Forces of Evil
Behind Acts of Terror
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The past century was one of unprecedented evil: 20 million killed in Stalin’s purges, Hitler’s extermination of six million Jews, 1.7 million massacred in the killing fields by Pol Pot, and the millions of lives lost trying to defend or defeat these ruthless leaders. And the carnage escalated quickly into the 21st century as mankind witnessed the fiery deaths of over 4,000 from suicide missions perpetrated against the United States on 9/11 by Al-Qaeda extremists. But an even more sinister and illusive foe has been terrorizing the world with random, demonic acts of evil. The Salafi jihadist militant group that follows an Islamic fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam, ISIS has become more organized, more powerful and more evil than all other religious extremist groups.
2015 has been a year full of different terror attacks. We were shocked by those in Paris, San Bernardino, which has long battled high crime rates but got its mass shooting in 2015, where the perpetrators were “homegrown violent extremists” inspired by foreign terrorist groups. When we look at all the terror attacks effectuate we may wonder if the the hideous acts of terror around the world by radical Islamic militants were simply the function of an evil twist of character fueled by false religion, or are they provoked still further by a malicious, invisible force? Will the One true God bring an end to all this evil and terror?
Satan, Evil and Intelligent Beings
The Word of God leaves no doubt there is evil in the world. It tells us where it came into the world. It was by the greed of man that man was overtaken to rebel against God.
In the Bible we are told that by the years more and more people came into existence rebelling against their Most High Power. We also come to find out that even by the followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) there were those who were taken by fear and by lust of power and money, so that they doubted what Jesus should (Peter) do or betrayed their master teacher for some money (Judas). The apostle who resisted Jesus, Peter, was therefore called a Satan by Jeshua.
Going against the Will of God is considered being an opponent or adversary, which is being a Satan. In several languages it is translated as a personification of an evil doer or evil bringer. In English such a person or being, is also called a ‘devil‘. In the bible we are given several examples of such beings who do evil or who oppose God. As to the existence of a personal devil and his legions of demons, we can see that those possessed with ‘demons‘ are the ones who have a psychological illness. The Bible gives a comprehensive description of Satan, his emissaries and his aims. Satan is represented in Scripture as being the orchestrator and source of evil in the universe — the unrelenting enemy of God and man.
In the Book of books, the Bible, we are shown that even some men of God became a victim of that Satan. Those books show clearly how it is from within those people that filth or evil came over them. They were weak and let themselves being seduced by their own thoughts. We can see that they them selves were at fault and that nobody outside them was to blame for they going wrong.
A god of this world
From the Scriptures we do know that several men opposed the Divine Creator and placed themselves higher than Him. Though we may not forget that nobody can be greater than God. Even Jesus knew very well that God was the greatest and that he could do nothing without God. Throughout history many people got an important position and as such became gods, i.e. higher placed people. As such we can find angels, Moses, Pharaoh, Apollo, Zeus being called gods, like Jesus was also called a god but none of them were the God of gods. Several of those higher placed beings also became worshipped as gods, whilst others rule the world as a god.
The Apostle Paul recognized the existence of a personal, invisible devil and gave him or them the title “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Paul also called Satan
“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)
These words imply not only that there are evil principles at work, but that behind them there are invisible evil powers opposing all that is good.
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Rulers of the darkness of this world
We must not think evil is something of one specific being, a singular “Satan”. In all of us sits a Satan. We all can become victim of Satan, the evil within. If we are not careful and let our imagination go, and let our lust being taken over by our inner lust, we shall also become a Satan, an adversary of God like Peter at one time also was called a Satan.
Today we can see many adversaries of God at work. They are the Satan spoken of in the Hoy Scriptures. We are also warned of those who oppose the Almighty God, that they will be the rulers of the world and that there shall come a “prince of the devils“. It shall come so fart that the world shall be put in chains by those adversaries of Allah or God. Even the angels, the celestial beings, shall come to see what happens on the world, and they too shall not be able to stop it. It shall continue until the Great or Last Day of this System of things.
Satan may have gained ‘legions of angels’, those beings who have actively supported his evil schemes, they shall be looked on by the faithful to God. Though the world shall continue to bring the unfaithful together trying to get more lovers of God away from Him. We are even told they would not mind to use all tricks to lure those people into their net. that is also what we are seeing today. Several people who have doubts about God and religion try to find a solution for their own life. They think those people from Islamic State or IS, can give them the right answer and give them an eternal happy life.
Islamic State does as if it is fighting for God, but when we look at their works, raping innocent girls, selling women as slaves, burning holy books and prayer houses (mosques and churches) we can see that those actions are against the Will of God. Their aim is to rule the world by creating their own state, the Islamic State. They do know, people are gone far away from God, and as such they are also an easy prey. In this world there is a lot of darkness and they make use of it to gain their power over all those who do not believe in the One True God.
Though they forget there are also others who as opposer of God want to rule the world. And in the bible we are told they too shall rise up against each other and claim to have the right to rule the world. as part of the signs of the last days we shall come to see that there shall start the Big Battle in the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iraq and Iran) and that religion shall come up against religion, situations we can see today.
Together all those opposed to God shall do their best to have people to believe that either we should do away with all sorts of religion and should not believe in Allah or God, whilst others shall do their best to have people coming to their false religion. Satan or satans, the adversary or adversaries of God shall come to cooperate as mischief workers amongst men. For them the most important is that nobody shall be a follower of Jesus Christ (a Christian) or would worship God as a united Body in Christ. The Islamic fundamentalist group “Islamic State” is the Satan which shall never let up their unrelenting desire to create a society under their control. (Matthew 9:34; Isaiah 14:12-15)
Continued malicious meddling
What we see happening today is a result of continued malicious meddling by “Satan and the demons”, the adversaries of god and those who are not sound in mind, as they prey upon the weakest of humanity. While fallen man is much to blame for these acts of violence, “wicked spirits” often enter sick or deluded minds, suggesting hideous acts of violence. The Scriptures describe in detail such incidents and the misery caused by evil spirit influence and possession. (Matthew 8:16; Mark 5:15; Luke 4:41; Luke 22:3)
Those who are inclined toward evil leave themselves open to suggestions from these wicked spirits. There are enough ‘lunatics’ or mad people who want to get their ideas into the mind of others. Some succeed cleverly to bring others in the ban of their thinking. Muslim extremists wreaking worldwide panic through acts of terror have been brain-washed by doctrines of ‘demons’, persons who have evil inside and want to bring that evil unto others, them believing that they have a God-directed mission to execute their victims. (1 Timothy 4:1) But, unlike the god of Muslim extremists, the God of real Muslims and the Judeo-Christian God, Jehovah, is a God of love, and He has told His children that there are seven things which are an abomination to Him — among these are hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked plans, feet that run swiftly to evil and those who spread strife. (Proverbs 6:16-19) These activities describe well the acts of hateful extremists — no matter their religion.
16 There are six things that Jehovah does hate;+ yes, seven are things detestable to his soul:+ 17 lofty eyes,+ a false tongue,+ and hands that are shedding innocent blood,+ 18 a heart fabricating hurtful schemes,+ feet that are in a hurry to run to badness,+ 19 a false witness that launches forth lies,+ and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.+ (Proverbs 6: 16-19)
While there are relatively few radicalised Muslims waging a war of terror, it is important to understand that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving. Christians must not succumb to the hysteria that creates fear of the entire Muslim community — most of whom are peaceable and reasonable. Remember Jesus’ admonition:
“Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Escalating into devastating worldwide violence of our day
Today’s Headlines Written Nearly 2,000 Years Ago
In His foreknowledge, God could look down to our time and see the hate and greed in the human heart that would escalate into the devastating worldwide violence of our day. In His wisdom, God has permitted this extreme level of evil under “Satan’s temporary reign” that it might teach an everlasting lesson to all mankind. god has given the world in the hands of man. It was man who accused God of not being fair and not giving him liberty. Now man has the liberty to choose how to rule and how to live. History has proven that they made a mess of it. This limited experience living in a world with evil is teaching mankind to hate iniquity and to long for a better day under a righteous ruler — Messiah.
Therefore, to provide hope to His people, God placed in His Word prophetic indicators which would point to the time when Satan’s kingdom of evil would begin to collapse. Four signs were given to the prophet Daniel which would mark the time of the end — the end of this present evil world under the dominion of Satan. (Daniel 12:1, 4; Galatians 1:4)
12 “And during that time Miʹcha·el*+ will stand up,+ the great prince*+ who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.+ And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.+ And during that time your people will escape,+ every one who is found written down in the book.+ 2 And there will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up,+ these to indefinitely lasting life+ and those to reproaches [and] to indefinitely lasting abhorrence.+
3 “And the ones having insight will shine like the brightness* of the expanse;+ and those who are bringing the many to righteousness,+ like the stars to time indefinite, even forever.
4 “And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book,+ until the time of [the] end.*+ Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge* will become abundant.”+ (Daniel 12:1-4)
4 He gave himself for our sins+ that he might deliver us from the present wicked system of things*+ according to the will+ of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4)
Signs for us to take heed
• “many shall run to and fro”
In the past 100 years, numerous modes of transportation have been invented, increasing the speed of travel from 20 mph to over 18,000 mph. This has been a blessing to most of humanity, but it has also brought with it a means for terrorists to spread their evil rapidly far and wide.
• “knowledge shall be increased”
Science and Invention magazine cover, November 1928
More than ninety percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today, and more than fifty percent of the world’s inventions have been created within the last three decades. Additionally, sophistication in communications allows man to see and hear global news instantly. This has created amazing tools to benefit mankind, but it has also provided terrorists the tools to spread their hate.
• Messiah will begin to “stand up” for Daniel’s “people”
Israel’s rebirth as a nation is a miracle of history. Never before has a nation been destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the earth and then — nearly 2,000 years later — regathered and reestablished as a nation. But, one of radical Islam’s most hated enemies is Israel. This horrible reality of terror has been playing out almost every day since Israel’s formation as a nation in 1948. And now, the other countries of the world are experiencing firsthand the fear of living their daily lives in expectation of yet another terrorist attack.
• “a time of trouble such as never was”
Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left to right) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are USSR Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (far left); Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF, (both standing behind Churchill); Field Marshal Alan Brooke and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt). Note ornate carpets under the chairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Unprecedented trouble is the hallmark of our time and is confirmed by these recent tragic events. True, the world has always had trouble, but, prior to 1940, the potential for the annihilation of humanity by the single flick of a switch was unheard of. In the first three quarters of the 20th Century at least 100 million lives had been lost to war (Time Magazine, March 9, 1970). Thirty-four wars were being waged in 1988 alone. And today, “the weak say I am strong.” (Joel 3:10) A few, “the weak,” have brought the strong nations of the world into a state of extreme distress. Weakness, fuelled by jealousy, hatred, misinformation and prejudice punctuates Daniel’s vision of unprecedented trouble.
Maintaining Faith in an Unstable World
All four of these signs given to Daniel should give God’s people hope that the end of Satan’s evil regime is near. Yet, it is still hard to maintain faith in this unstable and frightening world. This makes it even more necessary that we, as Christians, take up the whole armour of God that we might be able to
“withstand in the evil day… having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God…” Ephesians 6:10-17
Yes, in this unstable world it takes an extreme, educated faith to believe that God’s plan will provide a constructive end to all the tears caused by evil — to believe that God is not indifferent to every sorrow. The Scriptures declare that He desires mankind to live in a world without fear, but He now allows Satan (God’s adversary) to rule for a limited time in order that each individual may learn valuable lessons — experiencing the results of evil and selfishness.
The world is quickly learning that it is helpless to win a war against evil. Thus we read,
“This sore travail has God given to man to be exercised therewith.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13)
It is comforting to know that when God finally says through His Son, It is enough — peace be still, we can rest assured that there will be great changes in the earth, and all will begin to see that the permission of evil was both educational and preparatory to the ushering of mankind into the ages of blessing to come, wherein
“all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 28:14)
The promise is that once God, through His Son, puts an utter end to all evil,
“affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9; Job 34:29)
9 What will YOU men think up against Jehovah?+ He is causing an outright extermination.
Distress will not rise up a second time.+ (Nahum 1:9)
29 When he himself causes quietness, who, then, can condemn?
And when he conceals [his] face,+ who can behold him,
Whether it is toward a nation+ or toward a man,* it being the same thing? (Job 34:29)
In other words, the harsh lessons of evil will never be necessary again when all the families of the earth learn, by contrast, that love, peace, righteousness and unselfishness are far more preferable than living in this present evil world. The depth of God’s wisdom is shown in His foresight to devise a plan that provides for man’s free choice and experience with evil, but nevertheless brings redemption through Christ which will result in eternal happiness.
The Desire of All Nations Shall Come
Though God has permitted Satan’s evil influence for a relatively short time, He will soon put a stop to all evil and usher in His everlasting righteous Kingdom. Then the Scriptures assure us that all of “the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness” when the “knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep.” (Isaiah 26:9; 11:9)
7 The path of the righteous one is uprightness.+ You being upright, you will smooth out the very course of a righteous one.+ 8 Yes, for the path of your judgments, O Jehovah, we have hoped in you.+ For your name and for your memorial+ the desire of the soul has been.+ 9 With my soul I have desired you in the night;+ yes, with my spirit within me I keep looking for you;+ because, when there are judgments from you for the earth,+ righteousness+ is what the inhabitants of the productive land* will certainly learn.+ 10 Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness.+ In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly+ and will not see the eminence of Jehovah.+ (Isaiah 26:7-10)
9 They will not do any harm+ or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain;+ because the earth* will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.*+ (Isaiah 11:9)
The time is coming when Jehovah, the Almighty God shall certainly bring home the world its own badness upon the productive land. The adversaries of God shall receive the consequences of their own error. Badness shall also come upon the wicked themselves. It is also written down that Jehovah shall actually cause the pride of the presumptuous ones to cease, and the haughtiness of the tyrants or ʽa·ri·tsimʹ Jehovah shall abase. (Isaiah 1:11) Then there shall come the moment that the adversary or all those who are under the spell of the adversary will be destroyed — never to hurt nor deceive the world again. Babylon and the defiled ones with all people shall be paid back according to their activities. According to all that they have done. The love of God will abundantly bestow blessings of life, peace and happiness upon all.
20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss+ and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he seized the dragon,+ the original serpent,+ who is the Devil+ and Satan,+ and bound him for a thousand years. 3 And he hurled him into the abyss+ and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.+(Revelation 20:1-3)
Yes, the influence of God’s benevolent Kingdom will have an overwhelming transforming effect on the hearts of men. Of this mighty future work we read,
“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
There is great cause to rejoice, for it is the severity and hopelessness of the world’s problems that mark us at the threshold of these promised Kingdom blessings. Just as the terror of today was prophesied, the resurrection of all who have ever lived is also assured in prophecy. Then, all those who perished in the terrors of this day will be reunited with their loved ones, and
“The desire of all nations shall come.” (Haggai 2:7)
What are Some of These Legitimate Desires?
Ask the homeless family living in times of unemployment,
“What is your desire?”
Their answer will be,
“If only we had a place to call home.”
“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit. They shall not plant and another eat.” (Isaiah 65:21-23)
Ask the father of a child dying of cancer,
“What is your desire?”
His answer will be,
“If only there were no sickness and crippling diseases, no cancer, no blindness, no pain and suffering.”
Thank God! These desires will be fulfilled in His Kingdom:
“And no inhabitant will say I am sick.” “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.” (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5,6)
And what will be the desire of the young man on the field of battle,
“If only there were no wars and man could learn to live in peace.”
The Kingdom promise is:
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)
Ask the Mother of the young man killed at the hand of a terrorist,
“What is your desire?”
and she will say,
“If only I could hold him and see him happy again.”
Yes, the most blessed promise of all, lost loved ones will be united once again in the resurrection.
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave…” (Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8)
“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)
These are but a few of the legitimate desires, which shall be satisfied. This is the promise of God’s Kingdom to come, where His will shall be done on earth, as it is even now done in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth.
Not a stain of sin will mar the harmony and peace of a perfect society, not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word.
Love welling up from every heart will meet a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence will mark every act.
There sickness shall be no more — not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay — not even the fear of such things.
Such will earth’s society be, and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete. (Revelation 21:4)
The year of God
2015 might have been the year of ISIS, in 2016 they shall not be off the radar. We know that everything may become worse but those who believe in god have good prospects and may build on their hope which is build on those prophesies from the Holy Scriptures.
Let us use that bible to guide us through the times coming and let us look forward to the return of Christ.
For sure to all the suffering shall come an end. Looking at the signs described in the Bible we do know we are not so far off from the Last Days. Than we shall have the Day of Jesus, when he shall judge all. Let us make sure that we shall be by the ones justified to enter the small gate of the Kingdom of God, being pleased to be united as partakers of God’s promise, united in the Body of Christ in the Year of God, notifying that the years of ISIS are over.
Belgian Bible Students review of 2015
- What is life?
- Kitty Werthmann her account of grewing up in Austria under Nazi regime
- 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
- 2014 Religion
- Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
- Islamophobic hate crimes rise in UK following terror attacks
- Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
- Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
- Being Charlie 8
- French Muslims under attack
- Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
- Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
- Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
- Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
- Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
- Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
- 2015 Human rights
- Stepping Toes 2015 in review
- Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
- Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
- Paris attacks darkening the world
- Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
- Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
- Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review
- The Existence of Evil
- Evil in the bible
- Heavenly creatures do they exist
- The “Mighty Ones”
- Angels in Old Testament History
- Guardian Angels?
- The Angels in World Affairs
- Evil in the bible
- Satan or the devil
- Satan the evil within
- Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
- Where does Satan lives?
- October month of witches and spirits
- Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
- Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
- Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
- The Importance of the Prophetic
- Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
- Arguments about believe and About Christianity versus Atheism
- To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
- The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
- Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
- The Soul confronted with Death
- Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
- Running away from the past
- Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
- Challenging claim
- Remember the day
- A voice cries out: context
- Getting out of the dark corners of this world
- God of gods
- The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
- Remain lovingly = No path for softies
- The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
- God my fence, my hope for the future
- Jesus Christ is the perfect security in storms
- Understand what the will of the Lord is
- Kingdom of God what will it be like
- A Clash Within Civilization
- ‘US Doesn’t Understand What It’s Doing in Syria’ – CIA Veteran
- PA security forces warn of permeation of ISIS ideology; Laud Israel-PA-US cooperation
- Swedish govt in “panic” after ISIS letters give 3 days to convert to Islam or be decapitated
- Christian mothers, wives take up the fight against ISIS, whose women serve as suicide bombers and slaves
- Too Great a Sacrifice? The KDF Pull-Out Debate
- A Job far away from completion
- Indonesia: ISIS considers country un-Islamic
- Nearly 19,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Since 2014, U.N. Reports
- From Paris suburb to bloody attack, portrait of IS jihadis
- Isis will fail to emulate Islam’s great conquests. Here’s why
- Stop ISIS by Welcoming Refugees
- Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (1)
- Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (2)
- Alarming Evidence Suggests ISIS is Now a US-Israel Proxy Army
- ‘It’s a criminal gang pretending to be a state’: Discontent grows in ISIS ‘caliphate’ as oil funds dry up
- The Great ISIS Recession
- The Long Fight Against ISIS
- David Cameron criticises BBC for use of ‘Islamic State’
- Meet the New Gangster Warlords of Latin America
- In God We Trust
- The War on Nothing
- Today’s Victory Reminder: God Redeems Sinners
- Verse of the day – Forsake me not, O Lord
- Behold the Lamb of God!
- Redemption in Christ
- Grace, Redemption, and Bearing Fruit
- Looking Back at Life through the Lens of Romans 8:28
- Terorisme tidak harus dilihat dari lensa agama
- Dunia Orde Baru Akan Menguasai Dunia Dengan Teror
Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13
Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13
|| Luke 12:58, 59
MT5:21 “You heard it was said to the Ancients: ‘Murder not’ [Exodus 20:13] but the murderer will be judged. MT5:22 But, I tell you: Anyone angry with his brother will be judged. But, anyone saying ‘Raca!’ to his brother will be liable to the Sanhedrin. But, anyone saying ‘Moron!’ will be liable to the Gehenna of the Fire. MT5:23 And so, when you bring your gift-offering to the Altar and right then you remember your brother has something against you MT5:24 leave your gift-offering at the Altar. First leave and be reconciled with your brother and then return and offer up your gift. MT5:25 Think well of your adversary, and quickly, while on the way, so your adversary never hand you over to the judge and the judge to the court-officer and he throw you into prison. MT5:26 I tell you the truth: You will not get out until you have repaid the last little coin!
Depiction of the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Photograph of stained glass window at Scots’ Church, Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 It was said: Here begins the first of six rabbinical commentaries by the Nazarene on the spirit of the law, or its fulfillment. James does something similar at James 2:8, 11.
 The murderer will be judged: The first of two commentaries on the Ten Commandments. It is interesting the Nazarene makes no comment on the abuse of the Divine Name (YHWH) or the Sabbath (Exodus 20:13; James 1:19; 5:6; 1 John 3:15).
 Anyone angry: Various renderings are: WMS: harbors malice; NEB: nurses anger; MOF: maligns. It is anger which is the root of murder. Mere anger makes one liable to judgment though Jesus does not explain what this is. Benjamin Wilson suggests: “The Jews had a Common Court consisting of 23 men.” Later in Matthew 12:36 he warns against speaking the unprofitable, probably about someone else in anger, and how this will not escape the Judgment. Meekness and peaceableness both oppose anger. The Nazarene Saint is on guard against anger which rises out of an egocentric heart.
 Raca: NJB: “The Aramaic word raqa, transliterated in Matthew, translated here, means: ‘empty-headed’, ‘nitwit’.” Various renderings are: NJB: fool.
 Sanhedrin: Jesus has the Jewish audience in mind and thus Raca! is something worthy of the attention of these judges.
 Moron: This is more exact to the Greek word, MORE. Various renderings are: LAM: I spit on you; BER: simpleton; BECK: empty-head; PHI: looks down on his brother as a lost soul; BWD: Apostate; NJB: Traitor!; NJB ftn: “Jewish usage added the much more contemptuous one of ‘apostate’.” Job, Moses, David, Jesus and Paul were all objects of wrathful contempt, often by the very ones professing a relationship with God. It is one thing to be reproached by the Gentile pagans and wholly another to have ‘endured the contradictions of sinners’ among your own fellow worshippers (Hebrews 12:3).
In all the Scriptures the word-group “apostate” occurs most often in the Book of Job as an accusation against that godly man (Job 8:13; 13:16; 17:8; 20:5; 27:8; 34:30; 36:13). In the Christian Bible it occurs as a charge against Paul (Acts 21:21). “Apostate” is a most dangerous word to use as Jesus makes the consequences clear. Jesus never uses it against his foes.
 Gehenna: See various lexicons, dictionaries or commentaries on this word. It alludes to the city dump where the dead bodies of criminals were thrown who were judged unworthy of a resurrection. The dump was kept burning night and day and at the edges were to be found worms which seem to never die (See Isaiah 66:24).
The Jewish commentator David Kimhi (1160?-1235?), in his comment on Psalm 27:13, gives the following historical information concerning “Gehinnom”: “And it is a place in the land adjoining Jerusalem, and it is a loathsome place, and they throw there unclean things and carcasses. Also there was a continual fire there to burn the unclean things and the bones of the carcasses. Hence, the judgment of the wicked ones is called parabolically Gehinnom.”
 Altar: The image is one of a Jewish worshipper approaching the Temple and about to hand over his sin-offering or communion gift to the priest serving at the Temple. The worshipper’s purpose is to give a sacrifice for his sin. In the Christian Age there is another “altar,” a spiritual one associated with the New Covenant (Hebrews 13:10, 12, 15, 16). In these verses the inspired writer outlines two aspects to this “altar”: a) praise; and, b) charitable care of the Saints. Using Jesus’ teaching, the Nazarene Saint will keep this in mind before offering ‘a sacrifice of praise’ or ‘sharing’ with others in some charity, to pause and ponder whether there is a fellow Saint who holds a grudge. Better to go and make peace with him or her before approaching this spiritual “altar.”
 Against you: Apparently a legitimate charge or accusation of which you are aware. Here the Nazarene shows that peaceful relations come before ceremonial worship. Seeking peace with God through a communion sacrifice is meaningless if relationships with fellows are jeopardized. James writes in a similar vein at James 1:26, 27.
 Be reconciled with your brother: Here is the “peaceable” of Matthew 5:9. Various renderings: TCNT: be ready to make friends with; WEY: comes to terms without delay; NEB: if someone sues you come to terms with him promptly.
 Adversary: Compare a similar thought at Luke 12:58, 59. Compare Leviticus 19:17 with Colossians 3:13. Various renderings are: KNX: some ground of complaint. Note the singular “you” as if now Jesus’ attention is directed to one individual, singled out in the crowd or among his disciples (who often had personal difficulties), who is not at peace with his fellow. Would not the eye contact of the Nazarene send this worshipper speedily to the door of his brother begging forgiveness?
The context here seems of a material or financial nature for when the worshipper leaves the altar to reconcile with his brother it is over a matter involving a court appearance. It is a financial debt and the Nazarene demonstrates how such matters can take priority over worship. Financial matters are often one of the chief areas of complaint and the cause of disunity among fellow worshippers. Nothing divides persons more than materialism (the god Mammon) with its greed, covetousness, business deceit, or fraud (Compare 1 Corinthians chapter 6; Luke 12:58: disputes; 1 Corinthians 6:7: fraud).
 Coin: Compare Luke 12:59: debts. How would one ever get out of prison without borrowing from another or selling some property in order to cancel the debt. From the Altar to Prison in one day! Of course, the other person has much to learn from the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings about canceling debts if one wants God’s forgiveness.
Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries
Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light shining bright
Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah
Next: Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14
Bible Quotes, Bible study