The above is Luke 12:51, and is the LORD telling of His and our baptism by holy fire, and that it is not meant to unify the world, but rather to separate His people from it. The word “division” is from the Greek word diamerismos, which is only used this one time; compounded from the words dia, meaning the channel through which it comes; and the word merizo, meaning to apportion, bestow, share, or figuratively to disunite, or differ. It means to make/show a difference.
The LORD is speaking of what is written in Isaiah 28:15 and its greater context.
15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
What we see is the LORD separating us from the covenant with death, made by those teaching God’s people lies and under falsehood hiding. As we have seen in many previous studies, this covenant with death is the confederacy and association spoken of in Isaiah 8, when God’s people refused the waters of Shiloah, meaning the advice of God that flows from His throne. They instead chose to listen to wizards (self-anointed “experts”) that peep and mutter, and became a people who looked to the dead (dead wood and dumb stones) for the ways of life, which they could never bring. We are told of this causing darkness, which we know is understanding replaced by confusion, and also resulting in a hungering for God’s word. The word comes as God speaks through Isaiah (Jah has opened/saved) as Immanuel, God with us, and in Isaiah 9 we are told it lights upon His elect, again bringing light/understanding. These are the same people who Isaiah speaks of in Isaiah 8:18 saying, “I and the children whom LORD has given me are for signs and wonders.” They are the same children he earlier calls his disciples, to who he has bound the testimony, and sealed with the law.
9 Associate yourselves, O you people, and you shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all you of far countries: gird yourselves, and you shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and you shall be broken in pieces.
10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
12 Say you not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear you their fear, nor be afraid.
13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion.
19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? [Should they be looking] for the living to the dead?
20 [Or]To the law and to the testimony [?]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light [understanding] in them.
21 And they [those who chose to remain in darkness] shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.
22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish [without joy]; and they shall be driven to darkness.
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light [understanding]: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.
3 You [the LORD] have multiplied [from where the elect are divided] the nation, and not increased the [their] joy: they [the elect who understand] joy before you according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For you have broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of [the increasing of] Midian [and their end at the rock of Oreb, when he removed the head of those who impoverished His people – see Judges 6:6 & 7:25].
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
We see the above ending telling of the fire the LORD speaks of in the verses before the title, the battle to enlighten His people by the flame, which Isaiah then goes on to say is the birth of the child, again referring back to Immanuel and His children, God with us and in us.
49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
51 Suppose you that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
54 And he said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway you say, There comes a shower; and so it is.
55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be heat; and it comes to pass.
56 You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time?
57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge you not what is right?
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
8 The LORD sent a word into Jacob, and it has lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim [God’s people in this generation] and the inhabitant of Samaria [those worshiping idols set in God’s place], that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones [saying, we know the house is a shamble compared to its former state, so we will rebuild by the same works of our hands which destroyed it]: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
11 Therefore the LORD shall [has] set up the adversaries of Rezin [the demagogues] against him, and join his enemies together;
12 The Syrians [the cultural icons – the self-exalted “experts”] before, and the Philistines [and those wallowing in their own mire] behind; and they shall devour [have devoured] Israel with open mouth [by their words of advice]. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
13 For the people turn not unto him that smites them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
15 The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the LORD shall have no joy [see Isaiah 9:3 above] in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
18 For wickedness [those who vilify truth and this work of God] burns as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
19 Through the wrath [this truth] of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened [is the darkness understood], and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.
20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:
21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
The chapter ends describing the same division the LORD speaks of in Luke 12:51 thru 53, where verse 53 He is quoting from Micah 7:6, a chapter, where in verse 5 are mentioned the same briers and thorns. Isaiah 9:17 tells us these are the leaders of the people causing them to err, and says those led by them are destroyed. In Micah 7:5 they are also spoken of as corrupt princes and judges, the great (famous) men of our time, who are uttering (peeping and muttering) their mischievous desires, meaning words intended to manipulated and extort.
These ideas all converge into one, which is judgment, more specifically of leadership lacking good and right judgment. The fire is the judgment, the trial that separates the impurities from that possessing true value. It is to separate God’s people from the world, through purification, to unify them under one incorruptible and immortal head, as one body bearing the image and likeness of their creator.
1 Corinthians 3
8 Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
9 For we are laborers together with God: you are God’s husbandry, you are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day [the light of understanding] shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
20 And again, The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
1 Peter 1
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification [purification] of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ [again, see Hebrews 12:24 thru 29, from the chapter that tells us the purification comes by the Father’s correction] Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
17 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18 Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away:
25 But the word of the LORD endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
As Peter in verse 7 above tells us that this trial (by fire) doesn’t pertain to earthly valuables, likewise does the LORD in Luke 12 tell us of the division (diamerismos) by fire. The word merizo is used earlier in Luke 12:13 as the LORD is asked to get involves dividing an inheritance. He responded saying, “Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?”
The word merizo appears three times in Matthew, all in chapter 12 where we are told it is Satan’s kingdom and house that are divided against themselves, and therefore will not stand. The LORD goes on to conclude the thought by saying in verse 30, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.” This is the work the Father has sent me for, the work of the Holy Spirit these unreasonable (atopos) and wicked men stand against.
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided [merizo] against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided [merizo] against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided [merizo] against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44 Then he says, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goes he [to these wicked men], and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, your mother and your brethren stand without, desiring to speak with you.
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
(Friends, the etymology of the word America seem to be a form of the word merizo, meaning divided, preceded but the letter a, which we know reverses the meaning. We thereby see a meaning of America describing an indivisible nation – the kingdom and house of God.)
As we know, Matthew 12:18 thru 21 quotes from Isaiah 42, which ends speaking of the same battle and fire mentioned above in Isaiah 9:5. It says, “Therefore he [the LORD] has poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle [this word]: and it has set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.”
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus says God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar [darkness] does inhabit: let the inhabitants of the Rock [those who trust in Christ] sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar [Do you hear Him yet?]; he shall prevail against his enemies.
14 I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, You are our gods.
18 Hear, you deaf; and look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you observes not; opening the ears, but he hears not.
21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.
22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivers; for a spoil, and none says, Restore.
23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
25 Therefore he has poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it has set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
1 In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.
2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given unto you? or what shall be done unto you, you false tongue?
4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech [among those who draw out the inevitable end], that I dwell in the tents of Kedar [darkness – the shadow of death]!
6 My soul has long dwelt with him that hate peace.
7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.