickedness.
Look at it like this.
You take the biggest liar, in the world, and tell him/her, to tell someone that 2+2=4, and he goes and tells them that. Yet, because of his/her reputation of being the world's biggest liar, does that mean they are not to be believed??
Of course not. But, when it comes to this same type of person, telling you about something, God told them to tell you, you look at their past, or even present condition, and reject their message, which means, you are really rejecting God.
Many times in the wilderness, when God told Moses, to tell the people something, that many of them, didn't want to hear, they murmured,
complained, and even tried to attack him. And God, told Moses, that the people were not murmuring against him, Moses, but they were murmuring against Him, God. Num 14:26-27 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. And as a result, He punished them.
You wonder why so many of you are suffering all sorts of problems, sickness, disease, and poverty?? Because in your haste to reject, and attack God's messenger, because of their past, you are actually attacking, and rejecting God's message, meaning you are rejecting Him.
There is a scripture in the bible that warns all of us, about attacking His anointed messengers, either physically, verbally, or through any means that cause them harm. 1Chr 16:22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. This is a warning to those of you, who continue to attack, God's messengers, by lying on them, digging up dirt on them, finding dirt, about their families, and even physically assaulting them.
Let me tell you about my past, and present.
I was one of the biggest devils walking the streets, back in the late 60's, and most of the 70's. Then I got saved, in 1978. At that time, I purposed in my heart, that I would follow the Lord Jesus Christ with my whole, spirit, soul, and body. But, alas, even in my best efforts, I have, at times deterred from that path. You would probably say then, 'Who are you, to be telling us how to live our lives, when you can't even live that life, yourself??' My answer to you, is not how I lived my life, but how Jesus Christ, lived His life. If you are looking for the perfect example of a Righteous lifestyle, don't look at any man, but Jesus Christ.
Even the apostle Paul, who wrote 2/3 of the new testament, was a failure as well, when it came to living the perfect life.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
As you can see, even the apostle Paul, had problems after he was saved, not to mention his past, where he was the chief enemy of Christians, persecuting them and putting them to death.
And now today, there are those that want to use these same tactics against God's messengers. Woe, unto you, as Jesus said,
Mat 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
If you don't like the message, you best keep your mouth shut!!! To open it against God's anointed, is to do so, at your own, and your family's peril!