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Lesson # Matt. 23:13-14
Study Material - Matt. 23:13-14
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
13 But [de] woe [ouai] unto you [humin] , scribes [grammateus] and [kai] Pharisees [Pharisaios] , hypocrites [hupokrites] ! for [hoti] ye shut up [kleio] the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] against [emprosthen] men [anthropos] : for [gar] ye [humeis] neither [oude] go in [eiserchomai] yourselves, neither [ou] suffer ye [aphiemi] them that are entering [eiserchomai] to go in [eiserchomai] .
14 Woe [ouai] unto you [humin] , scribes [grammateus] and [kai] Pharisees [Pharisaios] , hypocrites [hupokrites] ! for [hoti] ye devour [katesthio] widows [chera] ' houses [oikia] , and [kai] for a pretence [prophasis] make [proseuchomai] long [makros] prayer [proseuchomai] : therefore [dia] [touto] ye shall receive [lambano] the greater [perissoteros] damnation [krima] . KJV-Interlinear
13 'But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 ['Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation.] NAS
In this chapter, Jesus issues His most scathing condemnation of those who would pretend to be 'in' with God. They, false teachers and false priests, pretend to have Gods ear, they pretend to be Gods spokesman, they pretend to have access to heaven.
They provide rules for ones dietary function. They provide human intellect to stimulate ones moral beliefs. They provide emotional events to stimulate ones emotions. They provide promises to entice ones lusts. These false teachers provide all the things that negative people want to hear.
The teachers are in the wrong of course, but too, so are their hearing audience. Isa. 24:2 and Jere. 5:31 teach us that false teachers lead people astray, but the people 'like it.' People who listen to the false teaching become just like their teachers, with respect to their beliefs.
God provides more than enough truth to offset to all, the false teaching that is issued by the world. People are led astray, but they are led astray by their own free will too. No one is innocent, and everyone is held accountable for their decisions.
But there is a greater evil in the world. There are many who come to the Lord, but they have to face a very hard road in getting there. Again false teaching distorts the truth and it misappropriates and perverts Gods Word. This leads people in the wrong direction and throws road blocks in front of their salvation and their spiritual growth.
In salvation there are numerous philosophies that reject Christ and present many optional paths (of illusion) to that great reward in the sky, or that great 'oneness' with nature, or that higher plane what ever it is. And people fall for it. But then God provides truth and enough information to allow people to question all of these false beliefs, which in turn brings them to the real issue of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Second, for those who eventually find salvation through faith, then their spiritual growth is stymied because the teaching of Bible doctrine is non-existent or distorted. Again people face barriers which holds their spiritual growth back. And again, God provides enough alternative sources of doctrine such that any genuinely positive person will have an opportunity to grow up spiritually.
These Pharisees and others who promote false teaching are without authority, without integrity, without sympathy, without spirituality, without humility, and without God. Jesus calls them what they are - He calls them sons of hell, blind guides, fools, robbers, self-indulgent, whitewashed tombs, full of hypocrisy and lawlessness, serpents, vipers, and persecutors, and murderers of Gods people.
Now where is that Christian 'love?' Well people today are so superficial, so caught up in political correctness, and would rather not insult people even if what they do will send people to hell for all of eternity. Wrong approach to Christianity! Jesus calls it like it is. We from time to time cover the four evil religions of the world - Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. These four have misdirected many millions into the fires of hell throughout history. Is that something to be polite about?
Even today in our current time, there are masses of people who are misled by these beliefs, and by other cult or more modern false philosophies. Jesus condemns all false teaching and false beliefs for their exclusion of people from Gods kingdom, for their subversion of the people, for their perversion of truth, for their compromise of Gods priorities, for their extortion and self-indulgence, for their contamination of truth, and for their pretension and deceit.
Political correctness is just another name for a disgusting human philosophy of self righteousness such that we can not say or do anything for fear of offending someone. Too bad. If people are so easily offended, then they have a lot of growing up to do. They are immature, and without a spiritual life.
Seven woes or curses are presented in this chapter. The first curse is in these two verses. There are two opinions in the world - Gods opinion and everything else. Gods opinion is truth, everything else is not. If people are more into their own physical needs - their feeding of their bodies, their stimulation of their minds, their dependence on their emotions, and for all of these things their willingness to sacrifice their own souls, then they indeed have given up a great deal for something that does not exist.
Evil begins with its father the devil, Jn. 8:44. And whomever pursues evil (false beliefs, compromised standards, or just plain indifference) is a follower of the devil even though they don't give the devil much more than a thought or two during their life.
Priests and leaders and teachers who promote false beliefs are cursed by God in the strongest of terms. But they cannot be used as an excuse for we all have the right and the ability to decide what is right for us. But by the same token, since there is a great deal of this false promotion of lies in the world, then it falls on us who know the truth and are recipients of Gods blessings, to promote the true teaching of Gods Word in order to provide an offset to the lies that would lead people into oblivion. If we ignore our responsibility in this, then it reflects badly on us and will certainly come up when we receive our evaluation in heaven before that Judgment Seat of Christ.
Now the question in all of this is, 'Do you believe any of it, or will you simply ignore your responsibility to others in the world and pretend that someone else will take care of it?' Certainly God has made provision for all peoples to receive their Bible study, if they are interested in it, but He also gives each one of us to show our obedience to His Will. Do we comply? Or do we ignore our opportunity which He gives us?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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