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Matthew 23:18-22

Lesson # Matt. 23:18-22
Study Material - Matt. 23:18-22

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.

Matt. 23:18-22

18 And [kai] , Whosoever [hos] [ean] shall swear [omnuo] by [en] the altar [thusiasterion] , it is [esti] nothing [oudeis] ; but [de] whosoever [hos] [an] sweareth [omnuo] by [en] the gift [doron] that is upon [epano] it [autos] , he is guilty [opheilo] .
19 Ye fools [moros] and [kai] blind [tuphlos] : for [gar] whether [tis] is greater [meizon] , the gift [doron] , or [e] the altar [thusiasterion] that sanctifieth [hagiazo] the gift [doron] ?
20 Whoso therefore [oun] shall swear [omnuo] by [en] the altar [thusiasterion] , sweareth [omnuo] by [en] it [autos] , and [kai] by [en] all things [pas] thereon [epano] [autos] .
21 And [kai] whoso shall swear [omnuo] by [en] the temple [naos] , sweareth [omnuo] by [en] it [autos] , and [kai] by [en] him that dwelleth [katoikeo] therein [autos] .
22 And [kai] he that shall swear [omnuo] by [en] heaven [ouranos] , sweareth [omnuo] by [en] the throne [thronos] of God [theos] , and [kai] by [en] him that sitteth [kathemai] thereon [epano] [autos] . KJV-Interlinear

Matt. 23:18-22

18 'And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering upon it, he is obligated.' 19 'You blind men, which is more important, the offering or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 'Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 'And he who swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 'And he who swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. NAS

If you will recall back in Matt. 5:34, Jesus teaches us that it is better to not make promises at all and for two reasons. First there isn't a promise in the world that we have total control over. We do not know the moment of our death and departure from this world, so we lack the ability and the power to follow through with any given promise. Second, if we are not going to be honest in our promises or if we do not intend to keep them, then it is better to not make any promises at all. If we make promises and then renege on them then we become nothing more than an untrustworthy and dishonest liar.

The Pharisees also made these arbitrary distinctions in promises in order to get more 'gold' for the temple, and more 'animals' for the sacrifice. You remember that the animals were used for the food of the priests after the sacrifices were concluded. Of course the temple and the alter provide nothing for their coin purses or their stomachs. What a convenient way to encourage 'gifts' from the masses. Better to give money (for a better promise - implied) than to just show up and pray or worship, or at least that was the implication. Those who just wanted to learn and to worship and did not put anything into the temple coffers carried an implied worthlessness, or were looked upon as something of a lessor value.

This concept of having 'things' which are more holy than other 'things' also gives an implied power to the priests or to those who control the 'things.' Don't we see holy rings being kissed, or holy water being sprinkled, or holy robes being worn, or the threat of excommunication, or the concept of being prayed for or the withholding of prayer for someone in order to impress or imply a power for a human priest or person?

So there are ulterior motives when man makes for himself things which are implied as being from God.

All man needs to do is teach the Word of God. All the other religious paraphernalia serves no spiritual purpose. The rings, the necklaces, the robes, the promises made on this thing or that are all false pretenses and when they imply the availability of some spiritual power direct from God then they are outright lies.

That which comes from God, comes from God and from no other source. Man has never had a part in Gods plan and man never will have a part. Mankind is merely a recipient of Gods grace, and nothing more. But when you look at it from our perspective, then God really made an entire universe just for us. For whom else were the stars made? No one. Man was made lessor than the angels but when history is concluded, man (that is you and I) will have a share I the inheritance of the next and new and better universe. A place beyond which our imaginations cannot even conceive.

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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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