Matthew Chapters 18 and 19

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Christogenea on Talkshoe – Friday July 15th, 2011 - Matthew Chapters 18 and 19

 

Last week we discussed once more the Canaanite woman and why Yahshua healed her daughter. Then we discussed the sign of Jonah, the leaven of the Pharisees, the apostles' belief that Yahshua was the Christ as well as the expectation of the coming of the Messiah which was prevalent in Judaea at that time. We also touched upon the phrase “the gates of Hades” and the belief in life after death as it was held by all branches of our race, evident again in the event known as the Transfiguration on the Mount. We also saw the non-scriptural belief of Herod and others in Judaea in reincarnation and we discussed what was meant by John the Baptist's having come in the “spirit of Elijah”. Then we discussed at length what Christ meant when He said that “If one desires to come behind Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me!” We saw, as we presented for an example, how Germany's Christian government under Adolf Hitler actually built that precept into their political philosophy, that an individual should live for the sake of his nation, and devote his life to its well-being. If we all lived in such a manner, that we put the interests of our kinsmen ahead of our own, then we would have heaven indeed.

 

Very importantly, last week we also saw that the “restoration of all things” is in scripture the restoration of the children of Yahweh to the recognition of the covenants of their fathers, and in the context of Scripture it is nothing more than that. A lot of universalists in Christian identity somehow try to use this phrase, taken out of context, to promote their lies, but they cannot do so with any honesty and they may as well be Catholics. Christ said that the Elijah who is to come “shall restore all things” and when we read of the prophecy of him in Malachi, all we see is the restoration of Israel to their rightful place in the covenants and polity God.

 

XVIII 1 In that hour the students came forth to Yahshua saying “So who is greater in the kingdom of the heavens?” 2 And summoning a child He stood him in the midst of them 3 and said: “Truly I say to you, if you would not turn back and become as the children, you shall by no means enter the kingdom of the heavens!

 

Children have no egos, no pretensions, and no agendas. Children are generally not cognizant of sin, and they have clean minds and consciences, unspoiled by the vices of the world. It was said of Adam and Eve, before their transgression, that “they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). They came to know shame through sin. In Genesis 3:7, we see that “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” in their attempt to conceal the instruments of their crime.

 

4 Therefore he whom would humble himself as this child, he is greater in the kingdom of the heavens.

 

Very often when our brethren learn the importance of God's law, they begin campaigns against what sin it was that they themselves were most guilty of transgressing, sometimes to the point of becoming Pharisaical and wanting to rule over the households of their brethren. This is not humbling oneself like a child. Rather, it is seeking to become a judge of the law, while the apostle James said “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.” (James 4:11). Therefore Paul told the Romans, at 16:16, : ”I do wish that you are to be wise as to good, and uncontaminated as to evil.”

 

In 1 Corinthians chapter 7 Paul explains the relationship between the Law, Sin, and the Sinner, and here it shall be cited in part: “19 I do not wish that I practice good; but that I do not wish evil, this I practice. 20 But if that which I do not wish, this I do, no longer is it I perpetrating it, but the fault dwelling in me. 21 I find then the law which wishes me to practice virtue, because evil is present with me. 22 Indeed I rejoice in the law of Yahweh in accordance with the inward man: 23 but I see another law in my members battling against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of error which is in my members. 24 I am a miserable man! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” We know that we sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8). So we humble ourselves before man and God, we admit our errors when it is proper, and we seek His mercy. But we do not become pharisees of the law.

 

Galatians 6: “1 Brethren, even if a man should already be caught up in some transgression, you, those of the Spirit, restore such a man in a spirit of meekness, watching yourself lest also you may be tested. 2 Should you bear one anothers’ burdens, and in that manner fulfill the law of the Anointed? [This is a rhetorical question, we should not have to bear the burdens of one anothers' egos.] 3 For if anyone supposes to be something, being nothing, he deceives his own mind; 4 so each must scrutinize his own work, and then he has a boast to himself only, and not to another. [When we overcome our lusts or our sin, we should not boast about it to others.] 5 For each will bear his own load. [The burdens of his own ego.] 6 He who is being instructed in the word must share in all good things with he who is teaching. [Without being a Pharisee.] 7 Do not be deceived, Yahweh is not mocked; “Indeed whatever a man should sow, that he also shall reap.” [You want to rule over your brethren by the law, you shall be judged by the law.] 8 Because he who is sowing for his own flesh [self-righteously justifying himself in his boasts of righteousness], from the flesh shall he reap destruction; but he who is sowing for the Spirit [loving one's brethren and seeking to live after the true and merciful will of God], from the Spirit he shall reap life eternal. 9 Now we should not waver from doing well, for in due time we shall reap without failing. 10 So then while we have occasion we should work at good towards all, but especially towards those of the family of the faith [the Christian Israelites, out of all others of our race].”

 

5 And he whom would receive one such child upon whom is My Name, receives Me.

 

When we serve our brethren, and especially the children and those who are most helpless among us, we serve Christ as well. Christ also said this of the apostles, at Matthew 10:40: “He receiving you receives Me, and he receiving Me receives He who has sent Me.”

 

6 But he whom would offend one of these little ones who believes in Me [He is only talking about Israel, of course], it is better for him that a millstone would be hung around his neck and he be drowned in the depth of the sea! 7 Woe to Society because of offenses! Indeed it is a necessity for offenses to come, but woe to that man through whom the offense comes!

 

The word for offense here is σκάνδαλον. It is not sin or transgression. Rather it can be alternatively interpreted as a scandal (so we see the origin of the English word) or a trap. It is commonly a trap but is often used in the New Testament period in the context of something which offends or causes offense. It was difficult to choose a word here which reflects the full Greek meaning of the term. I may have done better to translate it “traps which cause offense”, and that may be a much better understanding of Christ's intended meaning (that is why translations really do need notes).

 

In Luke 17:1, right after Christ gives the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke records this discourse: : “1 Then He said to His students: “It is impossible for scandals not to come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a mill stone is placed around his neck and he were cast into the sea than he should be offended by the least one of these! 3 Watch yourselves! 'If your brother should do wrong admonish him, and if he should repent, forgive him. 4 And if on each of seven days he should do wrong to you and seven times should turn to you saying ‘I repent’, you forgive him.'” Little children, I must say, grow up into sometimes-offending, or even often-offending, brethren.

 

8 Now if your hand or your foot entrap you, chop it off and cast it from you: it is good for you to enter into life crippled or lame than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire! 9 And if your eye entraps you, take it out and cast it from you: it is good for you with one eye to enter into life than having two eyes to be cast into Gehenna for the fire! “10 Watch that you do not despise one of these little ones! For I say to you that their messengers in the heavens at all times look upon the face of My Father who is in the heavens!

 

“If your hand or your foot entrap you”, the verb is from the Greek word σκανδαλίζω, the verb form of the noun σκάνδαλον that we have just discussed. The context is still in reference to harming one of the children of Yahweh, and these words cannot appropriately be taken out of that context, as so many so-called pastors are wont to do. While at Matthew 12:31 Christ said that “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men”, here we see that those who harm their brethren will be dealt with severely. Christians are commanded to love their brethren. 1 John 4:21: “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” There is a difference between those of us who are weak and who commit transgressions, and those of us who create traps that cause offenses, which are those whom Christ refers to here. On the Monday Open Forum program this coming week, I am planning to discuss a paper I wrote and have available at Christogenea, called Sin and the First Epistle of John, which I think helps to clarify that difference.

 

12 What do you suppose? If there should be with some man a hundred sheep and one among them should go astray, would he not leave the ninety-nine sheep upon the mountains and going seek that which is astray? 13 And if he should happen to find it, truly I say to you that he rejoices over it more than for the ninety-nine not having gone astray. 14 Likewise there is no desire before My Father who is in the heavens that one of these little ones be lost.

 

Did those little ones not grow up to be adults? And not one of them would be lost? Then we are reassured once again by the Scriptures, that all of the offspring of Israel shall indeed be preserved! Not one of our race shall be lost. There is another parable here. Christ was found in Judaea to save the one sheep, allegorically, as opposed to the ninety-nine who were already in Europe and who “wandered through all the mountains” as one can read in Ezekiel chapter 34, and at that time the enemy had little influence over them. This idea is repeated in John 10:16: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

 

15 Now if your brother should do wrong, you must go censure him between you and him only. If perhaps he should hear you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he should not hear, take with you one or two besides, in order that ‘by the mouth of two witnesses, or three, is every matter established’. 17 And if he should ignore them, tell it to the assembly.

 

The following two paragraphs are from my paper, Misconceptions Concerning Paul and the 'Church', available at Christogenea:

 

All men of age (20 years: Num. 1:3 et al.) in a Christian community are equals (i.e. 1 Cor. 12:12-26; James 2:1 ff.), with a certain amount of deference given to those who are older than us who are upright members of the community (1 Pet. 5:5). As we have seen, an elder or overseer is not a lord or boss, but a leader who teaches by example. The verb rendered to rule in the A.V. at Rom. 12:8 and 1 Tim 3:4, 5 and 5:17 is προΐστημι (4291, proïstâmi) and means merely to lead, govern, preside, direct, manage, etc. It is most literally to stand before and not “rule” (for which there are many other Greek terms) as the organized ‘church’ would have it of their appointed “bishops”, something Paul would certainly not recommend. We have also seen that a minister is not an authority figure, but is a servant. A minister is not a “preacher” but may be a teacher, or a proclaimer of the Word, or an administrator of some other task. Yahshua Christ, and by extension His Word in scripture (New Testament and Old), is the only authority. All matters should be brought before the assembly and judged by the Word, which shall be discussed at greater length below. One important difference from the Old Testament judges-era model is explained in 1 Cor. 5: those who have erred terribly should at the most be excluded from the community, rather than condemned (stoned), and Yahweh will see that they are judged.

 

Surely the above advice given by Paul at 2 Thess. 3:14, 1 Tim 6:3 and Tit. 3:10 must be applied to every and any member of the assembly, including ministers and elders, and therefore 1 Tim. 5:19 allows for an impeachment process of those officers who go astray. This must necessarily be conducted before the assembly, which would decide the issue. Officers elected by the assembly must therefore be answerable only to the assembly. My own translation of 1 Tim. 5:19 reads thusly: “An accusation against an elder you must not receive publicly, except ‘by two or three witnesses’,” and the main difference with the A.V. is in reading the Greek word ẻκτός (1622, ektos), which is discussed at length in the notes to my edition of Paul’s letters. Of course Paul’s admonishment here, where he cites Deut. 19:15, should stand for both elders and any other member of the assembly.”

 

Let's reread the passage, and we are going to read it once more further below, after a discussion on the phrase “binding and loosing”:

 

15 Now if your brother should do wrong, you must go censure him between you and him only. If perhaps he should hear you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he should not hear, take with you one or two besides, in order that ‘by the mouth of two witnesses, or three, is every matter established’. 17 And if he should ignore them, tell it to the assembly. Then if also he should ignore the assembly, he must be to you as the heathens and the tax-collectors. 18 Truly I say to you, whoever you shall bind upon the earth shall be bound in heaven, and whoever you shall loose upon the earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 

On Binding and Loosing, and what it meant in first century Judaea:

 

Alexander Jannaeus was king of Judea from 103 BC to 76 BC. The son of John Hyrcanus, he inherited the throne from his brother Aristobulus, and appears to have married his brother's widow, Salome Alexandra, according to the Biblical Levirate marriage. His Hebrew name was "Jonathan", hence the Greek form “Jannaeus”. It may have been he who was the High Priest Jonathan, rather than his great-uncle of the same name, who is said to have established the Masada fortress. He is said to be depicted as an evil tyrant in the Talmud, which most likely reflects his conflict with the Pharisees. (Note that Josephus records the existence of the sect of the Pharisees to at least 144 BC, and perhaps earlier, affirming its existence at the time of the first Jonathan the High Priest, who ruled Judaea circa 151-144 BC. cf. Antiquities 13:5:9) Alexandra his wife became Queen Regent, a post which she held for 9 years, after his death. So we see at this time that Judaea had already adopted many worldly traditions which are not sanctioned by Scripture. During the time of Alexandra's rule, as Josephus attests, the Pharisees were the de facto rulers of Judaea.

 

The following is from Josephus, Wars, Book 1 107-112:

 

107 Now Alexander left the kingdom to Alexandra his wife, and depended upon it that the Jews would now very readily submit to her, because she had been very averse to such cruelty as he had treated them with, and had opposed his violation of their laws, and had thereby got the goodwill of the people. 108 Nor was he mistaken as to his expectations; for this woman kept the dominion, by the opinion that the people had of her piety; for she chiefly studied the ancient customs of her country, and cast those men out of the government that offended against their holy laws. 109 And because she had two sons by Alexander, she made Hyrcanus the older high priest, on account of his age; as also, besides that, on account of his inactive temper, in no way disposing him to disturb the public. But she retained the younger, Aristobulus, with her as a private person, by reason of the warmth of his temper. 110 And now the Pharisees joined themselves to her, to assist her in the government. These are a certain sect of the Jews that appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws more accurately. 111 Now Alexandra listened to them to an extraordinary degree, as being herself a woman of great piety toward God. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves into her favour by little and little, and became themselves the real administrators of the public affairs: they banished and reduced whom they pleased; they bound and loosed [men] at their pleasure; {a} and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of the royal authority, while the expenses and the difficulties of it belonged to Alexandra. 112 She was a sagacious woman in the management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became not only very powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the Pharisees governed her.

 

Many Bible commentators love to point to Josephus' description of “binding and loosing” as the example of what Christ meant by His use of the phrase, and the Catholic Church used it – or abused it – to claim its own supposed temporal powers. Their claim is not legitimately Christian. This is because Christ is using the terms in the exact opposite manner in which the Judaeans referring to the worldly authority had used the terms! Let us read again what Christ said about the unrepentant sinner : Matthew 18:15:

 

15 Now if your brother should do wrong, you must go censure him between you and him only. If perhaps he should hear you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he should not hear, take with you one or two besides, in order that ‘by the mouth of two witnesses, or three, is every matter established’. 17 And if he should ignore them, tell it to the assembly. Then if also he should ignore the assembly, he must be to you as the heathens and the tax-collectors. 18 Truly I say to you, whoever you shall bind upon the earth shall be bound in heaven, and whoever you shall loose upon the earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

The heathens and the tax collectors were anathema to the disciples. The disciples, and all the people of Judaea, would have nothing to do with tax collectors because they were perceived as being evil. That is why such a display was made by the people and by the supposed authorities every time Christ was seen in their company. The “heathen” - the non-Judaean nations (not to say non-Israelite) were considered to be unclean and Judaeans were prohibited from communicating with them. So hear it is clear that Christ uses the idea of “loosing” of one who should be put off from Christian communion, and of “binding” as one who should be accepted into the Christian community.

 

Likewise Paul, speaking of an evil and unrepentant sinner in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, explains: “9 I had written to you in the letter, not to associate with fornicators: 10 not at all with the fornicators of this Society, or with the covetous, or rapacious, or idolaters, seeing that you are therefore obliged to come out from the Society. 11 But presently I have written to you not to associate with any brother if he is being designated a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or abusive, or drunken, or rapacious; not even to eat with such a wretch. 12 What is it to me to judge those outside? Not at all should you judge those within you. 13 But those outside Yahweh judges; 'you will expel the wicked from amongst yourselves.'” We should “loose” the wicked from our communion, and pray that Yahweh judges them. Perhaps they may repent, and for that reason, Christ was found among sinners and tax collectors!

 

Paul also said, at Ephesians chapter 2, that Christ “having come He announced the good message, peace to you who were far away [dispersed Israel], and peace to those near [remnant Israel]. 18 Because of Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So therefore you are no longer strangers and sojourners [dispersed Israel], but fellow-citizens of the saints and of the household of Yahweh [all Israel], 20 being built upon the foundation of the ambassadors and the prophets, Yahshua Christ being the cornerstone Himself. 21 In whom the whole building joined together grows into a holy temple with the Prince, 22 in which you also are being built together into an abode of Yahweh in Spirit.” So here we have an example of “binding”, as Peter says in his first epistle “and yourselves as living stones are built a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Yahweh through Yahshua Christ.” As Paul says in Acts 20 of his necessity to go to Jerusalem, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there”, we seek to bind ourselves to each other in the will of Yahweh our God. But we must loosen ourselves from our brethren who would act contrary to His will.

 

19 Again, truly I say to you that if two from among you upon the earth should agree concerning any matter of which they should ask, it shall be brought to pass for them by My Father who is in the heavens. 20 For where there are two or three gathered in My Name, there I am in the midst of them!”

 

Of course, our requests must nevertheless also be in accordance with His will, and that is the example which He set for us when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemani, as illustrated at Matthew 26:39: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” He took the cup, because Yahweh willed it. We pray, but we do not know His will. I must add, that If we truly sought His will, we may learn what to pray for, and what not to pray for!

 

21 Then coming forth Petros said to Him “Prince, how many times shall my brother do wrong to me, that I shall forgive him? As many as seven?” 22 Yahshua says to him: “I do not say to you as many as seven, but as many as seventy times seven! 23 For this reason the kingdom of the heavens is compared to a man who is king, who had desired to take an account together with his servants. 24 And upon beginning to take it one had been brought to him, a debtor of ten thousand talents. 25 And not having it to repay the master ordered him to be sold, and the wife and the children and everything whatever he has, and to be repaid. 26 Then falling down the servant made obeisance to him, saying ‘Have patience with me, and I shall repay everything to you!’ 27 Then being deeply moved the master of that servant released him and forgave the loan for him. 28 And departing that servant found one of his fellow-servants, who owed a hundred denarii to him, and seizing him he strangled him saying ‘Repay anything you owe!’ 29 Then falling down his fellow-servant exhorted him saying ‘Have patience with me, and I shall repay you!’ 30 But he did not desire, rather departing he cast him into prison until he would repay that which is owed. 31 Therefore seeing the things which happened his fellow-servants grieved exceedingly and going they explained to their own master all the things which happened. 32 Then summoning him, his master says to him: ‘Wicked servant! I forgave you for all that debt, since you exhorted me! 33 Had it not been necessary also for you to have mercy for your fellow-servant, as even I had mercy for you? 34 And his master being angry handed him over to the torturers until when he should repay all that which is owed. 35 Thusly also shall My heavenly Father do to you, if you would not each forgive his brother from your hearts.”

 

Yahweh forgives us of the gravest errors, as He said at Matthew 12:31, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men”, He also said at Jeremiah 33:8: “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” This servant who demands of his brethren more than his master demanded of him, he is an allegory for those people whom I liken to modern-day Pharisees. They learn the law which they themselves have transgressed, and then they forget about the forgiveness, take to boasting of their own righteousness in the flesh, and rather preferring to rule over their fellows with the letter of the law, even when Yahweh has promised us forgiveness, and not judgement under the law!

 

XIX 1 And it came to pass that when Yahshua had finished these words, He removed from Galilaia and came into the borders of Judaea across the Jordan. 2 And many crowds had followed Him, and He healed them there.

 

Here Christ had entered into Peraea (as the region east of the Jordan was called), which was part of the tetrarchy of Herod along with Galilee.

 

3 And Pharisees approached Him, trying Him and saying: “Now, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for any reason?” 4 And replying He said “Have you not read that the Creator from the beginning has 'made them male and female’?” [This quote of Genesis 1:27 poses problems for those who hold to the 6th & 8th day Creation heresy.] 5 And He said “’Because of this shall a man leave father and mother and attach himself to his wife, and they shall be two into one flesh’ [a quote from Genesis 2:24], 6 so that no longer are they two, but one flesh. Therefore that which Yahweh has yoked together man must not separate!”

 

There are people who want to interpret something mystical in the “two into one flesh” statement, insisting that it can only happen once to a person, upon the loss of one's virginity. Yet Paul says at 1 Corinthians 6:16: “Or do you not know that he joining himself to the harlot is one body? 'They shall be,' He declares, 'two into one flesh.' “ Now the harlot is not a virgin, so it is evident that a man can become “one flesh” with a woman who had already been married to another. This is not, of course, said to permit or promote adultery, but to illustrate the proper perception of the term. Eve became “one flesh” with Adam although she first bore a child from the serpent. Likewise Hosea and the harlot that Yahweh commanded him to take to wife.

 

Israel was an unfaithful wife, and the Levitical law prohibited Yahweh from accepting Israel after Israel played the harlot. These are the laws of adultery and of divorce found in Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 24:1-4. But Yahweh made promises to Israel in spite of those laws, such as that found in Hosea 2:19-23: “19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” The only way that Yahweh could keep such a promise, contrary to the law, is to come and die Himself, discharging Israel from the judgements of the law, as Paul explains in Romans chapter 7!

 

Yahweh will ultimately not allow man to separate what He has joined together. Therefore although Eve was defiled, Yahweh told her that “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16). Likewise, the Pharisees, testing Christ according to the Levitical law, also received their answer. It is wrong for a man to put away a wife. But the law was provided to protect the wife, because it was inevitable that men would do so. Therefore Christ said at Matthew 5:32: “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” A man putting away his wife causes her to commit adultery. And it is wrong for another man to marry her, but it is bound to happen or Christ would not have stated it so. It was wrong for Adam to accept Eve after she had been defiled by the serpent. Yet once Adam accepted her, he was stuck with her as his wife, and Yahweh told Eve “thy desire shall be to thy husband”.

 

There is the Divine Will of Yahweh, and there is the Permissive Will of Yahweh, by which we receive mercy for our errors. Those who wish to interfere in their brother's lives when there is no one who is actually being harmed are modern-day Pharisees, who think to have received mercy but who themselves have no mercy on their fellows. They will be treated as the wicked servant of Matthew chapter 18.

 

7 They say to Him: “Then why had Moses instructed to give a letter for a bill of divorce and to put her away?” 8 He says to them: “Because Moses for the hardness of your hearts had permitted you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it had not been thusly. 9 Now I say to you that he who should divorce his wife – not for fornication – and should marry another commits adultery!” [Which of course is true, but learning this, you do not reject the wife that you have, making matters even worse. For this reason, Adam kept Eve for his wife.]

 

10 His students say to Him “If such is the case concerning the man with a wife, it is no advantage to marry!” 11 Then He said to them: “All do not comprehend this Word but those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been born thusly from the womb of a mother, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs on account of the kingdom of the heavens! He being able to comprehend must comprehend!”

 

If you do not find a legitimate wife, it is of course best not to marry at all. Even the disciples of the time of Christ obviously did not comprehend this. Here I will read Paul's advice on this, found at 1 Timothy 5:9-15, where he is advising Timothy on how the early Christian assemblies should treat and care for widows:

 

9 A widow must not be enrolled less than sixty years old, who had been a wife of one husband, 10 being accredited with good works: if she had raised children, if she was hospitable to strangers, if she washed the feet of saints, if she succored the afflicted, if she complied in every good deed. [If she lived a pious life, only then was she worthy of the charity of the assembly.] 11 But younger widows you must excuse, for when they behave wantonly towards the anointed, they desire to marry 12 with judgment because they have set aside that former assurance. [Paul is saying that it is inevitable that younger women will be enticed into sexual misconduct by their circumstances. The 'former assurance' is the hope they have in Christ, which should be first in their lives. However the judgement that they marry with is not necessarily eternal damnation, or Paul would be seen as giving up all hope in these women simply because they married husbands who divorced them! Rather, Paul is saying that the assembly should not be supporting such women – which leaves them little choice in the world at that time, but to find husbands.] 13 And then at the same time they learn to be sloths, going about the houses, and not only sloths but babblers and meddlers, speaking unnecessary things. 14 Therefore I prefer younger women to marry [here he is talking about those same 'younger widows'], to bear children, to rule the household; to give not any occasion to the opposition for cause of abuse. 15 For already some have turned aside after the Adversary. 16 If anyone faithful keeps widows, they must assist them and not burden the assembly, in order that it may assist those who are really widows [those who 'are really widows', it is evident many women were claiming to be widows, who were put away instead]. This passage, read carefully and in the context of the times, reveals Paul's teaching in light of Yahweh's Divine will, and Yahweh's Permissive will. It is better that divorced women do not remarry, but it is inevitable that at least many of them will, either out of wantonness or out of necessity (which is why Yahshua says that a man who puts away his wife causes her to commit adultery).

 

13 Then they brought to Him children that He would lay the hands upon them and pray, but the students admonished them. 14 And Yahshua said “Let the children go and do not forbid them to come to Me, for of such as these is the kingdom of the heavens!” 15 And laying the hands upon them He had gone from there.

 

16 And behold, one having come forth to Him said “Teacher, what good shall I do that I would have eternal life?” 17 But He said to him “Why would you speak to Me concerning good? There is One who is good! [Christ set s a clear example, that we should only esteem our God as being good, and the rest of us are mere men, prone to error.] But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He says to Him “Which?” And Yahshua said: “That you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not testify falsely, 19 honor father and mother, and you shall love he who is near to you as yourself.” [Of course while all ten are not vociferated here, they are elsewhere in the Gospel.] 20 The young man says to Him: “I have kept all these things! What more do I want?” 21 Yahshua said to him: “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in the heavens, and come, follow Me!” 22 And hearing this word the young man departed grieving, for he was holding much property. [Riches keep a man distracted from the kingdom of God.]

 

23 Then Yahshua said to His students: “Truly I say to you that with difficulty a wealthy man shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens! 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy man to enter into the kingdom of Yahweh!” 25 And hearing it the students were exceedingly astonished saying “Who then is able to be saved?” 26 Then looking at them Yahshua said: “With men this is impossible, but with Yahweh all things are possible!”

 

There is a story, which has for several centuries been told in Christian circles, that at one time Jerusalem, and even other cities, had a certain gate that was a special gate, that was for a man to enter into at night when the main gates were closed, and that the gate was often called “the eye of the needle” because of its narrowness. The story is pure bunk, having no historical merit whatsoever. Christians love to repeat it because it makes them sound smart, but there is not one historical or archaeological record to point to in order to show its veracity.

 

Other writers claim that Yahshua originally used not “camel” (Greek and English are nearly alike, and the Aramaic and Hebrew also, being more like “gamal”), but a similar Aramaic word which described rope made from camel hair. Yet Matthew, a native Hebrew, should have known the difference and written accordingly, there being absolutely no manuscript evidence to support any such contention. So far as the language and manuscripts are concerned, Christ spoke of a literal camel going through the eye of a literal needle. A rich man, of course, has usually traded away righteousness for wealth, and has neglected the will of God in order to pursue or to keep his riches. One cannot serve God, and accumulate riches, and if one has wealth, while one's brother is hungry, what sort of steward is he concerning what God has blessed him with?

 

27 Then responding Petros said to Him: “Look, we have left everything and have followed You! What then is there for us?” 28 And Yahshua said to them: “Truly I say to you that you are those who shall be following Me in the regeneration [παλιγγενεσία, a word which literally means “born again”, indicating a “new birth” of something which existed before, or less literally a restoration or resurrection. The usual word translated resurrection is a Greek word which literally means a raising up again. The word which the KJV and other versions render “born again” in John Chapter 3 is a word which actually means “born from above”], when the Son of Man shall sit upon the throne of His honor, and you also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel! [The Revelation describes twenty-four thrones, these and twelve others, the others for the patriarchs. Yet even that does not prohibit even more in addition to those twenty-four.] 29 And each who leaves house or brother or sister or father or mother or children or farm because of My Name, shall receive a hundred-fold more and shall inherit eternal life!

 

Paul often spoke to his fellow Israelite believers as if they were his brethren and his children.

 

1 Corinthians 4:14-15: 14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

 

1Thessalonians 2:7, 10-11: 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children ... 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

 

2 Corinthians 6:13: Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

 

Galatians 4:19: My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

 

30 But many of the first shall be last and last first!

 

As Daniel 12:2 states, “ And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” All Israel shall indeed be saved, but some of us are not going to like what state we find ourselves in once we get there.

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