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 sea.

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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 sea.

Today’s title verse, Matthew 18:6, is the LORD’s wisdom in the chapter, in reference to a comment and discussion at the previous post, at the @Message Facebook page. The chapter is given as a further explanation of the most recent post about the many antichrists and false prophets, and their intention in attacking the truth of the word of God. These men are dividers and not unifiers. (Read the comment.) They seek to cause those believing the LORD to become offended, to cast doubt about His presence (with contradictory advice and accusation) – to mislead and keep people in the darkness they and their ilk have created.

Matthew 18 1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,3 And said, Truly I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children [ready to learn as if you know nothing – not at every point looking for reasons to doubt what is being taught], you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receives me.6 But whoso shall offend [skandalizo – trip up – lead into apostasy] 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 sea.7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence comes!8 Wherefore if your hand or your foot offend [skandalizo] you, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.9 And if your eye offend [skandalizo] you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.10 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.12 How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray?13 And if so be that he find it, truly I say unto you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.15 Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother.16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto you as a heathen man and a publican.18 Truly I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.21 Then came Peter to him, and said, LORD, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?22 Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his LORD commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, LORD, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.27 Then the LORD of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him a hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe.29 And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.31 So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their LORD all that was done.32 Then his LORD, after that he had called him, said unto him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired [it of] me:33 Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow-servant, even as I had pity on you?34 And his LORD was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

When the LORD, above, speaks of His seeking the sheep that stray, it is referring us to Ezekiel 34:12, and the chapter which is the LORD, through the son of man, speaking to the shepherds of Israel, who are feeding themselves and not the flock.

As we have previously, many times, discussed, this is ultimately referring us to the controversy God has with His people. It is, who is best suited to rule them, God or man; and this relating to the decision (in the valley of Jehoshaphat) as to whose advice they are going to listen. In this context, and in that of this and previous posts, read the following, viewing it with the eyes of understanding the LORD has given us by His mind now formed in us.

1 Kings 22

16 And the king [Ahab – meaning the brother of the father, which is alluding to Esau, and the name Ahijah] said unto him, How many times shall I adjure you that you tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell you that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?19 And he said, Hear you therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead [the summit of this testimony]? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, You shall persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets, and the LORD has spoken evil concerning you.24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah [who is like Jehovah] on the cheek, and said [mocked – and doubted the LORD’s presence], Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto you?25 And Micaiah said, Behold, you shall see in that day, when you shall go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.26 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son;27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.28 And Micaiah said, If you return at all in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put you on your robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.31 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.32 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out.33 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.34 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn your hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.35 And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.36 And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armor; according unto the word of the LORD which he spoke.39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Ahab’s end came when he made the wrong decision [krisis – the decision that condemns] and followed the advice of the false prophets.

Joel 3

1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.4 Yea, and what have you to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon [the false rock, those who hunt the souls of men], and all the coasts of Palestine [the border of the invaders]? will you render me a recompense? and if you recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head;5 Because you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have you sold unto the Grecians [those wallowing in their own mire], that you might remove them far from their border.7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither you have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head:8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD has spoken it.9 Proclaim you this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all you heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause your mighty ones to come down, O LORD.12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.13 Put you in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.17 So shall you know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed [see 1 Kings 22:38 above]: for the LORD dwells in Zion.

Ezekiel 34

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus says the LORD God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?3 You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill them that are fed: but you feed not the flock.4 The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them.5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;8 As I live, says the LORD God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;9 Therefore, O you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;10 Thus says the LORD God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.11 For thus says the LORD God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, says the LORD God.16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.17 And as for you, O my flock, thus says the LORD God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.18 Seems it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet?19 And as for my flock, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet.20 Therefore thus says the LORD God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.21 Because you have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad;22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, says the LORD God.31 And you my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the LORD God.

2 Thessalonians 2

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,2 That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [a straying into apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;4 Who oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.5 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?6 And now you know what withholds [katecho] that he might be revealed in his time.7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work [as John, in 1 John 2:18 & 19, tells of the many antichrists {the spirit of wickedness in the many false prophets and antichrists} already among us]: only he who now lets [katecho – holds God’s people down] will let, until he be taken out of the way.8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the LORD shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion [see Isaiah 66:4 below], that they should believe a lie:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the LORD, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ [appearing in you].15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.16 Now our LORD Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which has loved us, and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,17 Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.
The delusion the LORD sends these men is the same lying bad advice they endlessly bark and follow, which they choose instead of the sound advice the LORD is sending them.

Isaiah 66

1 Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?2 For all those things has mine hand made, and all those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and tremble at my word.3 He that kills an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offers an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burns incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations.4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.5 Hear the word of the LORD, you that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that renders recompense to his enemies.7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child [I Am].8 Who has heard such a thing? who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? says the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? says your God.10 Rejoice you with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her:11 That you may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that you may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.12 For thus says the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall you suck, you shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.13 As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.14 And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says the LORD.24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Psalms 114

1 When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;2 Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.3 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.4 The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.5 What ailed you, O you sea, that you fled? you Jordan, that you were driven back?6 You mountains, that you skipped like rams; and you little hills, like lambs?7 Tremble, you earth, at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the God of Jacob;8 Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

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