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Sabbath - White and red

First posted: December 1, 2008

 

This article is the first in a series of articles dealing with the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath as portrayed in Matthew chapter 12. This article will share on the words spoken by the Lord in Matthew 12:1-14.

 

Index

Sabbath priests

The unholy gathering

Moving forward

Bearing up

Pastors gone awry

Use what you've got

Like the other hand

The make-up of Perizzitis

The bully factor

Watering others

 

 

 

Sabbath priests

At the beginning of Matthew 12, the Lord declares the following:

 

"1At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 3But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 7But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day." (Matthew 12:1-8)

 

Notice how the Lord emphasises the fact that David and those who were with him were not literal priests, yet they entered into the house of God and ate of the bread of the presence (the "shewbread"), which only priests were allowed to eat. By saying this, the Lord was establishing a spiritual principle that His religious accusers were oblivious to:

There were priests standing before them, even if these priests were not wearing priestly apparel, and even if they did not belong to the Aaronic lineage.

These priests belonged to a different priesthood, a priesthood derived from a different covenant, a better covenant that portrayed God's true intentions for the "son of man" (v8), i.e.- for restored mankind:

 

"5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6)

 

"7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." (Hebrews 10:7-9)

 

"6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8:6-13)

 

"11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof." (Hebrews 7:11-18)

 

Notice how Matthew 12:7 and Hebrews 10:7 above both speak of "sacrifice" as opposed to "mercy". This means that a heart with "mercy" is required to discern the New Covenant priesthood. As we have studied before, true mercy is the giving of oneself to others who cannot provide for themselves, which implies giving something that flows from the inside, i.e.- giving of your very life, for the sake of others. Those whose hearts are trapped in the Old Covenant prefer to give from their overflow; they prefer to offer external sacrifices that do not require a sacrifice from the inside. They seek after "Level-1 righteousness", the righteousness achieved by simply living up to your obligations. That is the reason why they are quick to settle on a religious scheme that divides the Body of Christ into two groups, the "priests" and the "laymen". All that the "laymen" have to do to fulfil their "spiritual duties" is to submit to the "priests" and to carry out a series of external activities demanded of them by the "priests". On the other hand, all that the "priests" have to do is to organise the "laymen's" external activities, act "priestly", and fulfil the "laymen's" spiritual needs by making their souls feel good and by giving out superficial teachings of a "spiritual nature" every "Sabbath day". The "priests'" salary is the adulation and reverence of the "laymen" (for which reason they are also called "reverends"), and the material sacrifices that the "laymen" bring before them makes their "priestly effort" all the more "worthwhile".

 

"1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." (Matthew 6:1-7)

 

By contrast, those who seek after the New Covenant, the covenant with no veils of separation, are after a higher righteousness: "Level-2 righteousness", the righteousness that requires that you submit yourself to voluntary sacrifices on behalf of others. Under "Level-2 righteousness", that which was optional becomes obligatory, for you begin to walk by a higher law, the law of Christ, the law of love.

 

"7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Romans 13:7-10)

[Verse 7 points to Level-1 righteousness, the righteousness of "obligations fulfilment". Verse 8 points to Level-2 righteousness, where sacrificial love becomes an obligation. Those living in level-2 righteousness have a debt of love towards others.]

 

Those with a New-Covenant heart will exercise true mercy because they see the inherent value and potential in others, and, in doing so, they are the first to understand that all believers are priests in the eyes of God and that there is no "priest/layman" division in God's Kingdom:

 

"9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

 

As indicated by the Lord above, the priesthood in us was made manifest when mercy was shown to us. In the same way, we enable the manifestation of that priesthood in others as we show mercy to them, i.e.- as we yield our lives to God, allowing Him to use our lives as living sacrifices on their behalf.

 

As we have shared before, a close study of Revelation 7:5-8 reveals that the white horse begins to gallop in the believer's heart when he or she becomes silently aware of his or her spiritual priesthood in Christ. Therefore, we can conclude that the first part of Matthew 12 (v1-8) depicts the awakening of the believer's heart to the galloping of the white horse.

 

As we have shared before, the white horse is a "conquering" horse. That is the reason why the Lord says "the son of man is Lord of the Sabbath" at the end of Matthew 12:8. As the white horse gallops, the believer becomes aware of his or her lordship over the religious structures. Instead of believing that he was made to be subservient to the ministerial structures, he begins to understand that God created the ministries to serve and enable him, for the son of man is more important than the "temple" (v5), i.e.- the visible religious structures. In God's eyes, the visible religious structures are nothing compared to the inherent value of the son of man. The ministries were made for the saints, not the saints for the ministries. The ministries were made for the purpose of perfecting the son of man. God's ministry endowments are for the perfecting of God's precious jewel, His people, who are His chosen ones.

 

"11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-13)

 

The unholy gathering

After speaking of the "white horse awakening", Scripture declares the following:

 

"9And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 10And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him." (Matthew 12:9-14)

 

Notice how the Spirit says that Jesus went into their synagogue. The word "synagogue" is an Anglicised version of the Greek word synagoge meaning "a bringing together, gathering, assembly". Therefore, when the Spirit uses the word "their", it is emphasising that it was a gathering of "believers" that was based on their (i.e.- man's) terms, not on God's terms. It was not a gathering of spirits united to the Father and who were growing in His nature. Instead, it was a gathering of souls submitted under religious structures, souls who were merely going through the "spiritual" motions as they engaged in soul communion and religious traditions. To this day, most believers continue to attend "their synagogue", in gatherings that are conditioned on soul terms and not on God's spirit terms, and most fail to attend the synagogue of God, the gathering they would be a constant part of were they attentive to God's spiritual calling instead of lending their ear to the voice of man.

 

"18For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:18-29)

[Notice that God is "introduced" in this passage as "the Judge of all" (v23). This emphasises the fact that God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, James 2:1-8, 1 Peter 1:17); He makes no distinctions amongst His people. All are equally accountable to Him and shall be judged by the same standards, for, in God's eyes, there are no "ministers" and "laymen", just "priests".]

 

Notice how verse 24 above refers to the New Covenant. Those who are comfortable with the Old Covenant structures are missing out on the gathering referred to above. Those who continue to approach the visible "mount that might be touched" (v18), to the tangible "Jerusalem", do not attend the "general assembly and the church of the firstborn" (v23), even if you see them in church Sunday after Sunday.

 

Notice also how the word "soul" is not mentioned at all in the passage above. Instead, the word "spirits" is used, when referring to this "assembly" as a gathering of "the spirits of just men made perfect" (v23). This is an invisible spiritual gathering, a gathering that the writer of Hebrews urges believers not to miss out on when he writes "see that ye refuse not him that speaketh" (v25); remember that the book of Hebrews is an epistle addressed at believers (most of whom already attended church), not at unbelievers.

 

Notice also how this passage speaks of the holy assembly of the spirits in the context of God's judgements, for it refers to this gathering as spirits approaching "God, the Judge of all" (v23) and "Consuming Fire" (v29). In other words, this assembly has an atmosphere laden with purifying judgements. This contrasts with the soulish assembly most believers go for, an assembly where believers go to "get blessed" and "feel good", where their main focus is to have a "good time" with family and church friends. Whereas New Covenant believers attend the spiritual assembly presided by the God of judgements, Old Covenant believers attend the spiritual assembly presided by a pastoral, anti-judgement "God" of so-called "mercy" that makes them feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, a procedural "God" of external rules and regulations who is more concerned about the fulfilment of external religious duties than about true, transcendental transformation on the inside. In the soulish assemblies presided by this matriarchal "God", the believer's spiritual endowments wither away. This is the reason why the first thing that the Spirit mentions after speaking of "their synagogue" in Matthew 12:9 above is that there was a man with a "withered" hand there.

 

As we have shared before, the 5 fingers in the hand are a figure of the 5 ministries of Ephesians 4:11, and the hand per se speaks of serving or helping others. Therefore, the withered hand speaks of the ministerial endowments in believers that are inevitably disabled by the Old-Covenant "priest/layman" structures. The word "withered" in Matthew 12:9 was translated from the Greek word xeros meaning "dry", which is derived from another Greek word associated with the concept of "scorching". The word xeros is used 7 times in the New Testament. Three times it is used to refer to the man with the withered hand that is mentioned in Matthew 12:10, it is used once to refer to the disabled (Perizzites) who would wait by the pool of Bethesda for a blessing from an angel, and the other 3 times it is used to refer to dry land:

 

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matthew 23:15)

[The word "land" was translated from xeros. The word "hell" was translated from the Greek version of the Hebrew word "Gehenna", which, as we have said before, was the name for a place outside Jerusalem where the filth and dead animals were cast out and burned. It therefore speaks of a place where things spoiled by Canaanite filth and Girgashite temporality are burned for having gone to waste. The Girgashite scribes and Canaanite Pharisees in the Church are hard at work winning many souls to their cause, only to make them twofold "sons of Gehenna" as their spiritual callings are wasted away. They are "twofold" sons of Gehenna because of the compounded effect of both of the matriarchal spirits: the Canaanite and the Girgashite spirit.]

 

"27And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Luke 23:27-31)

[The word "dry" at the end of verse 31 was translated from xeros. The word "green" in verse 31 was translated from the Greek word hugros, which actually means "moist, wet" and is derived from the word huetos meaning "rain". This means that the spiritually dry environment of the "natural synagogue" is hostile to those who bear the latter-rain anointing. In the "natural synagogue", believers can live comfortably without ever longing for God's latter rain. The "natural synagogue" is an environment that stymies the believers' growth, preventing them taking the road to green-horse Calvary and beyond.]

 

"By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned" (Hebrews 11:29)

[The phrase "dry land" was translated from xeros. Being "Girgashitely dry", the Church's Egyptian believers are unable to handle the "wetness" of the Red sea, and are therefore constrained to Egypt. As a result, they become unable to engage on the journey towards the Promised Land.]

 

In Matthew 12:10 above, the dry "Egyptians" asked rain-anointed Jesus, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?". The word "lawful" was mistranslated from the Greek word ei meaning "whether" and the word exesti, which literally means "to be out" and has the connotation of something that "comes out" and "suddenly is". Therefore, it is no coincidence that the word exesti is phonetically similar to the English word "exist". The word "heal", in turn, was translated from the Greek verb therapeuo, which is derived from the word therapon meaning "attendant, servant". Therefore, therapeuo has the connotation of "service" to others, a nurse-like service that tends to the needs of others, enabling their restoration:

 

"7But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us." (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

 

As we saw above, there is a spiritual connection between the "Sabbath" and the awareness of our priesthood. Therefore, the question "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" actually means,

Is it a [Sabbath] priest's responsibility to attend to others, like a nurse [therapeuo], giving of himself, in order to induce the sudden existence [exesti] (i.e.- birth) of the spiritual potential in others?"

To the priests of the Old-Covenant synagogue, the answer is a clear "No" because, to them, the priesthood is a title of privilege that aggrandises them, allowing them to demand that others serve them instead of the other way around.

 

Matthew 12:10 declares that "they" (the Old-Covenant priests) asked Jesus the question "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" so that they might "accuse" him. The word "accuse" was translated from the Greek verb kategoreo, which is derived from the prefix kata meaning "according to" and agora meaning "market, place of assembly". The fact that this word means "to accuse", along with the fact that this is the word the Holy Spirit chose in this passage, reveals the following spiritual principle:

The gatherings of humans carry with them an innate atmosphere of judgements

Where humans gather, judgements will inevitably ensue. If there is any doubt in your mind, just consider the fear of judgement that people experience before an alumni reunion! As creatures who were originally made in the image of God, we are creatures designed to make judgements. In fact, as the first 3 chapters of Genesis clearly show, it is this ability to make judgements which differentiates man from the rest of creation on Earth. Therefore, when this ability to judge is either warped or naively banned, man is reduced to a sub-human animal. The question, therefore, is not whether humans should make judgements when they gather, but, rather, what judgements humans should make when they do gather. In Old-Covenant synagogues, judgements are geared towards making distinctions between the brethren, splitting them into two groups: the "chosen ones" and the "average folks". In other words, Old-Covenant synagogues categorise the inherent value of people (it is no coincidence that the words kategoreo and "category" are similar). By contrast, the intangible New-Covenant "synagogues" categorise in such a way that "right" and "wrong", "useful" and "worthless", "ideal" and "mediocre" are differentiated, enabling the transcendental growth of all involved:

 

"24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)

[Verse 25 is one of the most misunderstood verses in all of Scripture. The word "assembling" was translated from the Greek noun episunagoge, which only appears twice in all of the New Testament. This word is a combination of the prefix epi meaning "upon, over" and the word synagoge discussed above. Thus, episynagoge has the connotation of a gathering "up above". This explains why the only other verse where this noun is used is 2 Thessalonians 2:1, where the Holy Spirit speaks of "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" and "our gathering together unto Him", which has the clear connotation of a gathering "in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).]

 

As God begins to call His people out from the Old-Covenant synagogue, the "categoriser" of the brethren is cast out of the air so that the righteous may be free to gather there. This casting out involves a spiritual conflict, a war of attrition between God's red-horse riders and the heralds of Old-Covenant structures:

 

"7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:7-10)

[The word "accused" in verse 10 was translated from the Greek verb kategoreo used by the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:10 above; the word "accuser" was translated from the related word kategoros. The "angels" mentioned by the Lord in this passage are the Old-Covenant priests in the Church who herald the message of "priest/layman" separation (the word "angel" means "messenger").]

 

"16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

[As we have shared before, the "shout" mentioned in this verse refers to God's red-horse shout, calling His people out of the Old-Covenant structures]

 

Therefore, we can say that God begins the "salvation" of His people and the manifestation of His "kingdom" (Revelation 12:10 above) by calling them out of the unholy Old-Covenant gathering that inhibits the manifestation of the God-nature in them. This calling out comes through the red horse of the Apocalypse, which comes to bring internal conflict within the otherwise tranquil settings of the Old-Covenant gathering.

 

Moving forward

In response to the question "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?", Jesus spoke of a sheep falling into a pit and of those who cared for the sheep rescuing him from that pit:

 

"11And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days." (Matthew 12:11-12)

 

The word "sheep" was translated from the Greek word probaton, which is derived from the probaino meaning "to go forwards, to go on", which in turn is derived from the prefix pro meaning "forward" and baino meaning "to walk". Thus, the word for sheep, probaton, has the connotation of someone who is walking forwards, advancing and not getting stuck in one place. Therefore, the pit spoken of by Jesus refers to a place of stagnation, a hole of purposelessness where people remain without growing, unable to use their legs and move forwards. To many, the pit may be a comfortable place, a place where responsibilities fade, where the pressures of growth subside. To them, the pit becomes an easily decipherable little world where the pain of unfulfilled dreams vanishes and where the torture of learning new dimensions disappears. The pit becomes a Perizzite hole, a cautious pit of aborted dreams for the spiritually crippled who are no longer interested in pressing forwards towards the glory of God (Philippians 3:8-14). This is the suicidal pit that sheep inevitably fall into when they follow others unconditionally, relinquishing their ability to be conquerors in Him and to make judgements on their own. When a sheep falls into this pit on the "sabbath day", it becomes a "disabled priest", i.e.- a believer incapable of exercising the priestly calling God has placed inside of him or her.

 

When a sheep falls into the pit, Jesus says that someone is to "lay hold on it, and lift it out" (v11). The phrase "lay hold" was translated from the Greek verb krateo, which has the connotation of someone exercising power from within to take dominion over something (krateo is the root from which words such as "democratic" and "autocratic" are derived). The word krateo also has the strong connotation of using the hand to seize something and take control over it. As we said above, the hand in Scripture is often used as a figure of ministry service. Therefore, when Jesus speaks of "laying hold of the sheep" to get him out of the pit on the Sabbath, He is speaking of using our ministry endowments to enable the priesthood in others, allowing them to move forward in their walk towards the glory of God. That is what the "hand" of ministry endowments is for. Old-Covenant man, however, uses that hand to establish dominion over others and to have them under their personal grip and control. By contrast, New-Covenant believers use that hand to exercise dominion over the person's lameness in order to enable their future, independent growth in Christ. This is what Peter and John did for the lame man by the Gate called "The Beautiful":

 

"1Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2And a certain man lame from his motherís womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 11And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomonís, greatly wondering." (Acts 3:1-11)

 

The pit of religiosity is where the Old-Covenant believers gather, but God comes to lay hold of them and lift them up from that purposeless hole so that they may meet with Him in the spiritual air. The horses of the Apocalypse come to initiate that "rapture" process.

 

Bearing up

After speaking to them about a sheep being rescued from a pit, the Lord asks them, "How much is a man better than a sheep?" (Matthew 12:12) Interestingly enough, the word "better" was translated from the Greek word diaphero, which is derived from the prefix dia meaning "through" and phero meaning "to carry [some burden]". Thus, the word diaphero has the connotation of someone carrying something or someone across a border. Therefore, the Lord is saying that someone willing to carry a burden is required to carry the "sheep" across the border and convert the "sheep" into a "man". In other words, it requires someone willing to bear a burden in order to turn a "biological being" (the "sheep") into a "spiritual being" (the "man"). When man chooses to remain "natural"( i.e.- to live in the natural, biological realm, denying the transcendence of being a "human" originally created in God's image), he reduces himself to an "animal", a higher-level animal, mind you, but an animal, nonetheless. It requires bearing a burden to cross the threshold from an animal existence to a full-blown human existence. The animal existence is at the soul level. The full-blown human existence is at the spirit level. That is the difference between the "sons of Eve" and the "sons of Adam", and that is what makes the "sheep" diaphero (i.e. "better") than "man":

 

"44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." (1 Corinthians 15:44-45)

 

The word "quickening" above was translated from a Greek word meaning "life-giving". Therefore, a more accurate translation would read, "the first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit". Whereas Old-Covenant souls merely "live", New-Covenant spirits "give life", and they do so by sacrificing their very souls on behalf of others. This is the "mercy" that the Lord speaks about in Matthew 12:7 above.

 

Unlike those who herald external sacrifices, those who do God's true mercy on Earth recognise the value of man beyond his biological nature. As they recognise that extraordinary value, they are willing to make extraordinary sacrifices to make it manifest [exesti]. They wail over things being ordinary, and long for things to become extraordinary. They are willing to make these "acts of mercy" on behalf of a single "sheep", for they know the unfathomable value of God's Oneness.

 

"4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:4-7)

 

Notice that the man in the passage above lays the sheep on his shoulders. This speaks of the burden that the man was willing to bear in order to rescue that one sheep.

 

Pastors gone awry

Notice that the man described by the Spirit in Luke 15:4-7 above was willing to leave the 99 sheep alone in order to go after the one that was lost. This points out the fact that he did not consider the 99 to be permanently dependent on him; otherwise, he would not have dared to leave them alone. It also reveals the fact that his sense of personal value did not depend on the number of sheep who were "under his control"; had he seen the sheep as "numerable items of personal wealth", he would have hesitated to "risk" his "ownership" of the 99 in order to rescue a single sheep. The man of Luke 15:4-7 saw the manifestation of righteousness in one sheep as reward enough, and he knew that, as that righteousness was manifested, the sheep's need for him would naturally wane. This contrasts with the attitude of Old-Covenant shepherds. As we have studied before, it is the over-protectiveness of the matriarchal pastoral spirit which leads to the crippling of believers in the Church. This over-protectiveness is induced by the matriarchal shepherds' basic distrust of God's judgements. They believe that all righteousness-based judgements are inherently evil, and they do not trust that God will resurrect what He kills through His judgements. They believe that God is not mature enough to "control" His wrath, and they believe that any manifestation of God's wrath will inevitably "go overboard" and do more harm than good. This is why they despise God's wrath and pray against it so fiercely. Yet, in doing so, they prevent God's "growth hormones" being injected into His people, for true spiritual growth is induced by His judgements. This ban of God's judgements leads to the stunted growth and spiritual lameness of God's people.

 

As we have studied before, there are 3 levels of pastoring, and the highest level, Level 3, is the one that sees the "Lamb-of-God" potential in fellow sheep. Level-3 shepherds work to feed that potential so that it may be manifested, and they are willing to provide themselves as food and fuel for that potential:

 

"12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." (John 15:12-15)

[Notice that Jesus did not deem Himself "inherently superior" to His disciples, but deemed them as friends on an equal footing with Him. This contrasts with the Old-Covenant pastors who currently rule over the Church and who deem themselves inherently superior to the less-qualified "sheep". Who would give his life for a sheep if he deemed his life more valuable than the sheep's? That would be like "overpaying" for a low-quality perfume.]

 

"55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 59These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum." (John 6:55-59)

[As we have studied before, Capernaum means "village of comfort" and is a figure of a Church ruled by matriarchal pastors who cover their "faithful" with a blanket of human mercy. This is the reason why the people in that synagogue rejected the words spoken by Jesus. As Jesus spoke under the anointing of a Level-3 shepherd, He defied the mentality instilled into the people in the synagogue by the Level-1 and Level-2 pastors they so revered.]

 

Whereas Level-3 pastors provide themselves as food for the spirit nature of others, the lowest level of pastoring can only provide for the soul's temporary needs and is completely unable to forge the full manifestation of the brethren's Spirit nature. Such pastors are indeed willing to carry a burden for others, but without relinquishing their sense of inherent superiority over the sheep. They are willing to bear "emotional" and "physical" burdens for others as long as they are repaid with adulation and undying loyalty. Once the children they feed begin to grow and to assert their God-given authority, they stop looking so "cute" and "loveable" to these pastors' eyes; instead, they turn into a mortal threat to these pastors' controlling hand, and that is when their once "helping" and "caressing" hand turns into a slapping hand of spiritual repression. When this happens, the ministerial hand of those repressed begins to wither ... unless the repressed heed the red-horse shout and leave the Old-Covenant synagogue behind.

 

Use what you've got

After His red-horse exchange with the enforcers of the Old-Covenant, Jesus said the following:

 

"Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other." (Matthew 12:13)

 

As we have shared before, Jesus was not simply in the business of healing physical issues. He was interested in dealing with spiritual roots, and, as He dealt with the spiritual roots, healing in the natural realm would be manifested. This is the reason why Jesus did not go to the man, lay hands on him, and have the withered hand healed. Instead, He first spoke the words on the Sabbath within earshot of the man, and those words began to deal with the spiritual issues behind the man's withered hand. He then asked the man to react to the words he had heard, and that is why He told the man to stretch forth his hand. As you may imagine, it must not have been easy for him to expose his withered hand in public. As can be naturally expected, it is very likely that he had a tendency to hide his withered hand and to expose the other hand only. There was shame associated with "stretching forth" his hand; yet, that is exactly what Jesus asked him to do. As we said above, the "hand" represents ministerial endowments. Therefore, when Jesus was telling him to "stretch forth" his hand, He was, in the Spirit, telling him to believe that he had ministerial endowments from God and to begin to exercise them, withered as they may seem. After he stretched forth his hand, God restored it, meaning that, as you agree with God that you have ministerial endowments from Him, and, as you dare to exercise them, even in their "withered" condition, those endowments will begin to flourish, and your ministerial calling will be manifested. In the process, you must be willing to overcome your initial sense of shame, believing that God will be faithful to His word and that He will make your endowments flourish as you put them to work, regardless of their initial condition. When Jesus said to the man, "Stretch forth your hand", He was saying to him, "This is the Sabbath, and you are a Sabbath priest; exercise your priesthood", and he did so; and, as he did, he was restored.

 

The word "restored" in Matthew 12:13 is not translated from any of the Greek words usually related to "healing" or "curing". Instead, it was translated from the word apokathistemi, which is derived from the following words:

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The prefix apo, meaning "from", which has a connotation of "separation"

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The word kathistemi, meaning "to place, to appoint one to administer an office", which is, in turn, derived from the following words:

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The word kata, meaning "according to"

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The word histemi, meaning "to set, establish"

 

Notice how the word for "restore" used by the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:13 is related to someone being appointed to an office, which emphasises the spiritual connection between this passage and believers being appointed by God to exercise the office of priesthood. The word apokathistemi also has the strong connotation of something being established back to a condition it had before (established [histemi] according to [kata] the parameters from which [apo] it originally came). When the man's hand was "restored", his priesthood appointment was restored, and he was being enabled to exercise the appointment that God had made but which the Old-Covenant synagogue had somehow worked to "nullify".

 

The word "whole" in the phrase "it was restored whole" in Matthew 12:13 was translated from the Greek word hugies, which, interestingly enough, is derived from the verb auxano, meaning "to cause to grow, to augment". In other words, when the hand was "restored whole", it was restored in such a way that it was now free to develop and grow in functionality. The "priesthood hand" that once had withered down, shrinking back in shame, was now "reinstated" and free to grow and develop, like a person who has been restored to a position he had been cheated out of and who is now free to thrive and blossom in that position. That restoration, however, required that the person overcome his shame and disregard his natural tendency to retreat back and hide his endowments, for fear of being accused or ridiculed. Even in its withered condition, the hand had to be stretched forth and "exercised" in public. Otherwise, the restoration would not be possible. As the hand was stretched forth, it became "un-shrinked" and the "accuser of the brethren" was cast down, for the loud red-horse shout of the Lord had been heeded:

 

"7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:7-10)

 

Like the other hand

As you may have noticed, the Holy Spirit not only mentioned that the man's hand had been restored, but He took the time to mention that it had been restored "like the other" (Matthew 12:13). There is spiritual significance behind this. The man's other hand was normal, and it must have been the hand that he confidently used for his daily activities. Therefore, we can safely say that the withered hand represents the man's spiritual endowments, whilst the other hand represents his natural endowments. Many believers have great natural skills, skills which they use at work or when engaging in their hobbies; these are skills they are very much aware of and which they exercise with great confidence. However, when it comes to spiritual work, they see themselves crippled, incapable of reaching the "spiritual heights" reached by the Church's "ministers". Since these "ministers" are constantly teaching from the pulpit that they are the only ones who are called by God to act as "spiritual ministers", the ministerial endowments in the audience below the pulpit go unused and wither away. As they are taught that their main role in the Kingdom is to "finance the (minister's) kingdom" through their secular work, they start to believe that the only hand they are called to use is the "natural hand", leaving the more "spiritual" matters in the more "capable" hands of the recognised "ministers". However, as the white horse begins to gallop in your heart, and, as you begin to hear God's red-horse shout calling you out of the Old-Covenant synagogue, the line between the "secular" and the "spiritual" begins to blur, and you become aware that God is involved in everything. As this happens, you begin to understand that there should be no distinction between your "spiritual" hand and your "natural" hand, for God is to be all in all.

 

"10As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

Notice how this passage calls us to exercise the ministry gift in us and to glorify God in all things, i.e.- in all aspects of our lives. For the true believer, there is no "spiritual" life on the one hand and a "secular" life on the other, for God is in everything. As we begin to understand that "dominion for ever and ever" belongs to God, we begin to work in favour of God's dominion over all the Earth, instead of limiting ourselves to working for the dominion of some "ministers" over their respective little kingdoms.

 

There is an ampler message behind the comparison that the Holy Spirit made between the restored hand and the other hand: The "other hand" speaks of the areas where we are naturally skilled in, areas where we use our skills with great ease. By contrast, the withered hand speaks of the areas (whether in the natural of or a more "spiritual" nature) in which we have great difficulty, i.e.- all areas in which we are naturally awkward. As we grow up (chronologically), we become aware of our strengths and our weaknesses, and our natural tendency is to exercise our strengths and avoid our weaknesses. This leads to us having one sound, active "hand", and one withered, passive "hand". However, the Lord has called us to mature unto a "perfect man", unto the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ":

 

"11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)

 

This means that, if we are to complete our walk in Christ, our areas of weakness must eventually be dealt with. The areas in which we do not move with ease must eventually be conquered so that we may operate in the full spectrum of a restored human being. In bringing up the "other hand" in Matthew 12:13, the Spirit of God is saying,

Consider your other areas, the areas where you are naturally strong, and aim to have your areas of weakness look like your areas of strength. If you trust Me, I will 'unwither' your weak skills, and I will make you thrive in them. If you trust Me, I will make your areas of weakness look and be as strong as your areas of strength. You must be willing to believe, however, that those weak skills which you have shied away from must be restored and put to use. You must be willing to admit that those skills are needed and that your other, withered hand, is not superfluous. If you stretch out your weak hand and activate it, withered as it may be, I shall make it whole. Take comfort in your strong hand, for I shall make your withered hand look and function like your strong hand. Recognise your need for the withered hand and activate it. Overcome the unbelief and the shame, and I shall make you whole.

 

The make-up of Perizzitis

At one point, as I was meditating on Matthew 12:9-14, a question was birthed in my mind. The question was, "Why was the hand withered?". As I meditated on this question, these are the thoughts that the Spirit immediately deposited in my mind:

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Lack of confidence: The hand withers as it shrinks back in shyness because it feels useless

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Inconsistency: The hand withers as a flower that is not watered and nurtured

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Scriptedness: The hand withers in a place where the prophetic waters of "randomness" and "intuition" have not been allowed to flow

 

As I meditated on this "random" and seemingly "disconnected" list, I was amazed to see that they were related to the 3 "male" ministries:

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Lack of confidence

As we have shared before, evangelists have a strong endowment of natural grace. As a result, they are by nature people brimming with confidence. Because of their strong will and their innate ability to impose their will on their surroundings, they have the ability to convince others (and even themselves) that their skills are good and worth utilising. Therefore, when a person's hand withers back in shyness because it feels useless, it is revealing a lack of evangelistic confidence. The way to overcome this shyness is by asserting your hand's "place in this world", so to speak. You must have faith in your hand's validity, and you must be willing to "subdue" the world into accepting the importance of what your hand has to offer. To the evangelist, what the world may or may not think about his hand is completely irrelevant, for he sees the world in terms of his will in God, not in terms of the world's misguided will. To the evangelist, the only thing that matters is the fact that God gave him his hand and that that fact alone is enough to justify the world's need for what his hand will produce. As a result, the evangelist has the determination to will the value of what God is calling him to do into existence, regardless of whether the "will atmosphere" around him is up for it; in his heart, what he is called to do is important and it must be done, full stop. The evangelist believes that his hand was planted in this world by God in the same way that a general claims a territory by planting a flag on it. In that sense, therefore, your hand is like a conqueror placed in this world by God Himself in order to subdue the world into valuing what your hand will produce. To the evangelist, the world will be judged by how they valued the fruits of his hand, for he knows that his hand was enacted by the will of God Himself.

 

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Inconsistency

As we have shared before, apostles have a strong endowment of endurance that allows them to "stay the course" as they journey through deserts. Because they are law- and judgements-focused, they have the internal discipline to apply a law and/or judgement again and again, upon others and even upon themselves, until that law and/or judgement fulfils its purpose. This endowment of "consistent application" (despite the discomfort) is what is required in order to water and nurture a weak skill until it becomes strong and natural. The lack of this apostolic consistency is what causes many hands to wither and remain inactive. Thus, you must be willing to consistently use and nurture your weak hand in a disciplined way, "judging" it into full maturity.

 

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Scriptedness

As we have shared before, prophets have a strong endowment of "creative randomness". They are willing to "go with the flow" and to step out of the safety of the pre-established procedure. They allow their emotions to flow freely, and thus do things that go outside the bounds of their currently understood logic. In order to "unwither" your weak hand, you must be willing to engage in this creative randomness. You must not allow the fear of uncertainty to hinder the activation of your weak skills. As you begin to use your weak hand, you will encounter situations that are totally unfamiliar to you, situations for which your brain has yet to develop a "trusted script", situations where the "next thing to do" does not come as naturally as when you are using your strong hand. Therefore, you need to develop a willingness to work with no script whatsoever and to allow things to come to you in the spur of the moment, which means activating the "prophetic antennas" that will detect the next best step to take and the next best thing to do or say. As you allow your prophetic emotions to run freely, your weak hand will be "hydrated", and the "unwithering" will progress.

 

Therefore, we can conclude that the spiritual illness of "Perizzitis" is caused by a depletion of 3 "male-ministry vitamins":

  1. Evangelistic confidence for the heart

  2. Apostolic consistency for the mind

  3. Prophetic randomness for the emotions

You must proactively inject these vitamins (back) into your soul in order to prevent (or revert) the withering of your weak hand caused by "Perizzitis". Perizzitis is an unhealthy shyness that causes you to withdraw your weak hand in shame. The 3 "male" vitamins help to prevent the unhealthy "shrinking down" caused by this disabling disease.

 

The bully factor

As we saw above, when Jesus came against the withering of the man's hand, he encountered the bullying of the Old-Covenant enforcers. This reveals the strong spiritual connection between shyness and bullying. Behind every unhealthy shyness there is always a bullying agent (spiritual and/or literal) actively fostering and perpetuating that shyness. That bullying agent is some entity that constantly attacks you in an effort to emphasise its "superiority" over you. Thus, we can say that (Perizzite) shyness involves you feeling inferior to some agent that constantly works to intimidate you and assert its superiority. Trite as it may sound, you must confront your bully in order to overcome your shyness.

 

In order to confront him, however, you must first recognise who he is; it is impossible to defeat an enemy you do not know. Second, you must recognise that your enemy is indeed a "he" and not an "it"; in other words, you must recognise that he is an active agent and not just an inert thing or circumstance. Behind the bullying hide spiritual agents that instigate actions against you in the natural realm whenever you begin to assert your spiritual authority. Whenever they see you "straightening your hunch", they come against you with gale-force winds, pounding you with a hail of overwhelming issues and situations so as to make you feel inadequate again. Through their gale and their hail, they try to prove to you that you are not "all you are cracking yourself up to be". Therefore, as the assault comes and you fumble and stumble through it, you must see it, not as proof that you do not measure up, but rather as a stumbling block deliberately placed in your path by a bullying spiritual agent bent on putting you down and preventing you growing in your "male-ministry" endowments. You must then brush the dust of the incident from off of you and continue to straighten up your hunch.

 

"10And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? 16And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him." (Luke 13:10-17)

[Notice the Lord's reference to "watering" at the end of verse 15, which correlates with the dried, "withered" hand of Matthew 12:9-14. Giving water to your "ox" is a figure of nurturing your evangelistic strength, whilst giving water to your "ass" is a figure of nurturing your prophetic anointing. Notice, therefore, that the Lord makes a specific reference to the 2 "grace ministries" (evangelist and prophet), meaning that you must emphasise and nurture your grace in order to overcome the bully-induced hunch.

 

By the way, the apostolic component in the passage above can be found in the wisdom of Jesus' answer itself. He emphasised the inherent value of the woman standing before Him, and He exposed how others were "sub-valuing" her, i.e.- deeming her inferior to what she really was.]

 

As you engage your bully and counter-attack him,

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You must consider his tactics and ask yourself, "What constant lie from him am I believing that keeps me feeling inferior?" You must analyse that lie and dissect it in apostolic wisdom until the falsehood about your "inherent inferiority" is clearly exposed before your eyes.

 

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You must also forcibly break away from any mental "safety zones" (established by your enemy over time) that prevent you operating in God's prophetic randomness and boldness; you must allow your emotions to flow freely in order to allow yourself to enter unchartered waters, even when flowing into those waters means that you will suffer moments of stinging pain and confusion. You must be willing to "go kamikaze" on the bully and his "safety zones"; otherwise, he will remain the "gorilla on your back", hunching you over.

 

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You must also act in evangelistic determination against him; you must "outwill" him, imposing the reality of your grace and your value over his false assertion that you are graceless and worthless.

 

Watering others

In Matthew 12:7, quoted above, the Lord is repeating the words in Hosea 6:6:

 

"4O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 5Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. 6For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:4-6)

 

Notice how the Spirit of God speaks of "desiring mercy", whilst at the same time saying that He sent prophets to "hew" others and to "slay" them by the words of His mouth. This clearly shows that God's concept of "mercy" is very different from matriarchal man's. To Him, "mercy" is more than being "nice and kind" to others. Mercy is to truly value them and to be willing to pay a heavy price on their behalf because you deem them worthy of your sacrifice. Mercy is to give of yourself so that others may grow and blossom. As you exercise God's mercy, you begin to gush forth prophetic waters over the withered hands of others. What they must do is to stretch forth their hands, and, as they do, your sacrificial mercy will pour over their hands, water them, and rehabilitate them, enabling them for future growth.

 

"1Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 6In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6)

 

As we have studied before, the passage above has to do with carrying out prophetic sacrifices for others. Therefore, it is interesting to consider that it speaks of invisible growth (v5), which confirms the spiritual connection between the type of sacrifice performed by red-horse riders and the enabling of growth in others. Notice also that it speaks of things that remain stagnant and do not grow, as when it speaks of rain falling on a fallen tree that remains where it fell (v3). It also speaks of the sower not knowing which seed will prosper and which seed will not (v6). This means that, as the red-horse rider sows of himself, he takes a risk, and he is making a long-term investment that may or may not work out. The red-horse rider's call is to focus on sowing sacrifice for the sake of others, even when the returns on their investment are not "100% guaranteed". Some of the soil the Spirit guides you towards may or may not reply to your red-horse sowing, but you must sow anyway, and let the chips fall where they may. As the end of verse 6 above indicates, chances are you will have some unexpectedly positive returns on your investment if you are sowing on the soil God sent you to.

 

As Matthew 12:14 indicates, the Pharisees "went out" after Jesus restored the withered hand, and they had a meeting in which they agreed that they should destroy Jesus and wondered how they might be able to do this. Why did they react like this? Because they were disgusted by what they saw in the New-Covenant gathering that they had just witnessed, and they were about to have no part of that. By holding a meeting of their own, they were trying to reinstate their Old-Covenant-style gatherings, gatherings in which the purpose was to establish superiority and destroy potential, not to help and enable the spiritual potential in others. By deciding how Jesus would be destroyed, they were reclaiming their "control" over Jesus and the likes of Him. They were declaring to themselves that they had authority over Jesus' life and could decide when He would live or die. The bully spirit of Cain in them was not about to let some "inferior" folks push them aside. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the verses after Hosea 6:6 (repeated by Jesus in Matthew 12:7) read as follows:

 

"7But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. 8Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood. 9And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. 10I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled." (Hosea 6:7-10)

 

By "going out" of Yeshua's New-Covenant gathering, they were wilfully going out of the range of God's New-Covenant restoration. Within that range, anyone who is not restored is automatically confronted. Those who refuse restoration cannot stay in the restoration zone for long, for they must either change or become hardened in their old ways. Why? Because the restoration zone infuses the Kingship of God into the atmosphere, and all those who want to be kings instead of Him must either yield to Him or war against Him.

 

As the waters of New Covenant rained over the restoration zone, some souls were harvested unto the New Covenant, but others were hardened. Since they yielded no returns on God's investment and refused to be part of His harvest, they set themselves up for a special harvest from God, a harvest of judgement:

 

"Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people." (Hosea 6:11)

 

After the Old-Covenant hierarchs "went out", Jesus "went out" Himself:

 

"14Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all" (Matthew 12:14-15)

[Notice how Jesus switched from a "confrontation" red-horse mode into a "withdrawal" mode. Why? Because His withdrawal was not an act of "hunching over in shame" in the face of the bully. He had already confronted the bully, whilst remaining with His back straight. Now, it was time to withdraw and to continue imparting to others who were receptive to His waters. Remaining in that place and continuing a futile dispute with Cain would have been unproductive and unnecessarily dangerous, and it would have meant falling into the enemy's trap, setting Himself up for a premature and spiritually-fruitless demise. Let him who has ears hear what the Lord is saying.]

 

As we have studied before, the remnant and the enemies of the remnant in the Church follow paths that "mirror" each other. Just as Cain flees into the desert and morphs into Balaam, the red-horse remnant flee from Cain's structures and turn into black-horse riders. The remnant's flight is literal, for they escape from the literal structures of man; the enemies' flight is spiritual, for they escape from the spiritual structures of God. To the undiscerning eye, Cain and his followers seem to be the ones who remain in place, but, as they do so, they are actually escaping from God's will.

 

Jesus paid a high price for restoring the man's withered hand. For doing so, He became the target of persecution, and the seeds of assassination were sown into His enemies' heart. He was thereby living out the words that He had preached: He was carrying out mercy instead of mere external sacrifice. His mercy carried confrontation and judgement against those who opposed it, whilst at the same time bringing restoration to those who surrendered under it.

 

In this article, we saw how Matthew 12:1-8 points to the galloping of the white horse and Matthew 12:9-14 to the galloping of the red horse of the Apocalypse. In a future posting, we will share on how the ensuing verses in Matthew 12 point to the galloping of the other 2 horses of the Apocalypse.