The Way We Speak of Our Neighbor

“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: 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.”  Matthew 5:21-22  (KJB)

Has anyone ever heard of “Assassination by words”? Maybe I am making it up; but I believe that is what is happening in our nation (U. S. of A.) today. Maybe I need to remind my brothers and sisters in Christ who our neighbor is.

Our brother is our neighbor. The man or woman across the street or road; or across the creek  is your neighbor. The people of China, Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel are our neighbors. Remember Jesus’s story of the Good Samaritan.

I write this because the Lord reminds me of this quite often. I am not without guilt of assassination by words. May God forgive me; and may those I have assassinated by words forgive me too.

The political climate is hot, very hot, hotter, it seems to me than I can remember. Mean and vicious words from conservatives as well as liberals and in betweens.

Calling another person who disagrees with us a vile, vicious name is a sure sign we have lost the argument. If we disagree with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that is fine, but they are still part of Adam’s race who deserve the same respect you and I do. We are not authorized to call them ugly and vile names because of their party affiliation.

“Well they do it” does not give us the right to retaliate. God’s love is the greatest power on earth. If we are children of God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are to love our enemies, and that means we have no business, right or authority to assassinate by words the character of any other individual.

By the power and grace of God let us cool this heat of hatred with words of grace and mercy.

The Temptation

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ But He answered and said,
‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’
Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.’
Jesus said unto him,
‘It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’
Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, ‘All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.’
Then saith Jesus unto him,
‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’
Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.”  Matthew 4:1-11  (KJB)

If we will look at the above encounter Jesus had with Satan we could learn much in dealing with temptation.

First of all we need to understand Jesus had gone into the wilderness and was many days without food and water, so in His flesh He was weak. He needed to survive. He longed to survive. When that old devil presented Him with the idea o turning stones to bread it would have been quite the temptation for Jesus to do so; but He did not

Jesus realized and knew that for Him to do so would be making Himself a pawn of the devil, and would be yielding Himself to the will of the serpent. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” was His answer. The word of God must be our main source of sustenance and survival.

Secondly, the devil tempted Jesus with security by tempting Him to throw Himself off the highest point of the temple to prove He was the Son of God. In doing so, again, He would have been submitting to the devil’s snares.

Security is very important to people of all times and stations of life. Jesus told the devil, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” and to do so would be to lose the greatest security ever given to the redeemed.

The last temptation  was one of success and worship. If Jesus would bow down to the devil, then He could have all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus knew that He was going to redeem them unto Himself anyway on the cross some three years later, and He said to the devil these words, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Jesus knew that the only worship He could give is to His father or He could not and would not finish the task the Father gave Him to do.

If Jesus would have yielded to temptation then the world would be lost. When you and I yield to temptation we lose our fellowship with God when we are His children, we lose power with Him, and we lose peace, and feel greatly vexed by our lives.

Let us follow the witness of Jesus’s temptation, and greatly depend on the Holy Spirit and the word of God.

If you do not know Jesus as Your Lord and Savior, then  when you realize you are lost in sin, apart from God, then hear that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, was buried and He rose again – then call on His name and He will deliver you from sins condemnation. Call on His name today.

 

The Righteous

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest thou to me?’  And Jesus answering said unto him,
‘Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.’
Then he suffered Him.  And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying,
‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ ”  Matthew 3:13-17 (KJB)

This near the of the ministry of our Lord as He came to present Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of Adam’s race. To fulfill all righteousness, and the demands of the law Jesus presents Himself, and submits Himself to the laws of God His Father.

Why? He gives John that answer; to fulfill all righteousness. What is righteousness? To be right and just before God the Father, and to be found without guilt, or shame of sin.

Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, God the Son and the Son of Man; the God-Man in flesh humbled Himself and became obedient to the requirement of the law (Philippians 2:6-10).

At this time He is presented as the righteousness of God in Person. The Father even declares it to be so by saying,

‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’

When any member of Adam’s race; that is any human being; calls on the name of Jesus Christ for  forgiveness of their sin, and believes Him we receive the righteousness of Jesus Himself.

When Jesus died on the cross He took our evil, our sin, our unrighteousness and shame upon Himself and when we believe by grace we receive His righteousness. We are declared righteous by the Father Himself (Rom. 5:1).

Will you call on the saving, righteous name of Jesus? Will you do it now? Now is the time.

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“And the angel answered and said unto the women, ‘Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.’ And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying,
‘All hail.’
And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Then said Jesus unto them,
‘Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.’ ”  Matthew 28:5-10  (KJB)

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“And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Art thou the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said unto him,
‘Thou sayest.’
And when He was accused of the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
Then said Pilate unto Him, ‘Hearest Thou not how many things they witness against thee?’ And He answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.”  Matthew 27:11-14  (KJB)

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“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
Then saith Jesus unto them,
‘All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, ‘I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.’ But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.’
Peter answered and said unto him, ‘Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.’ Jesus said unto him,
‘Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice.’
Peter said unto him, ‘Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.’ Likewise also said all the disciples.”  Matthew 26:30-35  (KJB)

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“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.’
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, ‘Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, I know you not.’
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.”
  Matthew 25:1-13  (KJB)

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“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” 
Matthew 24:32-35  (KJB)

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“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, ‘Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ “
Matthew 23:37-39  (KJB)

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“The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying,
‘Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also.
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.’
Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’
And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine.”   Matthew 22:23-33

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“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them,
‘It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer;’ but ye have made it a den of thieves.’
And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David;’ they were sore displeased, and said unto Him, ‘Hearest Thou what these say?’ And Jesus saith unto them,
‘Yea; have ye never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?’ ‘
And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there. ” Matthew 21:12-17  (KJB)

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“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,
‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.’ ” Matthew 20:17-19  (KJB)

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“And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; and great multitudes followed Him; and He healed them there.
The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’ And He answered and said unto them,
‘Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?’ Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’
They say unto Him, ‘Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?’
He saith unto them,
‘Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’
His disciples say unto Him, ‘If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.’ But He said unto them,
‘All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.’ ”  Matthew 19:1-12

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“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said,
‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. 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.’
”  Matthew 18:1-6  (KJB)

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“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.’
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,
‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.’
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said,
‘Arise, and be not afraid.’
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying,
‘Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead.’
And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?’ And Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.’
Then the disciples understood that He spake unto them of John the Baptist. ” Matthew 17:1-13

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“The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired Him that He would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them,
‘When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.’

And He left them, and departed.” Matthew 16:1-4

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“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Why do Thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.’ But He answered and said unto them,
‘Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honour thy father and mother:’ and, ‘He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’  But ye say, ‘Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free.’ Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’
”  Matthew 15:1-9  (KJB)

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“When Jesus heard He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick. And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.’ But Jesus said unto them,
‘They need not depart; give ye them to eat.’
And they say unto Him, ‘We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.’ He said,
‘Bring them hither to Me.’
And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”  Matthew 14:13-21  (KJB)

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“And the disciples came, and said unto Him, ‘Why speakest thou unto them in parables?’ He answered and said unto them,
‘Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.’
”  Matthew 13:10-17 (KJB)

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“At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, ‘Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.’ But He said unto them,
‘Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 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?
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is One greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
For the Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’
”  Matthew 12:1-8  (KJB)

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“Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not:
‘Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.’
” Matthew 11:20-24  (KJB)

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“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,
‘Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
”  Matthew 10:5-15  (KJB)

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“And He entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; ‘Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’
And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This man blasphemeth.’ And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, ‘Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee;’ or to say, ‘Arise, and walk?’
But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins,
(then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) ‘Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.’
And He arose, and departed to His house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.”  Matthew 9:1-8

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“When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him, and, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.’
And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be thou clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, ‘See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.’ ”  Matthew 8:1-4

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“Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, ‘Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye;’ and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
  Matthew 7:1-6  (KJB)