Sermon on the Mount  part 2

This is a continuation of the study of the sermon on the mount, part 1. Picking it up at Matthew 5:17, Yahushua said...  

Matthew 5:17 - "Think not that  I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one yod or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."  

In order to understand the preceding, we will use the Word of YHWH to interpret itself:

Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our Elohim shall stand for ever.

Luke 16:17 - And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Yahushua said that he did not come to destroy, but to fulfill the law and the prophets. What exactly did he mean? 

Turning to Strong's Concordance, the Greek word for "destroy" is "kataluo" (Strong's #2647). Strong's Concordance shows how many times this Greek word is used in the new testament of the King James Version, and into what English word it is translated: destroy 9, throw down 3, lodge 1, guest 1, come to nought 1, overthrow 1, dissolve 1; 17

 The Greek word for "fulfill" is "pleroo" (Strong's #4137). It is broken down as follows:  fulfil 51, fill 19, be full 7, complete 2, end 2, misc 9; 90. One definition of the word "fulfill" (pleroo) is: "of matters of duty: to perform, execute". The thing that Yahushua was obviously referring to was "opposites" when he said, "I have come not to destroy but to fulfill the law and the prophets." Yahushua was showing that he came, not only to bring prophesies to fulfillment, by his actions and sufferings, but also to perform through perfect obedience, the law of YHWH. He also explained the true meaning of the Law of YHWH, through his teachings.

In the next verse, Yahushua continues to expound the truth concerning the law...  

Matthew 5:18 - "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."  

This very event is spoken of by Isaiah the prophet... 

Isaiah 51:6 - Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

Yahushua also said... 

Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away".  

The apostle Kepha (Peter) backs up Yahushua's teaching... 

1 Peter 1:24 - For all flesh is as grass, and all the splendor of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of YHWH endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the glad tidings is preached unto you.

Next in the sermon on the mount, Yahushua gives a warning...

Matthew 5:19 - "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

Yahushua was teaching a principle found in the Torah...

Deuteronomy 12:32 (NKJ) "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

Many are guilty of breaking this commandment by using Paul to show that the law is a thing of the past (by taking him out of context). For instance, the book of Galatians is often quoted to show that one is justified by faith rather than by the works of the law...

Galatians 2:16 - Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yahushua the Messiah, even we have believed in Yahushua the Messiah, that we might be justified by the faith of the Messiah, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 

The preceding is true, but is often misunderstood. Paul was not saying that we are no longer required to keep the Law; he was saying, rather, that we cannot be saved by performing the works of the law without also having faith in Yahushua the Messiah. Paul's writings being misunderstood is not a new thing. Kepha (Peter) speaks of this problem in one of his letters...

2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Master (Yahushua) is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

James (Ya'acob) knew that there was a problem understanding the relationship between one doing the works of the law and having faith in Yahushua the Messiah. James does a superb job clearing up any misunderstanding...

James 2:14 (NKJ) What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Continuing on with the sermon on the mount, Yahushua said...

Matthew 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."  

The following is an example of the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees...

Luke 16:13 - "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve YHWH and mammon." 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they mocked him. 15 And he said unto them, "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but YHWH knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of YHWH."  

Notice how they justified themselves in the sight of men, which meant that they were not concerned about how they were viewed by the Heavenly Father. (Yahushua seems to be saying that has to be one or the other; it cannot be both!) 

Luke 11:39 - And Yahushua said unto him, "Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness."

Yahushua also pointed out that the religious leaders (the Pharisees) were hypocrites...

Luke 12:1 - In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

The nature of leaven is that it multiplies very fast. In another place, Yahushua shows a contrast between self righteousness and humility...

Luke 18:10 - "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'Elohim, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.' 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, 'Elohim be merciful to me a sinner.' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."  

The message keeps coming back to the fact, that to be a follower of Yahushua, we must become humble in a sincere way...

Psalm 51:10 - Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim; and renew a right spirit within me.

The preceding verse should be our prayer until we finally overcome sin!

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in the Messiah, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

Again, we are not to abandon the Law of YHWH! It is so sad that many churches teach its members that very error! Therefore, we must not forget the following warning...

Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Yahushua continues the sermon on the mount in verse 21. He now begins to speak about specific commands found in the Torah, showing how they have been misinterpreted and misunderstood...

Matthew 5:21 - "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not murder; and whosoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.' 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be in danger of Gehenna fire."

To be angry with your brother is the first step to murder...

1John 3:15 - Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

James 1:15 - Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 4:1 - From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Proverbs 13:10 - Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Ephesians 4:26 - Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.

While most will agree that murder is wrong, Yahushua points out that those with hateful hearts are also guilty.  

The sermon on the mount continues...

Matthew 5:23 "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

He is emphasizing the need to be at peace with your brother before trying to please the Heavenly Father; otherwise it will be of no benefit...

Matthew 22:35 - Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 "Rabbi, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37 Yahushua said unto him, "Thou shalt love YHWH thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

1 John 4:20 - If a man say, I love YHWH, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love YHWH whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth YHWH love his brother also.  

John was saying what Yahushua said, but he pointed out that we cannot do the first (love YHWH) unless we also do the second (love our brother).

Continuing with the sermon on the mount, Yahushua said that we should be quick to make peace when someone has something against us...

Matthew 5:25 "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 "Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Paul likewise admonishes us to be at peace...

Romans 12:17 - Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith YHWH." 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Moving on to Yahushua's next point in the law...

Matthew 5:27 - "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery'. 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

Job was aware of this precept...

Job 31:1 - I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

Yahushua is once again explaining how our righteousness is to exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees. This time it is concerning adultery in the heart.

He continues...

Matthew 5:29 - "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Gehenna. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Gehenna."  

What did Yahushua mean? Are we to take him literally concerning the plucking out of our eye and the cutting off of our hand? He continues by going from adultery committed in one's heart, to defining adultery in the physical; they are very much related one to the other. It is a fact that you cannot commit adultery in the physical without first committing adultery in your heart!

Yahushua on divorce...

Matthew 5:31 - "It hath been said, 'Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement'. 32  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."  

Let's now turn to Matthew 19 for more on the subject of divorce and remarriage. As we begin reading, we must keep in mind that the "sin" that Yahushua is dealing with is adultery. That is, adultery committed both in the heart and in the flesh...

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?" 

Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' 5 "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what Elohim has joined together, let not man separate." 

The Pharisees respond...

Matthew 19:7 They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" 

Matthew 19:8 [Yahushua] said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."

This dialogue between the Pharisees and Yahushua, concerning divorce and remarriage, stemmed from a controversy as to the interpretation of Deuteromony 24:1...

Deuteronomy 24:1 - When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

One opinion was that of Shannai. His interpretation of the saying "he hath found some uncleaness in her" meant that she was guilty of "marital unfaithfulness" The other opinion, that of Hillel, was that the same saying meant that a man could divorce his wife for "any reason whatsoever."

According to Yahushua's definition of divorce and remarriage, he was apparently in agreement with the view held by Shannai on this subject. In response to this, his disciples make a statement showing apparent disbelief...

Matthew 19:10 - His disciples say unto him, "If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry."

The disciples were apparently saying that if the rules concerning marriage are that strict, then it is a good thing to not get married. Yahushua responds to the disciples comment as follows...

Matthew 19:11 - But he said unto them, "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."

Yahushua was actually showing the circumstances that would make it possible for a man to "not get married". There is, however, a controversy as to whether or not the English word "eunuch" is the correct translation. In the Aramaic version of the new testament, this word is supposed to be ambiguous, as to its meaning. It can mean either "eunuch," or "believer". It has been reasoned, that because of Deuteronomy 23:1, that the correct translation cannot be eunuch. But Deuteronomy 23:1 does not use the word eunuch (Heb. saris') (Strong's 5031). On the other hand, Isaiah 56:3-5 does speak of eunuchs. Either it is a curse, or it is a blessing.

Isaiah 56:4 - For thus saith YHWH unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant, 5 "Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."

Returning to the traditional translation, that one becomes a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven's sake, it is probable that Yahushua was referring back to something that he had said when preaching the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:29, "for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna." 

Continuing with the sermon on the mount, Yahushua said...

Matthew 5:33 " Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the YHWH.' 34 "But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is Elohim's throne; 35 "nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 "Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

He was speaking of the commandment found in Leviticus 19:12: And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy Elohim: I am YHWH. 

Apparently, in the days of Yahushua's ministry, there was a false doctrine being taught concerning swearing...

Matthew 23:16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17 "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 "And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.' 19 "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 "Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 "He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 "And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of Elohim and by Him who sits on it. 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Yahushua was therefore teaching against the false doctrine that was being taught by the spiritual leaders of that day. They apparently taught that one can swear to an oath, and under certain circumstances, not be held accountable. Yahushua let it be known that when one swears, he is held accountable, period! 

The seriousness of swearing an oath and also vowing a vow (making a promise) is found in the Torah...

Numbers 30:2 - If a man vow a vow unto YHWH, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.  

Ya'acob (James) backs up Yahushua's command to his followers, to not swear at all  

James 5:12 - But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

The Torah speaks of the wisdom of not vowing a vow...

Deuteronomy 23:21 - When thou shalt vow a vow unto YHWH thy Elohim, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for YHWH thy Elohim will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. 22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. 

That wisdom would apply just as much, if not more so, when Yahushua said that we are not to swear at all! He continues the sermon:

Matthew 5:38 - "Ye have heard that it hath been said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:'"  

Yahushua was dealing with people who use the word of YHWH to justify their personal vengeance. He then proceeds to reveal the Torah's true intent...

Matthew 5:39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 

This wisdom comes from the Tenach (old testament)...

Leviticus 19:18 - "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am YHWH."

Proverbs 24:29 - Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

Proverbs 20:22 - Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on YHWH, and he shall save thee.

Paul backs up this teaching... 

Romans 12:19 - Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay," saith YHWH.

Yahushua continues with his teaching from the Torah. He now speaks concerning the righteousness of the kingdom compared to the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees...

Matthew 5:43 - "Ye have heard that it hath been said, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.' 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

The teaching of loving our enemies is found in the Torah...

Exodus 23:4 If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.

Paul reinforces Yahushua's teaching by quoting from the Proverbs...

Romans 12:20 - Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.  

Yahushua said that if we have this attitude toward our enemies and those that hate us, we will then be the children of our heavenly Father indeed...

Matthew 5:45 - That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

More aspects of how we are to be toward those that are against us. Yahushua said...

Luke 6:35 - But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Paul points out how YHWH loved us before we loved him...

Romans 5:8 But Elohim demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us.

John is another witness... 

1John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved Elohim, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning offering for our sins.

If we fail to follow this instruction, then Yahushua points out that we will be like those that are of the world...

Matthew 5:46 - For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the tax collectors the same? 47 And if ye greet your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the gentiles the same?

Yahushua concludes this thought by giving us an admonition...

Matthew 5:48 - Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

And from the Torah...

Leviticus 19:1 - And YHWH spake unto Moses, saying, 2 "Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I YHWH your Elohim am holy."

The word holy comes from the Hebrew word Kadosh, and it means to be "set apart".

Yahushua did not come to destroy the law or the prophets. Yahushua came to show us the way, the truth, and the life.

Study by YermeYah

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