The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2508

Christ's current disciples are the sons and daughters in this final generation of the fig tree of whom it was prophesied would see (as in understand) the visions of the prophets (Act. 2) and teach God's Word to their brothers and sisters of the true House of Israel!

In our last study we saw that Jesus Christ had left the multitudes and gone up into a mountain to teach His disciples who likewise "went up into the mount"with open ears to hear the Word of God from on high! The first thing Christ showed His disciples was the "humble before God" and "compassionate to others" qualities of the children of light, the salt of the earth (see Mat. 22:37-39).

To wit, His disciples are now the sons and daughters in this final generation of the fig tree of whom it was prophesied would see (as in understand) the visions of the prophets (Act. 2) and teach God's Word to their brothers and sisters of the true House of Israel! We noted that the "Beatitudes" ("Beautiful Attitudes" I like to call them) of those children of light are in direct contrast to the "Woes" of the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees that we shall cover in detail in the 23rd chapter of Matthew. However, to fully understand the depth of the teaching Christ is now giving on the mount, one should be familiar with the MO (Methods of Operation) of the scribes and Pharisees. A word to the wise is sufficient.

As we begin today's study, keep in mind that Christ is STILL teaching His disciples! In other words, He is not addressing the multitudes which He left when He went up into the mountain. Again, it was only His disciples who went up into the mountain where He was "set" to teach those who would hear His voice with open ears and take heed to His words of instruction! So having covered the characteristic qualities of His elect, Christ is now going to address their works, i.e. what they DO and what they TEACH. And like the Beatitudes, this will be in direct contrast to what the scribes and Pharisees DO and TEACH!

Christ begins:  Matthew 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

This verse speaks directly to those who teach that the Old Testament is passť and not applicable anymore! Many so-called Christian preachers and pastors even teach that the laws of God themselves are no longer in effect. That is primarily due to the fact that they do not know the difference between a law, a statute, and an ordinance. You see, the natural laws of God which govern the physical universe, e.g. gravity and inertia, and the natural laws which govern human behavior, e.g. thou shalt do no murder, are still in effect. The statutes and ordinances governing sacrifices and rituals, etc., are of an entirely different nature. The main point is, it is still NOT OK to jump off a high cliff (because you will pay the price according to God's law of gravity) and it is still NOT OK to murder someone (because you will pay the price according to the law of murder, whether man righteously executes the commanded judgment or not) and it is still just as abominable to eat pork or any other thing God told us not to eat in Leviticus chapter 11 & Deuteronomy 14:3-21.

Editors note: There are two qualifiers as to what animals we should eat: Genesis 9:3  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

#1.It must be properly butchered! (verse 4) (But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.)
#2.Same rule as applies to the green herb; it must not be harmful to you. even  as the green herb have I given you all things)  (verse 3)

"Even as the green herb" means their are meats we should not eat, just as we would not eat poison ivy. I believe He explained that to us in Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy 14:3-21 and it is still true today. See pamphlet #4027

Jesus Christ now emphasizes that the law is still in effect by stating that not even the least little letter (jot) nor the least little ornament (tittle) above a letter shall pass from that law, till all be fulfilled.
[18] For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The "jot", or "yod" in Hebrew, is the smallest of the Hebrews letters (y) and is used 66,420 times in the manuscripts according the numbering of the Massorites. It is interesting to note that the "jot" is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and corresponds to "iota" which is the 8th letter in Greek alphabet. In Biblical numerics, 10 denotes "law" and "ordinal perfection", which is "another new first: after the ninth digit, when numeration commences anew" (see Companion Bible, appendix 10). The number "8" denotes resurrection, regeneration; a new beginning or commencement.And so it is that Jesus Christ is about to regenerate the law to a new level of spiritual understanding to those who love and serve Him and teach others the truth of His Word.
[19] Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
What you do and what you teach are paramount to bearing fruit for the kingdom of God. Remember, if you are a disciple of Christ, a student of the Word of God, then you are the salt of the earth and you are to let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Woe unto those who do and teach according to the traditions of men and cause our people to stumble and fall to their spiritual death and to commit spiritual adultery, which is idolatry, and to make their wedding vows (oath) to the false messiah! When we cover the "woes" in the 23rd chapter of Matthew we will see that these are EXACTLY the things that the scribes and Pharisees do. If you, as part of His royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9), follow after their ways and lead God's children away from the truth of His Word, you'll never make it into the kingdom of heaven! Take heed!
[20] For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
We will find in the "woes" to the scribes and the Pharisees in Mat. 23 that they are a bunch of self-serving, self-righteous religious hypocrites who sit in the seat of Moses. In other words, they sit in the authority of the temple (church) as the spiritual leaders of God's people, as ministers of righteousness, but their works are iniquitous indeed! Take special heed to their example, because that is what Christ is addressing in the rest of this chapter, i.e. what you DO and what you TEACH your brothers and sisters as a servant of the living God!

Those who have understanding know that it is written in Mat. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 concerning this final generation of the fig tree, that MANY would come in the name of Christ, claiming to represent Him as Christian ministers and preachers, etc., and would deceive MANY. (Matthew 24:4-5 "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.") If Christ's words be true, and they are, and we are in that final generation,and we are, then the fact is that there NOW ARE MANY false ministers and preachers of Christ in these last days (even the majority) claiming to be "ministers of righteousness"... but you know what?Their righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees because their teachings are so leavened with the doctrine of the scribes and the Pharisees that the "Jesus" they teach is not the real Jesus Christ at all, but another "Jesus", the Instead-of-Jesus, Satan!

2 Cor. 11:4
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
So make certain that you do as John instructs in 1 Jn. 4:1 and try the spirits (doctrines and other gospels), i.e. test them with the Word of God before you pass them along to your brothers and sisters. Otherwise, what you do and teach may be furthering Satan's work in causing our people to commit spiritual adultery resulting in their spiritual death!
2 Cor. 11:13-15
 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

[14] And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

[15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Christ is now going to explain to His disciples, those who are the salt of the earth and the light of this world, the spiritual application of the law as it applies to what they DO and what they TEACH. He begins with the following three Commandments, the first of which we shall examine in detail in today's study:
1. The Law of Murder
2. The Law of Adultery
3. The Law of Perjury (False Oath)
Now we already read that Christ said do not even think for one moment that the Law is done away with. In other words, it is STILL AGAINST GOD'S LAW to murder or commit adultery or swear a false oath, etc. Those laws have not changed one iota!

However, the greater sin involves the souls of our brothers and sisters and their eternal salvation which you do AFFECT as a trustee and teacher of God's Word, i.e. as a Christian. You see, it is one thing to murder someone, which is to commit premeditated homicide, for then one must stand trial and upon conviction be sentenced to death according to the law! It is yet another thing to spiritually murder your brother for then one must also face judgment, at the Supreme Court level, and upon conviction also be sentenced to death, which is the eternal death of the soul in the lake of fire.

Christ explains this to us:

[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:
The Greek word for "kill" is "phoneuo" which means intentional, premeditated murder, i.e. criminal homicide!
kill = phoneuo, fon-yoo'-o, Greek 5407; from Greek 5406 (phoneus); to be a murderer (of) :- kill, do murder, slay.
phoneus, fon-yooce', Greek 5406; from Greek 5408 (phonos); a murderer (always of criminal [or at least intentional] homicide; which Greek 443 (anthropoktonos) does not necessarily imply; while Greek 4607 (sikarios) is a special term for a public bandit) :- murderer.
What should the penalty be for the conviction of a person committing criminal homicide? God's Word declares it to be capital punishment, which is DEATH! (Note: According to the law there must be more than one witness to enact the death penalty. Numbers 35:30 "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.")

Here is the law stating the penalty of capital punishment for one who "lies in wait" and commits a premeditated murder.

Deut. 19:11-13
But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:

[12] Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

This is God's law and we are instructed by Him not to pity the criminal like we see so many bleeding-hearts do today! Then too, we can all take comfort in knowing that the executed murder will not be able to be released and go forth and murder some other innocent person!
[13] Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
If we executed God's laws in our nation these things would cease from happening among us and we would once again be able to safely walk the streets at night.  I wonder what God thinks about abortion!

Now let's see what Christ has to say about the spiritual application of the Law of Murder, i.e. spiritual murder!

Matthew 5:22
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.
A "brother" does not mean just one of your immediate family members, but one who is of the true House of Israel, one of the brothers and sisters to whom God's elect are to let see their light shine! You see, if you are in the light, then you shall be judged for the way you treat your brothers and sisters, for if you are the cause, without excuse, of their stumbling and falling to their spiritual death, then you shall pay the price... even the price of a convicted murderer if it is intentional! In other words, we must be careful in dealing with our brothers so as not to give occasion for them to stumble and fall! So stay in the LIGHT and love (agapao) your brother.
1 John 2:9-11
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

[10] He that loveth [agapao] his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

For example, if you "put your brother down" (call him Raca) for what he believes then you shall be held accountable for you have thrown up a wall of accusation and now give your brother occasion to stumble. Let Satan be the accuser and let Christ's disciples teach God's Word in a positive manner as "it is written" and let the chips fall where they may. That is why true teachers of God's Word NEVER single out churches or denominations or other ministries or individuals in any of their teachings. Sure, the salty teaching may offend some but let it be that which is written, the two-edged sword of God (Rev. 1:16), be that which cuts the heart and soul... for when the wound heals over that person shall be made ever spiritually stronger.

Finally, Christ says if you "shall say, thou Fool", which is to purposely condemn your brother as a religious "moros", i.e. to "write him off" thereby turning off the light of truth to that brother, then you are nothing more than a spiritual murderer and you are in grave danger of being judged yourself to the lake of fire! How dare you play God and set yourself up as the Judge!

fool = moros, mo-ros', Greek 3474; probably from the base of Greek 3466 (musterion); dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (moral) blockhead, (apparently) absurd :- fool (-ish, ◊ -ishness).
musterion, moos-tay'-ree-on, Greek 3466; from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites) :- mystery.
The point is, be extremely careful how you treat your brothers and sisters. Stay in the light and love (agapao) your brother, doing that which is right according to God's Word, according to His righteous ways, regardless of personal feelings. You see, the very salvation of your brother can be at stake because of what you DO and what you TEACH!
Here then is some wisdom and instruction from our Lord concerning what we should do when we realize we have given occasion for our brother to stumble.
Matthew 5:23
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
If you KNOW (remember) that your brother is at odds with you because of something you have done, which may cause him to stumble and fall, then because you KNOW you are a potential (spiritual) murderer and you better get it resolved.
[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.
Go make amends with your brother, lest your actions be the cause of him turning away from Christianity and seeing the light of truth.
[25] Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
To "agree with your adversary", e.g. one who makes accusations against you, does not mean to agree that your adversary is right! It simply means to use wisdom and reconcile or resolve your differences as quickly as possible so as to avoid confrontation and being delivered up!

Take note that the "adversary" is one of the many names of the old serpent, that old dragon the Devil! Remember we learned in our 5th study concerning Eve's experience that we should not argue with Satan. That means we should not argue with his "tail" either, i.e. those who follow after him and do his work!

[26] Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
So use wisdom and be wiser than the serpent or you can of your own doing make your trials and tribulation much more difficult than need be and even miss out on an opportunity to give witness and testimony before the Adversary himself at that hour of his defacto presence.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
This is also a word to the wise who know of the delivering up of God's elect (Mark 13:9-11) that shall take place when the Adversary (Satan) has been cast out of heaven to this earth with his angels (Rev. 12:7-9) and sits in the temple of God claiming to be God (2 Thes. 2). If you are in the light, then use wisdom and always follow the instructions of Jesus Christ which in this case are to not argue with those who follow after the abominable one believing he is Christ. Rather agree quickly with your adversaries, even in the byways, lest you be delivered up before the appointed time! Take heed!

In our next study we shall examine the next two commandments Christ gave great emphasis to concerning the DOING and TEACHING of His elect. They are the Law of Adultery, which most see only as pertaining to the flesh act and/or thinking of "doing it" in one's mind, and the Law of Perjury or swearing falsely under oath. Well, we shall "see" and learn from the Lord Jesus Christ that there is much more than just "meets the (flesh) eye" when it comes to the "adultery" He speaks of!

... to be continued.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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