Verse 13 If Eastern couple is married, their time of coming together is set by the elders according to the stars.
Eastern elders fix a date for newlyweds to come together, this is done according to the stars so that
the child which might be conceived will have the characteristic of the stars. Espoused means married.
Mary and Joseph were accompanied by friends and relatives during this time. When time set for
coming together arrives, then relatives will go back home and leave the couple alone together. The
honeymoon lasts for 12 months. If he is a shopkeeper, bridegroom will close down his shop, he is
exempted from the army. He will eat all of his meals with his wife in the parents' home. One month in
bride's home then one month in the groom's home, and back and forth for the whole first year. They are
taken care of by the parents. At the end of 12 months the groom says goodby. If possible, he will get the
10 virgins and best man (friend of the bridegroom) who stands at his right-hand side. Hundreds of friends
and relatives gather together in an open space. "Mansions"—apartments. ''The way we know—bride
knows this because she has been going there during the honeymoon. The couple will live together in the
home of the groom's father. The bride's reply is—"All that thou sayest, I will do."
Espoused even before they come together... coming together always takes place in bride's home.
Before they came together. Man had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. Mary and Joseph
were married (although Westerners say, "they were engaged," only because they didn't come together).
Espoused means married. Joseph her husband (read 19 and 20). Girl's parents are responsible for her virginity.
Matthew 5:32—when the husband and wife come together after about ten days of marriage, it takes
place in the bride's parents' home. They are in one room after a ceremony. The morning after you
discover the looks of your spouse. (This is why Jacob did not know it was Leah he was sleeping with.
Why? Because they go with the veil, and they had no courting to familiarize with her voice. He thought
it was Rachel. Also, Isaac was in the field and Rebecca saw him. She immediately put the veil on her
face because of the Eastern custom).
On the morning after, if the man finds that the woman is not a virgin, he can divorce her and sue the
parents. How can he prove it? The parents are liable. Once declared un-virgin, the girl will never marry.
That's why the parents do their utmost to prove daughter's virginity. They go to the judge "with their
token of her virginity."
Verse 20 "Mary thy wife." Joseph and Mary were married before she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 1 "Jesus was born." Son is more precious than daughter because:
1. He will become head of the family;
2. He is looked upon as a lamp from God;
3. He attends to the funeral of the parents. When the father and mother are dead, the son will carry
the golden bowl (Ecclesiastes 12:6) at the funeral. Without the son carrying the golden bowl, the funeral
is a great disgrace. When people have no sons they will adopt one for that purpose.
The mother is concerned about whether she will have a boy or a girl. The midwife will cheer her up
by saying that she is going to have a son. If it is a boy, everyone will praise her, great gifts will be given,
people will gather to bless her. The woman is favored by her husband and family because they believe
God has blessed her to have a son. If it is a girl, they don't make much fuss about it. They think it is just
one of those things, a mistake. It is a great joy to have a son.
See Genesis 35:17
See John 16:21
Verse 1ff Eastern monarchs are richer than Western monarchs. When a child is born to a monarch, if it
is a boy, then midwife will take a stick and beat three times on the ceiling saying, "Unto the king, a son is
born, a child is given." People waiting outside will "strike up the band" and celebrate in the streets. They
will bring coconuts, myrrh, incense, gold to pay homage to the newborn child, each person who comes
will bring a little gold. Myrrh and frankincense are a kind of camphor.
See also Isaiah 9:6; Ezekiel 16:46
Verses 1 and 2 "Wise men" Bible does not say how many wise men came.
See Matthew 2:11
Verse 2 In case of crises or emergency, king calls wise men together.
Verses 1 and 11 Brought gifts because in the East no one goes to any of the following without a gift:
1. King
2. Prophet
3. Pregnant woman
4. Sick person
Gifts usually offered to a king are gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Kings of East are richer than kings
of West because Eastern kings receive gold at birth.
If a son is born to a king in the East, then the subjects will bring gold to the king and then kneel
down and pay homage (the wise men worshiped instead of just paying homage). There is a desire to have
a son because this means a blessing to the family, the son is a gift from God, "a lamp from God," David
said thou hast given thy son a lamp where Solomon was born.
"Opened their treasures" — the gift-bearers will open box that they brought the gift in and place it on
a tray and present it to the king.
Verses 9 and 11 No one goes to king or prophet empty handed. For a king, always bring gold in case of
a son in respect of the kingship. They kneel down and worship.
Verse 11 "Worshiped him...presented him gifts." Many Eastern monarchs are richer than Western. If
the monarch has a son born, then all the priests and servants and people stand outside of the palace to hear
if child is a girl or boy. Boy babies are very much prized. The midwife when a boy is born, takes a stick
and beats three times on ceiling saying, "Unto the king 'so and so' a son is born, a child is given." Then
those outside will go about the streets proclaiming the good news. The people will bring gifts to the
palace like coconuts, gold, myrrh. Each person who comes to pay allegiance and homage to the newborn
child will bring a little gold.
Verse 1ff Verse 4: Sackcloth in the Bible is either camels' hair or goats' hair. Sackcloth is worn during
a fast as a form of subjugating yourself to the will of God. The sackcloth will scratch the skin.
"a leathern girdle" shows submissiveness, spirit of sacrifice, willing to pay the price to show humility to God.
"Locusts"—not something which hops on the ground—rather it is a bean, a pod.
In Palestine, there are three philosophic groups:
1. Essenes
2. Nazarenes (Josephus teaches about these.)
3. Mandeens
These are Jews by birth and custom. They left the Jews to start these groups. They don't drink
liquor, make war weapons, don't shave, don't kill animals for food. John the Baptist was an Essene.
Racially he was a Jew; philosophically, he was an Essene.
Verse 7: "Viper" is a viper from the snake family but in the context viper can mean either a snake or
a scorpion. Here it should be a scorpion. Several kinds of scorpions. One of them is black and there are
not many of them. When one of the black scorpions is conceived, the father dies. When it is born, it is
not in the natural way. It eats across the stomach of the mother and the mother dies. The scorpion enters
the world as an orphan. To call a man a spiritual orphan is to say that the parents did not teach him the Word.
Verse 11: "Shoes." Should be sandals. When a rich man goes out for a walk, he will take 3 servant
with him.. If the man wants to walk barefoot in the grass, he will take off his sandals and the servant will
pick them up and carry them. To carry someone's sandals or to pour water on his hands is very degrading
work. The graduation from monastery training is to pour water on the master's hands showing all the
pride has been knocked out and humility is perfected in him. (II Kings 3:11)
Verses 1-4 "Camels' hair." Sackcloth in the Bible is made of either camels' hair or goats' hair. When
you fast, you wear sackcloth as a form of subjugating yourself. Fasting itself is not enough but they also
wear something which will scratch their skin.
"Leathern girdle." This is worn to show submissiveness, spirit of sacrifice, not looking for luxury.
"Locusts"—this is not an insect, but, rather a locust pod, beans.
In Palestine, there are three philosophical groups:
1. Essenes
2. Nazarenes (These are Jews by birth and tradition.)
3. Mandeens
John the Baptist was an Essene, philosophically speaking.
Verses 5-9 "O, generation of vipers..." Idiom! Viper is a kind of snake—here it should be scorpion.
Beginning of history: there are many kinds of scorpions, there is one black kind that is not plentiful
but very poisonous. When a scorpion is conceived in the womb of mother, the male dies instantaneously.
When little scorpion is born, he eats across the stomach of his mother and she dies; every scorpion is not
born this way. Sometimes under certain conditions, this thing happens this way. The scorpion thus born
is an orphan as he enters the world. Then some other scorpion must help if the baby scorpion gets any help.
Spiritual side—a child not brought up in the Word is a spiritual orphan and grows up wild.
Therefore, John (v. 7) asks them who taught them about righteousness (or "wrath to come") for he knew
they were there just to cause trouble and not for repentance. You must show me fruits of repentance
because you had no one to teach you of it.
Verse 11: "Whole shoes." Sandals. A person of any standing has a servant who follows him when
he goes for a walk; keeps company with the master. When the master wants to walk on the green grass,
he will take off his shoes and the servant carries them. First training for priests in school is to break their
pride—scrubbing floors, washing hands of the prophet, carrying sandals—example Elijah did this to
Elisha. Ancient custom servants carries sandals and follows master.
We must demonstrate humility before Christ.
Verse 3-10 "Generation of vipers." Viper is a member of the snake family and it is also name used for
scorpion. Should always understand whether it is a viper or scorpion according to the place where it was
used. These Pharisees and Sadducees had to prove to John that they were repentant before he would
baptize them. It was not enough for them to say that they were children of Abraham.
Verse 7 Viper is scorpion. Black scorpion—when little scorpion is conceived, the father dies.
Sometimes under certain conditions the baby scorpion eats his way out of mother and thus the mother
dies. So the baby is born an orphan. Any person who has no spiritual training is called a spiritual
scorpion. So you must prove yourself, it is not enough to claim Abraham as father.
Generation of vipers. Generation of scorpions. There are certain scorpions, black in color. At
certain times and under certain conditions when a scorpion is conceived in the womb of the mother
scorpion, the father scorpion knows it instinctively and dies. Nobody knows why. When scorpion is born
in course of time, it eats its way through the mother's stomach and comes out. This doesn't happen all the
time. Then the mother dies. By the time the scorpion is born, the father and mother have died, so it is
born as an orphan.
Spiritual Application: So, if person is not taught in spiritual things, that person is called a wicked
person. Thus, he's a generation of scorpions. He's a spiritual orphan. If he's not taught in spiritual ways,
he's a spiritual orphan. They had nobody to teach them. Had they been taught as they grew up, they
would have known better. John tells them they had no one to teach them to flee from the wrath to come,
because they had killed the prophets—real religious people...not spiritual, only hypocritical, religious. No
real sense of repentance—vs. 8,9—it's not enough to just say you're Abraham's children, you must repent
of your sins. Bring forth fruit for repentance. Spiritual scorpions, never trained in religion.
Verses 7-9 John the Baptist knew the Pharisees and Sadducees had not been taught about wrath to come
and were not convicted to be baptized.
When you read "viper" must understand whether it is a scorpion or a viper. In this case, it is a
scorpion because of idiom—background: Kinds of scorpions:
1. Black—few
2. White—numerous
Easterners say, "When a scorpion is conceived, the father dies (this is a sign of conception)." The
birth is not natural, but the baby eats across the stomach of the mother and comes out killing the mother.
Spiritual application—"generation of scorpions" indicates someone who is a spiritual orphan, they
had no one to teach them about the wrath to come or other spiritual matters; ignorant parents.
Pharisees and Sadducees had no one to teach them the light. (No man of God since Malachi). Not
enough for them to say they belong to Abraham but they must confess their own sins, show forth their
own repentance. They were religious but did not have the light.
Verse 11 Shoes — sandals. Servants never walk equally, they always walk behind the master; with
hands folded; loins girded; always ready to serve. ''Servant is not spoken to, he receives his instructions
by the clapping of hands, he is trained to act according to certain claps.
"Not worthy to bear." While the master is walking barefoot, his servant will carry his sandals. To
carry the sandals is a most regretted work. Also to pour water on a person's hands when they have
finished eating. The servant of least importance in the family will do the pouring of water on the hands.
In the monasteries where the swamis are trained, the graduation training is when the man is able to pour
water on the master's hand. Then all of his pride is knocked out and humility is perfected in him.
Verses 11 and 12 "Purge his floor." "Floor" here is the threshing floor. The threshing floor is a
common floor for the whole village or community. Usually it is named after a big person (like Jacob's
well). (II Samuel 6:6, Nachon's threshing floor, see also I Chronicles 13:9). The threshing floor is
usually on a rocky place. They chisel the rock and make it beautiful. It is 20' x 20' or larger or smaller
depending on the size of the village. It is always seen from the village.
During the harvest, they bring corn or barley and spread them on the rock. Then they get two or
three oxen or buffaloes, calves or donkeys and string them together on one line and then the keep on
driving them on the grain. While the oxen are doing this, they will try to eat the grain. The wicked
people will place a muzzle on the ox. This was against the law (Deuteronomy 25:4). When the threshing
is finished, the kernels have settled down under the ears of corn and the oxen are driven away. The ears
of corn are then removed, and the corn is gathered into one place on the rock. Next the chaff must be
separated out. This is done with a fan which is larger than a tray. The fan is used to pick up the kernels
and chaff and as the kernels are poured onto the ground, the wind will blow away the chaff.
Purging the floor is the process of separating the chaff from the grain. This is an ancient process.
"The garner" — the barn or storage house.
The chaff which has been separated is then burned up.
Threshing floor-
Matthew 3:12
Genesis 50:10
Numbers 15:20
Ruth 3:2
II Samuel 6:6
II Samuel 24:16,17
Verse 12 See Luke 3:17. After the threshing is through, they will take the ears of corn to one side
leaving kernels which they gather together. Then take the instrument, a fan, put the corn in a pan and
pour it out so the chaff will be blown in the wind. Jesus came with a fan in his hand so that he may blow
all the chaff from our life.
Chaff, fan. Fan—tray which is filled with threshed grain. The contents are poured slowly out and
chaff is blown away. Jesus Christ likewise sifts out the good grain from the chaff and will gather good
grain into the garner (barn).
When the corn was threshed the people would go out and gather up the ears and then sift the corn
from the chaff and let the chaff blow away. The corn is gathered into one place having been separated
from the chaff (there may be 20 or 30 people) and this is done at night by moonlighting. The owner will
sleep on the threshing floor to keep an eye on the workers. Only men were supposed to work on the
threshing floor and it was bad etiquette for a woman to come on the floor at night while the men were
working—no immoral intent or thought, just bad etiquette.
Matthew 3:12: Floor is threshing floor. Fan indicates that it is a threshing floor. There is a
threshing floor for the whole community and is usually named after an important person. It is usually on
a rocky place. May be about 20' x 20', but size varies with the size of the community. Can see what is
going on at the threshing floor through the community—even possible to see in the evening by moonlight.
During harvest, bring corn or barley and spread them on the rock. String together oxen, buffalo,
calves or donkeys —3,4, or 5, and drive them to walk on the corn. The animals try to eat the grain. It is
against the law to muzzle the animals —but some do anyway. Says in the Bible—thou shall not muzzle
the oxen that treadeth the corn.
When finished—drive the oxen or animals off—pick up the ears of corn that has been thrashed—or
with wheat—must separate chaff from the wheat. Gather up wheat or corn onto one place on the rock. A
fan is like a tray, clip the tray into the heap of corn, fill it, and then next to heap on the clean floor, pour
the grain out onto the rock and the wind blows off the chaff—and the corn settles on the rock.
Purge his floor—means to separate the chaff from the wheat by the process of pouring down. Still
done today—it's a very ancient process.
"...gather His wheat into the garner..." take the wheat to His barn. Chaff—is in a heap and this is
burned as it is not good.
God says that He will blow away chaff and gather up His own children into His kingdom. The rest
will be burned with unquenchable fire.
Scriptures concerning threshing floor: Genesis 50:10; .Numbers 15:20; Ruth 3:2; II Samuel 6:6;
II Samuel 24:16; II Samuel 24:21.
Verse 15 Galileans are Gentiles. The word "Gal" means to take captive. Galuthe means captivity. In
700 B.C. the ten tribes were carried away into captivity and several of them into Syria. Then they brought
a large Assyrian and Babylonian population to settle in Samaria. These new settlers spoke Aramaic, they
worshipped their own gods, practiced their own customs. The descendants of the early settlers were
called Galileans. Ezra 4:2-4
Verse 18ff Fishermen of the East don't have much property, no home, just a little mud hut by the
seashore. Husband catches fish, wife takes them to market, sells them, buys food, takes it home, cooks it
and they eat. Only property they have is the net which has sentimental value because it is their lives' property.
Verse 20: "Left their nets"—means they gave up their living, forsook their way of life. (Nets worth
$4.00 or less.)
"Straitway"—they made the sacrifice without hesitation, unconditionally. They didn't argue or
rationalize! They went!
Verses 21 and 22: "Their father"—in the East, father and mother are more important than they are
here. The children (sons) stay with the father until he dies so that he can take part in the burial service
(golden bowl). After burial, the son is free.
We should abandon all and follow Christ. They left their ship and father.
Verses 18 and 19 When they go fishing, they put up their temporary hut. The net is their only
possession. The women quickly take fish into market and sell fish and buy food.
Verse 21 Son does not leave home while father is living "...and their father." Great sacrifice.
Verses 1-19 Sermon on the mount; salt.
Christianity is not a religion but a way of life. The multitude was so great that he had to stand on a
mountain to speak to all of them.
Verse 2: "Opened his mouth"—means his heart and soul was in what he was saying. Otherwise, it
wouldn't have to say he opened his mouth to talk.
Verse 3: "Poor in spirit"—humble. The proud cannot be saved.
Verse 4: "They that mourn"—Jesus Christ comforts them.
Verse 5: "Meek"—kind and gracious. No one goes to a proud person for counseling and guidance,
but rather to a meek person. "Meek" does not mean "afraid" or "weak." When people hear of our
wisdom, they will come to us. We have the greatest power so we can be the meekest.—"Shall inherit the
earth" — the whole world will be wanting us. The meek will become leaders.
Verse 6: All those hungry for God's Word will be filled.
Verse 7: Mercy and other things such as kindness, etc., are returned as they are given.
Verse 8: "Pure in heart"—objective is to glorify and serve God. Purpose is pure.
Verse 9: "Peacemakers"—are gracious and spend time with people, using wisdom of God to make
peace between them. We have the ministry of reconciliation. The Word of God lifts people up while the
senses depress.
Verse 10: Persecutors—persecution, comes only when one is living in a godly manner. It usually
comes through the religious people. Do not look for it.
Verse 11: Reviled—cannot rejoice in the flesh because the senses will revile. The spirit of Christ in
us makes us victors. Our right is to forgive. Christ is the power and wisdom of God. Greater is he in us
than he (the devil) that is in the world. This confidence gives us power over our enemy.
Verse 13: Salt—fidelity, unbreakability. A child born of nobility is rubbed with a bit of salt just
after he is born. Then the baby is bound from head to toe with many feet of 2" wide linen cloth and he is
left that way for 15 minutes to 2 hours. The cloth is called "swaddling." The child is taught that he is to
be faithful to his own religion and way of life. Swaddling is a sign of being free from crookedness; i.e.,
the child will always speak truth in his heart and mind. The salt of the Bible is "stone salt." The salt is
kept in a stone crock of about 20 or 30 pounds and it has a lid on top. Before anything is cooked in the
kitchen, a servant woman comes out and washes the floor. Some of the water flows under the barrel and
dampens the salt. The pressure from the top and the dampness from beneath causes the bottom two
inches of salt to lose its flavor. Remember the two reasons: pressure and dampness. This dampened salt
is good for nothing.
When the Christian loses his salt—his fidelity, sincerity, testimony, joy—he also is good for nothing.
The ruined salt is thrown into the street to be trodden on. The same thing is true of a Christian who has
lost the savour of his salt. When a person loses fellowship, he loses his testimony and is good for
nothing. Must get straight with God again. Instead of being good with words, we should be good with
deeds. If we do not do the will of God, we have only empty, dead religion. There are many people in
different religions who are morally and ethically stronger than Christians because they believe what they
have been taught and are faithful to it, including the principles of Matthew 5:1-12. They are salted to
believe and have the power of what their minds are renewed on even though they do not have Christ in
them. It is the light in us that should set us on fire to do God's will.
Verse 14: "Ye are the light of the world." A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Verse 15: Candle—lamp; candlestick—lamp stand.
Verse 1ff (Matthew 8:21,22, taught but not stated.)
Verse 3: "Poor in spirit"—should be humble in spirit.
Verse 13: "Salt of the earth"—means reliable, trustworthy people.
Eastern people use stone salt which is different from ours (refined salt). Stone barrel is filled with
20-30 pounds of salt and is kept in the kitchen, covered with a stone. Among high-cast Hindu, every
morning before they cook, they wash the floor and water goes under the barrel. The salt at bottom of the
barrel is pressed down from on top and is affected by dampness from the bottom and thus loses its
"savor," saltiness, over course of time (happens to about an inch thick at the bottom). By pressure from
above and from dampness beneath, the salt at the bottom loses saltiness.
Spiritual application: We take class and are full of joy, praising God, etc.; in course of time we
become (1) indifferent, (2) cold. Indifferent—due to pressure from above, "materialism," contact with the
world (we want to keep up with the world); Cold—dampness, coldness of the church, lukewarm message
is taught, no spiritual power, no spiritual food. (This is a great teaching to be considered for taping.)
When women finds salt at the bottom of the barrel, which has lost its saltiness, she puts this salt in a
tray and places it in the road where people walk. It is good for nothing not even good enough to go on the
If we lose our joy, then the people of the world will walk all over us, people will despise us, mock
us; then we loose the mastery of the situation and we are crumbled down with the rest of the people who
have no joy. We are no longer conquerors.
Verse 22: "Raca" means "I will spit you in the face."
"Fool"—should be an idiot. Effeminate; difference between an idiot and a fool:
1. Idiot—means a person who has nothing inside his head. If you call someone an idiot, you are
calling God in him an idiot. To insult a person is to insult God.
Verse 3 Blessed are the humble in spirit.
Blessed are the poor in spirit...poor means humble, not arrogant, proud must become humble in order
to accept Christ.
Verses 3-40 Verse 3: "Blessed are the poor in pride..." (Translation) Easterners are always proud of
their forefathers and race. It means "Blessed are those who are low in prejudice and tolerant."
Verse 4: Mourning is very common in countries that have revolutions and uprisings. Many people
are bowed down with sorrow over a loved one. The Galileans are descendants of the Assyrians. They are
always fighting to be free. They have self respect and dignity. The Galileans were despised by the Jews.
The Jews are very selfish and self-centered.
Verse 5: "Blessed are the meek..." refers to the type of man who does not retaliate. Free from
temper. Mo matter how much he is persecuted, he does not strike back. They seldom protest the rulers of
the earth. When a man dies or is killed in war, his property is given over to a meek man. The meek often
rise in power and wealth.
Verse 6: Many countries in the East are misruled. Poor governments make the people wish for
righteousness or a better government. The Eastern people believe in dreams, so they dream of kind kings
and a righteous government. Any righteous woman who has not done any wrong, is devoted to her
husband and a godly woman, is called Sita. The people are judged by what they have and what class of
people they belong to. They respect their ministers and bishops first the king; second, the bishop; and
third, the chief justice.
Verse 15: "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel...'' In the East, only the big
people have candles. The ordinary homes have a lamp three inches in diameter like a saucer. They keep
the lamp burning all the time. If the light goes out, that means God has gone out. The light is a symbol of
the presence of God. Most of the Oriental homes of the poor people are square buildings with 30 or 40
people living in the same building. Usually the relatives live together and about 6 or 7 families in the
same building. They have good cooking facilities but not as good as ours. Every person has a lamp
which is put on a lamp stand made of wood. Butter and olive oil are used to light the lamps. If a family
is too poor to buy butter or olive oil, they sit and wait until some other family comes and lights their lamp.
If there are two families living close together and they have had a fight or some other disagreement, the
one woman may decide that none of the light from her lamp should fall on these people. She then takes a
shade and thus prevents the light from falling on the other family. This is what Jesus meant by hiding
your light under a bushel. The wick in these lamps is made of cotton and called flax. When the oil burns
out, the lamp lets off a smell. This is known as smoking flax. They think of the smell as the burning of
flesh and it means that they are being angry, spiteful and quickly upset. Sometimes when the oil is gone
and the wick is smelling, the women get up and quench the wick to make it burn better instead of pouring
on more oil. But the wick soon starts to burn again and unless she pours in more oil, she has to get up
quite frequently. They call this way the easy solution.
Verse 25: "Agree with thine adversary quickly..." The system of law in the East has been very
corrupt and many-sided. They have very few quarrels and don't have police stations in every village.
Crimes are not committed to the extent they are over here. There is no drinking, no gambling, no dances,
and no pictures. Eastern people don't go to the court quickly. First, they try to settle a dispute among
themselves, then they go to the temple, then the priest, and finally to court—reluctantly. They are very
honest people and don't believe in law. That is why they seldom go to court. If they go to court, they
may have to walk 150 miles. Each man takes with him 30 or 40 men, friends, witnesses, etc. They all go
together in one large group, talking together, eating and sleeping together. The two opponents talk
together and the others divide up into little groups and talk the matter over. "...thou art in the way..."
This refers to when they are on their way to the court. They often settle the dispute before they reach the
court. They then celebrate with a banquet.
Verse 39: "Smite" should be "touch."
Verse 40: If there is a crime committed in town and they suspect anybody, they take him to the
police station, not the court. Then they examine and inquire. They give you their outer garment (cloak)
and you keep it as a bond for good behavior. There is no charge made at all. The people must have been
complaining to Jesus about this practice. If any man is taken to law and suspicioned as being a bandit, his
outer garments are taken from him as a bond. Innocent men are often mistaken for bandits. "If any man
take you to law, (police station) and accuses you as a bandit and wants to take your cloak as a bond, give
the cloak also." (Translation) The cloak is the outer garment. The coat is a vest-like garment under the
coat. For more insight on crimes refer to 5:25.
Verse 4 See also: Job 24:10
Verse 13 "Salt of the earth" — reliable and trustworthy people. They have stone salt different from
ours. Dampness is luke-warmness of church and believer will lose his enthusiasm and joy. The salt is not
even good for dunghill, but it put on road for people to walk and trample on. The people will despise you
if you have lost joy and enthusiasm and treat you as a no good—trampled down by world, flesh and devils.
Covenant of Salt. (1) Dampness gets into the salt. (2) Pressure of the salt on top.
Using the salt to a place where there is only one inch remaining in the barrel, there is no salt left, due
to dampness underneath and pressure of the salt causes this. This remaining substance is no good. It
cannot go into the rubbish bin, it's no good; it cannot go to the dunghill. If we lose the saltedness of
Jesus, we are not good for the world or the dunghill. If we lose the saltedness of the loyalty and
faithfulness to Jesus, then we are not good for the land or the dunghill. They put remaining substance into
a tray and spread it on the street. People walk on it. So a man who has lost his saltedness is good only for
being trodden down by the foot of men. People will mock, ridicule, see through it all. Our witness is
speaking louder than our words. Salt means unbreakability, fidelity, thankfulness, loyalty, to do what we say.
Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth"—meaning "you say what you mean and do what you say."
"Salt lost savour"—salt is kept in a stone barrel in the East. It is 4.5' tall and about 1 1/2' wide,
covered with slab stone. The last few inches of salt at bottom of barrel lose saltiness from being pressed
down so long. (Note from another of Bishop's teachings: Eastern salt is brown, unrefined. It still has
some dirt and gravel mixed in it. When the women wash the floors, the bottom few inches of the barrel
gets wet and the salt washes away, leaving mostly the other matter which was mixed in the salt. It has
lost its savour). The women take this unsalty salt and spread it on the road to the temple for everyone to
walk on ("to be trodden under foot"). Christians, being pressed down by materialism (as the stone slab)
and temptations of the world, lose the savour (integrity) of their testimony. They then get trodden upon
because that is all they are worth.
Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth because you say what you mean and do what you say." The
Easterners store salt in a barrel of stone, 4-5' long and a foot and a half wide. When salt is desired, the
slab stone is moved and they dip a spoon in, take what was needed and replace the stone slab. (This salt
is rock salt.) When there are only 2-3" of salt remaining in the barrel, it is tested for savor. It has been
pressed down for too long and has lost its savor. The women put this salt on a tray and take it and put it
on the road to the temple where people walk on it. Being pressed down and unused it loses saltiness, and
is "trodden under foot of men." People, when being pressed down by materialism and by the temptations
of this world, lose a savor of testimony because of being unused. We lose the joy and sweetness of being
a Christian; then people see a bad example and witness of Christianity.
Majority of Eastern people use stone salt, few use refined salt like us. The salt is kept in 30-35
pound barrels with a stone slab on top. When they wash the floor, water goes under the barrel and by the
pressure from salt on top, the salt looses its saltiness. We lose our saltiness from materialistic pressure
and from the dampness of watered-down churches at the bottom.
"Salt of the earth."
Lost witness, joy of salvation, love; then we are no good and do not bless people. People put you down then.
The salt that the Eastern people used was not refined salt as we know it. It was stone salt, brown in
color, and was kept in barrel with stone over barrel. When the women would wash the floors, water
would run under the barrel. This dampness plus the pressure from the stone above, caused the last two
inches of salt to lose its saltiness. This bad salt is thrown on the road to signify that if we, as the salt of the
earth, lose our savor, we are only good to be trodden upon.
Bishop says that the pressure is materialism and the dampness is that of the church without Christ
living and real in it.
Verses 15 and 16 Light under bushel. Candle—lamp; candlestick—lamp stand. The oriental lamp is
like a deep saucer containing oil and wick. The oriental houses are square buildings. A rich or "well-off"
man will provide a house for his poorer relatives. The houses are divided into rooms and several people
may have a room in the same house. A courtyard is in the center of the house and all the doors of the
rooms open on to the courtyard. Pillars support the house and there is a lamp stand and lamp on each
pillar in front of all the doors. The owner provides these lamps and then the renters provide lamps for
their own rooms. The renters pay only a nominal fee for rent. Some of the people are so poor that they
cannot afford oil for their lamps inside, so they sit out by the pillar and eat and then go to sleep inside. If
the landlord's wife has a quarrel with one of the tenants, she may retaliate by covering his lamp with a
shade (not a real bushel basket), or by setting something in front of the lamp. She may not, by law,
remove the light; but she may keep the tenants from receiving the benefit of it. Cane baskets are prevalent
in the East. It would allow only flickering light to come through. Jesus, here, was instructing the Jews to
let the spiritual light that they had shine before all men. They had been keeping it shaded from the
Gentiles. God wants the whole light to shine, not just a flickering light.
The beds of the upper class Easterners are similar to ours. They are very ornate. Much decoration is
on nets and clothes and sheets which hang to the floor. If a lamp is placed under the bed, only a flickering
light shines through (Mark 4:21).
Verse 22 An idiot or effeminate, not fool. You insult the "God in you." It is God who is attacked and
thus in danger of hell.
Verse 22 Raca, fool. The oldest language is Sanskrit, and the second oldest is Aramaic. All languages
have roots in Sanskrit; Indian. "Raca" is Aramaic. "Fool" means stupid, idiot, imbecile; an abnormal
person. You call your brother an idiot and, therefore, the God of your brother an idiot. Because the God
of your brother is in him.
See II Kings 2:23ff
"Raca" means "I spit you in the face." This is an insulting practice in the East, and a man who does
this is in danger of being put in jail. "Fool": in the East means "bald head." He may have plenty of hair,
but he has no brain. A Christian we may call silly, no brain, but then we are saying Christ is empty—
because Christ is in him. I cannot insult him, and get away untouched. II Kings 2:23—Elisha is called a
"bald head." We must be cautious about what we say.
"Raca", fool. "Raca"—"I'll spit in your face." This insult is the greatest in the Orient. A man could
go to jail for even making the statement.
The "judgment" and "council" refer to the court of their governing body. "Fool" means "bald
head"—does not mean having no hair, but rather having nothing in the head—no sense (see the account in
II Kings when some called Elisha "bald head"). To call a brother senseless or silly is to call God the
same. We belong to him.
Verses 22ff "Shall say to his brother." Raca—means I will spit in your face. This is a terrible crime in
the East. It is better to spit in someone's face than just to say so. If you call your brother a fool, you are
really calling God-in-him a fool, but it is a worse and greater punishment to say it than to just do it.
Verse 23: "Ought" means a "grievance." Agree with thine adversary quickly.
Verse 25: The courts are very few and far between. The crimes are very few. On the way to the
court, the opponents may settle the case out of court. Says communion is a cancer, don't be angry
because anger is a poison in the blood stream.
Verse 32: Adultery, fornication.
Verse 34: "Swear not at all." The Eastern people are bad business people. They quibble and argue
over the price of an item. They will swear that the price they are asking is the true price. They swear by
heaven, earth, God, etc. They swear to convince the customer. Quakers in America practiced verse 37
(yea, yeah; nay, nay) and brought us a one-price system.
Sanskrit is the basic language of humanity. Western people are very clever in business. Western
people are more realistic than Eastern people.
Verses 38 and 39: "Smite on thy right cheek." "Smite" should be touch. The message of Jesus
Christ is unique but the means of communication was not new. Idioms are based on usage in a culture.
Touching the cheek is a great insult. They would rather pay $100.00 than touch their cheek. If someone
touches another person's cheek, it makes that person look like dirt.
Verse 40: "If any man will suspect thee at the law." If there is a robbery in the East, the police will
round up some suspects and take them to the station to interrogate them. If there are 3 couple that they
would like to have back for further questioning, they will ask them to leave their coats. If a man
complains about leaving his coat, he will be more suspicious and so Jesus told them to be willing to leave
the cloak also. Leaving the coat is like posting bond. It is a disgrace to leave the coat.
Verse 23 "Bring yourself before God" may mean offer yourself. Praising God is also an offering, ought
against you, right or wrong. "Ought"—dust of hatred.
Verses 23 and 24 Gift to altar. If you bring a gift, it is better to go home and make up with your
brother. It is better to make up with him than to be "religious" and present a gift to the church or to God.
Outwardly, appearance is great; inwardly, dirty. "Ought" is anything.
Bring thy gift to the hath ought against thee. Gift-is bringing yourself to the altar, too. Like
bringing yourself before God (for example in holy communion) means offering yourself to God in praise
and thanksgiving. Eastern idiom: Calves of our lips is praising or sacrifices. Because as you kill a calf in
sacrifice, so when praise God with our lips called calves of our lips, that is our sacrifice and our gift. So,
if you are bringing that gift, and remember harm or hurt that a man has done you—that is "ought," and is
dust in you, no matter whose fault it is." Must get rid of guilt in you, by going to the man and settling it,
and being reconciled with him. Then you can come with a clean heart, and mind, with no dust and can
then give praise to God.
Before people go to marriage ceremony, they will settle any disagreements because don't come with
any "ought" in them. Because can't come to any sacrament where God is with any animosity or dust or
hatred. If that person is dead—renew your mind to it, and thank God for forgiveness.
"Offer thy gift." Calves are killed in the East for a sacrifice. "Calves of our lips"—idiom which
stands for praises to God with our lips, a sacrifice.
If you remember that someone has "ought" against you, it means that you remember that he has done
you harm. You should reconcile yourself with the man. When there is a marriage in the town, the people
who are going to the marriage will go and get right with the people that have "ought" against them before
they got to the marriage. They could not come to a marriage with any "ought" in them. If you have
"ought" against someone, it is the same as having "dust against" someone.
Verse 24 If person is dead, you tell God you're sorry since you cannot tell the person.
Verse 25 Both parties travel together and eat together while they are on the way. They talk together on
the way about the case and make agreement before getting to court—"while thou art in the way with
him." Then they turn around on the road and only one goes on to tell judge that the case is settled out of court.
While in the way with him. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with
him." The courts: elders of the gate take care of the small issues. A large argument must go to the higher
court. On the way to court, a three-day journey, both sides of argument travel "caravan" style. They talk
and discuss both sides of the issue. A settlement is reached many times prior to arrival at the court. This
is "while in way with him."
Agree with adversary quickly in the way with him. Small offenses are taken care of between the
parties involved themselves or with the elders of the gate. The big offenses, such as those involving much
money and property, are taken care of by the high court. If one person sues another, they are still on
speaking terms with one another. Just because someone has an issue with someone else, it does not mean
that they must hate each other. They must still be friendly. The high court is always in a big city and is
often far away. Each party involved gets his lawyer and witnesses together in his bull cart and sets off for
the high court. Both parties travel together. The Easterners believe that hate is the venom in the heart
which destroys the person hating. One only can destroy himself by hating. The witnesses get together on
the way and ask themselves what is the need for any division between the parties. They come to a
settlement on the issue and present it to the two parties, asking them to agree and go home. The lawyers
are sent on to court to tell judge that the case has been settled out of court.
"Whiles thou art in the way with him"—While there is still time to reconcile before arriving at the
high court. We should "shake the dust off our feet," which means to get rid of anger, malice, grief,
resentment. Unforgiveness sucks out a person's blood, his life.
Agree with thine adversary quickly. Romans 12:20,21. Coals of fire.
There are few jails in the East because the crimes committed are few. Brahmans have no crime
among the juveniles. Therefore, there are few courts. Cases are like this: "Herman came and took my
land, encroached upon my land." Two properties are separated by stones which are lying on the ground,
not staked. Some scoundrels move these landmarks to encroach upon another's land. This was against
the law (Deuteronomy 19:14). In these cases, Hindus attempt to arbitrate first. Secretly, they settle or
attempt to settle (Matthew 18:15). When all else fails, court is the last resort. Journey is taken to court
(might be as much as 500 miles). Although there is a disagreement they are still on speaking terms. On
the way to court, they stop and eat together and take witnesses with them—and the witnesses do their best
to arbitrate the settlement. John pays $1,000, Herman returns the land. They go home and send a lawyer
to court to answer, "It was settled out of court," when the case is called. "In the way" is on the way to the court.
Proverbs 25:22. When an enemy hungers, the Easterners would not feed him. Their attitude is, "Let
him starve, he deserves it." God does not do this. In the East, some of the mud huts have wooden fuel,
yet are without matches. One person in the village might have matches and be responsible for lighting the
entire village. A boy has a pot bowl on his head, padded by cloth so as not to burn his head, and he fills
the bowl with fire and goes throughout the village to each mud hut, and gives coal to each person to start
their fires. This is warm on his head and, therefore, his mind. If we do this, do good to a man who has
hurt you, it will warm his mind and heart toward you. Romans 12:20.
Agree with thine adversary quickly; Romans 12:20,21. Coals of fire: "In the way"—on the journey.
There are not many courts or jails in the East because the crime rate is not very high. (Bishop
elaborates on crime in the East quite a bit.) When one person commits a crime against another, they often
must travel a long way to court. Each party brings his lawyer and witnesses. They all walk together and
are not enemies although there is a problem. These "witnesses" for the two parties get together along the
way to try to settle the matter out of court so that they will not see such a disgraceful thing as two brothers
standing in court as adversaries. Then the witnesses present the two parties with the settlement, and they
are usually as eager to avoid court as anyone. If they come to terms, a lawyer is sent on to the court to
announce it and everyone else travels back home to celebrate.
We should go to our enemies and forgive them. Do not say, "He did the wrong. If he comes to me, I
will forgive him." God did not say that about us. He forgave before we committed the wrongs. We may
win our enemies by love and affection. When our enemies hunger or thirst, we should give them food or
drink. In so doing, we "heap coals of fire on his head" (Romans 12:20,21). Among the poor people, one
person in the village starts a fire early in the morning. A boy carries a bowl on his head with burning
coals in it and supplies all the mud huts in the village with coals to get their fires started with. Rags under
the clay bowl protect his head. The fire warms his head (therefore, his mind) rather than burning it.
Doing good to an enemy warms his mind and heart toward you and makes him feel good.
Agree with thine adversary quickly whilst thou art in the way with him.
Orientalism: 1. Art in the way with him; and 2. How to settle the matter among yourself.
How you know if a country is a Bible land?
1. If it is mentioned in the Bible.
2. If its customs are in the Bible. (Book of Esther tells you about India.)
When have a fight with someone: you both live in the same town and you have to go to court—is a
distance away.
Each one of you take your lawyers and witnesses with you.
Along the way, and you all travel together, takes 3-4 days journey to get there.
On the roadside at nightfall or at the inn where you put up, you'll discuss terms with one another—
you're on speaking terms although you have a dispute.
The issue has to be settled.
The court will only cause bitterness in you, cost money and you're children of God—the court won't
solve the problem.
They'll stop on the road on the way to the court and bargain and try to settle the matter.
When the matter has been settled in the way, they'll turn around and head home.
Courts settle nothing—going to jail doesn't heal your heart.
Cleanse yourself from any bitterness with another person by talking it over with them—it is worth it
to find your peace.
The saints shall judge the world—go before them for any judgment that needs to be made.
Don't disgrace God by going to court—are you too proud to humble yourself before your brother?
Settle the matter with him.
"Agree with thine adversary quickly." "Whiles thou art in the way"—when there is a suit between
two people in the same town and they must journey to another to go to court, they will go on the trip
together. They will take their lawyers and witnesses and food for the journey. As they are on the
journey, the witnesses will talk things over and they will come to some terms and then present these to the
two parties. The parties can then settle the case and all turn around and go back to town. They send one
lawyer on to the court who will tell the court that the matter has been settled out of court.
Spiritual application: Any two people who have a quarrel with one another should get right with
each other instead of "stewing" over it.
"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." In East, if two people
disagree and must go to court which is in another town, both parties go in same court, and bring their
lawyers, witnesses and food for the journey if needed. While on the journey, witnesses begin to talk to
each other about why should there be quarreling and fighting. Our religion tells us not to go to the court
of this world, but to settle the affairs among ourselves.
The witnesses come to terms and then go to people and make an offer. Then they settle it on the
road and all return except one lawyer sent to tell judge that case has been settled out of court.
Spiritual application: If two people have disagreement—go to other person to get things settled and
forgive each other. Ask what you could do to make things up. Go to each other and talk about it. Avoid
deep-seated animosity—talk it over while both still alive. Let not the sun go down upon thy wrath. Must
get things right and have peace in our minds.
Verse 29 "Right hand, right eye."
"Right eye offend thee"—this is an idiom which means be not envious. By looking at something
with the right, a person may become envious. "Pluck it out" means to renew your mind and not be envious.
"Right hand offend thee"—means don't steal. In the olden days if a man were found stealing, they
would cut off his right hand.
Are we to literally cut off our right hands? No, it is the degree of determination that we must have.
We must be willing to lose our right hand rather than let it offend us.
Verses 29 and 30 "Right hand," "right eye" — idiom. Right eye—be not envious, renewed mind.
Right hand—do not steal, renew mind. Determined to rather have your hand cut off.
Verse 29—If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. It literally means don't be jealous—a figure.
People use these as support for their claims that Paul is a sore-eyed man. Acts 23:5—they use this to
prove he was blind also. They say he couldn't see the high priest—because he was blind. Thorn in my
flesh is an Eastern idiom—has nothing to do with any disease of any kind. Eastern people when they
plow don't use gloves or wear shoes on their feet. Some don't, many do. The man who goes barefoot gets
a thorn in his foot. If it gets deep into the skin, he doesn't try to pull it out. It would hurt more to pull it
out. He lets the thorn remain in the flesh for a week or 10 days, during which time he keeps working,
limping. It doesn't kill him, not a disease. It only annoys him as long as the thorn is in the flesh. It
makes him uncomfortable. He has to keep working for his living. At the end of the days, the skin on top
dies. He cuts this dead skin off and pulls the thorn out. No pain then. While the thorn is there, it's
annoying, but he still has to work.
Verse 30 (If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. It literally means don't steal. A figure—not to
literally chop off your hand.
Right hand offend thee...Right eye offend thee... It does not mean that literally cut off our hands. It
is an idiom meaning, "DO NOT STEAL." Don't literally pluck the is an idiom saying, "DON'T
"And if thy right eye offend thee..." Right eye and right hand are both idioms. Pluck it out: means
to be not envious. If the right eye, by looking at something, you become envious, "pluck it out" means
don't be envious. Train your mind, renew your mind when you are tempted to be envious. Cut off thy
hand: means don't steal. Cutting off the right hand was a punishment for stealing, as an example to the
people. Here it is used to show degree of determination. We make up our minds not to do it. We renew
our minds.
Verses 31 and 32 Deuteronomy 22:14-17 ...give her a writing of divorcement: Fornication:
premarital relationship;
Adultery: after marriage;
Teaching: Man is allowed to divorce wife and sue her parents if he discovers she is not a virgin
when they married, because they have deceived the boy saying that the girl is a virgin. First and foremost
condition is that girl should be a virgin. They pay the dowry for that reason. If she is not a virgin, the
boy may bring before the elders at the gate, and that girl may never be married to anyone else. If she is,
that person is committing adultery. Only grounds for divorce are fornication.
If after married—say a couple of years, and the girl and or boy commits adultery, it is not grounds
for divorce. Must forgive the other. Adultery no greater than any other sin. Fornication are the only
grounds for divorce, because of the deception involved in it and unrighteousness. Mother is responsible
for girl's virginity.
Divorces—difference between fornication and adultery is the fornication is a pre-marital relationship
and adultery is after marriage.
Verse 32 Divorce. No Orientalism. "Whosoever shall marry her that is separated, committeth
"Fornication" should be "adultery." Bishop says that in the Eastern Bible, "divorced" is not in the
text. It should be "separated." He said that there is no Orientalism here and that it is a point of much
theological controversy so he will not go into it.
Fornication is anything that a woman commits before marriage. Very concerned in East that a man
marry a virgin. Virginity is a sign of sanctity. Eastern people never allow their girls to court because they
are afraid of her temptation. If a girl is tampered with before marriage, nobody will marry her in all of the
Eastern world. They think it is the greatest sin. She must be without spot or wrinkle. Reference to
church as virgin.
If you have two daughters, the older must be married first. Then the younger one is eligible. Not so
with boys. (We need to understand the Eastern customs in order to understand the Bible. Yet, Bishop
Pillai is not trying to get us to do Eastern life.)
During the 12-month honeymoon period, which bride and groom spend at their parents' homes, they
come together in sexual intercourse but not immediately. They wait for a day appointed by the elders
who study the stars. It can be between 7-l4 days after marriage. This is why the family (mom, dad,
uncles, aunties, accompany the couple on their honeymoon until that appointed day. This prevents their
coming together before that day.
Verses 33-37 See II Samuel 13:19
Verse 34 Eastern people always swear by heaven or something else that they are telling the truth.
Verses 34-36 Swearing. The best businessmen are crooks. If two men disagree with a price, the
businessman will eventually begin to swear about it. He swears by his head, his temple, his son, etc. By
touching a thing and swearing by it in the East, signifies that it is true what has been spoken. Even Peter
cursed and swore when confronted and as he denied Jesus Christ. The Oriental way was to swear by
something, in order to convince people that that which was spoken was true. Jesus said, "Don't swear, let
it be yea yea, nay nay." When selling a product, in other words, quote a price, an honest one and stay
quiet. Take it or leave it. Stand by your own words. This is why we have the one-price method in the
United States.
"Swear not at all." In order to affirm something which is said, Easterners will:
1. Touch their head.
2. Touch the head of their son.
3. Call upon the name of a temple and make a promise and look toward the temple.
If someone wants to take a servant as a secretary in the East, he will not ask for previous credentials.
The first question is, "Are you a Hindu?" Then, "Can you work for me as a secretary?" Then they will
make a covenant of salt which is unbreakable.
The Easterners love God more than they love their children. When children are born, they are
washed in water with a little salt and the parents are responsible for the child until he is 21 years old and
then the child takes over.
There were 4 missionaries working for 80 years and there were 150-200 thousand people and Bishop
Pillai was the only convert from Hinduism to Christianity. This is because the Hindus do not want to
break the covenant of salt. Hindus never borrow from any one other than Hindus.
Verses 34-37 Romans 1:9. For God is my witness. All the dark races as a whole don't want to tell the
truth, especially business people. They always want to bargain you. They'll go on a half-hour before you
can bargain the people down to proper price. They'll start at $5 say, for a $.25 article, then, when you
finally get them down to $.25 he'll say, "In the name of God I'm telling the truth." When he says this, he's
telling the truth. Word says yea, yea or nay, nay—don't use the Lord's name in vain. Just speak the truth,
you don't need to use God's name to convince anybody. This illustrates Matthew 5:34-37.
See Isaiah 55:1
Swear not at all... Eastern people are great at swearing! The Jews, Hindus and Arabs—swearing and
cursing go together. It is a characteristic of Eastern people. For example, in shopping they bargain and
then will swear about the price in the name of God, when they want to assure you that they are telling you
the truth. Verse 37—let your communication be yea, yea.
People should believe you and if they don't, why should you bring God's name into it. If by telling
the truth you are going to suffer—suffer it. Tell the truth whether it hurts or not.
Verse 37 Yea, yea and nay, nay. The Eastern markets are crooked in business. The people lie, cheat
and swear upon God to prove to you that they are telling the truth. "I swear upon my God that this item is
$25." It's not $25 at all, he only says this and brings God in to assure the customer that he is telling the
truth. (The one-price system came from Quakers who understood this verse.)
Verses 38 and 39 Touch cheek, not strike. It is degrading and insulting to touch the cheek, and if a
teacher would have a girl touch a boy on the cheek, it would be most humiliating. "Resist no evil"—
renew your mind to understand the other person.
Eye for an eye. Whosoever shall smite thee. Renewed mind.
"Smite" equals touch. As Jesus stood before Pilate, somebody came along and smote Jesus on the
cheek with the palm of his hand (John 18:22). Emphasis is not on physical force, it is on the humble side;
it is humiliating and an insult. If someone comes up and socks you in the jaw, it is different from
emphasis in this verse. We can be doubly insulted, but by God's grace and power we are enabled to
endure. By this, all men will know we belong to Christ, because we are far more gracious and kind than
any other.
"An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." Verse 39..."Smite thee on thy right cheek..." Smite—
touch. Great humiliation in East to touch on right cheek. Not a physical hurt, but a great insult. Would
rather pay $100 and go to jail than have someone touch you. Makes you look like dirt.
As Christians, if someone comes and insults us, it makes us look like dirt.
We have the greatest power working in us—renew our minds to it. Control thinking and we can
bless when insulted. Jews had been violent people and believed that if someone hit you, you should hit
him harder. Generally, those in India—Hindus and Brahmas believed in peaceful non-violence.
Verse 39 "Smite thee on thy right cheek." Smite means to hit. It should have been translated "touch" in
this verse, not "smite." In the East, to touch the cheek of another man is a very great insult, worst
punishment is to have a girl touch a man on the cheek.
Whosoever shall smite thee. Renewed mind. "Smite" equals touch. As Jesus stood before Pilate,
somebody came along and smote Jesus on the cheek with the palm of his hand (John 18:22). Emphasis is
not on physical force, it is on the humble side; it is humiliating and an insult. If someone comes up and
socks you in the jaw, it is different from the emphasis in this verse. We can be doubly insulted, by God's
grace and power, though, we are enabled to endure. By this, all men will know we belong to Christ,
because we are far more gracious and kind than any other.
Turn the cheek. Eye for an eye, resist not evil, smite thee on cheek. Stand firm for your own ground,
if devil says, "Go jump in the lake," you stand firm. "No." If devil says, "Go jump in the lake," you stand
firm. "No." If a man robs you, say "God bless you."
"Smite" should be "touch." This is an insult. Jesus said a double insult is better—for it is the
manifestation of humility.
Turn the cheek. "Smite" should be "touch." To touch the cheek of an Oriental is a great insult.
"Resist evil" —stand firm in Christ, not succumbing to evil. The way to resist evil is with God's Word.
Luke 6:29 "Smite thee on thy right cheek." (Not mentioned but taught). To touch someone on the
cheek is a great insult.
"Smite thee"—not stated. "Smite" should be touch; not smite and break your jaw. Touching is an
affront, an offensive thing in the East. A naughty boy in school will be asked to touch his cheek. This is
a great insult. The boy would rather receive six or seven cuts from the cane than touch the cheek. It is a
greater insult for a girl to touch your cheek.
Camel through the eye of needle; Matthew 23:24; camel is the word "gamla," it means either camel,
bean, rope; anything bigger than spoken object. Idiom is it's easier for rope to go through a needle.
Verse 40 Law and justice. All suspects are rounded up and interrogated. If police asked your coat as
bond, do not argue, but leave cloak also. It is not proper to wear either coat or cloak alone. Jesus always
believed in "non-violence."
If there is a crime, the police will gather in all the suspects and for bond money they must put up
their coat. In the East, they will always wear a coat and under it a cloak. It is a disgrace to be without
your coat or your cloak. If the man is sincere, he will go without coat for bond. Jesus Christ said, give
cloak also and it will prove your innocence—do above the ordinary.
(Preaching.) If you are saved, there's a change in your heart and you can endure anything by his
power in you.
(Rap.) About Hinduism being best religion morally—we can do more with Christ in us. Gandhi
applied these principles of forgiveness when he was beat up. How did Hindus get this kind of life without
Christ? The Hindu prophets. It's hard to get Hindus converted. When they do, their family holds a
funeral for them.
People who wore a long cloak, down to ankles with long sleeves, also wore on top of it a coat. Most
people will wear a coat to be fully dressed; they go together. One cannot walk with the cloak alone, they
will be ashamed. If there has been a robbery, the police will gather the suspects. After interrogation, they
determine that one or two could be guilty. Then they say, "We need to see you again tomorrow. Please,
you are free to go if you will leave your coat here." The people will argue because they are ashamed to
leave without their coats. These are most suspicious ones. In the course of the argument, they get hit and
thrown in jail because they refuse to give their coats. If you offer the coat to the police, they will be
impressed and you'd have saved yourself a torture. The lesson is to not resist evil. Give in, it will touch
the heart of the enemy, it will save you from torture. We win our point by love (this is the gist of the
sermon on the mount). Offering the cloak also proves you are not a fighting man and that you are willing
to give in.
Sue; give cloak. Easterners wear long loose pants, a shirt and top, a vest over that and then a coat.
Over all of this goes the cloak on top. People "sued" or taken under suspicion will be demanded to give
the coat. Jesus says—give them the cloak also. Suppose there were a bank hold-up. If Herman is
suspected to be guilty, he says, "No, I didn't do it." They say, "Okay, we are convinced, but not satisfied.
Take off your cloak and leave it with us until we prove otherwise. If he is really guilty, he will dispute
and argue about it. Jesus suggests he cooperate and give his coat also. Arguing and resisting will result
in a beating. Cooperate and show you are a gentleman by giving him something he didn't ask for.
"Sue"—to take under suspicion. "Take"—demand. The cloak is a very costly garment and no man
goes out without one. If a man is suspected of something by the law, even though they may think he is
innocent, they may ask to hold his coat until they prove his innocence. If the man trusts the police and is
really innocent, he will not mind. Jesus said if this happens, to give the cloak also. If a person is not
guilty, he has not reason to be afraid. The cloak is a long, loose, outer garment.
If a policeman suspects that you are wrong, he will round up 10 or 20 people and pick on one to
come back the next day. To make sure he will come back, they ask for his coat as security. If man fights
and will not give over his coat, the policeman will hit him, for this is a sign of guilt. However, if the man
gives his coat and his cloak (going the second mile), then it will touch the heart of the policeman and will
witness his innocence. Also, if they ask you to walk one mile to carry a burden, walk two miles.
In Job 24:10, they took his coat and cloak but he still had some clothes on.
"Sheaf"—sheafs of corn are left in the corner of the field for the poor people. Wicked people
sometimes take away from the poor.
Verses 40 and 41 Take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. In the East if a theft occurs, all the
suspects are brought in and questioned. If there is a suspect and they want him to come back the next
day, they have him leave his coat—like bail — in East. It is like being undressed to go without your coat.
Coat and cloak go together. Jesus says if they ask you to leave your coat, don't argue. Leave your cloak
also. Christ taught to be non-violent always. Can never solve your problems by being violent. Leaving
cloak is to impress them that you are innocent and willing to do anything.
Verse 41. "Compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." In East, if an officer or man with
authority is carrying something, he may stop any man on the street and ask him to carry it for him. May,
under law, compel him to go only one mile. As in law of beating a man, may not exceed 40 stripes. Jesus
Christ says to offer to go two miles. Jesus Christ says you can melt enemy's heart by non-violent attitude.
Be glad to do anything. Get very blessed by giving as it is more blessed to give. As we give, we receive.
In East, if you borrow jewels for a pilgrimage or wedding or some religious ceremony and something
happens so that you are unable to return them (such as being robbed), the person from whom you
borrowed them will say that is okay, that he gave them to a good cause!
Verse 41 In the East, some of the roads are wide but many are narrow. Much of the goods is carried on
the backs of donkeys. Human beings carry heavier loads over there then we do. Coolies bend down and
carry pianos on their backs. They only get 10¢ for it. When they are carrying pianos on their backs, they
are bent down so far that they cannot see anyone. Another man may stop his work and bend down and
take the piano and carry it himself. This is one of their beautiful customs. If a man calls you over and
asks you to carry something for him twenty miles, he may have you do it and he may let you go, but if
you say, "No," he may compel you to go only two miles.
A policeman may stop anyone on the street and compel him to carry something for a mile.
In the East, any officer can compel someone to carry his luggage, but only for one mile (unless he
talks back). Jesus said to go two right away, and it will melt his heart.
"To go a mile." Any law officer on the street can compel anyone to carry his bag or do something
for him. Legally the officer can only compel him to go a mile. If anyone complains, the officer will
make him go three miles. But if you yield and say, "I will gladly go two miles," when he asks you to go
one, then his heart will be touched. You win your enemy by yielding to him, doing something kind for him.
In the East, any rajah or government official can compel anybody walking in the street to stop his
walk and carry his (rajah's) bag. The man cannot refuse. The rajah can only compel him for a mile.
Refusal could result in a beating (resist not evil). This would not help. Whipping maximum is 40 stripes.
Paul got whipped 39 times. His whippers wanted to appear generous by not giving the maximum
(Deuteronomy 25:3; II Corinthians 11:24).
Go two miles. In the Orient, any rajah or government official can compel anyone in the street to
leave his work and carry the bag of the rajah. The rajah cannot require more than a mile from the man. If
the man resists, the official can make him go farther than a mile.
Compel thee to go a mile. Any man of authority in the East can stop anyone in the street and compel
him to go with him for a mile. Jesus said, "don't argue with him, agree, and go two miles." This is
designed to convince our enemy.
Verse 42 Women going to wedding or some religious ceremony borrow jewelry if they have none. If
something happens to it, it's lost or stolen, the owner pleasantly and understandingly says it is alright,
thinking it was for a good cause.
Give to him that asketh you. If you have something to give, don't lie and say you need it. Your need
doesn't come first. The needs of others come first. We are saved to meet the needs of other people rather
than our own. We don't exist. We have a new creation which can do all things. The need of the kingdom
of God comes first, not your own. This pleases God and is unselfish. (The mind says, "If you give, you'll
be broke." But God says, "If you don't give, you'll be broke." As we give, it will be given us.)
Verses 44 and 45 Have the same attitude toward others as the heavenly Father has toward us.
Verses 44-48 (II Corinthians 13:11.) Perfect. We are of good comfort because we have Christ in us.
Assured because we have power. If engrossed in troubles, no comfort. If engrossed in Christ, have comfort.
"Perfect" (See Matthew 5:48). We are to be perfect, as God is perfect. "Therefore" relates back to
the preceding context. God's perfection lies in His justice toward everyone, treating with no partiality
(verses 44-47). We should be kind and generous to good and bad. We are not sinless perfect in
ourselves, but we can love. We tend to help only those who we think deserve our help. Not so with God.
Verse 48 must be taken in context with preceding verses which tell in what sense here that God's
perfection is being used as an example (..."even as....").
Back to II Corinthians 13:11. If we all have the mind of Christ, we cannot help but be of one mind.
Be concerned with living in peace with people. They may not want to reciprocate, but that is their
problem. If you do not like a person, start loving him. You will reap what you sow.
Verses 45-48 Be perfect. How can I be perfect as God is perfect? We are sinful men, God is holy.
"Therefore" is the key word. Be perfect "therefore," as God shows in verses 45-47. God loves the just
and the unjust (scoundrels, crooks, thieves, murderers). God feeds the birds of the air and the jailbird
also. God loves both bad and good. We can be perfect in the same way. If a man has done you harm and
has a need, what would God do? You do that, too. It is, however, hard for us to be sinless perfection.
(John 14:12.) We can do quite a bit.
"...Children of your Father which is in heaven..." God feeds all people—just, unjust, saint and
sinner, crooks and scoundrel—regardless. Because God is righteous.
"Be ye therefore perfect..." Perfect as your father is, means to do as your Father does. Father does
good to all—so should we. Our Father loves this man and then so should I love him. We have the love of
God in us, so we can love others and all, whether or not they deserve it. That is up to God, and is not for
us to question.
Verse 48 "Be ye therefore perfect." To understand this verse, the key is the word "therefore" which
means we must look at the context from verses 45-47. The context is that we are to love the just and the
unjust, just as God does. We can bless our enemies because God does.
Verses 1 and 2 Sound a trumpet. If an Eastern rich man wants to feed the poor people, he rings a bell
and calls together all of the beggars and needy who gather by the thousands at the palace of this man. The
people in the community praise the rich man for his works, because he blew the trumpet and called
everybody's attention to it. He could have done the same thing quietly and glorified God rather than himself.
Verses 1-4 "Ye do not your alms before men..." In East, when rich and wealthy—Rajahs, princes or
money lenders on important festival days—may send people through the streets beating on tom toms and
announcing that Rajah (or whoever) is going to feed.
People today—or give away calves to Brahmans; or temple dedication because man gave a lot of
money to build it. Jesus Christ says don't do it. Not to look for the glorification by men, but do good
rather that God may be glorified.
Don't announce—is let not thy "left hand know what thy right hand doeth..." No need to show off
how charitable they are, which is outside show for their own ego, rather than for glory of God.
Verses 3 and 4 Rajahs have people to beat drums for any great ceremony or birthday. Oftentimes, they
give ten bullocks or something to the Brahma, thus making public announcement of it.
Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. If you do give alms, do it without fanfare.
Verse 5 Pray honestly and seriously, not to be heard of men.
Pray in the streets. People liked to pray out in the street to impress the people.
"...pray standing in the synagogues..." May pray publicly, but do it honestly and sincerely—not to
brag or seek vain glory or to be praised by other people who hear your prayer.
Verse 6 Shut the door means shut door of the mind. Bring every thought into captivity.
Shut the door (enter into thy closet). Not to shut the door of your room. Means to shut the door of
your mind against intruding thoughts. These are thoughts that would disturb our mind when praying.
Don't accept any doubts that come to your mind concerning your answer to prayer. If the doubts were
there before you started, you can eliminate them from your head. Take away the tares by your will.
When you do this, you maintain the calmness in your soul. The Lord tells us to be constantly abiding in
Him—constantly looking to Christ. Constantly walking with Him, then the enemy has no chance of
upsetting us. We need to spend time in the morning and evening concentrating, meditating on the things
of God. Put positive thoughts in our minds, guard our minds. Change your thinking patterns (Romans
12:2). The enemy cannot attack you when you're awake spiritually. If you're spiritually lazy, the enemy
can tell you all kinds of stories to frighten you.
Shut thy door, renewed mind. When praying, shut the door of your mind against any intruding
thought (i.e., fear, anxiety).
Enter into the closet. Renewed mind. "Closet"—our mind and where the spirit of God
dwells..."within." Be centered within you in your mind. "Door" of your mind—get rid of foreign
thoughts, negative thoughts, wandering thoughts. Do not allow those hindering thoughts to come in.
Empty these thoughts with mind power. Speak the Word to the mind. "Be not conformed to the world."
"...enter into thy closet...shut thy door..." "Shut thy door" means the door of your mind, to keep your
mind stayed upon God and don't let anything come in. Can then talk and communicate with God. Don't
let your mind wander. There is a joy and a warm fellowship with God. Check your mind before you pray
to see if there is anything contrary to Word of truth. Keeps thoughts that are not from God out of your
mind. Drive them out—the closet—is in you where God dwells in you. God and I are one in that I lead
my mind into activity to think His thoughts from the Word. Bring every thought into captivity.
Verse 7 Vain repetitions. Praying on and on and on repetitiously. Pray as if sleeping with your father!
As our father, He is pleased to hear us ask in prayer. This also builds our believing.
Verse 13 Lead us not into temptation. "Lead us not into temptation" should be "Let us not enter..."
Verse 16 A businessman may be fasting and counting his beads—doesn't shave but looks
sanctimonious. However, when a business deal comes along, he will jump up and tell his customer about
it to impress him. Fasting is incidental to praying.
"...why ye fast..." In East, like to show off that they are fasting; will look terrible, very solemn,
sanctimonious, disheveled hair, mark their faces. This is all done to impress men. God sees our hearts,
men see the faces. They are concerned with impressing man and not God. People only look "religious"
on the outside.
Verses 16-18 Fasting. People who fast in the East are hypocrites. They say loudly that they are fasting
and tell everybody. He lets his beard grow, he doesn't comb his hair, he doesn't wash, looks ugly, silly,
foolish, pious, religious—only to impress people.
Fasting. The purpose of fasting is that you may be able to pray better. Fasting is a means to an
end—prayer. Less trouble with flesh when fasting. God honors prayer—not fast. (Mark 9:20-29.) (1)
Fasting = going without food for a day or two. This is man's idea of fasting; scientifically, without food
in stomach I can concentrate better, mind lighter. (2) Fasting = Isaiah 58—God's idea of fasting, to
deliver the poor, to set the oppressed free, to clothe the naked, to receive a stranger within your home. To
do God's will is the truth of God's fast.
Verses 17 and 18 "Reward thee openly." There is no virtue in fasting. Two kinds of fasting: (1) Manmade,
the purpose is to help prayer by being able to think better, better concentration. This is incidental
to prayer. God rewards the prayer, not the fasting. (2) Doing the will of God.
"...When thou fastest..." Men think or gives impression that if fast in secret, God will reward you
openly. But there is no virtue in fasting. Open—not in Greek text. Two kinds of fasting: Man's go
without food for two or three days, and this in ability to concentrate, think clearer and longer, and is
therefore incidental to praying. Praying gets the results and not fasting. Part of yoga practice—to get
more focused on God—not to get rewards from God. God will not reward. In India, fast just to pray. No
virtue in fasting.
Verse 19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth..." In the East, they do not have banks and
safes like we do, so they bury their gold, silver and other things of value in the earth. They constantly
worry for fear someone will dig there and find their valuables. Only the person who buries them knows
where they are. The father usually tells his son where to find them before he dies.
"Thieves break through and steal." The thieves in the East do not have much trouble breaking into
the clay brick homes. The walls are not that good. They use clay trunks (Job 27:16) which moths and
rust can get into.
Verses 19 and 20 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth..." (Mentions briefly, not taught.)
Lay not up our treasures here because thieves break through; banks will fail. Therefore, lay up our heart,
our treasures all there—where we are bound for. The steward gave everything for the employer—all he
saved was a little wheat and oil for his needs. Can we say that?
Open in continuation of teaching of good steward from side 1. This steward gave all for the
employer, saved only little oil and wheat for himself. Can we say that to God? That we only have food
and clothing and give all else to Lord from whence it came? This includes time and talent.
This money is not ours. We are not our own—we belong to God. All the mammon of
unrighteousness which are committed unto us are His. We are only stewards.
Bishop wants us to check ourselves to see how much we have given to God. We have squandered
much on ourselves. We are not as good as this steward was and the Lord commended him. Bishop
would like to see us commended by our Lord that we have been just and faithful stewards in all things
that He has given us.
We are responsible—what we sow, we also reap. Our words are seeds and will bring back the
results of it 100 fold. If we make a pledge to give all to God, and don't do it, then we are liars and are
riotous people.
Stewards have been salted and, therefore, will not break word. Not so with us. We have not been
salted and will break our word to God. Must account for every idle word.
Verse 22 Eye be single. "Eye be single" means you are centered on Christ. Engrossed in him. Man
cannot put one eye on Christ, one on mammon. Don't walk by sight and by spirit.
"If thine eye be single." This is referring to singleness of heart (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22),
which means to be centered in only one person, Christ Jesus.
Verse 24 See Isaiah 1:8
Verse 25 We should not be encumbered with the things of this world. Our sufficiency is in God. Take
no anxious thought for tomorrow. Matthew 6:25ff. To take no thought means don't be anxious. It
doesn't mean don't think about.
Verse 28 "Consider the lilies of the field." Jesus said this, but it was not a new saying to the Eastern
people. Lilies of the field can be seen growing everywhere, they grow wild. They grow by sun, air and
moisture. The lilies of the field grow by absorbing the sun, air and moisture. These three things are an
inheritance for the lilies. The lilies do not have to work for them. We have an inheritance for all of our
physical and spiritual needs also (verse 33).
Easterners think that 98% of a man's nature is spiritual, 2% is physical (food, clothes, roof over his head).
We should feed our spiritual side first in the morning by prayer, devotion, meditation and concentration.
Eastern people are spiritual people. The Eastern idols are real people to the pagans. The idols speak to
the pagans (the spirit behind them).
Verse 30 See Psalms 119:83
Verse 33 Incidents on trust. (Matthew 6:33). When Bishop served God, he was treated like a king.
When he was serving man, he had to stand like a fool in a queue.
Seek ye first. Men get up at 5:00 and bathe, read the Bible and pray. No Hindu would eat without
doing these things. Women get up at 4:00 and bathe everyone. We should seek God first in everything
we do: eating, finances, work, all things.
Eastern women go to sleep at 6:00 so they can arise at 4:00. These women aren't blinded by
materialism. The god of this world has blinded us with things that shall perish. Spend time in the things
of the spirit rather than that of matter.
Verses 3-5 See Psalms 68:13
Verse 9 When making a day's supply of chapattis, she puts a stone the shape of chapattis at the bottom
of the pile and another on top, to hold them together. In time, the stone will appear the same color as
chapatti. It could easily be mistaken for chapatti.
"If his son ask bread." There are several serpents in the water which look like fish. The Eastern
bread is called chapatti. It is cooked in oil. It is as wide as a plate. Thick as a man's palm. Every
morning they make fresh bread. Bread is piled on a stone slab, maybe 20 or 30, and on top they put
another stone, just to keep the bread in tact. The stone starts out white and becomes oily and greasy and
looks like the bread which is brown in color.
Verses 9 and 10 Bread; serpent. Son asks for bread. Oriental phrase used here. The bread is like a
pancake and as wide as a plate, made of wheat. Punjaby soldiers eat wheat and not rice. Southern
Indians eat rice and not wheat. Now three of these cakes are given to a guest at once. He can only eat
one—two, if he is a hard-working man. This is why Luke 11:5 says lend me three loaves. "Loaves" are
"pancakes," not loaves as we know. The children in the East sleep with their grandparents, until they are
17. Not because they don't have enough beds; its purpose is that the grandparents might teach the
children when they go to sleep and wake up. This was their religious training. This begins at age 5.
Eastern children are cared for by family.
Now this bread is 10" inches diameter, baked in the morning. Butter the pan, (everything is cooked
in butter), and then turn it quickly so it does not get burned. Black on one side only (a cake not turned—
Ephraim)—Hosea 7:3, hopeless condemnation.
As soon as the bread is cooked it is placed on a slab stone as wide as a pancake, as thick as a
pancake. There might be as many as 100-150 cakes placed on top of the stone slab, and then have another
placed on top of it. This keeps the bread intact. When they go to take some bread, the stone looks very
similar to the bread because it browns in the course of time from being in touch with the bread. Would a
father give the stone instead of bread to his son? No, he would be careful.
Most mud huts in the East house poor people. When they cook fish and put it in a basket, they hang
it from the ceiling, so the cats cannot come and eat them up. Whenever they want fish, they reach their
hand up to the basket overhead. Sometimes they take a snake in their hands rather than fish, from the fish
basket. These snakes like fish and drop down from the roof, have a good feed and settle down in the
basket. Also, when fishing, a net can catch water snake which looks like a fish. But, the fishermen know
the difference and take only the fish. They both look the same.
There are white and black scorpions in the East. The white scorpion's body is shaped like an egg.
When crushed, white and yellow emerge from it, similar to an egg. Luke 11:12.
Bread, serpent, scorpion. What similarities are there here? Eastern bread is shaped like a pancake as
big as a plate. It is made of wheat. Three are always put on the plate of a guest, but he can eat only one,
unless he is a very hard-working man. In that case, he may eat two. (There is a record in the Word of a
man who went to his neighbor at midnight and asked his neighbor to lend him THREE loaves of bread for
his guest. He thought according to his culture. The neighbor answered that his children were with him in
bed. The grandsons sleep with the grandfather until they are 17. Likewise, the granddaughters sleep with
the grandmother. This practice is for spiritual instruction. The women roll out the dough and lay it in
butter in a pan. Everything is cooked in butter. This thin bread is called "chapatti." It must be turned
quickly or it will cook on only one side and burn. (Ephraim was referred to as a cake not turned. He was
cooked on one side only, "one-sided," no good for anything.) As soon as the bread is done, it is placed on
a slab stone which looks very much like the bread itself. The bread is piled up and another slab stone is
placed on top of the stack. These stones are the same size and color as the bread. Now what Jesus said
makes more sense. If your son would ask for bread, Would you give him one of these stones instead?
"Serpent"—Most poor Indians live in one-room mud huts. They keep their fried fish hanging in
baskets in the ceiling so that animals cannot reach it. When the people want some fish to eat, they reach
up into the basket, but sometimes pick up a snake instead. Snakes love to eat the fish. Also, when a net is
cast into the water for fish, many times snakes will be drawn up with it. They look like some of the fish.
"Scorpion"—In other gospels it says, "If your sons asks an egg, would you give him a scorpion."
There are two kinds of scorpions, white and black. The shape of the body of the white scorpion is like an
egg. When crushed, it is white and yellow inside like an egg.
These comparisons are feasible when they are explained.
"...son ask bread, will he give him a stone?" Difference between bread and stone? Bread in East
called Chapatti—made of wheat and oil. Fried, wide as a plate and sometimes thick as palm. Made fresh
every morning, and piled on plate. Placed on thin, round stone. Same size and shape as bread. Bread
piled on top and then stone placed on top of pile. After a period of time, the stone which was originally
white, becomes brown from oil in bread and looks like bread. Easy for mother to mistakenly hand stone
for bread. Thus, father careful not to give a stone for bread.
Jesus Christ only gives that which is good for us and not what we don't need and don't like.
Many fish look like serpents—father knows and will throw serpent away and give fish.
Eastern loaves, or chapattis, are thin. People always started out with three.
Verses 9-12 Luke 11:11,12. Bread, stone; fish, serpent; egg, scorpion; giving. The bread made of
wheat flour is wide as a large plate, shaped like a pancake. The bread is cooked every morning and is
done with oil. Each person can eat two or three. So the woman, for ten people, cooks thirty pieces. It is
preserved in the cupboard; a stone slab as thin, light and wide as the bread. They pile the bread on top.
The stone becomes brown stained eventually by soaking and contacting the bread. This is how bread
could be mistaken for stone. When fishing there are serpents which look like fish. The fisherman knows
which is a fish or a serpent. A scorpion can be black, white or brown. The white and black scorpions are
the same shape, like an egg (the body). If the body of a scorpion is cut, it comes out yellow—just as an
egg. Fathers will make sure their children get the proper food.
Verse 12: Always put yourself in the other man's shoes. What would he expect from you? How
about a beggar? If we don't do this, then we are not good disciples. We are here to serve mankind (with
money, time, material things, etc.). Make use of your resources for Him. Be generous, kind, sympathetic,
understanding—God will multiply it back to you. Whatever you need—give! If we don't do His will, He
cannot help us. The sermon on the mount tells us how God wants us to live! Cannot live this way until
we have tried it! Results: good health, prosperity, success, victory, joy, gladness, peace and quietness. If
we rob God, sickness ought to come, we keep paying the bill. God heals the patient, doctor takes the
money. Christ is healer, savior, sanctifier and coming King. Children of Israel did not die in the
wilderness because of sickness; they died because of disobedience (unbelief, by choice). You are not
obedient because things don't happen to you. Disciple is one who does the will of the master. Prosperity
is ours unless we disobey God and don't give. God does not chastise us. We do it to ourselves. Matthew
Verse 14 "Narrow is the way, straight is the gate." In the temple early in the morning, the priests will
go through the small narrow window before the doors are opened. We should walk as the priests who
enter by the narrow way. We're priests and kings of God—we should act like it. The window is 3'-4'
long—the camel. Around the neck of the camel, they tie up a vessel which contains candles, incense,
frankincense, fruits and flowers which are used in the service of God, the camel carries these. The camel
will put the neck first and the 2 legs, then somebody outside whips the camel, so the camel struggles hard
and gets in. It doesn't mean rich man can't get in. Means that it takes a lot of whipping for the rich man to
unload his burden to get in. Inside the city towers are built—a booth big enough for a person to stand in
on the walls. They are named after the people who built them. What happens in the tower? People stand
up there all night. Nobody tells them to. It is passed on from generation to generation with no
grumblings. One month one family will do it and when it's time to switch, another takes over. In the
East, they don't think about themselves first—God, others, self. These people watch over the town. If
someone sees a fire, he'll start the fire song. Everyone else around the gate will soon join in and wake up
the town to warn them. "Thy watchman shall sing"—we should be watchmen—waiting to save people
from the fire. (Song of danger.) The saved are the watchmen for Jesus Christ—we are to warn others.
Everything you sow, you reap—sow sparingly, reap sparingly. Hindu's believe that to give their money
to any other religion is sacrilegious. In the East, they don't have to ask the people to give to their own
church. They just give. They're taught since birth.
Narrow is the way; straight is the gate. Early in the morning, the priest crawls through this narrow
little window to get inside the temple, before the doors are opened. Because we are children of God, we
are priests and kings unto God. We should walk in the narrow way like as the priests enter into the
temple through the narrow way. Jesus Christ saw these pictures there in the East and knew they would
understand it. The window is 3'-4' at the temple. Why should a camel go into the temple. The camel
carries certain things needed in Eastern worship: a vessel containing incense, frankincense, candles,
fruits, flowers. The camel carries these around his neck. Now the camel's head and front legs go through
the "narrow way." Once in this position, the camel is whipped from behind; it struggles and finally gets
through the window. Back in Matthew 19:24, it is not impossible for a rich man to go to heaven. Rather
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (the narrow way), than for a rich man to go to
heaven. There is always someone behind the camel whipping him. Yet, the rich man doesn't have this.
A rich man or woman requires a large whipping before they can unload their burdens and get in.
Verse 20 See Isaiah 62:10
Verses 5-9 Believing. Lord, I'm not worthy...eastern humility. He accepted the authority of Christ.
Centurion believed the Word. If we act on the Word, things begin to move, we get results. We say we
believe, but we don't act. Believe means action—then doubt, we never gave God a chance. God's Word
is as good as God Himself. At the speaking of the Word, his servant was healed because he believed.
When you believe, there is calmness in your heart (first evidence of believing), quietness. No anxiety if
you believe. If you believe when you pray, there will be peace in your mind. The moment you believe,
your anxiety will drop off and you will have peace. Confidence in God is healing to your soul.
Gates of hell shall not prevail against you (the church). Gates are three things: fear, worry and
anxiety. This means that these won't prevail against the believers. A man who truly believes in Christ
will not be overcome by fear, worry and anxiety. Christ in us will give us power to overcome. This has
to be living reality. Christ spoke the Word and the centurion was left with peace because he believed.
It's so simple! Believing will give you peace, freedom in your soul and mind.
Verses 19 and 20 Foxes have holes... Means he has no home—is not married. The scribe would be the
responsibility of Jesus—Jesus had no place to entertain him.
Verses 19-22 Go and bury my father, dead bury the dead, birds of air have nests, foxes have holes. The
dad was not dead yet. This man was waiting for his dad to die in order to bury him. "Birds have nests,"
means "I am not married." "Foxes have holes"—foxes live alone, they dug a whole to live together. Life
is not here on earth, it is in heaven above.
The foxes have holes, dead bury their dead. Most theologians say this means Jesus had no home. It
means that Jesus wasn't a married man—an Eastern idiom the people use when they wish to say this. The
foxes only dig a hole when they're married. The birds do likewise.
In verse 21, was his father dead there? No. Boys don't go join the army while the father or mother
are still alive. When the parents die, the son must bury his parents. The son carries a golden bowl that he
breaks at the funeral — then he's free to go anywhere.
Jesus didn't say, let the dead bury their dead. He said, "Let the city bury their dead;" It doesn't
mean, "Let the physical dead man bury the spiritual dead man." How or who'd know besides God? This
was an idiom, "Let the town bury their dead." Everybody in the city comes to the funeral. If the son
would not be at the funeral, he would be ostracized, despised. Because you weren't there to do your
father this last honor. Jesus meant deny yourself and follow me. That's the cross you bear. You'll have
the honor of your heavenly Father, the town will take care of your dead father. If you follow, you will
suffer persecution.
"Foxes have holes." (That's the way the ball bounces.) Jesus was not a pauper. His family had
money. As a holy man in the East, he did not need to carry a lot of money. He could stop where he
wanted to in order to have meals or lodging.
"The foxes...lay his head"—this is an idiom which means that a man is not married. It does not just
mean he does not have a place to sleep. It means he does not have a home of his own in which to
entertain. The scribe in verse 19 just wanted to find a place to eat and sleep without doing any work.
Jesus knew what was on his heart and so he told him that he did not have a place for him.
"...foxes have holes...birds...have nests." Verse 20: two idioms: "Foxes have holes..." does not
mean that Jesus was a pauper. He was God's son, and besides carpentry was a good job and his mother
had property. Every home was opened to him, and he wore a seamless robe which only wealthy people
could afford. People loved him and provided for him. Treated like a king.
Idiom meaning—I am single, not married.
Birds—when a couple—build a nest for themselves.
Foxes—when male and female, make a hole—a home.
Simply saying I don't have a home of my own. Home means a husband and wife.
Jesus knew this man's heart (who said he wanted to follow him). Really looking to be taken care
of—Jesus Christ said I have no home to entertain you.
Verse 20 A male and a female fox together build a hole for home. Mated birds build nests together. A
man would say that he had nowhere to lay his head, simply to say that he was unmarried and had no home
in that sense. Jesus' parents and sisters' home were always open to him. He was not poverty stricken.
Any holy man of any religion in the East is respected and all homes are open to him.
See also: Luke 9:58. "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests." When male and female fox
or bird get together, they make a home for themselves. When Jesus says he had "nowhere to lay his
head," he is saying he does not have a wife and a home.
Verse 21 See Ecclesiastes 12:6
See topical teaching in "Funeral," same tape and index.
"...Lord suffer me first to go and bury my father." Jesus must have called him. Response means—
Lord, I'd like to follow you, but I've got a responsibility to my father. Because sons have responsibility to
take care of parents and when they die to bury them. Man is saying until they die, I'm not free to follow.
When man dies, body is carried on open stretcher made of wood and decorated with flowers called a bier.
People carry this on their shoulders. Son goes before carrying a golden bowl filled with fire. When body
goes into the grave, the wife drops the silver cord she received at marriage onto the body, and then grave
is covered. Son breaks the golden bowl on the grave of father and then is free to do what he wants
without the control of his father. If son not there, they believe it is a disgrace: ridicule him, as outcast.
Town bury the dead. All the town participates, and Jesus saying let them take care of it. Telling him
what he can expect, the cross he must bear and that people will always hold it against him. Deny yourself
and follow me, and there is a price to pay for following Christ. In this case, he would suffer humiliation
for not staying and burying his father.
Bishop-telling about what happened to him when he became a Christian. Can't get an apartment, or
eat in restaurants if a Christian. You must declare what you are. If you do not say that you are a
Christian, you are liable for prosecution for deception. But this doesn't exist today. Today, people who
wouldn't talk to him 30 years ago now praise him. People are fickle! We should be untouched by praise
or accusation. Remain calm between the two, so that joy will be the same. Calm and poised in midst of
praise or abuse. We Christians alone have the grace of God to do. Bishop prefaces this teaching that he
does not want to bring up what should be controversial. He is not absolutely positive that Oriental point
of view here is correct. Will discuss—you pray to Holy Spirit and He will give you what's correct.
Verses 21 and 22 The son must be present whenever father is buried. Jesus said, let the city bury their
dead. It is a price, sacrifice, to not be present to bury father, as the people will criticize.
(Luke 9:59) "Jesus said to the man, come, follow me." He said, "I must go and bury my father."
Matthew 8:21,22; Luke 9:59. Let the city bury their dead. If you don't come home to carry out this act,
you will be disgraced when you do go home; humiliated. Jesus told them this is the price they'd have to
pay to follow him. To bear the shame and humiliation.
Their father wasn't dead yet, but he as the son was obligated to do this. He had hesitation about
abandoning all.
"Bury my father" does not mean father was dead already, but that he wanted to go and live with him
until he died.
The only woman permitted at the funeral graveside is the man's wife. If he had no son, he would
have to adopt one before he died and that is why Hindus believe in adoption. Golden bowl is made of
clay and gilded with gold. The fire represents the man's life. The son says, "Father your body (the clay
pot) and your glory (the gold), position, the life you have had (fire) is gone with you. When the body is
lowered into the grave, the son will break the golden bowl at the head of the grave. (Ecclesiastes 12:6)
Instead of wedding ring, the Easterners will give a silver cord. At the grave, the wife will put the silver
cord into the grave and from that time on she is free to marry anyone she wants. The silver cord is given
with a covenant of salt.
The bridegroom's voice brings great rejoicing. The father of bridegroom pays all his bills until he is
ready to take care of himself. Voice of the bride—all that thou sayest, I will do. Ruth said this as she was
on her way to marry Boaz. Sounds of the millstones,— two stones about 18 inches thick. Teaching on
this runs out as tape ends.
"Bury my father." Jesus must have called this disciple to follow him. The father of the disciple was
not dead already. The sons have the responsibility to care for the father and mother and to take part in the
funeral service. This disciple wanted to go home and fulfill his obligation. "Let the town (or city) bury
the dead." — In the funeral, the body is carried on an open stretcher made of wood and decorated with
flowers. This is called a bier (II Samuel 3:31; Luke 7:14). This open stretcher is carried on the shoulders.
The son carries the golden bowl. Wife throws in the silver cord. Grave is filled in. Then the son breaks
the golden bowl at the head of the grave. Now the son is free to do what he wants.
Everybody in the street, whether they know you or not, will take part in the funeral. Even pauper,
beggar and leper take part in the service. They think going to a funeral is better than going to a marriage
house. If the son is not present to take part in the funeral, then when he comes home he is disgraced. He
is looked upon as an outcast, a renegade. It will always be held against him.
Hindu philosophy—we should remain in this world untouched by either praise or cursing. The joy is in God.
Verse 22 Dead bury the dead. Let the dead bury the dead is impossible, too. It should be "let the city
bury the dead."
See Ecclesiastes 12:5
Verse 28ff Devil spirits, pigs. Devils are spirits and could not be destroyed by drowning. In the East,
there are many devil-possessed people. Negative conditions and weaknesses make it easier for the devil
to have access and play havoc. Most of these devil-possessed people are among the class of "outcasts"
who used to be called "untouchables" and among the wild people who live in the mountains. Many of
them live in cemeteries and cut themselves with stones. The "treatment" to produce a so-called cure for
these poor individuals is awful. They tie them to a post and pour cold water, bucket after bucket, on their
heads until they are breathless, thinking that will drive the spirits away. Sometimes they brand with a hot
iron to drive the devils out. The "cure" is usually given by a priest so these poor people are scared
whenever they see a priest, pastor, etc. These people still have some sense for self-defense. They knew
who Jesus and Paul were, holy men, and were afraid of them (verse 29). The devil seems more often to
get into people who are poor, ignorant, unclean and weak. Once the devil gets into them, the person
cannot be bound. He can break ropes and chains. Even though they are oppressed by the devil, they have
their own sense. The torture administered to "cure" devil-possessed people occurs at night. When
banquets are held, these poor people are the entertainment as imitators of people. After the banquet is
over at about midnight, a couple of priests tie the lunatics up and try to get rid of the devils by torture. In
verse 29, "before the time" means before the time of the banquet, the time when they get treatment at night.
Verse 31: If there are people around, why would devils want to go into a herd of swine? The pig in
the East has been an item of much controversy, caused murder and faction. Neither the Jew, Hindu nor
Mohammedan eats the pig because it is an abomination to them. It is symbol of hatred, bitterness,
animosity, murder and faction. Few people keep pigs in the East as they are a disgrace and must be kept
outside of town with lepers, liquor and prostitutes. The feeder, not the owner, is disgraced. A barber
won't shave him; no one will launder his clothes, etc. He is treated as a pig. When he gets the rations for
the pigs, he gets an extra one for himself. He is socially degraded. Money could not buy him back. (See
notes on the prodigal son who ended up feeding the swine before he came home.) In the East, social
standing is based on character, not money or standard of living. As the father did not refuse his prodigal
son when he returned home, so Christ did not refuse us who were worse than swine-feeders. If you call a
man "pig" in the East, you go to jail for six months. Pigs are inexpressibly abhorrable. When a man
endeavors to forsake a sin, he publicly burns the articles related to it, such as idols or liquor bottles. He is
saying, "I am getting rid of this pig.". That's why these men said they would destroy the pigs. The men
(not the spirit) said to Jesus, "If you cast this spirit out, we will go into the herd of pigs," destroy the pigs,
according to Bishop. Jesus said, "He that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out."
Verses 28 and 29 Torment before the time. Insane men belong to Syria River—Sea Garara of the Sea
of Galilee. Jesus Christ crossed the sea from Israel to Syria to a town called Gergesenes. When he came,
he saw two insane men. They cried to Jesus, "What have we to do with thee, oh Jesus, son of God? Art
thou come here to torment us before the time?" "The time" has nothing to do with heavenly things in the
hereafter. Devil possessed men are too numerous in the East. They are referred to, in the East, as men
who are derailed in the mind. They worried so much, they could not think right, became insane. What is
"Legion?" "Legion" means, not many devil spirits, as we supposed, but he has so many negative
thoughts, dreadful, agonizing thoughts in him that he has many contradicting thoughts. These crazy men
saw religious men approaching them, and they became frightened because whenever the religious men
saw these crazy men, they prescribed awful torture for them. In the East there are banquets in the
evenings. Two or three crazy men are there who are not totally stupid. They get up and act something
out. At the conclusion of the evening, when all pleasure has been derived from these men, a holy man
will issue sentence against these men. "Before the time" refers to the evening banquet when they
normally get beaten.
Verses 28-30 At a celebration, the devil-possessed are brought for entertainment. After, in evening the
priests in sincerity torment them, thinking to help them (brand with hot iron or pouring water on their
head, etc.).
Verses 28-31 "...Two possessed with devils..." Western idea is that cast out devils asked Jesus Christ to
let them enter into the swine. And devils went into the swine and drove pigs unto the sea and perished
and that the devils perish with the pigs. Eastern: Believe that you can't choke a devil. Work through
humans and animals—no hands and feet of their own. People possessed have their own sense as well.
Verses 28-32 "Torment us before the time." The Oriental side of this is not absolutely correct.
Easterners believe that devils are spirits and live in animals or people. Devil-possessed people have their
own sense of recognition. At parties and banquets they get a couple of these devil-possessed men and
make them mimic or imitate somebody as an amusement to the people at the banquet. The priests at the
party, in order to heal the men by casting out the devils, will tie them up to a pillar, throw water on them,
take a red hot iron and brand them and treat them torturously to drive the devils out. Whenever the
possessed people see a rabbi or holy man, they are scared to death because they think they are going to be
The pig is hated by the Eastern people. It is a symbol of controversy, hatred, animosity, faction.
When Easterners are healed, they must do some good works to demonstrate their salvation and
thanksgiving. The men who were possessed drove the hated pigs into the sea to demonstrate that the
spirits had been cast out, that they had received salvation.
Verses 28-34 Gergesenes and Gadarenes are the same people. You don't see the kind of devils in
America that we see in the East. Our graveyards are so open. Tombs are built before the people die.
Joseph of Aramathea took the body of Jesus and put it into his tomb. During the night, say, my son won't
keep quiet and he keeps doing this and that while he is sleeping, we tie him up to the house and he breaks
the chain. We let them loose and wherever they go, they beat them up. Those poor things go and hide in
cemeteries where their tombs are. You will find plenty of these lunatics in the cemetery in the East. Nice
place, good cement floor. They yell and shout and talk among themselves. That is why people don't want
to go to the cemeteries at night. I wouldn't go. They act like jackasses. They don't look like human
beings at all. Their cheeks are sunk, their eyes are wild looking. Their very personality scares you. The
witch doctors tie them up and whip them and you see these marks on their bodies. They torture them by
taking their money, by pouring buckets of water on their heads. Sometimes we bury him and leave a little
space for their breathing. This torture is prescribed only by the holy men, religious men. We are taught
in our church how to cast out the devil, but we don't believe it. If you want to become a Mohammedan, a
Hindu or want to accept the Jewish religion, you have to get rid of the pigs first. Drinking liquor is a very
bad sin to the Hindu and Mohammedan. (Acts 19:13-20). They got rid of all their idols they had before
and made the road clear. In India, a man marries a woman because she is a good worker and works hard,
because they don't do any work themselves. Verse 31, "...If you will cast us out..." means if you will heal
us. "...before the time"? in verse 29—you see, in the East, these crazy men are engaged for big banquets
and in the night they come and dance before the banquet, and they mimic people. One acts like a
preacher, one acts like a doctor and so everybody will get a joy out of these poor fellows. The Hindu
priest prescribes torture for these men after the banquet is over. They torture them till 3 o'clock in the
morning often times. ''Before the time''—talking about the time preceding the banquet. Were afraid of
being tortured twice in one evening. The devils went into the herd of swine, not inside the swine, but into
the herd. It was the pigs that perished, not the devils.
Verses 28-34 "Two possessed with devils." The possessed men had their own sense to make decisions
to stay alive. He says there is only one devil spirit working through people doing different things. He
says one spirit can walk in two men.
Devil-possessed people used as entertainment at banquets. When the banquet is over, two priests
will take this devil-possessed man and give him a treatment. They will tie him up to a pillar and pour
water on his head.
Verse 31: The men wanted to attack the pigs and the devils were cast out. He says the men were
talking, not the spirits. He says the devil has no mouth, so he can't talk.
Pigs are very unclean to the Eastern people. To call someone a pig is worthy of going to jail.
"The pig" is a symbol of something which is contrary to God's Will, a foreign element, something
evil. We must get rid of our "pigs" like our dirty, old feathers. We get rid of pigs by Yoga practice.
Yoga means union with God. Renewal of the mind. Yoga practice:
1. Sit cross-legged—Eastern clothing is suitable for this.
2. Kept spinal cord straight—this is a connection between this and the head.
3. Close ears and eyes.
4. Close one nostril and breathe in the other. Keep the breath in the mind for a little while. Breathe
out through the other nostril.
They believe the life of God is in the air. Breathe in and it cleanses the mind, breathe out all dirty
thoughts. You must command the pigs to get out of your mind. You must practice this. It is easily done
when you make up your mind to get rid of all the pigs. After pig has gone, don't leave it blank but rather
fill it with the Word. If a "pig" is a thought contrary to God's Word, you can't get rid of it, but by the
Word and renewed mind.
Verse 29 "Torment us before the time." In East at parties, will sometimes bring people who are
possessed and have them mimic people for amusement. Then they would try to drive the devil out of him
by tying him to a post, pouring cold water on him and branding him with a hot iron. Very torturous. So
when a person who is possessed sees a priest or rabbi, they are scared—think they are going to be tortured.
In East, when someone is saved—do some act to show their salvation. Pigs especially hated in East
among Jews and Arabs—killed pigs if got too near temples and greatest of insults to call a person a pig,
could go to jail for six months. Saying here that if they were saved they would drive the pigs into the sea
as a demonstration of their being saved and made sane. Means that they got rid of all the evil in their life
for pigs are symbol of hatred and animosity. Spiritual obligation in India is if you are saved, you choke
all your pigs — pigs of hatred, animosity, faction, and bitterness by renewing your mind by the power of
Christ in you. Men were healed, and they killed the pigs as symbol of getting rid of all evil in their
lives—so they became a new creation in Christ Jesus. People may be possessed by devil, but still have
own sense.
Verses 30-31 Cast devils into the herd of swine. The men besought him, by the influence of the devil
spirit. If you heal us, please send the devil spirits into the swine, was the essence of their request. "Go
away into" is the word AL. It means either "attack" or "enter into, fighting." The devil spirits wanted to
attack the pigs; not liked by Jews, Hindus, Gentiles or Mohammedans. Today, pigs are owned to sell to
white people. They are "poison." Sheep in the East are used for wool, milk products and manuring.
Christmas (December 25) is too cold a time a year for the shepherds to be watching the flock.
The worst job a man can have (the prodigal son) is feeding the swine. If you feed the swine one day
of your life, you will never be accepted into the society the rest of your life, unless you go to another
country. The son's father accepted him. If they called a man "pig," there was a jail sentence. More
Orientals quarreled because of pigs than anything else. Pigs have been annoying, offending elements
throughout the history of the Eastern world.
The spirits wanted to get rid of the pigs. Why? If a man becomes a Christian (from Mohammedan)
he throws away his religious books. If a Hindu is converted, he immediately throws away all of his bad
habits: anything that is contrary to the new belief is erased. Soothsayers burned their books in Acts
19:19. In the East, if a man changes from one belief to another, he gets rid of something that has been
hindering his life before. Christians get rid of nothing in their lives. They retain bad habits, traditions,
their old way of life; there are many pigs to get rid of in our lives.
These men were getting rid of the pigs in their life, showing their gratitude for what Christ had done
for them. Once a man is saved, he has the power to and the love to cast these pigs out. Then he can
replace the pigs with love, kindness, gentleness, meekness, goodness, sympathy and love. Otherwise, the
devil is sapping his blood.
Verse 14 Mourn is another term for fasting. Children of the bride chamber—guests invited to the
marriage. Walking in the will of God—after Christ is ascended and holy spirit is come. This is our
fasting. Isaiah 58:6,7.
Verses 14 and 15 Fast. When there is a marriage in the street, everyone will join the marriage.
Marriage in the East is a sacrament. Where the sacrament is, God is present to us. Everyone joins the
sacrament. Ceremony takes 10 days. They suspend their activities for the 10 days and join in the bride
and bridegroom's celebration. At the end of the 10 days, all these people go back to their homes and start
their fasts, programs, praying, their ceremonies—they carry on. These were suspended during the marriage.
Mourn = fast; children of the bride chamber = guests of the marriage. Children is an affectionate
term—not a literal saying. Can the children of the bride chamber fast during the wedding? NO. They
postpone their fasts and cancel their appointments, worships and programs during this time. They are not
come to guests of the marriage just to fast—they come to enjoy with them. When the bridegroom goes on
honeymoon, then they go back home and fast, etc. They take up again those things which they suspended.
Spiritual application: Jesus likened himself to the bridegroom and his disciples as the guests of the
marriage. As he was taken away, when he was crucified, then we the disciples of Christ fast and pray
because he's not with us. Two kinds of fasting: 1. One fast is made by the man—helps you to pray, only
incidental to praying, no virtue in it. You can concentrate better; and 2. (Isaiah 58) Do the will of God.
Fasting. "Mourn" is another word for fasting in the Eastern terminology. (But not according to the
Greek where the word is pentheo and is used as mourn (7); bewail (2); wail (1).
"Children"—this does not always mean little children. It can mean an affectionate term for grownup people.
"Children of the bride chamber" means the guests invited to the marriage. Whether you are invited
or not, everyone in the village joins the ten-day marriage celebration. All those who join the marriage
feasting will give up their fastings, family rituals in order to take part in the ten days. When the bride and
bridegroom leave for their honeymoon, the guests will return to their homes and continue with their
fastings and family rituals (such as birthdays, anniversaries).
"The days will come"—these are the days after the marriage.
"...children of the bridegroom mourn..." (fast) Mourn is another word for fasting. Children—doesn't
always mean children, is an affectionate term for grown-up people. Children of bride chamber—means
invited guests of the wedding.
In East, all people join marriage in the community. The people give up their ceremonies, their rituals
for the 10 days and enjoy themselves with the bride and bridegroom. As soon as bridegroom leaves, the
guests (children of the bride chamber) return home and continue with their ceremonies and rituals which
they suspended.
Jesus is the bridegroom—how does fasting apply to us today? Simply means that while Jesus Christ
is gone, we are to walk in the way of Jesus Christ. Walking in the will of God is fasting for us. No virtue
of righteousness in not eating kind of fast—that's only incidental to prayer. Means we are walking—that's
our fasting.
Man-made fast—to go without food for a couple of days. God's fast—to do His will, that's our work,
that pleases God.
Verse 15 "...then shall they fast." This is an answer to those who asked Jesus about fasting. Mourn—
another word for fasting. Children of bride chamber—invited guests to the marriage. Can the invited
guests of the wedding fast while the bridegroom is with them?
Fasting: two kinds. (1.) man; (2.) God-ordained. Man-made—no virtue in it. Can't then tell God
what to do on your merit as many people think; if you fast and pray to get anything you want. Fasting is
incidental to praying. If I fast, I can pray better—without food in me I think and concentrate better.
Fasting helps praying.
Matthew 15—man-made fasting.
In marriage ceremonies all invited guests suspend everything and come to bride's home for 10
days—eat with them and help out. On 10th day, married; 11th day, bride and groom honeymoon and
invited guests return home and begin fasting and carry on with programs. While bridegroom is with
them, don't do any fasting, when is taken away, begin fasting. Jesus simply saying, "I am the bridegroom,
these are my guests. They should not fast as long as I am with them. I will be taken away, then shall they
fast. While Lord's here, shouldn't fast when gone, fast in order to pray and concentrate better.
Verse 17 Cannot put new wine (grape juice) in old bottles—it' s too strong. Powerful—it'll burst.
Grape juice—straight from the wine press is too powerful by nature—strength is great. If you put it in
old skins which are already weak, they'll just burst. (Same context as in Psalms 103:5)
Verse 20 Hem of his garment. See Deuteronomy 22:11ff.
Verse 3 Don't go unto the way of the Gentiles—means don't follow their ways. Don't adopt their
manners, customs.
Verse 11 Essene—worthy. Worthy—Essene (scrolls of the Red Sea). Jews by birth formed into a
philosophical group. They don't kill any animals. They don't war against anyone. Don't drink liquor;
don't shave their beards. They're called the holy ones. This means inquire to see who the Essenes are—
the worthy ones. They receive everybody. You can go to them without anything and they'll provide for you.
Verses 11-13 Salute Selah ma lekum. First of all, recognize the worthy ones. "Peace be unto you,"
"Selah ma lekum"—the salute. If you say to a Mohammedan, "Salah ma lekum by," that means peace be
unto you my brother. He really means to take you as a brother. Usually in the East they won't call you
brother unless they mean it. After you welcome one in such a manner and are received, be as a worthy
one. They'd do anything for each other now. Brother means brother.
Verse 12 Jesus told the disciples not to accept hospitality from everybody. Go not from house to house.
There is no hostess (she is in kitchen), there is only host and each sits at a small table with the guest of
honor seated at the right of the host.
Everybody has a little individual table all sit together in a line. Everyone knows what seat they
should take. If one takes a lower seat, host asks him to come up and everybody stands. Jesus Christ said
if you take lower seat, you'll receive worship of men.
Eastern bread is flat and three pieces are put on each man's plate. Host says the grace and then dips
the bread and places it in the mouth of the honored guest; then everyone eats.
Verse 14 "Shake off the dust of your feet." Dust is symbolic of hatred, malice, grudge, resentment and
ill will. Don't carry these things with you, but rather carry only love, no matter how much harm is done
unto you.
Luke 9:5; Acts 13:51; Mark 6:11; (Luke 10:11) "Shake off the dust of your feet." Dust is symbolic
of hatred, malice, grudge, resentment and ill will. Don't carry these things with you, but rather carry only
love no matter how much harm is done unto you. Host will not eat with the guests unless they are the
most intimate of friends.
Shake dust off your feet. Dust equals hatred, malice, spite, bitterness. Leave these attitudes behind.
Don't carry the dust of animosity in your heart because that will hurt you.
Verse 15 Sodom and Gomorrah. When these cities rejected the servants of God, they rejected God. We
don't worry with these people. God will deal the judgments in His day. We just shake the dust off our
feet and move the Word. We have the power of Christ in us. We're to utilize this power and show God to the world.
Verse 16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves..." They are all taught as children
that if they are bit by a serpent and look up to God and pray, they will be healed. They must look up at
the serpent at the same time. The serpent is the symbol of wisdom and also the wisdom of wickedness.
The snakes have assumed the color of the native surroundings. They know the people and their
temperament. The serpent usually turns aside if he sees any danger coming. This accounts for his being
the symbol of wisdom. If he thinks he is in danger, he comes and stings you. The serpent remembers the
evil done to it. If you fail to kill it the first time, the serpent follows you the rest of his life and bites you
while you are eating or sleeping. That is why the Hindus don't kill a serpent. It is not looked upon as a
god. The "dove" is a symbol of purity, gentleness, peace and sincerity. When they say, "He is like a
dove," they mean, "He is very sincere and pure in heart." The dove is a pet to them. The houses and
palaces almost all have doves. The people play with them and sometimes send messages by them. They
do not have any dogs for pets in the East. Lambs and doves are their pets. The doves are most sacred to
them because they are trustworthy.
Verse 27 Housetops. Housetops in big cities like Bombay, Calcutta and Madros are similar to the
western cities of our world.
If you want to know India, you must go to a village in India. If you want to learn Palestine, go to a
village in Palestine and not to Jerusalem. It's important to find out the Indian way of life.
Most of the village houses have flat roofs. You go upstairs from outside in the village houses. There
is no shade up there. Usually a cement floor. People dry rice; most anything up there. In the center of
the upstairs is a ventilator-type thing made of wood, 2'x2'. This is closed up with tin upstairs, so when the
rain comes it won't fall through this hole. If anyone wants to lift anything up there, they break this
window; kick it in with their feet easily. To break the roof is to break just a few bamboo sticks across.
You can put it back without much expense or time to yourself.
There isn't much room between houses. You can walk from housetop to housetop without coming
down—straight through the village. That's why we read, "He that is on the housetop, let him not come down."
It's easier to walk on roof in time of danger. If he comes down, he'll get entangled.
During the heat of the day, most people go up on the housetops to pray, at noontime. They must not
wear shoes to pray. They take off their sandals. When they take them off, the cement floor burns their
feet and their head has no covering.
If there is an announcement to be made: they sleep on the roofs until 3 o'clock at night, until the dew
comes. Then they come down. Before they go to sleep though, they'll make their announcement, if they
have anything to tell them. In the East, anything you hear good, you must tell to the other people. In the
East, the religion and culture are one in the same. Here in the West, religion is for Sunday. The rest of
the week they walk on their own.
Verse 29 Translation: "Isn't a sparrow sold for one farthing? And yet you get one more sparrow on top
as usual."
Verse 42 Mark 9:41 — taught but not stated. Eastern people carry food and bedding when they travel
and they come to eat and sleep in the village common area where townspeople may come and find a guest
for dinner. They will not eat until they find a guest. Seek kingdom of God first by feeding guest first.
They ask for the privilege of serving someone. They think when they help someone, they help God.
Water, importance of marketplace customs. Listen to the song. (Isaiah 55:1)
The wine of the Bible is always grape juice. So wine, water and milk are sold in the marketplace.
They are going to buy wine, water and milk. There are places in the East where there is a scarcity of
water and the people have to go nuts to get it. It was true in Jesus' time and in some areas is still true
today. This is why Jesus put a reward on only one thing: if a man gives a cup of cold water in my name,
he shall not lose a reward. (Matthew 10:42.) Milk in the Bible is butter—free; salt is placed in the milk.
It is taken in goat skin "bottles." It is sold at the weekly market. "Ho" is an attention drawer at the market.
At the entrance of the market, there are several young men sitting there. One boy has a reed (flute)
pipe with holes in it. He plays a song and all the boys will sing the song of that time. Everyone in the
market will pick up the tune and continue singing with them. It is a song of joy. Then a song of
mourning. If some people do not respond to the song, someone will approach them and say, "Have you
become so very materialistic that you haven't got the time to respond to this song"? (Concerning things
spiritual.) Have you been so soaked in materialism in your stomach in buying and selling only, that you
haven't a chance to listen to the song? This is what Jesus is saying in Matthew 11:6,7.
Jesus had come along and said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give
you rest." We are so busy with the affairs of this life, we haven't the time to listen and come unto Jesus.
We are sunk in materialism.
Verse 7 Reed shaken with the wind. Should read, "A reed rising up by the wind." Jesus was saying,
"Did you come out to watch the reeds rise up again or did you come to hear John the Baptist teach the
Word of God?"
Reeds also made into a flute; play songs on them (Matthew 11:16—type flutes they played in the
Eastern markets—just mentioned). (Back to original verse in Isaiah 42:3.)
The shepherds have flutes handed down to them. Sometimes the flute will drop from their hands. If
it does, it gets bruised because it is slender. The shepherd could easily throw it away because it's bruised,
and make another one. They are easy to make and cost nothing. But, he wouldn't—it had been handed
down from father to son—had a sentimental value to it. When he drops the flute, he'll take some wax and
string and repair the flute, as does his grandfather. A bruised reed shall he not break, talks of the Lord
Jesus Christ, the chief shepherd, laid down his life for us. When we get bruised through luke warmness,
sin, worldliness and indifference to the claims of Christ, then we but lose the joy of salvation, the peace
that passeth understanding. We become bruised through worldliness. When we turn to him in prayer, he
will renew us, cleanse us; he is our advocate. We should not grumble in these situations, but turn to
Christ. Jesus Christ is the chief shepherd. He'll spare us, the bruised reeds. He'll remake us. Don't look
to your failures, but look unto Christ.
"Smoking flax shall he not quench." Where the light is in the home, there God is also (in the East).
So, every house is lit 24 hours a day. There is always one light burning in the house. Saucer about 3"
deep, the wick is made of flax, they fill the sauce with oil and light the flax.
Sometimes the light will burn out and it's the woman's duty to pour more oil in. When the oil runs
out, the wick is burning by itself—then it stinks and smokes. The man smells the smoke and he'll yell at
the woman to pour the oil—it's her duty to pour it. In the East, women's work is cut out for women and
men's work for men. She takes the burnt ashes out and lights a fresh wick—doesn't put oil in it—she's
lazy, tired, wants to go back to bed. It still smokes and stinks. That's quenching the flax.
We stink in our unbelief—our negativism. Negative equals smoking flax. Fear is one fruit of this
negativeness. Christ fills our cups with oil when we go to him. He doesn't give us a temporary
solution—merely lighting our flax—but, rather he fills our cups to overflowing. We can then believe—
full of faith, joy. peace and confidence. Oil—holy spirit—free from all anxiety, fear.
Reeds are in abundance in the East; it belongs to the sugarcane family. Reed grows wild in the
marshland. They are about 4-5 feet long. In the daytime, they bow down to the ground. In the evening,
when the East wind comes, they all raise up tall. It is a beautiful sight and many people go to watch them.
Matthew 11:7. Jesus asks what the people went to do in the wilderness. To see John the Baptist or a reed
shaking in the wind? Did they go to keep their eyes on John or the reed shaking in the wind rising up in
the evening?
The reed is a species of sugarcane, it's wild, though with no sugar. Grows about 4' long. It bends
down in the heat of day, almost touching the ground. In the evening, about 4-5 o'clock, they all rise up by
themselves. The people go to watch them. That's why Jesus said this. When John the Baptist came in
the wilderness preaching, you all went to the wilderness didn't you? What did you go there for? To see
the reed shaking in the wind? (That's the place where it happens.) Or, did you go to hear John the Baptist
and what he had to say.
Spiritual application: Where do we keep our eyes in this world? On the physical realm or on Christ.
Do we look at our troubles and problems or beauties, material things, or are we engrossed in spiritual
things? Where are we centered? Set your affections on things above, not those below. We should do
God's will all the time. We have the power to do so. Let us not keep our eyes on the reed shaken in the
wind or anything else in this world, but rather let us be God-centered.
Verses 16 and 17 Children sitting in the market. Outside entrance to market, some children sit. One
sits on a stool and plays a song on flute and other children (about ages 15 to 16) sing with him. Those in
the market also respond to the song. The boy will first play a song of joy and then suddenly change tune
to mourning. People all respond. If any did not respond to the song, those that did will get them, asking
if they have become too materialistic and engrossed in buying and selling that you have no room in your
heart for song? Bad etiquette not to respond. Jesus Christ calls and people don't respond to his joyous
song and how grieved he is. They call him winebibber. People are concerned about their own and not
about things of the spirit.
Verses 16-19 In the Eastern marketplaces there is a custom. There are benches there where boys of 13-
14 years old, called children, come and sit on the bench. One boy has a flute in his hand made of a reed,
and plays a song on it. First he plays a song of joy. The people respond to the song and sing along. If
someone doesn't sing, those that do sing would go after those who didn't. They say, "Are you so involved
in materialism that you don't have room in your heart for a spiritual thing?" All of a sudden, the child will
change his song from a song of joy to a song of mourning. They used to sing a song of mourning when a
man died, if he was a good man. The people again follow the tune and sing along.
Jesus Christ's song is, "Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give thee rest." The
people are so busy, so involved in materialism, that they haven't time to respond. They're too engrossed
with the world.
"John came to prepare my way, neither eating nor drinking, and they did not respond to John, nor to
me. They're so involved with their organization, their denomination, that they haven't the time to respond
to my call," says the lord.
Verse 17 That's why Jesus said in the Bible, "They are like children in the market. We have piped unto
you and ye have not danced." Matthew 11:17; Luke 7:32. Then as you come inside, there's a baker's boy
going around selling bread, open basket with bread that his mother or auntie has made. He may have fish
to go with it. He has a feather to fan to keep out the flies. Whenever there is a congregation of people in
the East, there is always a baker's lad.
Verse 20 See Isaiah 55:1
Verse 21 See Mark 8:22
One day Christ said, "Woe unto you Bethsaida and Chorazin for the mighty works which were done
in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."
Jesus led the man out of town because once he pronounced the woes upon the city, they were not to
witness the grace of God any longer. Many Western people say this man had only partial sight when he
was healed according to verse 24. When he saw men as trees, they say his sight wasn't clear.
In the East, they feed their cows green grass all the time, not with hay as we do here. They
especially grow the green grass for the cows. They believe this will make the milk richer and cleaner.
So, each evening the coolies go to the land to cut the grass. The grass may be 3-4' long. They bundle it
up and put the bundles on their head. So much so, that the grass comes on this side and on that side, it's
too big, hangs out all around them so they can hardly see the road. When this happens, the men carrying
the grass look like trees. So what the man saw the first time was a clear picture. The second time Jesus
touched him means he turned him around and got him to see everything clearly, and not just the men
walking as trees. The healing was effectual in the first trip.
Spiritual application: People say the lord only heals in part, a little at a time. God doesn't do a
halfway job. When the Lord saves you, He does it completely. When seed of God comes in, we have full
salvation (wholeness). Christ makes us whole. We need only renew our minds after we're born again.
To walk after the spirit in Romans 8:1,2 is to walk after the Word of God. not after the senses. That's the
battle between the devil, the spirit and the senses. Every man sins because he's got the flesh in him.
Verse 28 See Hosea 4:16
Verses 29 and 30 See Isaiah 58:9
Verse 29 Yoke. In the East, the plowing is done by oxen or buffalo. In Egypt and Palestine, they use
horses. In Europe they use horses. They use two hands on the plow because the plows are so miserably
small, and they hold the goad that they prick the oxen with in the other hand. The Word says, "If a man
puts his hand on the plow and looketh back, he is not fit for the kingdom of God."
"Take my yoke..." On the oxen (two)—you have to have two oxen. It can't be an oxen and a cow.
Verse 1 Did they ask permission of the owners of the cornfield or did they just pluck it? They just
plucked it. You'd be arrested here. Not so in East.
In Deuteronomy 23:25 it says, you can pluck the ears of corn without any permission whatsoever
because you're a guest to them. But, if you put some ears in your pocket, then you're a thief. The culture
in the East is their way of life, not just a Sunday religion. These Pharisees didn't even own the
cornfield—they were just looking for trouble, sticking their nose into someone else's business. Plucking
was lawful—rubbing the corn in your hand on the Sabbath was work. They had to rub the corn in their
hands to get the grain of the husk—work. This is eastern corn, it's like a bush, not like our cornstalk in America.
Verse 20 Isaiah 42:3 (Matthew 12:20 same passage). (1) Bruised reed shall he not break; (2) smoking
flax shall he not quench (2 idioms put together). Bruised reed shall he not break: Reed grows in the
wilderness and is hollow in the middle. Species of sugarcane family. Leaves and trunk all seem like
sugarcane. Grows 3'-4' high. Sugarcane is thick in the middle from the sugar. The reed is hollow in the
middle—only difference is sugarcane is cultivated; reed grows wild. Reeds grow by the thousands in
marshland. During the heat of the day, the reeds all crumple down and almost touch the ground. In the
evening, they all rise up again. A beautiful scene to watch when they all rise up again. People go to
watch this.
(Isaiah 42 also.) Bruised reed; smoking flax. Two idioms put together. Idioms originated from
certain conditions of life in East. Must understand those conditions in order to understand the idioms.
"Bruised reed" — reed grows wild in the East, wherever there is a little water. They grow 4'-5' tall
and look like sugarcane from a distance. The reed itself is hollow in the center. In the heat of the day, the
reeds wilt down to the ground, and they rise up again in the evening. The villagers would go out in the
evening to watch them rise again. Jesus asked if people went out to hear John the Baptist speak in the
wilderness or if they just went to see the "reed shaken in the wind," which was the rising of the reeds.
Were there eyes on material things or on Jesus?
Children make reeds into flutes about 10"-12" long. It is hollow already and they put holes along the
top. The boys play the flute in the marketplace while the shoppers and other boys sing back. Shepherds
have these reed flutes and they pass them down in their families. If the flute drops, it gets bruised. The
shepherd picks it up and repairs it carefully with wax, etc., because it has sentimental value. He could
easily make another one but he would rather keep the old one in the family. Likewise, when we get
bruised by letting the pigs (negative thoughts and feelings) in, our shepherd picks us up lovingly and
carefully repairs us. We get bruised by being indifferent to the claim of Christ. We are more precious in
his sight than we are in our own.
"Smoking flax shall be not quenched"—high-cast Hindu and Jewish homes keep a light burning all
the time—night and day. It is as big as a saucer and about 2"-3" deep. Saucer is filled with oil and a wick
is placed in it. The lamp is set in a hole in the wall. When the oil burns out, the wick is left to burn along
and it smokes. It is the woman's duty to keep oil replenished. She replaces the smoky, stinky, burned-out
wick with a new one and does not fill it again with oil if she is lazy. She should fill it again with oil.
Negative people stink worse than a smoking flax. Christ does not quench us, but rather fills our cup with
oil. It is not a temporary solution as the lazy woman's solution is. He enlightens us and gives exceeding
abundantly above all we ask or think. Thoughts are seeds which are later harvested. Think positively of
what you need and desire.
Bruised reed...smoking flax...
Isaiah 42:3 same. Two idioms put together. "Bruised reed shall not break." Reeds grow wild and
look like sugar-cane, but reed is hollow in its trunk. Grow profusely around watery land. Height is 4"-5"
and thickness is 2-3" During the heat of the date, they fall touching the ground, until 4-5 o'clock, then
wind comes and the reeds rise up. The people go out to watch them; it's beautiful.
Jesus asks people what they went out to see in the wilderness. John the Baptist or reed shaken in the wind?
Christ asks us today, what do you keep your eyes on? Church and rituals or your eyes on Christ.
Ears open to message of gospel or on material things.
Flutes made from reeds. Used by boys in market-place and by shepherds. (Flutes are handed down
from father to son.) If it is dropped, it becomes bruised easily, but shepherd will not throw it away. He
repairs it with wax or ties it. They don't cost anything and can be made quickly, but they have great
sentimental value.
Application: When we become bruised through sin and turn to Christ, he is not disgusted, nor does
he throw us away. When we fall to a spiritually bruised condition, Christ lifts us up and puts his gentle
touch on us and repairs and renews us, because we are eternally saved, and he has promised to present us
blameless before God, without spot or wrinkle. He loves us more than we love ourselves. We are his
purchased possession. All we have to do is turn to him—that's up to us.
...smoking flax shall he not quench. Eastern home lit day and night. One lamp burns near altar day
and night. Lamp like saucer; filled with oil and has wick made of flax then draws the oil and keeps
burning. Where light is, God is; shows presence of God. When oil runs out, wick keeps burning, which
stinks and smokes.
God's people—"stinking and smoking" through unbelief, materialism, doubt and negatives (biggest
stinker in the world is one who says—"I can't, I can't"). Complaining...then we become nauseating.
Christ will fill our cup with oil (not quench or pull off burned) to overflowing. Oil of grace—holy spirit,
so we can rejoice with hope and confidence against the negativism. Because of holy spirit—have
confidence, can understand, gives enlightenment and insight so we'll burn clear—is reason intelligently,
pray and trust and believe because of holy spirit. Christ does not give us temporary solution, but
permanent. Humans give us the temporary. Christ is able to replenish.
Bruised reed and smoking flax. Same as Isaiah 42:3. A bruised reed shall he not break. The reeds
are slender and hollow in the middle. They cut flutes out of these reeds. They cut holes in it and play
these in eastern markets and shepherds play them also.
Maybe this flute will slip and fall to the ground. It gets easily bruised because it's slender. The
shepherds do not throw it away and make another flute, which he could with hardly any expense. But,
they pick up this bruised flute and repair it. They put some wax and strings to it and use it, because it has
been handed down from father to son for centuries. It has a sentimental value to it. They use it in spite of
the bruises.
Spiritual application: When we become bruised through sin, negative thinking and fearful attitudes
that are contrary to the mind of God, we are spiritually bruised. We become perplexed, in despair,
disappointed—we succumb. When we are in this bruised condition, Christ does not throw us away in
disgust, but rather he will renew us, repair us; he'll do everything he can to present us blameless, without
spot or wrinkle, to the Father. An ordinary shepherd of the East wouldn't break a bruised reed. How
much more our heavenly shepherd? He paid a price for us. He paid blood. His blood. How precious we
are to him, far more than we are to ourselves. Go to him when you're bruised. Do it quickly, and he'll
never cast you out. He'll heal you, strengthen you and love you. Christ has unlimited love. He will not
break us.
A smoking flax shall he not quench. All the customs of the people apply only to higher class of
people. The poorer people couldn't afford to follow all these customs. In the night, they turn out all the
lights before retiring and leave one lamp burning. It's like a saucer about 3" deep. They fill the saucer
with coconut oil or olive oil. They put a little wick in it and it draws the oil and keeps burning. This is
placed in their family altar on the wall. The wick is made of flax—that's what this verse refers to.
When they build the house, there is left a hole, big enough for the saucer to get in. This lamp burns
night and day—as long as the people live there, the light is there. If the lamp goes out, it means God is
not there. The presence of light represents the presence of God to the people. So if the light goes, God is
gone from their home.
Verse 36 "Every idle word." People are crooked before God when they do not say what they mean.
There are more robbers in the church than on the street. There is no power in salt. It is symbolic, a
medium of making your contact with God. God made a covenant of salt. Jesus said to be salted; Paul
said let your speech be seasoned with salt. Wherever the covenant of salt is given, miracles will happen.
People will become convicted in their heart. Be careful about what you say. If you say it, do it. Luke
16:1-8; unjust steward. We don't need more people, but people who mean business. Those who are
crooked do not even want to touch the salt with God, because touching the salt can mean as much as
eating the salt. We do not need to go to undertaker for we are destined to go to the uppertaker. He
exhorts them to make a covenant of salt and then move for God. Exhorts them to talk in tongues much.
Verse 12 "For whosoever hath believing faith." "Whosoever hath not believing faith..."
Verses 24,25 Tares. Every parable Jesus used was factual in the life of the people. Jesus used the
existing incidents to convey a message through it. What is man sowing the good seed? If I sow seed in
my field (say wheat), if I've got enemies in the community, I'm very afraid because my enemies can come
and sow tares (wild seeds) in the wheat and go away. And, before the wheat comes up, the tares come up
and destroy the wheat. If I sow wheat I'll hire coolies to watch night and day for three days. After three
days, if they sow tares, they'll have no effect they say. During the night, some of them will fall asleep.
The enemies watch to see when they'll fall asleep. Then they come and sow tares and go their way. This
is an actual happening in the East.
Spiritual application: We should watch and pray at all times. When the enemy comes and sows
tares of fear, anxiety, worry, negatives they uproot and upset the person. As the tares are a foreign
element with the wheat, so are the negative thoughts against the Word of God. If we watch and pray
always, the enemy has no chance to plant temptation and negatives. The enemy uses our minds—the
senses. He'll sow negative thoughts in our minds. Thus, fear, doubt and worry. We remain in a state of
strain, looking only to situations and not to God. If we're wide awake, we can eliminate these fears. We
can shut the door of our mind on the enemy.
Background—enemies will come to sow tares to reap vengeance so people must watch their wheat
fields, hire coolies to do the guarding—only when guards are asleep do the enemies come. Tares must be
sown within three days of the wheat in order to be effective.
Spiritual application: When we are not in Christ, the enemy comes to sow tares, he can only attack
when we are asleep; when we watch and pray we are awake and have confidence.
If you have enemies when you sow your wheat, they'll come and sow tares in your field—one way of
reaping vengeance in the East. If he sows tares within three days of the planting, they'll come up before
the wheat, but if later than three days, it won't work. When you sow wheat, you'll hire some men to watch
your field; must watch day and night. The evening usually comes in the night. Sometimes they go to
sleep, then he comes and sows the tares. When does the enemy attack us? When we are sleeping
spiritually—when we are not alert, he sows tares of depression, fears, doubts, etc. The enemy can't sow
tares when we are awake; should be awake night and day spiritually. "Let him watch and pray."
"Constantly abide in Christ," as the branch does in the vine.
If a man wants to take vengeance on you, he will wait for you to sow seed in your field. Within
three days following the sowing of the seed, the enemy will come sow tares on an unguarded field. The
tares will grow up prior to the sown seed, if the tares are sown within three days. To avoid tares in his
field, the sower will employ some men to watch his field for those three days. The enemy waits for these
men to go to sleep. Then he comes and sows his tares. Our enemy will sow tares of fear, worry and
anxiety in our mind, only when we are lukewarm, unaware. When aware of God, constantly watching
and praying, at peace, speaking in tongues, we do not sleep and have tares sown. Thoughts of the enemy,
negatives are tares.
Verses 24-30 Parable of the sower—God's overabundant love—keeps sowing even though only 30, 60.
In the East, when the farmers sow wheat or barley, if they have enemies they put servants around the field
at night. They do this for two or three days. The tares will not destroy the roots of the wheat or barley
which has been sown for two or three days ahead of time, that is before the enemy might throw the tares
in it. They set fires different places around the land and they watch. The servants are not supposed to
sleep, but if they go to sleep, the enemy may sow tares for spite. A tare is a seed that looks like barley or
wheat, but it is not a weed, although it looks like one, it chokes off the roots.
Verse 33 The leaven is thin dough, thin as water. It is like tissue. They fill a two or three gallon pot
with this thin dough mixed with water. They tie up the mouth of the pot with a white linen cloth. This
dough is made from bread and water, a wheat flour, and then they set it aside from morning until evening,
from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for eleven days. On the eleventh day, they bring it in and put it in the kitchen. Then
each time they make fresh bread for the family, they take two or three spoonfuls of leaven out of this two
or three gallon crock and they put this in the center of the bread and it creates a wonderful taste, but does
not raise the bread. In the East, they want their bread to be flat. It is called leaven because it takes eleven
days to make it. The fundamentalists have always considered leaven evil, but leaven is not evil, it is the
"leaven of the Pharisees" which is evil. They were mixing some of the wrong stuff with the good.
Leaven in the East is different from leaven (yeast) in the West. It does not cause the bread to rise,
but gives it a different taste. Eastern bread is flat. A thin dough (a little thicker than water) is made from
wheat flour and poured into clay pot. A linen cloth is tied over the mouth of the pot and it is set in the sun
(and brought in each evening) for eleven days. During that time, the dough becomes leavened. When
regular dough for the bread is prepared, a few spoons of this leaven is mixed with it.
"Hid" should be "mixed." The dough is then rolled out like pancakes and cooked on both sides. The
Word of God is pure bread from Him. If we add anything to it, it is corrupted. Man's wisdom is like
leaven. For communion and all offerings in East, bread made only of wheat flour and water is used along
with freshly squeezed grape juice (just before communion). Nothing added to either the juice or the
"Yeast" Our leaven—yeast, makes bread rise, not so in East. In East they make a very thin dough
and fill the pot with dough and cover the mouth of the pot with the leaven and put the pot outside in the
sun—keep it there from morning until evening, then take back to the kitchen. Do this for eleven days in
the sun. During this time, something happens to the dough through the sun. Every time they make bread,
they make cakes, patties, and pile them up in the kitchen—they put a slab of stone the same thickness as
the bread on the top of the bread. These stones hold the bread together. In time, the stone becomes
brown because the bread is brown. Eastern bread is made with oil and wheat flour. Have to bake both sides.
Turn twice, "Ephriam is a cake not turned"—if you don't turn it, it's no good to eat, no good for
anybody. One-sided, we are no good for God. We are lukewarm. They take two spoonfuls of this
leaven, mix it with the dough and make a cake (patti) and put it up. What does the leaven do for our
bread? Doesn't make the bread rise as our yeast. The leaven helps to improve the taste—creates a new
taste. That's why it is called corruption. "Behold the leaven of the Pharisees." Matthew 16:6, Luke 12:1
(ref. not stated). Beware of the Pharisees corruption—God gave us the Word—heavenly bread, and we
must not add anything to it; if we do, we are corrupting the bread. It is good wheat. We must eat it, trust
it as it is—heavenly bread. The Pharisees tried to "improve" the Word of God—they added to the
Word—no longer the Word. Social gospel is a leavened gospel for bad, not for good. The unleavened
Word will save, no other can.
Verse 34 When they sow wheat, they plow the land and throw the wheat on the dry ground. If I have
any enemies or anyone prejudice against me, I sow this wheat in my ground—within three days your
enemies have time to come and sow tares. The tares will come up first and choke the wheat. This is one
way in the East to reap vengeance on your enemies—sow tares in your enemies wheat.
What you do is to go and hire some coolies (workers) to come and guard your ground at night. The
enemy will wait until these hired servants are asleep, then they come slowly, sow their tares and go their
way. This is still the same today.
Spiritual application: God says, "Watch and pray that thy faith fail not." We should watch and pray
constantly so that the enemy cannot come and sow tares among us.
The wheat is symbolic of the Word of God. The tares are anything contrary to the wheat. Fears,
worry and anxiety. Psalm 119:99 is our action. We must be constantly plugged in with renewed minds,
eliminate any fear—bring your mind into subjection unto the Word that's in you. Have the mind of Christ
in time of temptation. Just live for today as it's the last day of your life.
Verse 44 Treasures in the Orient are frequently hid in a field. They make a hiding place for it. The
wealth is buried underneath houses and sometimes they build special places for the building of their
wealth. That is why in Jeremiah 41:5 the shaven beard is a sign of sorrow and mourning. They cut
bodies for the funeral. Here in Jeremiah we have ten men who have treasures hid in the field.
Verse 6 On king's birthday, he may promise anything to someone who pleases him. They will never
break their word.
Verse 27 "It is I." You never tell your name when someone answers the door upon your knock. He will
ask, "who is it?" and the answer must be "It is I." Then the person inside will recognize the voice.
"I" is a common saying among the Orientals. By my voice you must recognize me. The illustration
of Rhoda recognizing Peter by his voice when he came to the house after he was released from prison. In
the East, you never ask for a name. It is an insult to ask a man what his name is. He will go away rather
then give you his name. In the beginning, there was the Word which means I. In the Orient, and
especially India, every letter they write they begin with the word, "abum" which means the word God.
Verse 11 High caste Hindus are forever washing their hands. They eat with hands. If they do not wash
their hands first, they fear that they will be defiled.
Verses 26 and 27 Dogs. Questions. Dogs should read "puppies." Children play with puppies in the
kitchen, outside, etc. When mealtime begins, the children throw food to the puppies when they eat on the
Verse 13 In the Eastern countries, almost everyone believes in reincarnation.
Verses 13-19 Upon this rock; keys to kingdom of heaven. The Easterners believe in reincarnation.
They thought that Jesus was someone who had lived before as a prophet and had died. They believe that
a person was reincarnated into a certain state of life according to their previous lives. Some believe that
Christ is a yogi—one who has reached perfection because he worked so closely to God.
Verse 17: Bar-jona (son of Jonah, i.e., Bartimaeus is son of Timaeus.) All Eastern people are
identified by father's name. Woman must always give father's name. She gives her husband's name only
by writing it or having someone else say it. It is discourteous to her lord for her to call him by his name.
She addresses him as "my lord." She will use her first name and her father's, not her last name.
Verse 18: Christ knew Peter's name so why did he say his name? Peter means "petros"—a piece of
stone. Simon Peter was hard of understanding, like a stone. Name implied dullness. Rock is "petra"—
solid rock. The confession of Jesus Christ as lord is the solid rock. Jesus said the church would be built
on a solid rock—himself. Water baptism is only an outward demonstration of inward salvation. It does
not get a person saved. Born again only by confession of Jesus Christ as lord. Baptism is only a
testimony. It is not necessary.
Verse 19: Keys to kingdom of heaven—the Word of God. "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven." The key is the Word, when a person rejects it, he is bound on earth and in
heaven. "Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"—the Word looses people—sets
them free on earth and in heaven. Every bishop in the church has a key in his coat of arms supposed to be
handed down from Peter.
Upon this rock. (verses 13-19).
Verse 14: The people said these things because of theory of reincarnation.
Verse 18: "Peter" in the Greek means a piece of a stone. Peter had a nickname—they called him a
stone. (Matthew 4:18, 10:2), they did this because he was as hard as a stone and could not understand
things quickly.
"Rock" —this is a big rock and here it means "upon this truth" which Peter had just confessed, i.e.
verse 15, "Christ the Son of the living God."
"Gates of hell"—the Orientals say there are three: 1. Fear; 2. Worry; 3. Anxiety.
Reincarnation—John the Baptist had already been beheaded. Elias was dead. These people believed
in reincarnation (John 9: they believe that his parents had sinned—the reason for his blindness—he was
reincarnated—Jesus said NO!).
Verse 17 Thou art Peter. Peter means piece of stone. Simon is a "dull-headed" boy. Flesh and blood
has not revealed it unto you. God revealed it to him. Church "body of believers."
Bar-Jona—means son of Jonah (same with blind Bar Timaeus (son of)
Verse 18—Peter, a piece of stone. (Loose and moveable.) Was full of understanding—not alert—
from birth Petros hard of understanding as a stone is. Peter was his nickname and meant this.
Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee—because you are dull of understanding, but my Father
which is in heaven-God-was able to make him understand even though he was dull-witted.
Rock is Christ. Upon Peter's confession, as Jesus being the Christ, he built the Church. Water
doesn't save anybody, baptism. Have to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ—that he is the Son of God.
Church is body of believers in Christ, not a building. Anywhere there are two or three gathered together,
he is in the midst. Wherever the people meet is the true church of God.
Gates of hell: fear, worry, anxiety (in Eastern philosophy). Also, means real hell will not take you
in. These gates will not dominate, overcome the believer—they shall attack but Christ has given us
peace. They will try us—not grip us, unless we fail to renew our minds.
Keys of the kingdom of heaven—key—the Word of God. Every bishop has a key which is symbolic
of the Word of God. Bind on earth—I preach the key to heaven (the Word) and if those who hear will
accept the Word and therefore Christ, they're loosed—set free—the truth will set them free—they're
loosed in heaven—they'll go to heaven. Bind—refuse to believe, can't enter. Those that don't accept the
Word are bound. The Roman Catholics will tell you the priest has to give you the key.
Verse 18 "Gates of hell" = fear, worry and anxiety.
Upon this rock—Peter was dull, only God could have told him who Jesus was. Upon this rock—his
confession—he built his church. Christ is the rock, that is what he confessed to. Glory goes to God, not
to Peter.
Gates of hell—3 gates to hell: fear, worry and anxiety (Hindu philosophy). They may attack, but
not prevail. Christ in you will give you the power to keep them from overcoming you. We alone are to
blame if we succumb to these, not God. Have to renew your mind to stand against the gates of hell. The hymn:
"What needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry,
everything to God in prayer."
OUR FAULT, our unrenewed mind. We let ourselves fall into these. Our lives are infectious to
those around us — they'll feel the power of God in you.
Keys of the Kingdom—They say the coat of arms has key in them, pope has key also. The "key" is
the Word of God. The Word is the key to heaven if you believe it. They say (Roman Catholics) that only
the priest can use the key to let you in; key is used in every Catholic Church ordination.
Gates of hell. Don't worry about life after you are dead, if you are saved. Fear, worry and anxiety.
A lot of preaching on going to India, and missionary support. Most people spend their whole life
planning and saving for their funeral. Live and save souls. Save your all for living, not for dead!
Verse 19 "Keys of the Kingdom" = the Word of God.
Verse 14 Fasting equals doing the will of God.
Verses 14-21 Fast and prayers. No virtue in fasting by itself, purpose is to be able to pray better.
Fasting is incidental to praying. Fasting helps prayer; the way set up in India thousands of years before,
along with yoga.
Isaiah 58: God's fast is to do the will of God, walk on the Word and you will obtain power. Do the
will of God, then you can pray and command the devil to go.
How do you know the promises of God will work? By stepping on the Word myself—do the will of
God, gain assurance and confidence. Then you can pray with assurance and confidence. We don't have
confidence because we don't act.
Prayer and fasting. Fasting is incidental to praying. Fasting helps the prayer in connection with
yoga practice. God's fast (Isaiah 58) is to do the will of God. There is no virtue in fasting alone, no
power in just fasting. If you do the will of God, you will have the power of God. Obedience gets you
power. ''If you fast, (do the will of God), you will have the power of God. With this (power of God), you
need only to pray and the devil spirit will go out."
Verse 21 Isaiah 58:3-9. Fasting. Fasting originated in Hindu India in connection with yoga practice.
Two kinds: man-made (go without food; object is to pray better by disregarding the flesh; stay mind
better by uninterrupted concentration. No virtue in this fasting; cannot get anymore out of God by doing
it. Only a means to an end. By submitting flesh to will, can better submit mind to will.) and God-made.
(Isaiah 58:3-9. Doing the will of God.) By doing the will of God, we have power in our life.
Verses 24-27 Prayer and offering always go together. They will throw money and jewelry into the
sacred rivers as their offering. Musht is a tricky fish, but occasionally they may be hooked. This fish
loves coins and jewels and they are lodged in bag under mouth. Obedience to will of God brings about the
miracle. (Exodus 30:13 — the coin.)
One shekel—money in fish's mouth. Jesus (1/2 shekel) and Peter (1/2 shekel). This is the temple
tax. Temple tax never changes. The "money changers" never charged commission to change money.
They did this so people had their 1/2 shekel. Any free time a man has at lunch hour must be used to serve
God. He might go buy something (candles, etc., for sacrifice) at a shop and run to the temple porch and
sell to people who had no time to buy. He turns money over to the temple. He is employed to serve the Lord.
The money got in the fish's mouth. The fish is called MUSHT. This fish sees the shiny things in the
water and stores the objects in a pouch. People would cast their 1/2 shekel into the water saying, "If you
heal my child, I'll throw in my diamond ring, etc." This is how the precious stones appear there. Money
is thrown into pond as an offering. This fish is hard to catch. Sometimes you get it first time; sometimes
you fish ten years and didn't catch one.
Money in fish's mouth. The temple tax was being collected. Jesus sent Peter to catch a fish and
obtain money from its mouth. There is a certain fish in the Orient which collects money in its mouth.
There is a bag under its mouth and the fish gathers up and swallows anything that glitters in the water. It
is stored in the bag. The people put an offering for the Lord into the rivers where they bathe, especially
into the holy rivers. Praying and offering go together—one cannot pray without offering and vice versa.
They do not want anyone to know how much they give, so they drop it in the water. The fish which picks
up the money and jewels is called "musht" and is very tricky—hard to catch. It is not easily hooked, but
may perhaps be caught in a net. Peter and Jesus both knew about this fish. Jesus told Peter to cast a hook
and the fish which would come first would be one with money. Ordinarily, a man could fish for 25 years
and never catch one of these fish. The temple tax was 1/2 shekel for every man, rich or poor. The
amount of money in the fish's mouth was enough to pay the tax, one shekel.
Answers to prayer come by action on the Word—not just sitting. Walking according to God's will
brings desired results. The downfall of the Christian church is not putting God first.
Money in mouth of fish.
River Ganges, River Krishna are holy rivers in India. There are many holy rivers there. When the
people go to these, they drop in money for an offering or a gold souvenir when they make a vow. When
people get together for prayer, they will lay a prayer shawl on the ground and when they finish praying,
they will make an offering. For them, prayer and offering go together.
("Cast thy bread upon the water") They would also throw in necklaces, earrings, nose rings. People
make a vow to God and when God answers their prayer, they will take what they have vowed and cast it
into the water. This is a custom.
There is a fish in Eastern waters called a Musht. It is very, very tricky. Hard to catch. You may fish
for 20 years and not get one. You may go to a priest and ask him to bless you, then you might catch three
or four right away. People have become wealthy because they have caught maybe six of these fish. This
fish has a bag under the chin, and he picks up what the people have thrown in. This is unlike any other fish.
It is no miracle to have money in the mouth. It is a miracle to find one right off.
Fish with money in mouth. How could there be money in the water? When people go to holy rivers
to pray and bathe and make vows, they will throw money in, also throw in gold souvenirs. In other places
(Mohom), at time of prayer they give an offering also. If they were by the river praying, would throw
money in—also this means cast thy bread into the water. There is no collection plate because they're not
in the temple. If on road, would throw it, river, etc. This is how your rivers get the money, necklaces,
etc., in them. Musht fish—very hard to catch this fish. If fished for 20 years, may not catch one. Or you
could go to the priest and get blessed and then go out and catch 2, 3, or 4 in one day. People have gotten
rich this way. The musht has a bag under his chin where he stores the money and gold he picks up from
the water.
Christ knew (by revelation) where the fish was that had enough money to pay the taxes. The miracle
is that Jesus commanded the fish to get on the hook. It's no miracle that the fish had money in its mouth.
Being obedient to the will of God brings results. How much money in the fishes mouth?
Exodus 30:13-15. 1/2 a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary (temple tax), a shekel is all the taxes
that are paid, 20 gerabs. There was one shekel (68¢) in the fish's mouth which equaled 1/2 shekel to
Temple; 1/2 shekel to Peter.
Money in fish's mouth. "Stranger" = foreigners. "Children" = natives. The money in the fish's
mouth was enough to pay the tax for both of them. How much money was in the fish's mouth? Tax
money was set up in the Word of God, in the Old Testament.
There is an Eastern fish which keeps money in its mouth (see Orientalisms of the Bible), musht fish.
This fish only lives in Eastern waters. Fish is "musht"—6" long, big head, under chin there is little bag
and it keeps money in his mouth. Hindus pray seven times a day (Psalm 119:164). Arabs and Jews pray
five times a day. When Eastern people pray, they will cast an offering into the waters. They don't want
any man to thank them for offerings because they want to wait for their reward in heaven. The miracle
was not that the fish had money, but that it was caught with the right amount of money. These fish are
very hard to catch. One person might fish for ten years and not catch one of those fish. These men Jesus
told to fish for this were professional fishermen. They really had to walk out and defeat senses.
Verses 24ff Fishing for money. Children = natives; strangers = foreigners, verse 25. Verse 27 says "his
mouth." It is accurate. There is a fish in the Eastern waters that carries money in his mouth. How do
gold coins and rubies get into the water? A good Hindu (this applies to all Eastern religions) prays five
times a day. At hour of prayer they go pray and always give offering along with prayers (there isn't a
church around, so they'll look for water). They'll throw the money in the rivers. "Cast thy bread upon the
waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." Ecclesiastes 11:1. Each year people go to the Ganges and
throw their tithe for the year in the river. The people save their tithes during the year and turn them in for
souvenirs, put them in bags, go to a certain place on the river and throw them into the water. The temple
servants will come and pick up the bags every hour and collect them together. Some people throw a
souvenir in then they pray. Why? Because they don't want anybody to know who gave how much. If
you give, tell the priest how much you gave here, you won't have any reward in heaven.
The woman will say if God heals her child, she'll give her nose ring. This could be worth thousands
of dollars. She'll go and throw this into the river when the child is healed. These people are faithful to
their vows. They're salted to their God—3 way of life to them. When you say—you must do it. What
you mean in your heart, you are to say in your mouth.
Jesus said, "Go Peter and cast the hook." Peter didn't argue with Christ. Peter was a fisherman and
knew the difficulty of catching one of these fish. He walked out on Jesus' word! Peter acted on the
Word—we question before we act today.
Lord says give, you give. If you believe the Word, you'll do it. Take God at His word. If you are
obedient to the Word, he'll enable you and meet your needs. Peter's obedience got the fish—he acted, got
results. That the fish had the money in his mouth is no miracle. The miracle is that the fish (which had
enough money) came first to the hook by the command of the lord. It is very hard to catch—could go
fifty years without catching one of these fish. How much money was in the fish's mouth? Exodus 30:13-
15 —1/2 shekel (@69¢ in American money today).
Verse 27 Musht tribute believing. There are many fish and vegetables in the East that the West is
knowledgeable of. There are a dozen kinds of bananas in the East and many kinds of oranges. One fish
in the East is MUSHT, which we do not have here. Six inches long, pouch under the chin, with a big
head. Anything that glitters under water, the musht puts in its pouch. Some Easterners have become
wealthy from catching this fish. Easterners pray five times a day. Offering and prayer go together in the
East. They always give an offering when praying. They throw money and coins into the waters where
they pass by. Once a year they make a pilgrimage. They go to a holy river and throw money into the
water, when a vow is made to God (all their vows to God are salted; ours are not), people will promise an
earring or a gem. As God answers these requests, the people are obligated to complete their side of the
vow under the salt covenant. They throw their gem into the holy waters of the East. This is how
valuables appear in the Eastern waters. So Jesus knew that a musht fish would be in those waters and
Peter would catch it. Jesus had an obedient disciple. The miracle was not that a fish had money in his
mouth; the miracle was that the musht fish was the one that had the tribute money. What was the amount
of the tribute? It was one-half shekel per man; one shekel for these two men. Ezekiel 30:13-15. Peter
obeyed without asking any questions. This is the only way to show God that we believe His Word—
ACT. Believing is what God said, He will do. Therefore, we act and God will do His part. This brings
great peace and rest to a man's soul.
Verse 6 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that
a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the seas."
A millstone is composed of two stones approximately 18" in diameter (one upon another) and 5"-6"
deep, with a hole in the center and a wooden peg in the hole which holds them together; the upper stone
has a peg on one side so that women can move it with their hands; they pour grain in the center and it
comes out on the sides; capital punishment in the East is by hanging or tying a millstone around their
neck and throwing them into the sea. Jesus Christ said this would be better than to offend even a child
(Sampson was humbled by grinding at a stone—hard labor was to work like a woman—humiliating,
destroying their pride—this was woman's work).
"Millstone hanged about his neck." A millstone (two stones, one on top of the other, which are 18"
in diameter. In the center is a hole and a wooden peg is holding both stones together. There is a peg on
the side of the upper stone and two women sit and turn the upper stone. What is placed in the hole and is
ground as the stone is turned). Capital punishment was done by: (1.) hanging by a rope; and (2.) tie a
millstone around the neck and throw the person into the sea.
Grinding is woman's work.
Verse 8 See Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:1, 2.
Verse 20 When two or three gather on the street, the Indians talk about God. If any miracles have
happened, if any holy man is coming or something else spiritual. He is "in the midst" because they talk
about him. He is always in us.
The Eastern people, whenever they have two or three together sitting down in the public place or
elsewhere, talk about religion. These people don't read papers because some of them think the devil is in
there, and the paper is full of lies. Since they don't have any news to talk about, they speak about
religion, especially about anything new that has come out, any current religious material. That is the
literal meaning of this verse. They are talking about Him. They don't talk politics. These talks
together serve as a sort of instruction to the common people who sit and listen. During and after these
discussions, men and women are committed to their views. They discuss religion to learn. The people
that are discussing it are not necessarily followers of Christ, but they are interested in it.
(Luke 10:35; I Kings 17:12) Two—means "some," a "few," a "group."
Two pence—some money (Luke 10:35).
Two sticks—some sticks (I Kings 17:12).
Two or three gathered together—a group, maybe 200 people—not just 2 or 3 (Matthew 18:20).
Verse 15 In India, everybody minds everyone else's business if they are wrong. They will correct any
of the children at all times. If he doesn't listen, even by witnesses, he is brought to the elders of the gate.
If people fail to check the children, they are brought before the elders next a.m.
"Where two or three are gathered..." It is not a literal number of people gathered. It is a figure of
speech for "where some people are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." In the
East, when people just sit around in the street, etc., they talk God. They believe He gave them breath,
they should not waste it.
Verse 21 "7" = complete. 70x7 = indefinite number, figure of speech.
Verse 22 Seventy times seven means times without number, unlimited.
Verse 3 When the people get married, the groom takes his wife to his parents' home and they live in the
parents' home in an apartment. It doesn't say he left his home in verse 5. If there are four brothers and
they all have wives and they all live in the same house, they sometimes get into fights. If "Mary" and
"Joan" have a quarrel, they go to the mother-in-law, and the mother-in-law finds Mary is wrong and Mary
won't accept it. So she goes to her husband and tells him and the husband says she is wrong too because
his mother is always right. The Oriental sons are inclined to stick by their mothers. Then the husband
tells Mary if she can't mend her ways, he is going to ask her to go home until she gets some sense. That is
what is meant by "every cause." "Put away" should be send home. So she goes away for two or three
weeks and thinks it over. But Jesus said you should stand by your wife and leave your father's home if
necessary. You must cleave to your wife because that is the purpose of the marriage.
Verse 5 The reason they are one flesh is because they have had intercourse. They have lived together.
They have some token that a woman is a virgin. In case the man says your daughter was not a virgin,
they keep a token to prove it. Eastern sons never leave their parents, even after they are married. They
usually stay in the parents' home. If the son and wife move to another house, they still come to the
parents' home and eat. The common saying is, "One can have many, many wives, but only one mother
and father." The loyalty of the sons to the father is so great that they work together in harmony. The
wives and sons work together to please the parents.
Verse 16 Good master. "Good master" = "Mal pana Tara" which is "O wonderful teacher." Jesus was
making sure the man was not putting him (Jesus) in God's place.
The Oriental translation for Good Master is "O Wonderful Teacher."
Verses 23 and 24 Camel, eye of needle. Eastern figure of speech here in incorrectly translated. "It is
easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of God."
Translators of the Bible knew languages; however, they did not know the culture of the people who speak
those languages. Anything that is difficult to do in the East is frequently accompanied by this expression.
Gumled has four meanings: beam, camel, rope, something larger than the spoken object. Matthew 23:24
should be changed—not a camel. If camel remains here in this verse, then a rich man could never go to
heaven, because a camel cannot go through the eye of a needle. However, if properly translated, a rope or
cord can go through the eye of a needle. He may be able to go into the kingdom of heaven—all he needs
to do is get Christ in or poor.
Verse 24 "It is easier for a rope to go through eye of a needle." "Ganila" = rope, camel, beam.
See also: Matthew 23:24
Also, "it is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle..." not camel. Matthew 19:24. It is not
impossible for rich men to enter kingdom of God, but it is more difficult. There are ropes that do go
through the eye of a needle. Used for sewing bags and such.
Eastern idiom. Some people think that "eye of a needle" is a small gate to the city. Bishop says
there might be a gate called this, but we are dealing here with an idiom. It is easy to know a language
without understanding usages. Camel should be "rope," must know usages.
See also: Matthew 23:24
Story about hot dogs. Knowing its usage. There is some slight hope for the rich man because with
large needle and small rope and a great deal of care, the things will fit together.—If camel were used,
there would be no hope for the rich man.
"The eye of a needle." "Gamla" is a word in Aramaic and Syriac which has four meanings: (1.)
camel; (2.) beam; (3.) rope; and (4.) anything which is larger than the given object. "Camel" here should be "rope."
This is an idiom. Some people say this is a little gate in the temple, but this is not so. There is a
word in Syriac—"gamla" which has four meanings according to usage: (1.) camel; (2.) beam; (3.) rope;
and (4.) anything which is larger than the given object. Here it should be rope.
Houses in Occident (West) are different from Oriental houses (East). Bible describes the life of
oriental people as a whole and unless you understand this life, you will not understand the Bible.
If you go to a small town, there will be walls around the town. Every evening they shut the gate to
the city. When the gate is shut, no one can go out until gate is opened in the morning. What if someone
wants to get into the town at about midnight? The gate keeper will open a little window in the door which
is big enough for your head to go in. The gate keeper will allow the person to crawl through the small
window. This little window is called the eye of the needle. There are also similar gates on the temple. In
the morning before the doors open, the priest will go through this narrow window. That is why we read
"narrow is the way, straight is the gate." Matthew 7:14. The priest and also a camel goes through this 3
foot wide, 4 foot long window. The camel goes in head first with a vessel around his neck which carries
fruit, incense, candles for the temple. Someone must whip the camel and he will struggle hard to get into
the temple.
"Eye of a needle." "Camel" should be rope.
Camel through eye of a needle. In the East, a small town of 3,000 people will have walls around it.
There is a gate in one of the walls, it is closed at sundown and opened again in the morning. If someone
is late getting back, will he be shut out? The gate keeper can be called. He will not open the gate; but he
will open a small window which is large enough for your head to go in. This meant that the man who is
late, if his voice is recognizable to the gate keeper, will be allowed to crawl back into the town through
the window. This is Matthew 19:24. The needle is the small window. Inside the temple door there is a
similar window.
Camel through an eye of a needle—opens by talking about city gate. Every evening they shut the
gate of the city and nobody can go out. Open the gate in the morning. If someone leaves the city and gets
back too late, the gate keeper will be there inside the city and won't open the doors for you. But, there is a
little window in the door and that window he'll open for you. The doors are two leave gates, it's called in
the Bible (or wings). Eye of the needle is that small window. Mark 10:25. In the temple, have the same gates.
Verse 9 A penny in India is called "pie," the last copper coin. This is about six times smaller than our
penny in value. An English penny is about four times bigger than our penny. A Roman penny is in
English money five shillings or 1/4 of a pound. Now one pound is equal to $3.00 in American money.
But it changes. Taking a pound for $5.00 it would be about 75¢ roughly speaking. If a man gets 75¢ in
India, he thinks that is a high wage because he can buy more in India for 75¢ than we can for $2.00 in
America. The Oriental laborers seldom find work. And when they find work, the Eastern master treats
them much better than we do. They go according to the need of the people, not necessarily according to
the hours. If a man has five children and three wives and the man works only one hour, the man who has
only one wife has a bag of money already. Therefore, the master is gracious to look to the needs of a person.
Verse 13 It says they agreed to the wage. If there is no labor at all, they are not allowed to starve; and
then the householders that have the land and properties who engage the laborers, come together with the
laborer and the householder gives what he can to feed them until they get work. It goes out of the need of
the people, not the hours.
Verse 2 One big temple outside the walls; shelter will be around the temple; tie animals up there—
camels, elephants, cows, colts, tied up by hundreds—belong to temple; how come? People are taught to
give not only money, but of all from the land and the cattle. If you have a horse that has a colt, the
firstling, you would bring it to the temple after caring for it a few months; it goes to God. They believe if
they seek the kingdom of God first, they'll be blessed—get more cows, etc. Sometimes the priest sells
these animals, sometimes used for the service of God. Example: Colt (reference not given); Matthew
21:2, loose the colt, the Lord hath need of him; the colts were there for the Lord's service.
Verses 10-13 Jesus Christ did not drive the people out of the temple because they were making too
much money. They were not desecrating the temple by selling there. The people selling in the temple
sold at the porch of the temple. Before the porch is a small pond of water, not too deep, 30 x 30 (or 30' in
diameter). Water is pumped in and out of here at desired times. Its purpose is for washing the people's
feet and is referred to as a "brasen sea." (II Kings 25:13, I Chronicles 18:8, Jeremiah 52:17) "Brasen sea"
because around the pond is a brass wall (brass plated). After feet are washed, the people come to the
porch and buy whatever they need. Lambs are sold because every male child dedicated at the temple
must give a lamb for sacrifice. Doves are also sold because all the parents who could not afford to buy a
lamb (Jesus' mother gave 2 for the doves). Frankincense and other spices and fruit, etc., were sold: all
things used in the service of God, hour after hour. Every time they go, they must offer an offering unto
their God. (They go 5 times a day.) Also sold is grease from a certain nut (no English word for it), which
is gotten from the priest, which is known as the balm found in Gilead. It was believed to relieve most ills.
Our balm is Jesus Christ. (Jeremiah 46:11).
The money changers were there to take the money and give proper change. These people were not
employed to do these jobs, and did not stay all day to do the job. They had ordinary jobs, not making a
living in the temple. All things sold at the temple are sold at cost price. For instance, the bank teller has
an hour lunch break and can eat in ten minutes. He spends the remainder of his time by going to the
market and buying something and taking that to the temple and selling it for cost price to those who did
not have the time to buy. The money he receives for the things he sells goes to the temple. The banker
does not come every day for a certain amount of time. He comes when he has free time. Eastern business
men are very dishonest. Yet, they are honest in the temple. Sometimes even the rajahs (king) come to
sell in the temple. Kings surely do not need money.
Animals are never sold in the temple, but on the porch. All sellers had to get a permit. This permit
was given in understanding that (1) they would sell for cost price; and (2) they should never go inside
the main sanctuary. If they violated the permit, they would never have their permit reinstated. Therefore,
if the money changers had been making money or desecrating the temple, the temple officials would have
thrown them in jail.
These men thought they would go to heaven on their own good works; merit, by serving in the
temple. People in the East are instructed that they were to sacrifice nothing that they did not pay for (no
free thing was sacrificed). Eastern people would rarely cheat in the temple while doing what they
considered a service to God. Sacrifices were ordained of they were doing a service to God. Yet
these people were making merchandise of the things of the spirit. Spiritual things are attained by way of
the spirit, not via material. These people were using the material system in order to attain life. Jesus
Christ said, "my house of prayer, you have made it a den of thieves." Jesus was the way, the truth and the
life, yet those men forsook Christ (John 10:1).
Verse 12 Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by Titus in 70 AD (Titus was Roman governor). Prophecy of
Jesus that not one stone should be left on top of the other. Crooks and liars do not carry on dishonestly in
the selling they may do in the outer court of the temple. They sell lambs, doves, fruits, flowers, incense,
balm, mandrakes. (Gilead is noted specially for balm—an oil extracted from a nut. Name of Jesus Christ
is a "balm," cures our fears, sicknesses.) The people sell in the temple only for an hour or so and then
someone else may come. It is not sold for profit.
(Mark 11:15) Jesus drove people out of the temple not because they were exploiting the people, but
because they tried to find an entrance into heaven by doing works. They tried to earn salvation. Christ
said he was the way—not works. (Could be Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15—not given.) Good works don't
get you saved, self righteousness is a filthy rag. You can't go to God with rags on.
Verses 12 and 13 Selling—it's not extortion, exploitation, etc., like the world teaches. Background: the
Temple. The Hindus are immigrants to India (5,000 years ago). They came from Persia and Media,
otherwise called Arians, so they conquered India eventually and became the bosses of India. They took
the Vedic religion with them and built temples in India. Oldest temple in world—St. Thomas. People
never sell in the main sanctuary of the temple—they sell in the porch area of the temple, the outer court.
They wouldn't go inside of the temple and sell because of their respect for the temple. Those that sell
there are not stationary. These people don't sell to make a living. They may be there at one hour of
prayer and not at another time. They make their living in their own jobs. They only come there for an
hour's work. It is not talking about exploitism and desecration here. The people sold these things as a
service to God. Every person that sells there must obtain a license from the Board of the Temple. If you
were to sell inside the sanctuary, your license would be revoked and you'd be thrown out. If you charge
any more than cost price, you'll be expelled also.
If Jesus Christ had interfered in the affairs of the temple authorities, they would have fought him
when he drove the people out. He did not interfere in the affairs of the temple. It is the duty of the temple
authorities to check on people who exploit or desecrate. Had Jesus gotten involved in the temple
business, they would have fought him. When Jesus drove those people out, they didn't fight him because
he didn't drive them out for the reasons you think.
What were the things sold in the temple? Lambs, doves, incense, frankincense, balm, mandrakes,
fruits, flowers and so on. There were money changers to take their money so that they could put the
proper amount in the temple offering. All of these are in the porch and not in the sanctuary.
For every male child, you were to give a lamb as a sacrifice. Doves are there in case you can't afford
a lamb. Then you were to give two turtle doves. Mary gave two doves when she took Jesus to the
temple. Balm is a grease extracted from a nut for which there is no English word. This grease is
supposed to cure all chronic disorders. A mandrake is a kind of carrot that grows with barley. Women
believe if they have no children that they are supposed to eat this plant and conceive. Example: Rachel
in Genesis. In other words, the things sold in the temple are used in the service of God. Everything was
sold in service to God—money changers were there in service to God. All selling was for cost price.
Book: Civilizations of the World, Will Durant; British History of India, Max Muller.
All these customs began in India. Came to Western world from here. India called "mother country."
Spiritual application: They sold these articles for the purpose of gaining eternal life, salvation. They
wanted to gain righteousness on merits of their work (good works). Engaged themselves in service to
God. Jesus told them no one could come unto God except by him. I am the way, the truth and the life.
Jews didn't like it. "Who is this carpenter's son to tell us that he is the way, the truth and the life?" This
was good for my grandfather, my father—it's good for me.
Den of thieves. Jesus said he was the door, if any man entereth another way, he is a thief and a
robber. Jesus is the door to heaven. These people rejected the very way to heaven by rejecting Christ. At
the same time, they were trying to get there by some other way. The way of earning salvation and
righteousness by their own good works. These were spiritual thieves and robbers. Man tries to gain
salvation by his way, instead of God's way. Man tries for political peace instead of peace in their souls.
Peace comes only God's way through Jesus Christ, not through pacts with other countries. People in East
salute you with peace. Put three fingers together and touch forehead, mouth and heart. "In my mind, in
my heart and in my mouth, I wish you peace." Hypocrisy. Jesus said my peace I give you, not as the
world giveth, give I unto you. These men are trying to give something they don't have themselves. They
try only to keep external peace, they never know the reality of the peace of God.
Money changers. These men were not exploiting the people. Jesus did not maliciously become
angry. It is holy ordinance. The temple in Jerusalem was built by Solomon about 1500 years before
Christ. It was destroyed in 70 AD by Titus. Yet in India, the temples standing today were built 5,000
years before Christ. In Chronicles, a description of the utensils to be used in the temple in Jerusalem are
the same as the ones in India. The temple has a holy of holies raised up, only priests can go in there.
They also had a sanctuary. Where and why were they selling? They were selling on the porch of the
temple. Never in the sanctuary. They were selling things used in the service of God, hour after hour:
lambs, doves, incense, frankincense, mandrakes, balm fruits and flowers. There were money changers to
take your money and give the proper change. This was ail in the porch area of the temple. The lambs
were used in sacrifice every time a male child was taken to the temple for dedication. If the father could
not afford a lamb, two turtle doves were acceptable substitutes. Incense, frankincense, etc. Balm was a
grease taken from a nut. It was a cure-all Gilead had or special balm. Jesus is our heavenly balm. (It was
rubbed on the body.) Mandrakes were like a carrot, grown wild with barley. During the barley harvest
the mandrakes were picked.
Money changers. Except for eating and sleeping, the rest of the time must be for God; testifying or
doing something. This is why the Easterners are employed in the service of God. They had no free time;
if they have some time to kill, they do it by serving God's people (by going to the store and buying goods
to be used at the temple). Then they take it to the temple's porch and sell it to people who had no time to
get to the store. Later, their time runs out and they go back to their jobs which supports their living. This
time in the temple, was merely temporary, in service to God, and by no means was it their sole source of support.
I. The people selling in the temple are selling "inside" the temple; they are on the porch.
II. People selling there are not stationary. They do not make a living selling there; they sell for cost
price only. (II Samuel 24:24 says that David refused to accept a thing he sacrificed as a gift. This was
not considered proper!)
III. The men who sell there are godly gentlemen, upright, honest, sincere and much better than we.
They are responsible for their time and talent (unlike the "prodigal" son—riotous living, wasting time).
Why did Jesus Christ drag them out? He wasn't angry. There were no cows and oxen there, only
lambs and doves. Money changers are from the caste which deals with business. Why did Jesus Christ
drive them out? Jesus Christ was born, lived in and preached in Israel. The purpose in selling at the
temple: to help brother men. This is being employed in the service of God during that hour; therefore,
God will add righteousness unto them, and serve them on the merit of their labor. His salvation was then
by good works. Jesus said he was and is the way, the truth and the life. Although these men were honest
and sincere, their buying and selling for the work's sake will not go to God. "I am the way," he said.
These people rejected Jesus' work. These men were not thieves; they were spiritual robbers. They were
attempting to get into the heavenly kingdom by buying and selling rather than accepting Jesus. These
men were trying to find the peace of God in the wrong way. They were trying to get to heaven by means
of their own righteousness.
"Cast out all that sold in the temple." The temple in Jerusalem where Jesus went is no longer there
because it was destroyed. The temples in India are still standing. These temples are exactly like the one
which used to stand in Jerusalem. They have the same method, fashion, type, system, rituals,
measurements of the holy of holies, the wood used for the tables is the same.
The selling is not done in the temple, it is done in the porch. The people do make a living from what
they sell at the temple. There are five hours of prayer each day and things are sold at that time such as:
1. Lambs;
2. Balm;
3. Doves;
4. Candles;
5. Mandrakes;
6. Incense;
7. Frankincense;
8. Flowers; and
9. Fruits
They sell only those things which are used in the worship of God. The people who sell are not
permanent, they are not there at every hour of prayer to sell their goods. Suppose you have a banker who
has an hour for lunch, he will not spend it idly because he believes that he does not belong to himself, he
belongs to God. Christians and Hindus teach the same thing here only difference is that the Hindus
practice it. Time is a part of stewardship. The banker will go to the marketplace and buy a lamb (or one
of the other nine things listed above) and take it to the temple. Hundreds of people are passing by going
in and out of the temple. The banker thinks he is helping to worship God by bringing the lamb to the
temple to sell to someone who did not have time to stop at the market to pick something up. When
people enter, they take off their shoes, wash their feet, buy something for sacrifice and then go in and pray
as long as their time permits. The banker will sell only at cost, he will make no profit.
Sellers at the temple.
1. The sellers at the temple are on the porch and not in the temple.
2. The sellers are not stationary because they make a living somewhere else.
3. The sellers do not charge more than the cost price because they believe you should not make any
money in the name of religion.
The Eastern people are rotten business people. They are big swindlers. They bargain and bargain
over even a small item. Westerners are honest.
4. They are not selling things of the world, but rather things for the service of God.
Jesus said that they were a den of thieves. Why did he say this? Everyone who sells there thinks
that he is employed in the service of God during that hour, and he believes that he will get a credit in the
kingdom of God. This is his salvation through good works. Jesus had before this time said, I am the man cometh unto the Father but by me. These men still believed in their own merits. They
would not accept Jesus as the Christ. Elsewhere Jesus said I am the door...any man who climbeth up by
another way is a thief and a robber. They were trying to get in by their own way.
(Jeremiah 7: 11—prophecy fulfilled here.) Selling in temple. "It is written" where? Jeremiah 7:11.
They were not exploiting the people by making money in the temple: they were selling things for use in
the temple for the service to God, hour after hour. What were these items? Lambs, doves, incense,
frankincense, mandrake, fruits, flowers, etc. They were not selling these inside the temple; they were on
the porch of the temple, called "the outer court." They did not sell more than "cost" price. They were not
thieves in the sense of exploitation. These people had to have a license from the temple authorities.
There were conditions on their receiving their license: sell for cost, sell on the porch and sell only items
for use in the temple. If they broke these laws, they lost their licenses. It would not have been Christ's
place to take the authority's position. He would have been kicked out himself. After Christ came and
declared that he is "The way, the truth and the life, no man can go to the Father but by me," they thought
they could still go to heaven by good works, laboring in the house of God. The people rejected Christ the
first time, so when he came back he saw they were trying to go to heaven by another means. They were
thieves in the sight of God (John 10:9).
(Bishop quotes this one.) We go up to the temple proper now, this is not talking about making for
the sake of religion. They do not sell things inside the temple—they sell on the porch. The people that
sell in the temple do not make a living out of what they sell, don't make a profit. There are five times of
prayer at the temple daily. There are people selling outside. They sell lambs, balm, doves, candle,
mandrake, flowers, frankincense, etc. They don't sell hats and coats and bacon, etc. Sell only things used
in the service of God at hour of prayer. The people who sell are not stationary. The man selling at 9
won't be there selling at 3, he'll be at his work. People aren't lazy in the East. They aren't selfish. During
their lunch hour, they may go to the temple to sell these in their spare time as a service to God. If they
misspend their time, they believe they'll have to give an account of their stewardship to the Lord. When
sell in temple—sell for only cost price. If no one has the money to buy—give it away. But, never
overcharge them. What are lambs for? Sacrifice, the 8th day when circum. If don't have, can give two
turtle doves.
Sellers, money changers. Temple customs. The commonly accepted reason for Jesus driving the
people out of the temple was that these men were making enormous sums of money in the name of
religion. This is not true. Let's go to the temple itself: they do not sell items inside of the temple, but on
the porch. The people who sell in the temple do not make a living from what they sell. There are five
times of prayer in the East; lambs, balm, doves, candles, mandrakes, incense, frankincense, fruits and
flowers are sold there. Only things which are used in the service of God hour after hour are sold. The
people who sell are not stationary. A man who sells at the sixth hour of prayer is no longer there at the
ninth hour because he has gone to his work where he earns his living. If he were a banker, he would take
his "lunch hour" to work at the temple. Any free time a man has is spent being busy. Mot one minute
was spent lazily because every idle moment or word is believed to be accompanied by punishment from
God, because you have been dedicated to God from childhood and you, therefore, no longer belong to
yourself. Whatever you do with your talent, your hands, your feet, your money, your heart, is not yours.
They belong to God. (The Hindus practice this, Christians only preach it on Sundays.)
A man who has free time goes to the temple to sell. (He thinks, "I've got an hour free, how best can I
use my time? Because if I misspend my time, I must give an account of my stewardship to God; time is a
part of stewardship." He goes to the market, buys a lamb, whatever he wants. He takes it to the porch of
the temple. Hundreds of people go in and out because every member of the family prays five times a day.
If sick, people die in the temple. The man from work comes hurrying from his job to pray, has no time to
stop at the market, so he rushes to the temple. He sees the man on the porch who is selling an item which
is used in the service of God (he is helping God's people to worship God). The man hurries in, washes his
feet in the pool (no shoes in the temple), buys an offering or sacrificial lamb. He then goes inside, prays
as long as time permits and offers the animals to God. When he buys the lamb on the porch he pays only
cost price, for it is a sin to make money in the name of religion. A Lamb is the offering for the male boy
on circumcision day. A Lamb substitute is two doves, which is what Mary used for Jesus (Luke 2:24).
(Lamb is more expensive.)
The people who sell: (1.) do not sell inside the temple, but on the porch; (2.) do not make a living
from their temple work, rather work in the temple in their spare time; and (3.) do not charge more than the
cost price.
Eastern business people are the worst business people because they are not honest.
Why did Jesus Christ chase out the men at the temple? Every person who sells at the temple thinks
he is employed in the service of God during that hour and believes he will get credit in the kingdom of
God; that he will be saved by good works. Christ went into the temple and told the people that he was the
way. But the people refused to accept him. He drove them out because they would try to work their way
to heaven—den of thieves." (John 10:10) They were trying to get into the kingdom through another way.
Any way which is religious, pious, etc., but not the way of Jesus Christ, is the way of thieves and robbers.
They would not put their trust in the Lord. Paul said nothing about getting to know Christianity,
"church"-ianity, or anything. (Philippians 3:10) only, "That I may know him." This is a life of love, joy,
peace, security, laughter, contentment, gladness, abundant, prosperity, healing and good health, the way
of Jesus Christ, the balm of Gilead. We are complete in him. Anything that is not of him, is of thieves
and robbers.
Verse 13 They rejected Christ and kept on in the old way. A thief and robber tries to come in by
another way—back door. Threshing Floor: Matthew 3:12; Genesis 3:10; Numbers 15:2; Ruth 3:2; and II Samuel 6:6.
The people are selling in the porch. (1.) The people are not stationary because they work elsewhere.
(2.) The people don't charge more than cost price because they believe they should not make any money
in the name of religion. You just don't swindle people inside the temple. (3.) They were selling only
those things used in the service of God. (4.) Matthew 21:13: he calls it den of thieves. Why? These
people believe that the time they spend selling here in the temple porch, they'll be credited in heaven for
it. And they believe they'll be saved by these works—salvation through good works. Jesus told them that
no one entered the kingdom of God but by him. Jesus said he was the door, if any man enters another
way, he is a thief and robber. John 10:1—they were trying to get into the kingdom of God by another
way—any way other than Jesus' way was a thief's way. In him we are complete.
Verse 42 The people of the East gather all the material first before building. They then send for the
builders. They put the stones aside that they cannot use and select the best stone for the cornerstone.
Jesus Christ has become the chief cornerstone of the Church of God.
Verse 44 In the olden days the masons didn't have the tools you have. In those days they put a huge
stone on small stones to break them in many pieces. Jacob laid up a stone and poured oil on it. Stones
are placed on the spot of memorable experiences by people, in gratitude of that experience—that it will
never be forgotten. You will find these stones all over the East in ordinary places. They pour oil on the
stone as a testimony, not meaning that the stone is a god to them. It is a consecration of that experience,
that it cannot be forgotten. The reason then that you use stones to lay out fields is because it would be the
law that laid it out and that is why they respect the stones at the corner of your fields. The law was first
given on tables of stone. A stone's throw in the Bible is as far as they can go in one day under the law. It
is a figure of speech, you can walk half a mile, 500 feet, a stone's throw.
Verses 1 and 11-13 Marriage customs: Why was man punished in this way? See later (never did).
Marriage: Don't marry by courtship, by family; the parents make the marriage.
Reason for divorce: lack of spiritual understanding.
In the East, Hindu marries Hindu. Proper up-bringing. Marriage customs based spiritually in East
(culture and religion one and the same). They always marry blood relatives. In India, they've been
marrying inside of family for 2,000 years and have less mental institutions than we do here in the United States.
Strong soldiers come from these families, not weaklings. As soon as child is born, everyone is told
and his name is put in the book of family tree, register, put the date of birth in book. When you (a
"father"), want a wife for your son, you'll look in the book and see who is the same age as your son and
would be a fit wife for your son. Then the father writes the family of the girl: the first paragraph is
greetings and blessings like Paul's letters to the church, and the second paragraph: business. The parents
go meet each other. The parents will watch the girl, check her out, her dignity, modesty, etc. Girls in the
East wear lots of jewels—on their feet, everywhere. She is taught how to walk so these jewels don't make
any sound. Modesty of a lady: women should walk with shamefacedness, should look at the ground. (1.)
Her first examination is walking properly, head pointed down to the ground and no noise; and (2.) they
look at forehead of the girl, should have no wrinkles if she trusts in God. Wrinkles signify worry. Look
at wrinkles as outward sign of inward faith. Wrinkles indicate a lack of faith.
The women are perfected in their culture to be good wives. Western marriages are based on
materialism; Eastern based on spiritual.
They marry their blood relatives and it has no effect on their offspring.
Verse 2 See Matthew 22:11-13
Verses 2, 11 and 12 Wedding robe. King sends a robe to everyone invited to wedding—no excuse to
come without it. Cannot come without it. Has royal seal on it. The robe symbolizes the king's dignity
and righteousness, royalty. Won't accept your own self-righteousness. This man had been given a robe.
There is only one chance to enter the wedding. Today is the day of salvation. This man refused to wear
the robe and he knew the consequences. That's why he was dumbfounded. He hurt himself through his
own pride, stubbornness, negligence. God sent His Son Jesus Christ because we have no robe of our
own—all we have are dirty old rags of self-righteousness. We cannot appear with the rags on. All the
education, status, religions are still only dirty old rags in the sight of God. God only accepts us through
the royal robe given us by His Son by whom we are clothed. The robe of righteousness is a free gift that
we might appear before the beloved. If you refuse to put on the robe, you get all that it stands for. It's our
choice—if we walk in darkness it's because we choose to. He that hath the Son hath light. He that hath
not the son hath not life.
Verses 8-14 Psalm 92:12. Robe of righteousness, marriage. Writers of the Bible were Eastern and used
their customs and ways of thinking, etc. to illustrate and get ideas conveyed. In Psalm 91:12, it reads:
"the righteous shall flourish like the palm tree." The Word also says that there is no one righteous, no, not
one. Then who are the righteous? Good works are not righteousness. It cannot be earned.
Righteousness is imputed to us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Self-righteousness is a filthy rag
and not acceptable to God.
At marriage ceremony in East, every guest is given a robe and must wear it to be accepted. We must
put on God's robe of righteousness given us by Him. At a wedding of royalty, must wear robe issued by
king. Cannot wear own robe. In other weddings can wear robe handed down through own family.
(Matthew 22:8-14).
Psalm 92:12. Palm tree (righteous flourish as a palm tree). Everybody says they are, but the way to
tell if you are righteous is if you flourish as a palm tree. See "palm tree" for details
Verse 11 Wedding garment; robe of righteousness. Wedding garments are handed down through the
families. The family can be identified by the kind of robe worn. This wedding was that for a king's son
(verse 1). When attending the wedding of nobility, one cannot wear his own wedding robe. Rather, the
king sends a wedding robe to each person invited. The king will not accept a person in his own robe. He
sends out wedding robes to the guests an hour or a day ahead, and each robe has the king's seal on it.
In verse 11, this man deliberately came without the robe which had been sent to him. He was
speechless because he knew what was coming. Fear made him speechless. It was not the king's fault that
the man did not have his robe on. God has given us a robe of righteousness. This man was also given a
robe, but he would not put it on. The king's word to bind the man was a figure of speech. Because of
fear, the man was already bound. Fear is bred in disobedience. We must not try to wear our robe of selfrighteousness,
but rather the robe of God's righteousness which He gave to us. It is the only one that is accepted.
Verses 11 and 12 Marriage customs. Parents always choose bride for son. Whoever parents choose,
son will marry. Son never sees her—sees her only after she becomes his wife—immoral for couple to go
together before marriage.
Rebecca came to be married to Isaac—she put her veil on when she got off the camel before Isaac saw her.
How do you choose a girl for your son? As you have baby, will record it in book, just as the rest of
your blood relatives do as their children are born. When you need a girl to marry your son, you go to the
book and look it over. There you'll find a blood relative girl to marry your son, the same age. Next, the
father will write this girl's parents and tell them of his position and that of his son. A date will be set for
you to come and visit her parents. Your son doesn't go with you. You take a few old ladies with you to
look her over.
Verses 11-13 Wedding robe (marriage customs). You must wear the robe the king sent you to wear to
the wedding ceremony. The king will only receive you when you are wearing this robe. A robe is sent to
each §guest. The man here knows the consequences of not wearing the robe. Knowing the consequences
he walked in—this was insulting to the king. He had to pay for the insult. Usually you go to a wedding
with your own robe that is handed down in your family, but to a king's wedding he sends you a robe and
you have to wear his robe—Matthew 22; 2.
He'll be tied hand and feet and be thrown out for insulting the monarch for not putting on the robe
after receiving it. The king gave the man only one chance as it was the culture.
Spiritual application: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to us. As many as
receive him have put on the robe of righteousness and have become the sons and daughters of God.
Having known Christ came from the royal wardrobe bringing the robe of righteousness to every man that
would accept him. We are acceptable before God because He clothed us with a robe of righteousness in
Jesus Christ. It came as a free gift. The world was offered the gift and they have refused it. What will
happen to them? When they appear before God at the end of the world they'll be dumbfounded,
speechless, helpless, hopeless. Why? Because they know they won't have a second chance. Having heard
the gospel and rejecting it time after time, they shall appear before God without excuse and naked—not
clothed in the robe of righteousness. They have only their own filthy rags which are not acceptable
before God. God made provision for us through His son. Only when we wear the robe He sends us are
we acceptable, the robe of salvation. We have rejected the robe, rejected the light—Limited God and
made it a religion. Religion is a man's idea. God's desire for us is eternal life. We must demonstrate that
we have life—not religion. There is no life in religion. The standard of living has become the chief idol
to the American. When Christ was in Palestine, there were three systems of religion: Judaism, Buddhist
missionaries (Jews who adopted Buddhist principles and became Essenes, etc.), and Brahmins teaching
their religion.
Verses 11-14 Marriage—wedding garment. A man going to a wedding sacrament. The service is very
ceremonial, this is why everyone must have a robe on, or vestment. Any ritual which is not Jesus Christ
magnified is of Baal worship.
Come and get sprinkled with perfume. Then before the host greets you at next station, he (guest)
puts on his robe. "And he was speechless," because he could not lie and say "I do not have one," because
he had one. Host sends robes to every guest. King will not accept you with your own robe on. No
second chance with this. Either accept new robe now and appear clothed or that's it. Same with God—
they believe.
Tied of hand and food-symbolic of fretting. Thrown into outer darkness, those who have no light
(Christ in you, hope of glory), are still walking in darkness. This man did not want to put on the robe.
Verse 14: Many are called—few are chosen. Few take the robe, put it on and enjoy the ceremony.
Spiritual application: People hear the message of salvation and put it off till the following year or
similar. They die before they do anything about it and when the day of judgment comes, they will be
there without their robe; ashamed because they heard but did not accept. Our garment of salvation came
from royalty; through Jesus Christ. He died that we may be saved by putting on the robe of
righteousness. Those who get saved get the robe of righteousness—appear before God blameless and
unafraid on the merits of Christ. There is no second chance.
Those who lack the light of Christ walk in darkness. We have been set free from the ties of
darkness. Today is the day of salvation, with no bonds. We walk in light as sons of God. We are seated
in heavenly places. All who received the robe—given good news of salvation—called. Few put the robe
on—are chosen. This man was called, but not chosen. Look at people today who have been called. They
are tied hand and foot because they rejected it.
Verse 14 Many are called, few are chosen. Many are called, many were invited to the marriage, few are
chosen. Few chose the robe of righteousness to come into the wedding ceremony. Many have been
offered the robes, but only few have chosen to accept the robes and come in.
Spiritual application: John 3:16. Whole world was invited to salvation, only few have accepted
(only few are chosen).
Verses 17-19 The tribute mentioned in these passages is not ordinary tax. In our language, it is head
tax. Had to pay for each sheep so much, for each animal so much. They were objecting to paying this tax
to Caesar because it was a religious tax. They were not objecting co paying what was similar to our
income tax to the local government. But it was against their religion to have to pay a religious tax. The
government was trying to get them to pay head tax on humans and they rejected it because they thought
they were being treated like animals. This was a head tax that they were supposed to pay into the temple.
Caesar wanted the money and the people said no, this goes to the temple. A shekel was the head tax. "Is
it lawful to give head tax unto Caesar." (Translation.) Exodus 30:13: 1/2 shekel offering was given unto
the Lord. This was paid every festival day. The shekel does not have Caesar's stamp on it.
Verse 14 Long prayers. Literal: "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, for a pretense you make long
prayer and devour widow's houses."
Man always tries to look on woman as inferior. The Eastern women don't aspire for freedom. They
want to serve man. In East, you offer the woman the chair if there's only one, but unlike the West, she
won't sit. He's her lord, the man of the house. She takes second place. Woman always serves husband
first, eats after he's eaten.
Women don't go out to do business at all. If her husband dies, how does she live? She has to wear
the veil—can't talk to men. If she has property to manage, children to raise, deeds to handle, what to do?
Jewish and Arab women never in public like Hindu women. They choose a trustee from the temple.
She'll tell the priest she's looking for a trustee to take care of her children and property, and she's coming
to the synagogue, so put up some candidates. Asks them to pray so she can choose which one is the
holiest. The priest asks several deacons to come and pray. This lady wants to hear. The deacons have
been warned well. The deacons come and pray. They pray for the woman, not for God. She'll choose
her trustee by their long prayer.
Once she decides who it will be, she gives him rulership over the house. Turns the deeds over to
him, the key to the household. He starts to swindle her. Once he's been engaged to be trustee, he'll
swindle her. (This verse should have been about prayer first, then devour widow's houses.)
Should read: "for a pretense ye make long prayer and ye devour widow's houses." Reason is when a
person became a widow in the East, they became secluded and were not allowed to take part in feastings
and fastings. They don't talk to men, they always wear a veil. She is not permitted to go to court and talk
to lawyers, so she engages a guardian or trustee by sending a note to religious man or pastor saying she
wants holy man or godly man who will take care of the affairs. Godly man is looked on as trustworthy
man. Widow goes to temple and listens to the godly men make long prayers so she can pick the one who
makes the longest prayer to be guardian. The guardian becomes father of the children and takes control
of everything. From there on, they start swindling the widow. The widow is deceived by her senses.
Correction on HOW verse should read. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For a
pretense make long prayer, and ye devour widows houses."
Why? Most of Bible based on Eastern thinking, on Eastern way which was before the Bible was
written. Culture and religion, one and the same. They live their religion. In America, religion is for
Sundays, here culture is remote from religion, why get in trouble, it's hard to keep up with the Bible.
In East, if woman is a widow, not permitted to take over business (if there is one) because she must
wear veil, and can't talk to people with a veil, to lawyer or anyone. She engages a trustee who takes care
of things. She goes to temple, priest calls four or five men to pray, she listens and then chooses from their
prayers. If man knows she is listening, prays a long prayer, she picks, then takes him home and explains
deeds and property and then he takes over. Then he begins to devour house.
Pray, chosen, then devour—that's the order.
Jesus knew outwardly they were religious and pious, but on the inside, crooks. Can't deceive God.
He knows all!
Make long prayers. The priests in the temples are trustees for the widow's estates. In order to select
one, the widow comes to the temple to hear them pray. High priest picks two or three, then has them
pray. The most pious, the one with the most beautiful prayer, the longest prayer, is the one selected by
the widow. The man prays not for the benefit of God, but rather for the benefit of the woman to attain
self gain. He is off the Word to deceive her this way.
A pretense of prayer, devour widow's houses. "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for
a pretense make a long prayer and devour widow's houses: therefore ye shall receive great damnation."
Eastern woman is not business minded. When the husband dies, leaving her a lot of property, she cannot
go to court or engage a lawyer, so she gets a trustee of her own caste to take care of her affairs. She goes
to the synagogue or temple and asks the "pastor" to appoint one of the deacons as her trustee. Someone
who "prays long"—a religious man, she would choose. So, the "pastor" goes to the deacons and warns
them of the wealthy benefactor looking for a trustee. Then the deacons come to meet the woman and pray
extremely long prayers. The one who prays longest she selects. She gives him all of the documents,
keys, etc. From then on, he begins robbing or swindling the woman. Prayer comes first, then they devour
the widows houses.
Christ knew these guys for what they were, religious crooks. They were senses men, not spiritual.
We, as Christians will not fall in the hypocritical category of Pharisees. Religion is man-made.
Christianity is not a religion.
Verses 16-22 Swearing. Jesus finally says, "Let your speech be yeah, yeah, nay, nay." Swearing by
any of these things is not necessary. There was a price system in the East, even today, there is no oneprice
system. They bargain and quibble to buy one article. The "yeah, yeah, and nay, nay." If we want to
take the covenant, take it. If someone wants a job, we go to the office trailer and ask religious
background. Can you hire me and this is "how much" neighborhood for salary. Then the salt is
exchanged. The contract is sealed with the covenant of salt..."In the name of this salt, I will be your
trustworthy secretary, for ever." Credentials are only a beginning, not an essential ingredient. The most
important is the sincerity, honesty, uprightness of the person.
To bind him faithful, only salt can do it. It is unbreakable. If it is broken, the man's son's picture is
buried. Sons are loved very much. People are willing to do this because they (Eastern people) love God
more than their children. Anything that the child does from 0-18 months, the parent is responsible. When
a son is born, the Eastern couple do the following, "Lord we will bring up this boy in our faith to worship
our God, to lead our way of life to the honor and glory of thy holy name." When the boy is salted, the
parents realize their responsibility in teaching the child the above information; then the child is
responsible to God for himself. This is why Easterners never miss an hour of prayer: the kingdom of
God comes first, for which they are salted.
Verse 24 "...which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel," How can anybody swallow a camel? Do you
think Jesus used such silly, out-of-the-way statements? Gnat means any small thing. Camel means
anything bigger than a gnat. The word means a camel, a beam, anything which is larger than the given
object. Jesus meant swallowing something bigger than a gnat. The untouchables in India swallow bad
water. You can see the germs in it. They are drinking something which is bigger than a gnat.
Strain out a gnat and swallow that which is larger—literal.
Strain at gnat. "At" should be "out." If water is dirty, strain through linen to catch dirt and insects.
Gamla is an Aramaic word with four meanings: (1.) camel; (2.) beam; (3.) rope; and (4.) anything larger
than the spoken object (object presently under discussion). In this verse, the meaning is #4 rather than #1.
Not camel, "...strain out a gnat and swallow that which is bigger than a gnat." Also, "it is easier for a rope
(meaning #3) to go through the eye of a needle...," not camel. Matthew 19:24.
It is not impossible for a rich man to enter kingdom of God, but it is more difficult. There are ropes
that do go though the eye of a needle. Used for sewing bags and such.
"Strain out a gnat and swallow a camel." "A camel"—that which is much larger. All languages in
the world have Sanskrit words in them. Gamla is Syriac word with four meanings: (1.) camel; (2.) beam;
(3.) rope; and (4.) something which is larger than the given object or object spoken about. The people
would strain a gnat out of water.
See Also: Matthew 19:24
"A camel." Here it should read "that which is much larger."
Strain out a gnat here gamla should be translated as anything which is larger than the given object
instead of camel.
"Strain at a gnat" Should be strain out a gnat—a gnat is a small thing. This means they are
particular about a small thing. "A camel" is that which is much larger.
Camel through the eye of needle. Camel is word "gamla." It means either camel, beam, rope,
anything bigger than spoken object. Idiom is it's easier for rope to go through needle.
"Camel" should be translated by 4th meaning of the word—something bigger than a gnat—fly, wasp,
etc. Similar to "penny wise and pound foolish." This must be rendered fly and not camel (even though
camel gets the point across), because Eastern idioms are based on facts, not unexplainable like the U.S.
idiom "hot dog."
Verse 27 White-washed sepulchres—outwardly. Religious people—inwardly filthy, dirt of men's
bones. Must repent, never too late. Before men ate salt, they cleared all guilt, debts, arguments, with
their fellowman before they got right with God. Men use grace to cop out, yet we are religious people.
We suffer in our walk because we are disobedient, as you sow, you reap.
(Not stated but taught) whited sepulchre outside appearance is one thing, but on the inside they were
rotten like dead men's bones. Some graves are not marked and are flat with the ground—"graves which
appear not."
When a man goes to cemetery, he must wash before leaving. Here Jesus is saying that when people
come in contact with the Pharisees they are defiled, just as they are defiled when they walk in a cemetery,
only the people are not aware of the Pharisees, as they are not aware of graves which appear not.
See also: Luke 11:44
"Whited sepulchres." The relatives go to the graves in the East and they will whitewash the grave
and put flowers on it.
Verse 33 "Generation of vipers"—should be scorpions, anyone who is religious but does not have the
truth is a generation of scorpions. They were spiritual orphans.
Verse 17 Housetops. In the Eastern town, the houses have flat roofs. Enter into the courtyard, into the
garden, take the stairs up outside of the house and onto the roof. Anybody can go up to the roof anytime.
There is a window-type latch hole in the roof. Anything can be lowered through the opening. Luke 5:18-
25. It is not available to get to the roof from inside the house. This is called breaking the roof. Rap about
how Christians should be different from the world.
During the summer evenings, the Easterners sleep on their roofs. There are 500 houses in a row on
both sides of the street. Around 6 p.m. carry the beds and take the family by there. There is a mosquito
net for each person and his bed. People are talking and singing; the houses are very close together. The
people could easily communicate from one house to the next. This is why Jesus said, "Let him which is
on the housetop not come down..." Matthew 24:17. It is easier to go along the roofs, rather than go down
outside stairway, go through garden, through courtyard, into house. If a man of God comes to an Eastern
city, and is to speak the following day, the woman of the house tells her neighbor. This neighbor tells
someone else. The news spreads across the entire rooftop. Eastern people depend on God for everything
(not as Westerner who has everything). (Rap about what Hindus had to give up to become Christian.
Mentions one person whose parents poisoned him, but he did not die and the whole village came to
Christ. That is what is meant in Mark 16:18.)
When there is an epidemic in the Eastern village, the chief goes up on rooftop at noon when
everyone is praying, barefooted and blows his trumpet and calls upon God to heal the people and keep the
disease away. "No plague shall come nigh thy dwelling, God said so and we are going to ask him to do it.
Come along all and pray." Then, everyone goes to the housetop to pray; always when there is a desperate
need or a national crisis, the Easterners pray to God (their feet scorched from standing on the roof
barefooted and their heads burning up and their arms outstretched toward the sky 'cause it's holy ground.)
The plague disappears. Isaiah 22:1; Jeremiah 48:38.
Inside the houses there is first a veranda, then the first room, a hall with three rooms on either side of
the hall. A sitting room is in between somewhere. Inside every Eastern home is a lamp that burns all day
long. It is an oil lamp in a little saucer with olive oil in it and a little flax wick. They believe light is
symbolic of God's presence. If the light goes out, the belief is that God has withdrawn from the home.
The Bible calls them "candles," that's a Western idea. When God says the candles will be put out
(Proverbs 24:20), it means God will withdraw His presence from the house.
At night, the front door is not closed. Anybody, any foreigner, beggar, tramp, saint, sinner can walk
into an Eastern home at night. One meal is kept always for "angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2. When the
beggar arrives, he is treated with the utmost respect: "What can I do, my lord, for you." Every beggar
may be sent by God; perhaps God has sent this beggar to test my sincerity and loyalty. If the beggar
comes to eat, the reply is, "Yes, my Lord, come right in and sit down there; she, the hostess, will bring
water and wash his feet, bring him his food. Afterwards, offer him a place to sleep. Then the beggar says
he'll sleep there. There is no fear on either party's part.
Verse 41 See Ecclesiastes 12:1-14.
See Ecclesiastes 12:4.
"Two women grinding." Taught but not stated.
See also: Judges 16:21.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill. The stones are at 18" in diameter. There are two stones
about 8" thick each stone. The upper millstone (top) and lower one are knit together by a wooden peg in
the center. This wooden peg is fixed at the center of the bottom stone and the top stone has a hole in the
center of it which enables it to be slid down onto the lower stone. There is a wooden peg on the top of
one corner which is held by two women. One woman holds the peg at bottom and the other at the top.
Each woman uses one hand. They keep turning the upper millstone around. They pour wheat or corn in
the center hole and the corn falls between the two stones. They continue to turn the upper stone and the
wheat is ground. The flour falls on a clean linen upon which these stones are kept. They remove the
stones after the grinding is done and they gather the wheat and flour from the clean linen. And, from that
they make bread.
Every morning, in the East, you go to your home and in the courtyards you see two women, usually
servants, grinding this mill. You can hear the noise of it.
In the East, this is only woman's work—not for men. The two are not overlapped in the East.
If a prince or one of the royal family is taken in battle and made a prisoner, he'll be made to grind the
millstone in humiliation. If a proud man that scares everybody, when he's terrorized everybody, once
they catch him and prosecute him for it (for using his strength against everybody), for his sentence they
give him hard labor, not digging ditches or chopping wood, but grinding the millstone as the women for
Verses 46-51 They did not cut him asunder, but just flogged turn. "His portion with the hypocrites"
means giving him a small amount of money. They paid him and dismissed him. "...Weeping and
gnashing of teeth" means that he cried and cried. The word "asunder" means "to divide." You can't
divide a human being. Therefore, the usage is "they flogged him." "Weeping and gnashing of teeth" is a
figure of speech meaning "total disgrace." Matthew 22:13. Verse 14—many are called, many hear the
public announcement of the wedding. They are informed. However, few are chosen to attend the
wedding—mostly the royalty. "Gnashing of teeth" does not necessarily mean hell fire. This man
received the punishment of being disgraced, yet he was in the king's household. We can say he was
saved, but he didn't have the renewed mind. There are many who are informed, many who hear the Word
of God, but there are few that are given eternal life by the King because they will not receive. They are
not choosing Him. They are goats.
Verse 1 "Lamps" should be torches. A torch is about 4' or 5' long and made of wood. Ten virgins are
needed for marriage in East. The wedding is ten days long and there must be a virgin for each day.
Ten Virgins. Each virgin has a job to do each day of the wedding. These are like bridesmaids. A
week before the wedding takes place, the home of the bride is decorated on the inside and outside.
Outside with coconut leaves, bananas and oranges. Everyone will know that a wedding is going to take
place. The bride's mother and father will stand outside the door of their home and wait for the arrival of
the groom and the ten virgins. The father will wash the feet of the groom. The groom and the ten virgins
are then received into the home.
Each morning of the ten-day ceremony, the bride and groom will sit down for one-half hour with the
priest, who tells them how to behave toward one another. (On festival days, women will paint the symbol
of the swastika on their homes as a symbol of good fortune. Swastika is an Arian symbol.)
Ten Virgins.
Verse 6: "A cry" should be a trumpet sound.
Verse 8: "lamps" should be torch. A torch is made of wood, 3' long. One end of it has rags dipped
in oil. There is an iron funnel fixed up which keeps the fire at one end. The torch, wedding garments and
ten pieces of silver are handed down from generation to generation. The virgins come to the bride's home
a day early with torch and oil. On the wedding day, they go to the inn at the gate to wait and they do not
have to light their torch on the way.
The storehouse is where the people are fed.
Verse 8: The five foolish virgins are telling a lie because they had not even brought any oil with
them. They could have gone to a shopkeeper at midnight and asked him for some oil for the wedding
because in the East they believe it is doing service to God to take part in a wedding or funeral service.
Oil is symbolic of the holy spirit. The five foolish virgins had everything, did everything, except
have the oil.
Verses 1-8 The ten virgins are closely related to the bride. Each brings a wedding torch with rags on the
end. The wedding robes and torches are handed down from generation to generation. (Also ten pieces of
silver.) The virgins bring a can of oil and a spoon to pour the oil on the torch.
The virgins, when they leave their home to come to the wedding, do not have to light their torches.
The virgins come a day early to decorate the bride and the bride's home.
Bridegroom's friend comes with a silver trumpet just before midnight to call out the virgins.
The wedding ceremony takes only half an hour each day for ten days. What do the guests do during
the rest of the day? They play and spend much time in riddles. The riddles are used to improve their
minds. They do not waste time. Their energy is given by God, and they are accountable for how it is
used. They seek to use all their energy to glorify God.
During the day there are three meals. After lunch and supper, there are people who supply grape
juice in honor of the bride and bridegroom. Different ones do it for each meal. The men who will supply
the wine sit in a line according to their age, oldest first. Their wives and/or sisters sit in a group nearby.
The servant comes to the first man and asks how much wine he will supply. Then the servant gets the
money from the wife or sister and goes to the market to purchase fresh pressed grape juice. (John 2:4.)
The woman carries the money because in the East, thieves will not attack a woman with a veil.
Thieves attack only men.
The five foolish virgins could have gone out to buy some oil at any time, but they deliberately chose
to remain without oil.
Verse 8: This is a lie because they did not have the oil to light them in the first place. There is no
excuse for the virgins to not have their oil.
The foolish virgins are like the unsaved who will follow along without ever confessing Christ as lord
and receiving holy spirit. Oil is symbolic of holy spirit.
Verses 1-12 Ten virgins, marriage. Almost all marriages take place in the bride's home at midnight.
The proper ceremony lasts ten days. Each marriage takes at least ten virgins, each assigned to one day of
the ceremony. These are not just "bridesmaids," they also must be virgins. Torches of wood, 4'-5' long,
not lamps, were carried. Rags were wrapped around one end of the torch, soaked in oil and then lit. They
burned and the girls carried it. (There is some metal at that end, too, to prevent the wood from being
consumed.) These virgins are usually relatives, and are chosen by the bride's parents. They are asked to
come a day before the ceremony to the bride's home with their torches and can of oil. During the day
prior to the ceremony, the virgins work on decorations for the bride's home. Then, at midnight, these
virgins take their torches and oil, and they go to the gate of the city.
Verse 10: The women carried the torches. They were to carry these torches and the oil. However,
when they visit the bride's home, the inn, they greet the groom, they did not burn the torches and oil, but
he was responsible to bear the lamp. The bridegroom knows when the bride is coming because the best
man blows his trumpet and shouts, "Behold the bridegroom cometh, be not afraid, but go out and meet
them." It is now when the groom expects the virgins to arise and trim it up! The virgins, with torches
burning, go outside the inn and lighten his path to the bride's home. When the groom arrives with the
virgins, the bride's dad washes the future son-in-law's feet. (This means: I am giving you my daughter,
the apple of mine eye. I am become your servant for my daughter, so you might become a servant to
her—love and serve her/him in the same way I love her.) This is done outside the bride's home. Bride's
dad greets each person. Every person must have wedding robe on. The front door is opened until
midnight. Then (midnight) the door is closed for ten days. Every virgin with her torch, has already
entered. The virgins keep lamps dark until they hear the bride's voice. Otherwise, they could not see the
groom without it. Knowing all of this, five lazy virgins in Matthew 25 still did not carry out their
responsibilities. They feel that every person taking part in the ceremony is giving help to God, and is
making a sacrament.
Verse 12: The "Lord," doorkeeper says, "I don't know you!" The virgin was not qualified to get in
because she was late.
Every parable is based on a culture or a custom of the East which existed at the time of our lord, and
still goes on today. The message is that the foolish virgins are empty "professional" religious. (They
have a church membership. They never add oil—the holy spirit.) Therefore, they did not have power,
they are like the foolish virgins, they are good, sincere, etc., etc. When it comes to getting into heaven,
the answer will be, "I know you not."
Christians will have the peace that passes understanding as opposed to the "professional religious."
We will meet him and enter in the house because we have Christ in us. Oil is inexpensive in the East.
The foolish virgins were lazy—they knew the consequences. The church people have a torch, but have
no oil. In our time, there are more foolish virgins than knowledgeable ones. Overseas, more people have
heard more about Christ than we do. More Americans do not know about Christ (not just the name).
Hearing his name saves no one. We must know him. The gospel must be preached. Romans 10:14.
Marriage Customs. Each marriage in the East begins at midnight and lasts ten days. Always takes
place in bride's home. Each marriage has ten virgins (bridesmaids). Each day one virgin has a duty to
perform. She stands beside bride and assists her. The groom has a best man called the "friend of the
bridegroom." There is a virgin for each of the ten days. The best man is the same one for the whole ten days.
Lamp—torch made of wood, 4'-5' long. A brush is at one end and it is made of rags. An iron funnel
keeps the wood from burning down. The torches have much sentimental value. The torches have been
handed down for ages and may have been used in many thousands of marriages. An earthen pot
containing oil is part of the torch. Only the relatives of the bride are the virgins. They buy oil and fill
their torches and bring them to the bride's home a day before the wedding. If there aren't ten virgins in
the family, the bride may choose some among those employed at the temple. There must be ten in the
ceremony. No virgin should borrow oil. She must take it with her. The torches are filled with oil with a
spoon. The day before the wedding, all ten gather at the home of the bride to see the decorations, her etc.
The help clean and look after things, taking turns. Decorations are fruit and flowers.
The bridegroom always comes at midnight. There is an inn outside of the city provided to give rest
and food to travelers. The virgins are led (mostly by women and musical instruments) from the bride's
home to the inn and wait for the bridegroom and his party. At the inn, they put their torches out and rest.
As the groom approaches, he blares a silver trumpet and sings. The woman in charge of the virgins
wakes them up. The friend of the groom blows the trumpet and announces, "Behold the bridegroom
cometh." The virgins trim their lamps (put fresh oil in) and get ready to receive the groom. They line up
outside holding torches. The virgins and groom vow to each other. The virgins escort the party to the
bride's home where her parents are standing outside under the decoration of fruit and flowers. By the
decoration everyone knows that a wedding is about to take place. The bride's father and mother have a
basin of water and a towel. The groom steps one foot at a time into the basin and the father washes his
feet. By this act the parents are saying, "We do not know you, but for our daughter's sake, we want to be
your servants so that, accepting our humility, you may love and serve our daughter to the extent of
washing her feet." Eastern husbands honor and respect their wives more than Western husbands do. It is
a promise they made. They will not say "no" to their wives, but their wives will not ask for anything silly.
On the veranda, servants wash the feet of every guest. Then the people go into the house. Rose
water is sprinkled on every person before they enter. No guest is accepted by the host unless he is washed
by the blood of Jesus Christ and sprinkled. The groom enters first and then all the virgins having a torch
burning. If the wind blows it out, they may light it again, but if the torch is not burning because of lack of
oil, the virgin will not be admitted. There is no excuse for not having oil. (Rich people use butter for oil.)
A shopkeeper will make a special trip to his shop to sell a person oil for a wedding or funeral, but for no
other reason. He will even give the oil if the buyer has no money. It is believed that God will look
favorably on one who does anything for a marriage or funeral If a virgin does not have oil, she is put
aside and someone must go to the temple to get another virgin. Temples are never closed at night in the East.
Every guest must have a wedding garment on. It is worn over regular clothes. It is white and every
family has a different kind, distinguished by the laces. The front door is shut after everyone is in, and it
will not be opened again until after the ten-day ceremony. The back door is left open, but no guest would
like to go in or out of the back door. No permission is needed to enter the back door.
Verse 11: The foolish virgins wanted to enter the front door but the host would not allow it. God
does not look on the outside. He looks only at the lamp and oil to see if it is burning. Unless the spirit of
Christ is in a person, God will not acknowledge him. We should always be watching for Christ to return.
Verses 1-13 Marriage ceremony proper lasts half an hour each day for ten days.
Ten virgins are relatives of bride. Married in bride's home (Christ came into world). After marriage,
bridegroom takes bride to his father's home. Each virgin must bring a torch 4'-5' long on the day before
marriage (rag with oil on it). There is an inn at city gates which is maintained by public homes.
Innkeeper is an harlot because she serves anybody and everybody. Ten virgins go to inn with torches and
can of oil just before midnight. Bridegroom's best man comes with a silver trumpet and blowing it says,
"Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him." Virgins arise, go out, meet bridegroom and
escort him to bride's house and they get there at midnight. Doors are closed and not opened for ten days.
Five foolish virgins are liars in verse 8—these are the ones who never accept Christ yet look religious—
these are imposters. Oil is symbolic of holy spirit.
Verse 5 Some distance from the city they have an inn. The place is maintained by the public charities.
The one in charge of the inn is called a harlot, a woman or a man. One part of the inn is where the virgins
go and wait for the bridegroom to arrive. The other portion of the inn anyone can go and stay in as long
as he wants and doesn't have to pay. The bridegroom comes for the bride with all his family, friends and
best man. He brings along a silver trumpet on a horse. They come slowly, so they may arrive at the inn a
little before midnight. A little before 12 the virgins light their torches and go to the inn. They sit down
and being midnight, they usually slumber. They don't lay down, only sit down. The bridegroom was late coming.
Verse 6 When the bridegroom arrives at the inn, the best man blows on the trumpet. "Cry" should be
"announcement made."
Verse 7 "Trimmed their lamps" should be trimmed their wicks.
Verse 8 "...for our lamps are gone out." Should be "for we have no more oil."
The five foolish virgins are telling a lie because they had not even brought any oil with them. They
could have gone to a shopkeeper at midnight and asked him for some oil for the wedding because in the
East, they believe it is doing service to God to take part in a wedding or funeral service. They chose to be foolish.
Verse 9 Any shopkeeper will open the shop at any time for a wedding.
Verse 10 There is a decoration outside of the bride's home. The bride's mother and father stand under
the decoration outside. The father has a basin and the bride's mother has a towel so as soon as the
bridegroom arrives under the decoration, he puts his feet in the basin and the bride's father washes his feet
and the mother dries them. The idea is they would rather wash his feet because he is going to be their
daughter's husband, in order that he will treat their daughter well. The bridegroom goes in the house first,
and then every virgin that has a lamp burning at the time. With the bridegroom goes the best man. Next,
every person that has a wedding garment. After everyone is in, the door is shut for ten days. This is all
over a little after midnight.
Verse 21 Eastern Eating. They sit and eat with fingers. There is salt in the food. They sit, talk, make
plans and then they will eat. (Genesis 24:33 ''not eat until I have told mine errand".) The eating with the
salt will ratify what has been discussed and settled in the meal.
Verses 22 and 23 He that dippeth his hand. The disciples were all eating together at the same table and
Jesus told them that one of them would betray him. Here they are asking him, "Lord, is it I? Lord, is it
I?" Jesus, instead of answering them, says, "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall
betray me."
In the East, some two or three people eat together out of the same dish. They do this as the settlement
of a disagreement. The common bowl has a salted food, they all admit their faults (James 5:16) and
blame themselves. Then they renew their friendship. Eating from the same dish and eating the same food
brings about a oneness, affection and tender-heartedness. It also is a type of covenant of salt: forgetting
the old things (the salt burns them up) and eating it together as a family-type affection, obedience and
loyalty helps love to grow in their minds. Two or three people to one dish.
Once a man eats from the dish, the oriental etiquette is not to betray. Old things are passed away.
Agreements are confirmed by eating together. Yet Judas had been plotting against Jesus even while he
ate at the table with him.
Verse 23 "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish the same shall betray me." Disciples asked
Jesus who was going to betray him—all the disciples eating from the same dish, and the food was salted.
Then sharing the covenant of salt, which means they will never betray you or let you down, even after 20
years! Judas shared salt while planning to betray Jesus at the same time.
Believers today continually break their word every day to God by tithes and offerings and loyalty.
A host would lay down his life to protect guests who had come under the shadow of his house. Host
and his whole family would protect guest.
Verse 65 Rent his clothes. This should be rent his mantle.
Verses 65 and 67 Raca—spit in his face; smote with palms of hand. If you say to your brother it means
spit—you say Raca—means spit (Matthew 5—judgment) a great insult—smote Him with palms of their
hands—a very mocking term.
If you merely touch a child on the head it is very provoking. It's criminal to the child—very
Verse 5 Hanged himself—broke salt covenant. The payment for the breaking of the covenant of salt
was death. Just as Lot's wife disobeyed and turned to a block of salt. Today we're under grace. No one
kills us today for breaking the covenant. People are usually punished immediately after they sin (Bishop
gives incident of woman in England with corn stolen—lied and died).
Verse 27 "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lmana sabachthani?
that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they
heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias." Matthew 27:46,47; Mark 15:34.
This verse has caused the Western translators, theologians and lay people much difficulty. The
confusion lies in the translation. However, instead of looking there, we have looked for manifold senseknowledge
reasons to prove God left Christ to die alone, in spite of all the other Biblical truths at our
disposal, such as "I and the Father are one," "God was in Christ," and "Christ was God."
Jesus spoke Northern Aramaic, which in the King James Version is called Hebrew. The original
Aramaic words are: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" meaning, "My God, my God, for this (cause or purpose)
was I spared or kept." The Greek words in translation as given are, "Eli, Eli lama (no word like lama in
Aramaic) should be, "lmana." Sabachthani (no word like sabachthani in Aramaic) should be, "shbkthani."
The words in the original are: "Eli, Eli, lmana shbkthani." This is to say, "It is my destiny to die this kind
of death." It does not mean what the King James translators give, nor is there anything in the tone of the
words to indicate an appeal for help, as implied by exploitors from Matthew 27:27. The Jews simply
thought he was calling on Elijah, for Elia is the Aramaic for Elijah.
The Aramaic word, "sabachthani" stems from the root word, "shbak" meaning to spare, keep,
reserve, allow, permit, or let me live. The context and use determines its meaning." In I Kings 19:18, the
word "reserved" is this same word as is also Romans 11:4. Check also I Samuel 14:36; Isaiah 10:3; 14:1;
John 11:48; Luke 18:16 and Psalms 22:1.
Psalms 22:1 in the Aramaic is rendered, "let me live," in the sense of "spared me" instead of
"forsaken me." When suffering or in deep agony and distress, the Eastern and Oriental people wonder
why they live, and so they ask God why He has spared them or let them live, and why He has not taken
them as He did their fathers Check I Kings 19:4; Job 7:15; 10:1. In Psalms 22 the writer wonders why
they have been spared and let live to go through so many trials and struggles and why God has not
speedily vindicated them of their enemies.
The Aramaic words for "forsaken me" are "taatani" and "nashantani," meaning also to forget. Check
Psalms 13:1; 42:9; 43:2; 44:9, 60:1; 78:7-1.1; 10:32; 119:140,141; Genesis 41:51. Had Jesus meant that
he was forsaken of God, he would have used the word, "taatani" or "nashantani" and the people near the
cross would have understood what he was saying and the Jews would have gloated saying, "We told you
so, he is a sinner, see God has forsaken him." But, when he said, "For this I was spared," the senseknowledge
people at the cross, including the Jews and soldiers, could not understand what he was saying,
for was he not dying as a thief and murderer on an accursed cross at an accursed place, the Skull?
If God had forsaken him, how could he have conversed with him?
When Jesus was dying upon the cross, the Jews reviled him because in their estimation he was dying
as one who had blasphemed God. Instead of replying to the insults of the infuriated mob, Jesus
exclaimed what any Eastern leader dying innocently might exclaim today: "My God, my God, for this I
was kept and spared. This is my hour, this is the purpose for which I came. Let the people say and think
what they will, but my death has much more meaning than they know."
The Aramaic word, "lmana" means, "for what purpose." It is never a question but always used as an
exclamation of wonder and awe over the accomplishment of the thing at hand.
These words of Jesus were addressed to God, but notice the mighty effect they must have had on the
action of his disciples for whom the bottom had dropped out of everything. They had always hoped Jesus
would be the redeemer of Israel, but he was dying a cursed and despised death. His statement reminded
them once again what he had told them before, but they understood not—knowing not that he must die
and rise again the third day (Mark 9:31; Luke 18:34), that this was his true destiny, that the Messiah had
to suffer at the hands of the enemies of God, but that he knew God was with him for victory and
It may be of interest to you to know that to this day the Assyrian Church teaches that God was
continuously with Jesus on the cross and in the grave because God could not be separated from him.
Had God forsaken Jesus, then the scriptures would fall apart and his mission would have been a
failure. Pagan gods may forget their duty to their people and even fall asleep (I Kings 18:29), but not the
true God. Human fathers do not even forsake those they love in their hour of death or greatest need.
Would the heavenly Father do less? God forbid and forgive us for our error.
The last words Jesus said on the cross were "Father into thy hands I commit my spirit." If God had
forsaken him, how could Jesus have committed his spirit to God, if they were not on speaking terms.
Jesus was not questioning God's wisdom, but with loving purpose moving forward in the great
redemption with uttermost confidence and the assurance of resurrection victory, for your redemption and mine.
The Oriental people believe that the manner of man's death is predetermined and predestined to the
end that when death comes nigh, God is closer to them than at any other time.
Jesus taught that God was a loving Father, whose watchful care and presence covered even the
flowers of the field and the birds of the air. A Father who at no time was absent or afar off from His
children. He would never leave them nor forsake them to the destruction of His arch enemy. John 16:32.
His enemies even exclaimed "He trusted God," Matthew 27:43. Jesus would have contradicted all his
teachings and examples had God not been with him in the hour of his greatest trial and suffering. God
was never closer to Jesus than in his hour of greatest agony. Jesus had angels in multitude at his
command. The whole panorama is the story of the nearness of God in Christ Jesus laying down his life
without anyone taking it from him, because of his great and infinite love. Esther 4:14,15 and 16—"If I
perish, I perish." Daniel 3:17 and 18; Genesis 45:5--Joseph's destiny.
The words of Jesus under consideration are not a confession of forsakenness, defeat, despair or
failure. They are words of victory and triumph. The climax of his mission had arrived, the purpose for
which he had come into the world was at hand, for he came to die that we might live forever and to have
life more abundantly.
Verse 28 Scarlet robe is symbolical of royalty. Eastern monarchs put scarlet robes on their graves and
those of distinguished men. Esther 6:8-11. Many times when a member or members of the family come
to the house, we give them garments of clothing. That is why when Jacob went to Joseph in Egypt, they
gave him a change of garments. That custom still prevails. In other words, when a relative of yours
comes to visit you, you show your respect for him not only by bringing him in your home, but by giving
him new garments. The scarlet robe is also worn by distinguished families. Many times these garments
are very costly clothing. They are given to relatives or priests. They put the robe on Jesus because Pilot
wanted to mock him.
Verse 35 Very few people wear the vesture. It is supposed to show their authority. On top of the coal
you put the vesture. They cast lots on it because they could not divide his authority. They didn't want to
destroy it because nobody can rent his kingdom.
"Parted his garments." They wear long robes and on top of these they will wear the vesture (coat).
They must have cut up his garments (seamless robe) but not the vesture because they cast lots for it.
Vesture is symbolic of authority which cannot be divided.
Verse 44 "Cast the same in his teeth." This means that they reviled him, mocked him.
Verse 46 My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? Translation: "...My God, for this cause am I
spared..." Sa-bach-tha-ni means reserve, preserved, permitted, allowed and spared. The Orientals believe
that God is closer to a man who is dying on the cross. Refer to Psalm 22:1. This is the same thing.
"Eli, Eli..." (cry of triumph). Jesus prayed very intensely, even to the point that his sweat was like
drops of blood when he prayed that God might have that cup pass from him. However, he was not
ignorant of the death he must die and was not trying to evade it. He knew that what he would accomplish
by his suffering and death must be complete so he even refused the wine mixed with myrrh which was
offered to him for relief of pain.
Jesus did not say to God, "Why hast Thou forsaken me," but rather, "For this purpose was I spared."
He knew his purpose and what had to be done to accomplish it. Jesus knew no fear. He was destitute or
despaired. But he was wounded for our transgressions to the fullest extent. He bore our grief to the
fullest extent. That is why our salvation is complete. "Eli, Eli, lmana sabachthani" was a cry of triumph
and not of defeat. He refused the wine mixed with myrrh because it kills pain and he wouldn't have
suffered as much. How could God have turned away at the last minute knowing He himself laid our sins
on Jesus.
Western Bible teaching contains much speculation and guesswork because they do not know the
facts of Eastern culture and way of thinking. The Greeks are Westerners too, so even the Greek texts are
not very accurate in their translation of the Oriental culture and way of thinking.
Bishop discusses some idioms now, both Eastern (ex. camel—eye of needle—there is no little gate in
Jerusalem as some people say, it means rope through a needle's eye) and Western (ex. hot dog). Jesus
never said anything to people using language that they could not understand. What he did was new, but
the way he said things was not new. His figurative language was very well-known, but the message was
new. (Asseshead = a root that grows in hedge.)
Eli, Eli. Jesus Christ paid the price for us all. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for
our iniquities, upon him was laid the iniquity of us all.
This is a cry of triumph! "My God, my God for this reason was I reserved!'' Look at what his death
accomplished for us. He was not defeated. He preferred to die for us. If God had forsaken Christ, then
the apostles, the Pharisees, everyone would have made a point of referring to Christ as an imposter.
"Eli, Eli." Sabachthani should be shbktani and it means allowed, reserved, preserved, let, destined.
Fear is man's invention. The wrong translation of this verse kept thousands from believing in India and
other places. Check this with Hebrews 13:5. (Matthew 26:36-44 is an example of prayer for us.
Whenever we are in crisis, we should talk things over with God.)
Verse 1 "To see the sepulchre." When a person is buried in the East, women will come on the third day
and pour milk on the grave. They go early in the morning to do this, before the sun has risen. In the
morning people praying go up into the tower about 5:00 to begin prayers. They stick their fingers in their
ears to shut out sounds of the outside so they can stay centered on God. The Easterners like to pray in the
morning because they can concentrate better early in the morning. Jesus Christ prayed early in the