True disciples of Jesus Christ, students of the Word of God, know who the lost sheep of the house of Israel are.
The word "disciple" means "learner" or "student" and so it is that a true disciple of Jesus Christ is one who is trained and educated in the Word of God. And so far in this great Book of Matthew, written by one whose name means "Gift of Yah", that training and education is precisely what has been transpiring between Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples He chose to follow Him. And now that they have gone up into the mountain and been instructed in His Word and have now both seen and understood the spiritual significance of the wonderful works He performed, they are now prepared, not by some seminary but by Jesus Christ the Word of God, to be sent forth as apostles to do the will of God and labor in His harvest. In fact, the very word "apostle" means "one that is sent forth".
To that end, we we saw in Mat. 9:38 where Jesus said to pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. Now we are going to see the Messiah do just that, but not before He gives them some specific instructions. You will find that these important instructions pertaining to the manner of their "going forth" and serving Him as a laborer in the harvest, even the harvest of these last days, are followed by those who are truly sent forth by Him.
So if you see one who claims to come in Christ's name, i.e. in His authority as one of his ministers, and they do not do as Christ has commanded here in Matthew 10, then consider that something is surely amiss and be on guard!
When the time had come according to the will of God, not according to man's will or even the disciples' will, Jesus Christ called His "12" disciples and "gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease". Understand that they have already witnessed Jesus Christ cast out evil spirits and heal all manner of sickness and disease and so they know it is by His authority, His power, the power of the Living Word of God, whose power they have now been given to exercise, that does the casting out and the healing. And when Jesus Christ gives one His power and authority, there is none other that is required... such as the authority granted to hirelings by man's religious institutions which demand their graduates teach the traditions of men instead of God's Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse.Matthew 10:1
And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Notice we have now gone from 12 disciples to 12 apostles. Take notice also of the number "12" which is not only the number of the tribes of Israel, it is the number used to denote "governmental perfection" (see appendix 10 in the Companion Bible.) When you think about, if you have understanding concerning election, here is Yeshua Messiah, the King of kings, and 12 of His warriors now armed with His power. I'd say that is quite a representation of the kingdom of heaven, wouldn't you? Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
By the way, why do you suppose Jesus Christ gave us the names of these twelve apostles? Well, for one thing it shows that they did not carry and were not identified by big lofty religious titles like some of the high and mighty muckity mucks of some groups. You see, true servants of God do NOT elevate themselves above their brothers and sisters. For example, here is what John wrote concerning himself in the great Book of Revelation:
The point is, be wary of anyone who considers himself or herself to be above you! The great teaching and bringing forth of the truth of God's Word in this final generation is done by the sons and daughters spoken of in Acts 2. They are the brothers and sisters of the church of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) and the church of Smyrna in Rev. 3 & 2 respectively.Rev 1:9
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Those who study deeper into the Word will find that these names are given in Aramaic, which further emphasizes the commonality of the apostles as they went among the people.Matthew 10:3
Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
When one reads that Simon was a Canaanite, that alone should drive one to dig deeper to find out what is going on. You see, names and their meanings often reveal something about a person's character and give us insight as to who they are. For example, Philip means "lover of horses" whereas Thaddaeus means "large hearted, courageous". In addition to their names, we see that Matthew is further identified by his vocation (tax collector), Simon by the fact that he was zealous for the law, and Judas Iscariot (builder of cities) by the fact that he would betray Christ. Judas was also from the town of Kerioth, which was not in Galilee. In other words, he belonged to Judah. Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Also, once you have dug a little deeper you will find that the Aramaic word "Canaanite" means "zealous" and that it is an epithet which by definition is "a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing". In other words, Simon was a zealous one which is why he is called Simon Zelotes (zealous) in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13.
Here is a summary chart of the names of the apostles and their meanings:Canaanite, G2581 ?????????? Kananites kan-an-ee'-tace
Of Chaldee origin (compare [H7067]); zealous; Cananites, an epithet. (By mistake for a derivative from G5477): - Canaanite [by mistake for a derivation from G5477].
|Apostle's Name||Meaning of Name|
|Simon Peter||Hearing, Rock|
|James son of Zebedee||Supplanter (Jacob in Hebrew) son of "my gift"|
|James (son of Alphaeus)||
|Lebbaeus (Thaddeus, Judas brother of James)||
|Simon the Canaanite (Zelotes)||
This command has nothing to do with who receives salvation and who does not. In other words, even though Christ had not yet paid the price on the cross, which actually means salvation is not even available yet, He is not saying to ignore or even avoid the gentiles. The fact is that Jesus will soon pay the price on the cross so that salvation is open to all. What this command has to do with is the going forth and the teaching concerning the Shepherd of the lost sheep.Matthew 10:5
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
In other words, go tell the lost sheep of the house of Israel who they are and that their Shepherd is with them... and has been all along! Of course, a disciple of Christ cannot keep this commandment unless he or she knows who and where the lost sheep of the house of Israel are, can he? Christ is also NOT speaking about the house of Judah which is separate from the house of Israel and will remain so until the "two sticks (or branches)" are joined back together when Christ returns (Ezk. 37). The fact is that the majority of Christians do not know who the lost sheep of the house of Israel are even though many, many of them are truly of that house. That is why they are called lost, because they have lost their identity. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
True disciples of Jesus Christ,
students of the Word of God, know who the lost sheep of the house of Israel
are. It is part of the Key of David given
to the brothers and sisters of the church of Philadelphia (Rev. 3). The
sheep have been "scattered" and have lost their way and so it is that the
laborers who are sent forth are to show them who they are and "the way"
to their Father's pasture!
What is a kingdom? It is a King and His dominion which is now also the Shepherd and His sheep! So go tell the lost sheep that the true Shepherd is at hand, that He is with them NOW. Not only that, tell them that He has been with them all along and show them how it came to be that they have been blinded and therefore are lost in that they cannot "see". Show them from the Word of God how it is that they have become spiritually sick, unclean as lepers, and spiritually dead as the dry bones of Ezk. 37. Let the Word of God cast out the evil spirits of the traditions of men and let their eyes be opened and cause them to be set FREE from the bondage of the wicked one to leap (for joy) as an hart! Log unto pamphlet #1274
Remember a few studies ago we learned that until a person is no longer spiritually blind to the truth but can hear His voice and walk in His ways, that he remains spiritually dumb and cannot speak the truth! You "see", it is the power of His truth, the Word of God, that heals the spiritually sick, makes clean the unclean, and gives LIFE, even life eternal, to the spiritually dead. Go labor in the harvest and tell that truth to the House of Israel and let the Power of the Word of God heal and save our beloved brothers and sisters.Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Isa 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
Freely means just that... FREELY... i.e. without a cause or agenda, such as to profit or gain!Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
The next two verses address, emphasize, and explain how the "freely" works!freely = G1432 ??????? dorean do-reh-an'
Accusative case of G1431 as adverb; gratuitously (literally or figuratively): - without a cause, freely, for naught, in vain.
It is too bad that the majority of our brothers and sisters do not understand these two verses for they go hand in hand in separating the men from the boys, the true servants sent forth by Jesus Christ from those who claim they are sent by Him. First, understand the difference between the words "purses" and "scrip". A purse is a money belt but if you will dig a little you find that a "scrip" is actually a "beggar's bag".Matthew 10:9
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
What Christ is saying is that if you do things His way and go forth teaching His truth as it is written, then you do not need financing nor do you need to beg or plead for money! The reason is very simple and that is because God will bless you and take care of your needs, for one cannot imagine the love and gratitude people have for their heavenly Father when the truth sets them free from the bondage of the traditions of men.
And so they recognize the truth that is being taught and voluntarily support that worthy effort.
To that end, just as Christ has instructed, those who teach the truth do it as freely as it was given unto them and so they never beg nor plead for money. Again, the reality is they do not have to. Therefore, any ministry who constantly pleads for money is a ministry who is going forth with a "scrip", which means what? They are disobeying Christ's commands, aren't they? You "see", a workman is worthy if he is a laborer who rightly divides the word of truth and teaches it as it is written. Quite frankly, those who lazily teach the traditions of men instead of God's Word and then pass the plate or plead for money, are not worthy. They have their reward!
Now here is another command when you go forth.2 Tim. 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In going forth to teach, we are to seek those who are worthy, which simply means those who sincerely seek Him, those who wish to study His Word and become fellow laborers with us (1 Thes. 3:2, Phm. 1:1). They are the ones with whom we spiritually abide.Matthew 10:11
And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Always go into a house, any house, with a "salute" and a blessing, which means that you seek to embrace it. In other words, do not enter into someone's house with the intent to cause trouble or disrupt it. Of course you may find yourself in an old wine skin, nevertheless, entreat that house unless or until it proves itself unworthy. And when ye come into an house, salute it.
If you find there is no civility in that house or even encounter hostility, then do not become hostile like them, but keep peace to yourself and move on as peacefully as possible! And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Hey, if you have done all you can in attempting to peaceably entreat that house and teach the truth of God's Word and they flat out won't listen to "It it written" and "Thus saith the Lord", then shake the dust off your feet, or as we say wash your hands of that house or city. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Here is how Luke puts it:
In other words, as the next verse shows, if they are not interested in the kingdom of God, in knowing the true Shepherd, then move on and leave it in God's hands and let Him be their judge.Luke 10:11
Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
The fire and hail and brimstone which befell Sodom and Gomorrah was for their lewd and immoral perversions. However, the spiritual adultery and the flat out rejection of the gospel of the kingdom of God coupled with the affront to His laborers will surely receive the greater condemnation.Matthew 10:15
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
This next verse is packed with both comfort and wisdom... so "behold"!
If you put a sheep in the midst of wolves what do think will happen to that sheep? Now you see it, now you don't! Of course, if the Shepherd is right there with that sheep with His rod and His staff, He is more than able to protect that sheep. However, some sheep advice would be not to wander too far from the Shepherd nor foolishly stick your head in a wolf's mouth, right?Matthew 10:16
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
So the question is, "Who is the One who sends you forth?" (The capital "O" gave it away, didn't it?) Therefore if you are one of His sheep that means that Jesus Christ is your Shepherd and you shall not want (Ps. 23)! Nevertheless, we are not to be foolish and do stupid things. He expects His own who know the serpent's MO and are fully aware of his wicked devices, to be sharper than Satan, to exercise wisdom and responsibility and always use good common sense.
And though we seek to entreat each house peaceably as doves and not bring harm to others, be advised that those who seek to enter into our own house, are in for a fight in which they will wish they never engaged! Doves are truly harmless until someone messes with their nests or their youngin's!
INext Christ is going to instruct us what to do when trouble and persecution come our way... and by the way, if you follow in His steps, it will!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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