MATTHEW CHAPTER 5

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Matthew. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

Note that the context chapter 5 is dependent upon an understanding of the end of chapter 4:

****** EXCERPT FROM MATTHEW CHAPTER 4 ******

JESUS WENT THROUGHOUT ALL GALILEE TEACHING IN THE SYNAGOGUES, PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM - MAINLY TO JEWS; AND HEALING EVERY KIND OF DISEASE AND SICKNESS. THE REPORTS ABOUT HIM WENT OUT INTO ALL SYRIA, FROM WHERE THEY BROUGHT TO HIM ALL THE SICK - AND HE HEALED THEM TOO. FURTHERMORE, LARGE CROWDS FOLLOWED HIM FROM GALILEE, DECAPOLIS, JERUSALEM, JUDEA AND BEYOND THE JORDAN

(Mt 4:12 YLT) "And Jesus having heard that John was delivered up [put in prison, (NKJV)], did withdraw [into] Galilee. (Mt 4:13 YLT) And having left Nazareth, He dwelt at Capernaum ... by the sea, [having come] within the borders of Zebulum and Naphtalim, (Mt 4:14 YLT) that it might be fulfilled that was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, (Mt 4:15 YLT) 'Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations!' [i.e., Gentiles, (CBL); (Isa 9:1-2)], (Mt 4:16 YLT) the people... sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those sitting in a region and [in a] shadow of death - light arose to them. (Mt 4:17 NAS) From then [that time on] Jesus began to preach and say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (Mt 4:18 NKJV) And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. (Mt 4:19 NIV) 'Come, follow Me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' (Mt 4:20 YLT) and they, immediately, having left the nets, did follow Him. (Mt 4:21 NKJV) Going on [lit., having gone] from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, (Mt 4:22 YLT) and they, immediately, having left the boat and their father, did follow Him. (Mt 4:23 NAS) Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Mt 4:24 CBL) And the report of Him went out into all Syria. And they brought to Him all the [sick] having various diseases and torments, [oppressed with sicknesses], demon possessed, [epileptics], paralytics; and He healed them. (Mt 4:25 HOLMAN) [And] large crowds followed Him from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan." =

Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in many synagogues proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God, (Mt 4:23), which is the content of the message proclaimed by Jesus and John the Baptist and summarized by their saying, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," , (cf. Mt 4:17). The word rendered "synagogue," is defined as a local place where Jews gathered for instruction and worship - a place in which anyone might be asked to speak. The main audience of Jesus, as it was of John the Baptist, was the Jewish population. In the case of Jesus' ministry, people gathered in the local synagogues throughout Galilee, where as an itinerant preacher and teacher He repeated the same teachings again and again; and He faced the same problems, illnesses, and needs again and again. Since Galilee had over 200 cities and villages, many with a population of more than 15,000; then Jesus evidently delivered His message to millions of people.

When the report of Jesus went out into all Syria, which was north of Galilee, people brought to Him all the sick, those that had various diseases, torments, the demon possessed, epileptics, paralytics. Evidently, these were the most serious illnesses of that day - which many regarded as incurable. And Jesus healed every kind of disease and sickness among the people there.

Great multitudes of people followed Him from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, and beyond the Jordan from Perea. Decapolis literally meant 'the 10 cities.' It contained ten cities, including Gadara, Gerasa, and Pella which were founded and chiefly inhabited by Gentiles, especially Greeks. Decapolis was in the region east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River extending from Damascus in the north to Philadelphia in the south. Many people followed Jesus from place to place, most did not become disciples, nevertheless they followed Him for a season, not solely because of the miracles He performed, but also because of His teaching.

At this point in time, Jesus' reputation quickly extended to millions of people far beyond Galilee, where the the light of His presence and message had first 'dawned,' (Mt 4:16-25).

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM MATTHEW CHAPTER 4 ******

I) [Mt 5:1-12]:

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him,

(Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying:

(Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

(Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.

(Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

(Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

(Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

(Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

(Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.

(Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' "

A) HAVING SEEN CROWDS OF PEOPLE FOLLOWING HIM, JESUS WENT UP TO A LOCATION IN ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS NEAR CAPERNAUM AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE, EVIDENTLY TO GET AWAY FROM THEM. THERE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE HE SAT DOWN AS WAS THE CUSTOM WHEN RABBIS TAUGHT OTHERS. WHEN HIS DISCIPLES CAME TO HIM, HE BEGAN TO INSTRUCT THEM

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. (Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' " =

Having seen crowds of people following Him, Jesus went up to a location in one of the mountains near Capernaum around the Sea of Galilee, evidently to get away from people, except for His disciples. There on the mountainside, He sat down as was the custom when rabbis taught others. When His disciples came to Him, He began to instruct them. Jesus' Disciples were among the many who followed Him around. But more specifically, disciples are those individuals who have purposed to learn what He taught them in order to follow His teachings. Their number was not limited to the Twelve, nor were they necessarily all believers. On the other hand, the prerequisite of Jesus' teaching which He proclaimed on the mountain was an acceptance of His message proclaimed earlier by Jesus and John the Baptist and as summarized by "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," ..Note Jesus' first instruction, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven," which implied residence in the Kingdom of Heaven in order to receive ownership / rulership of it through being characteristically poor in spirit," (Mt 5:3). The phrase rendered, "And having opened His mouth," was an emphatic way of indicating that Jesus was about to proclaim something to them of great importance. In this manner, then, Jesus began to teach His disciples. Note that the lessons proclaimed to the disciple / believers were also heard by all who gathered around Him as He taught.

B) THE WORD RENDERED "BLESSED" APPEARS THROUGHOUT THIS SECTION OF MATTHEW CHAPTER 5 CONVEYING THE SENSE OF BEING SINGULARLY BLESSED BY THE GRACE OF GOD, I.E., BY GOD'S UNMERITED FAVOR. THE NINE BLESSINGS ARE STIPULATED AS REWARDS WHICH ARE DECLARED WILL BE BESTOWED BY GOD UPON PARTICULAR BELIEVERS, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES CHARACTERIZED IN THE MANNER STIPULATED THROUGHOUT THE PASSAGE. AUTHOR MATTHEW STIPULATED THAT JUST LIKE THE PROPHETS OF THE PAST THESE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WILL RECEIVE REWARDS IN THE TEMPORAL AS WELL AS HEAVENLY LIFE COMMENSURATE WITH THEIR FAITHFULNESS. SO UNBELIEVERS AND LESS FAITHFUL BELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW. FURTHERMORE, SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE CANNOT BE IN VIEW BECAUSE THAT IS A GIFT, NOT A REWARD

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. (Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' " =

The word rendered "blessed" appears nine times throughout this section of Matthew chapter 5 conveying the sense of being singularly blessed by the grace of God, i.e., by God's unmerited favor. These nine blessings are bestowed as temporal and heavenly rewards commensurate with their faithfulness upon particular believers, hence not all believers - those in the same category as the prophets of the past, because they have led singularly faithful lives characterized in the manner stipulated throughout the passage, (cf. Mt 5:12). So unbelievers and less faithful believers are not in view. Furthermore, salvation unto eternal life cannot be in view because that is bestowed as a grace gift through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, ; and not as a reward for being faithful in the temporal life.

C) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT" HAS BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES BEING POOR IN SPIRIT ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 3 AS BEING POOR IN SPIRIT, I.E., AS HAVING DEMONSTRATED THEIR TOTAL LACK OF CAPACITY TO BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. SO A SPIRITUAL POVERTY, NOT A TEMPORAL ONE, IS IN VIEW IN CHAPTER 5. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED SUCH A MOMENT OF BEING POOR IN SPIRIT BEFORE GOD WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THE REWARD FOR THE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITHFULNESS IS CONVEYED BY THE PHRASE RENDERED "THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN," A STATEMENT OF POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM EVIDENTLY COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF BEING POOR IN SPIRIT IN ONE'S TEMPORAL LIFE. POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IMPLIES THAT ONE HAS ALREADY GAINED ENTRANCE INTO IT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE OWNERSHIP OF IT, CORROBORATING THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." =

So Jesus began to teach "His disciples," saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Greek word, "Makarioi" rendered "Blessed" in Mt 5:3 portrays an individual being singularly favored by the grace of God, i.e., by His unmerited favor relative to a future blessing / reward in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, of becoming possessors / co rulers of it. The phrase rendered "blessed are the poor in spirit" has believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses being poor in spirit according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 3 as being poor in spirit, i.e., as having demonstrated their total lack of capacity to be righteous before God, and instead have characteristically trusted solely in God by the grace of God to provide it in them and for them without any merit. So a spiritual poverty, not a temporal one, is in view in chapter 5. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated such a moment of being poor in spirit before God which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. The reward for the particular believers because of their faithfulness is conveyed by the phrase rendered "theirs is the kingdom of heaven," a statement of possession of the kingdom evidently commensurate with the quality and duration of being poor in spirit in one's temporal life. Possession of the Kingdom of Heaven implies that one has already gained entrance into it in order to receive ownership of it, corroborating that only believers are in view.

The context of Matthew 5:3 which includes chapters 1-4 implies that every individual is born poor in spirit in the sense that no one is able to demonstrate the Righteousness of God in one's life at any time and in any manner, spiritual or otherwise. So the context implies that man can only do evil. Hence every one needs God's Righteousness to be provided by God's Son through faith alone in Him alone. But most people deceive themselves into believing that they have something to offer God or their god(s); refusing to acknowledge before God that everything they do falls short of God's Righteousness. Even the human good that man does falls short of the Righteousness of God, hence it is evil coming from the flawed nature of man. Hence only a few individuals acknowledge their spiritual poverty before God; and even when they do and become believers, there is no guarantee that one will consistently demonstrate being poor in spirit, if they do it at all, in their temporal lives, (Mt 5:3).

D) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN" CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW. FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE DEMONSTRATES MOURNING ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 4 AS MOURNING IN THE SENSE THAT THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES ARE CHARACTERIZED AS EXPERIENCING GRIEF OVER THEIR TOTAL LACK OF CAPACITY TO BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. THEY MOURN THEIR SPIRITUAL POVERTY. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED A MOMENT OF SUCH MOURNING WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDE, FOR THOSE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO MOURN ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS WHO CHARACTERISTICALLY MOURN IS TO BE COMFORTED BY GOD IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR MOURNING, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL LIFE IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are those who mourn" continues to have believers exclusively in view. For only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one demonstrates mourning according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. The Greek word "penthountes" rendered "those who mourn" in the NKJV conveys the idea of feeling and / or expressing grief or sorrow for one's and the world's total lack of capacity to be righteous before God. So particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 4 as mourning in the sense that their temporal lives are characterized as experiencing grief over the world's and their total lack of capacity to be righteous before God. They mourn their spiritual poverty. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated a moment of such mourning which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitude, for those particular believers who mourn are those who are poor in spirit. The reward for believers who characteristically mourn is to be comforted by God in their temporal lives commensurate with the quality and duration of their mourning, not the least of which is assurance of eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven when they will no longer be mourning their spiritual poverty.

Although all believers have the assurance by God of eternal life available to them to comfort them; during those times when believers' lives are not characterized as being poor in spirit - nor as mourning their lack of righteousness before God, they tend to look within themselves instead of God alone through His Son alone for assurance of their salvation, whereupon they often question their eternal security, blocking God's comfort in the matter.

E) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE MEEK CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES MEEKNESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 5 AS MEEK IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES IN THE SENSE OF BEING HUMBLE AND SUBMISSIVE TO GOD - ACKNOWLEDGING IN THEIR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS THAT AT NO TIME CAN THEY BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH MEEKNESS WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES - FOR THOSE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO ARE MEEK ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, WHO ARE THOSE WHO MOURN. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY MEEK IS STIPULATED AS INHERITING THE EARTH IN THE SENSE OF RECEIVING IT AS AN INHERITED POSSESSION WHEN IT IS UNDER THE RULE OF THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON EARTH COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THE MEEKNESS. INHERITING THE EARTH IN THIS CONTEXT IMPLIES THAT ONE HAS ALREADY GAINED ENTRANCE INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IN ORDER TO RECEIVE IT AS AN INHERITANCE CORROBORATING THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the meek continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses meekness according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. The word "praeis" rendered "meek" in the NKJV means being humble and submissive to God in the sense of acknowledging in one's thoughts, words and deeds that at no time in one's temporal life can one be righteous before God. Hence one is trusting in God's Righteousness and not one's own. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 5 as being meek in their temporal lives in that sense. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such meekness which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes - for those particular believers who are meek are those who are poor in spirit, who are those who mourn. The reward for believers being characteristically meek is stipulated as inheriting the earth in the sense of receiving it as an inherited possession when it is under the rule of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven on earth commensurate with the quality and duration of the meekness. Inheriting the earth in this context implies that one has already gained entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven in order to receive it as an inheritance corroborating that only believers are in view.

F) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS" CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE HUNGERS AND THIRSTS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 6 AS ONES WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE SENSE OF EARNESTLY DESIRING FOR GOD TO EXPRESS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THEM, THROUGH THEM AND AROUND THEM IN THE WORLD, WHICH ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE FOR THEM, IMPLYING A LACK OF IT IN THEMSELVES AND THE WORLD. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH HUNGER AND THIRST WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES - FOR THOSE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HUNGER AND THIRST IN SUCH A MANNER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, AND ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS WHOSE TEMPORAL LIVES ARE CHARACTERIZED BY HUNGERING AND THIRSTING IN SUCH A MANNER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS TO BE FILLED IN THE SENSE OF BEING CONTROLLED BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THAT HUNGERING AND THIRSTING. NOTE THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW HERE BECAUSE UNBELIEVERS BY DEFINITION DO NOT CHOOSE TO BE FILLED / CONTROLLED BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven and thereby have been credited with the Righteous of God and have gained the promise of entrance into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven . .This is evidenced when the believer hungers and thirsts for righteousness in his temporal life according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Although all believers will receive and exclusively express the Righteousness of God in their experience when they begin experiencing eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, it has already been established that all individuals, which includes all believers, do not have within them the capacity to be Righteous as God is Righteous in their temporal lives, (Mt 5:3-4). On the other hand, particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 6 as one's who hunger and thirst for righteousness in the sense of earnestly desiring for God to express His Righteousness in them, through them and around them in the world. Only God can provide this for them; implying a lack of it in themselves and the world. For one hungers and thirsts for what one does not have. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such a hunger and thirst which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. For unbelievers inevitably justify their unrighteousness in some manner, despite their untenable position before God. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes - for those particular believers who hunger and thirst in such a manner for righteousness are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, and are those who are meek. The reward for believers whose temporal lives are characterized by hungering and thirsting in such a manner for righteousness is to be filled in the sense of being controlled by the Righteousness of God in their temporal lives commensurate with the quality and duration of that hungering and thirsting.

Just as one can be filled with joy in the sense of being controlled by feelings of joy as demonstrated in one's behavior; and just as one can be filled with the Spirit of God in the sense of one's behavior being under the righteous control of God; so one can be filled with the Righteousness of God in the sense of one's behavior being under the righteous control of God, Who motivates one to follow His leading to be righteous. Note that only believers are in view here because unbelievers by definition do not choose and cannot be filled / controlled by the Righteousness of God.

G) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY" IN MT 5:7 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BY THE MERCY OF GOD, WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES GODLY MERCY ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. ALTHOUGH ALL BELIEVERS HAVE RECEIVED THE MERCY OF GOD WHEN THEY BELIEVED AND RECEIVED ETERNAL LIFE; ONLY PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 7 AS MERCIFUL IN THE SENSE OF DEMONSTRATING A GODLY, AGAPE-SELF SACRIFICIAL LOVE IN BEING GRACIOUS, KIND, COMPASSIONATE AND FORGIVING TOWARD ALL OTHERS. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH MERCY THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES - FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE MERCIFUL ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY MERCIFUL IS TO OBTAIN MERCY FROM GOD COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR BEING MERCIFUL TO OTHERS. NOTE THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW HERE BECAUSE UNBELIEVERS DO NOT AND CANNOT CHOOSE TO BE MERCIFUL IN A GODLY MANNER

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" in Mt 5:7 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven by the mercy of God. ., which is evidenced when one expresses godly mercy according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Note that being merciful in a godly manner is unnatural for man. Only particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 7 as merciful in the sense of demonstrating a godly, agape-self sacrificial love in being gracious, kind, compassionate and forgiving toward all others. So godly mercy recognizes one's spiritual poverty, mourns that poverty, hungers and thirsts for godly righteousness within oneself, knowing that God has been merciful to one, hence believers are in view. Despite one's unworthiness the believer who expresses godly mercy is motivated to be merciful to others despite their unworthiness. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such godly mercy the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes - for those believers who are merciful are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, are those who are meek, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The reward for believers being characteristically merciful is to obtain mercy from God commensurate with the quality and duration of their being merciful to others. Bote that only believers are in view here because unbelievers do not and cannot choose to be merciful in a godly manner.

H) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART " IN MT 5:8 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF BEING PURE IN HEART ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 8 AS PURE IN HEART IN THE SENSE OF HAVING A GODLY POINT OF VIEW IN ALL THINGS. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH PURITY IF HEART THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES, FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE PURE IN HEART, ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MERCIFUL. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY PURE IN HEART IS THAT THEY SHALL SEE GOD COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF BEING PURE IN HEART. THE REWARD OF SEEING GOD FOR BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY PURE IN HEART IMPLIES BEING REWARDED WITH SEEING GOD IN THE SENSE OF AN INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD TO BE EXPERIENCED IN THE TEMPORAL LIFE AS WELL AS A GREATER INTIMACY WITH HIM IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. NOTE THAT ALL BELIEVERS WILL SEE GOD IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHEN THEY BEGIN EXPERIENCING ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, BUT SOME MORE INTIMATELY THAN OTHERS DEPENDING UPON THEIR FAITHFULNESS IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the pure in heart " in Mt 5:8 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses a moment of being pure in heart according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. The word rendered "heart" is defined in the context of Matthew chapter 3 as man's entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements,.. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 8 as pure in heart in the sense of having a Righteous, godly point of view in all things. Since Matthew chapters 3-5 have already determined that no one is pure in heart before God - that one must receive his righteousness solely from God; that it takes being poor in spirit, mourning of one's lack of righteousness, being meek in the sense of humility and submissiveness to the Lord out of one's lack of righteousness, hungering and thirsting for the righteousness that one lacks, in order to receive rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven; then being pure in heart in the context of Mt 5:8 must be via the grace of God - His unmerited favor and not anything attributable to the efforts of man. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such purity of heart, the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes, for those believers who are pure in heart, are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, are those who are meek, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, are those who are merciful. The reward for believers being characteristically pure in heart is that they shall see God commensurate with the quality and duration of being pure in heart. Although it is true that all believers will see God when they begin experiencing eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, the phrase rendered, "For they shall shall see God," in Mt 5:8 refers to another kind of seeing. The verb "opsontai" in Mt 5:8 conveys that they shall gaze with eyes wide open, i.e., with an intensity and discernment toward and in close, intimate presence with God, implying an eternal, intimate relationship with Him. Other Greek verbs, such as "blepo," which mean "to see," were not used because they denote simple voluntary observation without the intensity and close personal action of "opsontai." The reward of seeing God for being characteristically pure in heart implies being rewarded with seeing God in the sense of an intimate fellowship with God to be experienced in the temporal life as well as a greater intimacy with Him when they experience eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Note that all believers will see God in the eternal kingdom of heaven when they enter it, some more intimate than others depending upon their faithfulness in their temporal lives.

So since the phrase rendered, "For they shall see God" refers to receiving the eternal reward of seeing God in the sense of an intimate fellowship with Him, and since the phrase rendered, "being pure in heart" is stipulated as the reason for receiving that eternal reward, then being pure in heart cannot be a relative thing - it must be absolute. For one must ask, "To what extent must a man be pure in heart in order to see God in the sense of having eternal life with Him? The answer demands that one must be absolutely pure in heart, i.e., absolutely righteous / sinlessly perfect because receiving an eternal reward from God demands that the individual have an absolute purity / an absolute Righteousness as God is pure and Righteous, i.e., sinless perfection - a state that is unattainable by man in his mortal life / temporal life. One cannot have a heart that is relatively pure compared to other men and expect to "see ["opsontai"] God," in an intimate fellowship with Him in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Hence it must be that one is attributed with Christ's absolutely perfect Righteousness unto eternal life by God's grace gift through the individual's moment of faith alone in Jesus' message of "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," that a believer in his mortal state through grace can also be attributed with being "pure in heart' in his temporal life so that he can "see" ["opsontai"] God in an intimate fellowship with Him in temporal and eternal states.

I) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS " IN MT 5:9 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF BEING A PEACEMAKER ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 9 AS PEACEMAKERS IN THE SENSE OF REPRESENTING THE PLAN OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ENMITY / SIN BETWEEN GOD AND MAN ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED SUCH A MOMENT OF BEING A PEACEMAKER, THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES, FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE PEACEMAKERS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MERCIFUL, ARE THOSE WHO ARE PURE IN HEART. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS CHARACTERISTICALLY BEING PEACEMAKERS IS THAT THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF BEING PEACEMAKERS. THE REWARD OF BEING CALLED SONS OF GOD FOR CHARACTERISTICALLY BEING PEACEMAKERS IMPLIES A DECLARATION BY GOD OF THEIR SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND ALL THE TEMPORAL AND ETERNAL REWARDS THAT ARE COMMENSURATE WITH SUCH MATURITY

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the peacemakers " in Mt 5:9 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses a moment of being a peacemaker according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Throughout history, men have been striving for relative peace on this earth with human viewpoint reasoning instead of using God's Word to guide them. They have resorted to deception, intrigue, cease fire, evil compromise, military conquest, violent enforcement of despotic rule, etc. But the true solution for peace on earth begins by resolving the problem of enmity between God and man through a moment of faith alone in God's Son alone - one individual at a time - to receive the ultimate promise of peace: residence in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven on the earth under the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ, when man can live in everlasting peace with God and fellow man. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 9 as peacemakers in the sense of representing the aforementioned plan of peace between God and man. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated such a moment of being a peacemaker, the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes, for those believers who are peacemakers, are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, are those who are meek, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, are those who are merciful, are those who are pure in heart. The reward for believers characteristically being peacemakers is that they shall be called sons of God commensurate with the quality and duration of being peacemakers. The reward of being called sons of God for characteristically being peacemakers implies a declaration by God of their spiritual maturity and all the temporal and eternal rewards that are commensurate with such maturity. Since all individuals who become believers are destined for residence in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, then all believers are children of God. But a son of God can signify a mature child of God as it does in this passage, those children of God who are peacemakers. Since Mt 5:9 has in view only those who are called sons of God, i.e., mature children of God, this corroborates that only believers are in view.

J) THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS" IN MT 5:10 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 10 AS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE THEY WERE REPRESENTING IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIS PLAN OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ENMITY / SIN BETWEEN GOD AND MAN ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED SUCH A MOMENT OF BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES, FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, WHO MOURN, WHO ARE MEEK, WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHO ARE MERCIFUL, WHO ARE PURE IN HEART, WHO ARE PEACEMAKERS. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS CHARACTERISTICALLY BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS STIPULATED AS THE SAME AS THAT WHICH IS REWARDED FOR BEING POOR IN SPIRIT, I.E., POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE REWARD OF POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IMPLIES THAT ONE HAS ALREADY GAINED ENTRANCE INTO IT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE OWNERSHIP OF IT, CORROBORATING THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." =

The phrase rendered "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness" in Mt 5:10 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses a moment of being persecuted for the sake of righteousness according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 10 as those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness - persecuted not because they were righteous themselves but because they were representing in their temporal lives the righteousness of God in His plan of peace between God and man through a moment of faith alone in His Son Jesus Christ alone to resolve the problem of enmity / sin between God and man one individual at a time. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated such a moment of being persecuted for the sake of righteousness, the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes, for those believers who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, are not those who are righteous, (for there are none) but those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers. The reward for believers characteristically being persecuted for the sake of righteousness is stipulated as the same as that which is rewarded to those who are poor in spirit, i.e., possession of the Kingdom of Heaven, commensurate with the quality and duration of their being persecuted for the sake of righteousness. The reward of possession of the Kingdom of Heaven implies that one has already gained entrance into it in order to receive ownership of it, corroborating that only believers are in view.

K) JESUS WAS AFFIRMING THAT THE KIND OF INDIVIDUALS IN VIEW IN VERSES 3-10 WERE THE KIND THAT HIS DISCIPLES WOULD BECOME IN A PROPHETIC STATEMENT RENDERED, "BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN MEN PERSECUTE YOU, AND SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY, FOR MY SAKE. REJOICE AND BE GLAD, FOR YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT; FOR IN THE SAME WAY THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS WHO WERE BEFORE YOU." SO JUST AS THE KIND OF INDIVIDUALS IN VERSES 3-10 WILL SUFFER PERSECUTION FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS - FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST - BECAUSE THEY WERE CHARACTERISTICALLY PRESENTING AND REPRESENTING IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIS PLAN OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ENMITY / SIN BETWEEN GOD AND MAN ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME; SO FOR THE SAME REASONS MEN WILL REPROACH AND PERSECUTE JESUS' DISCIPLES AND SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST THEM FALSELY - FOR HIS SAKE AND FOR THE SAKE OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. ALL THOSE IN VIEW IN MT 5:1-12 SHOULD REJOICE, FOR THEIR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT; FOR IN THE SAME WAY THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS WHO WERE BEFORE THEM - THEY TOO WILL RECEIVE GREAT ETERNAL REWARDS

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. (Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' " =

Verses 3-10 are in the nominative case, i.e., plural nouns, describing the particular kind of individuals throughout history who characteristically are poor in spirit, mourn their lack of righteousness, demonstrate meekness toward God and His Righteousness, hunger and thirst for the Righteousness of God, are merciful, are pure in heart, are peacemakers, are persecuted for the sake of the Righteousness of God. Verses 11 and 12 are in the second person plural rendered, "you." They refer to those whom Jesus was teaching / addressing - those who were just beginning to learn to be His disciples. Hence Jesus was affirming that the kind of individuals in view in verses 3-10 were the kind that His disciples would become in a prophetic statement rendered, "Blessed are you when men persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." So just as the kind of individuals in verses 3-10 will suffer persecution for the sake of Righteousness - for the sake of Christ - because they were characteristically presenting and representing in their temporal lives the righteousness of God in His plan of peace between God and man through a moment of faith alone in His Son Jesus Christ alone to resolve the problem of enmity / sin between God and man one individual at a time; so for the same reasons men will reproach and persecute Jesus' disciples and say all manner of evil against them falsely - for His sake and for the sake of His Righteousness. All those in view in Mt 5:1-12 should rejoice, for their reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before them - they too will receive great eternal rewards.

Note that the reproach, persecution, and false accusation of evil that the disciples and faithful believers in general receive are on account of Christ and His Righteousness. So Jesus Christ in essence is the One Whom people are rejecting, and the One upon Whom they focus their hatred.

II) [Mt 5:13-16]:

(Mt 5:13 NKJV) "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

(Mt 5:14 NKJV) You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

(Mt 5:15 NKJV) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

(Mt 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

A) JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES, "YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH," EVIDENTLY IN THE SENSE THAT THEY WERE ESSENTIAL, KEY, UNIQUELY SIGNIFICANT TO MANKIND RELATIVE TO THEIR GODLY MANDATE OF REPRESENTING AND PRESENTING THE GOSPEL AND THE DOCTRINES OF THE FAITH. JESUS WENT ON TO SAY, "BUT IF THE SALT LOSES ITS FLAVOR, HOW SHALL IT [THE EARTH / MANKIND] BE SEASONED?" IN THE SENSE THAT JUST AS SALT WAS ESSENTIAL AS SEASONING TO PROVIDE THE GREAT VALUE OF TASTE IN FOOD, SO THE DISCIPLES WERE ESSENTIAL AS SEASONING TO PROVIDE THE GREAT VALUE TO HUMANITY OF THE GOSPEL AND THE DOCTRINES OF THE FAITH. HE WENT ON TO INDICATE THAT JUST AS SALT WHICH HAS LOST ITS FLAVOR - EVIDENTLY BECAUSE IT SAT DORMANT WITHOUT BEING USED FOR A TIME, REFERRING TO DEAD SEA EVAPORATIVE SALT, IS GOOD FOR NOTHING, SO A DISCIPLE WHOSE LIFE DOES NOT CHARACTERISTICALLY REPRESENT AND PRESENT THE GOSPEL AND THE DOCTRINES OF THE FAITH TO MANKIND IS GOOD FOR NOTHING - TO BE CAST OUT OF HIS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, IN EFFECT TRAMPLING TO DESTRUCTION THE VALUE OF HIS TEMPORAL LIFE RELATIVE TO BLESSINGS AND ETERNAL REWARDS. JESUS WENT ON TO TELL HIS DISCIPLES IN A PROPHETIC SENSE WHICH IS APPLICABLE TO ALL BELIEVERS, THAT THEY ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD IN THE SENSE OF ENLIGHTENING MANKIND RELATIVE TO THE GOSPEL AND THE DOCTRINES OF THE FAITH AND THAT THAT LIGHT SHOULD NOT BE HIDDEN ANY MORE THAN A CITY ON A HILL WOULD BE HIDDEN; NOR SHOULD ONE LIGHT A LAMP AND PUT IT UNDER A BASKET, BUT PUT IT ON A LAMPSTAND. THEN IT GIVES LIGHT TO ALL WHO ARE IN THE HOUSE. HE THEN SAID TO THEM, "LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN."

(Mt 5:13 NKJV) "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it [the earth] be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Mt 5:14 NKJV) You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Mt 5:15 NKJV) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (Mt 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." =

Jesus told His disciples, "You are the salt of the earth," evidently in the sense that they were essential, key, uniquely significant to mankind relative to their godly mandate of representing and presenting God's plan of peace between God and man through a moment of faith alone in His Son Jesus Christ alone to resolve man's problem of enmity / sin between himself and God so that those of the world who became believers would be eternally preserved in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven , (cf. Mt 5:14-16). Note that the word rendered "salt" does not refer to pure salt, (sodium chloride), which does not lose its saltiness, but to Dead Sea evaporative salt which is produced by evaporating Dead Sea water. Dead Sea salt was not pure, containing impure minerals with a very low sodium chloride content. Over time, if not used, Dead Sea evaporative salt loses its quality of saltiness - its flavor especially since the sodium chloride combines with the other minerals, (like disciples who lose their flavor because they do not characteristically represent and present the gospel and the doctrines of the faith to mankind). The salt becomes useless and is thrown out, often in the street where it is trampled under foot as Jesus indicated. So just as salt was essential as seasoning to provide the great value of taste of food, so the Disciples were essential as seasoning in another way: to provide the great value to earth / mankind of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith as stipulated above and corroborated by verses 14-16.

Jesus went on to say, "But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it [the earth] be seasoned?" in the sense that just as salt was essential as seasoning to provide the great value of taste in food, so the Disciples were essential as seasoning to provide the great value to humanity of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith. He went on to indicate that just as salt which has lost its flavor - evidently because it sat dormant without being used for a time, referring to Dead Sea evaporative salt, is good for nothing, so a disciple whose life does not characteristically represent and present the gospel and the doctrines of the faith to mankind is good for nothing.

This cannot be saying that the disciples must show a quality of zest or good taste when they represent and present the gospel and the doctrines of the faith, as some contend; for Jesus' point was whether or not His disciples characteristically represented and presented the gospel and the doctrines of the faith, not whether they represented / presented it with zest or good taste.

Furthermore, in the same way that Jesus declared that the salt which had lost its flavor is "to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men," so the unfaithful disciple is to be cast out of his fellowship with God, in effect trampling to destruction the value of his temporal life relative to blessings and eternal rewards. By this, Jesus was saying that if the disciples - and all believers - did not live out their lives in accord with the Beatitudes in Mt 5:3-12, i.e., if they did not characteristically represent and present God's plan of preserving mankind and the world; then there would be no one else to do that. And those disciples and believers who did not serve God's purpose in this matter would destroy their own lives relative to blessings, they would shorten the length of their temporal lifespan and they would lose eternal rewards, (Mt 5:13).

Jesus goes on to tell His disciples in a prophetic sense which is applicable to all believers, that they are the light of the world, in the sense of enlightening mankind relative to the gospel and the doctrines of the faith; and that that light should not be hidden any more than a city on a hill would be hidden; nor should one light a lamp and put it under a basket, but put it on a lampstand. Then it gives light to all who are in the house. He then said to them, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." This corroborates that the purpose of the disciples and all believers is, as is the observable characteristic of light, to openly and clearly enlighten others, in the sense of representing and presenting the gospel and the doctrines of the faith to mankind. The result of this would be to glorify the Father in heaven, for it is excusively through a moment of faith alone in the Father's plan alone of eternal life through His Son alone that the salvation of mankind and the world can and will be accomplished, (Mt 5:14-16) .

III) [Mt 5:17-20]:

(Mt 5:17 NASB) Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

(Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.

(Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

(Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

A) JESUS INDICATED THAT SOME MAINTAINED THROUGH A TWISTED VIEWPOINT OF SCRIPTURE THAT HE CAME TO ABOLISH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. HE REBUTTED EMPHATICALLY THAT BEFORE HEAVEN AND EARTH PASSED AWAY, (PROPHESYING A FUTURE NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH OVER WHICH HE WILL RULE FOREVER), HE WOULD FULFILL SCRIPTURE TO THE SMALLEST DETAIL. THIS WAS ESPECIALLY RELATIVE TO THE ATTAINMENT OF ETERNAL LIFE, WHICH WOULD BE FULFILLED NOT THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF INDIVIDUAL MEN BY KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS FOR THEY HAD - ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE - NO SUCH CAPACITY. THE PROPHETS FORETOLD OF A MESSIAH / SAVIOR WHO WILL PROVIDE GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS TO MEN THROUGH A MOMENT OF REPENTANCE / FAITH ALONE IN HIS SACRIFICE FOR SINS. THIS WAS JESUS' MESSAGE WHEN HE PROCLAIMED THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND PREACHED "REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND." JESUS FURTHER EXPLAINED THAT WHOEVER OF THOSE WHO WILL BE RESIDENTS IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHO BREAK ONE OF THE LEAST OF THE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACH PEOPLE TO DO SO WILL BE CALLED THE LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. ON THE OTHER HAND, WHOEVER IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHO PRACTICES AND TEACHES THE COMMANDMENTS WILL BE CALLED GREAT IN THE KINGDOM. SO EVERY DETAIL OF EVERY COMMAND, OF EVERY UNGODLY THROUGHT, WORD AND DEED, NO MATTER HOW SMALL WILL BE REGULATED. CHAPTERS SIX AND SEVEN OF MATTHEW WILL DEAL WITH THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS IN THE TEMPORAL LIFE OF DISCIPLES AND ALL MEN

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven." =

The phrase rendered "the Law or the Prophets" in Jesus' statement, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;" refers to the Scriptures - the Old Testament of Jesus' time. In view of His coming to fulfill His mission, Jesus indicated that some maintained through a twisted viewpoint of Scripture, that He had come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. He rebutted emphatically that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them even to the smallest Hebrew letter, the "jot" (lit., yod), and even to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the "tittle," before Heaven and earth passed away, (prophesying a future new Heavens and a new earth); in the sense that

(1) He would establish the Law as the standard by which He would rule the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, implying that He indeed was the Messiah Savior God Almighty Everlasting Father, (Mt 5:17-19; Isa 9:6-7 );

(2) He would fulfill the Law and the Prophets in the sense that since the Law was the standard by which one must attain eternal life in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, (cf. Mt 5:20); and since this was impossible with man, (cf. Mt 5:48); then Jesus had repeatedly stipulated, eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven would be through a moment of faith alone in Him - His atoning sacrifice alone. The Prophets foretold that it required a Messiah / Savior to provide God's Righteousness for mankind through a moment of repentance / faith alone in His Son's atoning sacrifice for sins alone. This was Jesus' message when He proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom of God, (Mt 4:23), and preached "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,", (cf. Mt 4:17);

(3) He would fulfill the Law in the sense that it was the standard by which all men should live their temporal lives, especially His disciples, (Mt 6:1-7:12).

Notice that Jesus stipulated that heaven and earth would pass away, evidently making way for a new heavens and a new earth through His fulfillment. The eternal Kingdom of Heaven rule on earth would evidently be characterized by residents largely but not perfectly keeping the commandments under the rule of Jesus Christ, , especially those who, previous to the Kingdom Age, received the gift of the Righteousness of Christ when they expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life and physically died. For God's Perfect Righteousness would then would become part of their experiential life when they entered the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, evidently transformed so that they had that capacity.

Notice that God's Perfect Righteousness is the standard by which all men will be judged for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven and for daily life in it - a righteousness that exceeded that of the scribes and the Pharisees. This is corroborated at the end of chapter 5:

1) [Compare Mt 5:48]:

(Mt 5:48 NKJV) "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

This last verse of this section makes it clear that the proper behavior for an individual who endeavors to keep commandments in order to qualify for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven was to be as perfect as God is perfect, (Mt 5:48). There would be some who would falsely contend that the Greek word "teleioi" rendered "perfect" in the NKJV in this verse means 'mature' and not perfect in order to avoid conveying the idea that man must be sinlessly perfect as God is perfect in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the case in this passage. If "mature" were correct, and it is not, it is not within the capacity of finite man to be as perfect or as mature as the infinite Almighty God is. For man to be as perfect or mature as God is mature implies a divine quality which is not possible with man to attain during his mortal life, much less sustain it throughout that life without failure, which is what the phrase "You shall be perfect [mature?], just as your Father in heaven is perfect [mature?]" would convey.

The scribes and Pharisees were in Jesus' time arbiters and followers of the Law in the strictest sense of those of their time. Yet Jesus said, "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven," (Mt 5:20 NKJV). By this He implied that the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees fell short of God's standard of Righteousness as represented by the commandments of the Law. Hence their righteousness was not sufficient to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. For one had to be as Righteous as God is Righteous, (cf. Mt 5:48).

So the scribes and Pharisees were teaching and endeavoring to keep commandments in such a manner that fell short of the Righteousness of God. They often portrayed a point of view of a commandment from Scripture that compromised its meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." Finally, Scripture indicates that the scribes and Pharisees constantly failed to follow their own rules, (cf. Mt 5:21-48).

Since it is evident that God's Perfect Righteousness is not attainable by mortal man through what he does, it must be concluded, and has already been declared in Scripture, that such Righteousness can only be attained by receiving it as a free gift from God through a moment of faith alone in the perfect fulfillment for him of Jesus Christ alone, . In view of this, Jesus declared that whoever of those who will be residents in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven who break one of the least of the commandments and teach people to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, whoever in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven who practices and teaches the commandments will be called great in the Kingdom. So every detail of every command, of every ungodly throught, word and deed, no matter how small will be regulated. Nevertheless, there will be failure by those individuals who are still in mortal bodies to keep the commandments - the standard of Righteous rule in the Kingdom which results in loss of status and evidently other punishments, (Mt 5:17-20).

IV) [Mt 5:21-48]:

(Mt 5:21 NKJV) "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of [eternal] judgment.'

(Mt 5:22 HOLMAN) But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You moron!' will be subject to hellfire [lit., fires of Gehenna].

(Mt 5:23 HOLMAN) So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,

(Mt 5:24 HOLMAN) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

(Mt 5:25 NKJV) Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

(Mt 5:26 NKJV) Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

(Mt 5:27 NKJV) You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'

(Mt 5:28 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

(Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

(Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

(Mt 5:31 NKJV) Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'

(Mt 5:32 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

(Mt 5:33 HOLMAN) "Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.

(Mt 5:34 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God's throne;

(Mt 5:35 HOLMAN) or by the earth, because it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King.

(Mt 5:36 HOLMAN) Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.

(Mt 5:37 HOLMAN) But let your word 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no' be 'no.' Anything more than this is from the evil one.

(Mt 5:38 HOLMAN) "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

(Mt 5:39 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

(Mt 5:40 HOLMAN) As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well.

(Mt 5:41 HOLMAN) And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two.

(Mt 5:42 HOLMAN) Give to the one who asks you, and don't turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

(Mt 5:43 NKJV) You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

(Mt 5:44 NKJV) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

(Mt 5:45 NKJV) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

(Mt 5:46 NKJV) For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

(Mt 5:47 NKJV) And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

(Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

A) JESUS INDICATED THAT HE DID NOT COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS, OF WHICH HE WAS ACCUSED, BUT TO FULLFULL EVERY JOT AND TITTLE OF THEM - TO THE SMALLEST POINT - BEFORE HEAVEN AND EARTH PASSED AWAY: (1) HE WOULD ESTABLISH THE LAW AS THE STANDARD BY WHICH HE WOULD RULE THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AS THE MESSIAH SAVIOR GOD ALMIGHTY EVERLASTING FATHER. (2) HE HAD ESTABLISHED IT AS THE STANDARD - THE STANDARD OF THE PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD - TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. SINCE THIS WAS IMPOSSIBLE WITH MAN, HE HAD REPEATEDLY STIPULATED IT WOULD BE FULLFILLED IN MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS ATONING SACRIFICE FOR SINS ALONE. (3) HE HAD ESTABLISHED THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS AS THE STANDARD FOR DISCIPLES AND ALL MEN TO LIVE BY IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES WITH CONSEQUENCES OF TEMPORAL BLESSING AND DISCIPLINE

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:21 NKJV) You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of [eternal] judgment.' (Mt 5:22 HOLMAN) But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You moron!' will be subject to hellfire [lit., fires of Gehenna]. (Mt 5:23 HOLMAN) So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, (Mt 5:24 HOLMAN) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Mt 5:25 NKJV) Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. (Mt 5:26 NKJV) Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. (Mt 5:27 NKJV) You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' (Mt 5:28 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:31 NKJV) Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' (Mt 5:32 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Mt 5:33 HOLMAN) "Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord. (Mt 5:34 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God's throne; (Mt 5:35 HOLMAN) or by the earth, because it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. (Mt 5:36 HOLMAN) Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. (Mt 5:37 HOLMAN) But let your word 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no' be 'no.' Anything more than this is from the evil one. (Mt 5:38 HOLMAN) "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. (Mt 5:39 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Mt 5:40 HOLMAN) As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. (Mt 5:41 HOLMAN) And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. (Mt 5:42 HOLMAN) Give to the one who asks you, and don't turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (Mt 5:43 NKJV) You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' (Mt 5:44 NKJV) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Mt 5:45 NKJV) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mt 5:46 NKJV) For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Mt 5:47 NKJV) And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." =

The phrase rendered "the Law or the Prophets" in Jesus' statement, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;" refers to the Scriptures - the Old Testament of Jesus' time. In view of His coming to fulfill His mission, Jesus indicated that some maintained through a twisted viewpoint of Scripture, that He had come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. He emphatically rebutted that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it to the smallest Hebrew letter, the "jot" (lit., yod), and to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the "tittle," before Heaven and earth passed away, (prophesying a future new Heavens and a new earth); in the sense that:

(1) He would establish the Law as the standard by which He would rule the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, implying that He indeed was the Messiah Savior God Almighty Everlasting Father, (Mt 5:17-19; Isa 9:6-7 );

(2) He would fulfill the Law and the Prophets in the sense that since the Law was the standard by which one must attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, (cf. Mt 5:20); and since this was impossible with man, (cf. Mt 5:48); then Jesus had repeatedly stipulated, eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven would be through a moment of faith alone in Him - His atoning sacrifice alone. The Prophets foretold that it required a Messiah / Savior to provide God's Righteousness for mankind through a moment of repentance / faith alone in His Son's atoning sacrifice for sins alone. This was Jesus' message when He proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom of God, (Mt 4:23), and preached "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,", (cf. Mt 4:17);

(3) He would fulfill the Law and the Prophets in the sense that He had established that the Law and the Prophets were the standard by which disciples and all men were to live their temporal lives with consequences of temporal blessing and discipline, (Mt 6:1-7:12).

Author Matthew reported Jesus as saying, "You have heard that it was said to those of old," six times followed by Jesus' correction of each point that the scribes and Pharisees made. This section of Matthew from 5:20 through 5:48 continues the context of verses 17-20 with respect to attaining the righteousness required in order to have eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven:

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled... (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

Each time the phrase, "You have heard that it was said to those of old,"appears in this section, it refers to what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors, since the subject relates to the Law of Moses and Jesus' audience was largely Jewish. The message of the false teachers, which was evidently followed by the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' time, whose righteousness He declared was insufficient to attain eternal life, was relative to obeying commands in order to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, falsely implying that keeping commandments was the means by which one could attain eternal life. Their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, often portraying a point of view of a commandment from Scripture such as this one which compromised its meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48).

1) The Key Subject Throughout Mt 5:20-48 Is The Attainment Of The Righteousness Sufficient To Qualify One For Eternal Life In The Kingdom Of Heaven Or Be Condemned To The Fires Of The Eternal Fires Of Gehenna (Hell)

The fact that the key subject throughout this section in Matthew 5:19-48 is the attainment of the Righteousness sufficient to qualify one for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven or be condemned to the eternal fires of Gehenna (Hell) is corroborated by the vereses listed below. The section is not about such subjects as a behavior model for disciples or others to strive for in their temporal lives to be blessed by God or be disciplined when they fail as some contend. (This is addressed in chapters 6 and 7).

a) [Mt 5:20]:

(Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

b) [Mt 5:22]:

(Mt 5:22 HOLMAN) But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You moron!' will be subject to hellfire [lit., fires of Gehenna].

c) [Mt 5:29]:

(Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

d) [Mt 5:30]:

(Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

So Jesus responded to the statements of the teachers of the Israelite ancestors because they were false and often followed by those of His time, especially the scribes and Pharisees. Contrary to the message of these false teachers, He indicated that for one to attain eternal life in the Kingom of Heaven through one's own efforts, one had to be obedient in every thought, word and deed to the perfect Righteousness of God without fail, (cf. Mt 5:48) - not just obey a number of commandments in a manner that fell short of the Righteousness of God. Jesus repeatedly indicated that this was not possible with man.

e) [Mt 5:43-45]:

(Mt 5:43 NKJV) "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

(Mt 5:44 NKJV) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

(Mt 5:45 NKJV) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust

f) [Mt 5:48]:

(Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

The last verse of this section makes it clear that the proper behavior for an individual who endeavors to keep commandments in order to qualify for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven was to be as perfect as God is perfect, (Mt 5:48). There would be some who would falsely contend that the Greek word "teleioi" rendered "perfect" in the NKJV in this verse means 'mature' and not perfect in order to avoid conveying the idea that man must be sinlessly perfect as God is perfect in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the case in this passage. Note that the same Greek word, "teleioi," and its Hebrew equivalent, "tamiym," were used to describe a lamb that was suitable for sacrifice: perfect, i.e., without blemish or defect, in the sense of one that symbolized sinlessness, (Ex 12:5 LXX, Lev 22:21 NKJV). So if "mature" were correct, and it is not, it is not within the capacity of finite man to be as perfect or as mature as the infinite Almighty God is. For man to be as perfect or mature as God is perfect or mature implies a divine quality which is not possible with man to attain during his mortal life, much less sustain it from the beginning, throughout his life to the end without failure, which is what the phrase "You shall be perfect [mature?], just as your Father in heaven is perfect [mature?]" must convey.

In this section it is also indicated that the Kingdom of Heaven rule would be conducted on earth with immortal residents, i.e., resurrected believers, and a number of mortal residents as well, evidently until the New Heavens and the New Earth is formed. The standard of rule would be the Righteousness of God, not as the false teachers of old or the scribes and Pharisees followed. Hence any action by residents in the Kingdom of Heaven that fell short of the Righteousness of God made them liable to temporal judgment, (cf. Mt 5:19). Furthermore, Jesus implied that anyone who was relying on keeping commandments in order to attain eternal life, instead of choosing to receive the imputed Righteousness of God through a moment of faith alone in His Son alone , who performed an action which fell short of that Righteousness would make be liable for eternal condemnation.

Since Scripture never indicated that the keeping of commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven; and since, except for the LORD, it is impossible with any mortal man to be Righteous enough to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven by anything he does himself; then what was taught by those false teachers on the matter was false. On the other hand, author Matthew as well as all Scripture repeatedly teaches that God offers the Righteousness of Christ unto eternal life to individuals via a moment faith alone in His Son's atoning sacrifice for sins alone as preached by Jesus, .

B) JESUS PROVIDED AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY FALSE TEACHERS OF ISRAELITE ANCESTORS: THEY TAUGHT THAT DISOBEYING THE COMMAND TO NOT COMMIT MURDER WOULD DISQUALIFY ONE FROM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, FALSELY IMPLYING THAT KEEPING COMMANDMENTS WAS THE MEANS BY WHICH ONE WOULD ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THEIR TEACHING CONVEYED A LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE THAT FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WITH A POINT OF VIEW OF COMMANDMENTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT COMPROMISED THEIR MEANING IN ORDER TO MAKE IT ATTAINABLE BY MAN WITHOUT BEING "AS PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT." ON THE OTHER HAND, JESUS PROVIDED SEVERAL EXAMPLES OF WHAT IT TOOK TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE. HE SAID THAT ONE WHO SOUGHT TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH KEEPING COMMANDS WHO UNJUSTIFIABLY CALLED ONE A DEROGATORY NAME MADE ONE LIABLE FOR ETERNAL JUDGMENT. FURTHERMORE, HE INDICATED THAT ONE MUST RESOLVE PROBLEMS SUCH AS ONE WHICH ONE HAS WITH ONE'S BROTHER BEFORE PRESENTING A GIFT TO THE LORD. FURTHER, ONE SHOULD BE QUICK TO AGREE WITH SOMEONE WHOM ONE OWES MONEY TO OR BE THROWN IN PRISON UNTIL DESTITUTE: EXAMPLES OF THE EXTENT AN INDIVIDUAL MUST GO TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:21 NKJV) You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of [eternal] judgment.' (Mt 5:22 HOLMAN) But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You moron!' will be subject to hellfire [lit., fires of Gehenna]. (Mt 5:23 HOLMAN) So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, (Mt 5:24 HOLMAN) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Mt 5:25 NKJV) Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. (Mt 5:26 NKJV) Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny." =

The first example of what Jesus gave of what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors was as follows, [Jesus said] "You have heard it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of [eternal] judgment.' " Notice that the false teachers of Israelite ancestors were teaching that disobeying the command to not commit murder would disqualify one from eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, falsely implying that keeping commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, with a point of view of commandments from Scripture that compromised their meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48). Notice that those false teachers editorialized one of God's commandments given to Moses to include a warning of eternal condemnation if disobeyed, which was not the rule of temporal life context within which Moses conveyed the commandments to the Israelites.

Jesus indicated that just becoming angry and arrogant toward someone without due cause, i.e., for ungodly reasons, hence committing a sin, by contemptuously calling one a derogatory name such as the Aramaic word rendered "Raca" which means "You fool!" or unjustifiably calling him "Moron" demonstrated a sinful attitude worthy of temporal judgment before the Sanhedrin court in the future Kingdom of Heaven. Furthermore, such behavior was an indicator that one of any age was a sinner, hence subject to God's judgment of eternal condemnation if they did not have imputed to them the gift of Christ's perfect Righteousness . This is not to say that the proper and godly use of forceful language toward another is a violation of the Righteousness of God. Note that the word rendered "Gehenna" in Mt 5:22 meant the valley of Hinnom, the valley south of Jerusalem where there was a continually burning fire consuming the city refuse. The name was used to refer to the eternal punishment of the wicked, (Mt 5:20-22).

Jesus continued to provide examples of how essential it was for those who were attempting to keep commandments in order to attain eternal life to be absolutely obedient to God's Righteousness in every thought, word and deed - portraying how insurmountably pervasive God's Righteousness was to be of one's thoughts, words and deeds. For example, an individual could not offer a gift to God in order to receive His blessing / forgiveness, etc. if a brother had something against him: Jesus said, "So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift, (Mt 5:23-24)." And Jesus provided another example by indicating that just as one who legitimately owed another money should do the right thing and agree with one's adversary, instead of insisting on the right to contest it in court perchance to not have to pay as much or anything at all, for that would risk being sent to prison and remain there until one lost everything. In the same way, entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven should not be a matter of insisting upon one's right to attempt to earn eternal life when one is legitimately guilty before God and will inevitably lose everything. Instead, one should agree with God's offer through a moment of faith alone in His Son alone unto eternal life , (Mt 5:23-26).

C) JESUS PROVIDED A SECOND EXAMPLE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY FALSE TEACHERS OF ISRAELITE ANCESTORS: THEY TAUGHT THAT DISOBEYING THE COMMAND TO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY WOULD DISQUALIFY ONE FROM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, FALSELY IMPLYING THAT KEEPING COMMANDMENTS WAS THE MEANS BY WHICH ONE WOULD ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THEIR TEACHING CONVEYED A LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE THAT FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WITH A POINT OF VIEW OF COMMANDMENTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT COMPROMISED THEIR MEANING IN ORDER TO MAKE IT ATTAINABLE BY MAN WITHOUT BEING "AS PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT." ON THE OTHER HAND, JESUS PROVIDED SEVERAL EXAMPLES OF WHAT IT TOOK TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE, HE SAID THAT ONE WHO WAS SEEKING TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH KEEPING COMMANDS WHO LOOKS AT A WOMAN WITH LUST HAS ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTERY IN HIS HEART WHICH MAKES ONE LIABLE FOR ETERNAL JUDGMENT. HE CONCLUDED WITH AN IMPOSSIBLE HYPERBOLE, IF ONE'S RIGHT EYE CAUSES ONE TO SIN TO PLUCK IT OUT, OR CUT OFF AN OFFENDING RIGHT HAND, OR ANY MEMBER OF THE BODY SO AS NOT TO BE CAST INTO GEHENNA (HELL)

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 5:27 NKJV) You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' (Mt 5:28 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." =

Jesus provided another example of what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors: They taught that disobeying the command to not commit adultery would disqualify one from eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, falsely implying that keeping commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, with a point of view of commandments from Scripture that compromised their meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48).

Jesus indicated that those relying upon keeping commandments for eternal life who looked upon any woman, single or married, with a moment of lust have committed adultery and have disqualified themselves from receiving eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Individuals will claim that they might have looked upon a woman with prurient interest, but stopped short of lusting after her because they did not act upon that look in their own minds - nonsense! This implies that all forms of impurity of the mind - something which all individuals do every day of their lives. They violate the Righteousness of God and disqualify themselves from eternal life without the imputed Righteousness of Christ through faith. On the other hand, Scripture repeatedly teaches that God offers eternal life to everyone through a moment faith alone in His Son's atoning sacrifice for sins alone as preached by Jesus, , (Mt 5:27-28).

Jesus brings His discussion on the matter to a point of absurdity by using an hyperbole. He proposed the absurdity of plucking out an eye or cutting off a member of the body, even the right hand, that was used to commit sin so as to save oneself for eternal life to make the point that eternal life can never be attained by what an individual does. Note that self mutilation was itself a sin, hence what Jesus was saying was not to be taken literally but figuratively as a statement of impossibility. What He was teaching was that no man can expect to be without sin of any kind throughout his life; and when he does sin, can he cut out the members of the body that were complicit and cast them away from himself so as to be saved unto eternal life? All members in some manner are participants, especially the mind. So all must be cast out and hence all is lost. No point of view that was logical, sane, objective, linguistic and contextual can come to any other conclusion. Matthew 5:29-30 corroborate that the subject at hand is attaining the Righteousness sufficient in order to have eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus repeatedly indicated was impossible with man, (Mt 5:29-30).

D) JESUS PROVIDED A THIRD EXAMPLE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY FALSE TEACHERS OF ISRAELITE ANCESTORS: THEY TAUGHT, "WHOEVER DIVORCES HIS WIFE, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE" OTHERWISE ONE WOULD BE DISQUALIFIED FROM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, FALSELY IMPLYING THAT KEEPING COMMANDMENTS WAS THE MEANS BY WHICH ONE WOULD ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THEIR TEACHING CONVEYED A LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE THAT FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WITH A POINT OF VIEW OF COMMANDMENTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT COMPROMISED THEIR MEANING IN ORDER TO MAKE IT ATTAINABLE BY MAN WITHOUT BEING "AS PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT." ON THE OTHER HAND, JESUS SAID THAT ONE WHO WAS SEEKING TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH KEEPING COMMANDS WHO DIVORCES HIS WIFE FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN SEXUAL IMMORALITY OR MARRIES A WOMAN WHO IS DIVORCED COMMITS ADULTERY AND IS LIABLE FOR ETERNAL CONDEMNATION

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:31 NKJV) Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' (Mt 5:32 NKJV) But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.... (Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." =

The third example of what Jesus gave of what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors, was their teaching that whoever divorces his wife, should give her a certificate of divorce in order not to disqualify oneself from eternal life falsely implying that keeping commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, with a point of view of commandments from Scripture that compromised their meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48).

Note that Scripture teaches that divorce was to be limited to that which was indecent, i.e., sexual immorality. Divorce was not to be invoked, as the false teachers taught, as a result of any whim so long as a certificate was given, hence falling short of the Righteousness of God.

1) [Compare Dt 24:1-4]:

(Dt 24:1 NKJV) "When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house,"

Hence Jesus corrected this false teaching by declaring "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery" in the sense that any divorce which resulted from anything but sexual immorality was unlawful and sinful. The Greek word "porneias" rendered "sexual immorality" relative to marriage has to do with adultery, lesbianism, homosexuality, lewdness. Hence whoever marries a woman who is divorced for reasons other than sexual immorality commits adultery, because in God's eyes she is still married to her first husband; and it has already been established that committing adultery makes one liable for Gehenna, (Mt 5:28-29). Note that it has already been established that adultery / sexual immorality will make one liable for eternal condemnation in Gehenna, (Mt 5:27-28).

E) JESUS PROVIDED A FOURTH EXAMPLE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY FALSE TEACHERS OF ISRAELITE ANCESTORS ABOUT KEEPING OATHS SO AS NOT TO DISQUALIFY ONESELF FROM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; FALSELY IMPLYING THAT KEEPING COMMANDMENTS WAS THE MEANS BY WHICH ONE WOULD ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THEIR TEACHING CONVEYED A LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE THAT FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WITH A POINT OF VIEW OF COMMANDMENTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT COMPROMISED THEIR MEANING IN ORDER TO MAKE IT ATTAINABLE BY MAN WITHOUT BEING "AS PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT." JESUS SAID THAT ONE WHO WAS SEEKING TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH KEEPING COMMANDS WHO TOOK OATHS SWEARING IN A SUPERFLUOUS, UNAUTHORIZED, ARROGANT, PRESUMPTIVE AND UNGODLY MANNER SUCH AS BY HEAVEN, BY GOD'S THRONE, BY THE EARTH, BY JERUSALEM, BY THE HAIRS ON ONE'S HEAD - NONE OF WHICH WAS UNDER ONE'S SOVEREIGNTY BUT GOD'S - WAS ACTING FROM THE DEVIL AND LIABLE TO ETERNAL CONDEMNATION

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell... (Mt 5:33 HOLMAN) Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord. (Mt 5:34 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God's throne; (Mt 5:35 HOLMAN) or by the earth, because it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. (Mt 5:36 HOLMAN) Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. (Mt 5:37 HOLMAN) But let your word 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no' be 'no.' Jesus declared that anything more than this was from the evil one.... (Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." =

The fourth example of what Jesus gave of what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors, was their teaching about keeping oaths so as not to disquaify oneself from eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven: "You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the LORD," falsely implying that keeping commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, with a point of view of commandments from Scripture that compromised their meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48).

Since not all oaths are forbidden or sinful, for Scripture teaches in a large number of places where oaths were taken in a godly manner and blessed by God, (Gen 21:31; 24:8, 41; 26:3, 28; 50:24; Ex 22:11; Lev 5:4: Num 5:19, 21; 14:16; 30:2, 10, 13; Dt 1:34; 7:8; 9:5; 29:12, 14); then the issue is that when one does take an oath, one is to do it in a godly manner. Oaths that were superfluous, unauthorized by Scripture, presumptuous, false, evil, profane, vain, frivolous, secret; and especially certain oaths which were taken as a guarantee of one's reliability which invoked the character of God and His creation were forbidden. The scribes and Pharisees, whose righteousness must be exceeded if one wished to attain eternal life, (cf. Mt 5:20), were notorious for taking oaths for the least whim to impress others with their religiosity. They often left the phrasing of the oath open so they could recant. If they faced some kind of difficulty in keeping their oath, they would argue that since God was not a participant in their oath taking, they could not be held to their word, despite the fact that they presumptuously swore in a manner to impress others by heaven, the earth, Jerusalem, the color of hair on one's head, etc. Jesus explained that taking such an oath was presumptuous because it arrogantly assumed that the one taking the oath had something to do with what belonged exclusively to God: heaven, earth, Jerusalem, the color of hair on one's head. If it was taken by heaven, it was an offense, because it was God's throne; or by the earth because it was His footstool - His creation, not theirs; or by Jerusalem, because it was the city of the great King, His Son - not theirs; or by one's head because no one controls the natural color his own hair, God does. But instead, Jesus said one should say yes or no when that was sufficient. Anything superfluous was from man's evil nature in cooperation with the evil one, (Mt 5:33-37).

F) THE FIFTH EXAMPLE OF WHAT JESUS GAVE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY FALSE TEACHERS OF ISRAELITE ANCESTORS WAS ABOUT NOT VIOLATING THEIR INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW OF 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH' SO AS NOT TO DISQUALIFY ONESELF FROM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, WHICH FALSELY IMPLIED THAT KEEPING COMMANDMENTS WAS THE MEANS BY WHICH ONE WOULD ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THEIR TEACHING CONVEYED A LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE THAT FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WITH A POINT OF VIEW OF COMMANDMENTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT COMPROMISED THEIR MEANING IN ORDER TO MAKE THEM ATTAINABLE BY MAN WITHOUT BEING "AS PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT." JUST AS JESUS IMPLIED THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF ATTAINING ETERNAL LIFE BY KEEPING COMMANDMENTS BY USING THE HYPERBOLE OF PLUCKING OUT AN EYE OR CUTTING OFF ONE'S RIGHT HAND OR ANY MEMBER OF THE BODY IF IT COMMITTED AN OFFENSE, SO AS NOT TO DISQUALIFY ONESELF FOR ETERNAL LIFE, (MT 5:29-30); SO JESUS STIPULATED FOUR CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH RELATED TO THE LAW OF "AN EYE FOR AN EYE" AND THE RESPONSE REQUIRED TO EACH CIRCUMSTANCE BY EVERY INDIVIDUAL WHO INSISTED UPON KEEPING COMMANDMENTS IN ORDER TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. EACH RESPONSE WAS CHARACTERIZED AS COMPLETELY SELF-SACRIFICIAL TO THE POINT OF SELF-DESTRUCTION. ONE WHO CHOSE TO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE MUST HAVE A PERFECT PATTERN IN ONE'S LIFE WHICH IS ILLUSTRATED BY (1) WHEN EVIL BEFALLS ONE BY BEING STRUCK ON THE RIGHT CHEEK, ONE MUST ALWAYS TURN THE OTHER CHEEK TO ENABLE YET ANOTHER EVIL TO BEFALL ONE; (2) IF ONE'S SHIRT IS UNLAWFULLY DEMANDED, TO ALWAYS GIVE ONE'S SHIRT AND ONE'S CLOAK; (3) IF ONE IS FORCED TO GO WITH ANOTHER A MILE, ALWAYS GO TWO MILES; (4) IF ANOTHER WITH EVIL INTENT ASKS OR WANTS TO BORROW ONE'S POSSESIONS, ALWAYS GIVE WHAT IS ASKED. THIS WOULD LEAVE ONE'S ENTIRE LIFE DEFENSELESS, VULNERABLE TO INJURY, DEATH AND DEPRIVATION - A PATTERN OF LIFE WHICH IS NOT ATTAINABLE BY ANY MORTAL, FLAWED, INDIVIDUAL; SO THEN NEITHER IS IT AN AVENUE TO PURSUE IN ORDER TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell... (Mt 5:38 HOLMAN) You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. (Mt 5:39 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Mt 5:40 HOLMAN) As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. (Mt 5:41 HOLMAN) And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. (Mt 5:42 HOLMAN) Give to the one who asks you, and don't turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you... (Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." =

The fifth example of what Jesus gave of what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors was about not violating their interpretation of the law of 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' so as not to disqualify oneself from eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, which falsely implied that keeping commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, with a point of view of commandments from Scripture that compromised their meaning in order to make them attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48).

This law, sometimes called the "lex talionis," the law of revenge," was given as part of the Mosaic Law rule of life to provide legal provision for justice. It was not part of a plan for the attainment of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. It was given to prevent personal acts of vengeance, (Lev 19:18), i.e., to provide the nation Israel's judicial system with a ready formula of punishment, providing a legal limitation on retaliation for offenses one had suffered by another, i.e., so that the punishment would fit the crime.

1) [Compare Ex 21:22-27; cf Lev 24:20; Dt 19:21]:

(Ex 21:22 NKJV) "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

(Ex 21:23 NKJV) But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,

(Ex 21:24 NKJV) eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

(Ex 21:25 NKJV) burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

(Ex 21:26 NKJV) If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye.

(Ex 21:27 NKJV) And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth."

Jesus provided four circumstances and the required response relative to if one chose to keep commandments, specifically relative to the law of an eye for an eye, in order attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Each circumstance was characterized by an evil doer perpetrating some kind of evil upon one who is seeking to attain eternal life through the keeping of commandments. Jesus indicated that such a one must neither invoke one's rights under the law of an eye for an eye, nor resist the evil doer, nor move out of harms way, but respond to evil perpetrated upon one in an unattainable, self-sacrificial, self-destructive manner in order not to disqualify oneself for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven! Note that none of these responses to evil will be typical or even authorized in the Kingdom of Heaven rule which will quash such evil treatment of others in the Kingdom and be illogical since the Kingdom will be the most prosperous age with food, shelter and clothing abundantly available to all. Hence the demand to borrow or forcefully take other's belongings, personal indebtness, kidnapping of others, violence upon others, etc., will be harshly treated, hence almost nonexistent. So the responses that Jesus gave would not be applicable to the Kingdom Age, since the circumstances would hardly occur.

In the first circumstance that Jesus provided: "But I tell you, don't resist an evil doer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also," (Mt 5:39), neither advocated pacifism, nor declared that one must never defend oneself when attacked, nor portrayed a point made about not reacting to an insult of being slapped on the right cheek with an open hand, as some contend. Jesus indicated that if an individual deliberately perpetrated evil upon someone who was attempting to attain eternal life by keeping commandments by slapping one on the right cheek, then one must turn the other cheek to him, staying in harms way and volunteering oneself to be a punching bag - and keep on turning until one is totally destroyed in his mortal life - never resisting, but instead enabling evil doers to destroy oneself!

In the second circumstance that Jesus provided, "As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well," He indicated that if an individual, by illegitimate means, hence in an evil manner, wanted to sue one who was keeping commands for eternal life, for his shirt, i.e., any possession, then that one, in order not to disqualify himself for eternal life, was to give him that shirt - that possession and his cloak, i.e., something of even greater value to everyone who demands of him until there was nothing left. Although one had the right to pursue this under the law of an eye for an eye to protect oneself from losing everything; Jesus declared "let him have your coat as well," (Mt 5:40) - an unattainable response for an individual to make all his life. So after a lifetime of responding to such circumstances there would be nothing left to survive on!

The third circumstance that Jesus provided for the individual to respond to who was endeavoring to attain eternal life through keeping commandments was to refuse to invoke one's rights under the law of an eye for an eye, and respond to the evil doer who forced him to go one mile by volunteering to go two miles, further enabling that kind of evil to be perpetrated upon one to a point of inevitable self destruction over his mortal lifetime. Note that government dispatchers from the Romans and from a number of Eastern Kingdoms frequently forced individuals to not only provide transportation but accompany them in their duty as well - an unreasonable demand, often causing undue hardship on a man and his family. This is not saying to always go the extra mile in a sense of meriting some kind of godly reward and God will take care of everything; as some contend; but of submitting to further evil, volunteering to endure even more hardship by putting oneself in peril - an unattainable response for an individual to make all his life!

The fourth circumstance that Jesus provided for the individual to respond to in such a manner so as not to disqualify himself for eternal life was when an individual asked one to give or to borrow one's possession(s) in the sense of an unreasonable request hence evil, yet one was to never refuse - again until a lifetime of such responses lead to total deprivation and self-destruction, despite the circumstances and remedies for this under the Law - an unattainable response for an individual to make all his life!

So just as Jesus said, (Mt 5:29 NKJV) "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell;" in the same way Jesus said relative to evil being perpetrated upon an individual who was insistent upon keeping commandments in order to have eternal life: (Mt 5:39 HOLMAN) But I tell you, don't resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Mt 5:40 HOLMAN) As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. (Mt 5:41 HOLMAN) And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. (Mt 5:42 HOLMAN) Give to the one who asks you, and don't turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you," and absurd and unattainable goal!

Just as Jesus implied the impossibility of attaining eternal life by keeping commandments by using the hyperbole of plucking out an eye or cutting off one's right hand or any member of the body if it committed an offense, so as not to disqualify oneself for eternal life, (Mt 5:29-30); so Jesus stipulated four circumstances which related to the law of "an eye for an eye" and the response required to each circumstance by every individual who insisted upon keeping commandments in order to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Each response was characterized as completely self-sacrificial to the point of self-destruction. One who chose to keep the commandments unto eternal life must have a perfect pattern in one's life which is illustrated by (1) when evil befalls one by being struck on the right cheek, one must always turn the other cheek to enable yet another evil to befall one; (2) if one's shirt is unlawfully demanded, to always give one's shirt and one's cloak; (3) if one is forced to go with another a mile, always go two miles; (4) if another with evil intent asks or wants to borrow one's possesions, always give what is asked. This would leave one's entire life defenseless, vulnerable to injury, death and deprivation - a pattern of life which is not attainable by any mortal, flawed, individual; so then neither is it an avenue to pursue in order to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

G) JESUS PROVIDED A SIXTH EXAMPLE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY FALSE TEACHERS OF ISRAELITE ANCESTORS ABOUT LOVING ONE'S NEIGHBOR AND HATING ONE'S ENEMIES SO AS NOT TO DISQUALIFY ONESELF FROM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, FALSELY IMPLYING THAT KEEPING COMMANDMENTS WAS THE MEANS BY WHICH ONE WOULD ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THEIR TEACHING CONVEYED A LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE THAT FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WITH A POINT OF VIEW OF COMMANDMENTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT COMPROMISED THEIR MEANING IN ORDER TO MAKE IT ATTAINABLE BY MAN WITHOUT BEING "AS PERFECT AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT." JESUS DECLARED RELATIVE TO ONE WHO IS ATTEMPTING TO ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, THAT THE GODLY RESPONSE WAS TO "LOVE [AGAPAO = A SELF-SACRIFICIAL GODLY LOVE FOR] YOUR ENEMIES, BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE YOU, DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU, AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SPITEFULLY USE YOU AND PERSECUTE YOU - AS GOD DOES, THAT YOU MAY BE SONS OF YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. IN OTHER WORDS, "YOU SHALL BE PERFECT, JUST AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT IN THE SENSE OF SINLESS."

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 5:29 NKJV) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt 5:30 NKJV) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell... (Mt 5:43 NKJV) You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' (Mt 5:44 NKJV) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Mt 5:45 NKJV) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mt 5:46 NKJV) For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Mt 5:47 NKJV) And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Mt 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." =

The sixth example of what Jesus gave of what was said by false teachers of Israelite ancestors was about not violating their interpretation of "You shall love your neighbor [and hate your enemy,]" so as not to disqualify oneself from eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, which falsely implied that keeping commandments was the means by which one would attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But their teaching conveyed a level of obedience that fell short of the Righteousness of God, with a point of view of commandments from Scripture that compromised their meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48). In the case of this particular commandment, the phrase "hate your enemy" is not found in Moses' writings nor anywhere commanded of one in Scripture. It is evidently a compromise of the meaning of Scripture - a false inference that since one is to love one's neighbor, (Lev 19:18), then one is to hate one's non-neighbors, i.e., enemies. But Jesus says, "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, implying receiving eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Greek word "Agapate" from the Greek verb "agapaO" rendered "love" in the NKJV refers to the self-sacrificial kind of godly love toward others. Notice that the context remains of attaining eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven through the keeping of commandments which Jesus has repeatedly portrayed as impossible with man. Jesus goes on to explain that such a response of love for one's enemies is godly, for God "makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" - if you want to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

This last verse of this section makes it clear that the proper behavior for an individual who endeavors to keep commandments in order to qualify for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven was to be as perfect as God is perfect, (Mt 5:48). There would be some who would falsely contend that the Greek word "teleioi" rendered "perfect" in the NKJV in this verse means 'mature' and not perfect in order to avoid conveying the idea that man must be sinlessly perfect as God is perfect in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the case in this passage. If "mature" were correct, and it is not, it is not within the capacity of finite man to be as perfect or as mature as the infinite Almighty God is. For man to be as perfect or mature as God is mature implies a divine quality which is not possible with man to attain during his mortal life, much less sustain it throughout that life without failure, which is what the phrase "You shall be perfect [mature?], just as your Father in heaven is perfect [mature?]" would convey.

The scribes and Pharisees were in Jesus' time arbiters and followers of the Law in the strictest sense of those of their time. Yet Jesus said, "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven," (Mt 5:20 NKJV). By this He implied that the scribes and Pharisees were depending upon their own righteousness to get into the Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus stipulated was insufficient. For one had to be as Righteous as God is Righteous, (cf. Mt 5:48).

Evidently the scribes and Pharisees were teaching and endeavoring to keep commandments in such a manner that fell short of the Righteousness of God. They often portrayed a point of view of a commandment from Scripture that compromised its meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," (Mt 5:48). Finally, Scripture indicates that the scribes and Pharisees constantly failed to follow their own rules, (cf. Mt 5:21-48).

Since it is evident that God's Perfect Righteousness is not attainable by mortal man through what he does, it must be concluded, and has already been declared in Scripture, that such Righteousness can only be attained by receiving it as a free gift from God through a moment of faith alone in the perfect fulfillment for him of Jesus Christ alone, .

CONTINUE TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 6 {short description of image}