RESIST

RESIST

But I say to you, do not show opposition against an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also.” Matthew 5:39, NASB

“Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7, NASB

So, which is it? Resist or not?”

In this day and age, we are faced with this question daily. How are we to respond in the face of an aggressive and spreading evil?

The Bible speaks on these matters but to get wisdom and understanding it takes prayer, study and discipline.

Let’s review these verses and study them:

Matthew 5:39, says, “But I say to you, do not show opposition against an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also.”  (New American Standard Version)

(1). “DO NOT SHOW OPPOSITION AGAINST”, versus, (2). “RESIST”.

(#1). DO NOT SHOW OPPOSITION AGAINST (Matthew 5:39): is the Greek word, ‘anthistémi’, which means to set against, i.e. withstand

Part of Speech: Verb
Definition: to set against, withstand
Usage: I set against; I withstand, resist, oppose.

Strong’s Concordance #436, anthístēmi, means to take a complete stand against, i.e. a “180 degree, contrary position”; figuratively, to establish one’s position publicly by conspicuously “holding one’s ground,” i.e. refusing to be moved (“pushed back”).

“oppose fully“, to forcefully declare one’s personal conviction; where they unswervingly stand; to keep one’s possession; to ardently withstand, without giving up  or letting go.

Anthístēmi, was a military term in classical Greek meaning “to strongly resist an opponent”  or to “take a firm stand against“.

(#2). RESIST (James 4:7): ‘anthistémi’, which means the same thing as “Do not show opposition against”.

Part of Speech: Verb
Definition: to set against, withstand
Usage: I set against; I withstand, resist, oppose.

Strong’s Concordance #436, anthístēmi, means to take a complete stand against, i.e. a “180 degree, contrary position”; figuratively, to establish one’s position publicly by conspicuously “holding one’s ground,” i.e. refusing to be moved (“pushed back”).

NOTE: Both, in Matthew 5:39, the phrase “do not show opposition against” and James 4:7, the word “resist” come from the same Greek word and have the same definition!

So, what are we to do? Resist the devil or give in to and evil person? Stand firm or flee?

We need to look at the context of the surrounding words in these verses:

An EVIL Person vs the DEVIL

(#1). EVIL: is the Greek word, ‘ponéros’ which means, toilsome, bad.

Part of Speech: Adjective
Definition: toilsome, bad
Usage: evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful.

Strong’s Concordance #190ponērós’ is an adjective which is also used to mean pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies and misery that always go with evil. Evil, grievous.

From a derivative of ponos; hurtful, i.e. Evil in effect or influence, and thus differing from the essential character or degeneracy from original virtue.

Figuratively, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, wicked.

(#2). The Devil: ‘diabolos’ means slanderous, accusing falsely

Definition: slanderous, accusing falsely
Usage: slanderous; with the article: the Slanderer, the Devil.

Strong’s Concordance #1228,diábolos’  means to slander, accuse, defame”; unjustly criticizing to hurt or to malign, and condemn to sever a relationship.

From diaballo; a traducer –

  1. Something that converts energy from one form into another. 
  2. Figuratively,a ‘computing theory or a formalism’ for describing computation, consisting of a set of states and a transition function describing when to move from one state to another, that generates output based on a given input. Specially, Satan.

see GREEK diaballo

see HEBREW satan

DO NOT RESIST an Evil (person): pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies and misery that always go with evil. Diseased; but especially morally culpable, i.e. Derelict, vicious, bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, wickedness.

VERSUS

RESIST the Devil: slanderous, accusing falsely, slanderous; with the article: the Slanderer (par excellence), the Devil. Criticizing to hurt (malign) and condemn to sever a relationship. Diábolos is the root of the English word, “Devil”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Again, a teaching of Jesus seems counter-intuitive and can test the soul of even the most dedicated man or woman.  It is difficult to understand – unless you are willing.

At first glance, this teaching sounds as if a disciple of Jesus is to stand idly by while an evil person slaps you about and perpetrates all kinds of evil to you and in your presence.

Some have even dubbed this teaching as “the law of non-resistance”.  It from this teaching that some call themselves “conscientious objectors”.

There are other examples and times when it seems Jesus teaches the contrary, such as, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6  

Or, Jesus’ own example, at times, contradicts the “law of non-resistance”, such as when He turned over tables and whipped the money changers in the Temple.

But, again, context is everything.

FIRST, Jesus is telling us not to entangle ourselves in the affairs of evil men, even when they cast their evil upon us.  Instead, stay focused on Jesus’ Mission while actively responding to evil, by overcoming evil with good.

SECONDLY, God’s Word and methods are an intricate balance of mercy and justice, something we rarely see anymore.  Once you have “paid the debt” of forgiveness and kindness, do not linger.  If an evil person continues in his or her evil ways, “Shake the dust off your sandals”, so to speak, and move on.

James teaches this principal and its practice when he says, Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  

A simple example of the law of “spiritual physics” is helpful.  Do this exercise with a friend:

  1. Stand face-to-face, within an arm’s length from one another.
  2. Each person should extend their arm until your hands meet halfway between one another.  (AN IMAGINARY LINE IS NOW DRAWN BETWEEN THE TWO PEOPLE.  THE PLACE WHERE YOUR HANDS MEET IS THE “LINE OF AGREEMENT”)
  3. Each person needs to slowly, at first, apply a forward pressure pushing on the other’s hand palm, as if you are trying to push your opponent away.  We will call this meeting of the palm of your hands the “LINE OF AGREEMENT” and you are metaphorically imposing your will on your opponent.
  4. Increase the pushing pressure as your opponent pushes back, trying to PUSH THEIR WAY into your space, imposing their will on you.
  5. One person, suddenly jerk your hand back toward yourself.  This will cause your “opponent” to fall forward and suddenly find themselves ON YOUR SIDE of the “ARGUMENT”

Thus, the principal of “Spiritual Physics:  RESIST NOT EVIL.  

THIRDLY and finally, Jesus and the verse from James is telling us to recognize the root or the source of evil. This is subtle but critical in its outcome.

The Devil is the source of evil, and it is the devil who “casts through” or acts as the “transducer” converting his evil (energy) from himself into the willing or unsuspecting person.

If you are to overcome evil, to resist evil, it is the devil and his machination you must resist. And it is in this resistance that will cause the devil to flee from you as God draws near.

Whereas encountering and resisting or standing in opposition to a person who has been filled with this evil will only cause you harm and grief and would turn that person further from seeing the Truth. This is one reason Jesus says, “but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”  Do not entangle yourself with this person or the evil emanating from them, instead, reach out to the person caught in this evil.

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT? _________________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? _____________________________________

This takes effort on the Believer’s part, both of spiritual disciplines and the effort of practical application.  But in the end, you have become a peacemaker and demonstrated that you are a Child of God, a disciple of the King.

 Your Brother and Friend,

 Mike Young

More Reading (video): KNOW YOUR ENEMY by the Fuel Project.

Also:  THE RESISTANCE to the growing GLOBAL THREAT OF COMMUNIST-MARXISM and a One World Government

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