Matthew 23:13

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Matt. 23:13. "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to do so."

    I though it might be worth having a thread on this verse because a weight is being put on it in various discussions which I do not believe it will bear.

    The context of Matt. 23 is our Lord's attack on the Jewish leadership. It is not a soteriological discussion. That does not mean that it cannot be used to discuss soteriology, but to use v.13, without support from elsewhere in the Bible, as the lynch-pin for a whole theological position is very unwise.

    Van wrote elsewhere:
    First of all, there is nothing in the verse that tells us that these men were 'in Adam'- that is, unregenerate. That is Van's own assumption. But on his understanding, unregenerate men can enter heaven by their own will and in their own strength. Such a view is know as Pelagianism and is generally regarded as being outside Christian orthodoxy. But it gets worse! Apparently, the arbiters of who gets into heaven is neither Father nor Son nor the Holy Spirit, but the scribes and Pharisees. They are able to operate an effective bar upon who gets into heaven.

    We have to square Matt. 23:13 with other Bible texts. This is called the 'Analogy of Faith.' The Bible does not contradict itself, and therefore there must be a way to reconcile this verse with others.

    John 3:19. "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

    This verse teaches that unregenerate people do not seek Christ, the Light of the world, because they prefer their fallen lifestyles (cf. also John 3:3, 5; 6:44; Rom. 1:28; 1 Cor. 2:14 etc.).

    John 6:39. "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day."

    This verse teaches that the Father has given to the Son a people to be saved, and He will lose none of them (cf. also John 6:37; 17:2, 6).

    John 10:26. "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I told you."

    This verse teaches that people do not become Christ's sheep by believing, but they believe because they are Christ's sheep.

    John 10:27f. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."

    Hear we learn that Christ's sheep are distinguished from others by their ears and their feet; they hear the Shepherd's voice and the follow Him. Moreover, no scribe, no Pharisee, no one at all is going to stop these sheep from attaining to eternal life.

    [To be continued]
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    The scribes and Pharisees referred to here are not regenerate. They will not enter into the Kingdom of God/Heaven (that is, the rule of God) and they put obstacles in the way of others who would seek the Kingdom.
     
  3. agedman

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    Not only that, but to add to your and Martin's good work on this thread, the verse in Matthew also points to the futility of what the scribes and Pharisees were doing in their powerbroking.

    " nor do you allow those who are entering to do so." Some have taken this small bit as showing that others can prevent the work of God as if God is submissive to human actions.

    Jesus isn't saying the scribes and Pharisees can actually keep the believers out, anymore than He is saying the the same scribes and Pharisees literally feast on the widow's houses in the next verse.

    Such thinking of the power of the scribes and Pharisees to keep people from entering heaven reminds me of the Romanists cult, who teach that, without certain rites and priestly attention, heaven is gated shut.

    The Psalmist states:
    1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
    2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
    3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.
    4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.

     
  4. JamesL

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    It seems that you might be the pot, calling the kettle black. Is it your own assumption that "in Adam" means unregenerate? Or have i read it wrong?

    I'll wait for your answer before adding more.
     
  5. agedman

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    Martin speaks English English.

    In the Texas we would have constructed the sentence (perhaps) this way:

    "First of all, there is nothing in the verse that tells us that these men 'in Adam' were other than heathen - that is, unregenerate." (italics - added words by me)

    Often, we Texans type more slowly than our minds. The English, well, what can one say about them ... :)
     
  6. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Matt. 23:13, Part two

    First of all, my apologies for not coming back to this sooner. The Lord's day starts earlier in Britain than in the USA, and it's been busier than I expected.

    Matt. 23:13. "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to do so."

    So if this verse doesn't mean what Van thinks it means, what does it mean? Does it really mean that the scribes and Pharisees were actually preventing people from getting into heaven?

    Well first of all, let's consider what 'allow' means in English. People are not allowed to speed in Britain or America. There are laws against it. Do they still do it? They do in Britain. People are not allowed to shoot each other in the USA. There's a whole thread about the large number of gun murders on this very forum.

    Next, there's the Greek word translated 'allow' in the NKJV and 'suffer' in the KJV. The word is aphiemi, and it's root meaning is 'send away' or 'discharge.' It is translated in the KJV as 'forgive' 47 times, 'leave' 52 times, 'let alone' 6 times, and 'suffer' ('allow') 13 times. So you can see that it has a wide range of meanings, but in Matt. 23:13 it surely need mean no more than that the religious leaders did not look kindly on those who were coming to the Lord Jesus, and obstructed them as much as they could.

    The best example of this is their treatment of the man born blind in John 9. They did their very best to stop this man following Jesus, and when he persevered, they excommunicated him (v.34). Even then, they couldn't prevent the man from worshipping Jesus (v.38).

    I have previously posted J.C. Ryle's comments on this verse. I apologize for doing so again; you can look up any good commentary and find the same thing, but Ryle is brief and pithy:

    'The first "woe" in the list is directed against the systematic opposition of the scribes and Pharisees to the progress of the Gospel. They "shut up the kingdom of heaven:" They would neither go in themselves, nor suffer others to go in; they rejected the warning voice of John the Baptist; they refused to acknowledge Jesus when He appeared among them as the Messiah; they tried to keep back Jewish inquirers. They would not believe the Gospel themselves and they did all in their power to prevent others believing in it: this was a great sin.'

    That is all the verse means. To try to turn it into a theological trampoline and bounce up and down on it is foolishness of the worst kind. If those entering the kingdom were saved- if they had repented of their sins and trusted in Christ for salvation- then Satan himself would not keep them out. The Lord Jesus will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, much less the scribes and Pharisees. If they were not saved, then they would not get in (Rev. 21:8, 27).
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    The term 'in Adam' was Van's not mine. 'Unregenerate' is my attempt to interpret it. If I'm wrong, no doubt Van will tell me. In any case, there is nothing in the verse that tells us whether these men were 'in Adam' whatever it means.
     
  8. JamesL

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    Thanks. It seemed as though they were your words, but I thought you could be trying to make sense of his. That's why I thought it best to refrain from further comment until there was clarity
     
  9. Van

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    I see Martin is at it again, misrepresenting my views to bolster his mistaken view. I am shocked, I say shocked, such behavior goes on here.

    Is Matthew 23:13 the only verse that teaches unregenerate people are able to seek God and trust in Christ? Nope so a misrepresentation. Have I not cited Matthew 13:1-23? Yep. The reason I point to cases where people were seeking God yet did not obtain salvation is the other side will claim, reading between the lines, they were regenerated. But they cannot use that canard if they were seeking God but were not saved.

    Here is a typical misrepresentation, no quote will be forthcoming. Did I say the men "entered" heaven or were "entering heaven but were blocked?" Did I say anyone ever enters heaven without being drawn by the Father? Nope. Did I say without the gift of God's revelatory grace, the gospel of Christ, we would not have the information in which to place our faith, i.e. the name of Christ.

    Next, every fallen person is "in Adam." To claim otherwise is staggeringly absurd. Through the disobedience of the one, all men were made sinners. Everyone made sinner is figuratively in Adam. This is basic Christianity 101!!!
    When the "many" is contrasted with "the one" the "many refers to everybody else, all mankind.

    John 3:19 does not say all people all the time never seek God, so Matthew 23:13 is not in conflict.

    John 6:39 does not say God has given every individual that will be given. And of course, everyone given arrives in Christ and will not be cast out. The people of Matthew 23:13 had not or not yet, been given, and therefore Matthew 23:13 does not conflict.

    John 10:26 does not teach people believe because they are His sheep, but rather they are "of My Sheep" which refers to the unsaved who are "of God" i.e. being in God and His promises. Thus the men of Matthew 23:13 were "of My sheep" but were not or not yet "His sheep. No conflict exists.

    John 10:27 speaks of those given to Christ, and therefore does not conflict with Matthew 23:13

    Next (in MM post #6) he redefines the phrase, "nor do you allow those who are entering to do so" to something other than what it says. Folks, if we cannot accept that the Bible means what it says, we have the wrong doctrine, that turns scripture into a smorgasbord.

    Finally, MM, cites another uninspired commentator (Ryle) who says in effect they tried to prevent others but failed, not how it reads.
     
    #9 Van, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2015
  10. kyredneck

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    Yeah. "Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell?", kinda cinches it for me too.

    But they had legitimate authority:

    "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat: all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not." vv. 2&3

    It conforms wonderfully with the type:

    Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. Ex 1:8

    The 'Woe Chapter' of Mt 23 is the culmination/fulfillment of the 'Woe Chapter' of Ezek 34:

    2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep?
    3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep.
    4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought back that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have ye ruled over them.
    5 And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.
    6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and there was none that did search or seek after them.
    7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah:
    8 As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely forasmuch as my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my sheep;
    9 therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah:
    10 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.
    11 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
    12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places whither they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
    13 And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
    14 I will feed them with good pasture; and upon the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
    15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord Jehovah.
    16 I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.
    17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the he-goats.
    18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have fed upon the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?
    19 And as for my sheep, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.
    20 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
    21 Because ye thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;
    22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
    23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
    24 And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Jehovah, have spoken it.
    25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
    26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.
    27 And the tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those that made bondmen of them.
    28 And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the beasts of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.
    29 And I will raise up unto them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more.
    30 And they shall know that I, Jehovah, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord Jehovah.
    31 And ye my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord Jehovah. Ezek 34

    More fulfillment of prophecy through parable:

    When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart. This is he that was sown by the way side. Mt 13:19
     
    #10 kyredneck, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2015
  11. Martin Marprelate

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    You appear to have a persecution complex.

    Perhaps it's a narcissist complex. I did not mention your name at this point in my post. However, I have not noticed your use of that well-known proof-text for Calvinism, the Parable of the Sower. What I have seen is your continued trotting out of the Matt 23 text and a refusal to be guided or accept correction.

    In the Parable of the Sower in Matt. 13, the same sower sows the same seed in the different soils. But only one soil was 'good.' Only one bears fruit; only one 'hears and understands' (v.23). Anyone who has had any degree of pastoral responsibility knows that when the word is preached, some folk reject it out of hand (the 'wayside') some get tremendously interested and then fall away ('stony ground'), and others go along with it until something more exciting comes along ('among thorns'). What is it that makes other persevere? It is the power of God through the New Birth. 'My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me'

    Hmm! You wrote previously:
    Perhaps it will be helpful if you make yourself clear.
    If all men are 'in Adam,' why mention it? Why not simply say that men are entering heaven? But do you really believe that men in Adam enter heaven and the only thing that stops them is the Scribes and Pharisees? Because that is what you wrote and it is perfectly clear above.
    On what basis do you proclaim this? 'Many' means 'many.'


    'And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.' I don't see the words 'most men' or 'only occasionally seek' anywhere in that verse. Moreover it is supported by Rom. 3:11.

    Who does give them then?
    The people in Matt. 23:13 did not enter heaven. You have admitted that.

    To say you are clutching at straws is putting it mildly! 1 John 5:19. We know that we are of God......' Now is John and the people he is writing to 'unsaved' or not? Are they 'in God and His promises or not?


    Here's what I wrote:

    "Next, there's the Greek word translated 'allow' in the NKJV and 'suffer' in the KJV. The word is aphiemi, and it's root meaning is 'send away' or 'discharge.' It is translated in the KJV as 'forgive' 47 times, 'leave' 52 times, 'let alone' 6 times, and 'suffer' ('allow') 13 times. So you can see that it has a wide range of meanings, but in Matt. 23:13 it surely need mean no more than that the religious leaders did not look kindly on those who were coming to the Lord Jesus, and obstructed them as much as they could.

    The best example of this is their treatment of the man born blind in John 9. They did their very best to stop this man following Jesus, and when he persevered, they excommunicated him (v.34). Even then, they couldn't prevent the man from worshipping Jesus (v.38)."

    Now are you actually going to deal with this or are you going to fob off the "folks" you keep appealing to with a show of petulance?


    Here's another one, William Hendriksen:

    "The denunciation [of Matt 23:13]views the matter of entering the kingdom from the aspect of human responsibility. It would be wrong, therefore, to draw the conclusion that Jesus is saying that the scribes and Pharisees are stronger than God, that is, that they are able to thwart or frustrate God's design."
     
  12. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Another thought on Matt. 23:13.
    I had the J.W.s round my house on Friday; a very nice elderly couple. When you get these people outside of their prepared texts, they really have no answers. I was able to refute all their arguments with very little trouble.
    But I couldn't persuade them to look for themselves at the Scriptures. They were in thrall to the scribes and Pharisees of the Watchtower. No matter what arguments I produced showing what a load of rubbish the J.W. teaching really is, they just wouldn't move away from it.

    There is the teaching of Matt. 23:13 in the present day. These people may have been searching for truth at one stage, but they've been hi-jacked by the Watchtower, and now they're no longer seeking. They have been taken captive by Satan to do his will (2 Tim. 2:26).

    So what hope for Mike and Joyce, the two J.W.s? No hope in me; I couldn't do anything for them. Nonetheless, we have to make the effort, 'In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance so that they may know the truth' (2 Tim. 2:25). If God opens their hearts, they can still enter heaven despite all the efforts of Satan, and the scribes and Pharisees (cf. Mark 3:27; Rev. 6:2).
     
  13. Van

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    Post #11 is typical of those attempting to defend the indefensible.
    1) Start with disparaging the poster rather than addressing the position.

    2) Claim a misrepresentation was only a mistake.

    3) Next, reading between the lines, the usual claim the 4th soil had been regenerated. No mention of that claim can be found in the text. OTOH, MM did not address how soils #2 and #3 were seeking God without being regenerated. Go figure.

    4) The next effort to justify the misrepresentation is my fault, I was not clear. Go figure.

    5) All people who are not in Christ are in Adam. This is basic Christianity 101. So an effort to question the obvious to obfuscate.

    6) Then MM repeats the misrepresentation claiming I believe men in Adam enter heaven!!! More obfuscation!!

    7) Next MM denies that when the many is contrasted with the one, the many refers to everyone else. More obfuscation based on personal incredulity. Folks, how many of us were made sinners, a few, most or all. MM wastes time denying original sin!!

    8) Next he claims men means all men all the time, but that is eisegesis. He is reading his view into the text. Then he does it again, citing Romans 3:11 where where "no one seeks God" is interpreted to mean "no one seeks God at any time." So more eisegesis provided to support eisegesis. Two verses cited, with neither actually saying what is claimed.

    9) Next, he asks a non-germane question. The issue is not who gives individuals to Christ, God gives them and only God gives them. No, the issue is has God already given everyone, or is He still giving them, one believer at a time? God is still giving individuals to Christ.

    10) Next MM observes the men of Matthew 23:13 did not enter heaven! That was the whole idea, they were seeking God but had not been regenerated with irresistible grace!!

    11) Next, MM admits believers are "of God" which supports my view.

    12) Next, MM simply repeats his position that Matthew 23:13 does not mean what it says. No kidding!

    13) Did anyone say God's design and plan is thwarted? Nope. Yet another obfuscation.

    14) Next we get the guilt by association argument, closing out the fallacious arguments used to defend the indefensible.
     
  14. Darrell C

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    I would suggest that to mistake "entering into the Kingdom of Heaven" with "entering Heaven" is the primary root of the debate. It is easily reconciled if a few truths are embraced, which I see as irrefutable:

    1. "The Kingdom of Heaven" was already established, which was the temporal Kingdom Israel (and in particular many of the religious rulers) had defected from, thus necessitating the Promise of the New Covenant.

    2. The "Gospel of the Kingdom" should not be confused with the "Gospel of Jesus Christ." One was revealed at this time, the other was not, and could not be fully revealed until revealed by the Comforter.

    3. Not one person was trusting in the Sacrifice of Christ for the simple reason that He had not yet died.

    4. Entrance to Heaven for men was not taking place at that time.

    I will await objections to these points before getting into detail as to Scripture.


    Those who were "coming" to the Lord not only responded to the Lord from a perspective of unrevealed truth (meaning they approached Christ from their understanding of Who Christ was as contrasted with their understanding after the Comforter was sent), but we can safely say that if the disciples themselves did not understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ...neither did the people coming to Him during His earthly Ministry.


    In view is the rejection of Christ as the prophesied Messiah, which in the understanding of Israel had nothing to do with salvation from sin on an eternal basis. Not one person understood that Christ would perform the vicarious Sacrifice which would allow God to reconcile men to Himself. Most had a view that Messiah would be a man (only) and sit as an earthly King over an earthly Kingdom. Even the Disciples on the day of the Lord's Ascension ask if the Lord will at that time "restore the 'Kingdom' unto Israel." This shows the same fleshly understanding which the Lord rebukes Peter for when Peter hears the Gospel and...himself rebukes the Lord for suggesting He will die. It is the same understanding that has Peter taking up the sword in Gethsemane in an effort to prevent the Lord from...dying. The same understanding which causes Peter to deny he even knows Christ, or is associated with Him.

    And I would point out your own point:


    What they "excommunicated" them from was their version of "The Kingdom of Heaven."

    Again, this Kingdom was already in place, and this is the Lord's point in this teaching. It has nothing to do with going to Heaven, but being a part of the Kingdom that existed. This is illustrated by the fact of proselytization:


    Matthew 23:15

    King James Version (KJV)

    15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.



    They thought they were not only part of that Kingdom, but that they were bringing others into it (Judaism). The truth being that their understanding was so corrupted that they did indeed bring people into the "kingdom" they had established, and in doing so corrupted them as well.


    Continued...
     
  15. Darrell C

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    Again...the Gospel of Christ" is not in view.

    John the Baptist foretold the Kingdom that would come, and the judgment of Christ, Who would Baptize with Spirit (eternal salvation through the indwelling of God which began at Pentecost) and with fire (eternal judgment).

    Israel did, in their understanding, embrace Messiah in large part. The problem was that they did not understand the depth of His Ministry. In John 6 the Lord makes it clear that men must believe in His death specifically, and that His death was the source of eternal life. He contrasts the physical provision in the wilderness with the eternal and spiritual provision that His death would accomplish.


    Agreed.


    We can say Old Testament Saints were "saved" on a provisional basis, but we cannot say they were eternally saved. Before that could happen...their sins had to benefit from the Atonement of the Cross. It was not until Christ died that men such as Abraham, Moses, or David had their sins forgiven in an eternal perspective, each one having died with their sins temporarily forgiven through animal sacrifice.

    But in a New Covenant and New Testament sense, no one was "saved." Not one person trusted in Christ and the Cross before Christ died and rose again. And I would push that a little further in stating that not one person, including the Disciples, were born again until they were eternally indwelt by God, which took place when Christ ascended and sent the Comforter on the Day of Pentecost.


    How could they, Christ had not died at that point.


    This is true: salvation in Christ is eternal.


    The Church was not begun until Pentecost. Christ was not building His Church at that point.

    Let's take a quick look at what the Lord would build His Church upon:


    Matthew 16:13-18

    King James Version (KJV)

    13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

    14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

    15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

    16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



    The Church is built upon believing in Christ. Peter has revealed unto him that Jesus is truly the Messiah, the Son of God. He did not conclude this from Christ's Ministry, nor did he deduce it from Christ's miracles, but it was a divinely revealed truth, as all spiritual truth is.

    Does this mean that Peter understands the Gospel? Not at all. In fact, at this point we can see Peter wants Messiah to be fulfilled according to his own understanding, as seen here:


    Matthew 16:20-23

    King James Version (KJV)

    20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

    21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

    22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

    23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.



    Here the Lord gives one of the few presentations of the Gospel of Christ...and Peter rebukes the Lord for suggesting His death. This would, after all, conflict with Peter's understanding and how he expected prophecy concerning Messiah to be fulfilled.

    And that understanding and those desires are said to be "of men." That is contrasted with divinely revealed truth.

    Going back to the OP, the primary failure in properly interpreting this passage is to mistake entrance to Heaven as being in view. When the Lord sent out the disciples, they went out preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord forbad them from going to Samaritans or Gentiles, but to go to the Lost Sheep of Israel only. We could never reconcile a view that would have the Lord restricting the Gospel of Christ to the world, but, we can understand a Ministry specific to the Nation of Israel.

    He came unto His own and...His own received Him not.


    God bless.
     
  16. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    I disagree with this very strongly. I think you need to consider Hebrews 11:4 and ask yourself what Abel is saying to us today when he is not recorded as saying anything when he was alive and why the Lord Jesus considers him a prophet (Luke 11:50f).

    You also need to look at Matt. 16:17. Peter had the truth about our Lord revealed to him by God. Believers in the O.T. had the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:8-9).

    I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to work this out as I should, and I probably won't have time before I fly off to Lesotho on Friday. I just wanted to register my disagreement.
     
  17. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Most will disagree with this position, however, I think we can see that it is a truth which will help clear up a great many hard sayings for us.

    While we know the Old Testament Saints had faith, and as I said, were saved in the sense that their eternal destiny was set...


    Hebrews 11

    King James Version (KJV)

    11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

    3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.



    ...we also see that there was that the Old Testament Saints looked forward to, which they had not received.

    The eternal indwelling of the Spirit of God is one of those things.

    Consider:


    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.



    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.



    In Hebrews the theme of perfection simply speaks of completion, and in particular, completion in regards to remission of sins, and ultimately, completion in what we (which the Old Testament Saints were not privy to) understand as New Covenant/Testament salvation in Christ.

    In v.4 Abel's sacrifice was better because it was what God had commanded. While we do not have Scripture that states God commanding a death take place in order for remission of sins (on that provisional basis), we can see that is the pattern throughout Scripture...until Christ died.

    And that is what the writer states over and over in Hebrews, contrasting the two Covenants and the sacrifices associated with both. With that in mind, as well as the above passages, consider again...


    Hebrews 10

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

    3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

    4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.



    This is what the Old Testament Saints died not having received.

    In regards to the Eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we see that the disciples themselves had not received this promise until Pentecost:


    Acts 1:4-8

    King James Version (KJV)

    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

    7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.




    Correct. All divine truth is always revealed, it is not something deduced or concluded through fleshly works or efforts.

    Again, we see Peter in opposition to the very thing Christ had come to do. The Lord notes this opposition as contradictory to His purpose here:


    John 18:11

    King James Version (KJV)

    11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?



    The Prophets spoke of Christ through this same manner of revelation, however, they too did not understand that which they prophesied:


    1 Peter 1:9-12

    King James Version (KJV)

    9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

    10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

    11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

    12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.



    The "Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven" is none other than the Comforter. He it is that ministers through New Covenant Saints...the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Just as He ministered through Prophets, Priests, and Kings in the Old Testament. The difference is the revelation He ministers through us.


    Not according to New Covenant standard:


    John 14:16-17

    King James Version (KJV)

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.



    I would just ask you to consider the significance of Christ's teachings in John 14 and 16 (with a little from Ch.15) in regards to the coming of the Comforter. It marks the beginning of that which was prophesied in the Old Testament, promised by God, and bestowed in this Age.



    I understand, work is crazy for me, so having the time I would like is not always there.


    Duly noted, though again I would just ask you to give consideration to these things.


    God bless.
     
  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Are those who get saved by God his sheep based upon God chosing them in Christ, or based upon themselves chosing to be in Christ then?

    The Matthew text does NOT give any support to sinners trying to get saved by their own initive and own desire!
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    Did anyone say people "get saved" by their own initiative? Nope so more misdirection and obfuscation.

    Matthew 23:13 supports that some unregenerate people seek God and are willing or open to trusting in Christ. Thus the opposite view is unbiblical.

    Only those chosen through their faith in the truth are placed, set apart, sanctified in Christ.
     
  20. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Luke 11:10, 13. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be open...........How much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.'
     

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