Is the Measure For Measure Principle at work among us?
Then many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another
, (Mt 24:10).
In post 190
The lesson humanity has yet to learn is that 'With the measure, you are measuring out they will measure out to you, (Mt 7:2). And it is something we will have to learn if we want to live in the new earth,
We still have to learn that lesson.
Palestine - then and now, is the result of failing to apply that lesson.
And this is what is happening on this forum. A member has requested Apollos to remove another member, see post 1, here
. At Jhn 15:11-13 Jesus said to his disciples: These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and you made be made full. This is my commandment that you love one another just as I have loved you. No man has greater love than this than that someone should surrender his life for another
. Note, he doesn't say, No one has greater love than that he should kill another to save his friends
. They had heard, but the traumatic events of that night appear to have wiped all he had said from their minds. After Jesus was raised, Peter asked him whether he was restoring the kingdom at that time. And he had said to them. It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times and seasons, which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction, but you will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem ... and the most distant part of the earth
, (Acts 1:6,7,8). Shortly thereafter Peter misused that empowering spirit and killed Ananias and Sapphira, all that Jesus had taught him seems to have been forgotten. What effect did this have on the congregation? It says, through the hands of the apostles many signs and portents continued to occur among the people, but none of those that heard and witnessed these things had the courage to join themselves to them
, (Acts 5:1-12). Peter had managed to stop the disciple-making work in its tracks. Later, when he recalled what Jesus had told him, as recorded at Mt 18: 12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 21,22, he would have realized that rather than being able to rejoice at finding the sheep that had strayed, he had killed it.
The kingdom has not been restored to Israel yet, and human efforts to restore it have caused brothers to hate and betray one another, with one poster here on this forum demanding Apollos play the role of the governing body and kill a brother. Remember Jesus ate and drank with people of the nations and tax collectors, (Mt 9:11; 18:17). Apollos is not the governing body, nor does he want to play that role. Each member must carry their own load
and has the responsibility to hear the words of Jesus and apply them.
We still have the commission to make disciples of peoples of all the nations, teaching them things
that Jesus had taught( Mt 28:20. Are we doing that or are we only giving it lip service? What do we do if someone cuts us to the quick - hurts our feelings?
Jesus's instruction is crystal clear. We ask the Father to forgive us our debt as we forgive the debt of others. So the onus is on each of us to forgive. He expanded on this when Peter asked him, “Lord how many times is my brother to sin against me and am I to forgive him? Up to seven times?”
. But Jesus told him seventy times, (Mt 18:1, 15-17,21,22). And drove the point home with the illustration recorded at Mt 18: 23-35. Self-righteousness is not a godly quality. Jesus condemned it in the Pharisees and Scribes, posing the question, “Serpents offspring of vipers how are you to escape the judgment of Gehenna?"
What he meant by that is that the law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth ... the measure for measure
is always at work, (Mt 5:38; 7:1,2). He was telling them that unless they changed and stopped finding fault, as they did, they would receive the same judgement that they meted out to others. And this principle holds true for each one of us here on this forum.
But how does one shut up, and leave the judging to God? It isn't easy, not easy at all, I always remember a brother pointing an accusing finger at the audience and asking,
'When you do this what do you see?'
How many fingers are pointing back at you?
I have never forgotten that valuable lesson. But shutting up is only the first step. The next step is forgiving the other person from the heart. Polite pretentious nothings i.e. so sorry but; with all due respect, but. Doesn't cut it. Forgiving from the heart means just that. And that's the hard part. We may just put off thinking about it and avoid speaking to that person, but that doesn't solve the problem. The three fingers pointing back at us tell us to apply that of which we accused the other person to ourselves. Is that why we were so sensitive about the issue? Nine out of ten times we will find that is the case. If what they had said had been total nonsense, it would have been like water off a duck's back.
We cannot change the other person, the only one we can change is ourselves and this is difficult enough. We can change the way we react to them. Self-change is an ongoing process, but when that little light bulb lights up in our hearts and we are able to see the situation from the offender's perspective all the stored-up grudges fall away. Jesus described it this way ... Hypocrite! First, extract the rafter from your own eye and then you will see clearly how to extract the straw from your brother's eye.
But some people will never change, they have no desire to change. Jehovah felt regrets that he had made men on the earth and he felt hurt in his heart, (Gen 6:5,6). Our situation today is similar and the way things turn out will be the same as it was at the time of the flood, except today we have the teaching of Jesus which, if applied, helps us to become perfect/complete even as our heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:43,44,45,46,47, 48). So there will be a great crowd of survivors who have washed their robes white in the blood of the lamb, i.e. they have heard what Jesus taught and are applying it, (Rev 7:14).
This is the lesson that all including us here on this forum have yet to learn and master.
At Rev13:9,10 Jesus says, If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go off to captivity into captivity he goes. If anyone by the sword is to be killed, it is necessary [for him] by the sword to be killed. Here is where is means endurance for the holy/set apart ones
. Note, this is different from how it has been rendered in the NWT. Here other translations give a more accurate picture. See Rev 13:10, here
. So the set-apart ones may also be imprisoned or killed. Jesus had earlier warned his disciples
, then many will be stumbled and betray one another and will hate one another
. If we are a disciple of Jesus then that includes us. And many prophets will arise and mislead many
. Are we in the habit of pointing an accusing finger at anyone whose views are different from ours and calling them a false prophet? That is what some churches have done and are still doing. Do we do the same? Do we point an accusing finger at the WT Society? If we do, in what way are we different from them? We all make mistakes, but then hopefully correct our view and move on. For large organizational structures that is more difficult, because, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, they have accumulated a host of enemies ready to pounce if they retract. But they have that choice. Some may retract, and as was the case with Nineveh, will not be destroyed, Jon 4:10,11). Others will not and instead browbeat fellow slaves, (Mt 24:48,49,50,51). But Jehovah is their judge, not us,
It helps to remember that just prior to the blowing of the 7th trumpet the sacred secret is revealed to those whom Jesus causes to prophesy for 1260 days to those serving at the altar, (Rev 10:7;11:3,4). If we want to be counted as part of that little band then we are under obligation to love one another as Jesus loved us, (Jhn 15: 12,13), and surrender our life for another. We won't know who is of that little band until Jesus returns, (Mt 25:35,36, 43,44). So we need to learn what it means to love in the way Jesus loved us, Jesus also said: The one having found his soul/life will lose it, and the one having lost his soul/life on my account will find it
. So even if we have what we believe is the unvarnished truth, it doesn't cut it, More, much more is needed, (Mt 10:39).
What is happening here and in the world clearly indicates we are in that time now, where it means endurance for the holy ones
, (Rev13:10). So hang in there, adjust your views and habits wherever and whenever necessary, and look forward to a bright future where all will see clearly
and be able to help one another.