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Miraculous Signs, Evil Spirits, Startling Statements, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2021 7:05 am

Miraculous Signs, Evil Spirits, Startling Statements, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 8, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Kingdom: A Study of Matthew 8–13

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Today Chuck Swindoll warns that overexposure to spiritual things can cause unwanted outcome in my becoming a cynic showing signs of Pharisaism back if you're involved like maybe Sunday after Sunday week after week, month after month sermon after sermon Bible study after Bible study.

You are in this house of exposure.

You realize how treacherous some schism. If you get annoyed turned all the while you're in good company. The Bible shows us Jesus had little patience for those who reveled in self-importance, especially misrepresented the grace of God today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll will describe a prickly showdown between Jesus and the religious leaders of his day the Pharisees were dripping with smog with the intent of sabotaging his growing popularity. They challenge Jesus to perform another miracle will begin today as John recounts the story in Matthew chapter 12 Bible near you are with you. These open to the 12th chapter of Matthew were looking at the last 13 verses of this 12th chapter. I will tell you before we get into it. It's a tough section of Scripture is one of those it makes me sort of think about calling in sick on Sunday but I didn't do that is not for the faint hearted, as you will see and you will after we finished the reading realize what I mean by because Jesus is at his very best. Which means it includes moments of real mystery profundity where he never tells people what they want to hear, but what they need to hear in this case is talking to people who despise him and are planning for his murder. So keep that in mind, and it may help you with some of the things will uncover. Matthew 12 beginning at verse 38. I'm reading from the new living translation. One day, some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said teacher, we want you to show some miraculous signs to prove your authority. Jesus replied only an evil adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign. The only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah for his Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on Judgment Day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah, someone greater than Jonah is here. But you refuse to repent. The Queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on Judgment Day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

Now someone greater than Solomon is here. But you refuse to listen when evil spirit leaves a person goes into the desert, seeking rest, but finding none, then it says I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they always enter the person and live there, and so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation as Jesus was speaking to the crowd. His mother and brothers stood outside asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, your mother and your brothers are outside and they want to speak to you. Jesus asked who is my mother who are my brothers.

Then he pointed to his disciples and said look, these are my mother and brothers.

Anyone who does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download it, searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies another message from Chuck titled miraculous signs, evil spirits, startling statement. It's unfortunate that the Bible is so silent it here's what I mean by that. We we have words that we can read and we do and we have events that we can trace and were able to do that.

Thanks to maps and other resourceful tools we can use we can read the words. We can trace the events. We can even study the ideas but everything is so without sound, and so all we have is words on a page and we cannot tell much from the words themselves about the spirit of things at the moment. Unless of course we are on it day after day after day, hour to hour and kick our imagination limit him to give an example. Let's say you send me an email around noon. One day you say, I asked our teenage son before he goes to school this morning to make sure that he picked up his room and makes his bed and he responded okay mom about what I read those words I am impressed. I never had a teenage kid that would mean sometimes they did but not not often done just it sounds too good, but what I don't have is a sound now if I had a video clip provide audio sound in this I would, I would be able to see Sam.

Don't forget to clean your room and make your bed before you go to school this morning. Okay mom same words but now you've got aggravation impatience. This respect, anger, sarcasm which you weren't able to see all you had were just the words no problem with all of this.

Look at verse 38 in your Bible in Matthew 12 and then followed by 39 I would ask you if all you had with words, does it seem to flow nicely. One day, some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.

Jesus replied only an evil adult first generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only son I will give them of the side of the prophet Jonah seem a little unusual to seem like he's got a killing a roach with a shotgun. I mean, when you look at it doesn't seem overreaching to just asking for a sign know they're not.

See that's what you get when all you do is read words on the page and you don't remember, and you don't kick your mind into the sledding called the context to understand why Jesus would answer like that. First of all, look at who is talking to their the scribes and the Pharisees. They are the most self righteous individuals on the planet. They are so impressed with themselves there holier than thou attitude.

Furthermore, the skeptics. They've already tipped their hand where we read in the same chapter verse 14. Look at it. These are the same ones the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus. So there on a plan toward setting them up to find a reason to wipe them out.

He knows that in fact, next verse. Jesus knew what they were planning, they didn't know that he knew what they were planning so very involved in this to protect dialogue, and Paul tells us in first Corinthians 1.

That the Jews always want to sign.

They live they want they want to see the proof they want to see evidence they have had proof after proof, evidence after evidence. See miracles they have what's the lame yield they've seen the blind receive sight, they have what's situations, the lame man is not been made whole thing about what you signs again. Teacher that's the spirit of it and he catches it and isn't intimidated by he sees the cynicism and so he answers them as to what they were not so much what they wanted. He calls them an evil and adulterous generation not here later and yet again the third time as he knew them. He knew them to be cynics. In fact, he says you know your Bible better than anyone else around you the story of Jonah as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights of the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth.

Verse 41, the people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on Judgment Day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins after they heard Jonah do you did you realize by the way that the most significant revival in the history of the Old Testament. Was it Nineveh the entire city lights after hearing the message of Jonah. Remember the story makes his amphibious landing. He gets to Nineveh he announces the message of two that's going to come and the Lord uses his words though they were spoken with a bad motive admittedly, but uses the words and the people repent they repent, Jesus, and you remember the people of the Ninevites. They repented having her just the message of Jonah. You have seen me at work. You have heard my words.

You know where I stand. You know what I'm about and you have attributed my work to the work of Satan.

Remember that by the way Up with that. He says now, someone greater than Jonah is here. And by the way, they hated that winter; you don't want to hear again how wrong you are, how you have misjudged the one who is speaking greater than Jonah is here. But you refuse to repent. The Ninevites repented, you won't.

The Senate there there there dripping with cynicism. Look at the next the Queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on Judgment Day and will condemn it. She came from a distant land. Best I can figure about 1200 miles. The Queen of Sheba on her own came to meet with King Solomon and we read she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

Now someone greater than Solomon is here. But you refuse to listen. She came from a distance didn't even know Solomon personally, when she was there she was impressed with his wisdom and she listened to what he had to say you've been around me day after day week after week, month after month you still refuse to listen to what I'm teaching you refuse to listen now if you read all of this and hopefully I've read it correctly and the spirit of it correctly, you realize how treacherous cynicism is and I believe it it grows out of overexposure mixed with an unteachable spirit can happen in the college classroom. It can happen in the seminary to happen in the church. So there's a crucial question that comes to the surface. If I may pause and apply this at this moment it's this you have to ask yourself, no one else can answer for you in my becoming a cynic, showing signs of Pharisaism would tell you why ask that or ask you to ask yourself Sunday after Sunday. In fact, if you're involved, like many through the week, week after week, week after week, week after week, month after month, month after month class after class.

Class after sermon after sermon Bible study after Bible study, and you are in this hothouse of exposure. Now I'm going to probe you any different than you were a year ago, or you are you anymore patient or you more thoughtful or you more forgiving, more teachable, more willing to acknowledge needs in your own life or is it just another study just another sermon. Just another class. I'm not the first one to realize that these individuals were out of place in asking for a sign FF Bruce writes the demand was impudent hypocritical insulting.

How many signs do you need to be convinced that I Messiah for you. Never enough because when you're cynic you really want evidence. You want a reason to prove it wrong which is part of their MO, for they were going now look at 43 through 45. The verses without any words of setting them up without any Segway we call it no transitional statement look at this, Jesus continues after saying, but you refuse to listen when an evil spirit leaves a person that goes into the desert seeking respite, finding none, then it says I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. In the spirit find seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all enter the person and live there so that person is worse off than before. What doesn't make someone else besides me go is my kids cut some part of my Bible out in between verses 42 and 43. What is this about what is with the demon coming in and out.

What is it about bringing seven back or bringing you seven with him so that they enter this individual is worse off, and who is the person think. Remember when you are reading your Bible, you need to read it like your dog gnaws on the bone you will again say it's it's it's it's done dog. There's nothing left on the you you turn it over your work. Overate you imagine you put yourself in the setting otherwise you're like most people will is another part of the Bible. Nobody will ever understand way is that the Bible's fault or if you become cynical, maybe worse.

I want to suggest that in the context the person would be the Pharisee anyone of them and they're the ones who said that he has a demon and he does his work of miracles with the power of Satan when in fact they were the ones oppressed demons. They were the ones wicked enough to be speaking for the enemy himself now. Could I possibly say that because they look so righteous. One man writes this as he introduces us to Pharisees. They live by rules and regulations, but those man-made standards led them further and further from God turn them into self-sufficient self-righteous religious officials who saw themselves as above all others. Having no need for repentance when Jesus came with his message and model of true righteousness. The resented him they resisted his message. They were reformed on the outside, but unchanged within this closing line which is profound. There is never been a group of men more committed to a demanding religious and moral code than they and never so far from God. That's right, but an individual is this self-sustaining this unteachable this; the blindness is profound. It's easy to make filling the Pharisees because their insidious behavior was destructive and we set aside several minutes to hear some closing comments from Chuck simply stay with us your listening to Insight for living. To learn more about this ministry.

Please visit us online@insightworld.org for the entire year where walking through a brand-new verse by verse study through the gospel according to Matthew. Keep in mind if you missed any portion of this study, you can catch up by going to our website.

All the details are@insight.org/listen. And then if you're searching for something to complement your daily reading of the Bible, let me point you to a resource that is been helpful to thousands of readers. I'm referring to Chuck's encouraging book called finding God when the world's on fire. We living through a season of intense uncertainty in our lifetime. We've never witnessed this level of tension not only in regard to the culture wars, but a global pandemic. That's change the course of history.

All this commotion has caused many people to live in fear, but Chuck reminds us that God knows about our stress and not only that God has provided a way to conquer fear with courage and hope that's the theme of this inspirational book, finding God when the world's on fire and you can purchase a copy right now by going to insight.org/store or call us if your listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 Chuck back to you. The Pharisees were spiritual outlaws.

They were bandits like bank robbers. They had a way of ripping off the treasury of joy. These religious thugs made up all sorts of untenable rules and tight regulations that were impossible to follow and then they look down their noses with pride and disgust when people failed to keep those rules and regulations. Legalism, their first love is an exhausting lifestyle.

Plus, it sucks the joy right out of anyone who aspires to a grace filled life well in Matthew chapter 11 Jesus specifically targeted an audience of battle weary warriors who found a legalistic lifestyle impossible to sustain and exhausting when they tried Jesus opened his arms and said to them come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and you will find rest for your souls. The rest that Jesus offered that day and still offers to you and me today is different than you might think. He's not talking about wiping sweat from her brow after your morning jog. He's not offering a vacation or a good night sleep is far more than that Jesus pinpointed your soul. You see, his invitation penetrates your inner self that mysterious all-important place within us that represents the spiritual core of our being. This is the focal point of everything we do at Insight for living ministries. Our goal is to teach the word of God so that the spirit of God can accomplish what no one else can do we want to see Jesus liberate all who listen to Insight for living liberate from the tyranny of religious legalism. And so today I'm appealing to your shared vision to bring men and women around the world to the same place of freedom and grace in Jesus that you and I enjoy you've heard us mention the importance of June 30. Well it's for more than a an accounting deadline God could use your generous donation to deliver his message right into the heart and soul of individuals right now and I can assure you everything you give will allow us to share the good news of Jesus who said come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and you will find rest for your soul's package and let me explain how you can respond the quickest and most convenient way to get others to visit our website you'll find us at Insight or call us listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888, 1-800-772-8888.

Thank you for your generous support Insight for living invited study in Matthew continue right here Insight for living. The preceding message regular signs, evil spirits, startling statement was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited


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