Make a Donation
About The Author
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan
|Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook||Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter Follow @WayneBlank|
John the Baptist was the prophesied Elijah To Come for that time. John's purpose was to prepare the way for the first coming of the Christ (see Why Two Comings Of The Christ?), a time when both of them would be martyred for it (see Martyrs to understand the actual meaning of the word "martyr").
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea [see The Jordan River], 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight [a quote of Isaiah 40:3; see notes for Isaiah 40-42.
John baptized people as a demonstration of their repentance. Is there also a "baptism" for those who refuse to repent? Yes, there is, as John warned the hypocritical Pharisees (see Baptism Of Fire).
"3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 3:10 And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Christ lived a life of example. His baptism was not a matter of repentance, but as a matter of what baptism also represents - resurrection (see Resurrections): "6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" (Romans 6:3-5 KJV).
"3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Matthew Chapter 4
The "temptation of Christ" was a demonstration of how Satan appeals to the most fundamentally human instincts to bait people into sin. He used some of the same tactics with the Christ, who was as human as any other man (see Could Jesus Have Sinned?), that he used with Adam and Eve - hunger and vanity, and not by coincidence, since Christ had come to undo the fall caused by Adam and Eve's failure to resist the devil in exactly the same way. It was a repeat of the challenge in the Garden of Eden, but this time Satan lost to "the second Adam" (see The Adam Family).
"4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights [see The Forty Day Fasts], he was afterward an hungered. 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
John the Baptist was given to "prepare the way" for Christ. Christ's ministry began when John's ended (see John's Last Days).
"4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
The calling of the first disciples, some of whom later became apostles (see Disciples and Apostles) began not long after the Christ began to teach.
"4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter [see Peter's Ministry], and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Much of the ministry of the Christ involved miraculous healing of the sick, in mind and body, physically and spiritually.
"4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and Healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils [see Casting Out Demons], and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." (Matthew 4:23-25 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 5
The English word beatitude is derived from the Latin words beatitudo which means blessedness and beatus which means to bless. Latin translations of the New Testament (which was originally written mostly in Greek) use "beatus" where most English translations have "blessed." Nevertheless, from the Latin translations some English-speaking people have described Christ's blessings at the beginning of His "sermon on the mount" as "the beatitudes."
"5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Christ's "salt of the earth" analogy is about how His people must be His people without losing their "savor." The teaching was repeated in that light is meant to shine, not be hidden amidst the darkness (see Let Your Light Shine).
"5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Although millions have been mislead into thinking otherwise, Christ did not come to "do away with the Law" (see Did Jesus Break The Law?).
"5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 5:18 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.
Murders are not committed by weapons (a weapon of itself can do nothing, good or bad). Murders are not committed by hands (you have hands - but you aren't a murderer, are you?). Murder is committed by the mind and spirit of murder (e.g. when Cain and Abel went into the field that day, Abel was already murdered in Cain's mind with and by his plan and determination to do it - see My Brother's Shepherd), as Christ made plain in this teaching.
"5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
The same principle, as explained above about murder, applies to adultery.
"5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:27-30 KJV)
Divorce, in the eyes of God, is justified only by "fornication," a translated word that has a much wider meaning in the original language of the Scriptures (listen to Fornication or Pornication? from our Sermons page).
"5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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." (Matthew 5:31-32 KJV)
Oaths are unnecessary and redundant to those who obey God's Law (see Thou shalt not bear false witness).
"5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Matthew 5:33-37 KJV)
Christ's famous "eye for an eye" and "turn the other cheek" teachings form the basis of how God will be the Judge: "10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:30-31 KJV). It was not somehow a new teaching, since it was Christ who gave the "eye for an eye" teaching to Moses (see Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?), but rather a more perfect application of God's eternal Law of love - and justice.
"5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." (Matthew 5:38-42 KJV)
"Love for enemies" is very "Christian" because an "enemy" is really just someone who hasn't yet the Holy Spirit to see the truth. A prime example of that is Saul, the Christian-hating Pharisee who became the Christian apostle Paul when his eyes were opened (see Paul's Ministry).
"5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 6
True charity is an act of benefiting others in need, not one's self, or ego, by doing it.
"6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6:1-4 KJV)
The famous "Lord's Prayer" was actually stated as a portrayal of the Gospel i.e. forgiveness of sin and the coming Kingdom of God. Prayer, like charity, must not be for "show," nor is it to be done in a "chanting" (endless, babbling repetitions) manner.
"6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Fasting too, is not for "show."
"6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6:16-18 KJV)
Living only for "this life" may well result in "this life" being all that there will be. The purpose of "this life" is to prepare for real life, eternal life, when life will truly begin (see Spiritual Conception).
"6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The Father will take care of His children, while at the same time allowing them to endure things that will make them grow strong (see No Pain, No Gain). "6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33 KJV).
"6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Matthew Chapter 7
When it comes to "judging" others, no human is superior to another. All humans are sinners; the only difference is whatever greater or lesser effort there may be to overcome. Anything other is hypocrisy: "7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:3 KJV).
"7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged [see When Will You Be Judged?]. 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
God's people must make every effort to help those who seek the truth, but they also have a responsibility to not waste time and energy fruitlessly arguing with those who merely take the Truth and "trample them under their feet."
"7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6 KJV)
The Process Of Conversion is a lifelong journey (in effect, a life toward a life). Along the way, The Lord will help those who strive to know Him.
"7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Enter By The Narrow Gate simply means to be a Christian by means of the way that Christ instructed His people to follow Him. The "many different roads to the same place" idea actually refers to the lake of fire, not to salvation (see also I Did It My Way)
"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV)
Genuine Christians obey what Christ said to do. The Good Fruit of Christianity is obedience to The Lord.
"7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves [see The Warning About Grievous Wolves]. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Christ is the builder of a home for God's people (see Mansions) - a home built upon the Rock of Christ.
"7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:24-27 KJV)
God's Word is the only Authority of Truth.
"7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:28-29 KJV)
Fact Finder: Was Jesus Christ a prophet? A priest? A king?