Word at Work June 2, 2016

THURSDAY, JUNE 2
Scripture: Matthew 5:38-39

Matthew 5:38-39 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” This is the predominant mindset of the New Testament and most believers are strongly rooted in it. We are told to turn the other cheek and not to resist evil. “Turning-the-other-cheek” is a helpful and necessary approach when it is God-directed and in the context of preparing people for salvation. Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount and later in chapter 10, He sent the Twelve out. Where He sent them provides the context for “turn-the-other-cheek.” If we do not set this directive in context, then we miss other major truths in Scripture and can never grow to where we are thoroughly prepared for the end-times. Jesus made it clear that there are situations in which we do not resist evil or an evil person. But the majority of Scripture tells us to resist and even shows us a penalty could you give for not resisting. There is only one place in the Word where we are specifically told both of these things in the same area and it was a preparation for the 3 ½ years of the ministry of Jesus while He was on the earth. He had an assignment and it was to go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. They were not to go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans. They could only go to the Israelites. Therefore, because they were going to covenant people who were lost, they were to not resist evil and turn the other cheek. But that has to be done by the Spirit. They were not supposed to do it in every situation. Even Jesus did not do it in every situation. There were two instances we see Him clearly not turn His other cheek and solidly resisted evil. The arbiter of whether we are supposed to walk in a mindset of the gospels or a mindset of the book of Revelation is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows what we need to do for God’s Kingdom purposes in every situation. Therefore, walking in the Spirit, walking in the gifts of the Spirit and praying in the Spirit are absolutely essential preparation for faith in the end-times. We cannot do it without having the counsel of the Holy Spirit of God being front, center and foremost. Only He can show us each situation and be accurate in discerning it. I trust we are going to commit to moving in the Spirit because it is the only wise and prudent choice we have.


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