Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. (I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.)

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Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. (I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.)

The above portion outside the parentheses comes in Acts 13:41 and is spoken to those who mistakenly thought they were the true “believers” of the time: those Paul describes in Roman 10:2, who “have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” He says they were going about to justify their own works, and were denying the works of God, which they were unable to recognize because they were without the needed knowledge. Acts 13:41 is a warning to these types, those not believing the truth because their preconceptions blinded them from the gospel and the LORD’s presence, even though a man declared it.
 
As we saw in the prior post, Paul in Roman then goes on to quote Deuteronomy 30 as he describes from where the declaration of the needed knowledge comes. Romans 10 speaks of it as Christ, while Deuteronomy 30 describes it as the word, after it speaks of hearing the voice of the LORD as salvation: the life found in living by its teaching. Paul in Romans describes this last aspect as what produces the necessary confession (declaration) that the LORD has risen from the dead and that you have witnessed it. These words raise us from the dead with Him.
 
Deuteronomy 30
10 If you shall hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn unto the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul.
11 For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14 But the word is very near unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.
15 See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land whither you go to possess it.
 
Romans 10
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what says it? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
10 For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same LORD over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.
 
Paul explicitly defines finding Christ in His word that comes “near” to us in the words of the person the LORD sends, and validates, for this purpose. This is the gospel declared and the knowledge of God given, which then reproduces after His own kind, Jehovah’s Salvation (Jesus) in us and sent into the world with the same mission.
 
This is the declaration Paul is making in Acts 13 to those who had zeal without knowledge, which he says in verse 27 is them not knowing Him, speaking of the LORD when He came near. Paul says, nor did they understand the voice of the prophets, meaning those who described His coming: the same Holy Spirit in them declared it. In verse 32 Paul then says this resurrection of the Jehovah’s Salvation coming near these men is the glad tidings he is declaring unto them, so they would understand it.
 
Acts 13
16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and you that fear God, give audience.
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm brought he them out of it.
18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
23 Of this man’s seed has God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus:
24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think you that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there comes one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fears God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher.
30 But God raised him from the dead:
31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33 God has fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.
34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
35 Wherefore he says also in another psalm, You shall not suffer your Holy One to see corruption.
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
41 Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
 
Friends, as we see above in Paul’s description of John’s baptism, it is a call to repentance, which we know speaks of returning to the place from where God’s people left Him. Leaving Him tells of no longer listening to His guidance, and no longer keeping His commandments with the statutes and judgments. As we see, there is nothing said (in Deuteronomy 30:16) of sacrifice, which we know is referred to by the LORD in Matthew 12:7 when He quotes from Hosea 6:6, saying, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” We know the full verse in Hosea 6 says, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” As we’ve seen in the previous post, Hosea 6 begins with calling all God’s people to return (the baptism of repentance), and speaks of the LORD decisively cutting down those who led them astray. We see this described as hewing (felling) them by the prophets, and by the word of His mouth. This comes after we are told of the third day (the resurrection day – now) when the LORD “will raise us up, and we will live in His sight.” It says it is when the later rain (word coming directly from heaven – rightly divided into pure form) comes and finished the work the former rain began, which is preceded by verse 3 saying, “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD [the knowledge of God]: his going forth is prepared as the morning [as the light {understanding} returning].”
 
These events and the return of the knowledge of God are the LORD responding to what we are told in Hosea 4:6 when He says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” The reason these leaders are hewn down is because the people are still asking for their counsel, and have rejected the LORD’s knowledge. These priests and prophets refused to return and be corrected, and therefore the LORD says this will result in the shame of the unrepentant, which we know means the end they expected and falsely declared does not come. The conclusion is repentance as the only way to see the LORD, by first hearing and understanding His voice. There is salvation in none other!
 
These men offer a defiled sacrifice rather than relying on the LORD’s mercy, His knowledge, and His righteousness (His truth, which comes as His correction).
 
Hosea 4
1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touches blood [what drained the life from some now drains life from all].
3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away [all living].
4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for your people are as they that strive with the priest.
5 Therefore shall you fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall [be hewn down] with you in the night [by their lack of understanding], and I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children [those they have produced after their own kind].
7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame [they will realize the deceptions they glory in have not and will not come – because they are lies these men have created].
8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity [there are no calls to repentance – because the priests and prophets refuse to admit their own sin/errors, which are the sins of the people they have produced after their own kind].
9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD [without knowledge they are unable to hear His voice].
11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart [selling themselves to idols and their stupefying words have also removed their mind’s ability to rightly reason].
12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares unto them: for the spirit of whoredom [idol worship] has caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring [they have sold themselves] from under their God.
13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms [these leaders as the trees that are hewn down], because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that do not understand shall fall [be hewn down].
15 Though you, Israel [God’s people – Christian and Jew, Israel and Judah, Samaria and Jerusalem], play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend [now the leaders of God people]; and come not you unto Gilgal [the words that have agitated the sea – the masses], neither go you up to Bethaven [the house/family of naught], nor swear, The LORD lives [in these places].
16 For Israel slides back as a backsliding heifer [who will not move or return]: now [because of this] the LORD will feed them [with His word, by which man shall lives] as a lamb in a large place [as sheep who have no shepherd and have been scattered].
17 Ephraim is joined to idols [all God’s people in our time]: let him alone.
18 Their drink is sour [their words/ teaching – have spoiled and are undrinkable]: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give you [instead of feeding the flock they call on God’s people to give to them].
19 The wind has bound her up in her wings [the spirit in her has lifted her up and carried her away from God], and they shall be ashamed [disappointed] because of their sacrifices [which are defiled by their idols].
 
When the LORD quotes from Hosea 6:6 in Matthew 12:7 it comes just after these religious leaders accused Him of profaning the temple. The LORD responds by telling them there is one greater than the temple there with them, and then partially quotes Hosea 6:6, “But if you had known what this means, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” The meaning they missed is in what is stated in the other half of the Hosea 6:6 statement: “and the knowledge of God more than burnt offering.”
 
The LORD was telling them they lacked the knowledge they needed to know He is the one greater than the temple, who they profaned and did that which they were accusing Him. Matthew 12 continues in this context and speaks of those who were in need of healing which was disallowed by the religious imposters among them as wolves in sheep’s clothing. The LORD charges those who were healed (made whole) “that they should not make Him known.” Isaiah 42 is then quoted, after saying these things were done to fulfill what it says. What follows are these men again profaning Him, now vilifying Him calling the Spirit in Him the devil, which is addressed by telling of this as the unforgivable sin.
 
(FYI: when I posted the truth that the rapture is a lie, the response from those who follow the men who teach and preach these ideas/idol, was to say I am from the devil, doing his work. They are ignorant of the fact Peter speaks of in 2 Peter 2, saying, “1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [from their own imaginations] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the LORD [when He comes with the truth to correct the heresies they false prophets have wrought] that bought them [paid the price to bring them out of this corruption], and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness [because they love to say, “Give you”] shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.” And Hebrews 10, saying “26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who have trodden under foot the Son of God, and have counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that has said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, says the LORD. And again, The LORD shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.)
 
Take heed!
 
Matthew 12
1 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, your disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have you not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is LORD even of the Sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.
13 Then said he to the man, Stretch forth your hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
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 against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided 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 [contrasting the work of the devil and the work of the Holy Spirit and why He leads us into all truth – to gather us together in agreement with and to the LORD].
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, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself [these men and their corrupted ideas and teaching], 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.
 
Gathering us to the LORD is the plan of God and the Work of His Holy Spirit. I am the one He has made Author and Finisher of our faith, and sent to lead this gathering. Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifies [leads us into purification – holiness] and they who are sanctified [purified and made holy] are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare your name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto you. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God has given me.
 
Isaiah 42
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 has 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 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; 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 observe 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 [those wrestling with God’s presence unaware] for a spoil, and Israel [Christians and Jews] 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.
 
Psalms 120
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 [in the midst of the enemy sown among us, who the LORD has drawn into the light], that I dwell in the tents of Kedar [darkness]!
6 My soul has long dwelt with him that hates peace.
7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.
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