Students of the Kingdom
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)
What one attribute does a little child possess that caused Yahshua to make this statement, which amounts to an ultimatum regarding entrance into His Kingdom? This question has been asked by Christians for years, and out of the answers given, many of them taken by itself could have accounted for the finality of Yahshua’s sweeping challenge to his adult audience.
After much contemplation on this vital passage of Scripture, it seems that the main idea lies in the fact that a little child is teachable. Not yet having acquired the belief that it knows everything, it is in position to learn. When its mother points to a chair and says, “See the chair,” it never occurs to the child to argue that the object is a table; or, if the child’s father says, “Listen to the dog bark,” it does not contend that the noise was made by a cow or some other animal. It submits with becoming humility and absolute confidence to the instruction of its parents.
In Matthew 13, Yahshua draws a distinct line between the multitudes and His disciples on the sole basis of teachableness. His disciples asked:
“Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10)
“Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but TO THEM (the Jews) IT IS NOT GIVEN...THEREFORE SPEAK I TO THEM IN PARABLES: BECAUSE THEY SEEING SEE NOT; AND HEARING THEY HEAR NOT, NEITHER DO THEY UNDERSTAND.” (Matthew 13:11-13)
Now we know Yahshua was speaking of the Jews because of the following:
“He that is of God heareth God's words: YE THEREFORE HEAR THEM NOT, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF GOD. THEN ANSWERED THE JEWS, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” (John 8:47-48)
Does this suggest partiality? Or was there a reason to justify giving spiritual understanding to one group of people and withholding it from another group? The reason is clearly stated:
“FOR THIS PEOPLE’S HEART IS WAXED GROSS, AND THEIR EARS ARE DULL OF HEARING, AND THEIR EYES THEY HAVE CLOSED...but blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:15-16)
Now a careful study of the Scriptures clearly shows that the majority of people who lived in Jerusalem and the surrounding area WERE NOT ISRAELITES, but were Canaanites, Kenites, Jews, and etc. Therefore, Yahshua spoke in parables because He did not intend that those who were not Israelites should understand, but that only the Israelites, whom He was sent to would.
Therefore, it is clear that the unconverted multitudes, who were not Israelites, were not victims of unfair discrimination. They had access to the prophetic messages of Moses and the prophets just the same as Yahshua’s disciples. Like the disciples they had heard Yahshua teach and preach; they had seen His great miracles as He healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, fed thousands which hungered and raised the dead.
These things had been done in the open where all could hear the words, yet heard they nothing; they had eyes to behold the wonderful works of Yahweh in their very midst, but saw nothing. What is the Master’s charge against these people? It is that they are unteachable; and what is His sentence for the crime:
“Ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Again Yahshua said:
“And I say unto you, That many (Israelites) shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom (of darkness, the Jews) SHALL BE CAST OUT INTO OUTER DARKNESS: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:11-12)
Again Yahshua says:
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)
The stupidity of the Jews was not due to the fact that they were all mentally deficient, or what might be termed the ignorant masses. On the contrary, many of them boasted of their knowledge. When Yahweh tried to explain divine truths and plans to them they became contentious, even to the point of conspiring to trap Him into contradicting Himself.
“And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.” (Mark 12:13)
“And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” (Luke 11:53-54)
It is utterly hopeless to teach a people who think they know all the answers, and who reverse the written Word of Yahweh, so they might do that which is forbidden. There is nothing as effectual as conceit for sealing the mind against the acquisition of wisdom. See how cleverly Yahshua call our attention to this fact in the phrase, “their eyes they have closed.”
Some tells a little parable of a young swallow, not a year old, proving conclusively that his father and mother were wrong in migrating South for the winter. Having proven this, to his own satisfaction at least, he remained North to see what cold weather was like. Long before winter ended the poor little swallow was found dead on the ground. The conclusion is that he had the better of the argument and the worst of the experience. So it was and will be with the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes; the Jews: they upheld their arguments, the Tradition of the Elders, and will miss the Kingdom of Yahshua.
In contrast to this unteachable group, we find that Yahshua gathered about Him a few men who were willing to be instructed. To them He opened up “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven:”
“I think thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes.” (Matthew 11:25)
The entire prayer of Yahshua in John 17 is a petition, not for the self-righteous leaders of Jewry nor for the unbelieving masses, but strictly in behalf of all students in the kingdom, who, like little children, are responsive and eager to be taught:
“I have given them the words which thou gavest me; and THEY (Israelites) HAVE RECEIVED THEM, and they have known surely that I came out from thee, and THEY HAVE BELIEVED that thou didst send me...Neither pray I for these alone, bu for them also which shall believe on me through their word...and the glory which thou gavest me I have given them...Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou has given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:8, 20-24)
Surely we are convinced by this time that it matters tremendously how people react to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. It is interesting to contrast the reactions of the two groups throughout the New Testament. Here are a few out of many illuminating examples. We find the teachable disciples seeking instruction.
“Lord teach us how to pray (Luke 11:1)...Declare unto us the parable (Matthew 13:36)...Why could not we cast out the evil spirit? (Matthew 17:19 & Mark 9:28)...What shall we do that we might work the works of God? (John 6:28)...Tell us when shall these things be? (Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7) And what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled. (Mark 13:4)
The unteachables run true to form wherever found. We read that the people of Nazareth “rose up, and thrust him out of the city.” (Luke 4:29) At Gadara, “The whole city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.” (Matthew 8:34) The Pharisees said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of devils.” (Matthew 12:24). The chief priests and rulers “cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.” (Luke 23:18)
Since human nature is essentially the same through the centuries it is not surprising to discover that many people today, in company with the Nazarenes, Gadarenes, chief priests and rulers, that too many of our Israel brothers and sisters are like the foolish shallow in the story; unteachable. If all the unteachables were avowed atheists, their influences would be much simpler than it is. Unfortunately, like the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees (the Jews), many of them hold important posts in the synagogues and Judeo-Christian churches, and in the professions of religious teaching and writing.
The favorite pastime of milder Sadducean (Jewish) scribes is the writing of books and articles designed to discredit the plain teachings of the Bible. And example would be the Jew Hal Lindsey and his book The Late Great Planet Earth. Try to get one of them to face the issued in a frank discussion and immediately he heads you into a fog of evasiveness, accusations, and false witness. He will tell you that the difference in your viewpoint and his lies in giving different meanings to certain words. From this point on any sensible discussion is hopeless, because you never can discover just what he means about anything regarding Christian doctrines.
In a lecture, Dr. Fred Smith once facetiously illustrated this evasive tendency. He told of reading a book containing 349 pages; and said the author’s first idea seemed to be that there is an influence for good which tends upward. Abut the middle of the book he admitted that there is also an influence which tends downward. On the last page he finally summed up the matter by declaring that there is one influence in man tending upward and another tending downward. Dr. Smith concluded, “I wondered why he didn’t say on the first page, ‘There is a God and there is a devil,’ and save the writing of 348 pages.”
With much self-satisfaction theological modernists call our attention to their tolerance, and to their intelligent scientific approach to the subject of religion. Yet many Judeo-Christians have found them to be intolerant; and investigation proves them to be anything but scientific in their approach to the Bible.
It is a well-known fact that modernism rests its entire structure upon the assumption that the art of writing was not in existence at the time Old Testament writers claimed to have done their work; therefore, none of these works were done at the time indicated by the Bible, nor by the men whose names they bear. We are told that the truths of God contained in the Old Testament were handed down from generation to generation by means of oral legends and myths which become thoroughly jumbled and unreliable in the process.
Then finally, after many centuries, they were written down by scribes who signed the names of Moses and the prophets to these spurious documents to add prestige to them. Sensible people are expected to believe that God resorted to this unscrupulous method to communicate with His people.
Barnum’s philosophy that you can fool all of the people some of the time has worked to the extent that, if one refuses to accept this implausible theory, he is branded as an ignoramus, unworthy of important pulpits and slick magazines. Barnum also reasoned that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and therein lies the hope that laymen will yet do some investigating and draw conclusions based upon genuine scientific evidence.
The National Geographic Magazine for October, 1930, contains an extremely important article entitled “A New Alphabet of the Ancients Is Unearthed,” by F.A. Schaeffer. This one article alone, with its forty-eight illustrations, contains enough evidence to blast the foundation from under the whole structure of modernism. Mr. Schaeffer, writing of his excavations in Syria, tells of this thrilling and significant discovery:
“In a room divided by three pillars we came upon a large number of clay tablets covered with cuneiform text. We had found the palace library! These writings promise to reveal most valuable information concerning the history of the ancient Near East. Some are written in Babylonian, the diplomatic language of that time, and deal with important government treaties. One provides for the exchange of prisoners of three previously unknown cities on the mesopotamian boundary; Hazilu, Halbibi, and Panashtai.
“But, to our amazement, we found that the majority of the tablets had been inscribed in a language the existence of which no one had ever surmised! And; an extraordinary thing, it is an ‘alphabetical’ script of 27 cuneiform signs, a real alphabetical document of the second millennium before Christ.
“Up to now the origin of the alphabet, probably the most wonderful achievement of the human mind, has been considered of much more recent date. Only through this instrument did writing, reading, and, with these, the entire field of knowledge, become accessible to the masses. Prior to this development, only priests and rulers, after a long period of study, could fathom the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphics and Babylonian ideographs, with which weapons they were assured of their power over the ignorant masses.
“Believing that the notations of the Greek historian Herodotus were correct, many scholars have praised the Phoenicians (Israelites) as the inventors of the alphabet. Our discovery indicates, however, that, long before the Phoenicians, the kings of Ras Shamra used a genuine alphabetical script for their diplomatic correspondence. People have racked their brains, wondering with what signs Moses wrote his Tablets of the law; he may have had an alphabet.
“We took every precaution to safeguard these precious historic documents. Among them are large tablets recording government treaties and very small ones containing the personal correspondence of the kings. The position in which each tablet was found in the earth was photographed, and their removal filmed.
“I sent a messenger to Latakieh to request the presence of the Governor and the Minister of Finance of the State of Alaouites as witnesses to the discovery. They came in two days; then I removed several additional tablets in their presence. Telegraphic information of this discovery sent to the Academy in Paris brought congratulations by radio and letters from England and America.”
Our lexicographers have managed to build up a fairly adequate vocabulary with a 26-letter alphabet; and now we learn that these ancient people had one with 27 letters! How is it that present-day Judeo-Christian leaders have not heard about these discoveries? (It is because they do not study anything except what they are told in the Jewish controlled seminaries) Do they never read The National Geographic? Or do they regard the findings of archaeology unscientific? The matter needs to be looked into as they continue to flood the bookstores and magazine stands with writings based upon obsolete speculations and have long since bee exploded and discarded by top-ranking scientists.
If such men are scholars, they must be the kind described:
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.” (2 Timothy 3:7-9)
“So do these also resist the truth.” How perfectly this statement fits the unteachable “liberals” who resist all scientific evidence which refutes their traditional concepts, and yet manage to keep themselves constantly in the limelight through their much speaking and writing!
When religious leaders refuse to be taught by the Spirit of God, they always fall into grave errors and become sponsors of subversive movements affecting the general welfare of our Israelite brothers and sisters. When the rulers of the first Christian century rejected Christ and cast Him out of the cities, they cheated the multitudes out of the abundant life which was in their midst.
This is what our present leaders do by appoint the antichrist Jews to positions of power over our people. So today the masses are being misled by men who scornfully disregard the sure word of prophecy; men who see no connection between the plans of Yahweh revealed by the prophets and the movements of men and nations in the world today.
Rejecting Yahshua’s kingdom on earth, over which He will eventually reign as King and bring all nations under the perfect will of Yahweh, men become easy prey to counterfeit systems which promise to establish peace and universal brotherhood.
“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)
Read the lists of names connected with the various organizations now in government, and the private sector and you will find listed many prominent Pharisees (Jews), Sadducean Judeo-Christian ministers and teachers. Did not Yahshua as:
“Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch/” (Luke 6:39)
If Yahshua valued the writings of Moses and the prophets to the extent that He said not one jot or tittle would fail unto all was fulfilled, what must He think of men today who presumptuously turn deaf ears to His teachings:
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father and the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
Except men “become as little children,” (humble, teachable) they “shall not enter into the kingdom.”