MATTHEW CHAPTER 7

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 authors of the four gospels endeavored to convey Who Jesus was, what He did and what He said. They made key selections of Jesus' actions and teaching; and did not cover everything. Hence there are many differences and similarities from gospel to gospel. Nevertheless, the content of each gospel never contradicts and always corroborates the other gospels and all Scripture in every instance including instances that do not have a perfect match of words with corresponding passages .

I) [Mt 7:1-29]:

(Mt 7:1 NKJV "Judge not, that you be not judged.

(Mt 7:2 NKJV) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

(Mt 7:3 NKJV) And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

(Mt 7:4 NKJV) Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

(Mt 7:5 NKJV) Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

(Mt 7:6 NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

(Mt 7:7 NKJV) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

(Mt 7:8 NKJV) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

(Mt 7:9 NKJV) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

(Mt 7:10 NKJV) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?

(Mt 7:11 NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

(Mt 7:12 NKJV) Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

(Mt 7:13 NAS) Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

(Mt 7:14 NKJV) Because narrow is the gate and [having been made] difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

(Mt 7:15 NKJV) [But] beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are revenous wolves.

(Mt 7:16 NKJV) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

(Mt 7:17 NKJV) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

(Mt 7:18 NKJV) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

(Mt 7:19 YLT) Every tree not yielding [lit., producing] good fruit is cut down and is cast into fire:

(Mt 7:20 NKJV) Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

(Mt 7:21 YLT) Not every one who is saying to me LORD, LORD, shall come into the [Kingdom of Heaven]; but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens.

(Mt 7:22 HOLMAN) On that day many will say to Me, 'LORD, LORD, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?

(Mt 7:23 YLT) and then I will acknowledge to them, that - I never knew you, depart from Me [you] who are working lawlessness.

(Mt 7:24 NKJV) Therefore whoever hears these sayings [lit., words] of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

(Mt 7:25 YLT) and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock.

(Mt 7:26 HOLMAN) [And] everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

(Mt 7:27 NKJV) and the rain descended, the floods [lit., streams] came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

(Mt 7:28 YLT) And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these words, the miltitudes were astonished at His teaching,

(Mt 7:29 YLT) for He was teaching them as having authority, and not as the scribes."

A) (INTRODUCTION - Mt 5:1-7:29) MATTHEW CHAPTER SEVEN CONTINUES TO EXPOUND UPON THE KEY THEME OF CONDUCTING ONES TEMPORAL LIFE THROUGH SEEKING FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD (HEAVEN) AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE COMMANDS IN CHAPTER 7 RANGE FROM NOT JUDGING OTHERS THAT THEY MAY NOT BE JUDGED IN THE SAME MANNER BY GOD; NOT CONVEYING GODLY THINGS TO THOSE WHO WOULD NOT LISTEN - EVEN TRAMPLE THEM AND BE HOSTILE; ASKING, SEEKING AND KNOCKING FOR GOOD THINGS OF THE FATHER SO THAT HE MIGHT GIVE THEM TO HIS CHILD; DOING TO OTHERS AS ONE WOULD HAVE DONE TO ONESELF; CHOOSING BETWEEN THE TWO GATES AND PATHS: THE WIDE ONE TO ETERNAL DESTRUCTION WHICH MANY ENTER, THE NARROW AND DIFFICULT ONE TO ETERNAL LIFE WHICH FEW ENTER; BEING WARY OF FALSE PROPHETS / TEACHERS; NOT PRACTICING WORKS OR DECLARING JESUS AS LORD OF ONES LIFE IN ORDER TO ENTER ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT DOING THE WILL OF THE FATHER - TRUSTING SOLELY IN HIS SON TO THAT END

(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.' (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mt 7:1 NKJV) Judge not, that you be not judged. (Mt 7:2 NKJV) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Mt 7:3 NKJV) And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? (Mt 7:4 NKJV) Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (Mt 7:5 NKJV) "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Mt 7:6 NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Mt 7:7 NKJV) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Mt 7:8 NKJV) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Mt 7:9 NKJV) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (Mt 7:10 NKJV) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Mt 7:11 NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Mt 7:12 NKJV) Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Mt 7:13 NAS) Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (Mt 7:14 NKJV) Because narrow is the gate and [having been made] difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mt 7:15 NKJV) [But] beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are revenous wolves. (Mt 7:16 NKJV) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Mt 7:17 NKJV) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Mt 7:18 NKJV) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (Mt 7:19 YLT) Every tree not yielding [lit., producing] good fruit is cut down and is cast into fire. (Mt 7:20 NKJV) Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Mt 7:21 YLT) Not every one who is saying to me LORD, LORD, shall come into the [Kingdom of Heaven]; but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens. (Mt 7:22 HOLMAN) On that day many will say to Me, 'LORD, LORD, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name? (Mt 7:23 YLT) and then I will acknowledge to them, that - I never knew you, depart from Me [you] who are working lawlessness. (Mt 7:24 NKJV) Therefore whoever hears these sayings [lit., words] of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (Mt 7:25 YLT) and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock. (Mt 7:26 HOLMAN) [And] everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (Mt 7:27 NKJV) and the rain descended, the floods [lit., streams] came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Mt 7:28 YLT) And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these words, the miltitudes were astonished at His teaching, (Mt 7:29 YLT) for He was teaching them as having authority, and not as the scribes." =

Matthew chapter seven continues to expound upon the key theme of conducting ones temporal life through seeking first the Kingdom of God (Heaven) and His Righteousness, (Mt 6:33). The commands in chapter 7 ranged from not judging others that they may not be judged in the same manner by God; not conveying godly things to those who would not listen - even trample them and be hostile; asking things of the Father so that He might give them to His child; doing to others as one would have done to oneself; choosing between the two gates and paths: the wide one to eternal destruction which many enter, the narrow gate and difficult path to eternal life which few enter; being wary of false prophets / teachers by observing their actions; not practicing works or declaring Jesus as LORD of ones life in order to enter eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, but doing the will of the Father - trusting solely in His Son to that end.

It is evident from the brevity of the account of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7, that author Matthew did not include everything that Jesus taught, but chose certain significant excerpts from Jesus' teaching. For when Jesus ended His teaching the multitude of people were astonished at His teaching:

1) [Compare Mt 7:28-29]:

(Mt 7:28 YLT) "And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these words, the miltitudes were astonished at His teaching,

(Mt 7:29 YLT) for He was teaching them as having authority, and not as the scribes."

So if Jesus' words were limited to the few paragraphs provided in by Matthew in chapters 5-7, this would hardly be sufficient to impress the crowd to be astonished at His teaching. Furthermore, since Jesus went up to a mountainside in order to instruct His disciples, (cf Mt 5:1), much more than a few paragraphs of instruction would be expected in any case.

B) (Mt 7:1-5) MATTHEW CHAPTER SEVEN VERSES 1-5 HAVE IN VIEW JESUS' COMMAND AGAINST JUDGING OTHERS UNTO CONDEMNATION WITHOUT OBJECTIVE GODLY DISCERNMENT. THE STANDARD BY WHICH ONE IS TO JUDGE IS VIA A PROPER UNDERSTANDING AND APPLICATION OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS, I.E., SCRIPTURE

(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.' (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mt 7:1 NKJV) Judge not, that you be not judged. (Mt 7:2 NKJV) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Mt 7:3 NKJV) And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? (Mt 7:4 NKJV) Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (Mt 7:5 NKJV) Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." =

The Greek words "krinete" and "krithEte" rendered "Judge" and "judged" respectively in Mt 7:1 NKJV may mean in this verse any one of the following depending upon the context of that verse: separate, distinguish, decide between, judge, think, approve, resolve, determine, give judgment, decide, condemn, punish. Since Jesus' command to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness required judgment in the sense of godly discernment in accordance with Scripture, (Mt 6:33). For example, one must judge who not to give godly things to, (Mt 7:6); and who are false prophets, (Mt 7:15-16). So one must rule out that the kind of judging one is commanded.not to do in Mt 7:1-5 is not speaking of judging in the sense of godly discernment relative to the moral distinctions to be drawn from Jesus' teaching. Hence the meaning of the Greek words "krinete" and "krithEte" in Mt 7:1-5 must mean judging others unto condemnation without such objective godly discernment.

In Mt 7:2, Jesus explained that whatever judgment of another one made in the sense of the kind of judgment - godly or ungodly; and whatever measure one used to evaluate another's character and situation, in the sense of the kind of measure - godly or ungodly; one would be measured by God in the same manner oneself in the sense of merciful if merciful, harsh if harsh; for God's character would prohibit anything sinful. Verses 3 and 4 go on to indicate that the kind of judging and measuring in view in this passage was the flawed / ungodly kind wherein one's own flaws were so much greater - ones frame of reference being so ungodly - than the individual whom one was judging; that objective, godly judgment was not possible: "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?" The Greek word, "ekbale" rendered "remove" in verse 5 in the NKJV, literally means, "cast out." This is not to say that one must not judge others until one is oneself without fault, for that is not possible in this temporal life. Hence the standard by which one is to judge is via a proper understanding and application of the words, the commandments, of the Law and the Prophets, i.e., of Scripture - to judge by the words of God's Word, .. .Jesus called the one who judged with such a greater flaw, "hypocrite." Evidently, the key group of individuals that would be on the forefront of those who judged in such a flawed manner, was the group of religious leaders of Israel, the scribes and Pharisees; whom He had repeatedly addressed including in this particular sermon, (cf. Mt 5:20). Jesus indicated that the proper way for one to judge would first be to remove ones own flaw which produced in one an ungodly frame of reference: Jesus said, "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." The Greek word, "dokon" rendered "plank" in the NKJV in verse 3 literally means "log." Notice that this implied that proper judgment of another is not prohibited, but improper judgment which is caused by one's own flaws is. In view of the fact that all men are flawed to some extent, i.e., all men have some kind of "plank" to remove from their own eyes before they judge others; then, as it is with all things in the temporal life, the only means by which one can judge is via a correct understanding of the Word of God, (Mt 7:1-5).

C) (Mt 7:6) JESUS COMMANDED ONE NOT TO CONVEY GODLY THINGS TO THOSE WHO WOULD NOT LISTEN - WHO WOULD TRAMPLE UPON THEM AND BE HOSTILE

(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.' (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble... (Mt 7:6 NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." =

Jesus said, "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces," in the sense of not making an effort to speak of godly things to those who would not listen, who were incapable of benefiting from godly things said, and may even turn to attack one. The two animals serve together as a picture of what is vicious, unclean, and abominable.

D) (Mt 7:7-11) ASKING, SEEKING AND KNOCKING FOR THE GOOD THINGS OF THE FATHER SO THAT HE MIGHT GIVE THEM TO ONE WHO IS HIS CHILD, I.E., DISCIPLES / BELIEVERS

(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.' (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble... (Mt 7:6 NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Mt 7:7 NKJV) Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Mt 7:8 NKJV) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Mt 7:9 NKJV) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (Mt 7:10 NKJV) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Mt 7:11 NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" =

Mt 7:7-11 stipulate that one should ask for things, evidently the good things of the Father, (nothing evil, cf. Mt 7:11). And the verse's answer, "and it will be given to you,"- those things that do not violate the holiness of God. One is also urged by Jesus to seek, evidently in the sense of seeking good things, from the Father; and one will find that one receives from Him that which is good. Verse 7 goes on to say, knock - in the sense of requesting permission of the Father to enter into His good blessings, and then the door to His blessings will be opened to one. Verses 9-11 go on to explain that just as a human father who is flawed will give his son bread or a fish when he asks him for it, so much the more will God Who is Father to disciples, and all believers, give good gifts to His children - to those that ask Him. So the subject is one of the Father giving to His beloved children, good gifts, good things, godly blessings, etc. Several implications are made in Mt 7:11: (1) God's relationship as Father is reserved to be Jesus' disciples and all believers by implication, (2) All men, even disciples are evil.

Note that the present tense verbs rendered "ask," "seek," and "knock," in Mt 7:7 and the phrases "everyone who asks... and he who seeks... and him who knocks..." in Mt 7:8 do not convey continuous action, as some contend. For the present tense does not convey continuous action without adverbs such as those which would modify the present tense verb, such as "continuously. .And the phrases in verse 8, are nominative participles which are nouns, literally, 'the one who asks,' 'the one who seeks,' and 'the one who knocks' do not convey continuous action . .Hence one need only ask once, not necessarily continuously in order to get the Father's response; and each time one does ask, seek, or knock, one will receive from the Father that which is godly.

E) (Mt 7:12) JESUS SUMMARIZES WHAT HE HAS BEEN TEACHING WITH, "THEREFORE, WHATEVER YOU WANT MEN TO DO TO YOU, DO ALSO TO THEM, FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS" IN THE SENSE OF ACTING TOWARD OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM ACT TOWARD YOU, I.E., AS MOTIVATED 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. (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.' (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble... (Mt 7:6 NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Mt 7:7 NKJV) Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Mt 7:8 NKJV) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Mt 7:9 NKJV) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (Mt 7:10 NKJV) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Mt 7:11 NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" = (Mt 7:12 NKJV) Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." =

Jesus summarizes what He has been teaching with, "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets," in the sense of acting toward others as you would have them act toward you, i.e., as motivated by the righteousness of God. So the phrase rendered, "Therefore whatever you want men to do to you," has in view actions which express care, respect, godly love, i.e., that which can be characterized as having God's Righteousness as its source - in essence that which is characterized as from the Law and the Prophets, i.e., Scripture.

Earlier Jesus stipulated that it was the Law and the Prophets that He came not .to abolish, but to fulfill:

1) [Compare Mt 5:17-18]:

(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."

This was previously addressed as the quality of behavior of individuals who will be residents of the Kingdom of Heaven, (cf. Mt 5:17-20 ).

F) (Mt 7:13-14) RELATIVE TO SEEKING FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, JESUS GAVE THE KEY INSTRUCTION IN ORDER FOR ONE TO GAIN LIFE IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN / KINGDOM OF GOD. HE SAID, "ENTER THROUGH THE NARROW GATE; FOR THE GATE IS WIDE AND THE WAY IS BROAD THAT LEADS TO [ETERNAL] DESTRUCTION. AND THERE ARE MANY WHO ENTER THROUGH IT. BECAUSE NARROW IS THE GATE AND DIFFICULT IS THE WAY WHICH LEADS TO [ETERNAL] LIFE, AND THERE ARE FEW WHO FIND IT." SO ENTRANTS THROUGH THE NARROW GATE THEREAFTER WILL ENCOUNTER DIFFICULTIES SUCH AS PERSECUTION FROM THE WORLD BECAUSE OF ONE'S FAITH, AND GOD'S TESTING AND DISCIPLINE OF HIS CHILDREN / BELIEVERS. PERSEVERANCE IN GOOD WORKS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IS NOT IN VIEW

(Mt 3:1 NKJV) "In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (Mt 3:2 NKJV) and saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" (Mt 3:3 NKJV) For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying [out] in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight... (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 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.' (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble... (Mt 7:6 NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Mt 7:7 NKJV) Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Mt 7:8 NKJV) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Mt 7:9 NKJV) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (Mt 7:10 NKJV) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Mt 7:11 NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Mt 7:12 NKJV) Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Mt 7:13 NAS) Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (Mt 7:14 NKJV) Because narrow is the gate and [having been made] difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." =

Relative to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, (Mt 6:33), Jesus gave the key instruction in order for one to gain life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven / Kingdom of God. He said, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to [eternal] destruction, and there are many who enter through it," (Mt 7:13); [destruction in the sense of eternal destruction because it is set in opposition to the word "life" meaning eternal life in Mt 7:14]." Note that the way connected to the wide gate evidently encompasses all those points of view which fail to gain entrance to life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Whereupon Jesus explained in the next verse, "Because narrow is the gate and [having been made] difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." So entrants through the narrow gate thereafter will encounter difficulties such as persecution from the world because of one's faith, and God's testing and discipline of His children / believers. Perseverance in good works unto eternal life is not in view.

Note that the Greek word "tethlimmenE" does not mean narrow, as some contend. Another Greek word, "stenE," means narrow which was used to describe the Greek word "pulEs" rendered gate in Mt 7:13 and 14. Since all individuals who are in a position of accountability to choose to enter through either gate must be presumed to already have physical life - otherwise they would not exist - then the word rendered "life" in the sense of finding life in Mt 7:14 must mean eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven - the Kingdom of God, (Mt 7:14). Note that the reception of eternal life has repeatedly been established as a key theme of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, (cf. Mt 5:20-48) . Furthermore, the Greek word, "tethlimmenE" rendered "difficult" in the NKJV, in Mt 7:14, is a nominative perfect participle used as an adjective to describe the way which leads from the narrow gate to eternal life. Since it has already been established that eternal life is received by a moment of repentance / faith alone in Christ alone , then the Greek word "tethlimmenE" which literally means, "having been made afflicted, refers to the temporal lives of those who have chosen to go through the narrow gate, hence they have received and are now on the path to eternal life which path, from its beginning, will be fraught with difficulties; not the least of which will be persecution by the world because of one's faith, (cf. Mt 5:10-12), and testing and discipline by the Father of His children - all believers.

1) [Compare Mt 5:10-12]:

(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"

This is not to say that one must abide by some rules of behavior and persevere through difficulties in order to merit eternal life, as some contend. If being faced with difficulties and tribulations and perserving through them in a godly manner in order to be saved unto eternal life is in view - and it is not; and since every individual - wide or narrow path - faces varying amounts of difficulties and tribulations in their lives with no one perfectly persevering through them because all mankind is flawed, yet God's standard is perfect, (Mt 5:48); then no one can be saved. Hence Mt 5:13-14 must be saying that once one expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, one encounters such difficulties in one's temporal life, from that moment on. Relative to the reception of eternal life, Jesus had been preaching "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," i.e., a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, from the beginning of His ministry, ..

Whether or not the road that is connected to the narrow gate is narrow or otherwise is not stipulated.

G) (Mt 7:15-20) JESUS WARNED HIS DISCIPLES TO BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS. ON THE OUTSIDE, THEY APPEARED TO BE HARMLESS - FELLOW DISCIPLES / BELIEVERS; BUT INWARDLY THEIR ACTIONS WERE PREDATORY AND EXTREMELY HARMFUL. THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY REVEAL THEMSELVES BY THEIR ACTIONS; FOR EVERY TRUE PROPHET BEARS GOOD FRUIT, BUT A FALSE PROPHET BEARS BAD FRUIT AND MUST BE REMOVED FROM FELLOWSHIP - HIS INFLUENCE DESTROYED

(Mt 3:1 NKJV) '''In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (Mt 3:2 NKJV) and saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" (Mt 3:3 NKJV) For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying [out] in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight... (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 7:15 NKJV) [But] beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are revenous wolves. (Mt 7:16 NKJV) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Mt 7:17 NKJV) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Mt 7:18 NKJV) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (Mt 7:19 YLT) Every tree not yielding [lit., producing] good fruit is cut down and is cut down and is cast into fire: (Mt 7:20 NKJV) Therefore by their fruits you will know them." =

Jesus warned His disciples to beware of false prophets. He indicated that they came "in sheep's clothing," in the sense that, on the outside, they appeared to be harmless - fellow disciples / believers; but inwardly they were as ravenous wolves in the sense that what came from within them - their words, what they prophesied and taught, and their consequent deeds were predatory and extremely harmful, (Mt 7:15).

In the next verse, Jesus clarified to His disciples who the false prophets were by stating, "You will know them by their fruits," in the sense that when one observes false prophets, one will eventually find a pattern of sinful behavior which points to them being false prophets. Although living according to godliness can be feigned for a time; for false prophets can deceive others by using biblical language and behaving outwardly in a religious manner with a modicum of observable moral compass; they will eventually reveal themselves by what they can be observed doing and saying. The evil they perpetrate in secret will eventually be observed and exposed. False prophets largely have their own interests in mind such as the gain of prestige or money. They are deceivers, who pass their own thoughts and ideas as coming from Scripture. They manipulate Scripture to suit their own ends by skipping around to different passages in Scripture without regard for context, neglecting to provide proof of each point that they make; making their reasoning hard if not impossible to follow. The false prophets offer no credible proof of the reliability of their testimony, nevertheless followers are not permitted to question their authority. What the false prophets say must be taken as oracles from heaven, or followers will be subjected to discipline or banishment from fellowship in the congregation. Hence the more bible doctrine one knows the more one can discern patterns of sinful behavior that point to one as a false prophet.

Note that the phrase rendered, "You will know them by their fruits," does not mean that individuals who are believers will always prove themselves out by producing godly fruit 24/7 as some contend. False prophets not all unbelievers are in view in this passage. Furthermore, since no believer will ever reach a state of sinless perfection in his temporal life - producing only godly fruit, then inspecting someone's fruit will not conclusively prove whether or not one is or is not a believer, even if the fruit is bad, (Mt 7:16a).

Jesus further explained with a rhetorical question and a follow up statement: "Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit" in the sense that just as one would not expect to gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles, so one would not expect spiritual fruit, i.e., truths from Scripture and other godly things to come from the mouths and actions of false prophets. One need only look at the fruit the trees produce to determine whether or not one is a false prophet. Grapes and figs do not grow on thornbushes or thistles. Good fruit trees produce good fruit, but bad fruit trees produce bad fruit, (Mt 7:16b-18).

Furthermore, Jesus stated that "Every tree not yielding [lit., producing] good fruit is cut down and is cast into fire, (Mt 7:19)." Just as a tree which does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into fire, i.e., removed from the grove and destroyed; so the false prophet is to be removed from the fellowship - his influence thus to be destroyed. This is not to say that the false prophet is to be destroyed by fire or will necessarily suffer eternal condemnation because of being a false prophet. Since ones eternal destiny depends upon whether or not one at some time expressed a moment of repentance / faith alone in Christ alone , and not how one behaves; and since that destiny is secure once received; and since a false prophet may have expressed such a moment of faith in the past or may do so in the future; then eternal condemnation cannot be in view in Mt 7:15-19.

Furthermore, since no believer / disciple always produces good fruit all the time, i.e., sinlessly perfect behavior - they in fact produce bad fruit at times; then Mt 7:19 cannot refer to whether or not one is a believer. Hence this verse must be limited to the context in view: false vs true prophets, (Mt 7:15-19). Hence Jesus' statements about good and bad trees are limited to the subject of false prophets, not to individuals in general: "By their [false prophets'] fruit you will know them," (Mt 7:15-20).

H) (Mt 7:20-23) NOT EVERY ONE WHO CONFESSES JESUS AS LORD IN THE SENSE OF ACKNOWLEDGING JESUS AS MASTER OF ONE'S LIFE IN ORDER TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER - THOSE WHO EXPRESS A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE PLUS NOTHING ELSE. THERE WILL BE MANY WHO WILL APPEAR AT JUDGMENT DECLARING JESUS AS LORD AND PLEADING THEIR MANY WORKS WHICH WERE DONE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD - MANY OF WHICH WERE MIRACULOUS - IN ORDER TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. BUT JESUS WILL TELL THEM THAT HE NEVER KNEW THEM, THAT PERFORMING WORKS IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR ETERNAL LIFE WERE LAWLESSNESS

(Mt 1:21 NKJV) "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins... (Mt 3:1 NKJV) In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (Mt 3:2 NKJV) and saying, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!' (Mt 3:3 NKJV) For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying [out] in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight... (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 7:13 NAS) Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (Mt 7:14 NKJV) Because narrow is the gate and [having been made] difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mt 7:15 NKJV) [But] beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are revenous wolves. (Mt 7:16 NKJV) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Mt 7:17 NKJV) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Mt 7:18 NKJV) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (Mt 7:19 YLT) Every tree not yielding [lit., producing] good fruit is cut down and is cut down and is cast into fire: (Mt 7:20 NKJV)Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Mt 7:21 YLT) Not every one who is saying to Me LORD, LORD, shall come into the [Kingdom of Heaven]; but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens. (Mt 7:22 HOLMAN) On that day many will say to Me, 'LORD, LORD, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name? (Mt 7:23 YLT) and then I will acknowledge to them, that - I never knew you, depart from Me [you] who are working lawlessness." =

Notice that the key subject in Mt 7:15-20, referred to by the plural pronoun rendered "them," in Mt 7:20, is false prophets. In Mt 7:21, the subject changes to the limited number of individuals out of humanity, ("he, who is doing the will of My Father" singular pronoun, lit., nominative present participle = the doing one), who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven: "Not every one who is saying to Me LORD, LORD, [in the sense of acknowledging Jesus as Master of one's life in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven] shall come into the [Kingdom of Heaven]; but he who is doing the will of My Father Who is in the heavens." Notice that the word LORD is repeated as an emphatic expression of Jesus' Lordship, implying that the individuals who expressed the words, "LORD, LORD," assumed that Jesus was LORD, i.e., Master of their life, (as opposed to being Savior from their sins), and that they had a close relationship with Him, (Mt 7:21). But Jesus' reply implied that neither was true. So believing that Jesus was LORD of ones life alone was evidently not required to gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. For Matthew had already observed that Jesus taught that it was exclusively a moment of repentance / faith alone in Christ alone that secures eternal life plus nothing else . Note that although one has expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, there is implied no guarantee that one will always confess Jesus as LORD throughout one's temporal life. Note that this is implied in the model prayer that the LORD provided for His disciples, which has a provision for believers to be forgiven of ones temporal sins that they commit in their lifetime, . So one who has received eternal life via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone has secured it forever because, once received, eternal life is eternal by definition and nature. It is not dependent upon how one conducts ones temporal life.

Those that contend that perserverance in good works is required, maintain that Matthew chapter 7 supports the view that belief alone in Jesus as LORD in the sense of Master of one's life is not enough to receive eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. They contend that the passage indicates that one must not only believe in the Lordship of Jesus in ones life, but one must also persevere in the practice the Lorship of Christ by faithfully performing godly works in order to continue be saved throughout ones life. Hence they conclude that an insufficient amount of good works, or an absence of good works will indicate that one has been disqualified from entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

But a careful reading of Mt 7:21-23 indicates that in view are people who would appear before Jesus at Judgment who would declare Jesus as LORD in the sense of declaring that He was Master of their lives. They would repeatedly declare, "LORD, LORD," (Mt 7:21, 22). And they would declare to the LORD their many works done in His name - a number of them miraculous, (but not their faith in Him to save them from their sins), in order to prove that they were qualified for eternal life and admission into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, in order to provide a much stronger testimony of their works, they included the witness of Jesus' Himself of their works by asking Him if He had not observed them Himself, ("Didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name," (Mt 7:22). And Jesus' answer implied that they indeed did perform these works, ("And then I will acknowledge to them, that - I never knew you, depart from Me [you] who are working lawlessness," [Mt 7:23]). So this established that they were in fact telling the truth about their works; and were not misrepresenting their record of deeds as some contend. Despite their acknowledgment of Jesus as LORD and their great record of works in Jesus' name, these individuals were disqualified from entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. In the final analysis, Jesus made it clear that declaring Him to be LORD in the sense of declaring that He was Master of one's life would not provide one with eternal life. Nor would declaring Him to be LORD plus persevering in works such as prophesying in His name, or driving out demons in His name, or doing many miracles in His name.

In fact, if eternal life did require acknowledgment of Jesus as LORD in the sense of being Master of their life plus perseverance in godly works, (as the scribes' and Pharisees' self-proclamations), then the average individual whose works would not be so great in kind or quantity would have no chance to make it to Heaven's shores.

Since Jesus concluded that doing works in order to gain eternal life was "working lawlessness," then it is evident that due to man's flawed nature that any works man performs would be generated from man's flawed motivation, resulting in lawlessness. So no works can be done in order to gain an eternal relationship with the LORD.

On the other hand, the means by which one does gain eternal life is through a moment of repentance / faith alone in the Messiah Jesus Christ alone plus nothing else, which is evidently what Jesus was referring to when He spoke of doing the will of the Father in order to gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, (Mt 7:21b). For it is the declaration of Christ Himself that such a moment of faith will gain eternal life, . Furthermore, author Matthew earlier corroborated that Jesus will save His people from their sins as well as the rest of humanity, implying a trust in Him alone for salvation unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

1) [Compare Mt 1:21]:

(Mt 1:21 NKJV) "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins," (Mt 7:21-23).

I) (Mt 7:24-27) THE ONE WHO WOULD LISTEN TO JESUS' TEACHING AND RESPOND TO IT IN OBEDIENCE, JESUS DECLARED WOULD BE A WISE MAN, WHOSE LIFE WOULD BE BUILT AS A HOUSE UPON A STRONG FOUNDATION - IT WOULD WEATHER THE STORMS OF LIFE. BUT THOSE WHO WOULD LISTEN TO HIM AND NOT ACT, JESUS DECLARED WOULD BE A FOOLISH MAN, WHOSE LIFE WOULD BE BUILT AS A HOUSE UPON A WEAK FOUNDATION WHICH WOULD NOT WEATHER THE STORMS OF LIFE, BUT SUFFER DESTRUCTION

(Mt 7:24 NKJV) "Therefore whoever hears these sayings [lit., words] of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (Mt 7:25 YLT) and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock. (Mt 7:26 HOLMAN) [And] everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (Mt 7:27 NKJV) and the rain descended, the floods [lit., streams] came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." =

Jesus sums up His sermon on the mountainside by saying, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings [lit., words] of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock. [And] everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain descended, the floods [lit., streams] came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall," (Mt 7:24-27). So the one who would listen to Jesus' teaching and respond to it in obedience, Jesus declared would be a wise man, whose life would be built as a house upon a strong foundation - It would weather the storms of life. But those who would listen to Him and not act, Jesus declared would be a foolish man, whose life would be built as a house upon a weak foundation which would not weather the storms of life, but suffer destruction.

J) (Mt 7:28-29) WHEN JESUS FINISHED, THE CROWD SUDDENLY REFLECTED GREAT ASTONISHMENT AT HIS TEACHING; FOR HE WAS TEACHING THEM WITH THE AUTHORITY OF GOD, AS THE SPOKESMAN OF GOD; NOT AS THE SCRIBES WHO WERE LIMITED IN THEIR CAPACITY, FLAWED IN THEIR NATURE, AND WHO MANIPULATED THE SCRIPTURES TO SUIT THEIR OWN AGENDA

(Mt 7:24 NKJV) "Therefore whoever hears these sayings [lit., words] of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (Mt 7:25 YLT) and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock. (Mt 7:26 HOLMAN) [And] everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (Mt 7:27 NKJV) and the rain descended, the floods [lit., streams] came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Mt 7:28 YLT) And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these words, the miltitudes were astonished at His teaching, (Mt 7:29 YLT) for He was teaching them as having authority, and not as the scribes." =

When Jesus' finished, the crowd reflected great and sudden astonishment at His teaching. The Greek word "exeplEssonto" rendered "astonished" means "overwhelmed," "amazed" is strong and sudden. For He was teaching them with the authority of God, as the spokesman of God; not as the scribes who were limited in their capacity, flawed in their nature, and who manipulated the Scriptures to suit their own agenda.

It is evident from the brevity of the account of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7, that author Matthew did not include everything that Jesus taught, but chose certain significant excerpts from Jesus' teaching. If all of Jesus' words comprised the few paragraphs provided in Matthew in chapters 5-7, it would not be sufficient to astonish the crowd. Furthermore, since Jesus went up to a mountainside in order to instruct His disciples, (cf Mt 5:1), much more than a few paragraphs of instruction would be expected.

CONTINUE TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 8 {short description of image}