NEW GODLY INFORMATION LITERALLY BEGS NEW THOUGHTS
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A GREAT DISPARITY, A GREAT DIVISION
(Luke 15:1,2) Then drew near unto him all the publicans [Gk: tax-collectors] and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured [Gk: complained throughout the crowd], saying, This man [Jesus Christ] receiveth sinners, and eateth with them [indicating their separation: they would/did not hear Him].
Commentary: "drew near to him" = A great disparity is herein pronounced. The publicans and sinners "drew near unto him" while the Pharisees and scribes drew themselves and others, away from Him. Legalism vs. Grace. These legalistically "bad" (Heb: evil) publicans and sinners who were living under the Law in a thoroughly legalistic culture, although still acting "badly" (the consequence of "bad" thoughts fallen angels) were beginning to repent (Gk: to think differently, to reconsider), they were beginning to reassess their thoughts and to think positively about the words of Jesus Christ. The process of their salvation had begun as they heard the Word of God (John 1:14) and learned (incorporated) Jesus Christ into their minds; they allowed His words (good angels "ministering spirits" Heb 1:14) entrance into their thoughts, in a series of invisible spiritual events (Col 1:15). The publicans and sinners thereby reorganized (restructured, renovated, restored, renewed) their minds (Rom 12:2). New Godly information (seeds - logos) literally begs new thoughts vs. demands because that particular information is "quick" Gk: alive (Heb 4:12) and absolutely righteously humble. Most of humanity refuses the entrance of that information (seed logos Jesus Christ) into their thoughts resulting in no assimilation (integration) of God; that act of rejection by the indwelling fallen angels, demons ("for he knew what was in man" John 2:25) is metaphorically described as the seed being sown "by the way side" (Mat 13:4,19). However, the logos word (Law) does not nor cannot save you (John 12:48). Those who were willing to learn of Jesus (accepting the entrance into themselves of His logos Word the Bible) were beginning to understand, they were beginning to seek forgiveness (they "drew near unto him") preparing themselves to receive the fullness of Grace (the rhema word that saves you: Rom 10:17). They were beginning to repent, although still, on the whole, acting "badly," but diminishingly so as they progressively learned uplifting truths - throughout their transformation.
Commentary: "drew near to him" = Whereas, the legalistically "good" established set-in-their-ways religious leaders (and many other secular persons "conformed to this world" Rom 12:2) continued then and now to continue to vehemently oppose and reject the logos words of Jesus Christ, refusing to incorporate them into their minds, and thus refusing transformational "change." Why? Because they love the exalting accolades and pleasures of this world much more than thoughts of humble service to Christ. Pride vs. humility; they love the worship of themselves (narcissism) rather than the worship of Jesus Christ/God. The Pharisees and scribes (lawyers) correctly perceived that by deferring their religious authority (power) over the people to Jesus that they would lose the coveted personal eminence of their own elevated status. As a result, they refused to accept personal accountability, i.e., they refused the covering of Grace, the covering of His dear Son provided by Father God.
sinners = Gk: to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (fig.) to err, esp. (morally) to sin:--for your faults, offend, trespass.
receiveth = Gk: to admit (to intercourse, hospitality, credence); by impl. to await (with confidence or patience):--accept, allow, look (wait) for, take.
Commentary: "This man receiveth sinners" = i.e., takes to Himself sinners. This phrase is a description of the progressive degrees, gradations, stages, of our transformation, i.e., "rapture" (Dict: 1. ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstasy. 2. the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence [by "two wings (the OT and the NT) of a great eagle" (Rev 12:14)].
Commentary: "and eateth with them" = Jesus Christ "eateth with them," shared meals with publicans and sinners, i.e., shared the word of God, shared "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14), shared Himself "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35). Jesus Christ shared His meals with the publicans and sinners and therein certainly spoke forth the nourishing food that came out of His mouth that was the Word of God. However, may we note that He did not share His meals with the Pharisees and scribes, for they would not accept His invitation because of the presence of publicans and sinners, i.e., their own preconceived prejudices became opaque impeding obstacles blocking them from the door to heaven. "I am the door" (John 10:7,9).
BACKSLIDING IS NOT LOSING YOUR SALVATION,
BACKSLIDING IS NORMAL
(Luke 15:3-7) And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you [this "man" symbolizes Jesus Christ, as do we as Christians], having [possessing] an hundred sheep [given to Him by the Father "before the foundation of the world" Eph 1:4], if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness [of this world, wherein His flock of sheep (all saved of course) is supernaturally protected: Rev 12:6, 14-16], and go after [continue to search out] that which is lost, until he find it [How did he find it? Answer: By listening for its crying (desperate) call for help when it finally "came to himself" Luke 15:17]? And when he hath found it [and was found "in his right mind" Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35], he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home [to Heaven], he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth [Gk: to think differently, reconsider], more than over ninety and nine just [Gk: innocent, holy, righteous] persons, which need no repentance [for they have previously repented and been found worthy].
Commentary: "if he lose one of them" = Can a truly saved born-again Christian, a "good ground" (Mat 13:8) inhabitant only, who is redeemed and possessed by Father God become lost? (Well, he had to have "some" inner good ground in the first place, else how could the seed of Jesus Christ take root and grow and bring forth fruit)? Jesus said in a prayer regarding His sheep to Father God "those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost" (John 17:12), and He said "Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none" (John 18:9). Please note that Luke chapter 15 contains three parables: that of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son, all of which were found, and restored.
a. (John 10:27-30) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal [Gk: everlasting] life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.
Commentary: "if he lose one of them" = upon the surface, it appears that the Good Shepherd has irretrievably "lost" one of His sheep. However, as we continue to read the text, we learn that the supposed "lost" forever is recovered (re-covered) forever (e.g., the prodigal son), therefore teaching that the "lost" of this or any other of His flock of sheep is a temporary spiritual condition named backsliding, i.e., sliding backward (rather like falling backward) down the mountain of God the figures of which are mount Sinai and mount Zion. Please note that one cannot successfully slide back or away from something that one does not have or possess. So, as in the rendered text, a backslider is someone who is a born-again sheep of the flock of Jesus Christ that has received possession of salvation, i.e., the gift of a "New Life" from Father God. And sometime thereafter, this same person, having doubts (uncertainties), has seemingly fallen away from possessing his "New Life" and fallen back into the possession of his old life. The latter circumstance of his falling away from his New Life is of course impossible to fully accomplish because receiving possession of the gift of salvation is predicated upon Father God receiving possession of you, and who or what temptation shall be able to take you out of His hand? A backslider is a "good ground" believer, not to be confused with the many apparent sheep grazing "on stony ground" or those "among thorns" who merely appear to be believers, but in fact are not believers because they "fall away"(Luke 8:13) forever and bear "no fruit" for the Lord (Mark 4:7; Luke 8:14). Upon truthful examination of self and others, may we note that we who are saved all become backsliders (a temporary condition) at one time or another, because we are still living within the flesh which is also, thank you Lord, a temporary condition.
(Jer 2:19) Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove [Heb: chasten] thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
b. backslider = Heb: to flinch, i.e. (by impl.) to go back, lit. (to retreat) or fig. (to apostatize):--drive, go back, turn (away, back).
(Hosea 14:4) I will heal their [Israels] backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
c. (Rom 2:28,29) For he is not a Jew [Israel], which is one outwardly [nationally or by heritage]; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew [Israel], which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.