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"Be Angry and Sin Not!"

Part One


By Gerry Phillips

A Sampler of excerpts from the book


The Text

"...be ye angry, and sin not:

let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Neither give place to the devil...." 

Ephesians 4:26-27.


The Popular View

There are about as many views on this passage as there are commentators. I stay amazed and amused at some of the absurd ideas concocted about what Paul meant in Ephesians 4:26-27, (the instant passage). Keep in mind throughout this study, Paul is addressing mature believers here.

The popular view and most common interpretation of the instant passage, and the one I've heard since I was a small boy, can be distilled down to simply: "...it's OK to get angry at someone, just don't let it go past dark, just don't go to bed mad...."



Now that may sound good philosophically; and the latter part of it may even be good advice. But we are warned and commanded to “...beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit....” Colossians 2:8. Considering these are the "Last Days", one need only look around and see all the deception; much of it coming from slick talkers using words as smooth as honey. A diligent review of scripture properly translated would show that it is unlikely the popular view is what the writer meant. One really shouldn't even need biblical language skills. Reading the instant passage in a correct English translation would show the popular view cannot be correct. You would just need to know how to read analytically, and apply a little logical reasoning. While I believe The Wuest Expanded Translation is the most reliable, I've never found a perfectly correct English translation....



I have actually read some of the most unbelievable commentaries on these passages by scholars, educated men of God (affectionately referenced hereafter as academic "knuckle-heads"). That is in no way meant to disparage them or their credentials. Some of these are men have devoted their entire lives to the study of God's word. I deeply respect them for that. Actually, I've sort of done that too; and not a little! So I've earned the right to offer my commentary as well....









A Word about Academic Scholarship

Those who know me with any intimacy are aware of my love of academic scholarship. However, scholarship alone is insufficient. We can never allow scholarship to come at the expense of Holy Spirit illumination. Such illumination can only come from an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Both scholarship and illumination are essential to understanding the more difficult biblical concepts. 

The instant passage could serve as “Exhibit Ain making that case that we desperately need scholarship to understand scripture, and that scholarship alone is not enough; scholarship must be coupled with Holy Spirit illumination! 

Since we really don't have a reliably correct translation available for the instant passage, understanding of biblical language becomes an essential element to the scholarship side of the equation.

At the risk of sounding ignorant, I will say the following. Many good scholars believe the days of miracles have passed. I grew up hearing the old time Pentecostals shout in anointed testimony things like “...it's too late to tell me God doesn't heal, work miracles, deliver from devils....” Well that is true. But many scholars refuse to acknowledge the truth, and attribute the supernatural to “beelzebub”. That is a deadly game to willfully play. My point in all this is to say, it is not arrogant for me to say that these men are wrong about that. Since I was four years old I have witnessed the miraculous in the Pentecostal churches during The Great Healing Revival. I was there, I saw it with my own eyes, what happened there is not theory with me. My spiritual father in the faith William Branham, clinched that nail of the miraculous once and for all for me. So why is it inconceivable that these men might be wrong about the instant passage?

Let me say again, these men are good decent people, many of whom have devoted their entire lives to the study and teaching of God's word. That is a most honorable endeavor. However, without Holy Spirit illumination, one runs the risk of coming up with conclusions like the Popular View. We intend to prove that the Popular View is flat wrong!









Wholesale Last Days Error

The error in the instant passage is not isolated. I have heard atrocious interpolations like the “Be Angry and Sin Not” error from the instant passage; and then their contradictory interpolation of “Make no Friendship with an Angry Man” error from Proverbs 22:24.



Renowned Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest correctly translated the first half of the instant passage as “…be constantly angry….” So, the knuckleheads are teaching to be constantly angry, yet make no friendship with an angry man? I mean give me a break; they can't have it both ways! Talking about an opportunity for licensed strife! No wonder unbelievers think the bible is filled with contradictions! The knuckleheads provided the rope for the textual hanging!



But consider these other errors and misapplications:

  • the “Impossible to Renew Them” error from Hebrews 6:4-6;

  • the “Forsaking the Assembly” error from Hebrews 10:25;

  • the “Sin Willfully” error from Hebrews 10:26;

  • the “Great Falling Away” error from 2 Thessalonians 2:3;

  • Paul's “Thorn in the Flesh” from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10;

  • the “Taking the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain” error from the second of third of the Ten Commandments (depending on which manuscript you read);

  • the countless other misinterpretations and misapplications of foundational scriptures;

  • the little cherry on the top of this heretical parfait is the “Let Him Not Eat” error from 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15.



Again, these passages are not merely addressing incidental doctrines, but they are related to foundational truths! “Error” is bad enough, but “Heresy” is worse. I'm anyone’s judge, but I am called to be a Watchman on the Wall!



I mean give me a break, they can't have it both ways! Then there's the “Impossible to Renew Them” error from Hebrews 6:4-6; the “Forsaking the Assembly” error from Hebrews 10:25; the “Sin Willfully” error from Hebrews 10:26; the “Great Falling Awayerror from 2 Thessalonians 2:3; Paul's “Thorn in the Flesh” from 2 Corinthians 12; and the “Taking the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain” error from the second of third of the Ten Commandments (depending on which manuscript you read); plus countless other misinterpretations and misapplications of foundational scriptures. But the cherry on the top of this little heretical parfait is the “Let Him Not Eat” error from 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15.







Again, these passages are not incidental doctrines, but are related to foundational truths! “Error” is one thing, but “Heresy” is quite another. If being wrong about these passages doesn't matter to you, your very eternal future may be in jeopardy. I'm not the judge, but I am called to be a Watchman on the Wall!







This passage from 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15, does not mean anything close to what it is being heralded by Republican elected officials, conservative talk, and Christian leaders across our nation. On judgment day, their ignorance of the true meaning of “Let Him Not Eat” will not be an excuse. After all, ignorance of the gospel message will be no excuse to those who never accepted Jesus Christ as savior.

The popular view of Let Him Not Eat butts up against everything that Moses taught, the prophets taught, Jesus taught, and His Apostles taught about helping the poor and disadvantaged. That would mean that believers would be commanded to not let the likes of Jesus or His disciples eat! It butts up against nearly 300 passages of scripture regarding how we treat the poor and needy.

The same Apostle Paul commanded the Romans to “...feed your enemies....” Yet he's going to tell the Thessalonians regarding a brother to “...let him not eat....”; and then five verses later command them to “...count him not as an enemy...but...as a brother....” What? Do they think this is some cruel joke? Paul says to one group feed the enemy, and the other group starve the brother? These leaders will pay dearly in the day of judgment! That is Thus Saith the Lord!





By all appearance, Let Him Not Eat has become the conservative mantra. When it comes time to vote on any genre of government assistance for the poor and needy, the mantra kicks in. I have heard it declared many times on television by members of Congress who claim to represent our Lord Jesus Christ! At least once, I heard it declared on the floor of the House of Representatives.

There is an horrible spirit behind it that has actually caused a movement to develop. It has become one of the most popularly “abused passages” among those who confess they love the Lord Jesus Christ with their lips, yet the way they treat the poor and needy, they show that their hearts are far from it. I believe it is the deadliest heresy in the church today, and potentially lethal for our nation's existence. It is far more dangerous to our nation than abortion, homosexuality, or any of the national security threats we currently face. If not corrected, it is certain lead us to divine destruction.

A few years ago, I heard a pastor say, “...the Lord will deal with the church, the same way the church deals with the poor....” I wish I had been the one to come up with that phrase. I believe it is prophetically true!





We are nearly finished with the research for the book we are writing on this very subject. We intend to prove the popular view of 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 is wrong, heretically wrong! We intend to show what the true and correct meaning is. Please pray that we can get this completed, and find a way to get it into the public stream, ASAP!





Again, let me be clear on what I am saying here; regardless of the level of academic scholarship, without Holy Spirit illumination error is likely to occur; as well as an unacceptable high-risk of heresy.

We are actually writing books on these, and other heresies.

But I digress....







Many argue that all we need is the Holy Spirit to understand God's word. Then why did the Apostle Paul (a scholar who came behind in no spiritual gift); why would he command us, not ask us, but command with apostolic authority, to study in order that we might show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that need not feel ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth? That commandment is chock full of meaning! Why would Paul do that, if it was as easy as closing our eyes, praying, and then just imagine the meaning of the instant passage?

After all, Paul received the gospel revelation of all his teachings directly from Jesus Christ Himself; he did not receive it from any man. Why didn't Paul direct us to follow his example?

We don't have time or space to waste explaining all that here. We'll just say, Paul was uniquely called from his mother's womb, raised as a scholar from his youth, was a virgin, and a host of other peculiarities unique to Paul. His life was predestined. Paul had the foundation of a lifetime of scholarship upon which Jesus built the doctrine to the gentiles. We're not Paul!





So it is arrogant for anyone to infer that they are so spiritual that all they need is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to know the meaning of those deep truths of scripture. If that were so, why would we need the gift of Pastor-Teacher? Why the commandment to study? When we find another Apostle Paul, I'll accept the argument. Until then, it's just arrogant talk to me!





I've heard some treat scholarship as if it were “carnality”, and worse. Yet these same people will dig through the dictionary in the back of their Strong's Concordance, searching for that elusive nugget to enhance their teaching (nothing wrong with doing that). When delivering their sermons, suddenly their countenance begins to glow, their breasts swell, and as their voice rises they say, “...in the Greek this word means....” and then they pause as if they're basking in a SELAH moment.







Then at other times in the same sermon, they might launch into a rant and disparage scholarship. I've actually heard some pastors praise people for their inability to correctly pronounce the Greek words they quote; as if ignorance is to be worn as some “badge of honor”. Then why do they cite what they believe are Greek word meanings? It seems hypocritical to try to have it both ways.



Let me say here that I do not discourage ANYONE from using their Strong's, or any other resource to search the scriptures. Nor do I disparage anyone who cannot use the accepted standard pronunciation of Greek and Hebrew words. I encourage everyone to excel in the study of the word. What I condemn is the hypocrisy and jealousy that I have witnessed in some, that makes them publicly criticize the exegetical skills they secretly envy, and attempt to feign from their own pulpits.





Well I've had over 62-years of the so-called “Pentecostal Experience”. I have never known, or known of ANYONE who could properly interpret the difficult passages by supernatural means alone. William Branham stands head and shoulders above EVERYONE moving in the supernatural, whether in the Pentecostal or Charismatic circles. Not since the 1st century has anyone come close to what God did through Brother Branham. I know absolutely that he confirmed his supernatural revelations by means of those around him with academic scholarship credentials.





I would agree that our intimate Holy Spirit relationship takes priority over academic scholarship. But they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they not only compliment one another and co-exist in every true believer's life; they are both required for obedience. One cannot obey the commandment to “...study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth....”; without also progressing toward academic scholarship.







How often I've heard ignorant statements inferring that scholarship will kill your anointing. One of the most common theories among early Pentecostals was that using sermon notes will drive away the anointing.



Well, academic scholarship didn't hurt Jesus' anointing. Back in the early 1980s, I taught a series on Jesus' life and ministry, and His experiences in 1st century Israel. I had to face truths I had never considered about Him before. One is that Jesus was a scholar. His scholarship did not hurt His anointing!





Academic scholarship didn't hurt Paul's anointing either. Paul's level of scholarship is undeniable, as he made that very public. He wrote the majority of the New Testament doctrine; and other Apostle's confirmed his Apostleship. Yet no other 1st century figure equals Paul's supernatural exploits. Also, Paul did not receive his revelation of his message from man; he got it straight from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! However, Paul had an elaborate scholarly Old Testament foundation upon which Jesus Christ built that revelation.





So, academic scholarship did not hurt the anointing of Jesus, nor of Paul. Nor did it diminish the anointing of others on this side of the reformation. Look at Edwards, Finney, Wesley, Spurgeon, Moody, Lake, Prince, and Carrin, just to name a very few of that innumerable lot. These are ALL men who walked (and thankfully Carrin still walks) with God, in an extraordinary demonstration of spirit and power. They are all known for their supernatural exploits, yet also for the value they placed on scholarship. I might also add that while most agree that Brother Branham was poorly educated, and he was quite vocal in his opposition to education to the exclusion of supernatural experience; he respected “true biblical scholarship” as a gift from God. He was surrounded by men with scholarly credentials. His view on academic scholarship never hurt his anointing.





Think about it, if it hadn't been for scholars, we would have no English translations. In fact, if it hadn't been for one scholar (Paul), we would have very little New Testament doctrine.





As I have taught for several decades, “...the only people I've ever heard disparage speaking in tongues, are those who never legitimately spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance; the only people I've heard disparage the demonstration of spirit and power, are those who have no demonstration of the Holy Spirit, and no power; and the only people I've ever heard disparage scholarship, are those who have no scholarship skills or abilities....”





Academic Scholarship” should not be “bad words”, just like “Spirit Filled” should not be “bad words”; at least not among true believers....











Regarding the use of biblical language: we realize that some people find technical detail like Greek grammar, profoundly boring. So we will use it sparingly to avoid any outbreak of "quantum boredom".

However, we are making extraordinary claims here; so it is incumbent upon us to prove them. When we do use biblical language, we will try to present it in layman terms, and illustrate why it is important in that particular context.

So if at any time you feel “bogged down”, move on to the next paragraph. However, we believe those who read all of it through, will be glad they did so.

The following grammar issues are matters of fact; most are undisputed fact. As stated, we will avoid delving too deeply into Greek grammar, to prevent any outbreak of "quantum boredom".

We will use what is necessary to prove our case, and to silence any reasonable critics. Unreasonable critics cannot be silenced, so we will just ignore them....





So briefly, here the Apostle Paul uses four imperative mood verbs. As we will explain later, what that means is these are “direct orders”; with apostolic authority attached! These orders are not optional, we are commanded to do these things, forthwith! When we get to the corrected translation, these commands should become clear, as well as the meaning of the passage....



The knuckle-heads point out that Paul uses the “permissive imperative” in the first verb, “be angry”. They say that means Paul was permitting anger temporarily, assuming that “everyone does it” anyway; and therefore “conceding to human nature”. We will address each of these assertions one by one....



One fact goes undisputed; Paul is “commanding us to be angry” with a continuous anger.

Renowned Greek scholar, the late Professor Kenneth Wuest translated this passage in his Expanded Translation; “...be constantly angry....”

But, at what are we commanded to be angry, or at whom, and when?

And for how long, did he say?....









An apostolic amnesty program?

As stated, some scholars claim that in this passage Paul was merely “concedingto our human nature. In other words, Paul was acknowledging that since “everybody does it” (everyone gets angry), he simply provided us this proverbial "trap door", or "escape hatch". I call it an “apostolic amnesty program”; like “a dump before dark” option....

I challenge the knuckle-heads to take these same principles, and apply them to Christians practicing “illegal drug use”; and apply them in the same way they apply them to “being angry”. That would say to the “Christian drug abuser” in effect, “enjoy it all day long, but dump it before sundown”.

Even more effective; why not test these same principles substituting“Adultery” for “Anger”. See how that works out. Does “accommodation to sin” sound like Paul's Modus Operandi?....



I will refrain from writing “literally” what I think of these conclusions. I'll just use Paul's Greek word of choice to describe such, “SKUBALA!....





Sometimes I wonder, did the knuckle-heads think before they wrote these things? I honestly don't mean to be unkind. These are good men, and they are brethren. But this is the word of God; His holy word! It is to be reverenced, protected, and defended! So I can't help wondering, where is the logical reasoning in their application of this passage? These are exceptionally intelligent men....







Think about what they are saying. They are actually saying that Paul commanded us to “be angry”; yet calling the “anger” sin; yet still permitting the “anger” to fester for possibly 12-hours or more; yet warning that the “anger” is so toxic that it cannot be allowed to go beyond bedtime; and if we do so, we will be giving “diabolos” a perpetual place in our household....





The knuckle-heads' reasoning is all over the map! It's like listening to a liberal defend a political position. Do they think Paul was a liberal? This sure sounds like a liberal perspective....





Further, it would be out of character for Paul (the meticulous scholar), to write such a convoluted confusing conflicting contradictory directive; and then compound the confusion with failing to stress the importance of restoring the breach, such as: repentance; confessing their transgression to the target of their anger; asking the target for forgiveness, and for their prayer for restoration....





So again, was this some “apostolic amnesty program”; an “everybody does it” sort of “free zone” to let it all out? Either way, why would Paul omit something as important as the steps to restoration of fellowship? Repentance and confession are conspicuously absent from this text. Would a scholar of Paul’s caliber carelessly omit such an important protocol?....







When we sin, that causes a breach of fellowship with those of whom we’ve transgressed against; whether it be God, or brethren, or both. There is only one scriptural protocol for restoring that broken fellowship. To that end, there is no short-cut....





According to the knuckle-head theory, Paul stated clearly in his warnings; that anger was in fact a sin, that it was too toxic to allow to proceed past sunset, and to do so was tantamount to giving the devil a key to your front door. So how can they conclude that Paul was permitting anger, temporary or otherwise? “Anger” unchecked, can morph into something so dangerous, so unpredictable, something that behaves very much like a “radioactive” material!....







Everybody does it!

Anyway, back to addressing the knuckle-heads and their interpolations. As previously asked, how far are they willing to take this insane rationale? Adultery? Lying? Stealing? Idolatry? After all, these days one might correctly say, "everybody does it" to these transgressions, at least on some level. As asked, would the knuckle-heads apply their same "everybody does it" rationale to, let's say, “adultery”; as they did with “be angry”?....





Since when did the phrase "everybody does it" become American Christianity's moral benchmark?....



Well, congratulations to all who embrace such rationale. That's exactly the reasoning the liberals use to justify giving condoms to pre-teen school kids. They say, "...look, everybody does it, and they're all gonna keep doing it; so we might as well be preventing STD infections and teen pregnancy...." So if you're going accept any of the former rationale, how can you possibly argue against the latter?....







Am I the only one who sees the absurdity

in this kind of thinking?

Dear reader, never allow ignorant under-qualified brain-washed “in vitro” bible scholars, to use human frailty to justify compromising the truth of God's holy word! Remember, God's word is holy; it encompasses the commandments and directives of our heavenly Father, the Creator of the universe; and the words and teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We should handle His holy word with the appropriate reverence and due respect....





Again, the popular view and most common interpretation/application of Ephesians 4:26 is simply: "...it's OK to get angry at someone, just don't let it go past dark, just don't go to bed mad...."

The evidence will show that what we have here are three orders of prohibition; which boils down to simply, “start one”, “stop three”; forthwith!....





True Scholars Recognize the Difficulties

At first blush, the instant passage looks pretty straight forward and clear. But what is lurking just below the surface is not as clear. In fact it has baffled some scholars; and at least challenged others, not the least of which was A.T. Robertson (Robertson). In my opinion, he was the grand-daddy of New Testament Greek scholarship in 20th century America; and I guess Deissman would be the great-grand-daddy. Robertson set the standard for modern study of Koine Greek, as we know it today. Men like Wuest and many others picked up the torch. Robertson remains a hero in my world....

Back in the early 1980s, as a New Year's Resolution I began reading Robertson's big 1528 page Greek grammar as my daily devotional. Boy that was a bear! Any Greek student, 2nd year or beyond, knows what I mean by that. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE exhaustive study of God's word in multi-hour long stretches. My wife can attest that I can get so lost in study that I forget to eat; and that's not hyperbole. But I lasted less than a month using my Robertson Grammar as a devotional. It proved to be too much for me as a devotional resource! When it stopped being a time of devotion and reflection, I prayerfully changed my course to reading the Bible again. Consequently, I don't believe I've ever made a New Year's Resolution since....





 

...I have found no better or more thorough grammar reference on Koine Greek than Robertson's. I cherish my Robertson's Grammar, and my 10-volume set of Kittle. They transformed my understanding of scripture....








A.T. Robertson's Comments

Robertson acknowledged in one of his works the difficulties of this passage. In fact, I've heard many respected scholars express their belief that this passage is so complicated that no one can prove its meaning, with absolute certainty. As cited by Robertson, the first of the four imperative mood verbs here is in the “permissive imperative”....







Generally speaking, in ancient Greek writings, the imperative mood verb is typical found in royal edicts, letters from superiors to inferiors such as a master to his servant, a military commander to those under his command, etc. When used among equals, the context usually expresses urgency. That is consistent with how the imperative is used the scriptures as well....



Rest assured as we will see, all this stuff means something important....





So, we have in the instant passage a direct order, in effect a sort of four paragraph order if you will; and each of the four elements are individual commands. Paul is writing this order with apostolic authority, which is as if Jesus Christ Himself had issued the order. That raises this entire order to the highest priority level; and no part of it is optional!....







Then one might ask, what is this “permissive imperative” thing? Is Paul now confusing us with an oxymoron? Was it like "the best of times and the worst of times?" Was the Apostle saying, "I permit you and I command you at the same time?" Well, not exactly....

In dealing with NT Greek grammar, sometimes it feels like there are rules flying at you from every direction. As stated, we have four imperative mood verbs, and an almost endless list of rules of grammar, contextual and logical considerations. There's the rule of two imperatives connected by “kai”, the rule of “kai” preceding “me”, the rule of “me” preceding an imperative mood verb, issues of “voice”, and other factors to consider. Suffice to say, there are a ton of elements to consider. If you're really searching for the truth, then to be accurate every detail must be considered. As stated, nothing here is unimportant....







...for the purpose of this study, we would like to temporarily put the grammar stuff on the proverbial back-burner (sort of), and focus a while on context and logic; but before we do, a couple of exceptions....







Wait! What about this “permissive imperative” stuff?

Before we abandon the grammar stuff, I want to show one example of how the “permissive imperative” can be used, to obviate any confusion. One of the best examples that should be familiar to all, is found in Matthew 8:....







What is the Urgency?

How can anyone accept that permitting unmitigated unqualified anger, even if for daytime hours only? That would be antagonistic to what Jesus and the Apostles taught? If anger toward a brother is too toxic for night-time hours, it's too toxic for any time hours....





The passion of

wrongful anger”



is a

"toxic emotion"



that thrives in a medium of

"unforgiveness"





The following is another important reference to Jesus' teaching. In fact, it is a continuation of Jesus' theme on context of the Matthew 5:22 reference we've already touched on. We could fill a volume just on what Jesus taught in this section of The Sermon, about this particular subject. But we will keep it contained to Matthew 5:21-30. This one theme is important to understanding the instant passage, so we will touch on it. I wish I could take the time to exposit all of it. But such a tangent is like a dirt road, that could easily lead us to a point so remote from the instant passage, that one might never find their way back. But I must address a few relative points.





The following is a snapshot of Jesus' teaching on 

Anger, Forgiveness and Reconciliation

from Matthew 5:21-30:



"...But I say unto you,

That whosever is angry with his brother without a cause

shall be in danger of the judgment...."

Matthew 5:22



Could Jesus have made this any clearer? As stated, back in the early 1980s, I taught a series on Jesus' life and ministry, and His interaction in 1st century Jewish society. I was struck by richness of His teachings, and His embrace of rabbinic teaching methodology. But after more than a decade in the legal field, I have a greater perspective on the legal aspects of what Jesus taught. In fact, I was amazed to learn how many idioms, and other 1st century legal terms of art were used in writing the New Testament.

Revisiting Matthew 5:22, I am reminded of how Jesus elevated the above referenced offenses. Based on His description of them, each of the three constitute what is the equivalent of a felony status offense in our American Law. Each offense is equally serious, yet each ascends in enhanced punishment. We can find similar examples in our own justice system; for instance:

I realize the following is a gruesome illustration, but no more so than Jesus describes in Matthew 5:29-30; 18:6, 8-9.

Consider the following two hypothetical scenarios. Our justice system tries two defendants, each separate cases, each charged with First Degree Murder; or as the television crime shows say to dazzle their audience, “Murder 1”. Consider the facts of the case:

Defendant 1, with premeditation hunted down and found Victim 1, pulled out his 44-magnum revolver, and then shot and killed him.

Defendant 2, with premeditation, stalked, apprehended, and overwhelmed Victim 2, and then pulled out a large knife, and then while he was still conscious beheaded him; and then dismembered the corps, and disposed of the remains in dumpster behind the restaurant where he worked.

Both defendants are charged with Murder 1, both committed heinous acts, both did so with premeditation, and both offenses resulted in the death of their victims. So each case has premeditation, a heinous act, and the same result. But is there anyone who cannot see that Defendant 2's acts were so much more egregious? Yet that in no way mitigates the acts of Defendant 1.

The writer apologizes for that illustration being a bit hyperbolic. But as shocking as they may be, and though they may not be exactly typical, they are based on today's criminal justice reality. Our law enforcement are forced to deal with these kinds of offenses with an unacceptable frequency.

Likewise, the three offenses Jesus described in verse 22, are all equal in categorical status. But in God's eyes, each offense is more egregious than the preceding one.

Oh that the Holy Spirit would open the blossom to these truths. Then we might see the importance of what Jesus was teaching; especially looking through the lens of today's society....







In the older manuscripts, the phrase "without cause" is omitted. That only broadens the offense to include ANY form of anger for any reason!

We can see that Jesus referenced that since "old time", "murder" has been an offense worthy of being "in danger of the judgment". So, even without knowing biblical language, or the contemporary culture, common sense tells us by verse 21, that any offense placing one in jeopardy of "in danger of the judgment", is a felonious offense.

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

The following shows how serious this matter is:

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.


What if you don't feel like forgiving and reconciling?


Diligently try to work reconciliation! Don’t leave the door to the demonic open any longer than you can help! Because Jesus warned:


25 Agree with thine adversary quickly...lest...the adversary deliver thee (up)...and the judge deliver thee (over), and thou be cast into prison (bondage).


These references were literal to the 1st century Jews; but are allegorical to 21st century, born again, spirit-filled believers; but also a grave warning to both. Depending on the transgression, Jews back then who refused to reconcile with their brothers faced the risk of imprisonment. Believers in the Church Age face a different kind of incarceration when we refuse to be reconciled with our brethren; we call it “demonic bondage”! Don't risk any stubborn arrogance causing a breach to backfire on you, and then make you the defendant, and ultimately the spiritual prisoner....






Here is the current market price on unforgiveness:


There is no need shopping around for a special bargain, before you purchase your next batch of “unforgiveness”! It is a fixed market price, permanently set by the government of heaven. So no matter who you are, or when and where you buy it, you will pay the same amount for it. There are no discount rates.


26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.


Here is Jesus asserting His authority, magnifying the Law of Moses. Jesus is demonstrating His divine authority over the Law by citing Moses with “...Ye have heard that it was said....”, and then declaring “...But I say unto you....” Only God could utter words that supersede the Law He gave through Moses. In Christ, sins of the heart have the same effect before God, as actual sins of the flesh had under Moses.


27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.





Now Jesus describes

just how high the stakes really are

regarding unforgiveness and refusing to reconcile:


29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.



In the above referenced portion of The Sermon, Jesus is using barbaric descriptions of what is preferable to ignoring these warnings. Self mutilation is preferable than the judgment that awaits him that refuses to forgive and reconcile. This is not a directive to go out and literally take a dagger and gouge out an eye, or take a battle ax and lop off a hand. It is a command to obey the directive in the passage; be reconciled to the brother! Quickly! ASAP!....









This is the level of priority

Jesus assigns to

His forgiveness and reconciliation protocol:

In Matthew 5:24, again from The Sermon; Jesus is teaching His disciples divine protocol for offering sacrifices. This is the only begotten Son of God speaking, giving the divine directive for offering sacrifices!

Jesus described the following scenario. You are in the middle of offering a sacrifice, in front of the alter. The Holy Spirit prompts your memory that your brother has ought against you. Not just if you're angry at him; but even if you know he's holding anger against you! 

Jesus directs you to stop immediately in the middle of making your offering!

Then to get up, leave your sacrifice on the alter, and go to that brother face to face, forthwith! 

Then, execute the scriptural protocol for reconciliation! 

Then, after you have reconciled with him, and only then do you return to the alter, and resume offering your sacrifice.

Do you sense any urgency in what Jesus was teaching there? Interrupting a ritual sacrifice, that was commanded by Moses, while it is already underway? Does it sound like a casual.... 

In view of the example in the above referenced passage, does anyone really believe that Paul meant to say, “as the Lord's chief Apostle, I permit you to get angry, even raging mad, all day long, as long as you get rid of it before sundown; or per the popular view, before you go to bed”



What is it with these knuckle-heads and before you go to bed?





Do they think demons only come out at night?







Before we proceed to Part 2

Hopefully, the evidence presented thus far has convinced readers that the so-called Popular View of the instant passage is at best questionable, and in my opinion unacceptable, and....





Paul commanded us to “Be angry and Sin not”!

Yet we are left with that stinging question, "what did Paul mean". As stated, we have four unequivocal apostolic commands here; three prohibitions, and one prescription.

We cannot ignore that Paul is actually "commanding us to be ANGRY" here; and that fact of grammar is not in dispute. Not only are we commanded to "be angry", but we are commanded to "be continually, or constantly angry". How can we be continually angry, yet not let the sun go down on our anger? Confusion Du Juor!

Alright, so it's a given, we are to "be angry". But, be angry at what, or at whom, and when; and for how long did he say....



Then what about that phrase “sin not”; what did Paul mean by that....





In the end, if we do our job well, all of this should make sense to you; and you should see what the passage actually means, and what Paul meant by....







The interpretation and application of this passage can only be found by examining all the data through grammar, historical, and cultural, then filtering it through the screen of logical reasoning; and above all, with Holy Spirit illumination....





When we understand why Jesus used the "permissive imperative" in the aforementioned example; we should know why Paul used the “permissive imperative” in the instant passage, and therefore what Ephesians 4:26-27 actually means.



Next we will discuss the logi....



























SORRY!
COMING BACK SOON

THIS STUDY IS BEING REVISED
AND PARTS 2 & 3 ARE BEING FINISHED

WE HOPE TO HAVE IT BACK UP SOON,

OR

PUBLISH THE BOOK

AT

AMAZON BOOKS




_______________




- GERRY PHILLIPS - 1955-2015
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