Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Jesus Christ said numerous times in the last chapter (6) to "be not as the hypocrites" for they merely pretend to be disciples of Christ but are in reality false prophets and play-actors indeed. He also told us to "seek first the kingdom of heaven" and our heavenly Father would see to it that we are blessed in such a manner that we would not have to anxiously worry about where our next meal is going to come from.
Christ now continues His instructions to His disciples who went up the mount to hear His voice. The subjects are "seeking the kingdom" and our conduct in teaching our brothers and sisters the precious truth of His Word, i.e. declaring His righteousness, which is the commission of the sons and daughters, the brotherhood, in this final generation.
This verse is often misunderstood and wrongfully used to teach that Christians should not even use righteous discernment, so let's first understand what the word "judge" means. It come from the Greek word "krino" which means to divide, to separate, to make a distinction.Matthew 7:1
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
You see, if you claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and yet you set yourself up to be better than others and take it upon yourself to judge or criticize your brothers and sisters, you are asking for big trouble! We are not to speak evil of our brothers nor condemn nor criticize other ministries, denominations, or churches. To that end, you will never see this ministry nor any other ministry which teaches the truth of God's Word, put down our brothers and sisters nor speak evil of them. A wise Christian knows that we were all born naked and spiritually "blind" so we can all say concerning the traditions of men, "There but for the grace of God go I." We are to let God be the judge. James, the brother of Christ, spells it out pretty good for us:judge = G2919 krino kree'-no
Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish:—avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.
We do NOT show the love of God by criticizing other Christians or churches or ministries. The question is, "Who made us judge to criticize and condemn others?" The answer is, "No one, certainly not our Father"! If we go around criticizing our brothers and sisters for what they believe or the church they belong to, etc., we are in grave danger of the judgment ourselves! There are already far too many individuals and "elite" groups who spend the majority of their time judging and criticizing others when they should be teaching their Father's Word and letting their light shine before men that others might see their good works (of teaching the truth, etc.) and glorify their Father which is in heaven.James 4:11-12
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
Again, let God be the judge! Teach His Word as it is written chapter by chapter and line by line and let God take it from there.
Go ahead and set yourself up as judge and see where it gets you in the end! There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Do you have "ears to hear" what Christ is telling you?Matthew 7:2
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
In other words, if you judge others and put your brothers (those of the house of Israel) "down" (hupo, under) when you yourself are no better than they are, perhaps even worse, then you shall pay dearly for it.Mark 4:24
And He said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
Work on your own problems and quit finding fault with others so as to make yourself look good. Who do you think you are that you can fix or change other people anyway?Matthew 7:3
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Did you know that hypocritical self righteousness is visible even to many non-believers? It turns them off! 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?
A hypocrite is a person pretending to be something that he or she is not, like more righteous than everyone else... a goody-goody-two-shoes! Here is Strong's definition of a hypocrite: 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.
Notice that the word hypocrite comes from Strong's # G5271 which is a compound word, hupo-krinomai. Hupo is:hypocrite = #G5273 hupokrite˘s hoop-ok-ree-tace'
From G5271; an actor under an assumed character (stage player), that is, (figuratively) a dissembler ("hypocrite"):—hypocrite.
And "krino" is the same word translated "judge" in verse 1. So as a true disciple of Jesus Christ be careful not be as the hypocrites, play-actors, who set themselves to be "spiritually" above other people and then criticize or condemn them for what they believe.hupo = #5259 is a primary preposition; under, that is, (with the genitive) of place (beneath), or with verbs (the agency or means, through); (with the accusative) of place (whither [underneath] or where [below]) or time (when [at]):—among, by, from, in, of, under, with. In compounds it retains the same genitive applications, especially of inferior position or condition, and specifically covertly or moderately.
Next Christ teaches us that we need to exercise wisdom in teaching the precious Word of God.
This verse is quite self explanatory. Just remember once again that Christ is speaking to His disciples, those who are "disciplined" in the Word of God and who will go forward and plant seeds and teach His precious holy Word to others. So if you are one of His disciples and you find yourself standing in a "pig pen" surrounded by a bunch of unclean swine, remember Matthew 7:6 and exercise the wisdom contained therein. If you forget and get good and stomped on, perhaps the unpleasant experience will serve as reminder the next time!Matthew 7:6
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.
Now here is another extremely important thing to understand and teach to others regarding "seeking first the kingdom of heaven".
You must do some work to seek the kingdom of heaven and unfortunately there seems to be but few people who are willing to do that! Remember, it is not the multitudes who go privately to Christ to hear His voice, but rather His disciples who hunger and thirst after righteousness, i.e. truth. You see, there are many people (multitudes of them) who go to church, but there are actually few of them who seek and study the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:25) on a daily basis and ask Him for their daily bread that they might receive pearls of wisdom.Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
But the good news is that our Father is not a respecter of persons and He promises that whosoever will come to Him and "ask, and seek, and knock" shall receive those pearls of wisdom and find the true path that leads to life and the door to the kingdom of heaven shall be opened to them.
Again, this is how one seeks the kingdom of God, not how one petitions God to obtain material things? If you are too lazy or not at all interested in asking, seeking, and knocking, then you will eventually find that Christ will close the door in your face when He returns. In fact, we will document that in our next study! You see, there are "wise virgins" and there are "foolish virgins" (Mat. 25) who lack "wisdom" because they lack the knowledge of His Word. They don't ask, seek, or knock! For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
God PROMISES to give you wisdom liberally if you are willing to do some labor in the field. Christ now gives us two examples of what to ask for, bread and meat.James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
This is obvious in the natural sense where even a non-believer would not give his son a stone if he were hungry and asked for bread to eat! On the spiritual level, which is what Christ is talking about, if you (a son of God) ask your Father for the true "bread of life", Jesus Christ, the Word of God, He will give you that bread and will not place a "stumbling stone" before you that will cause you to stumble and fall in these last days, which "falling" is called the great apostasy (2 Thes. 2).Matthew 7:9
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
A fish is symbolic of Christianity and also of meat. If you ask for your Father to show you the deeper truths of His Word, He will not give you a serpent who will bite you! You see, the serpent is symbolic of the old serpent, the dragon, the devil, who is Satan the false messiah. Those who have the "seal of God", the knowledge of His Word, in their foreheads in this final generation shall not stumble but shall overcome the beast, i.e. Satan and his New World Order.stone = G3037 lithos lee'-thos Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
Apparently a primary word; a stone (literally or figuratively):—(mill-, stumbling-) stone.
Our Father loves to pour out His blessings upon His children... and if we know and understand that, then as His children and His servants we should be generous and liberal in the same pouring out of His spirit to others! If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?
Christ now "sums up" the Sermon on the Mount beginning with what we call the "Golden Rule" which sums up the last five of the Ten Commandments all of which He covered in this Sermon on the Mount. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
James calls it the "Royal Law" and how "honorable" it is indeed.Romans 13:9
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Are you able to "see" and "hear" all the things Christ has taught His disciples on the mount? He has compared the attitudes, the doctrines, the methods of conduct and methods of teaching between those who claim to be His disciples and teachers and those who actually are! The distinction clearly shows the difference between "religion", which is what churchianity is, and "reality", which is what Christianity is. You "see", they are two different paths altogether!James 2:8
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Yes, there are two gates and two paths to follow! Churchianity and the traditions of men is the broad way which the multitudes follow and the Word of God, true Christianity, is the narrow way which leads to life. The fact is, if you don't "ask and seek and knock", but rather just listen to men, then you are going to stumble in the great apostasy.Matthew 7:13
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
The majority of Christians think that they are on the right path. The problem is that they have allowed themselves to be deceived by the many false prophets Christ warned us about in Mat. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 who would come in this final generation. In fact, in our next study we will see that He also warns us right here in Mat. 7 about those same false prophets, those hypocritical teachers who are not really teachers of God's Word at all... for they follow the broad path of the traditions of men and never quite get around to teaching our Father's Word whereby our people can enter in at the straight gate. Remember, ALL wisdom comes from the Word of God. How much of it have you studied? Are you among the few "wise" virgins who study and understand our Father's ways and walk in them or are you on some other path along with the multitudes who will stumble in darkness for lack of "wisdom"? Think about it.way = G3598 hodos hod-os' Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Apparently a primary word; a road; by implication a progress (the route, act or distance); figuratively a mode or means:—journey, (high-) way.
In our next study we are going to see that those who follow the broad path of the traditions of men are indeed shut out of the kingdom.Hosea 14:9
Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
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.
E-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to have your essay
as part of the American Wisdom Series
submit your manuscript to Rhine Publishing Co
at the address above for consideration, or e-mail us
at the address shown on our home page.
Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.