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Matthew 23:15

Lesson # Matt. 23:15
Study Material - Matt. 23:15

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Matt. 23:15

15 Woe [ouai] unto you [humin] , scribes [grammateus] and [kai] Pharisees [Pharisaios] , hypocrites [hupokrites] ! for [hoti] ye compass [periago] sea [thalassa] and [kai] land [xeros] to make [poieo] one [heis] proselyte [proselutos] , and [kai] when [hotan] he is made [ginomai] , ye make [poieo] him [autos] twofold more [diplous] the child [huios] of hell [geenna] than yourselves [humon] . KJV-Interlinear

Matt. 23:15

15 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. NAS

Not only did the Pharisees, priests and such, not teach the truth of faith and thus kept people from learning the truth of the scriptures, but they went even further to teach false doctrines, and thus mislead and subverted the masses with lies and deceptions.

They traveled far and wide to gather converts. And that is what a proselyte is - a convert generally from a pagan gentile religion. One who has been taught the concepts of Judaism and has converted over to the Jewish faith.

There are two different types of proselytes described in the Bible. The first is the 'proselyte of the gate.' This is the convert who hears of the God of the Jews and believes in Him, but goes no further. This convert does not pursue the rituals and regulatory practices of the Jews. The second is called the 'proselyte of righteousness.' This is the one whom the Pharisees seek. This convert becomes even more Jewish (if you will) than the Pharisees themselves. They are enthusiastic and pursue the doctrines of Judaism with passion and vigor. These types are discussed in Acts 10, 13, 16, and 17.

Because the new convert is so enthusiastic with the religion, he is even given a new Jewish name to further separate him from the pagan religions from which he came. The Pharisees celebrated over their newest promoter of the 'faith.' This amounts to a celebration of evil over evil, of the false when even a greater false is added. Bad guys celebrating their victory over good, even though they did not see themselves as bad.

Hell is taken from the word Geenna. It comes from the name of a valley just outside of Jerusalem called Hinnom where garbage was burned. The place was considered cursed because it was the site where ancient worshipers of the pagan god Moloch offered their children as live burnt sacrifices, a practice taken up even by some Israelites, 2 Chron 28:3 and Jer 7:31. When King Josiah declared the place unclean, 2 Kings 23:10, it was turned into a garbage dump, and because flames and smoke arose from the valley continually, it also became a picture of the fires of hell.

These priests, these Pharisees, and their converts are no better than the garbage of hell, in effect. If you have ever visited a garbage dump of a city, then you know that it is a breeding ground for rats, decay and the refuse of society.

This is exactly what indifference to God and His Word makes people. Scum of the earth. Isaiah has already described mans righteousness as filthy rags. But if we read further into that description, those rags we know to be used and reused, and reused, and never cleaned, and reused female menstrual rags which were used in Isaiah's day. Now if that doesn't conjure up any kind of image in your mind then you need a little education on the female monthly cycle.

What we should be learning here from the verses within this chapter, is our place. Man tends to be very presumptuous of himself, and that is all arrogance driven. We grow up in life. We think that we have our destiny securely in our hand, but we actually in reality, do not. No teachers, no parents, no leaders. What is left? Subordinate followers who should be very grateful for even being alive, let alone all the rest of grace that God has given and offered to us.

The Pharisees demonstrate mans indifference to truth, but more than that, they demonstrate mans active pursuit of that which is false and even celebrating in the false. We do this every time we compromise Gods Word with ideas of our own design. We do this every time we become dissatisfied with life and presume that we deserve more. We do this every time we feel sorry for our self.

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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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