One hundred and sixty three years ago, on June 16, 1858, the newly chosen candidate for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln, delivered a speech to his colleagues. His goal was to unite them in their on-going discussions and disagreements about whether to abolish slavery or not. In his effort to get them into an agreement, he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Now whenever that phrase is heard, it is attributed to President Lincoln, but he was quoting someone else! And that someone was Jesus Christ! What was the original context?
Kingdoms divided brought to Desolation
“Then one possessed with a demon, blind, and dumb was brought to Jesus, and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both saw and spoke. And all the people were amazed, and said, ‘Isn’t this the son of David?’
But when the Pharisees/priests heard it, they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub, the magistrate of demons.’”Matthew 12:22-24
The Kingdom of God
The word ‘demon’ simply means an ‘inferior spirit’. Israel’s God, Jesus’ and our Heavenly Father, did not ever allow for any other gods before Him, according to the first Commandment. Here the priests are accusing Jesus of having an association with the Canaanite god, Baal.
“Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan (“the accuser”) cast out Satan (“the accuser”), he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you.”Matthew 12:25-28
False Religion cannot stand
Beelzebub is the name of a pagan god of the Philistines meaning “Lord of the flies.” It is a name associated with the Canaanite god Baal. The Philistines and the Canaanites are the same people. Canaan was a son of Ham, son of Noah. He and his brethren initiated a false idolatrous religion after the Flood. The children of Israel went along and were reprimanded by all the prophets for the worship of Baal. The consequences were brutal. The worship of Baal was the reason for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the captivity of both the Houses of Israel and Judah. In his time, Elijah went against the priests of Baal.
Elijah, is that you?
“Elijah came to all the people, and said, ’How long will you fluctuate between two opinions? if the LORD is God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not say a word.”1 Kings 18:21
“He said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken Your Covenant, thrown down Your altars and slain Your prophets with the sword; and I only am left, and they seek my life, to take it away…
The LORD replied, ‘Yet I have left seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.’1 Kings 19:14, 18
A Remnant will be Saved
Paul recounts this in Romans and indicates,
‘Even so then at this present time also there is a Remnant according to the election of grace… but the rest are blinded’Romans 11:1-8
This tells us that God has reserved to Himself a certain number of people who have not and will not worship Baal/’the Beast’. According to Jesus, his house is a house divided against itself, and therefore cannot stand. Because they are like the things they worship, they have eyes, but they do not see, ears but they do not hear, etc. They worship lifeless and worthless idols! But there is a Remnant who worship the LORD God alone.
Babylon divided is Fallen!
In the Book of Daniel, there is described a vision of an image that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon dreamed of. Daniel was the only one who could interpret the vision for him. It was a frightful vision with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, sides of brass, legs of iron and feet of clay and iron. A stone was thrown and hit the image on the feet of it causing its collapse.
The solution was given to Daniel by God: These are the chronological histories of the empires that have ruled the world. The head of gold was the Babylonian Empire; the breast and arms of silver was the Medo-Persian Empire; the sides represented the Grecian Empire; the iron the Roman Empire. The feet and toes represent the last kingdom of man to come upon the earth. It is a kingdom “divided against itself,” and therefore it cannot stand but is broken to pieces and blown away like chaff.
Iron and Clay Divided
“And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided… and whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men but they shall not cleave to one another, even as iron is not mixed with clay…”Daniel 2:28-45
The iron would obviously be Roman, but who does the clay represent? And who does that Stone that hits the image on the feet represent? Good questions!