Matthew Chapter 23
Jesus' "woes" upon the religious leadership of that time focused primarily upon their self-righteous hypocrisy that had so blinded them (apart from the fact that they hadn't yet received The Cure For The Carnal Mind) that they not only didn't recognize the long-awaited Messiah (see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah) when He came, they actually had Him killed. Christ had to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God, so their blindness was necessary - if they had accepted Him, the sacrifice of the Christ may not have happened and humanity would still be without a qualified Savior who paid the death penalty for the crimes of humanity (see Why Blood?).
The same self-righteous hypocrisy exists today however in much of the Christian-professing religious (mis)leadership (see I Did It My Way) who claim to be Christian but reject and contradict the very words of Christ from their pulpits every Sunday (see also Sunday Is Not The Sabbath). Unlike the earlier "Pharisees," there is no valid purpose to their pharisaical rebellion against Christ.
"23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude [see Multitudes], and to his disciples, 23:2 Saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries [see Frontlets and Phylacteries], and enlarge the borders of their garments, 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi [see Rabbi to understand Who was also a Rabbi - and Who was ultimately the only one qualified to be addressed by that title].
23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven [see The Holy Father. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater Damnation.
23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye Compass sea and land to make one proselyte [see Proselytes], and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell [see Where Is Hell?]than yourselves.
23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now? and The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth].
23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law [see What Did Jesus Christ Say About God's Law?], judgment [see When Will You Be Judged?], mercy [see Mercy To The Merciful], and faith [see The Manifestation Of Faith]: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also [see also A World Made Clean].
23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones [see What Happens When You Die?], and of all uncleanness.
23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the Prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of Vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel [see also My Brother's Shepherd] unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! [see Sodom and Egypt] 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:1-39 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 24
Matthew Chapter 24 provides a very detailed Prophecy, from Christ Himself, of the spectacular events that will engulf the entire world in the few years just prior to His return.
"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down [see Fall of Jerusalem In 70 A.D.; also Pella].
24:3 And as he sat upon The Mount Of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many [see False Christs]. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet [see The End Of The World?]. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 24:11 And many False Prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations [see The Elijah To Come]; and then shall the end come.
24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation [see Abomination of Desolation - Where?], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand: 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day [see How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4]: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east [see Why Did They Face East?], and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the Eagles be gathered together.
24:29 Immediately after the tribulation [see The Great Tribulation] of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [see Behold, He Cometh With Clouds]. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet [see Christ's Feast of Trumpets], and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other [see To Meet The Lord In The Air].
24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled [see Could Christ Return Tonight?]. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:1-35 KJV)
The mythical "rapture" doctrine is merely a misunderstanding of the very real resurrections that are coming (see The Raptures).
"24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come [see When Will Christ Return?].
24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of [see Could Christ Return Tonight?], 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 24:36-51 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 25
The parable of the ten virgins is also about how Christians should live each day as though Christ were returning immediately - because regardless of when they lived throughout human history, it is going to seem that Christ has returned "now" (again, see Could Christ Return Tonight?).
"25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins (see Neither Marry, Nor Are Given In Marriage], which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh [see The Marriage of The Lamb]; go ye out to meet him.
25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 25:1-13 KJV)
The parable of the talents refers directly to how this time of physical life is intended to be used to grow in the way of The Lord (see Spiritual Conception and The Process Of Conversion). Those who do nothing to mature with the knowledge that they have been given may be squandering their opportunity for salvation (see Born Again, How and When?). Again, see Could Christ Return Tonight?.
25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 25:15 And unto one he gave five Talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strowed:
25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strowed: 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:14-30 KJV)
Sheep and goats were used in this analogy of how attitude is vital to repentance and conversion.
"25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory [see also Christ the Conqueror For Peace], and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 25:35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 25:42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:31-46 KJV)
Fact Finder: How are the true Christian Holy Days a step by step prophecy of the stages of human salvation?
Christ's Feast of Unleavened Bread
Christ's Feast of Trumpets
Christ's Day Of Atonement
Christ's Feast of Tabernacles
Christ's Eighth Day