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Date:         Tue, 28 May 1996 08:23:59 +-200
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      ChrExp, The Scriptures opened, 85
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 
Status: U

1. Matthew 9:34    - The Gergesenes bid Jesus depart
2. Romans 13:13,14 - A godly man's conduct
3. Proverbs 17:5   - The poor and his Maker

1.  Matthew 9:34 - The Gergesenes bid Jesus depart

Matthew 9:34

They besought Him that He would depart out of their coasts.

The longer you think of this text, the more astonished you become. How
was  it ever possible that they besought Jesus to depart out of  their
lands?  With  this  request they rejected the Saviour  of  the  world!
Moreover,  they  rejected the Saviour that came in  their  country  to
preach there. How is that possible? Why were they so foolish?

When  Jesus  was come into the country of the Gergesenes,  two  people
possessed with devils met Him. They were coming out of the tombs,  and
were  exceeding  fierce, so that no man might pass by that  way.  When
they  saw Jesus, they cried out: "What have we to do with Thee, Jesus,
Thou  Son of God?" These were not words of the two possessed, although
it  was their mouths that spoke them. These were not words of men, but
of  the  devils themselves. "Are Thou come hither to torment us before
the  time?" They knew that once their time would come, that they would
be  tormented for ever and ever. But they feared that Jesus  had  come
now, to torment them before that appointed time. The two men possessed
with  devils came to Jesus. And there was a good way off from  them  a
herd  of  many swine feeding. They fed on a hill, as the other gospels
witness.  According  to Josephus, book 17, chap.  13,  the  Gergesenes
lived  after  the  order  of  the Greeks, and  therefore  we  are  not
surprised to meet swine there. When Jesus commanded the devils  to  go
out  these men, the devils besought Him that they might go into  those
swine. They said: "If Thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into  the
herd  of  swine".  Swine were unclean beasts, according  to  the  law.
Devils,  being  unclean  too, asked to go into  those  swine.  Unclean
searches company of unclean, as we see here. When they had besought to
go  into the swine, Jesus said to them: "Go". Then the demons left the
men,  and  went into the herd of swine. And what happened?  The  whole
herd  of  swine  ran violently down a steep place into  the  see,  and
perished  in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went  their
ways into the city, and told everything; and also what was befallen to
the  possessed of the devils. Instead that they rejoiced greatly  that
some  possessed were delivered, they complained about the loss of  the
unclean  swine. Instead of rejoicing over the removal of  the  unclean
spirits,  they  mourned for the loss of the unclean beasts.  When  the
people heard it, the whole city came out to meet Jesus, and when  they
saw  Him, they besought Him that He would depart out of their  coasts.
They  showed  that  they cared not about the  lives  of  the  two  men
possessed, but that they were upside-down of the loss of their income.
Rather  then  seeking for life, they sought their  money.  They  loved
their  income, and, since Jesus was of another attitude, they bid  Him
leave.  Jesus left them. Now wonder then, since they lived  as  swine,
that Christ does not abide there, but the devils.

The  same  you find in our times. Rather then going to church whenever
possible, to hear the Word of God, the people choose their money,  and
bid  Jesus  leave.  And  when they have some free  time,  rather  then
praying  and  reading Scriptures and doing well to  the  people,  they
spend  it  in idle things, or in pleasures. They bid Christ,  and  the
Holy Ghost leave, because they care not for Them; they love themselves
and  the  world. When they hear one is converted to God, and delivered
from  the snares of satan, instead of rejoicing greatly (as the angels
in  heaven do) they grieve for the loss. No wonder then that God  will
leave them, and return not.

In our text we read that they bid Jesus leave. "And, behold, the whole
city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought  him
that  he  would  depart out of their coasts." After Jesus  left  them,
according  to  their wish, he went to another place. "And  he  entered
into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold,
they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus
seeing  their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be  of  good
cheer;  thy  sins be forgiven thee." So, Jesus leaving the Gergesenes,
comes  into  his own city. There they bring to him a sick man.  Jesus,
seeing  their faith, says to the sick man that his sins are  forgiven.
Let  then the Gergesenes have their swine, but this man has a treasure
laid up in heaven. His sins are forgiven, but the Gergesenes will bear
their  own  sins. If then the country of the Gergesenes  throws  Jesus
out,  there will be another country where they will gladly accept Him.
Likewise,  when one church begins to apostate and fall away  from  the
truth, or fall back in Jewish ceremonies, then Jesus leaves them,  and
plants  His church elsewhere. Do you not bring forth fruit?  Then  the
tree  of you will be hewn down and rooted out. And God will plant  His
church elsewhere, namely there where they will bring forth much useful

2.  Romans 13:13,14 - A godly man's conduct

Romans 13:13,14

Let  us  walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness,
not  in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But  put
ye  on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to
fulfil the lusts thereof.

Let  us live honestly. That is, let us walk godly in the sight of God,
and  let  us also live honestly in the sight of men. Let us  have  our
conversation among the gentiles honestly, so that they see  our  works
and glorify God because of them. Those that are not of Christ and only
profess His name say: "It doesn't matter what I do among men; for  God
is  my  Judge, and not the people. I care not for their opinion  about
me".  These are the ungodly, but those that really are of Christ, keep
their  conversation honest among the people. They indeed have  God  as
their  Judge, but in addition to this, they should live honestly among
men. Let us, therefore, live honestly.

Let  us live honestly, as in the day. The night of sin has passed. The
darkness of ignorance wherein we lived formerly, is brightened  up  by
the  saving knowledge of Christ, through God's grace. Let us then live
honestly, as in the day. We are no longer in the night. In the  night,
no  man  can see us. Therefore, many, while they are in the  night  of
sins,  do  their  own will, and do whatever they like.  Being  in  the
night,  they think none sees them. Having nobody that warns  them,  or
closing their eyes and ears for the truth, they live as in the  night;
in  uncleanness,  in  theft, in slander, in anger.  But  let  us  live
honestly, not as in the night, but as in the day. This conduct becomes
those  that  are of Christ, and to whom the saving grace  of  God  has

Let we live as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness. The apostle
mentions  rioting and drunkenness, wherein we should not  walk.  First
rioting.  The  rioting people, in those times, formed a nocturnal  and
riotous  procession of half drunken and frolicsome fellows, who  after
supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honour  of
Bacchus  or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of  male
and female friends. So, generally, those are rioting that go to feasts
and  drinking  parties, which are protracted till late at  night,  and
indulge in revelry. Let we therefore take heed, lest we join in  those
greedy  and  indecent meals. Let us, therefore, not live in  profusion
and   in   playfulness,  and  in  dance,  and  in  several  sorts   of
thoughtlessness.  Secondly, the apostle mentions  drunkenness.  It  is
written:  "Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and  men  of
strength to mingle strong drink." Isa. 5:22. Let us therefore  not  be
mighty  to drink wine to our own and our neighbour's hurt, lest  God's
woe  comes  down  on  us.  Several that say they  believe  in  Christ,
excessively booze wine and strong drink. But let us forsake that.

Besides not walking in rioting and drunkenness, let us also walk  "not
in  chambering and wantonness", says the apostle. Generally,  adultery
and  whoredom is committed in the bedrooms. Let us therefore not  play
the whore, nor fornicate. Let us also not walk in wantonness. That is,
let  us  forsake  the  horny playfulness, and forsake  every  kind  of
impurity  and  lewdness.  These  are works  of  darkness.  But,  being
children of the day, let us not walk in these nightly and dark works.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; "not in strife and envying", Paul
continues. For, "if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that  ye
be not consumed one of another." Gal 5:15. Let us not do as the armies
of  enemies of Israel did in former days. They helped one another into
death,  and Israel stood by looking and rejoicing in the God of  their
salvation.  "For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up  against  the
inhabitants  of  mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy  [them]:  and
when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped
to  destroy another." 2 Chron 20:23. Let us, having this and many such
verses, for warning examples, not walk in strife and envying, lest  we
help the congregation of the Lord into destruction. These are works of
darkness, but we, as in the day, let us live in unity and love.

Instead of all these evil things, let us do something else. Let's  not
walk  in strife, "but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ", says the Word.
We  should  put on Jesus Christ. This putting on means that we  should
put  Him  on like one puts on his garments and equipment and  weapons.
When  we  go out to our work, we put on our garments. When the soldier
goes  out to fight for his fatherland, he puts on his weapons. Let  us
put  on  Christ, because we should go out to our work. Let we  put  on
Christ's  virtues, because we have a fight, not with flesh and  blood,
but  with the evil spirits and with darkness and sin. "Put ye  on  the
Lord  Jesus Christ". How? How may we put on Him? Put ye on Christ  our
Lord through faith, accepting His righteousness, and imitating all His
virtues. Instead of clothing your body with all sorts of vain  outward
apparel,  cloth your body and soul with Christ's virtues.  Instead  of
adorning  yourself  with gold and other perishing metals,  adorn  your
body   and  soul  with  good  works  -  with  faith  -  with  Christ's
righteousness. "For as many of you as have been baptized  into  Christ
have  put on Christ." Gal 3:27. The believers once have put on Christ.
Let them continue in the way the once have taken.

Put  on  the Lord Jesus Christ, "and make not provision for the flesh,
to  fulfil the lusts thereof". Make not provision for the flesh,  that
is, make no provision for the body. With this is not forbidden to make
provision  for  the necessary things for the body, as  some  clothing,
food,  drink, medicine, and other things necessary for the maintenance
of  the body. For, all this is recommended. "No man ever yet hated his
own  flesh;  but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as  the  Lord  the
church."  Eph  5:29.  But  when it is said that  we  should  not  make
provision  for the flesh, it is added: "to fulfil the lusts  thereof".
So,  do  not  fulfil  the  evil lusts of the  flesh,  and  don't  make
provision  for  that. "But I keep under my body, and bring  [it]  into
subjection."  1  Cor 9:27. Fulfil not the desires of the  body,  which
tend to excess, pride, greediness and lewdness. Subject your body, and
make  no provision for it to fulfil the lusts of it. "For all that  is
in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the
pride  of  life,  is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And  the
world  passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the  will
of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:16,17.

Let  us  walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness,
not  in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But  put
ye  on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to
fulfil the lusts thereof.

3.  Proverbs 17:5 - The poor and his Maker

Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker.

Proverbs 17:5

In the beginning God created heaven and earth. He also made the beasts
of the field. At the end, He made man, according to His Own image. God
not  only  made Adam, the first man, but also Eve. He also  gave  them
children. Every child that is born, is made by God. Not only the well-
formed and healthy people are made by God, but, according to our text,
also the poor are made by Him. It pleased God to make men as they  are
now. It pleases Him to make some men rich, and some others poor. It is
His will. This is the reason that, "whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth
his  Maker". It pleases God to make the poor, and should we then  mock
those people?

Poor men are often neglected. We honour the rich and lick their boots.
But  who  is there that honours the poor, since they also are made  by
God  their  Maker? It may be that we not openly mock them, being  held
back  by  some decency. But many of us, though they say no  word,  yet
mock the poor in their heart.

Whoso  mocks  the  poor reproaches his Maker. He dishonours  God,  Who
created  the  poor. He dishonours God, Who exercises the  people  with
poverty.  The poor, having no help of the people, rely on  God.   Will
God  not be very angry with you, when you mock the poor? For, you  not
only  mock the poor (which in itself is reprehensible), but  also  his

"A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"
Institute Practical Bible-education
Written by Teus Benschop  --  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-085.txt