THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW #A-1



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 20th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

 

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW #A-1

lion and lambMatthew 1:1-25

 (Note: When I began my study of Matthew, my intent was to deal only with the Sermon of the Mount. However, it expanded to cover the rest of the book. I will return to the beginning of the gospel and comment on it till we come to the Sermon on the Mount.)

 The four gospels have one theme, that theme is Jesus Christ. The theme is divided into two major divisions. 1. The proclamation of the Kingdom, and the King. (4:12-16:20). 2. The rejection of the King and the Kingdom. (16:21-26:35).

 The four gospels are still under the Law of Moses, and there is nothing in any of them of the church of this dispensation. Neither is there any preaching, or understanding of the coming death, burial, and resurrection. The present church and gospel was a mystery, and was unknown until revealed to the Apostle Paul.

 The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the last Adam, stands in contrast to that of the first Adam. In Genesis five, we see nothing but death and the curse. In the genealogy of Jesus, there is no mention of death, and the promise of the removal of the curse is seen.

 It is very significant that Jesus is called the son of David and Abraham. Both received a covenant. David is promised that of his seed, a king would sit on his throne and rule Israel forever. (Isa. 9:65-11; Luke 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15).

 The Abrahamic covenant not only involved a Seed, it involved the Promised Land. (Gal. 3:16; Gen. 13:15). When Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice, he was a type of God the Father offering His suffering Son. Thus, in Matthew, you have the first half of the book where Christ is the son of David, and in the last half, the suffering son of Abraham.

  One must not overlook the four women mentioned in the genealogy. These are Thamar, Rachab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Three of these were immoral. Two were Gentiles, and two were Israelites. This speaks volumes of the humanity, the humility, and the compassion of our Lord.

 It is important that we understand events concerning Jechonias. (Jer. 22:30ff).

  • “Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah] The curse upon Jehoiachin or Coniah was that he should be childless as far as having a son to reign on the throne of David was concerned. No man of his seed was ever to reign in Judah Manymore. Thus the Davidic line of kings came to an end in him; and yet the Messiah, the eternal king of David’s seed and of the royal family, came to be King of the Jews and this He will be at His second coming. How would Christ succeed Jeconiah as King of the royal line if no man of that seed could ever reign anymore in Jerusalem and Judah? The answer is simple: Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom the Christ was born, was of the seed of Coniah or Jehoiachin and the direct heir to the throne of David which a son of his own begetting could not occupy, because of the curse. However, Christ, who was not begotten of Joseph but of God through Mary (who herself was of another line of David — Nathan’s line), could rightfully, in the reckoning of both God and man, occupy the throne (Mt. 1:1-18; Lk. 1:23-38). See note, Mt. 1:6. Coniah had seven sons and his descendants continued until Joseph, the foster father of Christ, was born, and also thereafter (1Chr. 3:17-18; Mt. 1:1-18). So “childless” here could only mean as far as the throne was concerned.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:

 It should be noted that Jesus was not begotten by Joseph. He was the only begotten Son of God, and Israel’s King and Messiah.

 The word “espoused” has the same meaning as our word to be “engaged.” She was joined to Joseph is a promise of marriage. When Joseph discovered that she was pregnant, he was contemplating giving her a bill of divorcement, rather than have her stoned. (Deut. 24:11-4). God revealed to Joseph that she was the virgin mother of the coming Messiah. He was told that the child would be named JESUS, and that He would save Israel from their sins. Consistent with the book of Matthew, he quotes Old Testament prophecy to validate what was revealed to Joseph. (Isa. 7:14).

 The name Jesus means Jehovah Saves. However, the name Emmanuel, means God with us. This name, Emmanuel, is never used again in Scripture. It will become a fulfillment in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. Thereafter, they had a regular marriage relationship, which resulted in half brothers and sisters to Jesus. “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

  • Mary had other children:
  • It is plainly stated that Jesus had four brothers (i.e., half brothers), James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. He had at least three half sisters also: “are not his sisters here with us?” These are referred to as “his own kin.” His mother, brethren, and sisters are used literally (Mt. 13:55-56; Mk. 6:3).
  • The Lord is called Mary’s “firstborn” (Mt. 1:25; Lk. 2:7), and the natural inference is that she had other children. The Greek: prototokos is used only in Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15-18; Heb. 1:6; 11:28; 12:23; Rev. 1:5 of the first of many others. Had He been her only son, the word would have been monogenes which occurs in Lk. 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; of human parentage of the “only son,” “only daughter” and “only child”; and of the Lord Jesus as “the only begotten of the Father” (Jn. 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1Jn. 4:9).
  • It was predicted by God that Mary would have other children and the Messiah would have brothers: “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children” (Ps. 69:8-9).
  • “His mother, and His brethren” are mentioned as following Him to Capernaum and seeking to hinder His work (Mt. 12:46-50; Mk. 3:31-35; Lk. 8:19-21; Jn. 2:12). The children of some other woman would not be following Mary as “His brethren.”
  • “His brethren” are mentioned as not believing on Him until after the resurrection (Jn. 7:3-10; Acts 1:14).
  • James is called “the Lord’s brother” (Gal. 1:19). See note, Mk. 6:3. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

 

THE RESURRECTION, THE COMMISSION #56



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 17th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE RESURRECTION, THE COMMISSION #56

lion and lambMatthew 28:1-20

Although Sunday began at 6 P.M. on Saturday, it appears that the women were at the tomb before Sunday, sunrise. There is little doubt that Jesus arose early Sunday after 6 P.M. otherwise He would have been in the grave another night, making four nights in all. It was early that morning the women, Peter and John came to the tomb.

This is the second earthquake within three days. An angel rolled the stone back to allow them to see that Jesus was not there. He instructed them to go and tell the disciples that Jesus was alive, and would meet them in Galilee. They left with fear and great joy.

As they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. They came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Sometime during the night Jesus ascended to heaven and presented Himself to His Father. He may have put blood on the mercy seat. Time is not a factor when the speed of Deity is concerned. Those who had been at the tomb met Him on their way. They fell at His feet and held them as they worshiped Him.

The soldiers had a dilemma on their hands. The tomb was empty and there wasn’t a body to account for. This derelict of duty would normally cost them their lives. But the priest were also caught in the web of lies. Thus they paid the soldiers to say the body was stolen by the disciples while they slept.

o   Seven points proving their story absurd:

  •  That so many guards under a death penalty would all fall alseep.
  •  That they could remain asleep during the moving of a big stone and body.
  •  That several disciples needed to move such a stone and body could be quiet enough not to rouse a single guard.
  •  That disciples could accomplish this in secret working among soldiers stationed at the very door of the tomb.
  •  That if the guards were all asleep they could know who took the body.
  •  That their word was contradicted by hundreds of godly men who were eyewitnesses and would not lie or be bribed like pagan soldiers.
  •  That the miraculous events from the day of Pentecost on confirmed the truth of Christ’s resurrection. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:

We might add that no one would be willing to die for a known lie. Yet, all the disciples were more than willing to die. They knew the truth.

Dr. Reese correctly says, this is not the great commission, but the great omission. No church or Christian keeps this command. In fact, they cannot. In addition, the other gospels gives added details to the commission. Mark says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark 16:15-20.

Jesus had commanded His disciple to teach their converts to “observe all things whatsoever I have command you.” Now, that creates a serious problem for our brethren who refuse to rightly divide the Word of God. I know of no fundamental church that prays the Lord’s Prayer. These Bible correctors desperately try to make the gospels fit the Pauline Epistles.  It won’t work. See Galatians 2:7 to 9. What about observing or teaching others to observe all that the Lord commanded His disciples, by parable, precept, example and other teaching?

Finally, the resurrected Lord told His disciple that they would be endued with power after the Holy Ghost came upon them. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. I have been around the greatest (?) of preachers, and I am yet to meet one with any power remotely close to that given the disciples. Most people today confuse applied psychology as power of the Holy Ghost. I have had men preach who could fill the altar (?) only to discover they were practicing gross immorality in secret. They did not have the power of God, they were simply skilled speakers. No church or pastor obeys the great (?) commission, nor can they.

THE CONDEMNATION AND CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST #55



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 14th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE CONDEMNATION AND CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST #55

Matthew 27:1-66

lion and lambJesus was arrested on a Tuesday evening. He was abused and interrogated throughout the night. The chapter opens on a Wednesday morning. Those who condemned Him, and bound Him had no idea they might as well have attempted to bind the universe. He was willingly led as a sheep to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Isa. 53).

Conscience is not a sufficient guide, when free will is unable to produce godly sorrow and repentance. Judas was now fearful and showed remorse that he was plagued with self-condemnation. He brought the thirty pieces of silver and cast them down at the feet of the chief priest and elders. He confessed to them that he had betrayed innocent blood. Had he gone to Jesus, he, no doubt would have been forgiven. However, he could not repent. He was bound by the cords of sin, of his own making. Judas went to a place called the potter’s field and hanged himself. The rope broke and he fell to the rocks below and his bowels burst out. His next stop was hell.

The hypocrisy and cruelty of these religious leader is so repulsive, one finds it hard to deal with. They were violating every religious and civil law of the Scriptures, yet they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel in the matter of how to dispose of the thirty pieces of silver. (Zech. 11:12).

As Jesus stood before Pilate, He was ask if He was the King of the Jews. Jesus respond, “Thou sayest.” Jesus was saying He was the King of the Jews. Then the chief priest and elders brought all manner of accusations against Him. Jesus did not answer their questions, nor did He open His mouth. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7.

It was a custom that a prisoner be released each year at that feast. The question was put to the people if he should release Jesus or Barabbas. Barabbas was a noted criminal. Pilate knew who they would release, he was playing the crowd, and attempting to absolve himself.

Pilate has now receive two witnesses as to the innocence of Jesus. Judas said, “I have betrayed innocent blood,” and Pilate’s wife warns him to have nothing to do with this just man. God had revealed to her in a dream that Jesus was innocent.

The crowd was determined to kill Jesus, and Pilate was too weak to make a right decision. So, he washed his hands in their presence in an attempt to absolve himself of the blood of this “just” person. Sadly, that washing was not enough to keep Pilate out of hell.

The Jews responded “… His blood be on us, and on our children.” How little did they know they were giving their nation a death sentence. There is no rational answer as to why the Jews have been the object of hatred till this very day. The history of the Jew is a trail of their own blood. Sadly, the worst is yet to come. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22

Mockery is one of the cruelest forms of torture and humiliation. It is compounded when you know you have unlimited power to silence your critics. Again, Jesus shows total restraint, and He willingly drank the cup given by His Father. Matthew is careful to show the Jews that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of their Scriptures. Here, he quotes Psalm 22. “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Psalm 22:18. It was common to post the crime on the cross. The crime of Jesus read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” This not only added to their condemnation, it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. (Luke 23:38).

Two thieves were crucified with Jesus. This is another prophecy. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12. One thief understood that Jesus was innocent, and that He was the Messiah. He request that Jesus remember him when He established His kingdom. He was assured a place in it. It is noteworthy, that one thief was saved and one was lost. Someone said the lesson is, none should presume, and none should despair.

Jesus could find no sympathy from His Father, or from man. He was made sin for us. However, creation trembled to its very foundation with a great earthquake. Also, the sun was so grieved that it refused to shine on Israel for three hours. Satan had receive his death blow by the death of the woman’s Seed. I am sure millions of angels stood ready to assist the Son of God. But they were not permitted to intercede.

The cry of Jesus was not for Elijah, and they knew it. This was just one more form of mockery. Elijah is to come as a forerunner of the Messiah. They were mocking Him by pretending they misunderstood Him. Jesus had said, no man takes My life from Me. I can lay it down, and take it up again. He was is full control of His faculties, and was aware that all required of Him had now been fulfilled. Knowing this, He bowed His head and dismissed His spirit.

At the death of Christ, God took hold of the veil in the temple and rent it from the top to the bottom. This was God’s testimony that the blood shed on the cross fulfilled all Old Testament sacrifices, and that sin was forever paid for. The way to God was now open to all men, and an earthly priest was no longer needed.

We are told that many who were in the graves were resurrected after His own resurrection. Since their resurrection was after His, they too could have had glorified bodies, and taken to heaven with Him. Or, they could have raised in natural bodies like others under His ministry and died again. Lazarus is one example.

 

This is a third witness to the person of Christ. “Now when the centurion …feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
This rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph begged for the body of Jesus to bury it. Mark says he was a “… counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.” Mark 15:43. We are once again reminded that the ministry of the four gospels, and the message, and expectation was the earthly Kingdom of Heaven. It had nothing to do with the church of this dispensation.

Although the body was wrapped in a clean linen cloth, it had not been prepared for a proper burial. Certain women observed where He was buried. After the Sabbath, they came to properly prepare the body. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke 24:1. This is just one more proof that the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven did not contain the message of His death, burial, and resurrection. Had they expected His resurrection, all would have gathered at the tomb for His appearing. Such was not the case. It is a scandal that pastors cannot, or will not acknowledge the difference between the gospel of the Kingdom, and the gospel of the grace of God which was revealed to Paul.  

Dr. Dave Reese has a chart in his commentary of the events concerning the three days and three nights Jesus was in the grave.

Crucifixion Days

   Number of Days             Day of the week     Number of Nights
  Crucified on Wednesday and died of a Wednesday. c. 3 P.M.   
  Wednesday 6 P.M.-Thursday 6 A.M.                        1
                   1 Thursday 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. `
  Thursday 6 P.M.-6 P.M.                         1
                   1 Friday 6 A. M. – 6 P. M.  
  Friday 6 P. M. – Saturday 6 A. M.                         1
                   1 Saturday 6 A. M.-6 P. M.  
Total Days: 3 Saturday c 6 P.M. Resurrection(First day of the week begins 6 P.M.) Total Nights:  3

 

THE PASSOVER, THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND THE BETRAYAL #54



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 10th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE PASSOVER, THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND THE BETRAYAL #54

lion and lambMatthew 26:17-75

The time had come for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. The betrayer sat at the table with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus kept the Passover in order to teach His disciples, and to keep the Law of Moses.

  • Dake says, “Preparation for the passover (Mt. 26:18-19). Peter and John, who represented the company of disciples, went, as was customary, to the temple with the paschal lamb. There, taking turns with others who thronged the temple on the same errand, they killed the lamb. The nearest priest caught the blood in a gold or silver bowl and passed it down the row of priests to the one nearest the altar, who instantly sprinkled it toward the altar’s base. The lamb was then flayed and the entrails removed, to be burnt with incense on the altar. This was done in the afternoon. When evening came the lamb was roasted with great care. Unleavened bread, wine, bitter herbs, and sauce were also provided for the supper.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

 At the table, Jesus stated that one of them would betray Him. They were sorrowful at that saying and began to ask “is it I?” Judas dared not keep silent, so he ask the same question. Sometimes silence cries guilty as loudly as confession. Jesus said it was one to whom He gave the sop. He then gave it to Judas. Judas left immediately. The others thought he was leaving to purchase something. So much for spiritual discernment. 

Jesus blesses the bread and brake it. He then gave it to His disciples, saying, “This is my body.” Then He took the cup and said “This is my blood of the new testament.” He stated that He would not drink it again until He drank it with them in the Kingdom of Heaven.

One thing was evident, it was not His body or His blood. He was in His flesh at the table. Any amount of understanding and common sense will understand that the bread and wine were symbols of His body and blood which He would give on the cross.

Concerning the New Testament, it must be understood that a testament is not a covenant. A covenant is made between two or more people, and does not require blood. One example is in Geneses 6:18 where God made a covenant with Noah. Another, is the covenant between God and Abram in Geneses 15:18. There are too many examples for us to list. None required blood. However, a testament requires blood. See Hebrews 7:22; 9:15-20. A testament was provided in the shed blood of Christ. However, the covenant between God and Israel was not fulfilled because they rejected the testament and the covenant when they rejected the One who would provide both. The events have nothing to do withe the “Lord’s supper, or the church of this dispensation. This is a Jewish Passover and all is Jewish. 

It must be understood that there are no covenants given to the church of this dispensation. The covenants were given to Israel. “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 9:3-5. “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” Romans 15:8. The following is the promise of the new covenant made to Israel. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34. This will become a reality for Israel in the Kingdom of Heaven; the Millennium. All believers can be saved because of the blood which was the testament, and not because of any covenant. 

Peter was confident that he was ready to die for Christ, and later he would. But, not at this time. The Shepherd would be killed and the sheep would be scattered.

Jesus prayed the same prayer three times. This is a familiar reoccurrence in Matthew. Jesus was not praying that He would not die. His overwhelming burden was taking on the sin of the world. While the Lord agonized, one disciple sold Him for the price of a slave, while the others slept.

Judas gave those who came to apprehend Jesus a sign. It was a kiss. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6 . Peter attempted to defend Jesus with his sword. The Lord told him to put it away. He could call, and more than twelve legions of angels would be sent. Again, we note Dake’s comment on this.

  • “A legion was 6,000 so 12 legions would be 72,000 for Himself and the eleven apostles, or 6,000 for each of them. Each angel could slay 185,000 in a night, as one did in Isa. 37:36. On this basis, over 13 billion men could easily have been killed.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:

Although many accusations were brought against Jesus, none could agree on their testimony. Finally the priest, no doubt in frustration said, ” I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said…” In other words, yes. He also told him that he would see Him sitting on God’s right hand, and coming will clouds. The clouds could be a host of angels. This was enough to demand His death. “Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?”

Peter learned the truth about Jesus, and himself. When faced with three charges that he was one of Jesus disciples, he denied it all three times. It is one thing to say what we would do while setting in the safety of others. It is quite another when faced with reality.

 

THE PREPARATION, THE ANOINTING AND THE BETRAYAL OF JESUS #53



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 7th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE PREPARATION, THE ANOINTING AND THE BETRAYAL OF JESUS #53

lion and lambMatthew 26:1-16

Jesus continues to teach His disciples and prepare them for His death. His public ministry has ended, and He now enters into His suffering. They knew the date and time for the Passover. However, they did not know that He would be betrayed and crucified. Even though He had told them repeatedly, they had no room in their preconceived concept for the death and resurrection of their Messiah King.

The Passover began in Egypt when the blood of a lamb was put over the door, and the Lord passed over all who applied the blood. Those Jews and Egyptians who did not put the blood above the door were judged by the angel of death. The firstborn of every family died. 

The Jews celebrated the Passover on the 14th day of the month of Nisin or abib, which is the month of April, and was the beginning of the new year for Israel. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Exodus 12:2. Thousands would be in Jerusalem for this celebration. Jewish leaders were determined to kill Jesus, but they were hesitant because of the celebration and the number of people present.

In the interim, Jesus was in the home of Simon, who had been healed of leprosy. An unnamed woman came in and anointed the head of Jesus with an expensive anointment. This is the second anointing in the week preceding His death. The difference in the two events is evident. The first was in the house of Lazarus six days before the Passover (Jn. 12:1-8). This event was in the house of Simon the leper two days before the Passover (Mt. 26:7-13; Mk. 14:3-9). The ointment was contained in an alabaster box, which was of marble. These containers were of various shapes and sizes. 

There is little doubt who spearheaded the indignation amount the disciples. Judas was the one who gave the appearance of caring for the poor. This is always the war cry of religious and political leaders. Our Lord rebuked them, and said she was anointing His body for His burial. This does not mean that she understood that He was to be crucified. This is the application He gave to her act.

The meaning of the following statement is not easy to understand. “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” It was not mentioned in the early Act period when the gospel of the Kingdom was being preached. Nothing is said in the Pauline epistles of this. This may be fulfilled in the Tribulation, or the Millennium. The true meaning will be known in time.

One wonders how Judas could be blinded by thirty pieces of silver after spending three years with Jesus. Perhaps Judas picked up on Jesus speaking of death, and began to doubt that He was the Messiah, if he ever believed it. We should never underestimate the power of deception residing in the Devil. He is a liar and the great deceiver. Judas had a free will, and he choose money over the Savior. The price he paid was a trip to hell.

THE WARNING TO WATCH, TALENTS FOR INVESTMENT, AND THE JUDGMENT OF GENTILE NATIONS #52



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 4th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE WARNING TO WATCH,  TALENTS FOR INVESTMENT, AND THE JUDGMENT OF GENTILE NATIONS #52

lion and lambMatthew 25:1-46.

This chapter is a continuation of the instructions in the previous chapter. The word “Then” connect the two, and the time frame is at the end of the Tribulation.

The scope of the book is the Kingdom of Heaven. It has nothing to do with the body of Christ. The parable is “likened unto…” It depicts those who watch and those who ignore the Word, and the signs of Christ’s return and the coming judgments.

It is difficult to identify the meaning of the number ten.  It is a number of “completeness of order. Some think the ten virgins represent the the Gentile Bride of Christ and Although I am not certain of the significance of the number ten, if any, there is no doubt as to the meaning of the parable. It parallels the days of Noe, and the warning to watch. All, had lamps and oil, and all were warned to watch. While the bridegroom tarried, half did not adequately prepare. When the bridegroom came, those who were negligent, and indifferent, were shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” This, without a doubt, is the point Jesus is stressing. There is nothing in the parable about the church of this dispensation. The church of this dispensation is not the bride. Neither will any of the saved run out of oil or be lost. It is a warning. Those who do not watch will be deceived and shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Concerning the number ten, it’s significance must be determined according to its use. However, it need not have any other interpretation than the number itself. For instance, in the following parable, we see five talents, two talents, and one. Shall we focus on the numbers individually, and collectively, and them place significance on the number eight? All this my be overkill, and lead one into a faulty interpretation. 

The following parable is similar to the others. It differs in this fact, those who would enter the Kingdom of Heaven are expected to use the abilities and opportunities given them. One can see that all is a works salvation. Money and banking will not be important in the Tribulation, so the issue in no investment of dollars and cents. We are reminded of the laborers who were hired a different hours of the day. Faithfulness was the key. The man with the least ability was given less responsibility. However, he was wicked and lazy, and found fault with his lord.  

The moral is clear. Those who are faithful to the Lord in the Tribulation will receive abundance in the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who fall away, or are unfaithful, will forfeit what they would have received. Others will possess it. The five virgins will be “shut” out, the unprofitable servant will be “cast out.”

When Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation, there will be a period wherein the Lord will set up His government at Jerusalem for the Kingdom of Heaven. Dake has a helpful note on these additional days.

  • “3. The last period is 1,335 days, an addition of 45 days to the second period. The extra 75 days (the 30 days and 45 days) added to the 1,260 days will complete the 1,335 days of Dan. 12:7-13, the last day of which will be the actual day of the proclamation of the kingdom, when men who have lived through the tribulation will be blessed. It is the actual time when Christ will say to the sheep nations: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt. 25:34). These extra 75 days will be taken up by certain events necessary to the actual proclamation of the kingdom.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

At that judgment, gentile nations will be judged according to their treatment of Jewish believers in the Tribulation. Those who are compassionate and merciful to the Jews will be rewarded and welcomed into the Kingdom. Those who are indifferent are judged accordingly. The promise made to Abraham comes to mind here.

Again, this is a works situation, and those who did the good works were not aware of the reward they would receive. Nor, were the nations who refused to help the Jews aware of the judgment awaiting them. These nations will be assigned their place in hell.

There is nothing in the chapter about the church, the body of Christ. Although illustrations, and applications can be made, the teacher must first give the true meaning of the text, or people be misled. Right division must always come first, if there is to be right understanding.

 

THE TEMPLE, THE TRIBULATION, AND TIME OF SECOND COMING OF CHRIST #51



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 1st, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

 

THE TEMPLE, THE TRIBULATION, AND TIME OF SECOND COMING OF CHRIST #51

lion and lambMatthew 24:1-51

The Lord continues His instruction of the disciples. Three questions are ask, two of them are answered in Matthew’s gospel. It is noteworthy that the questions are grouped in threes. The student would be amazed to find how often that number is found in this gospel. The question as to when the temple would be destroyed has been answered, and is given great detail in the gospel of Luke. (Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-24.) The destruction of the temple happened in 70 A. D.

 

  • “The Jews were crucified in such numbers before the walls during the siege that the Romans wanted more room for crosses. Multitudes in the city died of famine until the valleys outside were filled with them. Titus himself groaned and threw up his hands in horror and called God to witness that he was not responsible. No fewer than 600,000 who were thrown out the gates were counted by the Romans. Altogether 1,100,000 Jews died; 97,000 were sold as slaves for trifling prices; 40,000 were freed because no one bought them; and 347,490 more, plus multitudes not counted, perished in many other ways.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible

The other two questions are prefaced with a warning about deception. They might be deceived by false prophets, by wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. These are only the beginning of sorrows for the Jews. They would be afflicted, killed, and hated of all nations because they believe the Messianic promises and covenants. This would include the promise of the land to Israel, and the Kingdom given to the Son of David.

Most of Israel reject their own Scriptures, and do not believe the promises of God. Thus, the secular and atheistic Jews will betray and hate those of their own nation. “Nevertheless… it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. “Luke 13:33.

The Tribulation will center on the destruction of the Jewish nation. The Antichrist, Satan, and the false prophet will target them. Two thirds of the nation will be destroyed. One third will remain to fight the Antichrist, and a new nation will be born again. (“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Zechariah 13:9.) These who endure to the end of the Tribulation will be saved, physically, to enter the Kingdom.

The fourth sowing of the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached by the remnant in all the world. The content will be that the return of Jesus, the Messiah and King is imminent. Then the end of this age will end.

The Lord now gives added details to the Tribulation. Concerning the signs of His coming, none is more evident than that which was spoken by Daniel the prophet. This is none other than the Antichrist who will set up his headquarters at Jerusalem in the last half of the Tribulation. His goal is the final solution, he thinks,to rid the world of the Jewish problem. He will enter the temple and desecrate it. Whatever it is, the Lord warns the Jews to get out of Jerusalem when they witness this abomination. These are probably the Jews who flee as recorded in Revelation 12:6. “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Revelation 12:6.

Satan returns to Jerusalem to pour his wrath on those who failed to flee. Jesus says, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” The elect are righteous Jews.

One should never believe sighs and wonders unless they are validated by Scripture, and confirmed by the dispensation in which they appear. The only thing that will keep the informed Jews from deception is a knowledge of the Scriptures. One can understand why the masses will be deluded. Most are ignorant of the Bible and right divisions.

We are not sure what this sign is. It may be the appearing itself. Once Jesus comes to Jerusalem, He send his angels to gather His elect throughout the earth back to Israel. The signs mentioned are their clear warning of His coming. The generation at that time will witness all until all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth will ultimately pass away, but the words of Christ will never fail.

As man, Jesus deprived Himself of the knowledge of the day and hour. This is a mystery. He was very God, and very man. Only His Father knew the exact time of His coming.

Jesus did know the conditions that would exist. The world attitude will be exactly as it was in the days Noe entered the ark. They were indifferent to the preaching of Noe, and were ignorant of the time and signs. Such is it today. Most of the world refuses to believe the Scriptures, or the moral condition of the times. They are busy with their plans, their families, and their comfort. “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

The ones taken are taken in judgment, as the flood waters took away the wicked. Those left, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The parable in Matthew 13 clarifies this event. The tares are gathered into bundles and burned. The wheat is gathered into the barn. The bad fish are gathered up and cast away, the good are kept. This has nothing to do with the rapture of the church. It will have been raptured long before this event. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 13:43. After the wicked are taken in judgment, the righteous will enjoy the thousand year Kingdom of Heaven.

The reward and warning is for that generation. Those who are wise will not be negligent nor taken by surprise at His coming. This is a works salvation. The faithful will be rewarded. Those who begin to doubt His coming and mistreat his brethren, and backslide into the world will be cut asunder and appointed a portion with the hypocrites.

A right division of the Word, will help anyone see that the church, the body of Christ, is not the subject of Matthew. The theme is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is earthly, literal, and conditional. The church of this dispensation is heavenly, has not earthly promises, and unconditional.

 

WARNINGS AND WOE’S AGAINST ISRAEL’S RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES #50



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 29th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

WARNINGS AND WOE’S AGAINST ISRAEL’S RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES #50

lion and lambMatthew 23:1-39

If anyone thought Jesus was effeminate or a coward, they have not read this chapter. Jesus is as bold as a lion in His attack on the religious leaders. Although, a multitude is present, He primarily speaks to His disciples about observing the Law, and not to be as the hypocrites, who say and fail to do.

There is no doubt that the four gospels are still in the dispensation of the Law. Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20.

Those who have the church beginning with John the Baptist, must strain ant a gnat in order to end the law at the coming of John. It will not work.

Jesus told His disciple to do whatsoever the religious leaders bid them do. Only, do not after their manner. The Pharisees taught the Law, but through tradition and deceit, they did not obey it. They say, but they did not do what they taught.

A hypocrite is an actor or performer. A mask was placed on the two ends of a stick. Each mask represented two different persons. One mask was held over the actors face as he played one person, then the other mask was placed over the face to represent someone else. The Pharisees were actors. The taught one thing and did another.

Not only were they hypocritical in their teaching, they were hypocritical in appearance and status. All they did, was for the praise and admiration of men.

  • Dake says, “A small square box containing a parchment or skin (about 1 1/2 x 18 inches) on which were written Ex. 13:1-10; Dt. 6:4-9; 11:13-21. Worn on the arm and forehead by men only. Common people wore them only during prayers, but they were worn continually by the Pharisees who sought to enlarge the boxes so as to attract attention. Jesus did not condemn the wearing of them but the show made of them in public. They became badges of vanity and hypocrisy and amulets to drive away evil spirits.”Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

They sought the chief seats, and greetings of “Rabbi, Rabbi” in public. The wickedness was not in the respect, but in the loving and seeking of religious titles. This rebuke is also applied to the Roman Catholic Church; including the Pope. The disciples are forbidden to seek titles, or to call any man father, in the religious sense. Any Catholic who does not understand this, or seeks to justify their religious titles, is blind or is a hypocrite, just as the Pharisees.

Now begins a series of eight woes or condemnations against these religious leaders. The first: The first and second deal with spiritual ambition. People who sought light from them about the Kingdom of Heaven were shut out by their false teaching and traditions. They were the blind, leading the blind. In addition, they took advantage of the grieving widows, and charged them for prayers and religious services. Thus, they are assured greater damnation.

The third woe: that of proselytism. This was not soul-winning, but soul-ruiners.  They sought to find men and women who would follow them and their teachings. The finished product was more a child of hell, then themselves.

The fourth woe: externalism. Not only were they blind, they were also stupid. Jesus gave a warning, in His sermon on the mountain, about swearing or making oaths. The religious leaders did not hold a person accountable who swore by the temple. However, if one swore by the gold in the temple, he was a debtor. The same was said of the altar and the sacrifice on the altar. The altar was nothing without the sacrifice, and the sacrifice was nothing without the altar. In every case, the two were inseparably connected.  They were blind fools, and could not see the connection between the two.

The fifth woe: the sins of omission. The tithe is a tenth. These hypocrites paid the tithe on the most minute and insignificant things. Mint was a sweet smelling plant. Amise was dill. Cummin was a plant for seasoning food. While they were meticulous about these, they omitted the most important matters of the Law. These were righteous judgment, mercy and faith. Thus, they were blind guides who strained out the gnats, and swallowed a camel.

So it is with many today. They are quick to condemn those whose sideburns are longer than their own. They condemn those who ware cowboy boots, wire rimmed glasses, or have facial hair. One pastor ask a missionary if his wife wore pajamas to bed at night. His reason was, pajamas have leg, and are a man’s attire. These fools, with their gnat straining standards, are fools, and would not think twice of running your reputation or ministry.

The sixth woe: empty formalism. Jesus was judged because He ate without washing His hands. (Luke 11:38). It is true today. Most people are far more concerned about external appearance, than godly character within. Some think manners and spirituality are the same. Who in his right mind would knowingly eat from a vessel that was spotless on the outside, and foul within? This was the condition of all empty formalism.

The seventh and eighth woe: false appearances, and murders of the prophets.  Years ago, our family took a vacation from Washing to Florida. On our return home, we stopped in New Orleans. It was All Saints Day, and for some reason we found ourselves near a cemetery. There was more activity there than at any circus. The tombs were above ground, and hundreds of people had stayed the night. They painted the tombs, burnt candles, and applied ashes to themselves. I spite of the attempted beatification of the tombs, each one was full of dead bones. Sadly, this was a Roman Catholic cemetery, and those who garnished the tombs were as dead inside as those in the tombs.

All the wealth, glitter and pomp in Rome, cannot hid the deceit, and corruption within that church. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the matter of corruption within her.

It is incredible and inconceivable that the nation of Israel, the apostate nation, should have been so blind and so far from God. Such is it today. There is no reason to believe that the religious leaders have improved. John, the apostle, called Jerusalem Sodom and Egypt. (Rev. 11:8).

The love and compassion for Jerusalem is demonstrated in His willingness to save and protect them. Another gospel tells us that He wept on the city. Oh, such compassion for sinners! But, every man is given a free will, and God will let him choose his own destruction if he is determined to go his own way.

Their city and nation was left desolate. As the glory departed in the days of Ezekiel the prophet, so the glory was departing again. They had Him for over three years. They tasted of the age to come, the Kingdom of Heaven. But, now they will be without God or the Messiah until the Tribulation, is which, they will pray for, and welcome His coming.

 

GREATER OPPOSITION TO THE KING AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN #49



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 26th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

 

GREATER OPPOSITION TO THE KING AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN #49

lion and lambMatthew 22:1-46.

 This chapter continues to the opposition toward the Lord by the various leaders at Jerusalem. As was our Lord’s manner, He rebuked them by parables, and trapped them in their on craftiness.

 This parable extends from the time of Christ and His disciples to the end of the Tribulation. There had been a previous announcement to the guest that there was going to be a wedding for a certain king’s son. The time had arrived, and servants were sent to those who had been invited, but they would not come. This, we believe represents the ministry of Jesus and the Twelve.

The second attempt ended in ridicule, indifference and hostility. These servants were persecuted and slain. These represent the disciples in the Acts period. Their ministry was to Israel, and like their Lord, they too were rejected.

 It is significant that at verse seven there is an interruption in the parable. Dr. Dave Reese says in his commentary on Matthew, “The church age occurs after verse 7 and before verse 8 and is not mentioned anywhere in the four gospels” (Matthew P. 197).There is little doubt that this is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A. D. After that, the command by the king was to send his servants out and invites anyone who is willing to come. Thus, there is a gap between verse seven and verse eight of over two thousand years. There is nothing in the parable about the church of this dispensation. There are too many doctrinal difficulties to put the church, which was a mystery, in it.

 This last commission is given to those who will preach the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven in the tribulation. If the last half of the parable is about the church, how did a man get into heaven wearing the wrong wedding garment? It won’t work, and must be forced into the parable to make others think the Lord is talking of the church.

 This event takes place on earth and this man without a proper garment represents those who will attempt to enter the Kingdom of Heaven without repentance, or submitting to the gospel for the Kingdom. In Revelation 19:7, 8; the wife had made herself ready, and was dressed in fine line, which is the righteousness of the saints. These are the ones who believed the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, and came out of the great tribulation. It was a works and faith gospel. There is no doubt that this man went to hell. The Lord says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

In the following, various leaders in Jerusalem come and attempt to create problems that would put Jesus in jeopardy. The first of these are the Herodians.

  • “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. HERODIANS A party twice mentioned in the Gospels (Matthew 22:16 parallel Mark 12:13; Mark 3:6) as acting with the Pharisees in opposition to Jesus. They were not a religious sect, but, as the name implies, a court or political party, supporters of the dynasty of Herod. Nothing is known of them beyond what the Gospels state. Whatever their political aims, they early perceived that Christ’s pure and spiritual teaching on the kingdom of God was irreconcilable with these, and that Christ’s influence with the people was antagonistic to their interests. Hence, in Galilee, on the occasion of the healing of the man with the withered hand, they readily joined with the more powerful party of the Pharisees in plots to crush Jesus (Mark 3:6); and again, in Jerusalem, in the last week of Christ’s life, they renewed this alliance in the attempt to entrap Jesus on the question of the tribute money (Matthew 22:16). The warning of Jesus to His disciples to “beware of the leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15) may have had reference to the insidious spirit of this party. James Orr”

 The hypocrisy of this group is too evident. If they really believed He taught the truth, why then did they attempt to trap Him? Why not accept Him? Such is deceit. It is usually preceded by flattery. Jesus knew them and caught them in their own craftiness, and silenced them. 

 The Sadducees were the liberals of Jesus’s day. They did not believe in the resurrection, angels or the Scriptures. Yet, they used the Scriptures to create a dilemma for Christ. The Law allowed Levirate marriage. (Deut. 25:5-10). A levirate marriage was a marriage of a widow capable of bearing children to a brother-in-law if her husband died childless. Its purpose was to continue a man’s family line. The Sadducees give a supposed case where a woman had seven such marriages. All her husbands died, and eventually she died also. Their question was, in the resurrection, whose wife is she. 

 Jesus countered with a condemnation of their ignorance of Scripture, and the power of God. In the resurrection, none will be husbands or wives, as the Mormons falsely teach, nor will there be marriages in heaven. Although angels are all male, there are no marriages between them. They have appeared as men and had intercourse with women. (Gen. 6).

 Concerning the resurrection, God has power to resurrect all. Nor have those who died in faith ceased to exist. They are with God in heaven, as is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

 These ambassadors of Satan now join forces to temp and entrap Jesus. Again, as at the beginning, the Devil used the question method to confuse and deceive Eve. A lawyer ask Jesus which is the greatest commandment in the Law. Jesus tells him that the two greatest commandments are to love God with all ones heart, and to love his neighbor as himself. It is obvious that on these two all the Law and Prophets hung. The nation did neither. They did not love God, and they hated their Gentile neighbors.

 While they were still gathered together, Jesus ask them whose son the Messiah would be. They said he would be the son of David. Jesus ask how he could be David’s son since David called him his Lord. The only possible way was for him to be Deity, to be David’s son and his Lord. They could not answer Him, and refrained from asking anymore questions.

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY #48



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 23rd, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY #48

 lion and lamb

Matthew 21:1-46

 

Some have designated this even as “The Triumphal Entry.” Jesus has been presented to Israel by John the Baptist, the Twelve, The seventy, and by Himself. This was done through preaching, miracles, parables, and fulfilled prophecy. Now, the Lord presents Himself officially as Israel’s King. This he does in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

No doubt, the Seventy, who went before the Lord, had arranged for the colt to be available. The owner was willing to let Jesus us it. It is noteworthy that the Lord entered in meekness and humility. It was not the day of vengeance yet.

Not only did they spread their clothes on the colt, the multitude spread their garments and palm branches in the way. Some of the multitude went before, and others followed crying “Hosanna to the Son of David…” Vine’s Expository Dictionary says, “in the Hebrew, means “save, we pray.” The word seems to have become an utterance of praise rather than of prayer, though originally, probably, a cry for help. The people’s cry at the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:9, 15; Mark 11:9, 10; John 12:13) was taken from Psa. 118, which was recited at the Feast of Tabernacles in the great Hallel (Psalms 113 to 118) in responses with the priest, accompanied by the waving of palm and willow branches. “The last day of the feast” was called “the great Hosanna;” the boughs also were called “hosannas.”

 When Jesus arrived at the temple in Jerusalem, He entered it and began to drive the money changers and the animals out. John says He made a whip to drive them out. These money changers were wicked and extorted money when changing it to that which was acceptable to be used in the temple. Jesus accuse them of making the temple a “den of thieves.” It was to be a house of prayer. “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isaiah 56:7

When the chief priests and scribes saw the people praising Him, they were displeased. Why? Because they were protecting their position and income. They envied the attention He was receiving from the common people and the children. He said to them, “…have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

The fig tree was a type of Israel. They had the self-righteous of leaves, but no fruit of righteousness. The cursing and death of the tree was a picture of Israel’s future judgment. He also gave the Twelve a lesson on prayer.

Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the priests and the elders, when they ask Him where His authority came from. He responded saying, that if they would answer His question He would answer theirs. “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” Their deceit is exposed in their reasoning. “…If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.”

The following parables show their hypocrisy. They professed righteousness, but would not repent of their own sins. The next reveals their wickedness. They killed the prophets sent by God, and they finally killed His Son in order to maintain control of the kingdom and the people.

Jesus ask what the lord of the vineyard would do. “They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” They had no idea how accurate their answer was. We must not interpret the other husbandmen as a representation of the church in this dispensation. The other husbandmen are those who knew they were sinners, and received Jesus as Israel’s Messiah, and King. This will take place when the Kingdom of Heaven is established on earth. Finally, He exposed their blindness. They were rejecting the Stone that will become the King, who will rule with a rod of iron. (Psa. 2).

Thus, the rulers of Israel have officially, and knowingly, rejected the Son of David, the rightful King of Israel. It only remained for Jesus to instruct His Disciple of future events, prior to his coming, and for the betrayal and crucifixion.