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Posts tagged ‘Narrow Gate’

The Climax of Matthew’s story

With chapter 28 we come to the end of Matthew’s report of his Nazarene teacher Jeshua ben Josef, whom he at first had not yet recognised as the future king of this earth (the king of the Jews). First he had thought this Nazarene was going to liberate them from the Romans and be their king in their age.

Often they had wondered what their master meant when he talked about events to come. Many things he said also did not become clear until God had left His Pneuma come over them.

The apostles did know that the Hebrew Scriptures explained everything that they had to know, but they were pleased that their rabboni took all the time to explain the things which were not yet so clear for them or where there was much dispute between them and the Pharisees.

For many people it was and it still is

 “seeing is believing”

and they had seen incredible things, which they also did not always understand how these things could happen. Their master assured them he could not do those things without his heavenly Father, Who is much greater than him and all other gods.

“Therefore, Jesus answered them: “I tell you this truth: The Son is unable to do anything from himself unless he sees something the Father is doing. For whatever that One may do, it is possible the Son also may do likewise.” (Joh 5:19 mhm)

“You apostles heard that I said to you, ‘I am departing and I am returning to you apostles.’ If you loved me you would certainly rejoice, because I am going toward the Father, because the Father is greater than me.” (Joh 14:28 mhm)

Several times they had seen that Jesus had done miracle works, and each time Jesus had told the people to whom he had done it, not to thank him but to thank God. In modern times this should have those who think Jesus is God already wonder why Jesus said not to thank him but God. Also, Jesus his mentioning that God is greater than him should raise questions about the possibility that Jesus would be God.

The one in whom they had put so much hope now had died and by his death, all their expectations seemed to have crashed. (Again for those who think that Jesus is God, should wonder if He then faked His death and for what cause, because God cannot die but Jesus did.) Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene were witnesses of that horrible death of Christ. They were close to the stake on which Jesus was nailed like a criminal.

All the time they had seen Jesus humble and presenting himself as a servant of God, saying he was not here to be served, but also telling them he was been authorised by God.

“Just as the Son of Humankind came not to be served but to serve and to sacrifice his soul as a ransom in the place of many.”” (Mt 20:28 mhm)

God cannot be seen, but this Son of Humankind was seen by lots of people, to whom he told he was coming to declare his heavenly Father the Only One True God, the God of Israel Who is One. With his death, there came an end for all those people to see this great storyteller. All were assured it was finished now with this man. But that is without counting on God and without believing in the prophecies which tell a totally different story.

Naturally, the Romans were afraid that Jesus body would disappear and that the followers of that Nazarene would then tell he rose from the dead. Pilate had agreed that Jesus could be buried but listened also to the Pharisees who were afraid something could happen with that killed man. On the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said that they remembered that when that preacher was still alive ‘that deceiver’ had said that after three days he would rise again.  Therefore, they hoped that Pilate would give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal him away and say to the people that their master has risen from the dead. As such the last deception will be worse than the first. For that reason, Pilate ordered to have guards making sure nobody could or would temper with that son of man.
Pilate ordered the grave to make it as secure as those guards know how and set a seal on the stone which was very heavy and blocked the entrance to the tomb.

“62 On the next day–after Preparation–the religious hierarchy and Pharisees assembled together before Pilate, 63 saying, “Lord, we remember that plotter said when he was alive, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 64 So, command that the grave be secured until the third day so none of his disciples can come and steal his body and then claim to the people, ‘Jesus was raised up from the dead.’ Then the final plot will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them: “You have a custodial guard. Go and make the security as you know how.” 66 These went their way and secured the grave, sealing the stone with the custodial guards.” (Mt 27:62-66 mhm)

The women who came to the grave were very surprised and could not think what would have happened to their master. Their mentioning to have found an empty tomb spread very quickly. This also because some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and counselled together, the religious hierarchy gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, for them to tell the people that the Nazarene his disciples came by night and stole him away while they were asleep. From Matthew’s storyline, we hear that the Pharisees were also willing to protect the guards in case the governor would want to punish them for not being on guard. The guards did not mind the money and did as they had been instructed. This way this story was widely spread among the Jews, as it will be to the day Matthew wrote his book.

“11  While the women were on their way, look! some of the custodial guards entered the city of Jerusalem and reported back to the religious hierarchy everything that had happened. 12 Now in a conference with the Jewish elders they took counsel. They agreed to give plenty of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, “Say that his disciples came in the night and stole his body while you were sleeping. 14 And if this ever reaches the governor we will convince him and you need not fear.” 15 Those soldiers took the silver money and did as they were told. And just so the rumor spread around among the Jews down to this very day.” (Mt 28:11-15 mhm)

Matthew, in his gospel book, had looked at the family tree of their master and had given a review of all those happenings which should get us to think about the role of that man about whom was spoken already much in the ancient Hebrew writings. Matthew gave a picture from John’s preaching and baptism of Jesus. He also showed how Jesus was tested and how a higher position was offered to him, which he refused, because it is only given to God to give such positions. Often Jesus was surrounded by crowds, who could hear him tell lots of stories. He gave them sermons that should make them think about how to treat others as well as how to relate to God. For Matthew, it had become clear that the true treasures were to be sought in heaven. Therefore, he wrote down how Jesus advised seeking the Kingdom, but also how he warned to be careful and to be aware of the difficulties to go through the narrow gate.

All those things Matthew wrote down so that people could come to see that their master was the one spoken about in the Garden of Eden. (Later on, Jesus good friend John would go deeper into that in his gospel.) Matthew by those few years had come to see and understand that Jesus was that promised man coming from the root of King David.

In his gospel he not only shows how the 12 apostles were called but also how they got ministerial instructions. Following those instructions not to fear but to go out in the light and to preach from the housetops, the writing of his gospel was part of that preaching work, making sure people could come to know the full story.

“26 So, you should not fear them. For there is nothing concealed which will not be revealed, and nothing hidden which will not become known.27 What I tell you in the dark, tell in the light; and, what your ear hears, preach on the housetops.28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul. Rather, continue to fear the One capable of destroying both soul and body in Gehenna. (Mt 10:26-28 mhm)

“16  Now the eleven disciples traveled to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. 17 When they saw Jesus they bowed to the ground before him but some doubted. 18 Upon approaching Jesus he said to them, “All authority in heaven and upon earth was given to me.19 Therefore, go your ways and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing persons in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy Pneuma.20 Teach them to observe everything I commanded you. And, look! I am with you apostles until the consummation of the Age.” (Mt 28:16-20 mhm)

There was now enough to teach about and for. Now all stories Jesus had told them seemed to fit and all the references to the scrolls made sense.

With the last chapter of his gospel Matthew comes to present the “bomb”, the full reason why it is so important to believe in his master. With everything Jesus had said, people should be able to come to see the things to God and to understand how Jesus Christ fits in the Plan of God. Woe to the scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites who can be found in every period of time.

“27 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees because you are like whitewashed graves which outside seem to appear beautiful but within are full of the bones of the dead every uncleanness!28 Just so you also give the appearance to others of righteousness but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness!29 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees because you build the graves of the prophets and decorate the memoriums of the righteous.30 You also claim, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers we would never have been guilty of the blood-letting of the prophets.’31 So you provide evidence against yourself that your are sons of those who murdered the prophets.32 Now, live up to the example your forefathers!33 “Serpents, born of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna? 34  Because of this, look! I am sending to you prophets, wise persons, and scribes. You will kill some of them, others you will impale, and still others you will scourge in your synagogues. You will persecute from city to city.35 As a result there will come upon you all the righteous blood poured out on earth–from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah (son of Barachiah) whom your murdered between the Divine Habitat and the altar.36 I tell you this truth: all this will come upon this generation! (Mt 23:27-36 mhm)

The prophet Jesus was impaled, but now the good news could come to mankind. Jesus had an open heart for all and gave himself as a ransom, so that all people could come under the grace of salvation. The price Jesus paid made it able to become free.

Through Christ’s death people now could bcome adopted as a child of God

What the ladies came to see was something the whole world had to hear. All over should the cries be heard:

Jesus is risen

At that time, just after the burial of their master they did not yet understand the impact of this all.

“10 Now these included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and also the others with them. They told the apostles everything, 11 but all their words seemed like a lot of foolishness to them and so they did not believe them. 12 [[However Peter rose and ran to the memorial tomb. He bent forward and saw only the linen wrappings. Then he left wondering what had happened.]]” (Lu 24:10-12 mhm)

Event after the event made the good news spread and they come to believe that the impossible had become possible.

“33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven apostles assembled together with other disciples. 34 They told them, “The Master has truly risen and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 And so they began to explain everything that happened while on the road and how Jesus had revealed himself to them by the breaking of the bread.” (Lu 24:33-35 mhm)

Having seen that Jesus came back from the dead, was now evidence that everything he had told was a word of truth, given by instruction and inspiration of God. For Matthew and the other disciples of Christ it had become clear that they had to do with the Prophetic truth, Jesus being in line with king David, being the sent one from and anointed one of God, or the Christ.

We too should come to see who Jesus really was and is; and why we should honour him for what he has done. We also should come to see and understand how this rising of Christ is an example of what can happen to us. Jesus is the first one of the new world or the first for the newborn generation. With him, we can find hope in a renewed world and a restored paradise. With Matthew’s account, we should have a full picture of the 2° Adam. The 28th chapter being the culmination or the climax to which all the previous chapters and also several Old Testament books point at.

Now we come to learn that it is possible that a man can step out of death. In case Jesus would be God, then naturally we still would not have any proof of such thing. But here it is given to us, even while the Romans did everything to have people believe that what believers said happened to be false. But in such case they would not be willing to risk their life. They were sure that something magical happened and were prepared to die for telling the truth. The Nazarene had told he was the resurrection and the life and that those who would believe in him were going to live, even though when they died.

“25 Jesus said to Martha: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. The person who continues to believe in me, though dying, will live.26 Also, everyone living who continues to believe in me, will never die throughout all future periods of time. Do you believe this?” (Joh 11:25-26 mhm)

The fact that it were first women who discovered the empty grave is in a way also interesting, because for Jews women had low status and legally didn’t qualify to be witnesses. But here Matthew notates them to have been the first witnesses. If the disciples were manufacturing or embellishing this story, undoubtedly they would not given those women the honour and would have claimed that men had discovered the empty tomb, because their testimony would have been considered much more credible. Recording the then-embarrassing fact that women first saw the tomb empty is just one more indication that the biblical writers were committed to accurately recording what had actually happened.

Historically it was clear for everybody that somehow the guarded grave had become empty. The Romans and the higher hierarchy with the Pharisees wanted Jesus death but not heaving him disappeared. The Jewish leaders wouldn’t have taken the body because this would give their Jewish brethren who followed Jesus reason to say he was risen out of the dead. A lot of people wanted the Nazarene Jew Jeshua (Jesus) to stay dead. For them, instead of stealing or doing a way with the body it would have been even nicer to parade through the streets with Jesus’ corps. Parading with Jesus’ lifeless body down the main streets of Jerusalem would have instantly killed the growing Jewish movement of Nazoreers (or Jewish sect The Way).

For the apostles, that body of their master having disappeared would be a disaster. It would give them nothing in their hands to prove that Jesus was who he said and that could happen all the things he had said would happen.
We may be sure, in case they had taken away the body, they would have told so under torture, because keeping such a lie and to die for such a charade would be asked too much.

A deliberate cover-up, a plot to perpetrate a lie about the raising of Christ, could not have survived the violent persecution of the apostles and their followers. In later years we also could find hundreds of people who were cast to the lions and got to fight for their life, whilst they could be free when they denied the story of the resurrection of their lord.

Throughout the years following this event told in the last chapter of Matthew, thousands of people refused to renounce the lordship of Christ.

Peter and John also had come to the grave and had checked it out for themselves. They too saw it was empty. But they, with others, came to see their master again. Over a period of forty days this man who had been impaled appeared alive a dozen different times to more than 500 individuals  —  to men and women, to believers and doubters, to tough-minded people and tenderhearted souls, to groups, to individuals, sometimes indoors and sometimes outdoors in broad daylight.

Doctor Luke would later write down what happened further with their master and with them who now came to believe even stronger than they did before. But until today the gospel of Matthew is the opening book of a new era, the Messianic Time, by which he showed that Jesus is really that promised son of God, who did all the time the Will of God, to be His humble servant and faithful slave.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #9 Matthew 27:45-50 – Jesus Expires During a Darkness

Death of Christ and Silent or Black Saturday #1 Abandonment and burial

Death of Christ and Silent or Black Saturday #3 A sincere man or an imposter

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #1 Matthew 28:1 – Two Marys Visit the Grave

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #2 Matthew 28:2-4 – An Angel Rolled Away the Stone

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #3 Matthew 28:5-7 – “Jesus Was Raised Up!”

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #4 Matthew 28:8-10 – The Two Marys Met by the Risen Christ

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #5 Matthew 28:11-15 – The False Report the Body Was Stolen

Matthew 28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Risen Christ appears #6 Matthew 28:16-19 – The King’s Commission

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Further reading

  1. When you believe Jesus is God, do you think he died?
  2. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?
  3. The saviour Jesus his human side
  4. The son of man given authority by God
  5. Servant of his Father
  6. The night before Jesus his execution
  7. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  8. Looking for a primary cause and a goal that can not offer philosophers existing beliefs
  9. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  10. A Messiah to die
  11. Celebrations pointing to events of ultimate meaning
  12. A perfect life, obedient death, and glorious resurrection
  13. Why Did Christ Die on the stake
  14. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  15. Death and Resurrection of Christ
  16. Why think that (3) … Jesus rose from the dead
  17. Jesus is risen
  18. Today’s Thought “God’s servant will succeed! He will be raised up, exalted, highly honoured!” (Weekend of 2020 June 27-28)
  19. The resurrected Lord
  20. Proof of the resurrection of Christ
  21. Do you purpose that your mouth will not transgress
  22. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  23. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  24. A Living Faith #8 Change

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Additional relevant articles

  1. Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus
  2. The Empty Tomb of Jesus by Lee Strobel
  3. Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by William Lane Craig
  4. What are the arguments for the historicity of the empty tomb?
  5. The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars – Gary Habermas at UCSB – YouTube
  6. The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth That Even Non-Christian Scholars Believe
  7. Risen
  8. A Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Pint 1)
  9. A Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Pint 2)
  10. A Case for the Resurrection (Pint 3): Scourging
  11. The Doctrine of the Literal Physical Resurrection by Martyn Lloyd Jones
  12. Did Jesus Christ Rise from the Dead by Ravi Zacharias?
  13. Was Jesus’ resurrection a hoax and His death a sham by Lee Strobel?
  14. What are the Circumstantial Evidence FOR the Resurrection by Lee Strobel?
  15. Evidence FOR the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Lee Strobel
  16. The Evidence for the Resurrection by Sir Norman Anderson
  17. Thoughts on the Resurrection
  18. No Resurrection No Christianity by John Young with David Wilkinson
  19. Did Jesus appear bodily after His death?
  20. Words for the Way VI: Pastoral notes for locked down times -The Road the Emmaus Recognising Christ

Matthew 7:13-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #4 Matthew 7:24-27 – Conclusion

Matthew 7:24-27 – Conclusion

 

MT7:24 “So, everyone who hears these words of mine[1] and does them,[2] will be like[3] a smart person[4] who built a house upon a solid Rock.[5] MT7:25 And the rain came down and the rivers flooded and the winds blew[6] and it did not fall. For it was founded on that solid Rock. MT7:26 And, everyone hearing these words of mine and not doing them will be like a stupid person[7] who built a house on sand. MT7:27 And the rain came down and the rivers flood and the winds blew and struck that house![8] And it fell![9] And the fall was great!”[10]

foundation built on sand (2)

[1] Everyone who hears these words of mine: This would apply in the fullest sense to those right there in the audience who did “hear” these words from the teaching Nazarene. However, others were to “hear” by means of those disciples inspired by the Spirit-Helper who produced the Christian Bible, called the New Testament (John 16:12-14; 17:20).

[2] Does them: The “doer” of James’ epistle (James 1:22; 4:17). There is then that effort to learn the teachings of the Nazarene and then that “agony” to do them (Luke 13:24). With such a warning ringing in our hears what else can we do but make it our aim to study carefully these words of the Nazarene, and then one day at a time, to apply them with great vigor. Various renderings: KNX: commandments of mine; PHI: puts them into practice (Luke 6:47, 48; James 1:15).

[3] Will be like: The introduction to this sermon began with those pronouncements of favor and blessing and now the Nazarene concludes with a strong parable or illustration. There are only two categories: a) one who knows these words and does them; and, b) one who knows, but does not do them (This may infer a third: those who did not know them. Compare Luke 12:48).

[4] Smart person: The Greek is PHRONIMO and is generally translated sensible, prudent, discreet, practically wise, prudent. The Greek also refers to “a male person” with its ANDRI but we have chosen “person.” The modern contemporary usage of “smart” carries the idea well. Various renderings: BER: thoughtful man; NEB: he is like a man who had the sense to build his house on rock.

[5] A house upon a solid Rock: The teachings of the Nazarene are a solid, rock-hard basis for developing and directing one’s life, particularly if everlasting life and the Kingdom are in mind. Compare Luke 6:47-49. In Luke the builder “dug and went down deep.” Luke does not mention “sand” but ground without foundation. Note how Paul stresses “foundation” at 1 Corinthians 3:10 and Colossians 1:23.

[6] The rain came down and the rivers flooded and the winds blew: Each of these – rain, flood and wind – may carry a metaphorical meaning but essentially they describe those daily “hardships” the Nazarene assured would afflict (Matthew 6:34).

[7] Stupid person: The Greek is MORO (moron) something like Matthew 5:22 where the man is an apostate. This is serious. See Matthew 23:3 and Luke 6:49 on non-performance.

[8] Struck that house: Naturally, either “house” would be safe and secure without those environmental disasters. But, life is not like that, particularly Christian life with its narrow gate.

[9] And it fell: A spiritual collapse by a non-performer. Centering on the Nazarene’s summary of the Torah itself, the Golden Rule, this “moron” is one who knows what is right when it comes to neighbors but refuses or fails to act positively with neighbor love. Why? A single reason: egotism. The “moron,” by the Nazarene’s perception, is a selfish person, whose first reaction is always… Self. The Friend of the Nazarene strives to reach KENOSIS like Christ: “empty self” (Philippians 2:5-7) and so the cultivated inclination is to put the interests of others first (Philippians 2:3,4).

[10] The fall was great: It is not just a simple matter of restoring or rebuilding the house. It is much worse. Such words ought to move every Friend of the Nazarene to become thoroughly familiar with these words, perhaps reading them every month as a practice; and, then, by prayer and deep thought, work daily to apply these superior principles.

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Preceding articles:

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

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Further reading

  1. Matthew 7:24-27
  2. Matthew 7:24-27 (by Anchord in Christ)
  3. Matthew 7:24-27 – devotion was written by Sally Hargrove
  4. The Parable Series – The Parable of the Two Builders (Part 1)
  5. A rock worth building on (Matthew 7:24-27)
  6. Wise and Foolish
  7. Wise build on rock, wise vote for rock
  8. Build Your House on the Rock
  9. Solid rock
  10. Hearing and knowing is not enough
  11. The faces of life
  12. Slaves For Freedom
  13. Check your foundation….
  14. Make Your Weight Loss Goals Foundationally Sound
  15. Spirit and Life
  16. Is Your Foundation Solid?
  17. Watch For Construction
  18. Steadfast Cornerstone
  19. Apologetic evangelism – The Greatest Teacher Who Ever Lived
  20. What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

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Teachings, prophets, wolves in sheep’s covering and a narrow gate

Matthew 7: 13-14 {NWT}+ {Ref B.}:13 “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+

  • Luke 13:24: 24 “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door,+ because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able.
  • Isaiah 55:6: Search for Jehovah while he may be found.+ Call to him while he is near.+
  • Philippians 3:12-14: 12 Not that I have already received it or am already made perfect, but I am pressing on+ to see if I may also lay hold on that for which Christ Jesus selected me.*+ 13 Brothers, I do not yet consider myself as having taken hold of it; but one thing is certain: Forgetting the things behind+ and stretching forward to the things ahead,+ 14 I am pressing on toward the goal for the prize+ of the upward call+ of God by means of Christ Jesus.
  • 1 Timothy 6:12: 12 Fight the fine fight of the faith; get a firm hold on the everlasting life for which you were called and you offered the fine public declaration in front of many witnesses.
  • Acts 14:22: 22 There they strengthened the disciples,*+ encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”+
  • 1 Peter 4:18: 18 “And if the righteous man is being saved with difficulty, what will happen to the ungodly man and the sinner?”+

Matthew 7:15-20 {NWT}+ {Ref.B}: 15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets+ who come to you in sheep’s covering,+ but inside they are ravenous wolves.+ 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?+ 17 Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit.+ 18 A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit.+ 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.+ 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.+

  • Matthew 24:11: 11 Many false prophets will arise and mislead many;+
  • 2 Peter 2:1: However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you.+ These will quietly bring in destructive sects, and they will even disown the owner who bought them,+ bringing speedy destruction upon themselves.
  • 1 John 4:1: Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement,*+ but test the inspired statements* to see whether they originate with God,+ for many false prophets have gone out into the world.+
  • Luke 6:26: 26 “Woe whenever all men speak well of you,+ for this is what their forefathers did to the false prophets.
  • Acts 20:29, 30: 29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you+ and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.+
  • Matthew 12:33: 33 “Either you make the tree fine and its fruit fine or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten, for by its fruit the tree is known.+

Acts 20:29-30:  29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you+ and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.+

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:3: Let no one lead you astray* in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy+ comes first and the man of lawlessness+ gets revealed, the son of destruction.+

2 Timothy 2:18: 18 These men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred,+ and they are subverting the faith of some.

1 Corinthians 11:19: 19 For there will certainly also be sects among you,+ so that those of you who are approved may also become evident.

  • 1 Timothy 4:1: 4 However, the inspired word* clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired statements*+ and teachings of demons,

Matthew 5:3:“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need,*+ since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.

 

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Preceding articles

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

False teachers and false prophets still around

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 Further reading

  1. What Does It Mean to be Ready in Season?
  2. Guarding against cults and false teachers – teach what it means to be saved
  3. How do we guard against false teaching?
  4. Guarding against cults and false teaching – know what baptism is
  5. The Consequences of Following False Teachers and Prophets
  6. Mail Call #8: How much should “associations” factor into my assessment of whether a teacher is false or not?
  7. Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers
  8. Who are those guys?
  9. Beware of the Enemy in the Camp
  10. The Rise of a Counterfeit Christianity
  11. Heresy Isn’t All Bad
  12. Things That Matter – Unity above Doctrine?
  13. Sound Doctrine. Sound Faith.
  14. An exhortation about false teaching from Jeremiah
  15. Denial of God Among Christians Today (Part 1)
  16. What Is Idolatry, and Do I Practice it?
  17. 7 False Teachers in the Church Today“How Can We Distinguish a Good Shepherd from a Bad One?”Discernment is rooted in maturity in Christ
  18. Guard the Treasure and Avoid the Trash
  19. All “Faith Healers” Today Are False
  20. 5/21/17 ~ On Guard
  21. Run For Your Life

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Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

MT7:15 You, be alert for false prophets[1] who come to you dressed as sheep[2] but inside are rapacious wolves.[3] MT7:16 By their fruitage you will know them![4] No one ever gathers grapes from thorns[5] or figs from thistles! MT7:17 Thus, every good tree bears good fruitage,[6] but rotten trees, wicked fruitage. MT7:18 No good tree bears wicked fruitage,[7] nor a rotten tree good fruitage. MT7:19 Every tree not bearing good fruitage is cut down and thrown into the Fire. MT7:20 And, so, from their fruitage you will know them.

False teachers – Bowyer Bible Gospels print 3572 By their works you shall know them Passeri

[1] False prophets: Not only is The Way narrow and cramped but there are deceitful individuals who make the journey even more difficult. The Nazarene describes these as “false prophets.” He uses this designation 4 times in the Gospels (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; Luke 6:26). Peter uses it once (2 Peter 2:1) and John once (1 John 4:1). False prophets disguise themselves, which would indicate some motive (Luke 6:43, 44). Various renderings are: PHI: false religious teachers; GDSP: disguised as sheep; PHI: greedy wolves.

The most often used context in the Nazarene’s teachings where he uses the designation “false prophets” are those who predict ‘the appointed time is near’ (Luke 21:8); or claim, ‘The Christ is here!’ (Mark 13:21) (Or, ‘I am the Anointed.’ Matthew 24:4)

These “false prophets” must also be among those who the Nazarene describes later as ones who say, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not speak before others, exorcise demons, do dynamic works, all in your name?’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

The subject of “false prophets” was one that Moses, a proto-type of Messiah, also took up at Deuteronomy 13:1-10 and 18:20-22, with two identifying characteristics: a) lead others to false gods; and, b) foretell events which do not occur.

[2] Dressed as sheep: Paul echoes this when he says that some false brothers from among the Corinthian elders appear as ‘angels of light’ or ‘messengers of righteousness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14,15) Jude calls them ‘rocks hidden below water.’ (Jude verse 12) The Nazarene foretold their success when he said, ‘For pseudo-anointed and false prophets will rise and give great signs and portents to mislead, if possible, the Elect.’ (Matthew 24:24)

[3] Rapacious wolves: Paul uses a similar description when he warns a gathering of elders, ‘After my departure, oppressive wolves, not sparing the flock, will rise among you, speaking twisted things.’ (Acts 20:29) Elsewhere he describes such “false brothers” as ‘pseudo-apostles, deceitful workers who appear as angels of light and servants of righteousness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

[4] By their fruitage you will know them: Signs are certainly not a way to recognize true prophets. False prophets are identifiable by: a) an oppressive nature which places burdens on the flock; b) false prophecies about appointed times which prove untrue; c) claim of Christ’s authority as an elitist priesthood or singular channel; d) claims of “signs” as proof of Christ’s backing.

The Nazarene later uses the word “lawless” which would mean breaking the commandments of Christ. This word “lawless” crops up at Matthew 13:41; 24:12. It ought to be clear that one of the major areas of concern when considering “false prophets” is whether what they have foretold comes true or not.

[5] No one ever gathers grapes from thorns: Various renderings: NEB: can grapes be picked from briars.

[6] Every good tree bears good fruitage: See Luke 6:43. Various renderings: a good tree always yields good fruit; WMS: sickly tree… poor fruit.

[7] No good tree bears wicked fruitage: This infers that a good tree always produces nothing but good fruit. If a tree would produce even one rotten fruit then it would at least call into question its “claims.” Various renderings: TCNT: by the fruit of their lives you will know such men.

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Preceding articles

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

The sin of partiality

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

Object of first woe

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Additional reading

  1. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  2. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  5. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  6. Good Morning January 25 We are theologians
  7. Bearing fruit
  8. Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude
  9. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works

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Further additional reading

  1. Phillip Medhurst presents Bowyer Bible Gospels print 3572 By their works you shall know them Passeri
  2. Phillip Medhurst presents Bowyer Bible print 3586 A tree is known by its fruits Matthew 7:16-19 Passeri
  3. Fruit of the Holy Spirit
  4. Bearing Fruits
  5. Practically Speaking
  6. Narrow Or Wide Gate?
  7. The Narrow Road Of Discipleship
  8. Build Your House On The Rock
  9. False Prophets 1
  10. False Prophets 2
  11. False Prophets 3
  12. Strong Roots and a Good Foundation
  13. Signs and directions
  14. Is it Fruit yet?
  15. Log?..What log?
  16. A Plague on All Our Houses: Racism in American Theatre

It is difficult to accept that we each play a part—regardless of how small—in perpetuating racism in our society. We are products of our time, and although our legislation and current President would suggest that we are post-racism, we are actually far from it. Instead, we live in a nation still reeling from the Civil […]

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Gates to different belief systems in this world

A housewife with four grown children and grandchildren looks at her blog at the many different systems of belief. She also knows that

Everybody knows  that there are people  in this world  whose word  simply cannot be trusted.     They might have attained the status  of top leadership  in the country,  they might be very wealthy,  they might be considered very intellectual,  they might be spiritual leaders — whatever the case may be,  it is noted,  often by their deeds,  that their word should not be trusted. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

Everyday we are confronted with a lot of words, news-gatherings etc.. these days it is even fashion to have several people trying to manipulate others and spreading false accusations or what a certain American person would call real news whilst naming the other and real facts ‘fake news’.

Some people use their words  to gain political power over others;  some use words to illegally gain wealth;  some use words  to intimidate others  with their supposed  “knowledge”;  and there are false spiritual leaders,  who desire to rule  over others spiritually  with their words. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

These days many people, certainly here in West Europe and in the Middle East can feel the damage which is caused by those who trap in the mousetrap of some of those false teachers who do more damage to the faith they are so called defending, than doing good to it are creating reasons for non-believers to come to believe in Allah/God or to get them converted to real Islam.

With the Internet,  TV,  radio,  books,  newspapers,  etc.,  each belief system  is trying to spread what they claim  is the absolute truth.     What in the world  should we believe  — if anything? {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

asks the American mother, adding

Most belief systems can almost be seen as  “agreeing”  quite a bit  on what is  “good”  behavior.     So, does it matter which one we  “prefer”?     Many will say it does not matter  what you believe,  just so long  as you are sincere  and  “try”  to be good. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

English: Two symbols among more than 40 that a...

Two symbols among more than 40 that are authorized for use in National Cemeteries on headstones and markers, symboling religious or belief systems of the deceased. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Christians will say that all people are saved now and that we do not have to do any works any more (And looking at some of this mother her writings we get the impression she thinks too.). They are either mislead by their leaders or just are not very well accustomed with the Words of the Bible (The Words of God). Those not knowing their Holy Scriptures, be it the Hebrew Bible, the Messianic Scriptures or Greek Bible or the Quran are an easy pray for false teachers and for faith groups which prefer their own dogmatic teachings instead of keeping to the Set-apart or Holy Scriptures.

The mother who wants her web site to just glorify God and the salvation He offers to all of us, does not want to debate anyone’s doctrinal beliefs or holding discussions on various subjects. Her web site just wants to give some quiet time to consider various verses in God’s word.

Writing

There are so many different belief systems in this world. It should be obvious that it matters which is the right way to go. Out of all beliefs, only the Bible has shown itself to be true through all the fulfilled prophecies written there. {The Narrow Gate}

she must come to recognise that we can not avoid talking about the doctrinal issues because

even within those claiming to accept the Bible’s teachings, not all will reach their goal of heaven. How can that be? {The Narrow Gate}

She too must know that not all those denominations are teaching “teachings from God Almighty” and has to see that even in Christian denominations there are those who totally ignore that history proves they are presenting not only teachings from sinful men but that many of them even do not live according to what they preach.

Many people are afraid of their neighbours and afraid of the traditions of the world. They want to “fit in with the rest of the crowd”.

They’re afraid of what their neighbours, family, and friends might say about them. And, you know what? Everybody’s afraid. We all want to “fit in”. {Far Away Hearts}

It is fine to see that the mother has seen what happened in history and that

Going back to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 15:7-9,  we need to realize that the church from 1500 years, or more, ago,  accepted these traditions of men, only because they wanted more heathens to join the church.    The church leaders were so intent upon adding numbers to their church enrollment,  that they condoned heathen influences,  in order to draw heathens into the church.

Those ungodly decisions have influenced us to this day.    So,  we don’t have to feel alone in our dilemma of dealing with the fears and superstitions we influence our children with.    This sort of stuff has been going on since the beginning of time.

That is why Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12,

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,  but against the rulers,  against the powers,  against the world forces of this darkness,  against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore,  take up the full armor of God,  that you may be able to resist the evil day,  and having done everything,  to stand firm.” {Far Away Hearts}

Looking at the world today, not much has changed between people. They still have many arguments with each other. They still fight against each other. But concerning faith and doing the works of faith we do see that these days there is less and less interest in the Divine Creator.

It is a pity the mother herself is taken into the trap of those who did agree with the Roman emperor to make Jeshua into the equal or similar person as Zeus, changing his name to Issou (Iessous/Ishi/Jesus) or ‘Hail Zeus” and making him into a three-godhead. She thinks Jesus to be God, though she says herself:

That very narrow gate”  “that leads  to life”  is a simple faith  in Jesus only  as our Lord and Savior.     We can’t add anything to that  —  or take anything away  from that. {The Narrow Gate}

We only can hope she shall come to see that she, like you and us shall have to come to believe in Jeshua, Jesus Christ, to be the only begotten son of God, the son of man, who is the sent one from God who got authorised to handle and to speak in the name of God and who was taken in the heavens to be seated next to God and not to replace God, and to be a mediator between God and man.

That belief in Christ is an essential part of salvation, too many forget. Lots of Christians do not come to see how important that is. Lots of Christians also do not recognise the grand effort Jesus had to do to bring salvation to mankind. They ignore that Jesus did not do his will but the Will of God. (Namely when Jesus is God, like they say, Jesus would always have done his own will.) They also seem to forget that Jesus gave his life and really died. Man can do God nothing and God can not die, but Jesus really did.

It is by ignoring the biblical facts that people exclude themselves from those who Jesus meant to be followers of him and to be the real lovers of God and not of the world.

Strangely enough the mother herself acknowledges

Jesus is pointedly showing us  that it is only faith  in Him  “that leads  to life”.     If we add  or subtract  from that simple truth,  we are widening  the “gate”  —  leading ourselves  and others  “to destruction”.      When describing the “narrow”“small” gate,   Jesus realized  that there would only be “few  who find it”.

We can only hope many more shall find the right road. it is even the task of believers in Christ to show others the Way (which is Jesus) to God. It are those believers in Christ and believers in God who have to show that

God’s word is the only “belief system” (if you will)  {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

English: Example of appendix from New World Tr...

English: Example of appendix from New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures, study edition, Danish Dansk: Eksempel på tillæg i Ny-Verden Oversættelsen af De Hellige Skrifter, studieudgaven, dansk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is in the Word of God, the infallible Word provided by the Most High, namely the Bible (i.e. Old and New Testament) that we should go searching for the Truth, in the knowledge that That Word of God – The bible is the only Source of the Full Truth.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Religious Theology – The wide gate!

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

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Further reading

  1. Origin of Edom, Babylon, and Rome, or Christianity
  2. Jews, God and History by Max I Dimont
  3. History of the Christian Church: Schaff, Philip, 1819-1893
  4. The changing global religious landscape
  5. Cult Mentality
  6. How someone just accepted how completely unfathomable the Trinity is, by faith. Reflection: The Trinity
  7. Faith Groups Urge Congress To Protect The Integrity Of Houses Of Worship By Maintaining Johnson Amendment
  8. Trump Signs Executive Order Easening Tax Burden On Religious Groups
  9. Bold Justice promotes civil citations
  10. Sacred Arts Tour in Coral Springs
  11. God vs Science
  12. Quick Ordination to Perform a Wedding or Two
  13. Will you see the glory of God?
  14. Strange Teachings
  15. Jesus’ Teachings were for Now
  16. My Own “Perfect” Path
  17. Dear God

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