This 23rd chapter is an exposé on the hidden dynasty of churchianity.
You may recall back in chapter five of this great book of Matthew that Jesus Christ "went up into a mountain" and taught His disciples concerning the beautiful humble spirit and loving attitudes (the beatitudes) of true servants of God. Now, just before Jesus is about to "depart" from the temple (24:1), He teaches both the multitude and His disciples concerning the not-so-beautiful haughty spirit and unloving attitudes (the badatitudes) of false servants, those scribes and Pharisees who have usurped the laws of God by substituting their own traditions which make void His Word (Mat. 15:16). To that end, this 23rd chapter is an exposé on the hidden dynasty of churchianity and the spiritually devastating effect of the actions (works) of the playactors (hypocrites) to whom Christ gives stern warning in the form of "woes" which denote grief in judgment as opposed to the "blessed are's" of His servants in chapter five.
In the next chapter, after Christ departs from the temple, His disciples will come unto Him privately seeking knowledge and understanding concerning the events that shall transpire just prior to His second advent when He returns to smash the false rock, that fake cornerstone, and destroy every last "stone" that makes up the false messiah's idolatrous temple. Christ gives us in this 23rd chapter a clear picture of the inner workings of that temple along with an in-depth analysis of the motives and methods of operation of those who comprise its structure.Matthew 23:1
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples,
Here is the first thing every Christian needs to know and understand.
Moses was the lawgiver, a true servant of God who spoke the words the LORD gave unto him in the ears of all the people. Jesus has even referred to Moses' teaching numerous times in the last few chapters by quoting scriptures that are written in Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, etc. However, the point Jesus is now making is that Moses' seat, his authority as the lawgiver, has been taken over by those who claim to be true servants of God, even claiming to be children of Abraham through the house of Judah, but who are liars and are of the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9 & Rev. 3:9). Therefore, one had better be very careful, as in watchful, on guard at all times, and observe what they tell you before you act upon it! This applies as much today than ever... if not more so today than ever! Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
Note: Those who have studied the books of Ezra and Nehemiah know that at one point when the remnant of Judah and Benjamin were on their way back to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, Ezra stopped and took a census of the people and lo and behold there was not one Levitical Priest among the entire lot to perform the priestly duties in the temple. So Ezra sent a "nethinim", a temple servant, back to Babylon to acquire some true priests! However, by the time Christ arrived on the scene the temple had been taken over by the temple workers, even the kenites, the sons of Cain, who now sat in authority as those whose were to keep the law and speak His Words to the people. This was the bringing forth of the great synagogue!
Take careful notice that Jesus Christ is NOT saying do whatsoever these scribes and Pharisees bid you to do, i.e. say to you by word or writing, unless you have first "observed"! Then whatsoever you have "observed" to be holy and not profane, meaning it is true and aligns with God's Word and not after the traditions of men, that do! All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
You "see", the works of the scribes and Pharisees, which Christ is going to break down in great detail in the remainder of this chapter, are indeed iniquitous and in direct contrast to the works of God's servants who seek and do the will of their Father which is heaven. In other words, many preachers and ministers who set themselves up and claim to serve the householder in the vineyard sound real religious and appear as holy unto men, but they do not do the will of the Father which is in heaven. True servants of God teach His truth, His Word that heals spiritual blindness and sets the people free from religious traditions that make the Word of God of none effect. The point is that these scribes and Pharisees "say, and do not", meaning they "say" they are doing the will of God as His representatives but they do not do the will of God. So learn to observe and discern between that which is clean and that which is unclean knowing that these fakes who sit in the authority (seat) of Moses, say they teach the law, the truth of God's Word, but the words they teach are not His!
The truth of God's Word sets us free. John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." However, the traditions of men bind guilt and doubt and other burdens grievous to be borne upon our people.observe, tereo, tay-reh'-o, Greek 5083; from teros (a watch; perhaps akin to Greek 2334 (theoreo)); to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon...theoreo, theh-o-reh'-o, Greek 2334; from a derivative of Greek 2300 (theaomai) (perhaps by addition of Greek 3708 (horao)); to be a spectator of, i.e. discern, (literal, figurative [experience] or intensive [acknowledge]) :- behold, consider, look on, perceive, see. Compare Greek 3700 (optanomai).
We read of some of those heavily binding traditions a few chapters back. One was seeing these bunch of hypocritical spiritual adulterers (idolaters) who daily themselves jump "in bed" with another, i.e. the false messiah, forbidding repentant divorcees to remarry! That sure is a rewriting of the law which makes void the promise of His forgiveness upon repentance, isn't it? All a knowledgeable teacher of God's Word has to do is observe by letting his or her fingers do some walking in the yellowed pages of the law of liberty (James 1:25), His Word, and set them free from the tradition that binds them. But NO! To the hypocrites who play church, that would be against their religion for it would take away some their self appointed power over men. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
"Do NOT ye after their works", said Christ! Here is what they are all about... self! The labor they do is for themselves, to reap glory and honor and recognition for themselves.
They put on an "Oh-I'm-So-Religious" outward appearance which can easily be "observed" as nothing more than "self-righteousness"! Add to that the fact that "making broad (as in broadly visible) their phylacteries" is a blatant and glaring example of their Biblical ignorance... discernable by those who can rightly "observe" the Word of God. You "see", there is no scriptural command for wearing "phylacteries" or "frontlets" which were small slips of parchment on which were written certain portions of the Old Testament. This practice stemmed from a blind and literal interpretation of certain scriptural passages where God commands His people to have the law, His Word, as a "sign" on their foreheads or upon their hands, or as frontlets between their eyes, or to tie them about thy neck! These are all figures of speech denoting how close to our hearts and in front of our mind's eye we are to keep His Word in all of our affairs, i.e. in all our hands find to do. Here are two such scriptures: But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
This kind of reminds one of how the Biblically illiterate preachers of today literally interpret the "mark of the beast" as a literal tattoo or stamp of the number "666" on one's forehead. First of all, the scripture in Rev. 13:16 reads "in" their foreheads, not "on" their foreheads. "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads." The mark of the beast in one's forehead is simply the opposite of the mark or seal of God (His Word) which one must have in his or her forehead to overcome the beast. Rev. 9:4 "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads."Proverbs 6:20-21
My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
Here are the Greek words for "sealed" and "mark" respectively:
You either have "His words in your heart and in your soul (Deut. 11:18)", i.e. the truth of God's Word sealed or stamped on the inside walls of your forehead (i.e. in your brain) and thus serve Him or you have deception marked or etched on the inside walls of your forehead (brain) and thus serve the beast! It has NOTHING at all whatsoever to do with tattoos or chip implants. It is what is sealed inyour mind!sealed, sphragis, sfrag-ece', Greek 4973; probably strengthened from Greek 5420 (phrasso); a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literal or figurative :- seal.
mark, charagma, khar'-ag-mah, Greek 5480; from the same as Greek 5482 (charax); a scratch or etching, i.e. stamp (as a badge of servitude), or sculptured figure (statue) :- graven, mark.
Well, enough on that! Let's see what else the scribes and Pharisees love... oh, it's the same thing... themselves!
The word Rabbi was an official title of honor and was used by Christ as an example to represent the many names and fancy titles men use to exalt themselves above the people in order that they may receive glory and honor to themselves. Be it known that there is only One worthy to receive glory and honor... and it ain't any of us! Rev. 4:11 tells us who is worthy, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."Matthew 23:6
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
So, don't be called and recognized by some fancy title so that people "look up" to you, for then you take the focus away from Christ to bestow it upon yourself. We are all one body with Christ as the head and although there are different parts of the body, we all function together as a whole. Ephes. 4:15-16 "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."Rabbi, rhabbi, hrab-bee', Greek 4461; of Hebrew origin [Hebrew 7227 (rab) with pronoun suffix]; my master, i.e. Rabbi, as an official title of honor :- Master, Rabbi.
We are all children of God which makes us His sons and daughters. And being sons and daughters, that makes us all brothers and sisters in relationship to each other. So we are ALL brethren as children of the kingdom and none of us is elevated above another in either height or stature. Even the apostle John did not elevate himself above the brethren with some big title or lofty position denoting superiority of any kind. So we have not only the instruction from Jesus Christ to esteem each other as brothers and sisters, we also have the examples set forth by His servants. Here are John's own words describing his relationship to us. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
Note: Some may recognize the close kinship to the two churches found in Rev. 3:7-13 and Rev. 2:8-11, which are Philadelphia (love of brothers, philos - adelphos) and Smyrna (I know thy works and tribulation). They are the only two churches out of the seven found to be without fault by Jesus Christ.Rev. 1:9
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Does this require a degree or some special training to be able to understand?Since other than our biological parent we have only one Father, who is our heavenly Father, we are to call no one else our father! He is the One to whom we go and confess our sins and ask forgiveness in the name of Christ, who is our "great high priest that is passed into the heavens (Heb. 4:14)", and who sits at the right hand of the Father. If you have a confession or a prayer request, you can take it directly to Him, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5)". Anyone else who likes to play God and step in as father or mediator between you and your heavenly Father is self appointed or appointed by men, not by God. And you don't need to pledge money nor dial an 800 number to be heard of Him. He loves you for you are His child and He is your Father.Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Here's a question: Do you have to go through some self appointee to talk your earthly father? Of course not! Neither do you have to go through some man or woman to talk to your heavenly Father.
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is our Master, our Teacher, even the Anointed One of God. If you therefore are a teacher of His Word, then all the credit for the knowledge and wisdom and the ability to teach must go to Him, for He is the only One who can open the seals and grant you wisdom and understanding, and He is the giver of "every good gift and every perfect gift (Ja. 1:17)", even the gifts of the spirit such as the ability to teach. Again, we labor in the vineyard for Him, not for ourselves. So if you want to be great in the eyes of your heavenly Father and please Him, then do His will and labor in the vineyard by serving your brothers and sisters to bring forth fruit for the family of God. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
Are you His servant or do you serve yourself? Some men and women even name their ministries after themselves. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Let Satan serve as the example to all who would set themselves above the brethren! You can read about his (Satan's) abasement in Ezek. 28 and Isaiah 14 for openers. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
I, I, I, will... ascend... exalt... sit upon the mount (i.e. on high)!Isaiah 14:13-16
For thou hast said in thine heart, I willascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Oh you want play God, do you? Well, "whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased (Matthew 23:12)"! I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Satan shall be bound in the pit during the great time of teaching and required obedience to the Word of God in the Millennium and so he shall serve as an example that what Christ said in Matthew 23:12 is exactly what shall happen to those who exalt themselves! Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Here is your documentation that Satan shall be bound in the pit for the thousand years while the humble servants of the Most High reign with Christ. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That angel would be Michael who has Satan bound even now (Rev. 12:7-9) but who will soon cast him to this earth for a short time before he lays hold on him again and slams him back in the pit!Rev. 20:1-4
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
The humble servants of God shall be exalted to the thrones of rulership and they shall live(having already received life eternal) and reign with Christ during the thousand years of the Millennium. It is written, and so shall it come to pass exactly as it written. Therefore it is important that we take the time to see and understand the hearts and motives of the hypocrites, the religious play actors, the scribes and Pharisees who are the offspring of the very serpent himself, because the works they do are an abomination to our Father and bring death and desolation to the land. To that end, in our next study Christ is going to uncover in detail the extreme hypocrisy and iniquity of these hypocrites that we may see exactly how they operate, for no matter how they may appear unto men as angels of light, they do not do the will of our Father which is heaven. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
"Blessed" are those with humble attitudes (beatitudes) who come in the name of the Lord (Mat. 23:39), meaning in the authority of the Lord, teaching His Word! "Woe" unto those who come with exalted attitudes (badatitudes) claiming His authority while teaching the traditions of men!
"THE BEATITUDES" (5:3-12) "THE WOES" (23:13-33) 1. The kingdom opened to the poor (v. 3) 1. The kingdom shut (v. 13) 2. Comfort for mourners (v. 4) 2. Mourners distressed (v. 14) 3. The meek inheriting the earth (v. 5) 3. Fanatics compassing the earth (v. 15) 4. True righteousness sought by true desire (v. 6) 4. False righteousness sought by casuistry (vv. 16-22) 5. The merciful obtaining mercy (v. 7) 5. Mercy "omitted" and "left undone" (vv. 23, 24) 6. Purity within, and the vision of God hereafter (v. 8) 6. Purity without, uncleanness within. "Blindness" (vv. 25, 26) 7. Peacemakers, the sons of God (v. 9) 7. Hypocrites, and lawless (vv. 27, 28) 8. The persecuted (vv. 10-12) 8. The persecutors (vv. 29-33)
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