[General]

In each of the four Gospels we have a historic account of the Lord's earthly life and work, and in each the individuality of the writer appears. Each, in his own manner and style, records those items which seem to him most important; and, under the Lord's supervision, all together furnish as complete an account as is necessary to establish the faith of the Church (a) in the identity of Jesus of Nazareth with the Messiah of the prophets; (b) in the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning him; and (c) in the facts of his life, and the divine inspiration of all his teachings. If the inspiration had been verbal (i.e., by word-for-word dictation), it would not have been necessary for four men to rephrase the same events. But it is noteworthy that while each exercised his own individual freedom of expression, the Lord so supervised the matter that among them nothing of importance was omitted, and that all that is needed is faithfully recorded and is thoroughly trustworthy, as evidenced both by the personal integrity of the writers, and also by the promise of the influence of the holy Spirit to refresh their memories. R1525:4,5; F218
They are simply told. Unfavorable truths are not ignored. It is freely conceded that Jesus died between two thieves; that he was betrayed by one of his own disciples; that all forsook him and fled; that one of them even denied him with cursing. The humble origin of the disciples is stated, yet without parade, and in narrative form it is innocently declared that when the Apostles Peter and John preached under the power of the holy Spirit their learned hearers could "perceive that they were ignorant and unlearned men." What biographies or other writings of today display as much candor as we thus see at a glance as we open the Bible? OM11:6; SM169:4
The world was then for a time at peace and quiet, the Roman dominion having brought all the world under its powerful control; and as all men were in expectation of Messiah's advent according to the Jewish prophets, whose fame had gone out into the world, the sudden announcement of his birth attracted wide attention, as it would not have done in less peaceful times. The Greek language, noted by all scholars as the most nearly perfect, exact and precise medium for human speech, had at that time been fully developed and widely disseminated. Thus was prepared in due time the very best medium for the communication of the Gospel. The Old Testament had been translated into the Greek language three centuries before Christ; and Jews had been dispersed among all peoples, carrying the Old Testament with them and bearing witness to its prophecies of a coming Messiah. It was a time, too, of increased intellectual activity, which was ready to operate on this and every other question of public interest. Thus the circumstances of the time were peculiarly adapted to the announcement of this wonderful event—the advent of the world's Redeemer. The fullness of time had come, and under the overruling providence of God, the conditions were ripe. R1673, 1674
In the last analysis we must admit that the great influence which has moulded the civilization of our day has come to us from the words and example of "the man Christ Jesus." The great truths which he uttered have come echoing down the centuries, speaking righteousness, peace and love, even for our enemies. Everywhere his wonderful words of life have made an impression, and here and there have affected the transformation of character. R4866:5
Many and varied are the precious lessons taught by the Master during his earthly ministry, and they never grow old. To the true disciple of Christ they are ever new, ever fresh. Whether he taught by the seaside or on the mountains or by the wayside, as he walked and talked with his chosen twelve, his words of wisdom and grace come to us vibrant with meaning, pulsating with life, full of strength and power, cheering, encouraging and blessing our hearts. R5990:2
Regarding Higher Criticism of the gospel writers and canon of the four books—R2816
The evangelists differ, but do not disagree. Matthew is the Jewish Gospel, connecting the Old Testament with the New Testament, and is written to prove the Messiahship of Christ. Mark is written to the Gentiles, and its theme is Christ's ministry, his works. Luke applies universally to both Jew and Gentile, and brings our Christ's humanity; while John is an essentially spiritual Gospel, dealing wholly with the divinity of our Lord. R1046:3*
Matthew, elsewhere styled Levi, was a publican—that is to say, a collector of taxes for the Roman government. Publicans were despised for two reasons: (1) It was considered very disreputable to assist a foreign government to collect taxes from one's friends—kin. (2) Many of these publicans were rascally and took advantage of their position to make themselves wealthy through bribes, over-collections, etc. We may be sure that Matthew—Levi was not of the dishonest type, else he never would have been called to association with Messiah as one of his apostles and prospective joint-heirs with him in his kingdom. For such position the highest degree of honesty is requisite. And if Jesus would never call a dishonest man, neither would a dishonest man have accepted his call, because there was nothing to be gained—neither reputation, wages nor fraud. R4587:4
It is worthy of note that Matthew tells us of himself that he was a publican, while none of the other evangelists make this comment, doubtless because the occupation of a publican was considered a very dishonorable one. Hence, for Matthew to tell us of his previous occupation may be esteemed an evidence of his humility, and his desire not to represent himself more honorably than was truthful. Matthew was known by the name of Levi while he was a publican, but his name was changed when he changed his occupation and became a member of the Lord's company. His new name, Matthew, signifies "the gift of God." How great a change the Gospel of the kingdom produced upon Matthew, to lead him to forsake all—the profitable income of his occupation, leaving it to others—and to become a follower of the despised Nazarene! The influence of the fact that our Lord would accept a publican to be his disciple was far-reaching, and no doubt inspired an interest in our Lord amongst the degraded and outcast classes. We are not surprised, therefore, when we are told that many publicans and sinners resorted to our Lord, and gave ear to his teachings. Nor did he treat them after the manner of the scribes and Pharisees, but on the contrary received them as the children of Abraham—as some of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. R2260:1,2

[Matthew 1:1]

The book— Matthew is the Jewish Gospel, connecting the Old Testament with the New, and is written to prove the Messiahship of Christ. R1046:3*
The son of David— Matthew speaks of Christ as the Son of David; hence his genealogy is complete. R1046:6* The necessity of thoroughly establishing the pedigree was important since of this tribe (Gen. 49:10) was to come the ruling king of Israel as well as the promised Messiah. A42; HG532:4 But it was not necessary that he should have a human father of the Davidic line. R453:1

[Matthew 1:6]

David the king— Matthew presents Jesus as king of the Jews, Luke presents him as a worker, and the other two gospels as a philanthropist and as the manifestation of God. R1046:6*
Begat Solomon— But Solomon's line was not the Messianic line. E129 Only the legal heirship came through Solomon, through his descendant Joseph, the legal father of Jesus. R2060:4

[Matthew 1:12]

Jechonias begat— That this line of genealogy is not that of Mary, our Lord's mother according to the flesh, is conclusively shown by a comparison of this verse with Jer. 22:30. R2060:4

[Matthew 1:16]

And Jacob— The real father of Joseph, in contrast with Heli, his father-in-law. (Luke 3:23) E129; Q791:2
Begat Joseph— Christ's legal father; but it is not necessary for Christ to use Joseph's genealogy. E130; Q791:2 If Jesus was a son of Joseph and Mary, he was just as much a son of Adam as you and I; and just as much an inheritor of Adam's sin, under the death sentence, and therefore not able to redeem himself, let alone the world. Q363:1Matthew traces Joseph's genealogy; for, though Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nevertheless, being adopted by him as his son, he might, without impropriety, inherit through him. R2555:3,6; Q791:2
Mary, of whom was born— The principle of inherited royalty through a mother is illustrated by the heir apparent to the throne of England—the Prince of Wales, an heir, not of his father, but of his mother, the present queen. R453:1

[Matthew 1:17]

Fourteen generations— Greek, genea, as in "This generation shall not pass." (Matt. 24:34) D603 The difference in the number of generations from David to Christ—27 in Matthew, 42 in Luke—need not be considered as remarkable. It would be remarkable had they been the same. Q791:2,1

[Matthew 1:18]

Before they came together— Mary was a sharer with Joseph when Jesus was born, though not when he was conceived; hence the genealogy of Joseph, the son of Solomon the son of David. R453:2The knowledge of these circumstances was the evident cause of his kinsfolk's sneer at him, "We be not born of fornication." (John 8:41) R2425:1
With child— If we can have a perfect life germ, we can have a perfect child from an imperfect mother. R4964:1

[Matthew 1:20]

Of the Holy Ghost— Holy Spirit. His life came not from an earthly father, but from his heavenly Father. R4964:2 Not the seed of man, hence his very nature was perfect, holy, unlike our nature. R84:3*

[Matthew 1:21]

His name JESUS— Meaning "Savior" or "Jehovah's salvation." R3687:6, 5335:3 In olden times, the name stood for the character. OV423:4 The Greek form for Joshua, signifying Savior. In the Syriac, Savior signifies life-giver. He has not yet become the life-giver or king. R4534:6 Signifying Savior or Liberator. Hence, only those who receive him as such are given liberty to become sons of God—none else. R1006:1 The entire work of our Lord Jesus is summed up in the meaning of the name, Jesus. R3687:6 Our Lord was publicly recognized as Savior as a babe; but it was only when he had fully completed that sacrifice at Calvary that he had the full right, and became owner, or Lord. R745:1,4 Only at the conclusion of the Millennial age will the full meaning of Savior be appreciated by the world. R4535:4
For he shall save— The name of Jesus is nothing, except as it means a Savior from sin and its penalty. R687:6 The Church's salvation begins now in the sense of reformation and rest in the Lord's promises; but they are not saved actually, but "saved by hope." (Rom. 8:24) R4535:1
His people— The good tidings of a Savior shall be to all people (Luke 2:10,11), but the special salvation from sin and death will come only to his people, those who believe into him. A107All who ultimately become his people, no others. R4534:4, 3687:6, 1604:4; SM502:2 Let us make sure that we have accepted him and are "his people." R1604:4Such noble shining heathen lights as Aristotle, Plato, Confucius and others are the Lord's "sheep" and "friends"—"his people" whom he came to save from their sins. (John 10:16; 15:13,14) R1180:3, 1178:3
From their sins— From all the mental, moral and physical degradation which came through father Adam's disobedience. R4702:4; A107 And from the penalty of their sins, death—which includes degradation, mental, moral and physical. R1604:4

[Matthew 1:22]

That it might be fulfilled— Matthew's characteristic introduction to a quotation. Mark uses "as it is written." John has "as said Esaias," and Luke seldom makes any introductory references. R1047:1* Quoting Isa. 7:14 and partially fulfilled at that time, as a type, with the prophet representing Jehovah, the prophetess representing the virgin Mary, and their child representing Jesus. R436:2,4

[Matthew 1:23]

Virgin shall be with child— Showing that it was not the child of Joseph, but specially begotten by divine power. R4964:1 The narrative of Jesus' miraculous conception has the best and oldest Greek manuscripts to support it—the Sinaitic and the Vatican; the Alexandrian contains it in Luke, though in Matthew it is missing—not omitted. R434:4 Zoroaster taught that in the latter days a pure virgin should conceive and, at his birth, a star would appear with undiminished luster, even at midday. R4098:4*, 1674:6
Call his name Emmanuel— Must we set aside this prophecy because the child was called Jesus? Many names and many offices are his. His name has been called Immanuel (God with us). The church in general has recognized him by that name for 1800 years. R436:4
God with us— "God was manifest in the flesh." (1 Tim. 3:16) R27:2*

[Matthew 1:25]

Her firstborn son— The birth of Jesus was a gift of love divine. R5135:2 Implying that she brought forth other sons—his brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3)—afterward; a contradiction of the Catholic doctrine that Mary is "ever a virgin." R560:2*

[Matthew 2:1]

When Jesus was born— For the suffering of death; the first step in the divine plan for our salvation. R1603:6 About October 1, BC 2; 33-1/2 years prior to his death in April AD 33. B60
Herod— Of the house of Esau, an Edomite. R4956:2
There came wise men— Magi, sages, philosophers. R1674:3 According to tradition, three in number. R3702:3, 4098:4 When we remember that Daniel was at one time a prince in Persia, it is easy to see how Daniel's prophecy respecting Messiah's birth would be handed down, and well known to the disciples of Zoroaster. R3702:3 The Nestorians say that Zoroaster was a pupil of Jeremiah. R3703:3 We are not informed whether or not these were Hebrews; but we consider it probable that they were part of the twelve tribes scattered abroad "waiting for the consolation of Israel." (Acts 26:7; Luke 2:25) R4098:3 Not only wise men, but reverential men, full of faith. R3703:3 Although heathen, not of Israel, they were good men. R3703:3 Thirty years before our Lord was anointed as the Messiah. B247 Even the Gentile world was in expectation of the coming Messiah. (Luke 3:15) R1674:3; B21; C85 Typifying the Millerite movement in 1844 AD. B247, 241; C85 Those in full harmony with God were not left in ignorance of so important an event. B21Astrologers, rather than astronomers, affecting to read in the stars the history of nations and individuals. R3703:1 The term originally belonged to a class of priests among the Medes and Persians who constituted the king's privy council and who cultivated astrology, medicine, occult and natural science. R1674:3
From the east— Supposedly Persia. R4534:3, 3702:2, 1674:3 In the Far East, the Chinese and Japanese and other nations have cherished a very ancient tradition that God would descend to the earth in visible form to enlighten men and to redeem them from their sins. R1674:3 Today even the Mohammedans and the Brahmins of the East are waiting for Messiah and the Golden Age, seeking evidences. Contrast this with the unbelief of the prominent ministers of "Christendom." R4956:5
To Jerusalem— Apparently the star's leading discontinued when they reached Judea. R4534:3, 4098:6 The Lord may have given them additional explanation of the matter, even as he subsequently warned them in a dream. R3703:1

[Matthew 2:2]

King of the Jews— Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Virgil, Confucius and Zoroaster all bear testimony that there prevailed throughout the entire East at this time an intense conviction, derived from the prophecies, that about this time a child from heaven would be born in Judea, gain dominion over the whole world, establish the Golden Age and take away sin. R4098:4, 3703:2 He was born King of the Jews, but that work was still future—at his second coming when he appears in glory and becomes King of Israel—on the spirit plane. R4534:6, 4956:5, 1675:1
Have seen his star— God made some astrological sign which the wise men understood and reverently followed. R4534:4 Because they had no special revelation from God, the nobler minds among the other nations gave special study to the starry heavens along the lines of astronomy or astrology. R4534:2 Thus, kindly, God condescends to human ignorance and weakness. R1675:1 It is not a rare occasion for stars to suddenly blaze up, and then suddenly fade in a year or two. Such a star was observed in 1901. We think this was different, however. R3703:2 We have the assurance that there was a truth connected with the manifestation of a special peculiar star, but we have "the more sure word of prophecy." (2 Pet. 1:9) R3703:1
Come to worship him— Showing their reverence to the mighty God of Israel, their faith in the divinely inspired prophecies, and their zeal as truth-seekers and their humility to inquire of the God of another nation. R1675:1

[Matthew 2:3]

Herod the king— Although called King of the Jews, Herod was the representative of their conquerors, the Romans. R4098:5 An Edomite, who had built a temple grander than Solomon's. R4956:2
He was troubled— By the suggestion that his dynasty might be overthrown. R4956:2, 4098:5 With jealousy on his own behalf, and on behalf of the Roman Empire. R3702:6 Similarly, those who are now in influence and power are troubled at the prospect of a change in government which their own wise men announce as imminent. R4966:2, 4534:3, 4099:1 Any announcement today that Messiah's Kingdom is nigh meets with resentment. R4534:3, 4956:2
And all Jerusalem— All under Herod's political influence. R4098:5 Evidently they were in a very self-satisfied condition, experiencing great prosperity, and had ceased to specially long and pray for Messiah. R4956:2

[Matthew 2:4]

When he had gathered— Evidently, knowing of the Jewish tradition respecting Messiah, he sent for those who were learned in the Scriptures. R4098:5
Priests and scribes— Although they answered correctly, they showed no enthusiasm in quoting the prophecies of Messiah's birth. R4956:3

[Matthew 2:5]

They said unto him— Showing their faith, even though it was an irreverent and selfishly jealous faith; indirect evidence of the esteem which the Hebrew Scriptures commanded. R1675:2
In Bethlehem— Only six miles distant. R3703:2
For thus it is written— Though the scribes and chief priests understood his birthplace from Micah 5:2, they could not see that, as the Judge of Israel, he would be smitten with "a rod upon the cheek." (Mic. 5:1) R436:1

[Matthew 2:8]

Bring me word again— Let the civil government, if it chooses, fight down everything associated with the new dispensation; the religious elements remain quite indifferent. R4956:5
That I may come— Herod's selfish faith was in strong contrast with the reverent and devotional faith of the wise men. R1675:4
Worship him also— The crafty Herod feigned reverence, but only that he might destroy the child. R4534:3,5

[Matthew 2:9]

They departed— None of the priests and teachers of the day followed them to Bethlehem to find the newborn king of the Jews. They had become Higher Critics and no longer believed the prophets. They had less faith in them than had Herod.R4956:3
And, lo, the star— Probably a bright, electrical, luminous spot travelling near the earth. R3703:2 Thus, even in his infancy, this light that was to lighten the Gentiles began to shine into some waiting and devout Gentile hearts. R1675:5 Near Rachel's tomb, by Bethlehem, is a cistern where tradition says the star appeared to the wise men the second time to guide them to Bethlehem and the manger.R1401:2
Till it came— Greek, elthon, it ceased to go. Its arrival was accomplished; it stood. R149:5*
Stood over— Apparently indicating the very house in which they found the newborn king. R4098:6

[Matthew 2:11]

And fell down— Prostrated themselves, physically expressing their reverence. R3703:4
And worshipped him— By prostrating themselves; in their hearts and with their tongues, by giving expression to their rejoicing; and by opening their treasure boxes to him. R3703:4 The humble surroundings did not alter the reverent condition of their hearts. R4534:5, 3703:4
Unto him gifts— Let us be true wise men and present to him our treasures—all that we have and are—our hearts. R4534:6, 1604:4
Gold— Representing obedience and consecration. R4534:5, 3703:4,5 Our earthly substance. R3703:5
And frankincense— Representing praise, devotion, heart adoration, appreciation, gratitude. R4534:6, 3703:4,5
And myrrh— Representing submission, a willingness for service, to the extent of bitterness and suffering. R4534:6, 3703:4,5 Have we shown a joy to honor the King even to the extent of suffering with him? R3703:5

[Matthew 2:13]

Angel of the Lord— "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." (Heb. 1:14) R1681:3
Flee into Egypt— We should be on the lookout for divine deliverance and the opening of a way of escape from things too difficult for us to endure. F508 God did not miraculously interfere with Herod's plans. The lease of power granted to the kingdoms of this world has not yet expired. R1681:6

[Matthew 2:14]

When he arose— The faith and prompt obedience of Joseph and Mary to the warning and counsel of the angel of the Lord is notable. They did not hesitate or question, but immediately acted. R1681:3

[Matthew 2:15]

Death of Herod— Unreliably and variously dated by scholars as 4 BC, 2 AD, 7 AD; therefore not reliable evidence in establishing the date of Jesus' birth. B56, 57
By the prophet— This prophecy has three fulfillments: the deliverance of Israel in the days of Pharaoh; the return of the infant Jesus to the land of his birth; and The Christ being called out of the world (Egypt). R1681:6, 436:1; C316
Out of Egypt— Type of the world. C316
I called my Son— To the higher, divine nature. C316 Likewise his joint-heirs are called out of Egypt. "They are not of this world even as I am not of this world." (John 17:16) C316

[Matthew 2:16]

Slew all the children— Seeking to destroy Christ that thus the kingdom of Israel might be preserved to his own family—as it was through his six successors. R4534:3

[Matthew 2:18]

Lamentation and weeping— But another note of the long wail of distress of the groaning creation which will be permitted for wise and benevolent ends until the "times of restitution." R1682:4
Rachel— Rachel was the mother of two of the tribes, Joseph and Benjamin, which tribes occupied Palestine at the time of the first advent. R436:1
They are not— Not in hell or purgatory; they have ceased to exist. CR430:2; R822:5

[Matthew 2:20]

Young child's life— Greek, psuche, soul, being. E335

[Matthew 2:22]

Archelaus— Herod's son and successor, who even surpassed his father in oppression, cruelty, egotism and sensuality. R1681:3
He turned aside— Not disregarding the Lord's directions, which were to go into the land of Israel—in any part of which they might settle. R1681:6

[Matthew 2:23]

Called Nazareth— A despised place, the object doubtless being to bring the truth into disrepute; as Second Adventism has brought the time features into disrepute. B29
Called a Nazarene— Although born in Bethlehem, he was reared in Nazareth, "that he might be called a Nazarene"—that he might not have the honor of the "City of David," but the odium of "a mean city." R4556:3

[Matthew 3:1]

In those days— It was the time of the greatest missionary effort that had ever been made by the Jews. As Jesus said, "Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte." (Matt. 23:15) R2236:3
John the Baptist— Six months older than our Lord, he began his ministry that much sooner. R3292:2 The last of the prophets, and none of them was his superior. "There hath not arisen a greater prophet than John the Baptist." (Matt. 11:11) R4958:2, 4543:1 John was the first one to use baptism. R5964:4 Type of the Church, especially in the harvest. R4958:5; B253 We are to be copies of God's dear Son, our Lord, and not to be copies of John the Baptist—not to stir up strife by trying to mind other people's business. R4978:5
Of Judea— At the time, Judaism was in a more flourishing condition than ever before. Idolatry in its cruder forms was unknown, and Pharisaism was the controlling influence. R2236:3, 358:3*

[Matthew 3:2]

Repent ye— Reform (Diaglott). R358:4* "Change your minds"—(See Young's Concordance). R357:3*, 358:4*, 191:6* This act of repentance brought them back under the blessings and favor of their Law Covenant. R5963:4 The only ones who can claim to belong to Abraham's spiritual seed are such as show repentance from sin, and make a full consecration to oppose sin. R4958:6, 2245:6 Saying, in substance, Examine your life. If you are living according to a lower standard than the best of which you are capable, you are guilty. R5962:2 John had given them more definite instruction, and with increase of knowledge there should be a corresponding change of mind. R358:4* And not that they should believe on God, for he was addressing only the believing, covenanted people, Israel. R2417:2 It was because they were not in the right condition of heart that they were not fit to have the Kingdom which, therefore, was taken from them and given to a new nation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood. R2417:2 Change of mind is a necessary operation with all finite creatures, so far as we know, because their knowledge is imperfect. R358:1* Some had nothing to repent of and nothing to wash away by baptism. R5963:3 The words of this verse have been the message of the Christ in the flesh down through the centuries. R4958:5, 2245:6
Kingdom of heaven— The royal majesty of the heavens. R358:4,6* In its embryotic state. B14 John's mission was to announce that Kingdom, but it was not his privilege to become a member of it. R3292:1 The Lord commenced his ministry with the same announcement exactly (Matt. 4:17); and the apostles were sent forth to preach the same message. (Matt. 10:7; Luke 9:2) A273 This Kingdom was the hope of every Israelite. A273 The Jews had been waiting for that Kingdom for centuries, and John's mission was the announcement that the fulfillment of the divine promise was at hand. R2417:2 This message was expected to arouse all the "Israelites indeed" and point them to Jesus the King. R4593:2, 4543:2 As the Jews were all baptized into Moses, so when Jesus took the place of Moses, the baptism into Moses was counted as baptism into Christ for all who accepted Jesus as the Messiah. R5963:5
Is at hand— Has approached. R358:4,6* The royal heir was then present, though unknown. R191:6* In the sense that Jesus was present to make a formal tender of the Kingdom to Abraham's natural seed. R4958:5, 4557:2 Announcing to the Jewish nation, in the beginning of the Gospel age, the great feast of Jesus' parable in Luke 14:15-24. R1957:3 The great feast of fat things for Israel, which God has so long promised, is ready. R2701:4 Now true in the sense in which he declared it was yet to come at that time (John 18:36,37)—"in power and great glory." B14

[Matthew 3:3]

The voice of one— Not "the Word." R2409:2 John the Baptist was an antitype of Elijah. R3292:6 Directly announcing the Savior. R4543:1 God chose a strong, rugged character to bear his message. R4543:3
In the wilderness— John's peculiar raiment and food enabled him to be free of sectarian bondage, and gave him freedom of utterance. R4543:3 His wilderness experiences specially qualified him.R4543:3 The Church has cried "in the wilderness" in the sense that she has been alienated and separated from the world. R4958:6
Prepare ye— John's work and baptism were merely preparatory. R4543:4
The way of the Lord— To arouse the people of Israel to the fact that Messiah had come. R4543:2
Make his paths straight— As a forerunner was sent to fleshly Israel to prepare them for the first advent, so a greater forerunner would precede the second advent. R2563:4 This greater Elijah will be equally unsuccessful with that of the lesser antitype of Elijah, John the Baptist. The Church in the flesh has not succeeded in making straight the paths of the Lord for a triumphal entry to his Kingdom on earth. R2563:5 Messiah's Kingdom will straighten every crooked path, level up the path of righteousness, and make of it "a highway." (Isa. 35:8) R2563:5 By the end of the Millennial age this great messenger will have prepared all the arrangements, all the affairs, for the establishment of the everlasting reign of the Kingdom. R3683:4

[Matthew 3:4]

Raiment of camel's hair— His peculiar raiment and food enabled him to be independent of all religious sects and parties, gave him a freedom of utterance and made his message more striking to the minds of the people. R4543:3 We do not advocate the example of John in respect to food and raiment, but we believe a good lesson may be drawn from his course—a simplicity of diet and wardrobe. R3292:2
And wild honey— John's course indicated that his entire life was devoted to the special service of the Lord; that he had nothing, wanted nothing and needed nothing. R3712:3, 3292:2

[Matthew 3:5]

Jerusalem, and all Judea— The baptism of John was not appropriate to any but Jews. Gentiles could not repent or come back into harmony with Moses' Law because Gentiles were never under the Law of Moses. HG254:5; PD56/69; NS48:4, 49:6 He did not go to sinners in the ordinary sense of that term, those living outside the pale of divine influence; but he went to the sinner class, the renegade class, of the Jews, "publicans and sinners." HG254:3

[Matthew 3:6]

Baptized— The Jews did not practice baptism. The whole nation was recognized as baptized into Moses in the sea and in the cloud. (1 Cor. 10:1,2) HG254:3 Symbol of washing, cleansing, or reformation from sin. SM643:3 John's was a special baptism for a special purpose, and not a matter of getting outsiders in, for he did not assume to get anyone in. Q32:3 Not into Christ. They were already baptized into Moses. But, Repent, be baptized, and wash away your sins. Q33:5 Not the "Israelites indeed," but those who conceded that they had been living in open sin. HG254:5 John's baptism was not Christian baptism, though it would amount to Christian baptism for the Jews who observed it; they would thus be transferred into Christ after Pentecost. R5964:6 "The baptism of John" was to the Jews only and was wholly different from the baptism appointed for those called from amongst the Gentiles. R2417:3 An acknowledgment that you repent of sins, and you will thus wash away your sins. R5963:1, 4543:2, 3292:3 We have no reason to think that any of the disciples except Paul participated in that baptism, because they were not of the class that were called sinners at that time. Q34:T Water baptism could not remit sin, but it restored the sinner to full harmony with God's arrangement for Israel. R5963:4 Baptism for the remission of sins is no longer effective for the Jews because their opportunity is closed, the way by which they might have a preference over the Gentiles. R5963:6 Not an actual cleansing from guilt. Only the blood of Jesus could actually take away sin. R5963:1 We don't know if baptism will be practiced in the new dispensation. It may be introduced as a symbol of washing away sin, or as a symbol of consecration. R5964:3 The very word signifies to immerse, as is fully admitted by the best exegetes—Catholic, Protestant, English and German. (Supported with 15 quotes.) NS56:3-6
Of him— Many of them who received Jesus had previously received John. R3292:4
Confessing their sins— Thereby coming again into harmony with Moses, type of Christ, into whom they had all once been baptized. F432; R5963:4; Q33:4 Recognized sin. NS49:5 What sins? All things against the Mosaic covenant, against the law covenant, all the outward transgressions they had committed that they could have avoided. Q33:5, 34:2 The people washed away their own sins, typically. John the Baptist did not wash them away. R5963:1

[Matthew 3:7]

Pharisees— Today a synonym of hypocrite and impostor; but, at the time, the professedly most pious class in Israel, professing consecration, studying the Law diligently, zealous in prayer and the propagation of the Jewish religion. R2236:3
Sadducees— Practically unbelievers; of the wealthier, more respectable class. R4986:3 Professed holiness of life, though denying much of the Scripture; practically the "higher critics" in religious matters among the Jews of that city. R2236:3
To his baptism— John would not baptize these until they showed by outward conduct a change of life, a change of heart, and not merely a changed profession. R3292:5
Generation— Greek, Gennema, race. D603
Of vipers— By some prophetic power John was enabled to read their hearts in a manner which would be improper for us to do. R3292:5 Thus implying that their religion was one of outward forms and ceremony merely, and not of the heart; similarly today, many have "a form of godliness" and outward devotion to Sectarianism and its propagation. R2236:3 Their repentance would not be considered genuine without certain proofs. R4543:4, 2236:3
Who hath warned you— Exercising the same godly boldness as Elijah in denouncing popular and respected sin and sinners. R556:6
Wrath to come— Not torments after death; but a wrath of God about to come upon that nation because of its hypocritical formalism and failure to live up to the light and privileges it enjoyed. R2236:6 "Wrath to the uttermost" (1 Thess. 2:16) which came upon the Jewish nation in the end of the Jewish age. R3292:5, 2301:3,4

[Matthew 3:9]

Think not to say— Although God had elected or chosen them as a people in the past, that was no proof that they would always be the people of his special favor. R1140:3
Within yourselves— As nominal Christendom says to itself. R2564:3 Arrogant, haughty and self-confident. R4782:1
We have Abraham— They were his natural children without having his faith. R3292:5, 2236:6
To our father— We are nominally God's people. R2564:3 Concluding that God must keep his promise to Abraham and that they, being his children, must sooner or later be the Kingdom to bless the world. R4782:1, 2236:6, 1217:4
God is able— Also, thus able to resurrect, or create again, that which was once destroyed. R1018:1*
Of these stones— Of some that you consider as far beneath you as the stones under your feet. R2564:3 As a matter of fact, after the wheat had been separated from the chaff of that nation, the Lord sought others from among the Gentiles to complete the elect number of Israelites indeed, the true seed of Abraham. R2245:6, 2236:6, 1795:1
Raise up children— Neither will God destroy the wills of the unwilling and make them mere machines; rather than have such children, he could and would create men out of stone. R1176:3

[Matthew 3:10]

And now also— A type of the end of the Gospel age. R2237:5,6
The axe— Of divine judgment. R2237:1 The same axe of Gospel requirement, reckoning the intention for the act (see Matt. 5:22-28), still lies at the root of the trees—there must be an utter destruction of the flesh. R518:3*
Is laid to the root— Pruning would no longer do. R4958:6, 731:4 True again today. It is no longer a question of being a citizen of favored Christendom, nor of being a member of its various sects; but it is an individual test. R2237:5
Every tree— It would thenceforth be an individual matter and not a national question as to who shall be the children of Abraham in whom would be found the good fruitage of righteousness. R2237:1
Good fruit— The fruitage of righteousness. R2237:4 Only such as bore good fruit in their characters and lives would any longer be recognized of the Lord as Israelites and identified with the Kingdom. R4543:4 These would be spared of the Lord and transplanted into the more favorable conditions of the Gospel dispensation. R2237:1
Is hewn down— Nominal fleshly Israel was thus cast off from divine favor. R3292:5
Cast into the fire— The time of trouble in AD 69-70. R3292:5, 4958:6, 4543:4, 2237:1, 376:3; B233,242

[Matthew 3:11]

I indeed baptize you— The three baptisms of this verse (of water, of Spirit and of fire) correspond to the three activities of verse 12: separation of wheat and chaff, gathering of wheat, and burning of chaff. R198:4*
Unto repentance— See comments on Matt. 3:6.
He that cometh after me— John recognized that his work was merely a reformatory and preparatory work, and that the one who was to do the testing was mightier than himself—the Messiah. R2237:1When John had announced Jesus as the Messiah, his work soon began to wane; so the work of the John class closes with the announcement that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and the King is present. R968:5
Not worthy to bear— As his most menial servant. R4543:5
He shall baptize you— Messiah's baptism was to be of two parts: one upon the faithful and the other upon the unfaithful. R4543:5
With the Holy Ghost— At Pentecost, upon the Israelites indeed. R5443:2, 4959:4, 2237:2; B233; E290
And with fire— The fire of God's anger, wrath to the uttermost. F445; NS21:2, 626:4 The fire of trouble upon all others during the 37 years following their rejection of Messiah. B233 Culminating in the destruction of the Jewish polity in the year AD 70. E290; R4959:4, 4543:5, 2237:2 The baptism of fire is not a blessing, nor is it intelligently that Christian people sometimes pray for it. F445 As there was a baptism of fire in the end of the Jewish age upon the chaff of that nation, so there will be, in the end of this age, upon the tare class of Christendom. F445 Not to be confused with the fire-likeness of the tongues on the Day of Pentecost. R2820:4

[Matthew 3:12]

Whose fan is in his hand— As a winnower, he separated the wheat of the Jewish people from the chaff. R3292:5, 162:3
Throughly— In order that every grain of wheat might be found and separated from the chaff. R4543:5
Purge his floor— Cleanse his threshing floor. B260,261; R175:3 The purification of the sons of Levi (Mal. 3:3); the household of faith.R4708:6, 4709:1
Gather his wheat— The true Israelites indeed. B233; C149; R2237:2 A small proportion of the whole. B205; R4408:3 The harvesting of the Jewish age began with our Lord's first advent and ended forty years later at the destruction of Jerusalem. NS626:3 One of the three great periods of separation revealed in God's Word—chaff from wheat, tares from wheat (Matt. 13:37,43), and sheep from the goats. (Matt. 25:31) R34:2*
Into the garner— The Christian Church. R5443:2, 4543:5, 3292:5; B233; C149 The Gospel dispensation. R162:3 By begetting them of the holy Spirit at Pentecost and onward. R4959:4
He will— Not only the work of separation and gathering of the wheat are under the supervision of Christ, but also the burning of the chaff. R115:3*
Burn up the chaff— The balance of the nation, the refuse. A229; B233; C149;R2237:2, 1316:6 As the closing of the Jewish age included the burning of the chaff, so the closing of the Gospel age includes the burning of the tares. (Matt. 13:40) R98:4* As soon as all of the worthy have been selected out. R3433:6 The Jewish harvest is spoken of as being a separation of wheat from chaff, while the harvest of this age is designated a separation of wheat from tares. (Matt. 13:30) R2237:6 Indicating the compactness of that people, as contrasted with the wheat and tares, indicating the scattered and confused condition of the present harvest.R1743:3
Unquenchable— The Jews were powerless to avert the catastrophe. A229; R2237:2 In the sense that it was the divine intention that the nation should be consumed, and it was not in the power of the ablest of the statesmen and rulers to prevent this. R4543:5 "Wrath is come upon this people to the uttermost." (1 Thess. 2:16) R4959:4, 4543:5; F445
Fire— Not literal, but symbolic fire. C149; R5363:3 The great fire of religious and political contention which destroyed the Jewish nation. B233; C148; R5443:2, 4543:5, 175:3 Confusion, anarchy and the Roman legions. R3292:6

[Matthew 3:13]

Then cometh Jesus— He was thirty years of age, the legal age at which a priest could offer sacrifice. R4544:2, 3297:1, 2565:1, 2417:1, 2237:3; A179; B66
To Jordan— Meaning "judged down," "condemned"; typifying the curse, the sentence against our race, which has rested for 6000 years. R3086:4
Unto John— His second-cousin. R2565:1 Baptism is valid even though the baptizer be a believer not of the Kingdom or Church class. R1541:4
To be baptized— Symbolizing his death. CR460:1 This was a cross, a humiliation; for the masses, as well as John, thought of it as a washing away of sin instead of a symbol of death. SM643:3

[Matthew 3:14]

John forbad him— Because he knew nothing of the baptism which is unto death. R3296:6 Asserting that, of the two, he himself, rather than Jesus, needed that baptism. R3296:3 Our Lord Jesus was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners (Heb. 7:26); hence it would have been wrong for him to have been baptized for the remission of sins—John's only understanding of baptism. R2565:5, 4644:2, 2417:5, 2237:3, 1917:1; HG261:6; NS51:4 He knew Jesus well from infancy to manhood; as cousins they doubtless had discussed various features of divine law, and were of one heart as respects service to the Lord. R2417:1
I have need— We have no record that John was ever immersed himself; nor would we need to have, since he was evidently a godly man, living up to the standard of the Law Covenant to the best of his ability. R2417:5 If either of the two needed to confess sin and profess a washing away of sin, it would be John himself rather than the Master. HG254:5; Q34:T, 35:6
To be baptized of thee— But Jesus did not baptize John and he did not explain to John the philosophy of it all. Q32:3

[Matthew 3:15]

Suffer it to be so— Thus intimating that he was not following John's baptism to wash away sins, but that His baptism had another special meaning. PD57/69; R4544:2; Q35:6, 32:3 "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished." (Luke 12:50) R2417:6; PD57/69; NS51:6 He did not dispute John's argument, but insisted upon being baptized. HG261:6 Jesus did not stop to argue the matter with John because John could not have understood; it was not due time for John to understand; he was not of those begotten of the holy Spirit. Q35:6 It was not then due time to explain Christian baptism because the new baptism belonged to the new dispensation which did not begin until Pentecost. R2565:2
Thus it becometh us— I have a reason for so desiring it, and it is proper that I should do it in the fulfillment of certain things which I recognize to be right. R3296:6, R2417:5 It behooved him, who was the prospective Head of the prospective Body, to set an example that we, coming after, might follow in his steps. NS51:5 The Christ, Head and Body. R1917:4
Fulfil all righteousness— Righteousness obtained through Jesus only. PT390:3* The righteousness of God's law which could by no means clear the guilty without a satisfaction of the claims of justice by the sacrifice of a life for a life, which he was about to fulfill by the sacrifice of himself. R1917:1 It is merely a question of knowledge and obedience, both as respects the real baptism of the will, and also respecting the outward, symbolic baptism in water. R2167:1 This act was doubtless foreshadowed by the high priest washing himself with water and putting on the holy linen garments (Lev. 16:4). Clean linen is the symbol of righteousness. (Rev. 19:8) R157:4* The satisfaction of mind and peace of heart that we, like our Lord, have endeavored to "fulfill all righteousness" contributes to the peace of God that passeth all understanding in our hearts. NS56:1

[Matthew 3:16]

And Jesus— At 30 years of age, manhood according to the Law, the right time to consecrate himself as a man. A179
When he was baptized— Symbolizing the full consecration of his life, even unto death. He was laying down a foundation for a new order of things. Q32:3; A197 He sacrificed all the blessings and favors that were his under the Law Covenant. R5090:1 Our Lord's baptism was more than John's baptism. R3296:3Our Lord's baptism in water was not his real baptism, but merely a symbol or picture of it. His real baptism was unto death, and his real raising up was his resurrection. HG262:2; NS51:5 Not as a sinner, but as a sin-offering. R4544:2 A new baptism, not for sinners, but exclusively for holy ones; not symbolic of cleansing from sin, but symbolic of a sacrificial death for the sins of others. R2565:2 As Jesus' baptism signified his death sacrificially for sins, so the baptism of Christians symbolizes their participation with the Lord in his sacrifice. R2565:4 Symbolizing the laying down, burial, of "the man Christ Jesus, a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:5,6). In the dying he represented the sacrificial bullock of the Jewish Atonement Day. HG262:1; Q183:T Not into the Church of Christ, for there was no Church of Christ as yet, not until Pentecost; but the beginning of a new institution in every sense of the word. HG261:6 It was a symbol, not a type. Q35:2 Scriptures tell us it is pleasing in God's sight that we symbolize our consecration by water immersion as Jesus symbolized his by water immersion. So we will follow his example. Q32:3, 33:T
Out of the water— His raising up from the water symbolized his resurrection from death on the third day after Calvary. In the rising from the water, he represented the antitypical High Priest. HG262:1; Q183:T
The heavens— The word heavens in both the Greek and Hebrew signifies "higher things." In this case, spiritual truths, the higher things that he had not seen before. Q183:T
Opened unto him— Connecting his experiences as a man with his prehuman experiences with the Father. R5157:5, 5065:1, 2565:5 The higher, the spiritual things, the heavenly things, were opened unto him. R5128:5, 5847:1, 5157:5; OV159:1; CR402:5; Q183:T; PD57/69 Things, which as a natural man he could not receive, revealing the divine purpose respecting himself. R4968:2, 4970:1, 5054:2, 5157:5, 3297:2; Q547:4 Literally, rent asunder. R4970:1 Jesus became conscious of some great change in his own condition and in his relationship to the Father and to spiritual things. R5157:5 This enlightenment came by the receiving of the holy Spirit. PD57/69 That very moment marked the time of our Lord's spirit begetting, and we believe that he then received special knowledge of heavenly things. R5157:5, 4544:2 No matter how perfect a man may be he cannot receive spiritual things. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. 2:14) R5157:5, 4544:3 With us, as with Jesus, the Father provides not only a clearer appreciation of our trials and responsibilities, but also a clearer perception of the glories which will follow to the faithful. R4970:1 All who are baptized into his death (1) receive an opening of their minds to see heavenly things; (2) hear the voice of the Father saying they are now beloved sons; and (3) receive the holy Spirit in their hearts, the peace-giving, meek and gentile spirit of holiness.R2565:6
And he saw— John alone, probably, saw the dove. E212; R5157:4, 3297:1, 3296:6, 2565:5, 2417:6 John was granted the privilege of seeing the dove and hearing the voice to the intent that he might bear witness to the fact. R2565:5, 2417:6, 2237:4; Q35:4, 36:8
The Spirit of God— A manifestation representing the invisible. E212 Jesus could receive the spirit without measure, whereas all imperfect members of his Church may have a measure of the spirit only. R370:1 The human nature had to be consecrated to death before he could receive even the pledge of the divine nature. A179 Our Lord was already dead to his own will; otherwise he would not have gone down to John at Jordan. But God's manifestation of his acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice apparently waited until after Jesus had performed the symbol. Q36:8 Illustrated by the oil that anointed the unleavened wafers of the meat-offering. R84:3*
Like a dove— An outward representation of God's power coming on Jesus. CR460:2; R5291:6 Emblem of peace and purity, representing the fullness of Jehovah's spirit of love in Jesus. E212 Possibly a stream of light which came not violently, like the lightning, but gently, like a dove. R3296:6 A dove was a favorite figure with the Jews as an emblem of peace and salvation. It represented fittingly the meek and quiet spirit of all those who possess the spirit of holiness unto the Lord. R2565:5, 2237:4 Neither the voice, the opened heavens or the dove are experiences granted to his followers; nor to be expected today. The coming of the holy Spirit at Pentecost was signalized by an outward demonstration which serves the entire Church. R2565:6
Lighting upon him— Giving the earnest of his inheritance of the divine nature. A179 Anointing him. Jesus was not the Messiah, the Christ, until this anointing took place. T27, 37; B66

[Matthew 3:17]

And lo a voice— Such a voice was heard on three different occasions: (1) on this occasion, (2) on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:7) and (3) at the close of our Lord's ministry (John 12:28). R2237:4 Both the voice and the descent of the holy Spirit showed the Lord to be perfect and to have made a perfect consecration. R5080:5
My beloved Son— Jesus was the first Son of God after Adam. R5623:5 Being begotten again to the spiritual plan and to the divine nature. R418:3,164:5* Again, after his baptism unto death, the Spirit bore witness to him still being the well-beloved Son, in raising him from death and highly exalting him to the right hand of power. R1411:3 Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and, consequently, the Messiah. R944:4*
I am well pleased— At his baptism our Lord was at the mark of character which merited the promised reward of the Father. R5081:5 Because he was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners and knew no sin. (Heb. 7:26; 1 John 3:5) R1585:5 The words, deeds and character of our Lord Jesus illustrate to us what pleases God. R1781:4, 1273:1 Pictured in the fine flour of the meat offering, flour that had no roughness or unevenness. R84:2*

[Matthew 4:1]

Then— Temptations immediately followed his baptism. This is the experience of all who follow in his steps. R3296:3, 2566:3, 1688:1; F141
Was Jesus— Not God, "For God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (Jas. 1:13) R370:2
Led up— Mark expresses it, "driven into the wilderness." (Mark 1:12) R3297:2, 2566:1 We should never voluntarily go into temptation, but, knowing our weakness, should seek to avoid it. R3715:6 Therefore we think that the Scripture, "Lead us not into temptation" (Matt. 6:13) should be translated as in the Diaglott, "Abandon us not in temptation." R3716:1
Of the Spirit— The holy Spirit—which was now his own spirit, or mind, or will. R3297:2 His own spirit: his own enlightened new mind. Thus it is our new mind, the result of full consecration to the Lord, that leads us into temptations, trials and difficulties. R3716:1, 4970:2, 5054:2, 5579:3; Q183:T The illumination (Matt. 3:16) gave Jesus such new views respecting his work that he was impelled to go aside to think, pray and study what his course should be as outlined by the Law and the prophets. R4544:3, 2566:1, 2243:2 He must not even take his own previous conceptions of his work. He must look at everything from the new standpoint of the Spirit. No wonder he wished to be alone with God. R3297:3 That he might study the divine Word, treasured up in a perfect memory, and now fully intelligible by the power of the Spirit. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit." (1 Cor. 2:14) R5157:6, 3297:3,2, 1688:2
Into the wilderness— Away from every friend and acquaintance and distracting thing. R3297:2 Instead of being taken to the mountain top of joy. F141 That in solitude he might know thoroughly the proper course for him to take in announcing himself as Messiah to Israel and the world. R3716:3 He must not confer with flesh and blood respecting his future course, even if there had been anyone perfect like himself with whom he might have conferred. He must confer with the Father. R3297:3, 2566:2
To be tempted— Along the very lines of his work—the consecration which he had already made. R5065:5 Along the line of selfishness. R3715:3The three temptations here recorded illustrate practically all the temptations that came to our Lord during his ministry; and, likewise, the temptations that come to his followers. R3297:6 The environment of the present world, and the natural and often legitimate desires of the flesh, are the mediums through which the temptations are presented. R1689:5 Temptation does not imply sin. Our Lord was tempted "without sin"; so may his brethren be if they follow his example. Sin only comes through yielding to temptation. R2568:5, 1802:5*, 1689:5 "In all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15); not referring to ordinary temptation, but trials and temptations as a new creature. R3715:6, 3297:6, 2566:3, 2243:5, 1689:5; E110; Q706:2 There is a difference between temptations which the Father considers proper and the temptations which come of the Adversary. R3297:5 The temptations or trials which Jehovah permits to come upon his consecrated people are of the same kind that he permitted to come upon our Redeemer. R4970:3, 4544:3 Since we read that God tempteth not, neither is tempted of any man (Jas. 1:13), then Jesus must not be God. R370:2
Of the devil— Greek, diabolus. The word always appears in the singular and undoubtedly refers to Satan. R3716:1, 3297:5, 2567:5 Whose very existence is now denied by many. F609 Satan is the Adversary in a sense that the world and our own flesh are not our adversaries. They are not bitter nor malicious. Satan alone is the willful, intelligent plotter and schemer. F611, 612

[Matthew 4:2]

Fasted forty days— Doubtless the entire period was spent in meditation and prayer, being led to this course by his spirit of devotion to the Father—his anxiety to do the Father's will in the Father's way. R3716:4, 5054:2 Mark and Luke imply that he was tempted for the entire period. Both thoughts are evidently true—he was tempted all during the 40 days, while the three temptations narrated here occurred at the close of the 40 days. R3716:1, 2566:3 Aided by a perfect memory, he considered the prophecies, including those which showed he should be rejected of men and led as a lamb to the slaughter. R3716:4,5 These 40 days were spent in meditation and prayer. He had no Bibles nor concordances, but a perfect memory and 18 years of hearing and reading the Law. We may safely say that he knew the entire Word of God by heart. R3716:4, 3297:3, 1688:2 Apparently he neither ate nor slept. R4970:2, 3716:6 If it was proper for the Master to make a study of the divine plan before beginning his work, how much more is it necessary for his followers to do so. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15) R3717:1,2566:2
Afterward an hungred— It was an appeal to one of the strongest cravings known to human nature. R2243:4 Up to this time his perfect mind was so absorbed in his great theme, and so perfect was he physically, that he probably neither ate nor slept. R3716:6, 3297:3,4, 2567:5; Q184:T While busily engaged in searching the Father's will he was not molested by the tempter; but when he had reached a conclusion, that was the moment of the tempter's assault. It is the same with us. R3717:5 Shipwrecked sailors have been exonerated for turning cannibals under the stress of hunger when they have been without food much less than 40 days. R2243:4

[Matthew 4:3]

When the tempter— One who was of a higher order of being than himself, who had not taken upon himself a bondman's form. R5084:6 Choosing the time when Jesus' overtaxed human powers sought refreshment and recuperation. R4970:2,3, 3717:2, 3297:5; Q184:T
Came to him— Probably not personally, but by suggestion. R3717:3, 5084:2
He said— I remember you well from the long ago when we were in fellowship, before my deflection. R4970:4 In approaching our Lord, Satan did not attempt to lie outright, nor to distort the facts, but rather to put a false color on them. R5084:6 Representing himself as a friend, an angel of light. R3717:3, 4970:3
If thou be— This demand of the tempter would seem to be a challenge to prove himself the Son of God, to prove that he received the holy Spirit in full power; and that, if he did not do so, his claim might be considered fraudulent. R2243:3 Compliance meant not only the relief of his hunger, but additionally it meant the apparent conversion of Satan, who seemingly was in a repentant attitude. R2567:1
Be made bread— The first temptation—the flesh. R3717:4 Use spiritual gifts to further temporal ends. E110; R4970:3, 3798:1, 3058:2 Since you have so unwisely forfeited your higher form of life, so that you may never regain it, don't give up, but keep the life you now have. If you die now you shall never live again, neither will you be able to liberate mankind from death. R314:2 Illustrating our temptations to preach for worldly applause, wealth and social positions, and to seek the healing of our bodies which we have consecrated to death in God's service. R5965:5, 4970:6, 3798:1, 3717:6 The spiritual gift could no more be used to procure temporal comforts than it could be sold for money to Simon. (Acts 8:18-20) R2567:2 So far from using his miraculous powers selfishly, we find that many of his miracles, especially healings, were done at his own personal expense.
"Virtue [vitality] went out of him and healed them all." (Luke 6:19) R2243:5 Our Lord subsequently used this power in feeding multitudes and turning water into wine, but it would have been sinful for him to use it upon himself, to sustain the human life which he had already consecrated unto death. R4544:5, 1689:4; Q707:2 Food thus secured could sustain life for but a little while; the better plan would be to trust in the Word of God and have eternal life with God. R4897:1 When he hungered, he sent his disciples to buy bread. When weary, he rested on the well or elsewhere. He never prayed for deliverance from natural troubles, but cheerfully endured them as part of his sacrifice. So should we. F636, 650

[Matthew 4:4]

But he answered— The fact that Jesus discussed matters with the Adversary does not furnish us with an excuse to try our ability in this direction—as in spiritism. R5084:6 If we are positive in our rejection of temptation it increases our strength of character, not only for that time, but also for subsequent temptations. R2567:3
It is written— Although filled with the Spirit, he relied upon that which was "written" for his replies to temptations. R1688:4; Q708:T The sure defense of the true child of God. F200
Man shall not live— I could not enjoy life, even with all my wants supplied, apart from communion with my Father. R314:3
By bread alone— Thus refusing to use divine power for his personal comfort and healing. F636, 650; R4970:4 Natural food alone will not sustain us. We cannot live except as we have the smile, the favor, the approval of the Lord our God. To live without that, for us, would not be living. R3717:6 Man can find no kind of bread, no kind of food, that will produce life in the full and complete sense of that word—that will swallow up death in life. R3058:3 The increase of learning, wealth, conveniences, medical skill and dietetic knowledge which the world has recently experienced has not increased its peace. NS521:2 Every temptation to sacrifice spiritual privileges or violate spiritual responsibilities for the attainment of earthly advantages would be a yielding to this form of temptation. R4544:6 The most that we should do is to make mention to him of those promises for temporal provision and of our trust in them. R5202:5 If God calls us to be members of the body of Christ, neither lack of food nor anything else can hinder us from the full opportunity of making our calling and election sure. R5202:5 The wrong course is symbolically prefigured in Esau's selling the birthright for a mess of pottage. (Heb. 12:16) R4544:6, 3717:6, 2567:2
But by every word— Not merely the milk of the Word. R3622:2, 1568:2 All hopes of eternal life depend upon God—upon the divine plan and its promises. R3058:5, 4896:3 Every admonition, every encouragement, every promise, is necessary to the development of those called to eternal life. R4896:6, 3060:4 It is as certain that we need spiritual bread—the truth—constantly, in order that our spiritual life be sustained, as that we need natural bread daily to sustain our physical life. R136:3* Truth is the proper food of man, and a large share of it must be received by faith. Thus we must live by faith. Faith is to truth as eating is to bread. R74:1* The words of God's mouth to us are not exactly the same as to our Lord Jesus and to the holy angels. To us they are the words of justice, pity, sonship, promise, admonition, patience, consolation and resurrection. R3058:6-3060:4
His word is that "whosoever seeketh to save his [earthly] life [at the expense of his covenant] shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his
[earthly] life [laying down his life in harmony with his covenant of
consecration, faithfully unto death] shall find it [eternal life]." (Matt. 10:39) R2244:1 If he would deserve eternal life, it must be as a result of absolute obedience to the divine law. R4544:5, 3058:5, 2567:2 He had been feeding upon this heavenly food. He was strong in spirit and determination to do the Father's will. R3717:6 Our meat and drink should be to do the will of our God, and to finish his work. (John 4:34) R1689:3 "Whoso keepeth his Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." (1 John 2:5) R4897:4
Mouth of God— God's word is that obedience is the condition of life everlasting. R4896:6

[Matthew 4:5]

Then the devil— The second temptation—the world. R3718:2 Not even dissenting from our Lord's decision, he presented him a second subtle temptation. R5084:6, 3718:2
Into the holy city— Mentally, not physically. R5084:3, 4970:4, 4544:6, 3719:2
On a pinnacle— The roof of the southern wing of the Temple. R3718:2, 3298:2, 2567:4 About 600 feet above the bottom of the valley. R3298:2
Of the temple— Overlooking the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna). R3718:2, 3298:2, 2567:4

[Matthew 4:6]

And saith unto him— Again posing as a friend, an angel of light. R3718:3
If thou be— Your trust in Jehovah is misplaced; first prove Him and see if He will keep His word. R314:4
Cast thyself down— Not a temptation to gross wickedness, but a temptation to do the Lord's work in another way than that which the Lord had planned. R2567:3 Recklessly expose yourself in proof of your mission. E111 Thus drawing the immediate attention of all Israel to the fact that you are the Messiah. R3718:3, 5965:6, 4970:4, 4544:6 "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign" (Matt. 16:4), such as the laying on of hands, the gift of tongues, physical healing, peculiar dress, robes, mitres, relics of saints, etc. R3718:5 "This generation seeketh a sign" (Mark 8:12); and thus it is with every generation. The world wants miracles or outward shows of sanctity and great professions. R3718:5 Illustrating the temptation to recklessly expose ourselves to any danger—moral, financial, phy-sical or spiritual—expecting miraculous deliverance. R2244:2,3, 4970:6 He had not been called upon to thus hazard his life, but rather was required to sacrifice it—laying it down in the service of the truth and of humanity. R4545:1 The Lord's people should be on guard against any unreasonable procedures in the proclamation of the Gospel. The service of ambassadors for God is a reasonable service. R3718:6, 3298:6, 2567:5 Another temptation of the same character: To expect divine interposition to put truth into our mouths and hearts while failing to obey the divine instruction to "Search the Scriptures." R2244:3 It would be a sin to use spiritual power for the gratifying of our human nature when it was given us wherewith to crucify it. R146:5 The wonder-working spirit is contrary to the spirit of humility and, if gratified, would lead to spiritual pride and egotism. R4545:1 We are to do all in our power before expecting divine interpositions. We are not to thus tempt providence. R2421:2 If we should presume to go out in cold or stormy weather improperly clad, when it is not necessary to do so, and thus risk contracting illness, we would be doing a wrong and unwarranted thing. Q708:1 It requires greater courage to ignore the shame and ignominy of the world in the disesteemed service of God than to perform some great and wonderful feat that would cause the natural man to wonder and admire. E112
For it is written— Satan quoted Scripture but misapplied it. R3718:2,6, 4970:4
His angels— Ministers of divine truth who, in the present harvest-time, would be commissioned to bear up the feet members with such counsels, admonitions and expositions of Scripture as would be necessary for them. (Psa. 91:11,12) R2567:6
Bear thee up— If he had been thrust off the Temple pinnacle by the hands of an angry mob before his time had come, or if he accidentally fell, surely the Father would have intervened that he not be injured; but to do so deliberately would have been to tempt God. R4970:5, 3718:4, 3298:3
Dash thy foot— This Scripture really belongs to the feet members of the Body of Christ, that they may surmount the difficulties and receive blessing instead of injury. R4545:1, 3719:1, 3298:4, 2567:5, 2244:2, 1680:6, 844:3
Against a stone— It is possible that our Lord at that time did not know the proper interpretation of this Scripture; if he had, there would have been little temptation in the suggestion. R3298:3We now see that the Lord himself was the "stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel" (Isa. 8:14), and that his "feet" represent spiritual Israel particularly during the harvest time. R3298:4 In our day there is a stumbling-stone permitted for the testing of our faith. Whoever is of the proper character will be aided of the Lord to victory so that the stumbling-stone will become a stepping-stone to higher riches of grace and blessing. R3719:1, 3298:5

[Matthew 4:7]

It is written again— Seemingly conflicting Scriptures should be harmonized by examining the underlying principles. R3298:3
Not tempt the Lord— By trying him through a misapplication of his promise. Q708:T To deliberately defy the laws of nature and to expect divine protection would have been to tempt God. This Jesus refused to do. R4970:5, 3718:4, 1688:4; Q707:4

[Matthew 4:8]

Again, the devil— The third temptation—the devil. R3719:2 In seeming sympathy with our Lord. R3719:3 Again changing his method of attack. R5084:5 This time he no longer disputed with Jesus that he was the Son of God. R2244:5
Taketh him up— Mentally, not physically. R4970:5, 3719:2, 3298:4
High mountain— Satan's own dominion over the world. R5084:5, 4970:5, 4545:2, 3719:2, 3299:1, 2244:4
And sheweth him— Thus picturing his own power over the world, the power of a usurping prince imposing upon him the ignorance and superstition of mankind. R4545:2 This panoramic presentation of Satan's power was designed to impress upon our Redeemer the thought that Satan's friendship and assistance would be most valuable—nay, of almost vital importance to the success of his mission. R2567:6
All the kingdoms— Held and ruled through his minions, the blood-thirsty kings of earth. R615:1* Our Lord clearly understood that sometime he was to have authority over these kingdoms, and that his mission was to lay the foundation for a Kingdom, but he probably did not yet fully understand how or when—hence, the peculiar force of this temptation. R3299:1 Though God has given over the world to the "prince of this world" until the full end of the Gentile times, yet God has not given him unlimited power. R5205:4 Pray God's guidance and direction over all the affairs of life and over rulers to the end that the piety, sobriety and growth of the Church may be conserved. R5205:4; HG570:4

[Matthew 4:9]

All these things— You will be great indeed. You are a perfect man and you can live forever. Since your life is not forfeited, no one can take it from you. You can be Lord of lords and King of kings to bless mankind. R314:4
Will I give thee— Satan controls the invisible spiritual phase of the present kingdoms of earth, as well as the visible human phase. A251; R4970:5 This offer was no farce; it was the climax of the temptations, the last resort of a baffled enemy. R615:1* To give the impression that he himself was tired of rebellion against God in the world and that he was ready to join our Lord in a great social uplift. R5084:5, 4970:5, 4545:4, 3719:3, 3299:2; E113 Furthermore, this would involve my own conversion to righteousness, which surely would not be amiss, either in your sight or in the sight of Jehovah. R2244:5; E114 The suggestion was that with some maneuvering and wire-pulling he, as a perfect man, and therefore far superior to other men, could soon win his way to a chief place of power and dominion over the whole world. R1688:6 His proposition is a social uplift which shall ignore individual responsibilities and sins and merely regard social conditions and make society outwardly clean. E115
If thou wilt fall down— Bend a little; make compromise with the worldly spirit. R2568:2 He foresaw that the suggested course would involve many compromises with evil men then in power, just as all office-seekers under the present order have always found it. R1689:1 Similarly today, he proposes to the Lord's followers identification with nominal Churchianity. R3299:5 The temptation is, Will we connive with and recognize unjust and sinful institutions because they have power and because to oppose them would imply their opposition and the bringing of shame, scorn and death. R4545:5, 3299:5 Satan was willing to become a reformer in all particulars except one—his ambition must be gratified. E113
Worship me— Cooperate with me for the world's uplift. R4970:5; E112 Implying that Satan would not require such suffering and sacrifice as God required; that, if Jesus would cooperate with him, all would work smoothly and prosperously. R5966:1; Q708:3 As does the nominal church when it seeks to increase membership by resorting to worldly customs, games, entertainments, etc. R3719:5, 4970:6 When the Papacy did this, Satan was true to his promise. B293;E114 Recognize his influence and cooperation in the work. Not for a moment can we suppose that he expected him to kneel before him and worship him as a God. R2568:1 I do not ask that you shall not recognize Jehovah, but that you shall be under my supervision. You will not be required to do anything very bad. R5084:6 I, on the spirit plane, and you, on the human plane, will be quite masters of the situation. Let us federate and cooperate. R4970:5, 4545:4 By not opposing evil, by respecting or reverencing evil customs already established under Satan's regime, Satan would cooperate with our Lord in the establishment of his Kingdom. E74 It was not long after the apostles fell asleep in death that the Adversary succeeded in deluding the church to go into partnership with him for the control of the world and its blessings through a combination of religion and politics. R2245:1

[Matthew 4:10]

Get thee hence, Satan— Adversary, opposing spirit. F611 I cannot be a co-worker with you in any sense of the word. R4970:6, 3299:4 Fully awakening in Jesus a realization of the fact that there was no real reformation at work in Satan's heart. R2568:2 Our Lord was saved from any vacillation on the subject by reason of the fullness of his consecration. R3299:4 Our Lord was indignant that it should be thought for a moment he would prove traitor to his covenant and enter into a confederacy with the great Arch-enemy of righteousness, Satan. R4970:6 Had he not reached this final decision we may presume that Satan's temptations would have continued for days or weeks or years. R3299:6 Let each of us, as followers of the Master, be prompt in giving our response to the Adversary's proposition of compromise. He who dallies with temptation increases its power every moment. R3720:1, 3299:6; Q184:T We are to resist the Adversary courageously that he may leave us permanently. R4970:6 When we take a positive stand on any question we have special help from the Lord along those lines. R4339:4*
Worship the Lord— The Greek word translated "worship" in the New Testament is proskuneo which signifies "to kiss the hand," as a dog licks the hand of its master. The significance is reverence. E72
Thy God, and him only— Reverence to those in honored positions, if not rivals of Jehovah, is proper. E73
Shalt thou serve— I will follow the divine program at any cost. R2244:6

[Matthew 4:11]

Devil leaveth him— And never made another attempt, as far as the record goes. R5292:4, 4970:6; Q184:T "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (Jas. 4:7) R1689:5; Q184:T
Behold, angels came— Uninvited. R1689:6 From the moment of our positive resistance of temptation and positive standing up for the Lord we become stronger in the Lord and in the power of his might. R3300:4 Our Lord had no Advocate to sympathize with him, and to succor and encourage him in the hour of temptation. With us, however, matters are different. R4545:5 Whatever terror lay in the intimated opposition of the Adversary was more than counterbalanced by the assurance of divine favor and assistance. So it is with us. R3300:4
Ministered unto him— Strengthened him, revived him. R4970:6

[Matthew 4:12]

Now when Jesus— Probably six months or a year after his baptism. R2245:2
Heard that John— Foreshadowed the closing work of the Church at the second advent. B261,253
He departed— "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another." (Matt. 10:23) F508 It is our duty to be on the lookout for divine deliverance and the opening of a way of escape from things too difficult to endure. F508
Into Galilee— More amenable to the teachings of Jesus than were many of their more religious, more enlightened, and more priest-ridden brethren of Judea. R4557:1 The expression "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:48) applied to all Galilee. R4556:6

[Matthew 4:13]

In Capernaum— Moving there with his mother and brethren, as a family. R2245:3 Capernaum was more closely in touch with the Gentile world, its good and its evil, than was Jerusalem. R4557:2

[Matthew 4:15]

Galilee— Signifies circle; implying that this land would be encircled by the Gentiles. R4556:6

[Matthew 4:16]

The people— The people of Palestine, long in doubt, uncertainty, etc. R4988:2
Sat in darkness— Separated from the great religious center of their day, they were in greater darkness than their brethren. R4557:1
Saw great light— Jesus and his teachings. R4988:2 Symbol of God, of Christ, of the Church, of truth, of influence for righteousness. R4987:3Which flared forth in Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin and Nazareth, chief cities of Galilee, and blessed and gathered some, the elect. R4557:1,5 The benighted Galileans were blessed in the great light which shone in their midst; but it also tested them as truth, light, always does. R4557:5 All mankind shall see the great light which God has provided. R4988:5, 4557:1
Shadow of death— In the very shadow of the death-darkness that was upon the Gentiles. R4557:1 Subject to a reign of sin and death, under a pall of darkness, ignorance, superstition, sin, etc. R4987:6 Even these must come forth that all may be enlightened by this "true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9) R4988:6
Light is sprung up— Before the world will be enlightened, the Church must be enlightened, completed and glorified together with her Lord. R4988:4

[Matthew 4:17]

Repent— From our Lord's viewpoint the healing of soul-sickness was of greater importance than physical healing, which was merely incidental. R2246:4
Kingdom of heaven— The hope of every Israelite. A273 Matthew uses the terms "kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God" interchangeably. R396:3,6
Is at hand— The 69 (of 70) weeks of Daniel's prophecy have expired. R3630:2 In the sense that Jesus was present to make a formal tender of the Kingdom to Abraham's natural seed. R4557:2

[Matthew 4:18]

Simon called Peter— "Simon Peter, lovest thou me more than these?
[nets, boats, etc.]" (John 21:15) NS656:4
And Andrew— This calling was not their first introduction to Jesus, but merely the Lord's invitation to them to become special associates in the work. R2245:2
They were fishers— Christ did not call idlers, but workers, into his ministry. R2246:1 All his disciples (the twelve) were from what might be termed the humbler walks of life. It is declared without disapproval that the rulers "perceived that they were unlearned men." (Acts 4:13) F210

[Matthew 4:19]

Follow me— While the Lord called each individually, there was also a special occasion upon which he dedicated them to their office as apostles. (Luke 6:13) R1521:2
I will make you— The twelve whom I have specially chosen. F217
Fishers of men— Spiritual fishing requires knowledge, tact, bait, and that self be kept out of sight. Fish are easily alarmed when they think anyone wishes to take them. "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matt. 10:16) R5555:1,3, 3308:3; CR156:4 The skillful fisherman catches the fish individually. Likewise, very much of the work of this age has been an individual work, accomplished by talking to people. R5555:1 "The Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea and gathered fish of every kind." (Matt. 13:47) C214; R920:1

[Matthew 4:20]

Left their nets— Forsook all to follow him. The "seventy" commissioned later on were never recognized as apostles. F210 Evidently retaining some sort of interest in them, however, as they had no difficulty in regaining possession of them when they re-embarked in the fishing business after our Lord's death. R3308:2 Not instantly, but after making necessary arrangements. Similarly, we have a stewardship of duties and responsibilities in life which we cannot abruptly cast aside. R3720:6, 3721:1 The Lord accepts none as his disciples except those who forsake all to follow him. R4557:4 And so it is today. Those who most cheerfully, most zealously forget self and earthly ambitions, aims and projects, and who most fully give themselves to the Lord and to his service—these may walk nearest to the Lord at all times. R3334:6

[Matthew 4:22]

And their father— Leaving the fishing equipment in the care of Zebedee and hired servants. R3720:6

[Matthew 4:23]

All Galilee— Supposed to have had a population of over 3,000,000. R3334:3 The people of Galilee were evidently thrifty, prosperous work people, people best prepared to receive his teachings.R3334:3
In their synagogues— They could teach the people there, for a time; but as they shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God, they soon found little and finally no opportunity to teach the people in the synagogues. R986:5
The gospel— His message is called "the Gospel," the good news, because Israelites, like the rest of the groaning creation, have been long waiting for the promised Golden Age. R2246:1
Of the kingdom— The sum and substance of the gospel theme. R1579:3
And healing— "These things did Jesus, and manifested forth his glory." (John 2:11) PD64/74
All manner of sickness— Let those who are lame through pride and self-will and unable to follow in the narrow way cast away their crutches. Let them learn to walk in his ways of meekness, gentleness, patience, longsuffering and brotherly-kindness. R2246:5

[Matthew 4:24]

His fame— As his fame increased, the opposition to him became more and more pronounced, especially from those who were brought into competition and unfavorable comparison with him as public teachers. R1735:3
And they brought— We urge the necessity of bringing friends, and coming oneself, to the Great Physician for the healing of soul-sickness. R2246:5
Possessed with devils— The evil spirits of selfishness and pride. R2246:5
The palsy— The palsy of fear of man which bringeth a snare. [Prov. 29:25] R2246:5
He healed them— To foreshadow the still greater work to be accomplished during his Millennial reign, and also to draw attention to the message proclaimed. PD64/74; R4557:5, 2246:4

[Matthew 5:1]

He went up— Being wearied with exhaustive labor, too weary to minister to the multitudes. R1493:3*
Into a mountain— He did not seek a public place where the largest audience could be gathered, but a place of retirement where he could be alone with his disciples. R3243:1 Supposedly a site known as the Mount of Beatitudes, sloping gradually, about 60 feet high, situated about seven miles southwest from Capernaum. R2249:3 It is said that on this mountain the last remnant of the Crusaders was destroyed in AD 1187. R2249:3
His disciples came— They had not yet become sons of God in the full sense of the word. Jesus spoke in an anticipatory or prophetic sense, as if they were already new creatures. R5623:2,3His disciples were nearest to him, with the multitudes surrounding. R2249:3, 2589:1 Our Lord's first message was, Repent and get ready for the Kingdom (Matt. 4:17). To those who accepted that message he now gave additional blessed lessons. R4556:3 Jesus was addressing such of the Jews as had the hearing ear, such as had an inclination to be his disciples. Only the spirit-begotten understand these beatitudes fully.R5003:4, 4557:2, 3243:1 Not addressed to a promiscuous congregation of saints and sinners, but to his earnest and faithful disciples who had left all to follow him. R1493:3*

[Matthew 5:2]

Taught them— A different message; others hold forth the rich, the learned, the influential, as patterns to copy; but Jesus set forth the reverse to attain happiness. R5003:2 The sermon is entirely devoid of anything like oratory; for evidently its object was to instruct, rather than to play upon the emotions of the hearers. R1493:2* Instructed his disciples how they could best make their calling and election sure and win the great prize. R5003:5 His words were simple and easy to be understood. They applied strongly both to the judgment and to the heart. R1493:3* His discourse was so directed as to divide his hearers into two classes—some disappointed, others thoroughly satisfied. Thus does the truth always separate. R3733:3 Not with threats of vengeance if the lessons were not learned; and while only the spirit-begotten can fully appreciate them, others may gather precious lessons from the beatitudes. R5003:5
Saying— The character of our Lord is one. Here the Lord divides this one character into different sections, giving us a view of each particular part. R2585:2

[Matthew 5:3]

Blessed— Much more than happy. Happiness usually proceeds from outward causes, while the word blessed here carries with it the thought of great or honorable. R2249:6 Happiness describes joyful moods which come from time to time; but blessedness relates to that permanent joy and comfort which results from attaining character in harmony with the divine. R3733:2 The contrast between the Ten Commandments and the eight beatitudes illustrates the difference between the Law Dispensation and the Dispensation of Grace. R5003:2 The beatitudes designate the particular graces necessary to receive the blessings which the Father designed we should enjoy through Christ. R2249:3, 2240:1 We advise a reading and pondering on alternative Sundays of this delineation of the graces and the Apostle Paul's summation of the same graces in 1 Cor. 13. R2240:1, 2234:5, 2205:6
The poor in spirit— The Foundation of the Palace of Blessedness is Humility. R5003:5 The Greek word signifies "extremely poor, utterly destitute." R2250:1 The first blessed state, in some respects, comprehends all the others. It is the gateway, the hallway of the House of Blessing, from which all the other rooms are accessible. R2249:6Not the rich, the learned, the prominent, the rulers, the self-conceited, but those lacking self-esteem, who appreciate their own littleness and imperfection. R3733:6, 5991:5, 2139:1 Nevertheless, evidently moderate poverty is the most favorable condition for us in our present weak and fallen condition. R2250:1 Humble-minded, and therefore more teachable. R4969:4, 4557:3 While all humble persons will not attain the Kingdom, the Kingdom cannot be attained by anyone who is not humble. R2585:2 God would never accept as a member of the Kingdom class one possessed of the spirit of pride and selfish ambition. R5003:5, 2585:3 Not necessarily poor in pocket. Some who are poor in pocket, or in intellectual gifts or attainments, are very proud in spirit.R2585:5, 1920:5 A full appreciation of our own spiritual destitution is essential before we will be ready to receive the measures of divine grace provided. R2250:1It is only when we are little in our own eyes that God can use us with safety to ourselves. R1920:5 Luke omits "in spirit"; those who become poor in any sense of the word, whether financially, socially or otherwise, by sacrificing themselves. Blessed are all the sacrificers. R1493:5* If the success of yesterday makes you fret under the humiliation of today, then beware: you are not as roundly developed spiritually as you should be. R1920:6
Theirs is the kingdom— They are the prospective kings and priests of the new dispensation. R2139:5* To those, all the Master's gracious promises and lessons of wisdom, comfort and instruction are given. R5991:5 Even now these constitute the embryo Kingdom. R2139:4* Only the poor in spirit can submit to the discipline and training necessary to fit them for the Kingdom. R2139:4*

[Matthew 5:4]

Blessed— Growing out of the first quality, as a tree of many branches out of the root, come the other graces of the spirit. R2585:3 So if we find that the great majority of mankind have had considerable mourning and sorrow, there is comfort that the majority shall be comforted and receive joy. NS614:4
They that mourn— The Palace Reception Room is the Chamber of Sorrow—mourning. R5003:6 The sympathetic, who realize their own imperfections, and are touched with pity for the poor groaning creation as they see them dying in sorrow, pain and disappointment. R3734:1,2, 5003:6, 2586:1, 2250:2; NS190:4 Necessary for our complete separation from the things of the world, the flesh and the devil. R5003:6 Mourners in Zion, true saints in the nominal church, distressed at the worldliness therein. D30; R1441:2Mourning, of itself, is not a grace, but it betokens an attitude of mind which is acceptable in the Lord's sight. R2585:6 Our Heavenly Father is not a continual mourner. The thought, rather, is Blessed are ye that mourn now. R2585:6 Because iniquity abounds. R2138:6*, 1493:6* Not expecting that becoming his disciples would lift them out of trials, difficulties, sorrows, tears, but that such experiences would be overruled for their good. R4557:5 It was this mourning in sympathy that led to Jesus' tears at Lazarus' tomb; and to his being called "the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." (Isa. 53:3) R3734:3 We can cultivate this grace by frequently thinking of others and their interests and seeking to enter into these as though they were all our own. R2586:1 "Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice." (John 16:20) R1493:6*
They shall be comforted— The word comfort does not contain the thought of relief, but rather that of strengthened together, or added strength. R3734:4 Our Lord notes their tears as well as their efforts in opposition to sin. R2250:3 Their comforting will begin at once, for their mourning will bring a readiness of mind to hearken for the Lord's favor. R3734:2, 2586:1 Blessed are those who, being comforted themselves, shall be used of the Lord in the comforting of other members of his Body. R3734:5 In receiving the reward of the righteous, and in beholding the final triumph of righteousness and truth. R1493:6* "Beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning." (Isa. 61:3) D30

[Matthew 5:5]

Are the meek— The Palace Library is Meekness. R5003:6 Submissive to the divine will. R2586:3 The teachable; not too proud to learn. R5003:6, 5186:1, 2586:1; Q469:2 Self-controlled, gentle, not easily provoked or irritated, forbearing under injury or annoyance. R3734:5,6 Meekness is necessary to learn valuable lessons in character-development, to be prepared to be the teachers of the world. R5003:6, 4557:3,6 "God resisteth the proud." (Jas. 4:6) E255 Impossible without the first two graces of a humble mind and the large sympathies of the mourner. R2586:2 The outward manifestation of the second grace, which is an inward quality. R2586:2 There is quite a difference between this gentle submission to the divine will and ordinary gentleness which is frequently exercised to gratify selfish desires. R2586:2 Any wise man may learn something from a child; but anyone who is not meek finds it difficult to learn anywhere. Q469:2 Not bold, grasping, ferocious, self-willed, getting the best of the earth and everybody in it, but submitting to injustice in the interests of the coming Kingdom. R4557:6, 3734:5 The blessed meek of verse 5 are the same class who, in verses 10 and 11, are bold and courageous enough to withstand evil and error and champion righteousness and truth. R1493:6* It is a life work with many to conquer their too-high appreciation of themselves and to obtain the spirit of a sound mind as respects their own talents. E255 Nothing is more dangerous to the child of God than self-conceit; it hinders reformation of the heart, as well as true usefulness to others, and especially usefulness in God's service. R5186:1
For they— The seed of Abraham, members of Messiah. R5370:5, 5003:6, 4557:6 And not the selfish, avaricious and grasping. D633
Shall inherit the earth— Purchased, as well as man, by the great sacrifice finished at Calvary. R2250:3 The reward of this grace, like the others, is future. R2586:6 When God's Kingdom has come and his will is done on earth as it is in heaven. R3734:5 The Lord's followers now have more enjoyment of the earth than others; while others are grasping, they are enjoying. R3734:6, 2586:3 Losing houses, lands, parents, children and friends, eventually they will inherit the earth. R4557:6 Under the primary and original covenant, as the Seed of Abraham. As members of Messiah, these will come into the full possession and control of the earth. R5370:5, 5003:6 The Church of the Firstborn is soon to have the entire Inheritance, the land as well as the power, dominion, glory and honor. R1164:2,4 "I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession" (Psa. 2:8) as soon as the last member of the elect has been prepared. R2250:4 To bring it to becoming again a Paradise of God, a world-wide Eden. R4557:6 The overcomers of this age inherit it now by faith, and the overcomers of the next age will do so actually. R3734:6 During the Millennial age the meek of the restitution class shall inherit the earth. R3734:6 At the close of the Messianic reign, the meek will turn over their inheritance, the earth, to mankind. R5004:1, 2586:3

[Matthew 5:6]

Blessed are they— Others are wholly unprepared to come to Jesus—such as those morally of a superior class who feel less the need of divine aid. NS121:1
Hunger and thirst— In a symbolic palace of blessedness the dining room is Hunger for Righteousness. R5004:1 "As the hart panteth after the water brook." (Psa. 42:1) R5163:6 The human heart, as well as the human body, has its appetites. NS119:3 Some of the soul's appetites are: (1) craving for sympathy and fellowship; (2) craving for ease and comfort; (3) craving for name and fame; (4) craving for pleasure. NS120:1 Uncontrolled by the other graces, has led many reformers into wild excesses; yet, under the control of a sound mind, the child of God waits for the fulfillment of his promises. R2586:5 The first step of justification does not admit to the Lord's table except as it prepares us for it. The second step is full consecration to the Lord. NS121:4 A heart condition of faith and teachableness; and, while exercising our reasonable faculties, we expect divine guidance. R4744:6 Nothing is more conducive to spiritual hunger than approach to the throne of grace. NS122:3 The hope inspired by God's promise to Abraham is the power which has taken the spiritual stone out of the mountain—the world. (Dan. 2:45) OV429:3 God allows us to get very hungry before he gives us the truth. CR54:3 Many of the Lord's people reach his table without having a very keen appetite—such are easily satisfied. NS121:6 Lovers of righteousness and haters of iniquity. R5004:1 Who desire more and stronger spiritual food that they may grow thereby. Milk is for babes, but strong meat is for those who have passed the infant stage. (Heb. 5:14) R1358:2 Manifested by the desire to draw near to God, which the Lord expects before he fulfills his promise that they shall be filled or satisfied. R2671:1
After righteousness— That which is right, truth. R4971:1, 3735:1 Wisdom, knowledge, understanding of the good and true. R3284:6 The satisfying portion—at the table of divine provision. OV260:3 The Scriptures assure us that "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). There is a relative righteousness, however, which God can approve. R5218:2Righteous heart or character. R5901:3* Righteousness is so interwoven with its various parts—justice and injustice, truth and error, holiness and sin—that whoever is careless in one element is deficient in all. NS123:2 Righteousness here applies to right in every matter—truth. R3735:1; NS120:4 New Year is a favorable time for heart reformation—not only because of the suggestions of new things, but also because of heart disappointments incidental to the holiday season. NS122:1 Seeking to be in harmony with Him to the best of their ability, and trusting in the precious blood of our Redeemer. R5218:2 With an antipathy to untruth in every form, and to all injustice and inequity; modified by the third grace, by patient submission to the divine will. R2586:5 So loving righteousness, truth, that they renounce and denounce bondage to creeds and stand forth for the truth. NS123:1 We find what we seek! Those who desire to find God's message will be guided of the Lord. Those who approach from the standpoint of cavil, unbelief, antagonism, are equally sure to find what they seek—flaws, contradictions, etc. R4971:1; HG473:6; Q643:2
They shall be filled— Made holy. R5901:3* The truth on every subject necessary for us will be given as the Lord is pleased to reveal it. R5570:4,4744:5, 5004:1 The very fact that we do not know everything, far from being a cause of disappointment, is a source of pleasure. Each fresh item of knowledge is a new well-spring of pleasure. NS742:3 Satisfied with the spiritual refreshment God provides; we shall be bountifully fed and sweetly refreshed with the "meat in due season" and the water of life. R1396:5, 3735:1, 1899:2, 4558:1 The water of life and truth which Christ has furnished satisfied as nothing else could do. Those who drink of it have no cravings for vain philosophies of men which make void the Word of God. R1703:4 Righteousness and truth are scarce commodities at the present time. R4558:1 There is nothing in unrighteousness to fill any man. There is a filling power in righteousness. NS122:5 The appetite for truth and righteousness will remain, but the prevalence of truth and righteousness shall be its satisfaction. R2586:5 Does not imply a miraculous filling. They will make use of their time, knowledge and opportunities for seeking the bread of eternal life which satisfies. R3735:1 Repeatedly filled as full as the present poor earthen vessel will contain. With the filling comes the enlargement of our capacities, and still further filling and a further enlargement, and so on. NS122:4 Satisfaction will not be attained fully in the present life; the believer progresses more and more to this satisfaction, receiving the full measure on the other side of the veil. R2671:1, 2586:6, 2250:5 Their own perfection in the first resurrection, and the establishment of righteousness in all the earth during the 1000 years of Messiah's reign. R5004:1

[Matthew 5:7]

The merciful— In a symbolic palace of blessedness the door is Mercy. R5004:1 Those who, having recognized their own need of divine mercy, are merciful and compassionate toward others. R5004:1, 3735:2 Only such could be entrusted with the works of restitution. R4558:1 A genuine mercy, a forgiving "from your hearts." (Matt. 18:35) R2587:1 God would rather have us err in the sense of being too lenient than have us be merely just. SM432:2 A genuine mercy and not a feigned one; it must cover from sight, and, as far as possible, blot from memory the failings and weaknesses of others. R2587:1 An outward expression, which men can discern, resulting from an appreciation of righteousness and a hunger and thirst for it in the renewed heart. R2586:6 It is for God to be just; it is for men to exercise the blessed characteristic of mercy, compassion, forgiveness. R2587:3 When Abraham requested mercy for Sodom (Gen. 18:23-32) the Lord was proved, in every case, to be no less just and no less generous than his servant. R3948:1 As applied to thought: it is better to be deceived a hundred times than to go through life soured by a suspicious mind. R4919:4 The unmerciful, evil-thinking mind is father to unmerciful conduct toward others. R4919:4 It is very unbecoming for those who themselves have need of divine mercy to be sticklers in the last degree in the requirement of justice for others. R3735:3 "Mercy rejoices against judgment"—against the execution of justice. (Jas. 2:13)R3735:2, 2587:2
Obtain mercy— Only the merciful shall obtain mercy: "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:15) R2587:1, 3803:1 The promise of mercy to the merciful is a principle of divine government, because the more generous and loving the heart, the nearer to the perfect condition. OV210:3 God will extend his mercy toward us as respects those deflections which are not willful. R2587:4 God will deal gently with them, forgiving their blemishes and weaknesses in proportion as they have this spirit of generosity, forgiveness, toward those who trespass against them. R3805:5 But the Lord declines to forgive our trespasses against his law unless we exercise this spirit toward our fellow-men. R4558:2 The strongest incentive towards as lenient a judgment of our fellow-men as circumstances will permit. R1493:6*

[Matthew 5:8]

The pure in heart— In a symbolic palace of blessedness the window through which we may see God is Purity of Heart. R5004:4 In his creation, man was made in the image of God, and so was originally pure in heart. R5148:3, 3735:3 We will be judged according to the purity of the heart, mind, intention, will. R4558:2 Those absolutely cleansed in will and spirit, and, as far as possible, in flesh and tongue. F409; R5389:3; SM335:1, 633:2; Q51:3 Loyalty to the principles of truth and righteousness, the principles of divine government; loyalty to God and our Lord Jesus Christ and members of his body. R4929:3 Purity of motive, of intention, of effort, of will; in the sense of transparency, of truthfulness; sincere, unsullied, without adulteration. R5148:3, 5004:4, 5264:5, 3735:3, 2587:3; Q51:4 So long as the motives of the new will are honorable, we have the assurance that we will ultimately reach perfection through obedience. R5149:2, 5756:3 If we fail to reach perfection of heart-development during the period of our trial, we shall die the second death. But this does not mean perfection of the flesh. R4400:6, 5902:1, 4558:3, 3735:5 To be pure-hearted means to be sincere and to utter nothing which we do not mean. NS673:6 The pure of heart are those whose intentions are pure, whose motives are pure, who desire the best—long for the best. Q51:4 Hence the importance of criticizing or judging our hearts, the necessity of purging from them everything rebellious and sinful. NS163:6 The Lord's judgment will be, not according to outward attainment, but according to inward attainment. NS593:4 We may be sure that the pure in heart, in intention and endeavor, will make considerable progress in overcoming the weaknesses of the flesh. NS654:4; SM335:1 Purity, charity, holiness of heart and mind belong to our consecration.R2015:4 The thought is not perfection of conduct, word or thought, but perfection of intention as respects all of these. R2587:5, 2250:6, 1739:2 The honest-hearted, those that have absolutely right intentions. R5148:3 A heart filled with the spirit of love will be sure to bestow it upon others. R4770:6 Maintain purity of heart by purity of mind. R5149:5 An evil mouth, a mouth which does injury to others, indicates an evil heart. R2444:1
They shall see God— Greek, horao, discern. R1494:1* "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." (Heb. 12:14) R2587:3, 1739:2 Such have the clearest views of God's character and plan now; and such shall see him shortly when changed in the first resurrection. R3735:6 Not only attain the character-likeness of the Lord Jesus, but eventually they shall be made like him and "see him as he is" in the first resurrection. (1 John 3:2) R5149:1, 2587:5 In the fullness of heavenly glory. CR393:2; R4929:3, 5004:4, 5958:3 Having no films of prejudice or vain philosophy before their eyes and no clouds between themselves and God. R1494:1* A foretaste comes in the present life: to "comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and know the love of Christ." (Eph. 3:18) R2587:6 Where God sees the heart pure and true to him and to his spirit and law of love, he will, in due time, give the new body suited to it. F409 In his Word and his plan, in his mighty works, in nature, in the secret closet communions, in his providences. R1739:3 Only such as attain to heart purity can hope ever to see God, to enjoy this evidence of his love. R3735:5 The Church of Christ, begotten of the holy Spirit, may see him with the eyes of their understanding in a sense in which the ancient worthies could not. R5149:5 Those who have a double mind, a double will, also have a double vision, a double eye. They see spiritual things cross-eyed, double, and proportionately indistinctly. R2587:6

[Matthew 5:9]

The peacemakers— In a symbolic palace of blessednes the parlor is represented by the characteristics of a Peacemaker. R5004:4 Addressed to the consecrated, Jesus' disciples. SM452:1, 456:2 Purity of heart toward God manifests itself in peaceable desires and efforts to promote peace in others. R2588:1 To be a peace-maker, one must first be a peace-lover. R2251:2 Peacemaking is chiefly done with the tongue, though it may also operate through the eye. R2588:2 The Lord's people are to sympathize with all and join with none in the warring world.R5767:4 We may avoid denunciation of things we cannot endorse, especially things having no bearing on the Lord's Word. What God sees fit to permit, we can see fit to endure. R4978:6, 2621:6, 4558:4, 2948:6 Not mischief-makers, strife-breeders, lawless. R4558:4 Taking opportunity to help others. R5004:4 We should seek to subdue and calm the passions of men in the coming strife. OV287:2 The great majority of those who have named the name of Christ, even if their hearts are pure and their sympathies large, pursue a reverse course. Even some of the true saints use their tongues to stir up strife. R2588:1,2, 3736:1 With perverse natural dispositions, it may require considerable time and practice to learn and love the path which leads to peace amongst God's people. R2251:1 Not peace at any price, otherwise our Lord and the faithful body might not have suffered. R2251:1 There are times where "backbone" is necessary, when principle is involved, and when retreat would be absolutely wrong; but these cases are rare. Undoubtedly we can often yield as Isaac did with Abimelech. (Gen. 26:12-25) R3593:6 Combativeness, exercised toward fellow creatures, must be modified by mercy; it must be trained to fight for truth and against error, but not against the ignorant servants of the error. R2588:4 Fighting against the imperfections and weaknesses of our own natures will leave comparatively little time for assaulting others. R2588:4 If we think the majority less wise than we, let us learn patience and wait, as the Lord does, until they learn the error of their course and amend it. R4772:6 We are never to use the sword, earthly power, in seeking to promote the cause of the Master. R3888:1
Children of God— They have God's spirit. The likeness of his dear Son has been traced in their hearts. R2588:3

[Matthew 5:10]

Blessed are they— To be worthy of this blessing means to develop and possess a character which the enemies of righteousness would deem worthy of persecution. R4866:4 It is not until the Lord's people have experienced the preceding blessings of his grace that they reach the point where they can "glory in tribulation also." (Rom. 5:3) R2588:4
Which are persecuted— In a symbolic palace of blessedness the kitchen represents the trials and difficulties incidental to the rounding out of character and proper nourishment and upbuilding spiritually. R5004:4 Not only in severe persecutions, but also in the lesser ones, when our names are cast out as evil, "when men shall separate you from their company." (Luke 6:22) R3617:4 The Lord is looking for those who are so faithful to the principles of righteousness that they will exercise it toward their enemies even when persecuted by them. R3736:3
For righteousness' sake— Not for fault-finding and general cantankerousness. R2588:5 For the sake of truth in obedience to the heavenly calling. R4637:1 Peter, John, Paul and Silas, with backs bleeding and feet fast in the stocks, sang praises to God for the privileges they enjoyed of suffering with Christ. R4866:1 "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God." (1 Pet. 4:16) R3736:2, 4558:4, 4326:4, 2251:4

[Matthew 5:11]

Blessed are ye, when— Addressed to his disciples, all his followers throughout this age. R5544:2 As a result of making the Gospel your all- absorbing theme of life. A347; R5544:3 From the moment of our positive standing up for the Lord and his cause we become stronger in the Lord. R4814:1 "Blessed are ye" signifies that persecution is a favor from God. R5544:2 His followers must take up their cross if they would follow him. Through much tribulation they must enter the Kingdom. (Matt. 16:24; Acts 14:22) NS71:2 We should not court it, but should desire this evidence of our faithfulness. R5544:3 Whoever will faithfully exercise his ambassadorship, and not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, will speedily know something of the sufferings of Christ. E490 Increase the sacrifice daily and you increase the proof daily that you are his; and such as are his he gathers. R581:3 When God gives quietness, none can make trouble. (Job 34:29) R5879:2
Men shall revile you— Thinking you carry matters to an extreme, are too conscientious, give too much time to religious matters, and run not with them to the same excesses as formerly. NS337:2, 605:2 Followers of him who "when reviled, reviled not again." R3736:3 "Ye shall be hated of all men for my sake." (Matt. 10:22) E490 God permitted his Son to be reviled to demonstrate the kind of character that was pleasing to him, and he wished to test the loyalty of Jesus himself. R5545:5 The chief opposition to our Lord came from the religious leaders and professors; so also with his followers. R4814:1, 4326:2; OV357:1 If, under the pressure, they yield and revile in return, and slander and backbite, they are proving themselves unworthy of a place in the Kingdom. R3736:5
And persecute you— "Whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12) F464 Pictured by the bitter herbs of the Passover. F464; NS75:5 The faithful followers of the Lord will be unsympathetically viewed, hated and persecuted; for the presentations of truth make manifest errors and hypocrisies. R4814:4, 4558:4, 4557:5,6 Such trials and difficulties are for the rounding out of character and for nourishing and upbuilding spiritually. R5004:4, 4326:1 Such experiences, overruled for good, serve to test faithfulness and trust; and the joys of the Kingdom, gained through much tribulation, will more than compensate for every tear and sorrow. R4557:5 Should be endured faithfully, calmly, rejoicingly. R4558:4 During the present life the Kingdom of heaven, the true Church of Christ, suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matt. 11:12) CR493:4 Things may seem to be going contrary to your welfare, to be working out incalculable harm—but have faith. R2699:4 Persecution implies that the person persecuted possessed qualities that are feared; that the persecutor realizes his own weakness to meet the arguments in a more rational way; that either the persecutors are weak or the arguments of the persecuted are strong. R4865:2 Persecution will come to those who have the courage of their conviction. R5547:1 All who have walked the narrow way have received persecution—the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians—in their early day, because they had more light than others. R5546:6 It is safe to say that the persecutors are always wrong, even if we cannot say that the persecuted are always right. R4865:2 Sometimes this comes from those who were once brethren in the truth; those who once dipped with us in the dish of divine nourishment at the table of the Lord. R4326:4
And shall say— Our Lord seems to have taken more notice of the evil-speaking that would come upon his people than of the physical sufferings. R2295:4
All manner of evil— The call is to ignominy now. R4841:6, 4637:1, 5145:2 Boycotted socially, boycotted in business, slandered in every conceivable manner, and often by those of whom they had least expected it. R2496:2 Their object in this course is to undermine by prejudice what they fail to meet by fair reasoning and Scripture. R1192:3 Our opposers do not try to show wherein we have retrograded in life and action, but put forth all their efforts to show what a fearful thing it is to leave the church. R2142:4* Those who would say all manner of evil falsely, knowing the charges are false, are the very kind who would crucify or burn at the stake, had they the power. R5545:2 "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you; for so did their fathers unto the false prophets." (Luke 6:26) R5546:1
Falsely— We should not be surprised at false charges and false insinuations against the faithful. R5173:1, 5294:5 Ignorance rather than malevolence is at the foundation of opposition to the truth. R5145:3 Falsely accused of "fanaticism" because the wisdom of God is oft esteemed foolishness with men. R2588:5 And yet take it patiently as did the Master, continuing faithful to the Lord and his cause at any cost. E191
For my sake— Not for error, but for the truth; not for sects, but for Christ. R785:4 "Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified" (we do this for the Lord's glory). (Isa. 66:5) C182 His followers would be highly esteemed among the nominally religious were it not for their loyalty to the Word of God. Because of faithfully pointing out popular errors and their fidelity to the truth, they are hated by those prominent in Churchianity. R5173:1, 3736:4

[Matthew 5:12]

Rejoice— Possible only when we understand that in these trying experiences there is a glorious purpose. R5495:6, 4558:5, 5545:2, 5893:6
Great is your reward— What we do not get here of prosperity we shall get there, in the Kingdom. R5545:3 The measure of self-sacrifice and sufferings for Christ, endured by each of the consecrated, becomes a measure of the faithfulness of each as ambassadors. E490 There will be some least and some greater in the Kingdom of heaven. R1973:5He that is not willing to have the Kingdom at such a cost is not worthy of the Kingdom. R4637:1
In heaven— In spiritual things, not in temporal matters. R3223:2 And it is this heavenly reward for which you have been called and for which you have entered the race. R2699:4 The rewards of Christ's discipleship were not to be expected in the present life. All that we may now have is the peace and blessing of the Lord in our hearts, with glorious hopes for the future. NS602:4
So persecuted they the prophets— And our Lord and the apostles. Being thus in good company in our experiences, we shall be in like good company when the Lord makes up his jewels. R2588:6
Which were before you— We have reason to believe that the Master would fare no better in the world today than at his first advent, were he to appear as then. Q752:2

[Matthew 5:13]

Ye are— Even now. R2099:3*, 2073:2*
The salt of the earth— Jesus and his higher law of love, in his own life and in that of his followers. R3736:5 A healthful, cleansing, preserving element in the midst of a world of moral decay and sinful pollution. R2073:2*, 1494:2* The Christian has a special purpose in the world—to be a preservative power, to have antiseptic qualities, and to draw out all the good qualities of those with whom he is connected. R5426:5 Exerting an influence and power among men of a preservative kind, delaying, if not arresting, degrading tendencies. R4558:5 The preservative influence of God's people affects not only themselves, but spreads over a considerable space around them. R3736:6 A symbol of faithfulness and loyalty, and signifies a purifying and preservative quality that is a detriment to corruption. Q618:1; R5426:5, 5173:2, 4558:5, 634:1* As a savory article of diet, it symbolized hospitality; as an antiseptic, it signified durability, fidelity, purity; as a preservative, it is a symbol of an enduring compact. R2099:2*, 84:6* Saltness from the Savior's teachings has a wide influence upon the world. Without it, corruption and a complete collapse would have come long ago. R5173:3 Civilization is merely the arrest of those elements of decay which are at work in the human family, a preserving or salting of the good qualities which have not yet become extinct. R634:3* After the taking away of the salt class, putrefaction and disintegration will speedily follow. R4706:6, 5173:3, 3737:1, 2745:1; Q618:1 It will be in and through the glorified Salt of the Earth that the blessing will come, the stream of truth for human refreshment for 1000 years. (2 Kings 2:19-22) R5780:2
Have lost his savour— That which constitutes the saints the salt of the earth is the fact that they have been salted with the truth. R634:5*
"Have salt [purity, righteousness] in yourselves" (Mark 9:50). If we have not the salt in ourselves, how can we be the salt of the earth? R2099:5* How important that we not only have salt in ourselves, but that we continue to retain its healthful properties! R2099:5*
Good for nothing— Absolutely useless except for its intended purpose. R5426:5, 4558:5 "Unto every good work worthless." (Tit. 1:16) R2517:3Jesus made no attempt at a reformation of the apostate Jewish church. R778:1*
But to be cast out— If we lose the holy Spirit, there is no way by which we could be renewed again. Q618:1 May picture the rejection of the nominal church systems. R778:4* Castaways from divine favor. R2073:3*
Trodden under foot— Destroyed. R634:6*

[Matthew 5:14]

Ye are the light— Greek, phos. The same word applied to our Lord. R2409:2 Synonym for truth and righteousness. R5038:1 The Lord was addressing the apostles in particular, and all "overcomers" of that time. R4992:3, 4746:2 You are now so illuminated by the truth that you yourself have become a living representative of it. R3243:2, 5129:2 By his spirit in us. CR313:1; R375:3 The Lord's light shone into a little corner of the world called Palestine, and from his lamp many followers have lighted their lamps. R3686:2, 627:2* It is the light of God's truth, shining in our hearts, which shines out upon the world. E293 The light will become brighter in proportion to our realization of our own imperfections to the degree of our consecration to the Lord. R5129:3 The Church is now enabled to declare to the world the presence of Christ, the changes impending, and the wisest course to pursue. B141, 142 Light-bearers for the benefit of others—burning and shining lights, sympathetic and helpful lights. CR126:1 As children of the light, every day and year will see progress; their light will be shining more and more clearly and accomplishing the greatest good. R4189:6 Christian fellowship is thought to be one of the very best aids to maintaining the light of the Spirit. R5129:6 Although not yet as the sun, nevertheless luminous even now, and their light may shine within a smaller radius for the blessing of all who will receive it. R2099:6* It would require the light of the Sun of Righteousness, Christ and the Church in glory, to enlighten the whole world. R5769:3 Continuing to shine in the world in the midst of darkness until the predicted night would come when the world that has loved darkness shall be overwhelmed by it. R1774:1 It is the light which shines from the true Christian which reproves, condemns and opposes the darkness of this world. E293; R375:2 If we neglect the privilege of prayer, of study, or of fellowship with the Lord through failure to think of him, the illumination of the Spirit will grow dim. R5129:3 But if we should be seduced into worldliness by the spirit of the world, our light would be quenched or extinguished. E264; R371:6 Neither the philosophies of men nor their moral sentiments are light. The true light cometh down from above and only those begotten of the Spirit of the Lord have that light. R5099:6
Of the world— Not directly, but by a reflex light—through those who possess it—the spirit operates upon, but not in, the world. R375:3; E293 Whatever light the world gets reaches them indirectly, as reflected from the children of God. R3646:3 Civilization is simply the indirect result of the measures of salt and light that have been in the world up to this present time. R2100:1* Without the Gospel light shining from Jesus and his followers, the corruption of Christendom would be even worse than it is. When the lights have all been extinguished, the great time of trouble will follow. R3736:6, 3737:1, 1774:1 A city—The Church as a whole. R4558:5 The New Jerusalem. R1494:5*, 1185:5, 421:6, 338:5
Set on a hill— The Kingdom. R1494:5* "Established in the tops of the mountains... exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow into it." (Isa. 2:2) R421:6, 338:5
Cannot be hid— Its glory shall lighten the whole world. R1494:5*, 421:6*

[Matthew 5:15]

Light a candle— The candle light the saints are holding up in the world is powerless to overcome the great mass of darkness. God, in his due time, will dispel the darkness of night by causing the sun of righteousness to arise with healing in its beams. (Mal. 4:2) NS88:3,4 He will test us and prove whether we are worthy to shine forth as the sun, enlightening the whole world in a manner with which our little lamps of the present time will in no sense compare. R3737:4
Under a bushel— Its light would become extinguished. If light does not shine out, it will soon die out. R4558:6 By covering his light, one demonstrates lack of courage, of appreciation, of earnestness. R4967:5 We should not say, "We know not the man Jesus." He will withdraw the light from such a one. R4993:1, 4558:5
On a candlestick— In a position where it may dispel as much as possible of the darkness of this world. R2099:6*
It giveth light— The light is conspicuous because the darkness is general. R4993:2 Though the darkness recognizes the reproof of its presence, it comprehends it not. R375:4
In the house— Our lights are to shine in the "household of faith." SM241:2; R5769:3, 4558:6, 4305:1, 4189:6 So that our own family, our own household, our neighbors, may see it burning. R4993:1

[Matthew 5:16]

Let your light— Of the holy Spirit; its influence is Christianizing, civilizing, uplifting, and produces a regard for right and a respect for God. R4992:3, 4993:4 Not merely the message upon our lips, but also the influence which emanates from our daily lives. R4330:5, 4675:6, 4460:5 It is the duty of every child of God to be very active in the dissemination of the truth. R3243:3 The illumination comes, not only through the truth, but also through the begetting of the holy Spirit. R4746:2 The darkness "hateth the light." (John 3:19,20)R3686:2
So shine— For the benefit of others, that they may discern what is the right doctrine. R4967:4, 4746:5, 4675:6 That the spirit of devotion pervade every family, every household, including the servants. R2989:3 Flash forth the truth into every nook and corner where dark creeds and black theories have so long lain. R825:6 In proportion as the true followers of Jesus have kept their lamps trimmed and burning, a measure of enlightenment has spread throughout the world. R3686:3 All men who are directly or indirectly in contact with these lights of the world have blessings in proportion to their preparation for them. NS294:2
That they may see— That all those intimately associated with the body of Christ may be able to take knowledge of them, that they have been with Jesus. R4746:5 This text is not in conflict with that which says we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand does, not to do our good deeds to be seen of men. (Matt. 6:1-3) R4993:2
Your good works— In accord with the Master's teachings. SM183:T; R4558:5, 4967:4; CR126:1 Your likeness to the character of the Lord. R4558:6In our daily lives. R4967:4 Our daily walk and conversation in all the little things of life. R1464:2* Will be a reproof on the sins of the world without one word being uttered on the subject. OV155:3; R4746:5 Not carrying our Bibles in an ostentatious manner, but we are exhorted to show forth in our daily lives the lessons we learn from its precious pages. CR126:1 Whether they account for these works properly or evilly. R4746:5 Of some our Lord said that they confess with their mouths, but deny with their lives. Our whole lives are to be in conformity with the professions we are making. R4993:1
Glorify your Father— By honoring the principles of righteousness as they see them exemplified in God's peculiar people. Recognizing that these are of God, that theirs is the ideal life, they glorify God. R4993:3 Some who see our good works will glorify God in the day of visitation even though they do not become followers now. R4746:6 This shining will have an effect upon the world, reproving mankind and setting before them an example of better living, better thinking. R5057:2 "In the day of their visitation." (1 Pet. 2:12) SM153:1

[Matthew 5:17]

Think not— Jesus and his apostles expounded the harmony between Christianity and Judaism. R5006:2
To destroy the law— The Jews reasoned that by promising a class everlasting life, even though they were unable to keep the Mosaic Law, was a setting aside of the Law, making void all the prophets. R5006:3,5,6 Moses' Law, the divine law given to Israel. R5006:2 We, under the new dispensation, are under the same Law, but with a higher definition, or explanation . R4226:4
Or the prophets— The prophecies of selecting a priestly class are now in process of fulfillment; neither the Law nor the prophets are being ignored. R5007:1
But to fulfil— Jesus was a Jew, and obligated to every feature of the Law. R4703:1 Jesus has been fulfilling the Law during the past 1800 years, as well as during his ministry. R5165:2 He fulfilled the Law Covenant—met all its requirements, and obtained its reward, life. That fulfilled it, for that was the end for which it was given. R1732:6Only a perfect man could meet its conditions, thus proving that Christ's perfection was not altered by the fact that his mother was imperfect. R777:1 But he no more fulfilled all the Law than he did all the prophecies. He fulfilled all connected with the sacrifice, and nothing connected with the Kingdom. HG55:6 Jesus will continue the fulfillment of the types of the law during the thousand years, until all is fulfilled at the close of the Millennial age. R5165:2 The Gospel of Jesus magnifies the Jewish Law by admitting its righteousness, its reasonableness, and by admitting that the full fault is with humanity. R5006:3

[Matthew 5:18]

One jot— One iota, the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet. R52:3* Realizing God's care in making the shadow should not only give us confidence in its correctness, but lead us to examine closely for the meaning of those shadows. T12
One tittle— Fine point of a letter. The holy Spirit inspired, in many cases, the exact phraseology. R52:2* Every good promise of the holy Scriptures will surely have fulfillment. OV129:1
In no wise pass from the law— The Law stands exactly as it was given, and applies only to those to whom it was given. R970:2 The strictness with which the Jews were obliged to obey the Law indicates the amount of reliance which can be placed on its numerous sacrifices and observances. R72:1; B174 The typical sacrifices continued until Christ died, for Jesus himself was under the law, a part of which he fulfilled. R5163:3 Note the remarkable similarity with 2 Cor. 3:11. (R.V.) HG584:3*
Till— Our Savior did not say the Law should not pass away, but that it should not pass away until it was fulfilled. But he came to fulfill it, so if it was fulfilled in him, it has passed away. HG582:3* The observance of all types must be kept up until their fulfillment at least began; for the keeping of a type is not the fulfillment of it. The fulfillment is reached when the type ceases, being replaced by the reality, the antitype. B174;HG55:5
All be fulfilled— The Law was neither altered nor amended, but fulfilled and set aside, abolished by our Redeemer. R970:2 Referring not only to its covenant obligations, but that all the blessings expressed in it typically would also be sure of fulfillment on an antitypical scale. B174 Including the great Times of Restitution, typified by the Jubilee year. B173,187; HG55:2 Then the ceremonial, or typical, features of the Law will pass away. R1527:3

[Matthew 5:19]

Whosoever— In the Church class. Q423:1
Shall break— If any of the followers of Jesus should violate the Ten Commandments and teach men to do so, it would manifestly be done through ignorance and misunderstanding, marking such as one of the least in the Kingdom, unfit for a position of prominence in the service of the Church. R5007:2 Shall make little of any commandment of God. Q423:1 Whoever will go contrary to God's arrangements or will in any respect, we should thereby consider him less. Q423:1
Of these commandments— The divine law is briefly summed up: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:37-39) R5359:6 The Ten Commandments are but the outer shell, as it were, of deeper sentiments. R5360:1 In other words, we understand the Master to be teaching that the Gospel is not out of sympathy with the Jewish Law. R5359:6, 1730:5 The new hope of Gentile Christians does not abrogate God's law, nor does it release them from the obligations of his law; but our imperfections are covered by Christ's merit. R5359:3
Shall teach men so— By example or precept, what is not in fullest accord with the divine plan. F258; R5359:5 It is a responsible thing to be the mouthpiece of God, to make sure that not a word is uttered which would misrepresent the divine character and plan. F258; R2156:3, 1475:3 Those who hold and teach a measure of error when it was their privilege to have clear truth shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. R3243:6 "Be not many teachers." (Jas. 3:1, Revised Version) R2156:2
Shall be called the least— Receive a lower position. F258; R5007:2, 5359:3
In the kingdom of heaven— In the Church, the incipient Kingdom, the embryotic Kingdom. R5359:5
But whosoever— Our Lord Jesus himself. R1730:5, 5359:5
Shall do— Those who would keep the divine law most perfectly in heart and life would be most nearly copies of God's dear Son. R5359:5 "Love is the fulfilling of the law." (Rom. 13:10) R5359:6
And teach— The Christian must study the Law, but he studies it as a shadow of better things, as typical of the blessings promised under the greater than Moses—Christ. HG582:5 Look out amongst you those who are walking the most in the footsteps of Jesus if you want to elect elder brothers and deacons in the Church. Q423:1

[Matthew 5:20]

Shall exceed—To be accepted, his followers must be nearer right in heart, have more of the spirit of the divine law, than the Pharisees. R5007:4 The Church's covenant means more than merely the observance of the Law; it is a covenant to sacrifice; and justice, the divine law, could not demand sacrifice. R5006:6
Of the scribes— They had the whole Law of God and claimed to believe and teach it; but they distorted it by their traditions and their ignoble, though whitewashed, characters. R3243:5 They were particular respecting the little requirements of the Law, but were careless respecting the spirit of love. This, Jesus termed hypocrisy. R5007:4
In no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven— Not be fit for the begetting at Pentecost. We must distinguish between the embryo Kingdom at Pentecost and the glorious Kingdom of the first resurrection. R5007:4, 4559:2

[Matthew 5:21]

In danger of— Amenable to. R2601:5
The judgment— The judges. R2601:5, 4558:6

[Matthew 5:22]

But I say— Jesus, who understands the perfection of God's law, and how fully it will be defined and enforced in the Millennium. R2602:1 That the thoughts are to be considered as well as the deeds. HG304:3
Whosoever is angry— Thereby disobeying the spirit of the command, Thou shalt not kill. R2601:6 In the heart, unexpressed. R4558:6 Hatred is murder, slander is assassination, and the destruction of a neighbor's good name is robbery and rapine. R2444:6 For one of the Lord's consecrated people to be even slightly angry would be a serious matter. R5007:4
Without a cause— Malicious anger and vituperation shall be considered a violation of God's law under the New Covenant. R2601:6, 2249:2
Shall be— Under the regulations of the Millennial Kingdom. R2601:5
In danger of— Amenable to. R2601:5 As a violator of the Law, whose violation forfeited all right to life under the Jewish Covenant. HG304:3 Because the spirit of anger is that which, unrestrained, would lead to murder. R3254:1
The judgment— The judges; a court of seven (some say 23) men, empowered to judge some classes of crimes. R2601:5 "I will restore thy judges as at the first." (Isa. 1:26) A294
His brother, Raca— Villain. R2601:5 Blockhead. R4558:6 A slander is a thief according to worldly standards, stealing one's good name; according to Christian standards, still higher, slanderers are murderers. Thus the very suggestion of slander is to be shunned as of the spirit of Satan. (John 8:44) R3595:4
Of the council— The High Council or Sanhedrin, of 71 men, the highest court of the Jews, for the gravest offenses; typical of the judges of the Millennial Kingdom. R2601:5, 4558:6
Thou fool— A moral degenerate. R4558:6 Apostate wretch. HG304:4 If, aside from the Bible, one reaches a conclusion that another considers wholly illogical, neither should he think nor speak of the other as a fool, but should remember that all present knowledge is incomplete and our reasoning faculties at present imperfect. R1815:4
Danger of hell fire— Of Gehenna fire. By the aid of brimstone, the bodies of specially detestable criminals were burned with the other refuse of Jerusalem in the valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna, adjoining the city. A living thing was never cast into Gehenna. The Jews were forbidden to torture any creature; thus Gehenna typified the Second Death. R2601:2-6, 5007:4, 4558:6; OV362:6; HG304:1; NS840:1 Dead bodies were cast into this valley with the filth of the city, for, in their estimation, they had no hope of a resurrection—a tomb being to them an emblem of a resurrection. HG304:3 The destruction of the body in Gehenna after death, figuratively, implied the loss of the hope of future life by a resurrection. R2601:6 The object of this burning in Gehenna was to make the crime and the criminal detestable in the eyes of the people, and signified that the culprit was a hopeless case. R2601:6 If one were angry enough to call a brother Christian "a fool" it would imply that he were in serious danger of the second death—Gehenna. R5007:4 An antitypical Gehenna outside the New Jerusalem for the offal and trash of humanity who will refuse all of God's favors, the Second Death. NS841:2

[Matthew 5:23]

Gift to the altar— Anything to offer to the Lord, of service, worship or thanks. R4077:5, 5938:6
Aught against thee— It should be noted that the one addressed is not the brother trespassed against, but the trespassing brother. R1694:6 That someone has been wronged by you in thought, word or deed. R4077:5, 5939:1

[Matthew 5:24]

Leave there thy gift— Do not think that it will be acceptable to God while in your hearts, or outwardly, you are practicing injustice toward others. R5939:1, 5007:4, 4559:1, 4077:5,
Be reconciled to— Make amends to; apologize in full. R1694:5, 5939:1 Every moment of delay endangers your spiritual standing with the Lord. R5007:5
Thy brother— Explanations in full of whatever wrong you have done him. R4077:6
And offer thy gift— Assured that in such an attitude of heart the Lord will be pleased to accept your offering. R4077:6, 5939:1

[Matthew 5:25]

Agree with— Appeal for mercy from. R1713:2 Admit that you have come short of the righteous requirements of the divine law. R1713:3, 4559:2
Thine adversary— Israel's Law Covenant was really their adversary and condemned them all. R4559:1, 1713:1 Only the few agreed with the Law adversary. (John 1:12) R4559:2 The divine Law, which condemns all to death. R1713:3
Quickly— Before final sentence is pronounced. R1713:2
Whiles thou— The Jewish people. R1713:2
In the way with him— While the offer of mercy is made to you as a nation, through faith in Christ. R1713:3 To get free from that Law obligation, a Jew would have to confess his shortcomings and accept the sacrifice of Christ. R4559:2
Lest at any time— Those who did plea for mercy received Christ as the sent of God, the deliverer from the condemnation of their Law Covenant. R1713:2
The adversary— The Law, the demands of which you fail to meet, though you claim to meet them. R1713:4
To the officer— To some power that will execute the penalty. R1713:4
Thou be cast into prison— A position of disfavor. R1713:4 Nationally. Wrath came upon that people to the uttermost. R4559:2

[Matthew 5:26]

Uttermost farthing— The forfeiture of the chief blessing at first offered exclusively to the Jew. R1713:4 They were blinded and cast off from divine favor for a "double." R1713:2 By the end of the Millennium, Israel will have paid. R4559:2 If we have wronged a brother and not made it right, we will be obliged to suffer the full penalty of our neglect. R5007:5

[Matthew 5:28]

To lust after her—Reckoning the intention for the act. R518:4* To desire to do wrong and merely be hindered by circumstances, is in God's sight as serious, as criminal, as to have really done that wrong. R4020:4, 3254:1, 1726:5, 971:3 It is not only for the actual transgression that men die, but it is for the disposition to transgress. The inherited taint renders them unfit to live because with such a nature they cannot keep God's law. R527:2*
Hath committed adultery— And he who loves and serves money and spends time and talent for it, more than in God's service, is an idolater. R971:3

[Matthew 5:29]

If thy right eye— A depraved desire as dear as the right eye. R2602:1
Pluck it out— Gladly part with a pleasure or habit contrary to God's law, though it be as precious as a right eye or a right hand. HG304:5
Be cast into hell— Greek, gehenna, utter destruction, the Second Death. R2601:3, 2602:3

[Matthew 5:30]

If thy right hand— A depraved desire as dear as a right hand. R2602:1
Be cast into hell— Utter destruction, as brute beasts. (2 Pet. 2:12) R2602:2; NS841:4 As the literal Gehenna was not a place of torment or grief, but represented utter destruction and hopelessness of those already dead who were cast into it, so must its antitype teach the same lesson. HG304:5

[Matthew 5:33]

By them of old time— The traditions of the ancients. The fact that a matter is ancient is no positive proof of its correctness. R3737:2
Not forswear thyself— The Law had something to say respecting the taking of God's name in vain, and tradition had modified the law and limited it to false swearing. R3737:3

[Matthew 5:34]

Swear not at all— The use of oaths and expletives implies that the simple statement of the user is not to be believed. Nothing in this would prohibit the taking of an oath or affirmation in court. R3737:5, 5020:2 The fact that one swears what he says is true implies that he does not expect his hearer to believe his simple word, and this in turn presupposes that his word ordinarily is not worthy of belief. R5020:3, 3737:5 Wherever oaths of secrecy are demanded it is safe for God's people to touch not, taste not, handle not—except as oaths are prescribed by public law. R1827:6

[Matthew 5:35]

Neither by Jerusalem— Which will probably become the capital of the world. A295
Of the great king— Jehovah. "His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives." (Zech. 14:4) D647

[Matthew 5:37]

Yea, yea; Nay, nay— Tell the truth! Be so truthful in all that you say that it will be unnecessary to swear to its truthfulness. R5020:3 Neither overstate nor understate the truth. R5020:3
Cometh of evil— Of the Evil One. R3737:6

[Matthew 5:38]

An eye for an eye— Exacting justice of your imperfect fellows encourages an improper spirit in your own heart. R4559:3
Tooth for a tooth— This law of absolute justice prevailed amongst the Jews, Romans and Greeks, and in some respects was more just than modern laws which enable the wealthy to escape by payment of fines. R3738:1 The way Israel applied this resulted in hardness of heart, a pitiless and merciless attitude. R4559:2 Strong characters to whom the truth appeals are inclined to carry out the law of Moses, but we must remember that it is not the time for us to judge and discipline the world. R5644:5

[Matthew 5:39]

But I say unto you— Pointing to the more excellent way—love. (1 Cor. 12:31) R4559:2
Resist not evil— Do not retaliate. R3738:1, 5898:4 The Church is called out of the world. They are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. They are to suffer injustice. Jesus gave himself up to suffer for the unjust. R5897:2 As followers of Jesus, we, like him, resign our rights rather than try to get them. To a certain extent we are to permit ourselves to be imposed upon. R5897:3,5
The other also— In the indirect sense of not opposing the law; or, if smitten illegally, as were Jesus and Paul, by kindly expostulating with the evil-doer, for his own good. R2470:1,3738:2, 4559:4 Our Lord, when unjustly sentenced, inquired respecting the justice of the matter. Paul fled some places when persecuted, and in other places appealed. R5897:6 Not literally, but in your heart, mentally.R4559:4 A figurative expression; willingness to have both cheeks smitten rather than to do injury to another. OV357:3 Our Lord, when on trial, was smitten, but did not ask to be smitten again. Figuratively he turned the other cheek, but not literally. R4559:4, 3738:2

[Matthew 5:40]

Will sue thee— Has made up his mind to bring suit. R3738:3 Not that it would be improper to appeal for justice to the law; but, that when the law has decided the matter against us, we should submit. R5897:5
At the law— By legal process. R2518:2 Lawfully, even though it may be unjustly. R1735:6; OV357:3 The follower of Jesus is to be thoroughly responsive to all government. R5005:5 Christians are to be law-abiding, whether they consider the laws just or unjust. OV357:3; R4559:4 If ever compelled by law to vote, it would be the duty of each to vote according to his conscientious judgment. R2052:6, 2053:1 If the coat were to be given freely for the asking, the injunction respecting the law suit to obtain it would be meaningless. R2518:3
Take away thy coat— If no lawful redress can be obtained. R1735:5
Let him have— We feel we should report a burglar to the authorities to shield the public and to check the evil-doer in his wrong course. R5898:1
Thy cloak also— The revisers translated this to mean that if any one is disposed to go to law with you and take away your coat, that you should settle with him, even though it deprive you of your coat and cloak. R3738:3 We are to render up willingly all that the Court might decree, more rather than less. R2518:2, 4559:4; OV357:3

[Matthew 5:41]

And whosoever— Whatever magistrate or governor authorized by law. R3738:4
Shall compel thee— Command you legally. R3738:4; OV357:4 We are to show our good will be doing a little more rather than shirk legal exactions or grumble. R4559:4 If compelled to enter the army, the Christian might properly request service as a non-combatant; but if required to kill, he is to obey God rather than men, and not kill. OV358:6
We have been wondering whether our earlier suggested course [the one in the preceding citation] is the best one, whether it would mean compromise. R5755:4
To go a mile— Similar to the law under which Simon the Cyrenian was compelled to bear the cross of Jesus. R3738:4
Go with him twain— Do not show a narrow, stingy spirit in complying with the law's requirements. R3738:5

[Matthew 5:42]

Give to him— Not necessarily extravagant gifts, not all that the petitioner would desire. Judgment and discretion are to be used. R4559:4 The Lord's people might not thus amass as much money as others, but they would be laying up treasures in heaven. R4559:5 We cannot think that he meant that we should neglect the interests of our own homes and families in giving in to others, or in loaning to them. R3738:5 If an enemy demand of us our goods, we are to submit; but if so situated that we can resist legally, we are to resist any unjust demands, and compel a suit at law, submitting gracefully and heartily to its decision. R2518:3
That asketh thee— Not that we should lend to anybody who asks for a loan of money or goods, but that we should not turn away from those in need. R4971:1 That demands your valuables. R2518:3
That would borrow— Often the very best way is to lend him something, even if sure that he would not return it, for thus his coming again would be barred to some extent. Q135:3; R4971:1
Turn not thou away— We should not turn away with a deaf ear from those in need. Q135:3; R4971:1 Do good and lend, hoping for no similar favor in return. R4559:5 Exercise a benevolent spirit, using the proper discretion and judgment. R3738:5

[Matthew 5:43]

Ye have heard— Tradition taught. R4559:5
Love thy neighbor— The word "neighbor" signifies those who are near, and the Scribes and Pharisees were in the habit of applying this to those who were near in sympathy, in sentiment, in faith, in sectarian relationship. R3804:4 Our Lord points out that in merely reciprocating the love of others we would come far short of the standard he sets us. R3739:1
Hate thine enemy— Directly contrary to the Mosaic Law which enjoined protection of an enemy's property. R3738:6

[Matthew 5:44]

Love your enemies— Be large-hearted and generous toward them, illustrated by David's forbearance toward Saul. R3239:6, 3738:6 As God loves the world—sympathetically. OV357:5; R4766:4, 5275:2 God loves his enemies: he provided a sacrifice for them and a reconciliation with himself. R5703:5 This love is that which ignores antagonism and animosities, and considers only the possibilities, the ways and means, for peace, reformation and salvation. R4766:4, 1955:6 Our hearts must be so full of love that not even an enemy could stir up in our hearts an evil or malicious sentiment. F372 If we have not yet attained this high standard, let us not be discouraged, but press onward that, as soon as possible, we may reach this point, which is the mark of perfected character. R2879:5 Not as you love the brethren, but so as to be ready and willing to do good for them. This is the mark of perfect love. F189,371; R4470:2; OV357:5 If we have not reached the point of loving our enemies, we are not at the mark of the prize, because none having a lesser standard can be of the elect class at all. Q458:T; R3738:6 No one can win the prize unless he loves his enemies. R5953:1 Your enemies, not the enemies of another.Q260:5 In contrast with the spirit of the Holy (?) Inquisition. PD84/97 But all should hate injustice and be out of sympathy with those who oppress the weak and helpless. Q783:T
Bless them that curse you— Greek, katara, kataraomai, signifies condemnation—to speak against, to speak evil of, to injure. R2443:3 Not in the oldest Greek manuscripts. R3738:6
Do good to them— The best way to conquer an enemy is to convert him into a friend by kindness. R139:3*
Pray for them— That we might be used in breaking the superstition upon them, that the eyes of their understanding might be opened. R5275:3; OV357:5 Manifest generosity of heart toward them. To attain this sympathy and generosity is part of our instruction in the school of Christ. R5125:4, 3739:1 "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you." (1 Sam. 12:23) R4201:2
Despitefully use you— Never mind what a supposed enemy said or did. We are not living for ourselves but for the Lord. Q459:T

[Matthew 5:45]

Children of your Father— If we are sons of God, we must have his Spirit, his disposition. R3738:6 When we get before our mind's eye the loving and true God as our ideal, we are more and more changed and transformed day by day as we discern our Maker's gracious character. R5474:6 "Like unto your Father"—tending to make the heart and mind more tender, more gentle and more forgiving toward all with whom you have to do. NS674:5 During the Dark Ages, many committed horrible atrocities in the name of religion, thinking that they were copying God—but they had been following demon-drawn pictures. R5474:3
And on the unjust— God has done much for them, even though they are sinners. R5624:1 At great cost providing for their redemption and restitution. R1821:6 God is gracious, loving, merciful, kind, even to the unthankful, even to the unjust, even to sinners; so should we be unto all men as we have opportunity. R5474:5, 2032:1 All that can be made out of the present life and present unfavorable conditions, the world is welcome to. NS225:2

[Matthew 5:46]

What reward have ye— What merit is there in it? R1938:4

[Matthew 5:47]

And if ye salute— Extend the civilities of life. R3739:2

[Matthew 5:48]

Therefore perfect— Nothing short of purity of heart, intention, will, can be acceptable to God. R5123:4, 5264:5, 5148:6, 5101:6, 4558:3, 3939:1; CR395:2; Q51:2 These admonitions apply only to those who are new creatures in Christ; it is a dark saying and needs to be spiritually discerned. CR391:6,4 We first reach perfection of heart intention; then we pass through experiences which crystallize our characters in righteousness. R5172:2, 4974:3, 4559:6 God has set no lower standard than absolute perfection, but he has provided for us grace, mercy and peace through Christ if we walk in his footsteps. R2587:5 Good heart intention is not sufficient. Our profession of pure heart and God-likeness must be tested. It must be developed to the point of fixity of character. R4558:3, 2250:6 The mark of Christian character is godliness, Christ-likeness, love. We must attain to the same character of love that God possesses and that was manifested by our Lord Jesus. R2754:1 However, we are to remember that we have the new creature in an earthen vessel. It is the new creature that must have the likeness of Christ. Q51:2; R5264:5 We must have love, sympathy, and not merely justice. There is nothing of grace in the giving of justice; less than justice is wrong. But the Lord's people must be more than just. SM433:2 But God knows that we have this treasure of the new will in a mortal body which is imperfect. Through Christ he has made provision that every imperfection of our flesh may be forgiven. R5101:6, 4974:3, 4558:3, 3987:1, 3739:3 "Walk thou before me and be thou perfect." (Gen. 17:1) R3938:6
Even as your Father— It was proper that our Lord should give us the perfect pattern, on the same principle that the teacher of penmanship furnishes the pupil with the best engraved specimens to copy. R3987:2, 3939:1, 3739:4; Q533:2 Poor results come from comparing ourselves with ourselves, and neglecting to keep constantly before our minds the perfect copy. R3739:5 God sets before us Himself as the grand copy that we are to follow after. CR7:4,5; R5794:1, 5148:6; Q533:2; SM434:T Not that Christians can be all that God's character expresses, but that this is to be their ideal or aim in life. OV367:3; R5794:1, 5336:5, 5123:4; CR391:6; SM433:2 There is no lower standard than that of perfection. It would not do for the Lord to say, Be ye slightly like the Father, or, Be ye nearly like Him. He must present the perfect standard. R5359:6; NS408:2 Are you like your Father? You are in some respects—in your mind. Are you in all words, actions and thoughts? No, but you are trying to get more and more of the character-likeness of God. Q246:4 God is love. The more we grow up into proper, spiritual love, the more we are growing up into the character-likeness of our Father. R5265:6; SM281:T We are in danger of taking some brother or sister, and saying, I will be like him, or like her! Q533:2 It is a mistake to think that the Apostle Paul's standards for elders are to be taken literally, for no one would be found fully up to all the requirements. He has stated what the ideal elder would be. Q255:7, 248:5, 246:4 The Lord would develop in his consecrated people the spirit of the Father. R3353:3 Those who attain the character-likeness of Christ will have the character-likeness of the Father, of whom the Son is the express image. NS654:3 God could not set an imperfect standard; for Him to do so would mean His agreement, in measure, with sin. R3939:1, 3739:2
Is perfect— God is the very personification of purity. R849:1 God's perfection is the standard. He cannot have one standard of perfection for you, another for me, and another for someone else. Q533:2

[Matthew 6:1]

Your alms— Charity. R5021:2 Your righteousness (Revised Version). R5021:2, 4559:3
To be seen of men— If we are actuated by a selfish motive, if we are seeking show and applause or earthly gain, it cannot bring divine approval or blessing. R5021:2 Lest, while we continue to sacrifice or do any good work, we get to looking for human instead of divine approval. R955:2* If you do good deeds for the approval of men, you will very soon get to doing only such deeds as are likely to bring their approval. R955:2* There may be times and places where the giving of charity in the presence of others would be perfectly proper; the point is the motive actuating us. R5021:2
Have no reward— None from God; they may or may not get the reward they seek, human praise. R4559:6

[Matthew 6:2]

Glory of men— There are many enrolled in church membership who seek an earthly reward of Mammon, the praise and approval of men. CR16:5,4
Have their reward— The publicity, the praise of men, which they sought. R5021:2, 5786:6 The subtilty of this temptation lies in the fact that those drawn into it imagine that, while they seek and obtain the praise of men, they also merit and obtain the favor of God. R955:2*

[Matthew 6:3]

Doest alms— Done from principle, love for God and his righteousness, love or sympathy for fellow man. R4560:1
Let not— So quietly should this be done that those close to us in life might only by accident discover our generosity. R4560:1

[Matthew 6:5]

When thou prayest— He did not teach the world how to pray, but merely his disciples. R5021:3 Not only in sorrows, but also in joys; to give thanks, praise, worship and adoration. R5021:3 We need have no fear that he is too busy with other matters of greater importance, or that he is weary of our coming to him repeatedly with things of small importance. R1865:4
As the hypocrites— Not meaning that all who dress peculiarly, who go to church, who pray in public, etc., are hypocritical. R4560:1

[Matthew 6:6]

When thou prayest— Before whom should we pray? In secret; before believers (John 17); before believers and unbelievers (Luke 3:21); and in the public assembly of the saints (Acts 12:12). R3698:5,2251:6 Neglect of prayer is sure to lead to leanness of soul and lukewarmness in respect to spiritual things—unfaithfulness, coldness, death. R2692:1 We have no sympathy with the custom of opening political conventions and legislative assemblies, schools or lodges with prayers. R2023:6
Into thy closet— Going to the Lord in a formal manner, upon the knees, and in solitude at certain times. R5480:6 The secret place of prayer of the individual family or Church. F687 Our Lord's usual method was to go to the Father privately. R3351:3 This Scripture should not be taken too literally, for Christ prayed audibly in the presence of his followers on numerous occasions, and audible prayer in the Church was counseled by the Apostle Paul. R2252:1 Private apartment. R2649:3, 2501:5, 2023:2 Where no earthly eye will see and no earthly ear will hear. R2251:3 True prayer should be to the Lord, never to the public. Individual prayer, family prayer, prayer in the Church, is proper and is not considered public prayer in this sense of that term. R4560:2 Although fellowship in public prayer in gatherings of the Lord's people is distinctly approved. R5022:1,2251:6 "The Lord's Prayer" was uttered in the presence of his disciples. It addresses "Our Father," requests forgiveness for "our sins" as "we forgive others." It is a sample of collective prayer. R2023:3"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain again to pray; and when the even was come he was there alone." (Matt. 14:23) R5379:6* Though Jesus sometimes prayed with his disciples in their hearing, he was not content with merely these opportunities, but frequently sought the Father alone. R2649:3
To thy Father— Only believers who have accepted Christ may approach God in prayer and call him "Father." R2252:3 "Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name he will give it you" (John 15:16); "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). R2252:3 While Father Adam was created a son of God, he then had access to his Father. R2024:1Jehovah is the only Father or giver of the Divine nature. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is our Father and hath begotten us. R297:1
Seeth in secret— The discovery of X-rays makes this sound more plausible. R1935:1 "All things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4:13) R1935:2

[Matthew 6:7]

When ye pray— Should be to the Lord, never to the public; should be simple, earnest, and need not be long. R4560:1,2
Vain repetitions— "Vain" because not based on the conditions necessary to acceptable prayer. R5311:1 Improper prayer. R3351:6 Formal requests for what we do not expect. R2005:4 Not only vain, unprofitable, but indicating a low degree of spiritual development, imperfect ideas respecting God, and an imperfect relationship with him. R2252:4 We are to recognize a distinct difference between vain repetitions of the heathen and "continuing instant in prayer," in "praying and not fainting." (Rom. 12:12; Luke 18:1) Q539:2 But we do right to pray, "Thy Kingdom come" week after week, year after year, century after century. To grow faint or weary in prayer would not be right. R5020:2; Q539:4
As the heathen— With great supplications, as though their God was asleep or indifferent. R5219:3 With their praying wheels, Roman Catholics with their beads, and some Protestants with their long details of instructions to the Almighty. R2252:4, 5020:4, 5022:4; Q540:2,3 All the heathen or Gentiles who have not left the world and come into covenant-relationship with God through Christ. R5021:6
Their much speaking— Prayer in private may be as long as we please; but prayer in public should be short and to the point. R5020:5 Evidencing ambition to be thought pious, effort to make an impression upon men rather than to hold communion with the Heavenly Father. R2252:3 His example of a prayer is brief. Nevertheless, in proportion as we feel the importance of the great work in which we are privileged to be co-laborers, our hearts should and will be drawn to seasons of spiritual communion. R2650:1 We have no sympathy with the custom of some of pretending to pray to God while really addressing the congregation. R2023:6 Therefore let us endeavor to present God's truth in all its native simplicity and beauty, and trust its inherent power to win its way in due time into every heart. R651:4*

[Matthew 6:8]

Your Father— "God dealeth with you as with sons." (Heb. 12:7) The fact that we are called sons of God implies the beginning of a new life. R5624:2, 5623:5 The multitudes were not to call God "Father," only those who were followers of the Lord Jesus. R5623:3 Neither a Jew, nor one of the world today, has a right to call God his Father, nor to think of Him as his Father. R5219:1 Jesus spoke in an anticipatory or prophetic sense as to their relationship with God. R5623:2
Knoweth— We are not to tell God what we wish, but to give up our will, that His will be done. R5624:3 Our prayers are not to induce God to give us things He desires to withhold from us, but to secure the things He desires us to have and has promised to us. R2252:6 He has fullest knowledge of our needs. R5745:4 We do not need to take up in prayer all the affairs of the world and the affairs of the Church, to tell God about them and how they ought to be regulated. R2252:5
What things— Some might declare that we should ask God for something definite, but God has said that we need not go into particulars. R5624:5 Whether you will be most profited by abundance of wealth or absence of wealth, in the possession of health or otherwise. R5624:3
Ye have need of— The Lord does not say that his followers shall have as much of these temporary good things as others have. SM370:2 Present supplies and rations may be small; but oh, what riches of grace are in reservation for them that love God. NS466:5 If proud, experiences that would humble; if rude, experiences that would make more polite. R5219:6 If we need to be transplanted to another place, he can arrange it. R5991:2
Before ye ask him— But he desires us to ask in order that we may realize our need of his aid and our dependence upon him and be brought into closer fellowship with him. R2252:5, 5219:3 To bring us into that attitude of mind and heart of readiness to receive his blessings. R5745:4, 5022:1, 5834:1 Therefore not asking for resuscitation or special strength as our Lord did not, but accepting such favors as the Father might grant to us unsolicited. R3718:2 As the Christian's experience grows, he comes more to the condition of heart where his prayers will be chiefly thanks for mercies and favors already received. R2252:5

[Matthew 6:9]

After this manner— Not a form to repeat, but merely an example of how to arrange our prayers. R4560:2, 5311:4, 5022:1, 4984:4, 3806:4, 3351:6 In a worshipful, reverent spirit. R3806:3 But not necessarily in those words. R4560:2 Note its brevity, its simplicity, its directness, its orderliness. R5022:1 The order of the prayer is beautiful—the chief thing is the glory of God and the outworking of the divine plan, then physical needs. R4560:2,4, 3807:3, 3352:1 There are seven petitions in what is commonly called the "Lord's prayer." R136:2*
Therefore pray ye— Ye who are his sons, not "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3) or "of your father, the devil" (John 8:44). R2252:6 There is a great blessing that comes from prayer; we are so constituted that reverence for God and desire for prayer are among the highest qualities of our nature. R5311:6,5 Not only should we have special seasons of prayer, but have the spirit of prayer in all of life's affairs. R5312:1 Prayer is a privilege. Jesus did not command his disciples to pray, nor did he even give them a form of prayer until they requested it. R5021:3Notice that our Lord never taught the multitudes to pray, nor intimated that they should pray—even though the multitudes with whom he was in contact were nominally the people of God. R3805:2 Our Lord did not tell about how the world should pray. R5021:3 School children should not be taught to repeat the "Lord's prayer." R2023:6
Our Father— The affection of a true father for his child, one of the most precious in the world, is used to illustrate the relationship of the Lord's consecrated to the Creator. R3352:1"To as many as received him, to them gave he the privilege to become the sons of God." (John 1:12) R3352:1 Only the consecrated spirit-begotten can call God "Our Father." CR421:1, 499:5; R5022:1, 5833:5, 5834:4,5 We suppose that the children of believers, and tentatively justified believers not yet consecrated, would have the right of addressing the Redeemer in prayer. R3806:3; F681:3 The word "Our" implies a recognition that there are other sons who also have been adopted into God's family. R3805:5While Jesus was here in the flesh, the disciples were sons in the prospective sense. R5834:4 No Jew then ever made use of such expressions; they were a house of servants. R5683:6, 3352:1 This prayer would assure the apostles that, though they were Jews, God recognized them now, not as servants, but as sons. R3352:1 The great Jehovah is the fountain of life. All life emanates from him alone. CR498:1 We may consider ourselves, in God's estimation, reinstated (through faith in Christ) to the original position as sons of God. R1864:6 Implies: (1) faith in the divine being; (2) realization of dependence on him; (3) faith in reconciliation through a Redeemer; and (4) realiza- tion that the Creator now accepts one as a son. R3805:3 Implies that the suppliant is on terms of intimate acquaintance with the great Creator of the Universe, so that he is welcomed into the divine presence and heart. R3805:3 Does not imply the fatherhood of God to all mankind. R2252:6 The prayer of the publican, approved by our Lord, did not address Jehovah as "Father," but as "God"—"God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13) R2251:3 They were to manifest their faith by calling themselves sons of God, though they did not really speak of themselves as sons of God. R5219:2 Some people use the words "Our Father" or "Our God" or "Heavenly Father" more frequently than would seem to be good form. It would sound better if they did not use these repetitions. R5020:4; Q539:6
Which art in heaven— As the heavens are higher than the earth so are the Lord's ways and provisions higher than our conceptions; and in every way to be preferred. R3805:6
Hallowed be thy name— Considering first the will and honor of God as superior to their own and every other interest. R3352:3 Reverence for God should be first in all our thoughts, but is losing ground everywhere in our day, even among the Lord's true people. R3352:2, 4560:4, 5624:5 This expresses adoration, appreciation of divine goodness and greatness, and a corresponding reverence. R3352:2 The desire that the great name of God be hallowed by all, and therefore by the petitioner also. R4560:4 Adored, honored. God's name represents His character, His Kingdom, His personality. R5022:2 Profound reverence for the glorious character and attributes of God. R1864:6 His name stands for everything that is just, wise and loving. R3806:4

[Matthew 6:10]

Thy kingdom come— Our Lord taught "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The Kingdom in its embryo condition was then at hand, but the Kingdom is yet to come in glory and power. R1908:3,2231:1, 4410:4; B14 The Kingdom of God's dear Son—the Millennial Kingdom—the Mediatorial Kingdom. NS729:5, 744:1 With the establishment of that Kingdom will come the blessing of the world through the Mediator and the New Covenant. NS557:6 "My Kingdom is not of this world (age)." (John 18:36) NS623:6 Messiah's Kingdom has various stages of inauguration. First, in his parousia, the resurrection of the sleeping saints; next, his dealing with the living members of his body and their glorification; then the dominion of the world, revealed in a great time of trouble. Thus, the Kingdom of Messiah will be born in a terrible travail, after which "The desire of all nations shall come." (Hag. 2:7) Ciii,iv Christ has not yet come into this Kingdom for which he taught us to pray. NS575:6 Very soon to be answered; very soon they, the Christ, shall be associated in his Kingdom and sit upon his throne. NS191:6 Implies: (1) that it is not already here; (2) that it is a part of the divine provision; and (3) that it is one of the chief desires for God's people and for humanity. HG438:2 The establishment of the long-promised Kingdom of Messiah is just before us, and is now in progress. B363 An acknowledgment that God's will is not done on earth, that his Kingdom has not come to earth as yet. R2253:1, 5761:6, 5710:4, 4786:2; Div; NS691:2 An acknowledgment that he has faith in the divine promise that a heavenly Kingdom shall, in God's due time, be established in the earth. R2253:1 It cannot be established until the gathering of the elect has been accomplished. CR21:5; Q523:5; NS664:3, 831:4; HG234:6, 178:5, 145:3, 115:2 The complete overthrow of all human government will open the way for the full establishment of the Kingdom. Biii It began to be established in 1878 AD. R1908:3 While continuing to pray, let us continue to labor in character-preparation that we may be found worthy of a place in that Kingdom. R5762:2, 3352:4 Meantime the great King is selecting the Bride class to be joint-heirs with his Son in that Kingdom. NS465:6, 803:2, 661:5 Longing for the Kingdom that will bless the world, they also long for the promised privilege of being joint-heirs with their Redeemer. R3806:5, 3352:4; NS451:2, 389:1, 235:1, 141:5 This thought will make all the afflictions and trials of the present time seem to us light afflictions. R3352:4;NS236:2 That it might come as quickly as would be in harmony with the divine program; not implying impatience, nor a desire to hasten matters before the divine time, but an interest in the gracious things of the Father's plan. NS683:3 Not a demand; rather an acknowledgment of faith in the divine promise that a heavenly Kingdom shall in due time be established in the earth. R2253:1, 2005:1 All blessings are of the Father. E45 Realizing that his Kingdom is the very thing the whole world needs, and that he has promised that it shall come. R5624:5 When the regeneration of the world will be the great matter in hand. NS102:3, 184:5 As God, his glory and honor, are to be first in the minds of his children, so their next thought should be for the glorious Kingdom which he has promised shall bless the world. R3352:3Next in order we acknowledge the divine rule, authority. This means that our hearts are submissive to the will of God. R5022:2 Not merely saying, "Thy Kingdom come," but waiting for it and expecting it.R5624:6 Nearly all of the Lord's parables and teachings related to this Kingdom. NS606:3, 627:1 Present troubles are the harbingers of this Millennium. NS187:6, 672:5 Its worldwide dominion is signified by the stone which struck Nebuchadnezzar's image. NS27:6, 57:5 The panacea for every ill and trouble, not only for ourselves, but for all men. R3352:3, 5602:1; SM103:1; Ciii Both Jews and saintly Christians still recognize that Messiah's Kingdom is the need and hope of the world. OV156:2 The coming of a great earthly king to a city is the signal for a general cleaning up everywhere. NS852:6 If Christendom had heard the message of the antitypical Elijah, they would be ready to welcome his Kingdom; they would have been praying from the heart what some of them have been praying from the lips. NS143:5 Divine love now permits human pride and selfishness to wreck present civilization because divine wisdom and love, in "due time," will take advantage of the wreck and the lessons it will teach by establishing upon the ruins of present institutions the Kingdom of God's dear Son. NS13:5 The object of which will be that the world may have a trial to determine whether, with the knowledge and experience then granted, they will choose righteousness and the reward of eternal life, or sin and its penalty, Second Death. NS860:2 Not such a reign which papacy recognized as the millennial past, nor the moderate Protestant view that Christ established his Kingdom at Pentecost. HG271:1-3 While appreciating our glorious land and its wonderful blessings, let us rejoice that a still better government and still more favorable conditions are parts of the heavenly promise to the world of mankind. NS665:6
Thy will— In respect to all of life's affairs. SM371:T Not now being exerted or manifested in earth's affairs. R1781:2,5 Implies that we have given up our own will. R5833:5, 3352:4 It is not for us to seek to have our wills done in heaven and earth, but rather to learn the imperfection of our judgment and pray, "Thy will be done." NS648:2 Messiah's reign will be a Monarchy, a very exclusive and aristocratic Monarchy. It will be the most autocratic—theocratic; the will of its subjects will not be consulted in the slightest particular. OV191:2 Men sometimes mean, "Approve my will on earth as I approve your will in heaven"—deceiving themselves. NS673:5
Be done— In respect to all of life's affairs. SM371:T; CR51:1 Right and truth must and shall prevail when our Kingdom has been established, however feeble now may be the voices lifted in their defense. R3068:4 Confessing appreciation of the fact that present evil is not of his will, nor of his government. R1781:6, 1273:4 Wishing that this will rule in his heart to the best of his ability in his earthly condition, even as he hopes to have it perfected in the Kingdom. R3352:5 If we pray this, we should live accordingly. C22 We should have in mind God's promise that eventually, through Messiah's Kingdom, sin and death would be overthrown and "every knee would bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God." R5049:3 The declaration is that Messiah shall reign until he shall have put down all insubordination. (1 Cor. 15:25,26) OV192:2 It will take the whole thousand years of Christ's reign to have the will of God done on earth as it is in heaven. CR291:5; R5768:5;SM502:1; Q6:T; OV192:3
In earth— The new earth will be the new social order which will come into being at that time under the direction and guidance of the new heavens. PD94/108 We are not to feel careless respecting the interests of the world in general. NS644:2 Many Christians seem to have forgotten the import of these words. B13
As it is in heaven— The new spiritual heavens of the future will be Christ and the Church in heavenly glory and power. PD94/108 Is God's will in Christendom done "on earth as it is in heaven"? Surely not. HG272:2 None will claim that conversion of the whole world to the present standard of Christendom would answer this petition. C178 Messiah's Kingdom will insure that, to all eternity, God's will shall be done as perfectly in this earth as it is now done in heaven. OV341:8, 247:1; Civ

[Matthew 6:11]

Give us— There are occasional scriptural dyspeptics who eat and work not; but the difficulty with most professing Christians is that they eat not at all, or else eat so sparingly that they are dying of starvation. R23:5* God knows what we have need of; it is not for us to specify, spiritual or temporal food. R5624:5, 4560:4, 5022:4 Showing our reliance upon him for that which he has promised us. R4984:4 Should divine providence fail to make provision, the believing soul is to recognize that it is not from oversight or lack of power, but because divine wisdom sees best thus to deal with us. R5022:4
This day— Not for a superabundance laid up for many days ahead. R2253:2 We cannot understand how any Christian dare neglect to render thanks for daily food. Those who do neglect this propriety are great losers thereby. R2643:6
Our daily bread— "Our needful bread." (American Revision) R3806:5 The necessities of life, temporal and spiritual. R3806:5; CR468:3 It is the new creature that is offering this petition; implying that it is the nourishment of the new creature that is chiefly under consideration. R3806:5 The thought seems to be that of continual dependence upon the Lord, day by day, for the things needed—food, raiment, all things necessary. R3352:5 We are to ask especially for the spiritual bread, praying only incidentally for the earthly things, because we have consecrated our bodies to God. R5745:5, 3806:5, 2253:3 It is certain that we need spiritual bread, the truth, constantly, in order that our spiritual life be sustained, as that we need natural bread daily to sustain our physical life. R136:3* We are not to ask for delicacies. R5311:4, 5833:5, 3806:5, 3352:6, 2253:2, 2005:2 Not specifying what would be most pleasing to our palate. We are to leave that part to him, merely acknowledging that we are dependent on him for the necessities of life. R5991:5, 5745:5 The most that we should do is to make mention to him of those promises for temporal provision and of our trust in them. R5205:5 We are to eat with thankfulness, even if only bread and water. R5311:3, 4913:5, 5202:4 And not murmuring, as the Israelites of the Exodus, stipulating that they wanted something as good as the flesh-pots of Egypt. R4012:2 It is improper for saints to ask alms. R4101:5*

[Matthew 6:12]

Forgive us our debts— Our trespasses. F403 Not Adamic sins, but personal transgressions. R3806:5, 5006:1, 5089:3, 5022:4, 3353:1; Q649:2 God did not forgive original sin, but provided a Redeemer. R4428:4, 4560:5, 3806:6 Those which are ours after we have become new creatures in Christ. R3806:6 Shortcomings, imperfections, etc., through failure to do the Lord's will the best we know how, the culpability being proportionate to the amount of knowledge enjoyed. R5962:3, 4560:5, 5311:4; Q649:2 To petition the Lord for forgiveness of sins implies that we are, at heart, opposed to the sins. R3353:1 This petition signifies that we recognize that the robe of Christ's righteousness granted to us has become spotted or sullied, and that we desire it to be cleansed. R3353:2 In so doing we learn: (1) to keep track of our blemishes; (2) to be reminded of our dependence on the merit of our Savior; and (3) to be merciful, compassionate and generous toward our debtors. R3807:1 Seeking meanwhile to minimize these trespasses, to be so faithful that these will become daily less and less. R4684:1 Divine mercy is pleased to remit the guilt of all unintentional sins. R4560:5
As we forgive— The very essence of Christian principle is love, sympathy, and the forgiveness of the faults of others. We may not express forgiveness until forgiveness is asked, but should always be in a forgiving attitude. R2253:3,4 Let every Christian, in approaching the throne of grace, daily inquire of his own heart, whether or not he has forgiven those who are indebted to him. R2253:4Only the merciful shall obtain mercy; only the forgiving shall be forgiven. R5022:4, 5004:1, 4585:3, 4560:5, 4428:4, 3803:1 Tending to make our hearts and minds more tender, more gentle, more forgiving toward all with whom we have to do. NS674:6 As we are imperfect and cannot keep the divine law, so likewise others are imperfect. R3353:3 If fully appreciated, it would influence God's sons to be kind and generous in thought as well as in word and deed. R2005:2 Does not imply that we should pay no attention to the transgressions of others against ourselves, that we should not recognize offenses. R2253:4 If, at heart, we treasure up resentment against others, we shall not be forgiven ourselves. R5123:3, 5624:5 The amount of one's likeness to the Lord, in love, will be shown by his mercy and generosity of thought, word and deed toward his fellows. F404
Our debtors— Those who trespass against us. R3353:3 Not the forgiveness of financial indebtedness and destruction of our bank account books, except for the debtor willing, but unable, to pay. R2253:4

[Matthew 6:13]

Lead us not into— Abandon us not in (Diaglott). R2005:3, 3716:1 To abandon us there, to leave us in our own strength. R5022:5, 3939:5 Not signifying that we fear God will tempt us, but that we entreat him to guide us so that no temptation come upon us too severe for us. R3353:4 (Merely), but (also) deliver us from the evil one. It is a part of the divine arrangement to bring us, or permit us, to be put into positions of trial or testing. R2253:5 God is permitting the adversary to bring strong delusions upon the world and nominal church because it is time to completely separate wheat from tares. R3353:5
"God tempteth no man." (Jas. 1:13) R2253:5 Temptation— How foolish to pray thus, and not watch! R3939:5 While we must be brought into positions of trial and testing, we may well pray not to be abandoned there, not to be left to our own strength. R5022:4, 4907:5
Deliver us from evil— From the Evil One, who is ever ready to attack us to the extent that the Lord grants the opportunity. R3807:2, 5022:5, 5311:4; NS94:6 The Evil One and his helpers are more than a match for humanity. NS127:1 Temptations from those with whom we have contact, the powers of evil, of the air, of our own flesh. R5833:5 There was never a time when there was greater need of this petition than at present. R3353:5 As we thus pray, we surely will labor in the same direction. R3353:5 If the Lord shall not see best to grant a prompt response, we may be sure it is not from lack of interest in our welfare. Let faith hold her anchorage that the time will not be long until the Millennial Kingdom, when the great adversary will be bound and deliverance granted, not only to ourselves, but also to all.R2653:4
For thine is the kingdom— These words, to the end of the verse, are not in the oldest Greek manuscripts, the Sinaitic and the Vatican. R2253:6, 5022:5, 1865:3, 710:6, 278:2 The Kingdom or rule of the present time is not of God. Properly omitted by the Revised Version as being no part of the Scriptures. R5022:5 Added at a time when an earthly exaltation of the Church had led some to believe that the Papal glory was the glory of God's Kingdom. R2005:3

[Matthew 6:14]

If ye forgive— Like the father of the prodigal, to see the repentant one coming in the attitude of humility will touch our hearts and prompt us to go out part way to meet him, to forgive him, to greet him kindly and put on the robe of fullest fellowship and brotherhood. R4978:4, 2296:4 God will be no more generous to us and our imperfections than we are generous toward our brethren in their imperfections. R4651:4 In order to give us an education in forgiveness and sympathy toward the world. R5275:2 We are too inclined to look only at the justice of God's character, copy it and deal severely with our debtors; he would make it clear that the grandest elements of his character are love, sympathy, kindness and forbearance. R4651:4
Also forgive you— God is ready to forgive the loving and generous who are seeking to copy his character. R4651:4, 2586:6, 2587:1 Only the merciful shall obtain mercy; and if we have not mercy at the hands of the Lord, all is lost. R2587:1 What an incentive to sympathy and generosity and forgiveness is here! R4560:5

[Matthew 6:15]

If ye forgive not— We should not insist upon having from others abject acknowledgment of everything that is wrong. R5275:1, 4978:4 We should always exercise forgiveness and good will toward all, no matter how serious the trespass against us. R4978:4 Forgiveness "in your hearts" is the condition which should always obtain there. We should never harbor any other feeling no matter how seriously they have trespassed against us. R2296:4
Neither will— None will gain a place in the Kingdom class, in the Bride Class, except they have this forgiving quality of love. R3353:4
Your Father forgive— Forgive now, but blot out in the First Resurrection. R3729:6, 2970:5 The Lord declines to forgive our trespasses unless we exercise the spirit of mercy toward our fellowmen. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." (Matt. 5:7) R4558:2

[Matthew 6:16]

When ye fast— Fasting, under the Jewish dispensation, was a symbol of self-denial, and sacrificing under the Christian dispensation. R955:3* We have good New Testament precedent for the observance of literal fasts. R2022:5 Not a disapprobation to fasting. To the contrary, he is endorsing it as a propriety. R4858:1 Fasting is specially commendable to the Lord's people when they find themselves lacking in spirituality. R4858:5 To be seen of the Lord and not of man. R4858:2 Subordinating the flesh that one might be spiritually strengthened. R4858:1 It would be a very good thing for all of the Lord's people to follow the Lenten custom of fasting, doing so with as little outward demonstration as possible. R4858:5 A very plain diet, if not total abstinence, for a season. R4858:6
But not as— There is a danger along this line in the observance of the Lenten season by some, but it may not be hypocritical with all. R4858:5
The hypocrites— Drawing near to the Lord with their lips, while their hearts are far from him. R4858:4
Sad countenance— Not with long faces to show piety, but cheerfully. R4858:1 If their fasting had brought them nearer to their Heavenly Father, it should have had a happifying effect, which would have shown itself in the countenance. R4858:2
Disfigure their faces— Giving them a drawn appearance. NS154:3
That they may appear— Do not go about with a sad countenance telling everyone that you are carrying a very heavy cross. That is not presenting your sacrifice to the Lord, but before men. R955:4*
Have their reward— The praise of men. R5786:6 They are getting the approval of the ignorant and easily deceived. NS154:3 Let us take heed that we do not barter away the heavenly approval, crown and glory for the mean rewards of this present life. R955:6*

[Matthew 6:17]

Wash thy face— Bear the cross cheerfully, with a hearty good will. R955:5*

[Matthew 6:19]

Lay not up— It requires considerable determination to draw the line and say to business and the various responsibilities pressing upon us, Thus far shalt thou go and no farther. R732:4*Trust in the Lord and don't put all your confidence in banks, insurance companies or stock exchanges. Q344:4
Treasure upon earth— Pleasure, delight, joy, comfort are all suggested by the word treasure. Our thoughts, hopes and plans center there. Our treasure is the inspiration of our lives, the incentive to energy, perseverance and endurance for the hope which it enkindles. R5862:1 Earthly things are to be merely servants always ready for use, for any emergency. R4567:2 Only by making wealth a treasure and setting upon it inordinate desire can one become miserly or very rich. R4567:2 None of these earthly possessions can any longer be their treasures or in any sense stand in competition with the Lord. F574 Christians have renounced the earth. OV357:6
Doth corrupt— Death and corruption touch everything earthly, under present conditions. R4567:1 Wealth may vanish in an hour; fame may change to censure at the caprice of fickle, public sentiment; friends may prove untrue or even treacherous; even the love that glowed on the home-altar may flicker and become uncertain or extinct. R1820:2 The treasures of wealth, fame, social distinction, houses, lands, friends, home, family, power and influence are all subject to change and decay. R5862:1

[Matthew 6:20]

But lay up— Signifying so loose a handling of worldly riches as would hinder the accumulation or preservation of great wealth. R4567:2 Our heavenly treasures may be augmented by special zeal and faithfulness under the peculiar trials of the present time. R5863:2 By buying back moments and hours from worldly matters, social frivolities and various time-killing devices, we are getting an excellent bargain. NS468:6
Treasures in heaven— A future reward. OV357:T The chiefest of all treasures is the personal love and friendship of God and Christ. R5862:4, 1820:3 The honor and privilege of our calling to be "the Bride" should make that the supreme treasure, in comparison with which every other treasure is insignificant. R874:3, 2628:2 Treasures of friendship, of love, of esteem for the sake of our works, of experience that will serve us eternally, of wisdom that will enrich us forever, of divine approval. R1514:1* Including the marks of just approval and distinction, treasures of mind and character and all the true and noble friendships which have been founded in truth and righteousness. R5863:2, 1821:2 Treasures of mind and character; for nothing that is good, true and worthy of preservation shall be lost. R1821:5
Doth corrupt— Neither the lapse of time nor the exigencies of circumstance will be permitted to wrest these from us. R1821:5

[Matthew 6:21]

Where your treasure is— A treasure is something in which we take special pleasure and delight. It is in our thoughts, plans and hopes, an inspiration to our lives and an incentive to energy. R1820:1, 874:2 That which costs us most and which we give most for, we love most; and thus it is proved to be our treasure. R874:6
Will your heart be— Those who set their affections chiefly upon earthly things can with difficulty avoid the snares that go with them. R5323:1 Not that a man may not love his wife or children, or appreciate the beauties of nature, but these can no longer be his treasure in competition with the Lord. F574 "Each heart will seek and love its own; my goal is Christ, and Christ alone."F573

[Matthew 6:22]

Thine eye be single— To the Lord's glory. R1849:4 Signifying singleness of purpose, of heart intention toward God; clearness of spiritual vision depends upon this. R4445:1, 4567:4 Adjusting your vision to see the great value of the future life in comparison with the present one, and setting your affection there. R4567:2 We have two eyes of our understanding—one a present and one a future outlook, an earthly and a heavenly view. It is important that we get these rightly adjusted to see matters in their true light. R4567:2 Some are cross-eyed, endeavoring to serve two masters, and to walk according to two standards. R4445:4
Full of light— We have clearness of spiritual vision in proportion as we have loyalty to the Lord and the enlightening influence of his spirit of holiness, the spirit of love. R4445:2

[Matthew 6:23]

The light— The holy Spirit, the way of truth. R5099:6, 4399:1 We should let it shine upon men; some who once hated the message have thus been convinced. R4746:3
In thee— Refers only to the Church class. R5099:6 Originally man had a clear eye, mental as well as physical. R5797:5
Be in darkness— If the light of the holy Spirit of our begetting becomes extinguished. R5099:6, 4445:1, 371:6; E264, 294 Implying unfaithfulness. R3437:4 Showing the importance of proper spiritual sight in order to discern truth clearly. R5797:5 Calling darkness light and light darkness. (Isa. 5:20) R1800:4 Blessings, misused, may be turned into a curse. R1850:6 By reason of sin, man's discernment of right and wrong have been more or less blurred.R5797:5 The darkness not only affects people intellectually, but morally, blunting their sense of right and wrong. R4586:4 In certain instances, God will force people out of the light into the "outer darkness" common to the world in general. Disloyalty to the Lord tends in this direction. R4445:2
How great— Both to yourself and to the world, from whom the light is thus obscured. E294 There are different shades of darkness. R5099:5It would be better not to have known the way of truth than to have departed from the holy command. R4399:1, 3786:1
Is that darkness— The influence for evil of such an enlightened one, sanctified by the truth and then seduced by Satan, is more than doubled. E294 Such a mind will be in a worse condition than that of a worldly mind. Having lost the fear of man, if they lose also the mind of the Lord, they have no fixed principle to govern their course. R5100:4,2, 5797:5,6, 4567:3,4, 4446:1, 4445:3, 4399:1 If any fail to go on in the development of the spirit of love, they will surely retrograde. R4445:6 Comparable to re-entering a dimly-lit room from one that is brilliantly lighted; the room seems darker than when we left it. R5100:2 A darkness that will only become the more intense as one slips and slides along the backward track. R3103:5 He loses all knowledge of the "mystery"—the peculiar relationship existing between Christ and the Church. (Eph. 3:3-6) R5100:2

[Matthew 6:24]

Serve two masters— Dividing the interests between God's affairs and the affairs of self—half-hearted service. R5666:3 "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." (Jas. 1:8) C221 No one can possibly render full service to two opposing masters. R5666:2, 5344:2 "This one thing I do." (Phil. 3:13) He concentrated his time, his thought, his energy, upon this one object or goal. HG453:2 Whoever divides his heart, whoever attempts to serve the interests of several equally, will surely fail. HG453:3; NS617:2 "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." (Rom. 6:16) If our lives are in harmony with sin and unrighteousness, we are not on the Lord's side but on the devil's side. NS368:2 No two interests are so completely one that the service of either would not more or less detract from the service of the other. R5344:2 Folly consists in supposing that one can win the world's prizes of honor and wealth, and at the same time run faithfully for the great prize of glory, honor and immortality. C221 While we are not to do anything contrary to the divine law, yet we are to serve our earthly masters faithfully. They have purchased our time, or a large measure of it. R5666:6
Despise the other— Such a half-way course fails to meet the world's approval and to gain the advantages of this present life. If we believe it would pay best to serve mammon, then we should serve mammon with all our hearts. HG453:3; NS617:2
Ye cannot serve God— Man was originally God's servant, naturally so. R5666:2 Only a few now are properly fearing and serving the Lord. NS396:6; CR9:3 But merely use mammon and the advantages of life as special assistances leading on to God. HG453:4; NS617:3
And mammon— The mammon principle, the selfish principle, is of Satan. R5344:5 There are two kinds of love in the world—love for the world versus love for God. The two are opposites to such a degree that they cannot be blended. We must be on one side or on the other. HG551:1 Mammon was the name of an ancient Syrian god—the god of riches, of cupidity, the impersonation of worldliness. R5896:5Mammon's empire is the world: it is Confucian, Mohammedan, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, according to the locality and influence. It is the ideas of the majority, and too wise and crafty to be irreligious. CR9:3; NS397:1 The spirit of the world, selfishness, avarice, and love of wealth. R5896:5 Sectarianism, the fear of man that bringeth a snare. CR9:5 Earthly advantages and comforts, the attainment of which appears to be the main object in life; in Christendom. R2259:1 Those who serve mammon get the best in the political, ecclesiastical, social and financial spheres. R5344:3The majority are serving mammon, seeking to have its approval and emoluments. CR9:3 Worldly wealth. T93 The Balaam spirit; to be a servant of God and seek the rewards of an opposite course. R5323:1 Typified by the golden calf made by Aaron. R3047:4, 1836:1 Wherever the love of money or honors or luxuries becomes the ruling passion in those who are professedly God's people, it has usurped God's place. Such are idolaters. R2459:5, 1836:1

[Matthew 6:25]

Take no thought— This does not mean that the Lord's followers are to be negligent about their appearance, or the provision of food; but, realizing that luxuries may not be the best for them, they are to be content with such things as they have. R5220:1,2, 873:3 Fear and anxiety are amongst the most serious foes of our human family; they produce nervous exhaustion and are very injurious to health. R5874:3 We should recognize a wide difference between carelessness and anxious care. Joseph in Egypt laid up wheat in plentiful years to make provision for the seven years of famine. F573There is a carefulness which is entirely proper, yea, necessary, on our part, but not this extreme worry, the inability to enjoy today because of fears respecting tomorrow. R5874:6, 4567:5, 2488:2, 873:2,3 Not that they should live from "hand to mouth" and be utterly regardless of the future. F572 Having brought children into the world, it becomes the duty of the parents to see to their reasonable and proper establishment in it. F578; R874:1
For your life— Greek, psuche, soul, being. E335
What ye shall eat— He spoke generally to the poor, and the poor in Palestine and other Eastern countries find it very difficult to obtain food and clothing. R5990:5, 5220:1 Eating, drinking and dressing seem to be the most engrossing thoughts of both rich and poor. R5220:2 We should be ready to share our last loaf or last dollar with any more needy than we. R873:6
Is not the life— Our eternal life. If wise, we will seek the future life at any cost, at any sacrifice of the present one. R4567:4
More than meat— He would have us absorbed in heavenly things; and to do this he sees that we must be freed from distress of mind with reference to earthly things. R873:3

[Matthew 6:26]

They sow not— They know not how to sow or reap, or the lilies how to spin. They get their food and the lilies their glory in God's appointed way for them. So man must get his food in God's appointed way for him. R2804:6*, 2488:2
Feedeth them— We should consider our Heavenly Father's provision for the fowl of the air and realize that he provides for our best interests also. R4567:5
Better than they— Will not God much more care for us who have become his children through faith in Christ? R4567:5

[Matthew 6:27]

Can add one cubit— Let us realize our own littleness and look rather to the Lord for the things of the present as well as the future life. R4567:5

[Matthew 6:28]

Consider the lilies— Learn of the Creator by the things created. R3313:1 A common reddish flower, not the kind generally termed lilies, but very beautiful. R5875:1, 5991:1 Our Lord, as was his custom, drew an illustration of something familiar to all his hearers. R5990:2 Their beauty teaches us that the Lord has a deep appreciation of the beautiful, and that God is abundantly able to produce the beautiful without our aid. R3313:2 The bulb is continually sending up nourishment to its stalks; not idle, but merely exercising its functions by the laws of its nature. R5220:4 Not a hot-house plant, dependent upon some horticulturist; but a flower from the field, growing because the great Protector has provided for its interests. R5220:4 The lily would always have a humble place; it would never be great like a tree. So it is with us here in the flesh. R5875:4 God's care over a simple flower is a reminder of his greater care over his own people. R5990:2 The heart that fails to consider the little things is hindered from a proper appreciation of God and his plan. R5220:5
How they grow— In a very reasonable way, without unnatural, unusual stress. It does the best it can wherever it happens to be and develops grace and beauty. R5990:6, 5875:1 The lily has a right to use everything within its power for its own nourishment. So it is our right and duty to use the means within our power for beautifying our characters, and for spiritual nourishment. R5220:5 The lily is not idle, else it would die, but it does not worry. R5220:4 We are not to be anxious about the things of the present life, nor are we to be over-anxious regarding our spiritual growth. R5991:1
They toil not— Does not mean that he would not have us labor with our hands and our brains in order to care for our family, home, etc. R5991:1 Similarly we believe that in the heavens the angels are free from toil. Divine power exercised in their interest makes toil unnecessary. CR65:1 But a state of lethargy, indolence, respecting the duties of life and opportunities for presenting truth to others is a sure indication of spiritual poverty.R2488:4

[Matthew 6:29]

Like one of these— The finest clothing cannot approximate the delicate structure of the flower, created by an infinite hand. R5875:1

[Matthew 6:31]

Take no thought— Not worried; as free from anxious care as the lilies. R5991:1; F679 Be content with such things as you have. (Heb. 13:5)R5220:1,2 Give all of the surplus of your time and energy, over and above that spent in providing things needful in the accumulation of the heavenly riches. R874:5

[Matthew 6:32]

After all these things— Food, raiment, health, etc. R3718:2 The emoluments paid by mammon. CR9:3; NS396:6 Spiritual Israelites are exhorted by the Lord to appreciate the spiritual clothing, the spiritual food, the heavenly riches, which moth and rust cannot corrupt. R3665:1
Do the Gentiles seek— The procuring of food and raiment is the most important consideration with most people. R5990:5; SM370:1 It would be unsafe for any of the New Creation to request temporal blessings. R3665:1 They could not pray for spiritual things for they had no appreciation of such gifts. Be not like them. R5202:4, 3665:1
Father knoweth— We should accept what he gives us as being for our best interests. R4567:5 To be without worry does not mean to be without proper concern and due diligence to find work and do it. R4567:5 It is for them to rejoice that their affairs are being more wisely and more favorably ordered than if under their own control. SM371:T How happy and free from anxious cares are the hours of childhood. Perfect trust in parental wisdom and love casts out all fear. R732:1* It is improper for the Lord's people to ask alms. R4101:5*
Ye have need of— Our prayers should be more in the nature of thank-offerings, worship and adoration, recounting the blessings and favors we already enjoy rather than in asking those things which the Gentiles seek. R1999:5 Many, however, who know nothing of real, actual want of life's necessities, are much more exercised by the loss of luxuries when adversity comes. R873:6,832:5
All these things— In their case, sickness could not come without the Lord's special permission; hence it should be regarded as from him, and not directly from Satan. R2007:2 Every event and affair of life will be overruled for the highest good. R2468:5

[Matthew 6:33]

Seek ye— It means to seek a place with the Redeemer in the true glory and power of his coming Kingdom. R4730:6 Not merely seek them in prayer; we are to seek them by setting our affections on those things and by lifting our affections from earthly things. R2479:5 It will not be thrust upon anybody. SM369:1
First— Primarily; as of the first or primary importance. SM370:1; F679; R5990:6, 4567:5, 2765:5; NS680:6 First interest; earnestness and singleness of heart are necessary. R5917:6 God will look out for the earthly interests of those who pursue this course. R4567:5 Do that which is in harmony with our Kingdom aspiration. R5171:1, 4913:5 These may lose in temporal advantage, but by faith they recognize it is to their spiritual advantage. R4730:6 All who will be counted worthy to be kings and priests must demonstrate now their willingness to sacrifice their own personal interests and rights in favor of the Kingdom. SM374:1 If the interests of the Kingdom need money, we would feel guilty if we should use the Lord's consecrated money in self-gratification. R5220:2
The Kingdom of God— The invitation to joint-heirship in the Kingdom of God. SM370:1; NS680:6 Giving to it all the time, attention, thought, energy, influence and means not needed for the present life. R2765:5, 5918:5 The Jewish nation was first invited to become the Kingdom of God. R5917:2 To which spiritual Israelites are now invited. R4730:6Messiah's Kingdom is sometimes styled the Kingdom of God. Civ If seeking the Kingdom seems to hinder some of our earthly prospects, so much the better. The Master said it must cost us our all. R5048:5
His righteousness— The standard of perfect love toward God and toward men. SM371:1 The heirs of the Kingdom are to be governed strictly by the laws of the Kingdom. SM372:1 That is to say, the righteousness necessary to attain a place in the Kingdom. R5219:6; NS680:6 God has provided a righteousness in Christ. R5918:4 We shall not only seek the Kingdom, but seek its righteousness: the righteousness which the Kingdom will bring, the righteousness which God will approve. SM371:1 If we seek and find his righteousness we shall also find his Kingdom. (2 Pet. 1:5-15) R2804:6* Our first thought should be for the glory of God; our second, for our own profit; our third for the benefit of others. Here we owe it to ourselves to put ourselves first, for if we fit ourselves for service, we have the larger opportunity of helping others. R5130:1,4
All these things— Food, raiment, etc. SM370:1 Not wanting for temporal necessities, for light, for necessary cares and disciplines, for consolations of divine grace, for friendship and sympathy. R1745:2,4
Be added unto you— He will not let you starve in his service. B119 All things necessary are promised. R5219:6, 5990:6, 5991:1 According to His wisdom. F679; SM371:T; NS680:6 In fact they shall be our servants, instead of we in bondage to them. R2804:6*

[Matthew 6:34]

No thought— Take no anxious burdensome care for the morrow. F572; R4871:3 Be neither careless nor anxious. F573
Sufficient unto— Sufficient also is the guidance of the Lord and we are to wait and watch for it. Q634:1
The evil thereof— The difficulty thereof. R5470:5 If our hopes be not realized so soon as we expected, we are not to worry; we are blessed with the truth and there is work to be done. R5374:4

[Matthew 7:1]

Judge not— Harshly, uncharitably, unmercifully, ungenerously. R2329:3, 2589:2 Declaring against evil thoughts, evil suspicions, evil surmisings. R2444:5 Because we do not fully comprehend the divine law of love and cannot discern the thoughts of our own heart. F403 We may at times judge the outward action as wrong, but we are not to attempt to judge the heart, where there is a possibility of misjudgment. R5430:3, 1712:5 It is forbidden us to judge the heart. R4568:5 Judging is a clear token that one has not developed the spirit of Christ, the spirit of love, which is full of kindness and consideration. R2589:2, 1713:6; F403 Our Lord refers to the abuse of judgment and not to the legitimate use of that noble faculty. R1712:2 The Lord discountenances criticisms and accusations and sentences of one another as individuals. R2431:5 But when conduct is in manifest opposition and in defiance of God's law, as that of "wolves," "swine" and "dogs," the condemnation should be recognized as God's judgment, not ours. R1712:5 Some people must be held at arm's length, but at the same time we should be careful to give them credit for good motives they claim to have. NS164:4 The first occurrence of the word in the New Testament and would clearly bear the rendering, "Test not, that ye be not tested." R48:6*
Be not judged— Harshly, unmercifully. R2329:3

[Matthew 7:2]

With what judgment— How we deal with others fixes the gauge of how God deals with us. R5414:5, 5884:5, 5324:4, 5135:5; F403 The Law of Love says: For shame that the weaknesses and shortcomings of brethren should be exposed before the world. F405 See comments on Matt. 6:12
Ye judge— How many find it easy to excuse their own weaknesses while they are very captious and critical as respects the shortcomings of others. R5324:4
Ye shall be judged— If at heart we treasure up resentment against others, the Heavenly Father will not forgive us. R5123:3 With what measure—The fallen or carnal mind is selfish; and proportionately as it is for self it is against others—disposed to approve or excuse self and to disapprove and condemn others. F404 The continual fault-finder, who sees great blemishes in others and none in himself, is blind to his own defects, or hypocritical. R4567:6
Ye mete— Measure others. R2253:4
Measured to you— If our words are generous and kind, loving and benevolent, we shall receive similarly kind treatment of the Lord; but if harsh, critical, unkind, we may expect reproof. OV209:4, 210:T; R3453:5

[Matthew 7:3]

And why— Busybodying in other men's affairs. F583
The mote— The little difficulties and weaknesses with which all the Lord's people are more or less troubled. R2589:3
Not the beam— The great fault of lovelessness. R2589:3 Satan possesses this fault; he is called the "Accuser of the brethren." (Rev. 12:10) R2589:4

[Matthew 7:4]

Let me— Fancying that it is "his duty" to advise, to pick, to investigate, to chide, to reprove. F584
Pull out the mote— The continual fault-finder who sees great blemishes in others and none in himself is blind to his own defects, or hypocritical. R4567:6

[Matthew 7:5]

Thou hypocrite— Wishing to give the inference that you are not yourself inflicted with the same malady of sin. R2589:4 It is deceptive and hypocritical when we claim that fault-finding is prompted by love for the erring and a hatred of sin. R2589:4

[Matthew 7:6]

Give not— We are to tell the heavenly things, but not to the natural man. R5065:6 Use the spirit of a sound mind to discriminate between those who are good subjects for the truth and those who are not. R5376:4 This does not mean that we should never bring holy things to the attention of those who are not the Lord's consecrated people. R2589:6
Unto the dogs— Idlers, breeders of spiritual contagion, self-seekers, biters and devourers, treacherously lying in wait to deceive. R1671:1 We would not expect that dogs would appreciate the difference between meat from the butcher shop and the holy, consecrated meat eaten only by the priesthood. R2589:6 The selfish, the sensual, who mind earthly things and who have never been begotten of the spirit of God. R2589:6 The only preaching proper for such is "Repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out" and "Flee from the wrath to come." R1671:2The "brethren" have been neglectful in the endeavor to feed the "dog" class. R2590:1
Cast your pearls— The deep and precious things that belong to the New Creation and which none others can understand and appreciate. R3265:2, 5699:1, 5214:6, 5065:6, 4568:1; OV5:2; SM242:T We are not authorized to parade our ambassadorship before the world. NS466:1
Before swine— The groveling, who think only of money and the things of this life. R2589:6 The brutish and swinish. R2589:2 Those who have not the hearing ear and the seeing eye. R5376:3, 327:5* Those who would not be able to understand nor appreciate our position. R5825:5, 4568:1 They would resent our precious truths and do us injury. R4568:1, 4984:3; SM7:T Those who mind earthly things, the selfish, the sensual. R2589:5,6
Trample them— Recognizing no value in pearls, nor appreciating anything that would not give earthly satisfaction. SM7:T
And rend you— "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee." (Prov. 9:8) R2589:2 Injure you. SM7:T

[Matthew 7:7]

Ask— Some of the chiefest of his favors he withholds from us until we make requests, because he thus prepares us more for the blessings he is willing to bestow. R4568:1 All the consecrated are free to make request for the things promised in the Word of God. R4568:1 If you wish to know how to overcome the spirit of fault-finding and harsh criticism of the Lord's brethren. R2590:1
Seek— Those who approach the Bible with earnest desire to find God's message, will be guided of the Lord. Q643:1; R4983:6, 4971:1
And ye shall find— The knowledge of the holy Spirit shall be revealed. E167 We find what we seek! Those who desire to find God's message will be guided by the Lord. Those who approach the Bible from the standpoint of unbelief are equally sure to find what they seek—flaws, contradictions, etc. Q643:2
Knock— Upon the Lord's storehouse of grace and blessing by continued efforts, as well as prayer. R2590:2, 1150:4
Opened unto you— The door of privilege, of opportunity. R4983:6 The door of knowledge. E167

[Matthew 7:8]

Every one that asketh— Anyone, therefore, who seeks God will find him; for the Scriptures promise, "Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you." (Jas. 4:8) R5201:3
He that seeketh— In the "Law and Testimony." (Isa. 8:20) E167 Seeks the proper blessings: forgiveness of past sins, divine love and care, both temporal and eternal. OV181:2
Findeth— Those who pray for opportunities to serve the Lord and watch for the fulfillment of their prayers will surely have them. R4913:4 The believer, assuming that there is a superhuman wisdom in the divine word, investigates from that standpoint. NS63:2
It shall be opened— The door of knowledge shall be opened. E167; R5201:6 God will reveal his true character to them. OV2:2

[Matthew 7:9]

A stone— Traditions as indigestible as a stone. HG692:3

[Matthew 7:11]

Give good things— The holy Spirit, the true antidote for a fault- finding disposition. R2590:2, 4568:4 The Lord will also give whatever temporal blessings are to the best interests of the new creature. R5835:1 If he gives us a gift at all, we may be sure it will be a blessing. NS229:5
That ask him— God is particularly willing to give us the holy Spirit, and is especially pleased that we ask for it. R5310:6, 5835:2 We are not to ask for all manner of earthly things. R5835:1

[Matthew 7:12]

Therefore— Connecting this with the preceding; signifying that this will be a test by which we may discern when and to what extent we are misjudging the motives of others. R2590:3 By way of concluding this subject of finding fault, picking flaws, condemning and criticizing. R2590:3
Whatsoever ye would— Our Lord's words were addressed to his disciples. OV231:1; SM431:2 This is not the rule of love, but of justice. R4827:3 To do justice to your neighbor as you wish that neighbor to do justice to you is the essence of the Law of God given to the Jews for their treatment of others. SM352:2 Under this golden measurement, how few bitter, angry or slanderous words would be used, for how few would like to have others use such to or of them. R2688:6 As we would not wish to have others think ungenerously or meanly of us, so we in turn would find our thoughts of others becoming more generous and less suspicious. R2688:6 To reason, If we were in the slums we would wish that some of God's children would help us and hence we should do so to others, is a mistaken application of this rule. R2689:6 It does not say that we should do to our neighbor as he might wish us to do to him, for he might wish a very unreasonable thing. R2688:4 If Jesus had loved us just according to the Golden Rule, he would not have died for us; but he did more, and he requires that his followers should do more for each other. Q286:6
That men— Particularly the Lord's brethren and those dependent upon you. R2689:1, 2690:5 It will be applicable to all the heathen world and the substratum of society in the Millennial age, but now it is applicable chiefly to the household of faith. R2690:5
Should do— Charging only a reasonable profit on goods sold, expecting to pay a reasonable profit to him who sells. R2688:5; OV231:3
To you— Putting off anger, malice, hatred, strife, envy, slanders, etc. R2688:6
Do ye— This is a positive rule, to do good; and not a negative rule, to abstain from doing evil. R2688:2, 4567:3 This rule does not express all of the Christian's duty, but marks the very lowest standard which must measure our dealings with others, justice. OV231:2 To the full extent of their ability, the new creatures must render justice. SM431:2, 352:2; R4567:3 We must also be just in our words and thoughts. SM432:1 This law the Apostle calls the "law of liberty," the perfect law. R2688:2 With applications to husbands, wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters. OV232:1 Applications to the Church. OV232:3 The Christian businessman's ideal is the Golden Rule. OV369:2 The Golden Rule is despised and rejected as impracticable. R5723:5 Nothing short of full devotion to the Lord will enable one to live consistently along the lines of the Golden Rule. R4568:4 He who practices the Golden Rule during the six days of his contact with business will surely be faithful on the seventh; but faithfulness to the Golden Rule on the one day only will never win Divine approval. OV232:2 This Golden Rule is necessary in formation of character, not only to develop equity and justice, but also the spirit of love, of unselfishly doing good to others. R2689:3 Only as we exercise benevolence toward others need we expect God's benevolence in respect to our weaknesses and shortcomings. R4567:3,6 The Christian has an additional requirement—the Lord's "New Commandment." We must "love one another" as our Redeemer loved us, to the degree of self-sacrifice, even unto death. R4568:4 To tell uncomplimentary truth is to violate the Law of Love, the Golden Rule. F406
Even so to them— By acting kindly, speaking gently, being patient toward weaknesses, not expecting too much. F376 Doing for them now the kind of work which God desires to have done; leaving for the future the things which God has planned to have done in the future (the salvation of the world). R2690:2 This is the Golden Rule and, by comparison, the rule of Confucius, "Do not to others what you would not wish them to do to you" might be considered the brazen rule. R2688:1, 4567:3
This is the law— Not a Gospel standard, not a love standard, but justice. OV231:2 The Law of God is briefly summed up in this Golden Rule. R4568:4 "The righteousness of the law." (Rom. 8:4)R2689:3

[Matthew 7:13]

Wide is the gate— First entered by Father Adam. A205
Broad is the way— The downward path, in which all of Adam's posterity were born. A205 Opened up in Eden at the time of the loss of the homestead. R4245:6* Becoming broad of necessity in order to include every member of Adam's family. R4245:6* On which the human race is hurrying to the tomb. R5245:2; A205 Of self-gratification, pride, lust, sin, selfishness. R4838:1, 4568:2 The easy, selfish, worldly way. R2590:5 The present evil world. Q829:2
That leadeth— As years and centuries roll on, becoming more and more smoothly worn, daily more glazed and slimed and slippery with sin. A205
To destruction— The way that seemeth right to the world will end in death. (Prov. 14:12) CR497:2 Death, not eternal torture. R4568:2; A205
Many there be— Our race, now thronging the broad road to death, are to be restored because their guilt and sin are atoned for and will be remitted. R281:4 Mankind daily loses the power of resistance so that now the average length of human life is about 35 years, 900 years less than the first man. A206 Even the Jews were in that Broad Way. CR497:2
Which go in there at— All mankind are born under more or less adverse conditions and unfavorable environments; and the majority follow on in the way in which they are born. CR496:4 The world's choice is between hastening down the broad road, giving loose rein to their passion, or seeking to restrain these and go down more slowly. NS81:4

[Matthew 7:14]

Strait is the gate— Applicable only in the Gospel age. R860:2 Difficult is the gate. A207; R5045:3, 5320:2 Full consecration, even unto death; but within are ministering spirits, all conspiring for our ultimate membership in the New Creation. F152; R4568:3; OV177:4 The love and loyalty of the disciples is tested by their call to walk contrary to the world. R4568:3 The Lord permits the Christian to have adverse experiences so that his character may be developed. Q821:3 Our too-low standards have admitted to membership in all denominations millions who are far below the Master's standards. NS778:5
Narrow is the way— The way of death by sacrifice with Christ. A212; R5871:5, 5245:2, 2773:2 He opened for us "a new and living way through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." (Heb. 10:20) R279:5 So that only those willing to suffer with Christ may be his joint-heirs. F125; R4964:6, 5005:4 The vows of consecration make the way to glory narrow. NS654:5 So narrow that it admits only the Lord's plan and those willing to conform to it. R5045:3It is only as "new creatures" that the saints of this age are on the way to life; and only as human beings are we consecrated to destruction, as sacrifices. A213 Were it not that strength is furnished for each successive step of the journey, we could never reach the goal. A214 Those who walk in the narrow way are scripturally called "new creatures in Christ Jesus." (2 Cor. 5:17) NS19:3 We should not be surprised that the way that leads to life is narrow when we realize the grandeur of the life to which it leads. R281:4 Because the successful enduring of these tests is indispensable to those whom he would thus honor. F125 Separate from the world; steep, rugged and beset with snares of the Adversary. CR414:1; OV130:T Contrary to the general tendencies of the world—upward. R4568:3 Because this Gospel age is a part of "the present evil world" during which Satan is the prince or ruler. NS17:6 Opened up, not to convert the world, but to choose a peculiar people to be associated with the Lord in his spiritual Kingdom. R4246:1* Its difficulties will act as a separating principle to separate and refine a "peculiar people." A214; R281:5; NS345:5 It means more than negative opposition to the world; it means to make a positive stand for the Lord, for the truth of His Word, for righteousness in general. NS19:1 The law given to Israel was a narrow way and they thought it to be a way of life, but they found it to be a way of death. (Rom. 7:10) NS18:3 It did not exist in the Jewish age and previous ages. NS18:1 We are not to expect that this narrow way will continue in the future indefinitely—during the Millennial age. NS17:6 The divine arrangement for our first parents in Eden was not a narrow way of sacrifice, but quite to the contrary. NS20:2 The little flock will run it with voluntary devotion, but the great company will have experiences which will force them, not to take one special way, but to decide for themselves which course they will pursue. R5245:2; Q331:3,6
Leadeth unto life— Life inherent, life in the superlative degree, immortality. A210; R5045:3; SM10:1 Glory, honor and immortality—association with the Redeemer in the great work of the Millennial Kingdom. R4568:3 This life is immortality. They were living, justified, before, but the strait gate and narrow way lead to another, a different life. R779:3*, 659:5* The spirit in us is the germ of immortality. Thus we even now are partakers of the divine nature, but the fullness is to be reached when we enter into life. R279:4 There is no other way of life open at the present time. NS19:2
Few there be— In comparison with the population as a whole. NS808:3 Because the Lord seeks only a very choice class at the present time. NS19:2, 749:2 Not many great, not many rich or learned, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith. OV123:3 "A little flock." (Luke 12:32) R2122:5; HG186:3 "Many are called and few are chosen." (Matt. 22:14) Paul estimates that many run, though few so run as to obtain the prize of the high calling. (1 Cor. 9:24) R281:1 Our Lord himself was the first to walk in it as the captain or leader of all who would walk in his steps. NS83:4 These few are the bride class who, with Christ, are to bless all the families of the earth. R5691:1
That find it— The narrow way is a privilege. NS344:4

[Matthew 7:15]

Of false prophets— Public expounders. A55 Some will speak perverse things and draw away disciples unto themselves. R5388:6 A class who pervert the truth, stirring up arguments that confuse the flock, manifesting a wolfish disposition. R5388:6 It is not evil-surmising to be on the lookout for false teachers, nor evil speaking to call the attention of the sheep to such. R3746:6
In sheep's clothing— Those who studiously cover up a wolf-like character with the outward professions of godliness, in order to deceive and lead astray the unwary. R1712:2 Professing to be of the Lord's flock; but really not such, because they do not trust in the great sacrifice offered once for all for their sins. R3142:3 While sheep can never become wolves, some, who at one time were sheep, after a while manifest a wolfish disposition and take pleasure in doing all they can to injure the flock. R5388:6 Implies the thought of deception, walking like sheep, wearing sheep's clothing, but never being real sheep. R5388:6 However smooth, polished, educated, gentle they may be on the surface, we must get to know them better than by surface indications before we may dare trust them as leaders of the flock. R3747:1
Ravening wolves— A class who pervert the truth, injure the flock, stir up arguments that confuse the flock, destroy the new creature, dragging them down to death. R5388:6 Greedy, selfish: "Through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you." (2 Pet. 2:3) R3747:1 Ready to destroy your faith in the ransom and thus destroy you as sheep. R3142:3 Hungry with ambition for fame and prominence and honor of men, and willing to barter the interests of the flock for their personal aggrandizement. R3748:2 The wolf is not to be tolerated. He has no rightful place in the assemblies of the true sheep until his character is changed by repentance and submission to the will of God. R1712:2 We should neither reprove as wolves, or disown as brethren, those whose hearts, characters, give evidence that they belong to the Lord, even though they follow not with us in respect to his service. R3747:1

[Matthew 7:16]

By their fruits— Sharp, thorny, injurious, poisonous—or, helpful, strengthening, uplifting. R4568:5 Of character, conduct or teaching. R1712:2Signs that their characters are being transformed in a wrong direction. R5957:1 As James claims, if the right kind of faith be developed in the heart it will surely bear fruit and make an outward manifestation, according to circumstances. R4377:3, 3318:1 The same must be true of the Almighty—by His fruits, His workmanship, fully completed, He may be known to be either good or bad, just or unjust, loving or vicious. SM449:4
Of thorns— Some, like thorns, reach out to impede, irritate, annoy and injure those with whom they come in contact. R3747:2 Little of this injury is done physically; nevertheless, the thorny and briery people find abundant opportunity for injuring others with their lips and tongues. R3318:2 The thorn and brier classes, however closely affiliated with religious things, are not vine branches. R5148:1 There is a thorn-bush in Palestine which grows a fruit somewhat resembling grapes, and a kind of thistle with heads shaped like figs. R3747:2
Of thistles— Some, like thistles, are always scattering seeds that cause trouble: false doctrines, evil-surmisings, errors. R3747:2 The thorns and thistles are bad fruits, belonging to the evil nature, and not fruits of the spirit of the Lord. R5224:3

[Matthew 7:17]

Every good tree— Contrasting a healthy fruit tree with a diseased or evil one; contrasting a healthy Christian with a perverted and misguided one. R3747:3 A corrupt tree—The Lord supplies the good soil of truth, the refreshing showers of grace and the nourishment of precious promises; but it is for each of his people to use these and thereby grow. R3747:4 Illustrating that those who are his disciples, sound and proper enough to begin with, might lose their spiritual strength and forcefulness, their carefulness. R3747:3 A Christian who has failed to use the chastisements, trials, and difficulties to correct the weaknesses, shortcomings and wrong development of his nature; a Christian who has set his affections on houses, lands or worldly aims, objects or individuals. R3747:4 A Christian who has failed to grow in grace, knowledge and love has not appropriated the nourishment provided, has not submitted to pruning. His heart has become decayed. R3747:3 So surely as a corrupt tree brings forth bad fruit, so false doctrines will develop bad characters in those who receive them. SM382:2
Evil fruit— Knotty, wormy, unsatisfactory. R3747:3

[Matthew 7:19]

Is hewn down— In Palestine, to this day, fruit trees are taxed, and trees which do not bear are promptly cut down. R3747:5 "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away." (John 15:2) R3747:5
Cast into the fire— Symbolizing the time of trouble in the end of the Jewish age, and that to come at the end of the Gospel age and beginning of the Millennial age. R3747:5,6

[Matthew 7:20]

By their fruits— Lives. HG693:1 What they do with their spare time and money. R2259:3 Outward manifestations. R5000:2 We are to judge the outward conduct, but we cannot go beyond and say what is of the heart. R5000:3 Only in regard to that of which we have positive knowledge should we render a decision in our own minds. R5519:6, 5000:2 Sharp, thorny, injurious, poisonous—or, helpful, strengthening, uplifting. R4568:5, 5224:3, 4592:2 A wicked spirit, a malicious tongue, and pleasure in doing unrighteousness betoken a change of heart, that they have not the holy Spirit governing them as they once had. Q648:T The holy Spirit or the spirit of the Adversary. R4592:2;Q648:T The fruits of the people of God are holiness, meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, self-sacrifice for others and for God and His truth. R5504:5; OV401:4; NS205:6, 403:3 Aside from any fruits that would be injurious, we are to accept the profession of all who claim to be consecrated. R4653:6
Ye shall know them— We know the Almighty by His fruits—His good, just and loving workmanship finally completed. SM449:4 Be able to discern which are brethren and which are "dogs" or "swine." R2589:5 Know that those bearing the fruits of the spirit are no longer children of wrath, but have passed from death unto life. NS403:3 Specially applicable to those who would be leaders of His flock. R3747:5 Know that those having the spirit of anger, etc., are yet in the "gall of bitterness," however outwardly respectable they may be. NS403:4

[Matthew 7:21]

Not every one— Who are professing to be his disciples. R3317:6 Not all who have their names upon earthly church rolls, but only those whose "names are written in heaven" and whose names will not be blotted out because of unfaithfulness. (Heb. 12:23; Rev. 3:5) HG315:6 Only those who, after repentance, renunciation of sin, and acceptance of Christ as their Redeemer, make a full consecration of themselves to the Lord, to know and to do His will. NS391:2
Shall enter into— Can be accepted as a joint-heir with Christ. R4470:1, 5938:3, 2235:3
Kingdom of heaven— The actual Kingdom, not the Church in her present condition. R3317:6
Doeth the will— God's will is to select such as believe His promises for the future so fully that they will give up the present to obtain it. R581:2 The heart, the will, must be right, sincere, true, pure, loyal to God and the principles of his government. R4568:5 By our deeds, and not merely by our professions. R5938:3

[Matthew 7:22]

Many will say— In contrast with the "few there be that find it." (Verse 14) R814:5* Not only a few, but "many," who in their outward course of life have in some measure acknowledged the Lord publicly. R3318:2 Many sadly misinformed partial-believers in Christ. D632 Many who have done philanthropic and reform work. R5404:6 The Great Company. R5383:5 Professed church of Christ—"false brethren." SM222:1 Ostensibly they serve the Lord, in reality they serve mammon. SM760:1
In that day— In the close of the Gospel age. R3747:6, 5404:6, 4568:5
Lord, Lord— They had a form of godliness. R5407:4
Have we not— As Laodicea, "I am rich, increased in goods, and have need of nothing." (Rev. 3:17) R4314:4 But these boastings avail little to the interests of Babylon because the lack of the spirit of God's law of love is too painfully manifest to be concealed. D170 The harvest truth is only for the holy and meek. R1348:5
Prophesied— Preached. D632 He will not guarantee that anybody who has power to work miracles and preach publicly will be granted a place in the Kingdom. R4668:2
In thy name— The Revised Version gives "by thy name," intimating that the name of Christ is used rather as a charm, to conjure by. R3748:1 Much of this conjuring in the name of Jesus has been merely a cloak. R3748:1 Claiming divine authorship for their own erroneous theories. R3647:6 Many take the Lord's name in vain, associating it with their enterprises, which are often in direct conflict with the Master's Word and Spirit. R3748:1
Cast out devils— Opposing sin and multitudinous forms of evil. R3747:6
Wonderful works— Good works: mission work, slum work. Q112:5 Miracles are not necessary today amongst the Lord's people, and hence they have passed away. R3301:5 Not that the Lord does not approve of hospitals, asylums and charities, but they are not the fruits of the spirit. NS376:6 The Lord's followers are not to be known by their great works—"by their fruits ye shall know them." (Verse 20) Q783:2 Many there are who are consecrated to a system or to a work who are not fully consecrated to God. R1802:3* Benevolent institutions, colleges, seminaries, etc. R3747:6 Not acceptable to God because they have not submitted themselves to His plans and methods. R3647:6 The Lord makes use of various characters as agents in these healings, even as Judas was one of the twelve who worked miracles. R749:4 So satisfied with their present world-converting machinery that they would rather dislike to have the second advent occur now and spoil their plans. R1439:3 Ecclesiasticism is constantly boasting of her great achievements, as here prophesied. D170 Including miraculous physical healings.F639 Some are urged to make money as honestly as possible and contribute liberally to the church, and told they will be granted a free pass to eternal happiness in the future. SM760:T Some may be found building up Babylon in some of its denominations, but neglecting the divine Word and their own character building. NS319:6 There is so much reckoning, figuring and apologizing for the meager missionary results now, because we are living in the "harvest" or reckoning time. R1078:3 The various persons and systems performing the "many wonderful works" of today, almost without exception, directly or indirectly antagonize the truth. R3158:4 We are not to object to the works if they are good works. R4668:2, 3120:3; Q112:5 Implying that Satan will have not only false teachers, but false miracle-workers, deceiving themselves and others respecting the source of their power and teachings. R2837:3

[Matthew 7:23]

I never knew you— "Never approved you." (Diaglott) R2837:3 Never recognized or authorized your sects. R3748:2 I do not recognize you. R5383:5, 5404:6, 5389:6 You are not fit for the Kingdom class. Q112:5; R5407:4, 4668:2, 4568:6; SM222:2 You did not come in by the door of the sheep-fold (John 10:1).R5404:6 Your work is out of harmony with the principles of my teaching. Such will pass through tribulation and lose the great prize. R4568:6 Only those will be recognized who have done the will of the Lord and who have no theories or works of their own whereof to boast. R3252:4 Because of not having developed characters in harmony with the Father's law—the Golden Rule. R4568:6, 3318:2
Depart from me— Left to have a part in the great time of trouble, they will doubtless become God's people instead of sectarians, and will be "willing in the day of his power." (Psa. 110:3) D632 Obliged to pass through tribulation with the world, losing their share of the great prize of this Gospel age. R4568:6 It is the duty of every true disciple to rebuke them, for the outward opponents do far less harm than those who wear the Master's name while denying his doctrine. R1418:6 Not into eternal torment. He does not say, "Depart, ye cursed." R5383:5
That work iniquity— Neglecting the privileges of the high calling when they knew of it. R5407:4 Workers of unrighteousness, in my name. R5389:6,3748:3 Through misrepresentation of God's character and plan. R3748:3 The 1000 years of Christ's reign will accomplish the real reform work. R5404:6

[Matthew 7:24]

These sayings— Jesus' message and teachings. R5407:3 The words or message of the Sermon on the Mount, showing what things are blessed of God in contradistinction to the things which would not have his approval. R3748:4
Doeth them— Render obedience thereto. R5407:3 Not merely to be doctrinally informed, but he is looking for such character development as will bring us into full harmony with his teachings.R3748:5
I will liken him— The parable refers not to the Church and the world, but to two parties in the Church. R3748:3, 3318:4
A wise man— The true people of God who will be able to stand the test of this great day, now upon us. R5443:4
Built his house— Jesus showed that it was important to be founded upon a rock; and Paul shows that is important also to build with good material. (1 Cor. 3:12) R358:5*
A rock— Christ. R4568:6, 5443:4 "Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 3:11) R5407:6

[Matthew 7:25]

The winds blew— The storms of life are sure to come. R5407:3, 4568:6
Founded upon a rock— The foundation, God's promises, brings calmness, confidence and security. R5407:3 The twelve apostles, the foundations of the New Jerusalem, were not laid in the sand, but upon the sure and steadfast rock, Christ Jesus. R1522:1 No man can build a proper life unless he have some foundation, some doctrine, some faith. A man with no faith, no hope, is sure to be correspondingly lacking in character. R3318:4

[Matthew 7:26]

His house— Faith structure. R5407:6
Upon the sand— Foundations of human tradition, man-made theories, ignorance, doctrines of demons. (1 Tim. 4:1) R4568:6, 5407:5 The quicksand foundation upon which nominal Christianity is built. R5443:4 Of selfishness. R1190:5* Those so building will suffer the loss of everything, and at the beginning of the Millennium will be no better off than the world in general. R4569:4 Perhaps some built upon the law, thinking they could commend themselves to God by their own endeavors, without the imputation of the merit of Christ. R5407:5

[Matthew 7:27]

Rain descended— A mighty downpour of truth. R3748:5, 5443:4
The floods came— "The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." (Isa. 28:17) R3748:5
The winds blew— The strong winds of war. R3414:3, 5443:4
And beat— The shaking will be the means of God for the liberation of some now chained by superstition. R1308:4
Upon that house— Nominal Christendom. R3748:5
It fell— The "great company" will have a faith structure largely composed of error, which will be consumed. R3748:6 Truth will wash out the quicksand foundation of nominal Christianity. Utter wreck will follow. R5443:4, 5407:6
Great was the fall— Suffering the loss of all their hopes. R5407:6 At the beginning of the Millennium; they will be no better off than the world in general. R4569:4

[Matthew 7:28]

Were astonished— Even though they but imperfectly understood because the holy Spirit was not yet given. R5408:2

[Matthew 7:29]

Having authority— Knowing the truth by implicit faith in God and personal experience with its power upon his own heart. R1917:2 As one who understood his subject thoroughly. R3803:2 As one knowing what he was talking about. OV159:1 With a positiveness. R5408:2, 3318:5
Not as the scribes— Who taught various speculations and wonderings. R5408:2 Doubtfully. R3803:2 Wherever there is confusion and mysticism, we may be sure there is error and ignorance. R5408:2

[Matthew 8:2]

A leper— Leprosy symbolically represents sin. R4576:3
If thou wilt— He was inspired with faith as far as his knowledge went, and Jesus graciously supplied the missing link by saying, I will. R436:6*

[Matthew 8:3]

Put forth his hand— It is a mistake to suppose that healing constituted Jesus' mission as a whole or one of its most important features. R4576:2
Touched him— His healings were performed to: (1) draw attention to his message; (2) illustrate his great future work; or (3) test his own faithfulness. R4576:2
Be thou clean— No suggestion here of the error of the leper's moral mind as claimed by Christian Science. All is real, both the leprosy and the miraculous cure. R4472:2*
Was cleansed— Represents purification from sin. R4576:3

[Matthew 8:4]

Tell no man— The testimony of his Messiahship was to be hidden from the common people until the rulers of the Jewish Church had the opportunity to decide for or against Christ. C168Telling it forth would tend to make him too popular. R4576:3
To the priest— This was the demand of the Law. R4576:3 Representative of the Jewish system. C168
Testimony unto them— To those who would ultimately pass sentence upon him. R4576:5

[Matthew 8:5]

A centurion— Captain of a garrison of Roman soldiers; a Gentile. R5101:4 Probably Cornelius. R1922:6, 2620:6

[Matthew 8:6]

My servant— An interest in his employee which we, as Christians, do well to imitate. R2620:6

[Matthew 8:8]

I am not worthy— Being a Gentile, it would be an impropriety for a Jew to enter his house. R3755:5 A lesson of humility of mind in approaching the Lord on any subject; that we have nothing of right or merit to demand, only grace and mercy. R3755:5
Speak the word only— He had this faith because his servants obeyed their authority, and he recognized that Jesus had still higher authority and could so command his messengers. R5101:4

[Matthew 8:10]

He marveled— The only other instance where Jesus marveled was at the unbelief of the people of Nazareth. (Mark 6:6) R3755:6
No, not in Israel— Nowhere among the whole twelve tribes. C293

[Matthew 8:11]

That many— Faithful ones from among the Gentiles, called to be the bride and joint-heir of the true and only heir of all things, Christ Jesus. R1095:2 The world of mankind in the Millennium.R3457:1
Shall come— By a narrow, thorny path of trial. R1095:5
East and the west— Gentiles. R4576:6
Shall sit down— Or, be at rest and peace with God, with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the faithful of the earthly class. R3457:1
With Abraham— The visible representatives of the Kingdom. D619; Q421:3; R4796:1 The Kingdom itself will be spiritual, invisible to men, but its earthly agents will be visible and they will be Jewish. R4796:1 Who will have an honored place for the blessing of regathered Israel, and through them, all the families of the earth. R4577:1 Who died before the ransom was paid and were not therefore called to a place in the spiritual Kingdom. D625But not the saints. A290
And Isaac and Jacob— And all the ancient worthies. R3457:1, 1634:6; D619
Kingdom of heaven— The earthly phase of the Kingdom. A290

[Matthew 8:12]

Children of the kingdom— Israelites, children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom the Kingdom was first offered. R5101:5 The Lord is here not speaking about the world at all; he is speaking about the Church. Q199:4 The Lord was discussing the earthly Kingdom with the earthly children. Q421:4 Some who, in the end of the age, not being faithful, will be rejected from the light. Q199:4
Cast out— Out of divine favor. R4576:6 Divine grace or favor was to continue with the Jew until three and a half years after the cross. R5100:6They should not think that God would take them for his elect regardless of their character, faith, obedience, etc. R5101:5 All the unworthy of the Jewish age shall be excluded from the visible, earthly phase of the Kingdom. R1580:1
Outer darkness— God's disfavor, which has been upon Jews, especially since the destruction of Jerusalem. R4576:6, 4577:1, 3105:6; Q421:3 As outcasts from God's favor and from the special light of prophecy which for 1800 years had enlightened them. R1095:2 That which is common to the world in general. R4445:2, 4577:1 If any of us do not walk carefully, we will not continue to be children of light. Q199:4 Not like purgatory or hell-fire, because the normal view of these is very light, bright and hot. Q199:4
There shall be— Those that rejected the Lord found a great time of trouble at the end of the Jewish age. Q421:3; R3105:6
Weeping— The Jewish nation has suffered for 18 centuries and will continue to suffer until God will forgive them and save them. R4577:1, 1095:5 Grief is indeed implied, but not one word about an eternity of grief and pain. HG303:2
Gnashing of teeth— Signifying chagrin, disappointment, savage animosity; as in the case of Stephen, "They gnashed on him with their teeth." (Acts 7:54) R4329:1; Q732:2 Darkness respecting transpiring events and, ultimately, the severity of the trouble, figuratively called "weeping and gnashing of teeth." R3105:6 A metaphor describing trouble, distress, perplexity and persecution. R1095:5

[Matthew 8:13]

As thou hast believed— Those who cannot exercise faith cannot have a share in the blessings offered under the Gospel call, but must wait for the demonstration of the Millennial Kingdom. R4576:6Some were healed in answer to their own faith (Mark 5:34); and some, as here, in answer to the faith of another. R759:3
Was healed— No miracle of healing was ever wrought by the Savior upon any of his disciples. R4577:4

[Matthew 8:15]

The fever left her— Some, as here, were healed instantly; some gradually. (Mark 8:24,25) R759:3
Ministered unto them— Demonstrating that her cure was miraculous, since the operation of the mind could not have restored at once the strength lost by the fever. R3311:1

[Matthew 8:16]

And healed— The miracles of healing which our Lord performed were incidental to his preaching. R4137:2 The healings had three ends in view: (1) to draw attention to his message; (2) to illustrate his great future work; and (3) to test his consecration vows. R4576:3
All that were sick— "Virtue (vitality) went out of him and healed them all." (Luke 6:19) R5096:4, 4576:3; A230; E124; F645

[Matthew 8:17]

Himself— The gift which costs nothing cannot be so highly esteemed as that which costs much. R4138:2
Took our infirmities— At his own expense, his own sacrifice. R4576:3, 4138:1, 574:4; E106,124 "Touched with the feeling of our infirmities." (Heb. 4:15) E106; F632 Perfection is the opposite of infirmity. E122 Greek, asthenioas; used in the singular when the sickness of Lazarus is spoken of (John 11:4); proof from the Scriptures that Jesus was sick and so able to sympathize with us in our sicknesses. R2767:4* Greek, astheneo, meaning without strength. R4099:6,2* Our Lord, who had none of the imperfections of the fallen race, needed to take from men their sicknesses in order that he might be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. R2029:6 Not because pain, sickness and death had hold of him, but that they had hold of our race, and he, full of love and sympathy, was bearing the burdens of others. R574:5 The weaknesses going to him as "there went virtue out of him and healed" the multitude. (Luke 6:19) F632 Experiencing, instead of vitality, a sense of the weakness and suffering of those whom he relieved. F645 Since he himself was not the sinner, all the penalties of sin which could rest upon him must be result of his taking the sinner's place and bearing for us the stroke of justice. E127 Thus our Lord fulfilled his consecration and began to lay down his life for others. R3727:5 He who spake "as never man spake" also sympathized as none of the fallen race could sympathize with the fallen conditions, troubles and afflictions of humanity. E126 "That he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God," "in all points tempted like as we are." (Heb. 2:17,18; 4:15,16) E128 It is expedient also that all who would be acceptable to God as members of the Bride should be similarly touched with a feeling of the world's infirmities and have sufficient sympathy to voluntarily bear some of the sorrows and griefs of those about them. R4138:4; F645
Bare our sicknesses— Not the sicknesses of the Church, but those healed at the first advent, to illustrate greater works and grander healings in which we may participate, now and in the Kingdom. F632; R4138:3 A comparison of Isa. 53 with Heb. 4:15 and Mark 5:30 and Luke 6:19 shows us clearly that this prophecy was completely fulfilled at the first advent. R2028:6 It was necessary for Christ to do this that he might be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. F645 Being free from sin, he was free also from pain. Since he could not suffer pain and sickness because of sin, he was placed for a time among sinners, where their weaknesses and pains bore down upon him. R2000:1, 809:2 We do not know that our Lord was sick with any of the ordinary maladies. It would appear that his healing merely exhausted his vitality, and thus left upon him the weight of our sicknesses. R4138:3 It is the most refined and perfect organisms which can suffer most. R454:3 The healing of the new creature and the healing of the flesh are different things. The new creature's soul-sickness is cured by the Good Physician, even though his flesh may suffer pain and go into death. R4979:6 For God's consecrated people to ask for physical healing would be to attempt to take back what they have consecrated to the Lord "even unto death." R4980:1

[Matthew 8:19]

I will follow thee— Evidently with the thought that one so gifted must be wealthy. R5370:6

[Matthew 8:20]

Hath not where— No home of his own. Only the very sincere would be attracted to follow a leader in such a condition. R5370:6 It seems that persecution from his earthly kindred was not lacking and that he was unwelcome in the home of his childhood. R1069:3

[Matthew 8:21]

Bury my father— Leave your service and serve my father until he dies. R1987:1; Q217:1

[Matthew 8:22]

Follow me— Jesus did not mean that the young man should not attend his father's funeral, but that if he left the Lord's service too long he might never return. R1987:1
Let the dead— The legally dead. Q760:4 Here unbelievers are referred to as still dead because of having no union with the life-giver. F697He was referring to the mass of mankind, all dead under condemnation, and the one who believed in him was the only one that was even reckonedly alive. HG195:3; Q717:4 We are all walking in the valley of the shadow of death and are now far down below the mountain tops of life and perfection. R360:3 From God's standpoint all who are under the sentence of death are considered as though already dead. A150,289; Q717:4, 760:4; CR131:2; R5371:1, 3378:4, 2153:5, 1231:3, 1077:1; NS253:5 Especially those who are unbelievers and hence have no union with the life-giver. F697 "The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God." (John 5:25) R2435:1
Bury their dead— The actually dead. Q760:4 Let the dead, the condemned and legally dead world, look out for its own affairs. CR131:2 There are plenty in the world who can attend to the earthly things. R5371:1

[Matthew 8:23]

Entered into a ship— The Master launched out with them occasionally to obtain rest and quiet. R4577:1

[Matthew 8:24]

A great tempest— Its violence may be judged from the fact that even the Apostles, who were experienced on the sea, were alarmed. R4577:2 Probably the Adversary was permitted to develop the storm on Lake Galilee for the very promise of the lesson it gave to the apostles. R4577:3 All are subject to the storms of life in which mighty billows threaten our destruction. R4577:2 Picturing the experiences of the Church during the long night of 18 centuries in which she has been tempest-tossed. R3325:2 Picturing the great time of trouble. R5239:5
In the sea— The Sea of Galilee is quite subject to such windstorms. R3324:2
But he was asleep— Evidently thoroughly exhausted with the labors of his journey and ministry. R3324:3; HG459:2 Evidently the Lord's providence had something to do with his prolonged sleep under such circumstances, to test the faith of his disciples. R3324:3, 5239:3

[Matthew 8:25]

Lord, save us— If we have trials and difficulties, or inner storms or passion, anger, resentment, we should cry unto the Lord for help. R5239:4

[Matthew 8:26]

A great calm— Waters, thus lashed to a fury, cannot be quickly calmed except by a miracle. R3324:4 Typifying the great rest from the Evil One for a thousand years, now near at hand. R3325:4
Rebuked the winds— Illustrating the manner in which the time of trouble will come to an end. A171 What the Lord is doing for the Church now, and what he will do in the future for the world. R5239:5 Jesus would not have rebuked the storm if it had been caused by the Father. Satan probably thought he could destroy Jesus by this storm. R5239:3

[Matthew 8:27]

What manner of man— In general his wonderful personality seemed really incongruous with his general demeanor. SM749:3 During the Messianic Kingdom, all will know Jesus as having been a man, The Sent of God, and as the now Highly Exalted One, far above men and angels. SM754:2 Not until the disciples learned this lesson were they prepared to trust him with all their trials, difficulties and interests. R4577:2 Similarly we, realizing that our Lord now has "all power in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18), can fully trust him and rest in his loving care. R4577:2
The sea obey him— The power to deliver from literal waves gives confidence that he is able to deliver from every trouble. R4577:2; SM749:1

[Matthew 8:28]

Two possessed— Using the human body as their medium, their body. R4577:5 Intelligent physicians recognize that probably more than half of the inmates of insane asylums are demon-possessed.R4577:5, 5044:2; SM197:T

[Matthew 8:29]

They cried out— Knowing their final destiny, they tremble as the time draws near. (Jas. 2:19) R606:5
Thou Son of God— The devils acknowledged Christ when they had an object in so doing. R2014:1 Admitting his lordship and power over them. F626
To do with thee— In common with thee. R3772:2
To torment us— To destroy us; the fear of destruction being doubtless inculcated by witnessing man's death on account of sin. R254:5, 3772:1 These imprisoned spirits had in mind destruction as their final doom; but their suppositions were incorrect, for Satan had misrepresented Jehovah's plan to them. R697:1,4; HG729:6 The word "torment" here does not have the same thought as our word torment. It would mean "do us distress," as a landlord is said to put a tenant in distress for his rent; that is, he will put him out of the premises for failure to pay his rent. Q222:4 This was the language of the demons. Whatever the fallen spirits might say would not be good theology with any good Christian. Q222:4 We shall consider it an interference with our rights if deprived of the privilege of tormenting this man. R3772:1
Before the time— The demons evidently understood that the time for the overthrow of the powers of evil was still future. R3727:2, 1722:4 Showing their expectation of some future termination of their present restraint or imprisonment, a culmination of judgment in their case. F626 A plea for extension of time in which to come out of the man. R3772:1

[Matthew 8:30]

An herd— Probably hundreds. It would appear that there were enough demons to supply one for every hog, because, unlike sheep, a hog is independent in its action. R4577:5
Many swine feeding— The chief industry of that place. R4587:1 Contrary to the Jewish Law and therefore contraband. R3772:4

[Matthew 8:31]

So the devils— Not attempting to deny their own identity, but admitting his lordship and power over them. F626 These evil spirits were surely beings and not merely a disease of the man's mind; else, how could they enter the swine? R3772:5
Besought him— Evidently fallen angels cannot impose themselves upon even the dumb animals until given some sort of permission. R2173:3

[Matthew 8:32]

And perished— The destruction of everything obnoxious to the divine will, even as swine were contraband to the Jewish law. R4577:6

[Matthew 8:34]

He would depart— So today, the multitudes are moved specially by temporal interests; the great blessings of the Lord go unnoticed. R4577:6
Out of the coasts— Wherever the true gospel goes its effect is to cause division and uproar in the kingdom of darkness. R1633:3

[Matthew 9:2]

Brought to him a man— The chief business of every Christian, besides that of his own development, is to help others to the Redeemer. R3315:4
Seeing their faith— The faith of the sick man and those who brought him. R1921:2
Said— Acting as the special agent, the representative of the Father. R3729:2
Be of good cheer— Possibly the palsied man and his friends felt disappointed, not appreciating his work as Sin-Bearer. R4587:1 Thy sins be forgiven—The Lord placed the most important matter first. R3729:1 The Lord was teaching a lesson of the relationship between sin and sickness, and his power to deliver from both. R4587:1 The ransom-price for the sins of the whole world was already on the altar. R1921:3 Similar declarations of forgiveness of sins may be made by members of the body of Christ to all who come unto God by Christ. R3315:2

[Matthew 9:5]

Thy sins be forgiven— Transgression of the divine law could not be forgiven except by the satisfaction of that law. R4587:2 The forgiveness of sins with the Jews would imply proportionate release from sin's infirmities. R4587:4
Arise and walk— If sickness is a judgment or discipline for sin, we should expect that when sin has been confessed and repented of, the Lord would remove the chastisement and raise up the penitent from his affliction, either partially or wholly. R2008:4

[Matthew 9:6]

That ye may know— That he could heal diseases he urged as proof that he had power to forgive sins. R144:5

[Matthew 9:9]

Named Matthew— Elsewhere styled "Levi." R4587:4 Meaning "the gift of God"; the name given to Levi by our Lord. R2260:3 He had undoubtedly been acquainted with the Lord and his work and the Lord acquainted with him prior to his call. R2260:1
Receipt of custom— A collector of taxes for the Roman government. R4587:4, 2260:2 An occupation despised by the average Jew as being unpatriotic. R2591:1 Despised because it was considered disreputable to assist a foreign government and because many of the publicans took advantage of their position to make themselves wealthy through bribes and over-collections. R4587:4, 2260:2

[Matthew 9:10]

Sat at meat— Matthew at once made a supper for his friends, that these might have the opportunity for acquaintance with the Lord, who was also a guest. R4587:5
In the house— In the home of those who have consecrated themselves to the Lord, the first consideration should be the service of the Master. R2591:3

[Matthew 9:11]

Why eateth— Thereby implying social equality. R2591:5 He was not descending to sin in any form, but seeking to lift up sinners. R4587:5 It was the loving kindness of Jesus that disturbed their pharisaical nature and called forth their opposition. R539:1*
With publicans— Tax collectors. R2591:1 Despised for two reasons: (1) it was considered disreputable to assist a foreign government from one's friends; and (2) many publicans made themselves wealthy by bribes and over-collections. R4587:4
And sinners— Those not professing holiness. R2591:3 The Master did not hold himself aloof from people, but was warm, glowing, sympathetic, helpful, intensive, whole-souled. R4967:3 He was fellowshipping with sinners that he might do them good. R4587:5

[Matthew 9:12]

They that be whole— He had come as a physician to the sin-sick, and they did not realize themselves as sin-sick, and hence had little interest in the physician. Our Lord's words were uttered in sarcasm. NS410:4
A physician— A physician has a right to mingle with those whom he seeks to relieve. R2591:6 Physicians and medicine were not condemned by the Lord. He and his disciples spent considerable money for bread, which is the medicine needed when hungry. R2009:4

[Matthew 9:13]

I will have mercy— They should have had the yearning compassion which would have delighted to have lifted them out of sin and brought them nearer to the Lord and to righteous influences. R2592:1
Quoted from Hosea 6:6. R4587:5, 2591:6 And not sacrifice— God's work in Christ was not to sacrifice the world, but to save it. R539:1*
The righteous— Those who think of themselves as righteous. R2260:5
The sinners— Those who realized themselves to be imperfect. R2260:5
To repentance— But we are to recognize a great difference between calling men to repentance and calling them to the high calling. F87 He was not descending to sin in any form, but seeking to lift up sinners. R4587:5

[Matthew 9:14]

Why do we— Fasts were intended for one of two purposes: a manifestation of repentance, or with a view to bringing the heart into closer communion with the Lord. NS153:1 From earliest times fasting has been recognized as a valuable adjunct to piety. NS453:1
Fast oft— Does not signify total abstinence from food, but a measure of abstinence and self-restraint as respects the condiments and delicacies. NS454:6 The more intelligent people of the world practice a kind of fasting or self-denial every day they live. They have an aim in life and eat and drink in harmony therewith. NS453:4 We recognize that the Lenten custom, while not instituted by the Lord, has probably been a beneficial one physically, sometimes spiritually. NS453:5 Fasting, like baptism, may be either a mere form, injurious rather than beneficial, or it may be observed with spiritual profit. NS153:4
But thy disciples— Expressing surprise that fasting was not enjoined by our Master's teachings as a law. NS453:1 The highest form of fasting, self-denial, is represented in our Lord; but, since he was perfect, it is perhaps better illustrated by the Apostle Paul. NS454:2
Fast not— Showing that our Lord did not impose literal fasting upon his disciples. R2260:5, 4987:2; NS154:4

[Matthew 9:15]

Can the children— Why should they fast? Their sins had been forgiven, they had been accepted of the Lord and taught to call the Almighty "our Father in heaven." NS154:5
Bridegroom— Jesus, personally, is the Bridegroom, and not Jesus and the overcomers. R398:4 Jesus is pictured as a Bridegroom, and his followers as a bride company. R5178:2
Shall be taken— Implying that, with his return, the fasting will cease and a great feast of joy ushered in. NS155:1
And then— When the Bridegroom would be away, there would be abundance of perplexity and sorrow, and then fasting would be in order, throughout the Gospel age. R2592:2, 4987:4
Shall they fast— Waiting for his return. NS155:1 All through the Gospel age it has been appropriate that the Lord's followers fast with the true fasting of self-denial, hungering and thirsting after righteousness. NS155:1 We may safely conclude that all "abstaining from fleshly lusts" or desires is real fasting, the kind most approved in the Lord's sight. NS153:5
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself [fast in the true sense]." (Matt. 16:24) NS154:1 In the Dark Ages the food supply was made more and more unnutritious, forcing a fast, which ultimately amounted almost to a "famine for the hearing of the words of the Lord." (Amos 8:11) NS155:2 We have good New Testament precedent for the observance of literal fasts. R2022:5; NS153:3 Discipline the body by abstaining from delicacies and relishes. R3659:5 Very plain diet or total abstinence from food is occasionally desirable to many of the Lord's people who are full-blooded and impulsive. R2260:5 Fasting is proper when done from a right motive, but worse than useless when done as a formality, to be seen of men, that they might think us holy. R2260:5 Typically means self-denial. R2592:2 None will be admitted to Kingdom glories except those who practice fasting, self-denial. Without self-denial no one will ever attain to eternal life, neither in the present age nor in the age to come. NS455:4-6 Let us continue the fasting of self-denial, but let us seek more and more to appreciate and to digest the spiritual food he now is supplying through his faithful ones. NS156:1 A concomitant of mourning and sorrow. R2260:5

[Matthew 9:16]

Piece of new cloth— The fuller light of truth due at the first and second advents of our Lord; the Gospel message. C160; R4987:5
Unto an old garment— Old sects and organizations. C160 It is of no use to patch the sects with the doctrines of the new dispensation. R1084:4* Perhaps the first intimation our Lord had given of the fact that Israel as a nation would not be found worthy of the Kingdom and would be rejected. R2260:6 The Gospel teaching is not a patch upon the Jewish law, but a new proposition. R4987:5
From the garment— Would tear it to shreds. C160; R4987:5

[Matthew 9:17]

Neither do— These two parables were given to emphasize that before the blessing could come to natural Israel, Spiritual Israel must be selected. R4987:5
Men put new wine— New doctrines, truths; the Gospel message. C160; R4987:5 New principles of justice and equality among men, now stretching the old system of things, which ultimately will burst and destroy the present social order. R1143:3
Into old bottles— Literally, old wineskins, out of which all the elasticity has gone; symbolically, old systems. C160; R4987:5
The bottles break— Rent asunder by the new truths which are out of harmony with the sectarian pride, errors, superstitions and traditions of these systems. C160
And the wine— The new doctrines. C160 The Gospel message, committed to a special class. R4987:5
Runneth out— Are left stranded, hampered by all the old errors of the sect and held responsible for its past record by the world. C160
Into new bottles— New wineskins, "new creatures in Christ," who will be able to stand the stress of the fermentation of trials, disciplines and testings. R4987:5

[Matthew 9:18]

While he spake— While Jesus was at the house of Matthew, probably at the conclusion of the banquet, Jairus arrived. R2617:1
A certain ruler— Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum, our Lord's home city. R4588:3 He knew Jesus well. He sometimes called upon him to read the Sabbath lesson (Luke 4:16). Once he entreated the Lord on behalf of the centurion's servant (Luke 7:4). R4588:3 Properly given audience first because of his prominence as a representative man. R4588:5The four miracles of verses 18 to 34 illustrate faith from four different standpoints: (1) the faith of Jairus on behalf of his daughter; (2) the faith of the woman on her own account; (3) the faith of the two blind men encouraging each other; and (4) the faith of the friends of the deaf and dumb man possessed with a demon. R4588:3
Worshipped him— Manifested his faith by his conduct, expressing his homage, obedience and faith. R4588:5
My daughter— His only daughter, twelve years old. R4588:3
Is even now dead— Was at the point of death when I left home, and is no doubt dead by now. R2617:2 If, according to some theories, having died she paid her own penalty, she should be free from death after Jesus restored life to her. But she died again. R392:1

[Matthew 9:20]

Touched the hem— The strength immediately came into her body, just as the touching of a storage battery with a wire would draw the electric current. R4588:6

[Matthew 9:22]

Jesus turned— Imagine the feelings of Jairus in consequence of this delay; while it added to his faith in the power of Jesus, it at the same time tested his faith in respect to the recovery of his child. R2617:2
Thy faith— Faith does not spurn reason, but uses it with certain prescribed and rational lines. R4588:2

[Matthew 9:23]

The minstrels— The hired mourners, some playing doleful tunes on flutes. R2617:4, 4588:5
The people— Neighbors had gathered, in harmony with Jewish custom. R4588:5
Making a noise— Shrieking and murmuring. R4588:5

[Matthew 9:24]

But sleepeth— A synonym for death, but only in view of the hoped-for-awakening, the resurrection. R2959:2 It is not extinct, has a hope of a resurrection. R2959:2; PD61/72 Death is a condition of rest, of quiet, of peaceful unconsciousness. E329; R5059:6, 4794:2, 4588:5 She was dead, according to the usual human expression, but asleep from the divine standpoint. R4588:5 Because of Christ's redemptive work, death no longer should be regarded as a perished condition, but as a "sleep." R1126:2; HG293:5 If they sleep, it can not also be true that they enjoy immediate communion with God and the visions of his glory. R3028:1 The Second Death is never referred to as a sleep. R1939:4

[Matthew 9:25]

And the maid arose— Did not come back from heaven or hell, and was not resurrected, but was merely awakened out of the sleep of death because Christ was "The first-fruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20), "The first that should rise from the dead" (Acts 26:23). R2618:2,4

[Matthew 9:26]

And the fame— As the fame of Jesus increased, because of his miracles and teaching, the opposition became more pronounced, especially from the Chief Priests, as they were brought into competition and unfavorable comparison with him. R1735:3
Went abroad— Threatening the immediate advancement of Jesus to the kingly office. R1754:3

[Matthew 9:27]

Two blind men— Encouraged one another and both got the desired blessings. This illustrates the advantage of Church fellowship in respect to faith-stimulation. R4589:1
Thou son of David— The long-promised king of David's line, the Messiah. SM210:2; C257; E133; PD65/77 "The Lord shall give him the throne of his father David." (Luke 1:32) C257 The Righteous Branch from the Davidic root. E134

[Matthew 9:29]

According to your faith— Now God's rule for dealing with the Church. R5129:1 Because now good and perfect works are impossible. CR324:5 Faith should triumph, or the light of joy and blessing will die. R5148:4 God will reward us according to our faith, confidence, honesty and sincerity. R5594:1 Much faith, much rest; little faith, little rest. R5433:4, 3841:6 Faith which has a true foundation is very precious in the Lord's sight. R5095:6 Faith is a matter of steps and development; and only the developed faith could possibly bring to us the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant. R4377:2 Our faith must be corroborated by our works, but these cannot be perfect because of weakness. Only our faith and intention can be perfect now, and according to these the Lord deals with us. NS70:5 Faith brings advancement towards holiness. PT391:1* Every exercise of faith is based on something real and tangible to faith. R5717:5 Not works, as will be the case during the Millennial age. F113

[Matthew 9:31]

Spread abroad his fame— Their joy was so great that the Lord's humility in the matter served to draw forth their praises the louder. NS70:5; R4589:1 Those healed of blindness loudly praised the Lord. So with us when the eyes of our understanding are opened: we cannot refrain from telling the good tidings. R4589:1

[Matthew 9:34]

Casteth out devils— Greek, daimonion, demons, unclean spirits, familiar spirits, the fallen angels. R5183:3; SM548:3
Through— That would be suicidal. It would be equivalent to a king stirring up strife in his own kingdom and working against his own cause. R1736:2
Prince of the devils— Greek, diabolos, the devil, Satan, Beelzebub. R5183:3, 3310:4 No doubt, as a superior order of being, Satan exercises some degree of control over the others. HG725:3 Until the saints of God have been sealed in their foreheads. (Rev. 7:1-3) R4880:6 To Jesus, a "contradiction of sinners against himself." (Heb. 12:3) An example of "when he was reviled, he reviled not again." (1 Pet. 2:23) R4802:5,6

[Matthew 9:35]

In their synagogues— The fact that Jesus could and did preach in the synagogues shows that the Jews possessed greater liberty than now prevails among God's professed people. R2635:2
Every sickness— To illustrate the healing and restoring work which his Kingdom will do in its appointed time. R5075:3

[Matthew 9:36]

With compassion— Not only upon his people, but, in due time, upon all the families of the earth. R2635:3 Compassion will be an element of the Lord's character as long as there are any who need help and desire it, until the close of the Millennial age. R2635:5

[Matthew 9:37]

The harvest— Of the Jewish age. B15, 160; R5018:2 The end of the Gospel age, like the end of the Jewish age, is called a harvest. B15, 160 The harvest work consists of various parts. These are more or less important. We might misunderstand the value of these different parts of the work. CR339:3 The Great Teacher tells us distinctly that while his work was that of reaping, he blended it with a sowing. R5018:3, 4891:3 He was then manifested in the double character of Bridegroom and Reaper (see verse 15) R115:1*
Is plenteous— The way to accomplish large results is not to hope that someone else may do and hear and get a blessing in the service, but for each to resolve to do what he can. R3296:4Private conversation has had the largest influence as far as reaching people is concerned. CR342:5 The details of the Gospel age harvest work in detail. CR341-344
The laborers are few— His disciples, two by two; and later, he sent "seventy also." R5018:3, 4891:3 It was their privilege to be all the more energetic because of the "great field" and the few to reap it. R5075:6 The labors of Jesus and the Apostles found about 500 brethren worthy of garnering during his ministry. R4968:6

[Matthew 9:38]

Pray ye— He wished them to feel a measure of responsibility in the work, even though he himself was the Lord of that harvest, even though he was the responsible one. R5075:6 The Master would have every one of us feel a deep interest in the harvest work now in progress in the end of this age. R5075:6 Whoever is praying for the Lord to send a laborer knows the laborer that is nearest him—that is, himself. CR339:1; R5144:3, 3296:1 Let us labor while we pray. R5146:1 If our work is of him, he is able to sustain it, and he will do so until it shall be finished. If it is not of the Lord, the sooner it stops the better we should be pleased. R4892:1 Prayers not accompanied by efforts are not sincere. R4913:1
Send forth laborers— Jesus is the Chief Reaper, but he is not doing the work directly himself, but is supervising it. His disciples are engaged in that work. CR340:2 All have the opportunity of harvest work. CR343:6 And ask the Lord to help you be a reaper. R3296:1,5, 2635:6, 225:5 Sometimes the Lord's people put too much value on money and not enough on service. No place are we told to pray for money, but we are told the harvest is great and the laborers are few. R3513:6* If we were all conscientious, it would mean, What are you doing yourself? CR339:2

[Matthew 10:1]

His twelve disciples— Not until they had received considerable instruction from him were they recognized in their office as apostles and fully empowered for their special work. R2261:1
Gave them power— Authority. R2635:6 The power for the healing of the sick was Jesus' power. The disciples did not use their own ability, but merely his, which he communicated to them and authorized them to use. R2636:1 They had not the Father's appointment. They had not yet received the holy Spirit. But, by virtue of the holy Spirit given without measure to Jesus, he conferred upon them his own special powers. R4593:2
Unclean spirits— Greek, daimonion, demons, familiar spirits, the fallen angels. R5183:3, 2173:2
To cast them out— A power used by St. Paul in Philippi. (Acts 16:16-18) R5908:1
And to heal— The same power Jesus had because he gave them the same message of the Kingdom to proclaim. R5075:3 At the expense of Jesus' own vitality. R2636:1 Merely as foregleams of the blessings which in fuller measure would result from the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom. R2261:5 The truth now needs no such endorsement as the miracle-working power given at first. R1742:6
Manner of disease— Typifying our present privilege of opening deaf ears and blind eyes to the knowledge of the Lord's great plan. R2636:4

[Matthew 10:2]

The twelve— No more and no less. F210; CR415:4 Only twelve, St. Paul taking Judas' place. CR415:4
Apostles— Greek, apostolos, sent forth ones. F210 Typified by the twelve springs, or fountains, at Elim. R4011:2 Only the males were to be the special public servants. F265
Are these— Mentioned apparently in the order of their sending forth, two by two. R2261:1
Peter— Bold and impetuous. R2261:1*
And— Grouping the apostles, whose imperfections were perhaps like our own, of the nature of halfness. We, too, frequently see one side of a truth and not the other. R2261:1* It seems now also to be his general method to send the messengers who bear to the household the present truth in couples. R2262:1
Andrew— Far-seeing, careful, cautious. R2261:1*
James— Elderly. R2261:1*
John— Youthful. R2261:1*

[Matthew 10:3]

Philip— The slow-witted. R2261:1*
Bartholomew— Nathaniel, the quick-witted. R2261:1*
Thomas— The doubting, skeptical intellect. R2261:1* Tradition has it that St. Thomas visited Ceylon and Madras. R5012:4
Matthew— One of the heroes of faith. R2261:1*
The publican— Our Lord's choice of a publican indicates the impartiality of his selections and implies that Matthew could not have been one of the dishonest publicans. R2260:2 They were classed with sinners and harlots in New Testament usage, and the Hebrew Talmud classes them with murderers and thieves and regards their repentance as impossible. R2260:2 Matthew is the only one of the evangelists who mentions that he was a publican; this shows his humility. R2260:2
James— The advocate of works. R2261:2*
Labbaeus— Jude, a man of doctrine. R2261:2*, 3044:2

[Matthew 10:4]

Simon— The zealot, enthusiastic and independent. R2261:2*
Judas Iscariot— The conservative economist. R2261:2* In each of the six pairs the Lord made one good man out of two half-men. R2261:2*

[Matthew 10:5]

Way of the Gentiles— Until the 70th week of Israel's favor had come to an end. C170; R1784:1, 1451:2; HG354:4 True Israelites only were to be sought. R2601:2 Because all of God's covenants and promises were still confined to the nation of Israel. R2635:6, 2512:2 No favor could go to the Gentiles until after natural Israel had received the opportunity and used it as far as they would. R5076:1 In due time, when led of the spirit, the disciples did go to all nations. C170; Q547:T Jesus did not day by day lay down his life in serving the world, but only Israel. R4492:3 It was appropriate that the harvest, which belonged to the Jews, should be confined to them. R5076:1
Of the Samaritans— Gentiles with an admixture of Jewish blood. R4556:3, 4130:3, 2960:3 The mixed people settled in parts of Palestine by the Babylonian government at the time the Jews were permitted to return from their captivity. R3649:4, 4130:2 Not of pure Israelitish stock, nor fully conformed to all the laws and customs of the Jews. R2069:3Although they claimed Jacob as their father also. R2261:2 A semi-religious people. NS207:5 Our Lord thus marking the Samaritans as being separate and distinct from the Israelites. R2960:3

[Matthew 10:6]

But go rather— Even when the apostles were finally sent to preach the gospel to all the world they were told to begin at Jerusalem. (Acts 1:8) R1783:6
To the lost sheep— Not because they had wandered out of the land of Israel, nor because they had lost their identity as Israelites, but because they had wandered from the Lord and their covenant. R2261:2 Jesus' ministry was confined to the Jewish nation. OV224:T; HG539:6 True Jews, and these only, were called upon to make ready their hearts to be participants in the Kingdom. R4593:3Similarly today, the harvest message is only to the household of faith, spiritual Israel. R5076:2, 1742:4
The house of Israel— "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 15:24) "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2) A72, 97 The whole twelve tribes, all of whom therefore were represented in Palestine. B207; C252, 293; R2084:6,1341:1; Q354:1 Our Lord said not a word about "the house of Judah," which he manifestly considered was merely a part of the whole nation of Israel. C300It was to be a harvesting work and neither plowing, harrowing or sowing had been done with the Gentiles, but only with the Jews. R5076:2

[Matthew 10:7]

As ye go, preach— The commission of the apostles was one of service, not lordship. F212 This commission of the apostles was, in the main, the same as the commission of the Lord and the whole Church. R1521:5 Then orally; while in this harvest the preaching is done largely by the printed page. R1742:5
Saying— Not, "You will go to hell fire and eternal torment unless you repent." R2261:4
Kingdom of heaven— Promised to Abraham and his Seed. R2261:3 The hope of every Israelite. A273 It was the main topic of all Jesus' preaching, other subjects being mentioned in connection with, or in explanation of, this one subject. A273 The entire work of this Gospel age was to be the preaching of the Kingdom. R2139:1, 1579:3
Is at hand— In the sense that Jesus was present to make a formal tender of the Kingdom to Abraham's natural seed. R4557:2 The 69 weeks of Daniel's prophecy have expired. R3630:2 The Deliverer has come. B236; C136 Signifying that God's time had come to fulfill all of his promises made to the Jewish nation if they were ready for them. R4593:5 It is this message which was the test of natural Israel and is now the test of Spiritual Israel. C136 Our message is similar now, except that we announce the Kingdom is at hand in great power and glory. R1742:3 The offering of the Kingdom now is much more tangible and can be demonstrated much more clearly than was possible then, for it is nigh, even at the doors. R2636:4 Peter's suggestion to return to fishing after Jesus' crucifixion was because he did not then see how he could continue to preach this message. B117

[Matthew 10:8]

Freely ye have received— This referred to the gift of healing which had been imparted freely to them and which they were to freely use for the good of their fellowmen. R449:4 They were giving what cost them nothing, but which was costing Jesus much daily and hourly. R2636:1
Freely give— The apostles had something to give, but not to sell. R2261:5 Let us give to others the glorious light of Present Truth. R5063:1

[Matthew 10:9]

Provide neither gold— Showing that they were expected to be so thoroughly engaged in the work that they would not have time to "labor for the meat that perishes" and would be provided with their physical needs by those to whom they ministered. R449:4 Subsequently the apostles acted very differently—the Apostle Paul, for instance, making tents. The change was under the Lord's direction. (Luke 22:35,36) R2500:2

[Matthew 10:10]

Nor scrip— Valise, satchel. They were not to take up any collections or even have with them anything wherein to carry a surplus. R2261:6 They were to make no provision for their journey. They were to learn a lesson of absolute dependence upon the Master who sent them forth. R4593:3
Worthy of his meat— They were to expect to find a home and the necessities of life wherever they went, giving back in exchange for these temporal blessings the blessings they had been empowered to bestow. R2261:5 They assumed therefore that they were merely to accept what might be voluntarily tendered. R5076:2 These instructions, afterward changed by the Lord, are not applicable to the present time. R2500:2, 1743:2 The messengers of present truth are not money-gatherers; but they merely exchange, for the blessings which they confer, enough financial support to meet their expenses economically. R2262:1

[Matthew 10:11]

Who in it is worthy— Those who hunger after righteousness, truth. R957:1 The most holy people, the ones who would be specially interested in their message, whether rich or poor. R4593:3 It was our Lord's mission, as it is ours as his followers, to preach the good tidings to the meek. (Isa. 61:1) R956:3

[Matthew 10:12]

Salute it— Salute the householder in a dignified manner, advising him of the object of your call. R4593:3

[Matthew 10:13]

Let your peace— The divine blessing upon all the affairs of the household. R2261:6, 5076:2, 4593:3 The family would be blessed of the Lord because of the presence of his representatives. R2261:6
If it be not worthy— They were not to stay in any place where the Lord's blessing would not be appreciated. R2261:6
Your peace return— Those rejecting them and their message would lose a great privilege. R4593:3

[Matthew 10:14]

Not receive you— It was the duty of the covenant people to receive and entertain the messengers of the Lord; their receiving or rejecting would be a test of their fidelity to God. R1988:2,1742:6
Shake off the dust— For a testimony against them, because in their rejection they were violating their most solemn covenant with God. R1743:1 To symbolize renunciation of all responsibility for the consequences of rejecting the message. R2262:4 Out of order in this harvest, for no city or community as such is now in covenant relationship with God, as was Israel. R1743:3

[Matthew 10:15]

More tolerable— In proportion as anyone comes to a knowledge of Christ, he has become responsible. R4594:4, 1986:4, 569:6; HG647:6; NS311:4 The chastisement and discipline necessary to their restoration to righteousness will be less severe for them than for some who are of the natural lineage of Abraham. R1374:2 This implies that the treatment will be tolerable in any event. R5076:4, 1618:4 Those who have been favored with the message of truth and have turned a deaf ear, while professing to be followers of Christ, will find conditions of the incoming age less favorable to them than to heathen people. R5980:4
The land of Sodom— Who sinned against the dimmed and waning light of nature. R1618:4 Those Sodomites were condemned to death before they were born, as are all of Adam's children. The only thing that came upon the Sodomites specially was that they died violent deaths. R5076:5 The Sodomites were wickedly immoral; yet they were less wicked than those who, after hearing the Gospel, reject it. R4594:1, 5076:4; PD24/35
Day of judgment— The whole world will be on trial for everlasting life or everlasting death in the Millennial age. R4594:4
Than for that city— The condemnation was not an individual one, either then or at the full end of their age. R1743:2 The condemnation was not to eternal death, but to the deprivation of the privileges and blessings of the new dispensation then about to be offered to them. R1743:1 The people of Jerusalem suffered more in their time of trouble (AD 69-70) than did the people of Sodom and Gomorrha in their calamity. R2262:4 The sin of carelessness in respect to the message of the Kingdom is, in God's sight, an indication of a still meaner condition of heart, of a still more wicked person. R5076:4 Either fleshly or spiritual: upon fleshly Israel a terrible overthrow accompanied with desolation and famine; upon nominal spiritual Israel a period of unparalleled trouble. R1743:4

[Matthew 10:16]

Behold— The remainder of the chapter shows that the work of the apostles then sent forth typifies the entire work of this Gospel age. R2262:4
In the midst of wolves— "For grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock." (Acts 20:29) R3331:3
Be ye therefore wise— Neat in appearance; kind, interested and dignified in language and manner; taking advantage of all circumstances to stir up interest. R825:3 We are to do nothing foolish nor go out on the streets to stir up trouble, but use the spirit of a sound mind—gentleness, meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness and love. R5846:4 Just as Peter was patient in his explanation of the Lord's providence and leadings in respect to the greater lengths and breadths of divine favor. (Acts 11) R2996:5 On every occasion use wisdom, and pray to God in regard to any important step in your life or home. Q543:T Wisdom is to be exercised in the presentation of the Lord's Word. CR156:4; R5146:3, 5151:6 With our burning love and zeal for God and righteousness, we should also have moderation. R4712:2 There is a mild way of doing things that will avoid much of the bitterness and reproach, and that is the better way. Q740:4 Do not attempt to tell all about the plan of God. The reading will do that better. Tell just enough to make them desire to know more. R825:4 We are not to choke Christian brethren who are merest babes in the knowledge of God's Word. R5151:3, 868:4 Not giving strong meat to those who are babes in Christ, but first the sincere milk of the word, and afterward stronger truth as they are able to bear it. R657:5* If you have opportunity to help one out of wrong views into right views, it should be done with sympathy. R5604:4 In training children, follow the directions of the Lord's Word. Q545:1 Many of the Lord's people need to learn tactfulness; some mistakenly believe that they must use no tact—that to do so would be dishonest. R4130:6 A spirit boasting or glorying over others, because our views are more consistent than theirs, will always drive them away. We might use the truth as a club to show our strength, but it will not bring men to God. R746:1*
As serpents— The serpent does not, in approaching his victim, rush out in a manner to frighten, intimidate and repulse. His approaches are very careful, and yet effectual. R745:3* If necessary, he can wait long and patiently, while the victim runs or flees, still holding himself in that position which will most favorably influence. R745:6* The cat usually conceals itself, but the serpent often presents itself to full view and, by the attraction which it presents, secures its object. R745:6*
Harmless as doves— In talking to friends, we should not give any hint that they do not belong to the family of God; it is better to class ourselves in with all as true neighbors. R5146:3

[Matthew 10:17]

Beware of men— Evil men. R1670:6
In their synagogues— The Lord and apostles could teach the people there for a time; but as they shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God, they soon found little, and finally, no opportunity to teach the people there. R986:5

[Matthew 10:18]

Brought before governors— Strikingly fulfilled by Paul before King Agrippa. R1569:4

[Matthew 10:19]

Take no thought— Beforehand; relying on God's power. R5330:4 The Greek here seems to give the thought: Do not be worried when you shall be brought before kings and judges. R5330:4 Applied with special force to the early Church when our Lord's followers were ignorant and unlearned, uneducated. R5330:5
It shall be given you— Perhaps by suggestions from another, perhaps through the testimony of someone else, or it may be a text of Scripture that would come to mind. R5330:4 Supernatural assistance, illustrated in the first Christian persecution: Peter, as spokesman, was "filled with the holy Spirit." (Acts 4:8) R2939:5

[Matthew 10:20]

Spirit of your Father— The right thought of ordination. R5363:1 The apostles had not yet received the spirit of the Father directly. It had been imparted to the Son, and he shared it with them. R5363:1 Whoever heard them and despised them also despised the Master and the Father. R5363:6
Speaketh in you— Not that we are to expect to have miraculous powers of speech granted us, but that we will be filled with the truth. Then it will be true that it will not be our own wisdom, nor our own plan, that we shall declare. R2636:5

[Matthew 10:22]

Be hated of all men— Our Lord's faithfulness made him of "no reputation." Paul and the early Church were "counted fools" for Christ's sake. Whoever shall live godly in the present time shall "suffer persecution" of some sort. R1109:6 The world does not realize that the body of Christ, now in humiliation, is a body of kings and priests, who shall by and by bear rule over angels and men. R1102:2 If you faithfully exercise your ambassadorship. E490; R2852:6
Endureth to the end— A diamond is tested by being put under pressure; so God allows us to come under the constant pressure of years of toil, care and self-sacrifice to see how well we will endure. R3104:1

[Matthew 10:23]

They persecute you— Whosoever is faithful will suffer persecution. To be without opposition is proof that God is not dealing with us as sons. R5223:4
Flee ye into another— From troubles too great to be borne. F508 Illustrated by Paul's flight from Iconium to Lystra (Acts 14:6) and from Lystra to Derbe (Acts 14:20). R4368:6, 1472:4 Illustrated by Paul's flight from Damascus: "Through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands." (2 Cor. 11:33) R3738:3At the first great persecution in Jerusalem, "They that were scattered abroad went everywhere, preaching the Word." (Acts 8:4) R2959:2 We should not always flee persecutions, but sometimes it might be an indication from the Lord that he has service for us in some other field of labor. R4409:4 But we are not authorized to retaliate. R3738:3
The cities of Israel— The time is short but we shall have time, and no more, to go over all the cities of spiritual Israel before the grand consummation. R2645:3
Son of man be come— Be presented as king, and the testing of the nation reach its climax, reached when our Lord declared their house henceforth left desolate. (Luke 13:35) R2645:2; HG161:2 Signified that the mission of the Church, witnessing to all nations, will not be more than accomplished before the coming of the Lord in the power and glory of his Kingdom. R4011:2

[Matthew 10:24]

Not above his master— As our Lord suffered violence from the Prince of this world, so will his followers. OV343:2
Nor the servant— These words forewarn us to expect similarly false accusations and cruel treatment. R4473:4
Above his lord— He taught in various synagogues carrying the same message, which always had the effect to draw the few and repel the many. R356:5

[Matthew 10:25]

Be as his master— It will probably be the privilege of the last members of the body of Christ to suffer violence, as did the Head. C231
As his lord— If the majority heard his words, you might expect them to hear yours; but if as a mass they rejected his words, they will reject yours also. R571:5
If they have called— The chief religionists of his day. E236; R374:3 If they say all manner of evil against him, what must you expect? CR163:3
Beelzebub— A prince of devils. E236; R374:4 Because he pointed out their false doctrines. E236
How much more— Particularly in the case of a faithful and capable elder. F293
Them of his household— In these, as representatives of the Heavenly Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence through- out the Gospel age. CR492:5 They crucified him; do you expect they would receive you very favorably? Q688:1

[Matthew 10:26]

Is nothing covered— This prophecy is as true in the judgment of nations as of individuals. D541 The greater portion of divine truth has been expressed under cover so that its full import is not always discernible. R801:2* Serving several objects: (1) the successful development of God's plan; (2) the saving from discouragement because of the length of time involved; and (3) the trial of the faith of those who believe. R801:2*
Not be revealed— A testimony dreaded but disbelieved by unjust stewards of wealth and power. C20 The masks will all be taken off and every man will be estimated, by both God and man, according to the real merit of his motives. R801:5* At the present time, things social, political and financial are being brought to light, more and more shaking the confidence of the people in their teachers, representatives and rulers. NS144:6, 275:3 The secrets of nations are being exposed. Injustice in its every form is being brought to light. Inequity in financial institutions and in politics and in private affairs is being muckraked. NS853:2 If justice were meted out, many of earth's rulers would change places with their subjects or be put into prison; many of the great and lordly would be stripped of glory and seen in their true light as ignoble. C20God's due time has come to turn on the light; in religion, it is revealing the true and exposing the false. R801:6* Remember that, by powers yet more subtle than X-rays, "God our inmost thoughts doth read."R1954:3 Truth in every sense must be made manifest. The truths of nature, science and God's written revelation will be seen to be in perfect agreement. R801:6*
That shall not be known— During the Millennial age. A303 The murderer will be faced by his victim, the debtor by his creditor, the thief by his dupe, the defamer by the one he defamed. R1655:1 Quite probably the restored man of the Millennial period will have considerable of the power of mind-reading, and intuitive discernment, over the imperfect. R1954:3

[Matthew 10:27]

Speak ye— With the blessed knowledge always comes the responsibility of making it known. R801:3*

[Matthew 10:28]

Fear not— The child of God is to be very courageous, knowing that God will not permit anything to come to him that will not be for his good. R5977:3
Which kill the body— No man could do more than take away our present earthly life, already under sentence of death; no man can take away our future life. R5977:3, 2602:5; E332; CR9:1; NS396:3 Man is not annihilated at the first death. R1449:5
Are not able— A future life is a possibility which no man can rob you of. God has provided it through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. E332 However great a power, "the power of death" (Heb. 2:14), Satan may exercise over the world, we know that his power does not extend to the Church. R1779:6, 1271:3 Our revived souls will have new bodies (spiritual or natural); and these
[bodies], none will have liberty to kill. R2602:4
To kill the soul— The future life. OV169:3 The being which God has promised shall be revived or restored by his power in the resurrection day, the Millennial age, because of Christ's redemption. E332; R5977:3, 5612:1, 2602:4 The right of life that God has given you through your relationship to Christ, the life-giver. HG205:6
But rather fear him— Have respect and deference to Jehovah, with whom are the issues of life everlasting. E332; R2602:5 Reverence him. We should have a great appreciation of his highness and our own littleness. R4746:6 Fear lest we should lose our fellowship with him. R5977:6
Which is able— In spite of misbeliefs to the contrary, the soul can be put out of existence. E332; R5611:6 God would bring no being into existence whom he could not destroy if found unworthy of life. CR498:4
To destroy— It is less difficult to destroy than to create a being. He who created all things must be "able to destroy" both soul and body. R1641:3; HG334:5; OV34:1
Both soul and body— Both the present dying existence and all hope of future life. SM179:T; R2953:1, 2602:5 Not only the body of the willful sinner perishes; but his soul, being, is forever blotted out of existence, having no hope of a resurrection. R876:4*
In hell— Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, defined here by Jesus as a place of destruction and not a place of torment. HG511:3 Gehenna, the second death, utter destruction. R2602:5, 5612:1, 4956:1, 4746:6, 3083:5, 1882:1, 1449:5; CR498:4; HG654:1

[Matthew 10:29]

Fall on the ground— He whose mind and heart grasp the personality of the Heavenly Father catches the significance of these words. OV2:5; SM623:2

[Matthew 10:30]

Hairs of your head— Our smallest interest is not overlooked. R1906:5
Are all numbered— May not suffer injury without his knowledge and consent. HG294:6 No accident ever "happens" to God's elect. F646; R2007:2

[Matthew 10:31]

Ye are of more value— The true Christian has, in his own personal experiences, abundant proof of our Father's love and care. R5717:6 There is a mental tangibility for faith; but also a physical, or outward, tangibility. R5717:5 He who has begun the good work in you is able to care for all your interests, both temporal and spiritual. NS659:5

[Matthew 10:33]

Whosoever shall deny— Every one in the Lord's company will have been a faithful soldier; not a deserter, not ashamed of the Lord, nor ashamed of his truth. R5942:4

[Matthew 10:34]

Not to send peace— The harvest is not a time for peace, but, on the contrary, it will surely produce separation and alienation between true wheat and all else. R969:6 While our Lord was courteous and kind, he expressed his righteous indignation against evil-doers, and particularly against hypocrites. R1103:1 Zion is at ease and self-satisfied; and, when we cry aloud and show God's people their sins, they become enraged and complain that we are troubling Israel. R235:4 As surely as we let the world alone to do their own will without warning, we will escape persecution and live at peace with the world. But as surely as the Lord did not do it, we must not do it. R1069:2*
But a sword— Division. R536:3 The truth is a sword in the present harvest, as it was in the Jewish harvest. R1843:4, 235:4 Trouble between those who love the truth supremely and others of the family; this division cannot be avoided. B236 Because the children of darkness wage a continual warfare against the light. F533 The Gospel of Christ did create differences in the Jewish system then, as the Gospel truth is doing now in Christendom. R4408:5 "The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God" (Eph. 6:17) separates in congregations and homes. R2183:2

[Matthew 10:35]

For I am come— In the harvests of the Jewish and Gospel ages. B236
At variance— In the harvest the sickle of truth is doing its work of separation; not only wheat from tares, true from false, but the ripe wheat is also separated from the unripe. R1069:3*
Against his father— The harvest will mean, in many instances, the uprooting of earthly friendships and the sundering of many tender ties, and the truth will do the separating. B236

[Matthew 10:36]

His own household— Because of the truth. B236 And it is true now that many of the Lord's most faithful children live in a matrimonial furnace of affliction. F507

[Matthew 10:37]

Loveth— Greek, phileo, as filial or "duty love" toward. R2807:2
Father or mother— Duty love to our family relatives is right, but it must not equal our duty love to the Lord. R2807:2 Or self, or popularity, or worldly prosperity, or honor of men, or human theories and systems. D268; R942:1
More than me— And my truth. C210 Not preventing love for others, in proportion as they are good and pure; but if a clash of interest should come, we should be ready to decide for the Lord at once. R874:3 Signifies a cutting off of every other love that would conflict with our love for the Lord. Our earthly loves are to be counted as nothing in comparison. R5426:2 "Lovest thou me more than these?" (John 21:15) R2808:6

[Matthew 10:38]

Not his cross— Not sharing the Lord's reproaches and self-denials. R901:6
Not worthy of me— Not of the class he wishes to make his bride. R901:6 If we turn aside from the path of humiliation and daily cross-bearing and strife for present exaltation and preferment, we are forgetting the very conditions upon which the future exaltation depends. R1988:2

[Matthew 10:39]

Findeth his life— Greek, psuche, soul, being. E335; R248:6 To lay hold on what remains of our earthly life and begin again to live after the flesh is to lose all claim upon the spiritual life. R936:5
Shall lose it— He who keeps hold of the life already consecrated to sacrifice, thereby loses all life. R936:5
Loseth his life— Surrenders his earthly life. R5476:1 Self-denial, even unto death. R4920:3, 936:2 The life to which we are justified by our faith in Jesus' ransom must be laid down, even as he laid down his life. (John 10:18) R814:2* We cannot fully possess the new divine nature until the human nature is entirely dissolved, dead. R936:5
Shall find it— Life much more abundant than now possessed. R936:5 Shall gain glory, honor, immortality; the divine nature. R5436:1

[Matthew 10:40]

Receiveth me— The Lord is represented by every saint who is a member of his body. R547:6
Receiveth him— They represented God as his mouthpieces whom he authorized to speak in his name. R3764:1 As the Queen is the Empress of India, she rules it through the agents of her government. Millions of her subjects, who have never seen her, respect and recognize her authority. R453:4

[Matthew 10:41]

A prophet's reward— In the Millennial age. R1469:6
Receiveth a righteous man— It is toward the brethren of Christ that we should be particularly careful to exercise hospitality, even though they be strangers to us, if we recognize in them the Master's likeness, his spirit. R3432:1
In the name of— Because he is a disciple. R1655:3, 1469:6

[Matthew 10:42]

And whosoever— Including even a worldly man. T93 Including even the poor thief who spoke kindly to the dying Savior. F669
Shall give to drink— But whosoever would harm one of the "little ones" who believed in him would have punishment. (Matt. 18:6) R5463:5
These little ones— Of the little flock. R412:1 These were the "little ones" in malice and pride, and in the world's estimate. R2063:4
A cup of cold water— Money for the Lord's work need not be refused if voluntarily offered by outsiders. F347 Some word or look or act of encouragement. R2073:1*
Not lose his reward— In the Millennial age. R1469:6, 2612:6, 722:1, 259:1; T93 Rewarded for having ministered to the members of the Lord's body. R412:1 One highly exalted on the spiritual plane will not forget or ignore such loving loyalty of some earthly friends, and will surely manifest some special favor to such. R1821:2 Not a reward of glory, honor, immortality, but a good reward, more than compensating for the kindness they performed. R2701:4 If not in this life, in the life to come. R2847:3, 1655:3

[Matthew 11:1]

In their cities— In "Galilee of the nations," amongst those who made less religious profession, and amongst whom were few scribes, Pharisees or Doctors of the Law. R4594:6

[Matthew 11:2]

In the prison— Jesus had not made any attempt to deliver his forerunner from prison, although he continually manifested great power in the healing of diseases and casting out of devils. R4594:6

[Matthew 11:3]

Art thou he— Or are you also merely a forerunner, as I was. R748:2 Doubtless the principal cause of John's doubts was the disappointment of his Jewish expectations as to the manner of Christ's coming. The same is true today. R629:5 Perhaps supposing that, when appointed, Jesus would publicly announce himself with power and authority and bring honor and dignity to all associated with him. R748:2
Look for another— For a still greater Messiah, of whom you are but a forerunner. R4594:6, 2621:1

[Matthew 11:4]

Go and shew John— He expected John to be able to discern the time by the events. R748:2 When God would make known to us any great truth, he does not confine himself to any one method of proving it, but gives evidence in various ways. R629:3
These things— It was by these that the Israelites were to recognize him as the Messiah, in fulfillment of the predictions of the prophets. R1314:6
Hear and see— And now what do we see? The aims and threats of the discontent are against the wealthy, the Jew once more finding a home in the land of promise—evidences that Messiah is present again. R748:3-5 Jesus did not say, Go and tell John that we are now living in the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27), though that was true. R629:2

[Matthew 11:5]

Receive their sight— It was the fulfillment of Isa. 61:1, the prophecy of his mission, to which Jesus called John's attention. R629:4 But we should not forget that Jesus' miracles were performed with a great deal of secrecy and over a large area of the country. The majority of Jews probably never saw one of the healed persons. R748:3 In due time the eyes and ears of understanding of all mankind will be opened. PD64/74
The dead are raised— Jesus proclaimed liberty to the captives of death, illustrating the power to liberate by loosing a few from the bands of death. R629:4
And the poor— Now, as then, it is the poor, the meek, who receive him gladly and to whom his special attention is directed. R629:5

[Matthew 11:6]

Not be offended— Not allow John's faith to stumble in respect to me. R4595:1

[Matthew 11:7]

A reed— A weak, pliable character, easily shaken. R4595:1, 2622:1
Shaken with the wind— No! They found John a rugged character, strong, independent in the advocacy of truth. R4595:1 With every wind of doctrine and fancy. R2622:1 Was it because God spoke to him as the wind makes music through the reeds? R5031:1

[Matthew 11:8]

In soft raiment— Giving evidence of being related to the great, the wealthy, the noble of that time? No! He was simply clad and lived in seclusion. R4595:1

[Matthew 11:9]

A prophet— Declaring the message of repentance, but also foretelling future events: that Jesus was the Lamb of God and that the Lord would baptize people with the holy Spirit and with fire. R4112:3
More than a prophet— This noble character was God's chosen servant for heralding the Messiah to Israel. R4594:3

[Matthew 11:10]

Prepare thy way— It was John's honor to herald the Lord in the flesh; it is our distinction to proclaim the parousia of the Son of Man and his glorious reign. R4113:1 Preparation for Jesus. His message was that the Kingdom of Heaven was about to be offered to them. R5031:1

[Matthew 11:11]

Not risen a greater— The most highly honored of all the prophets. R1916:4 Therefore he will share among the highest honors that will come to the ancient worthy class. NS444:3 Great in the sense that he that ruleth his own spirit according to the principles of the divine Word is greater than he that taketh a city. (Prov. 16:32) R1916:1 But he was not great in the eyes of man: never a guest at the palace of Herod, but a prisoner; not an esteemed orator, but "a voice crying in the wilderness"; not arrayed in purple, but in camel's hair. R1916:1
John the Baptist— The last of the prophets and the last of the "house of servants." To him was committed the honorable service of directly announcing the Savior; he discharged his duty with dignity. R4543:1 The forerunner of Jesus. R4543:5; OV199:1 None of the prophets was his superior. R4958:1; OV199:1 Baptism is valid even if the baptizer is not of the Kingdom class, though an elder or consecrated person would be preferable. R1541:4; F454, 655
He that is least— The humblest one. R3868:1 There will be some least and some greater in the Kingdom. R1973:5
In the kingdom— The spiritual phase of the Kingdom. R4958:2, 637:6 The election of the Gospel age. NS369:6 The spirit-begotten Church, joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom. R2788:2
Of heaven— God's callings and elections are definite, positive, separate and distinct, as the various wheels in a great machine are separate and distinct from each other, while they all cooperate together in the work for which the machine is constructed. NS444:2
Is greater than he— John was the last of the faithful under the Jewish dispensation. R4595:4 John tells us that his joy and privilege was not to be of the Bride, but to be a friend of the Bridegroom and to introduce him. R219:1; HG132:2 Reckoned as members of the house of sons, while the prophets belong to the preceding house of servants. R4958:2,2562:3, 1872:3, 435:3; E28 Does not imply that John was disappointed. His cup of blessing being full, and never having been begotten of the holy Spirit, he will not be able to appreciate blessings higher than his own. R5030:6 The operation of God's spirit on the prophets was so different than on the Church that the humblest Christian may know more of God's plan than the greatest prophet. R435:3 God had promised him earthly perfection while he had promised the bride of Christ heavenly perfection. John will come forth as a perfect human being, the reward of his faithfulness. R5030:5, 3868:1; NS784:3 The least one in the heavenly phase shall be greater than the greatest in the visible, earthly phase of the Kingdom. R637:6*; HG731:6; NS663:2 Only the blood-justified could be invited to the High Calling, and John died before the sacrifice was completed. D625; F112 "God having provided some better thing for us." (Heb. 11:40) R4595:4, 2035:2 Because from the time of Christ, but not previously, the prize of joint-heirship with the Lord is open to his followers. T108; R2279:3; NS802:5 As Christ was to have the pre-eminence in the Kingdom it was necessary that he should be the first member of it. F86

[Matthew 11:12]

From the days of— The Kingdom of Heaven began to have an existence when Jesus was anointed to be the King, at the time of his baptism by John. R703:1*
Kingdom of heaven— The Church, the embryo Kingdom. A284; R1687:6, 1598:3, 1358:6, 1351:6; Q797:4, 423:1; PD59/70; HG164:6
Suffereth violence— Violence crucified our king, stoned Stephen, beheaded Paul, crucified Peter, roasted others by fire, tossing them upon piercing forks. R702:6* As our Lord suffereth violence from the Prince of this world, so will his followers. OV343:2 As with the Master, so with his followers, the violence comes more from the worldly-spirited ones in the nominal church than from the open rejectors of God. R1372:3 As a part of the preparation for the Kingdom glories. PD59/70 For righteousness' sake. OV194:4, 343:2; R5573:6 Teaching us lessons of faith, fortitude, courage, endurance, meekness, patience, sympathy and loving-kindness. R2130:2* Trodden under foot during the Gentile times. (Luke 21:24) R1979:2 Despised and rejected of men, insignificant and ignored in the sight of men. Historians saw it not, only writing of human organizations, called "Christ's kingdoms," but not the true one. R2128:1 The submission to the violence of dominant evil has not been for lack of power by our Lord, but because it is not yet the "due time." D621 The Kingdom, when set up, cannot suffer, but must reign triumphantly. R702:5*
The violent take it— The Ishmael and Esau classes, and Satan and his servants. D620; R2777:5; Q797:4 They caused the Lord's death and the scattering of the Church, etc. Q423:1 And have despitefully used the Head and the body members. R2935:2Similar characters and conditions today, in the tares. R2778:3 They have outwardly been posing as the true Church of Christ, and have usurped the place of the true by force. OV345:6,7 The violent prince of this world lays them all low in death, but divine power will bring them forth to victory. R703:1*
By force— The violent have dominated it by force for centuries. PD59/70 With overwhelming force of numbers and wealth, they subdue the little handful of saints, trample and crush their influence, and hinder the progress and spread of the heavenly Kingdom. R702:6*

[Matthew 11:13]

The prophets and the law— But, though showing forth truth and foretelling the coming Kingdom, they could never be clearly understood until the gospel unraveled their mysteries. R702:3*
Until John— John was the last of the prophets. R5030:6, 4958:1

[Matthew 11:14]

And if— Intimating that John did not do all that is to be done by Elijah, and hence that a greater Elijah is to be expected. R2838:6, 1687:6
Ye will receive it— By believing his message. B253 To as many of the Jews as were "Israelites indeed." OV323:1 But Israel did not receive John the Baptist as Elias, nor did they receive the Messiah. Therefore, again his presence must be heralded by another, who shall come in the spirit and power of Elias. R1379:2 John's work as Elijah did not fail because of his own lack of faith, but because of the Jews' unreadiness of heart to be influenced by him. R2838:6 To those who recognized his message and obeyed it and became the Lord's disciples, John fulfilled the work of Elijah. R3293:1 Likewise today we announce as at hand the reign of the Christ glorified, and point out the foretold antitypical Elijah to those "who can receive it." B254
This is Elias— John the Baptist did a reformatory work which was in full accord with the prophecy regarding Elijah. R5030:6 The forerunner of Messiah. B253 Conditionally; in the same limited, shadowy sense in which the Kingdom was offered to the children of Israel after the flesh. HG68:5 Thus, whatever we find in either the life of Elijah or John which fits well the experience of the Church or her future course, we are justified in recognizing as typical. R968:4 In every particular there was some measure of likeness between John and the antitypical Elijah. OV323:1 His relationship to the future Elijah, the greater Elijah, was very similar to the relationship of our Lord Jesus to the greater Christ. OV322:2 John the Baptist stood for, or represented, a multitudinous Elijah, as Jesus stood for, or represented, a multitudinous Christ. R557:1 As John did an Elijah work to Israel, so the Church does the predicted Elijah work to the world, announcing the Lord's second advent. B253; OV322:3

[Matthew 11:15]

Hath ears to hear— Jesus and the Apostles attempted, not to teach everybody, but merely those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness. R5244:1; B16; SM51:2, 52:T, 343:3 Sometimes this hearing ear comes through sorrow and tribulation. NS823:5 He must expect meekly to cast away many preconceived opinions as fast as he comes to see their lack of harmony with God's Word. B16 Not bandying the gospel in the streets, giving a reason for our hope to to him that asketh, but neither the Bible nor sound judgment dictates quarreling for truth's sake. R1468:4
Let him hear— "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 2:7) B16 God is not trying to attract the world now; they are blind and deaf. SM343:3 These will have a special blessing, while those who do not give ear will have their portion with the hypocrites. NS435:3,5

[Matthew 11:16]

This generation— Greek, genea, meaning people living contemporaneously, as in "This generation shall not pass." D603

[Matthew 11:18]

He hath a devil— Because John, as a prophet, was abstemious to the extreme. R5031:4

[Matthew 11:19]

And they say— Similarly we may be charged with pride and ambition for making use of business methods to promulgate the "good tidings." R4824:1
A man gluttonous— There is nothing that either God or his people can do that the Adversary, and those who have his spirit, cannot use as an occasion for faultfinding. R4824:1 Because Jesus presented himself less peculiarly than John. R5031:4
But wisdom— The divine wisdom, divine truth. R1737:1 Expressed in the Scriptures and in the laws of nature. R2060:2 Neither slander, nor opposition from our enemies, shall swerve us from the path which we believe is marked out for us by the Lord. R4824:5
Is justified— Proved right, accepted. R1737:1 Of her children—They show their parentage, reflect their mother's likeness. The children of the light should walk in the light in reference to health, food, cleanliness and clothing, as well as spiritual matters. R20650:2

[Matthew 11:20]

To upbraid— Not in the form of a tirade of scolding and abuse, but a simple statement of the facts. R2267:1
They repented not— The majority rejected his Messiahship. R4599:1 Not for rejecting the favor of the Kingdom, but for the sinful condition which hindered their acceptance of it. They were so sinful, so alienated from God, that very evidently they would be worthy of serious punishment. R2267:1 Because the "god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." (2 Cor. 4:4) R2267:5

[Matthew 11:21]

Woe unto thee— You have had more knowledge and opportunity, and you have a responsibility therefore; it means more disadvantage. CR501:4; R2613:1 Every sin and evil propensity cultivated now will require punishment and discipline in the age to come. R2613:2 His rejection of them incidentally permitted the sending of the gracious call to the Kingdom honors to believers among the Gentiles. R2623:3
In Tyre and Sidon— Notoriously unholy, licentious, unclean cities. R2623:3
Would have repented— Yet the worldly-wise and prudent tell us that these poor sinners passed into eternal torment without a chance. R2624:4

[Matthew 11:22]

More tolerable— Because their sin had been against less light and privilege. R5363:6, 5083:5, 4599:4 The greater the light rejected, the more will be the stripes received. R569:6, 412:1 God takes a different standpoint from the majority of people. He does not merely say, "Is this moral or immoral?" Rather, "What is the heart attitude?" R2623:3
For Tyre and Sidon— Two flourishing Gentile cities, very full of wickedness and immorality, so that their names were synonymous for that which was unholy, licentious, unclean. R2623:3 With their gross immoralities but better condition of heart. R2623:3 Tyre and Sidon had suffered a terrible overthrow in the midst of carnage, pestilence and blood. R1618:5These heathen cities would have repented with far less preaching. R5075:1
Day of judgment— The thousand years of his Messianic reign. R5179:6
Than for you— With superior morality, but an evil condition of heart. R2623:6 Those who heard Jesus, unmoved, had hardened their hearts and would be correspondingly disadvantaged in the judgment day. R5363:5

[Matthew 11:23]

Thou Capernaum— Who thought themselves quite respectable, church-going people. HG236:2, 647:6 Capernaum was favored above all other cities of Palestine because there our Lord did most of his miracles and preaching. R5075:1
Exalted unto heaven— Highly lifted up in privileges of knowledge, opportunity and divine favor and blessing. R5075:1, 4599:2, 4557:1, 3726:2, 2623:2, 2600:4 Highly exalted by having Christ as a resident. E376; PD62/73
Brought down to hell— Greek: hades, the grave, oblivion; because they received not the message. R5075:2, 4557:1, 4599:2; E375 Even the site where Capernaum stood is a matter of dispute. R2600:4, 3726:3 Fulfilled in the trouble which came upon the Jews and which destroyed their nationality. R2623:3Not only the Sodomites, but the city in which they lived, is spoken of as going down to hell, and there are other cities there. HG556:2; R734:5*
Been done in Sodom— The Sodomites were not so great sinners as were the Jews who had more knowledge. A110; OV227:T Whose wickedness was so great that it brought upon her a fierce destruction from the Lord. R2623:6 It was for want of light that these people were destroyed. R659:3*, 447:3* They did not, therefore, have a full opportunity. A110; R545:5; OV227:1; HG345:4

[Matthew 11:24]

More tolerable— Less severe, less of an ordeal. OV43:1 That time will be tolerable for all in proportion as their sins had been sins of ignorance. HG336:3 The punishment of that age will be in proportion to past guilt. R2613:1, 722:3 There will be rewards and "stripes" according to the deeds of the present life, as well as according to their conduct under that trial. R2611:5 It will be a tolerable time for Capernaum, and yet more tolerable for Sodom. OV227:1; A110; R5179:6, 2267:4; HG149:6, 345:4; NS704:1 Capernaum had sinned against greater light. OV227:1; R5083:5, 4599:2; PD62/73 Sodom and Gomorrah will rise up as superior to some of the Jews. NS704:1 The people of Capernaum were evidently harder-hearted than the people of Sodom and, from the Lord's standpoint, were more blameworthy. R4599:2 Inasmuch as they had superior advantages to others which they neglected, they would be correspondingly less benefited by the Millennial blessings and mercies of God. NS311:4 Their rejection of him much more resembled the condition of wicked rebellion against God that would lead to the second death than did the conduct of the Sodomites. R2267:4
Land of Sodom— The eternal fate of the Sodomites is not sealed: "Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate." (Ezek. 16:55) R5179:6 Our Lord guarantees them a full opportunity. OV227:1 Showing conclusively that all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth—to be judged and tried. R2267:5 The death of the Sodomites, therefore, was merely the Adamic death hastened; not the Second Death. OV43:2
Day of judgment— The 1000 year day of Messiah's reign in which judgment, or trial, will be granted to the world. PD62/73; R5179:6,4599:1, 2624:1, 2267:4 Showing that no judgment had as yet been reached in any of these cases. R2624:1 Many of the heathen, who have enjoyed little or nothing of God's grace, will be in a more favorable condition than some neglectful ones who are now richly favored. R4599:4
Than for thee— Because they will then receive and be blessed by the light which you have rejected. A110

[Matthew 11:25]

And said— Offered audible prayer in the presence of fellow-believers. R2251:6
I thank thee Lord— He appreciated the Father's wisdom in not allowing any but those of proper heart condition to see and clearly understand the present call of the Church. R4599:2 We, with the Master, may be glad of the wisdom displayed in the divine arrangement of hiding certain features of the plan of the ages from all except the "very elect." R4599:2 Had those rich and great seen fully the true situation it would have increased their responsibility. R5075:5, 4599:2 It is utterly impossible to harmonize such a statement with the common, but unscriptural, view that they had gone or were going to a place of eternal torment. R2267:6
Hid these things— This gracious plan which provides such wonderful future opportunities for the poor Sodomites. R2624:4, 236:4* For the world to have known in advance would doubtless have been injurious. R4644:5, 4444:6 It would not have been wise for him to have revealed all the secrets of his plan because the Adversary and his associates would have done all in their power to upset his plans. CR90:4 The unconsecrated mind cannot understand the Mystery of God. SM12:2 The mass of mankind are blind to the spiritual things, the calling and election of the Church. R4599:1
From the wise— The worldly-wise, by permitting contempt and ridicule to be attached thereto. B29 Particularly the wise residents of Capernaum and Bethsaida. R2267:5 The Pharisees were too self-satisfied, the scribes too learned, and the Doctors of the Law too proud and pretentious, because they were under the influence of mammon. CR10:2; NS398:2 Whom the God of this world hath blinded with the brilliancy of their own earthly learning and with their love of honor of men. R1418:3 "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Isa. 29:14) R589:3 Who regard it as a fancy, a fairy story, which none but the simple-minded and children would take seriously. R3585:2 Passing by some of the most learned, the Lord is using channels, agencies and messengers that are not acceptable to many. R5258:4
And prudent— Prudent according to the world's standards—preferring numbers, popularity and honor among men and the financial emoluments of these rather than the truth. R2639:5 Too prudent.R972:4 The keen and the shrewd, the learned and the great. R3585:2 Those who do not believe in the doctrine of restitution are the ones who think it imprudent to teach it. R236:4*
Revealed them— Not working some miracle upon the mind to open their understanding; rather, he used natural means, reasoned with them until they were able to grasp the divine purpose. R3910:5
Unto babes— So far as human craft and policy are concerned; the honest-hearted, the unsophisticated, the meek and poor in spirit. R2267:6,5; SM13:2 In simplicity and meekness. R589:3 Having less to lose of an earthly kind. CR10:2; NS398:3 "Unlearned and ignorant men." (Acts 4:13) R5258:4 The Lord's "little ones"—meek, humble, teachable. HG518:3 Those who are of humble mind, ready to be taught of the Lord, instead of wishing to teach the Lord. R2624:6 Those who make no boast of wisdom according to the course of the world. R2492:6 The babes in worldly wisdom have more advantage in every way as respects faith and obedience in this Gospel age. NS727:6 It is not possible to deceive the child—the faithful, who ignore all prejudice, pride and ambition, and simply follow the divine word, testing all things by it. R957:5 While the present Gospel message is for the highest type of men, it appeals specially to the middle class of these—the humble but intelligent, rather than the rich or great. R2692:4 From the worldly standpoint, foolish babes to place so much reliance upon the things unseen as yet and to ignore the prospects held out by mammon in the present life. CR10:2 Strong characters may be developed, and high ideals attained in the heart and in deed, amongst the lowly and obscure. R3952:3 Who will babble forth the truth unceremoniously. R942:2, 236:4*

[Matthew 11:26]

Good in thy sight— "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:9) CR90:5 There is a wisdom in God's course in this matter which is not apparent on the surface. R5075:4 Jesus appreciated the Father's wisdom in this matter. R4599:2 It has pleased the Father to let "the wise be taken in their own craftiness." (1 Cor. 3:19) R2624:6 God was (is) hiding from mankind truths which are necessary for their salvation; hiding these for good, sufficient, wise and loving reasons—reasons which our Lord understood and also approved. NS555:5 If the hiding of divine counsel from mankind meant eternal torture for the blinded ones, Jesus could not have thanked the Father for that. R4644:5

[Matthew 11:27]

All things— To him the Father has given all power in earth and heaven. (Matt. 28:19) "He is Lord of all"—next to the Father, for "the head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3) R296:3
No man knoweth— Recognizeth. R2268:1 The disciples knew him as a man, but they did not understand the secret of his wonderful being—his prehuman glory. R1059:5
Neither knoweth— To know the Father and the Son in the intimate sense as one knows the mind, the heart, of an intimate friend. R2625:1
Save the Son— Whose prehuman fellowship with the Father, lasting for centuries, was impressed with sufficient clearness upon our Lord, after he was made flesh, to enable him to say "What he hath seen and heard, that he testifies." (John 3:32) E91
Son will reveal him— All we can know is what is revealed. R106:1* The Great Teacher reveals the Father to all who are pupils in his school. R4599:5,5075:5 If it pleased the Lord to make known to us some things of his glorious purposes, it would be disrespectful on our part not to feel a deep interest in them and seek to know more. NS683:4

[Matthew 11:28]

Come unto me— Not unto some sect. C186; HG694:2 This is an appeal to reason. R5422:3 This call is to the poor, the broken-hearted, the heavy-laden, the unsatisfied. R5075:6 The Call to follow Christ. OV429:3 A call or invitation to exercise faith in the Lord, to come out on his side, to accept his deliverance from the yoke of sin and death. NS379:6 "No man can come unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6) R469:1* Those invited to be the Lord's followers are not smitten with symbolic arrow and sword, as are his enemies. SM53:1
All ye that labor— The Lord does not invite the listless and idle. R1764:3 May have a measure of application to farm labor, etc., but its special significance is to labor of the heart. HG746:5 The Bible addresses itself, primarily, not to the ambitious and hopeful, but to the laboring and heavy-laden and despairing. CR15:4; NS488:1 The poor, the broken-hearted. R5075:6 The world in general is laboring for the things of the present life, and has almost no faith in respect to the things of the world to come. CR16:2 Not all the poor—but the poor in purse, in influence, in education, in character, with all their disadvantages, have the great advantage that their condition is favorable to humility. HG746:4 Trying to do an impossible thing as members of a fallen race—keep the perfect Law of God. R315:2 There are two classes of laborers: the world, laboring for things of the present life; and the followers of the Lord who "labor not for the meat that perisheth" (John 6:27) but for that which endureth unto life eternal. CR16:2; NS482:5 You who are burdened in the Lord's service. R245:4
And are heavy laden— Who feel the yoke of the Law Covenant. R1728:5; R5885:3,6, 2625:2, 1540:2 Either from the yoke of the Law, as the believing Jews, or from the yoke of Satan, as the believing Gentiles. R2625:3 The only direct invitations given by our Savior were to the earth-weary, toil-burdened and desolate hearts. R108:2* Despised and grief-stricken. CR15:5 Who feel the burden of sin, imperfection and death. R2625:2, 5886:2, 5737:3 With an appreciation of sin and degradation. HG746:6 Unsatisfied. R5075:6 Weary and almost discouraged with their failure. R1733:5, 975:2 Not only with our own imperfections, but the weaknesses and frailties of our friends and neighbors all have their influence upon us. NS380:3 It is when earthly hopes become blighted that one gets the ear to hear the Lord's message. CR15:5; NS488:2 The Jews were under the yoke of the nation of Rome, but the yoke here referred to is a religious yoke, the yoke of the Law. R5885:2 There is a class today in Christendom, not under the Jewish Law, but nevertheless realizing laws, rules and standards of divine justice, and desiring to conform their lives thereto. NS381:2
Will give you rest— Justification. R5105:5, 4579:6, 2625:2; Q66:1 The blessing of justification by faith is merely to fit and prepare us to take the yoke and become a co-laborer with the Lord in the Father's service. R2625:5 There is no rest for the weary at heart except in union with Christ. PD14/23; SM53:1 There is no rest of heart in the restless striving of selfishness and sin; yet these experiences sometimes lead the weary to the great Sin-Bearer. R4932:4 Mourning and sorrow are necessary before we can appreciate the comfort which God has provided. R5003:6 Only those who feel the need of rest can appreciate the invitation. R108:2* The Lord's people have a peace and rest of mind through knowledge of God's plan and character. R5403:2 I have the will and the way to help you to come to the Father. R5422:3 In the full assurance that he has "paid it all" for both Jew and Gentile—for all. R975:2 This rest is not of general temporal prosperity and freedom from care, toil and all restraint. R1961:5 A new set of laborers in the world, the followers of Jesus, with new hopes, ambitions, peace, joy, which far transcend any that they had previously had. CR16:2 The blessed rest of freedom from the galling yoke of the oppressor. R902:2It will mean to us the wiping away of our tears, the cancellation of a large degree of our troubles. NS693:6 The present rest of faith will by and by be superseded by the actual rest of the Kingdom. HG747:1 For your souls, now; and thus you will be prepared to enter into the heavenly rest as "joint heirs" with Christ in his Heavenly Kingdom. R4599:6 Even though he himself was without a place to lay his own head. (Matt. 8:20) R1063:2* Of all the books of the world, the Bible offers cheer and comfort to hopeless classes. CR15:4 This will be fulfilled in an especial sense during the Millennial Age. B40

[Matthew 11:29]

Take my yoke— A yoke signifies servitude. R5885:2, 4599:5, 2625:2, 1276:2* Not any sectarian yoke. C187; R902:5; NS381:4 The figure being that of an ox yoked to a cart with a load. NS380:4 Jesus was inviting as many of the Jews as were in the proper attitude of heart to join with him. R5886:1Bind yourself, time, influence, means, opportunities, all, to the Lord's service. This is an invitation, not a command. R2625:5,6, 2268:4 Of obedience to the divine will. R4599:6 He invites us to come and make a full consecration of ourselves to him and his service. R2625:6 All in the world are under yokes of some kind—political yokes, social yokes, financial or business yokes, yokes of sin, of selfishness, of pride, etc. R1961:2 The new yoke would not be upon the old creature. We not only fulfill the requirements of the law, but we do more. But it is the new creature that does this. R5885:5 It is one thing to fight against sin and quite another thing to join with the Lord as co-laborers, and thus to have our puny powers supplemented by his grace and strength. NS381:1 A yoke is generally arranged for two, and our Lord speaks of it as his yoke, by which we are to understand that he is also a servant. R2625:3 The Lord was burdened, not with his own weaknesses, but with the burden of the contradiction of sinners against himself and with the burdens of his disciples. NS380:3 The Lord imposes burdens and yokes upon those now being called, whereas he intends to completely break the yokes and do away with all burdens during the Millennial age. NS379:6
Upon you— Instead of the yoke of the Law covenant or the yoke of Satan, with which you have previously been bound. R2625:3, 5885:2
And learn of me— I will be your partner, will take the other side of the yoke with you. R2625:3 Become learners, disciples, pupils in the school of Christ. R5737:3 How to bear the yoke. R955:5* Not only in an intellectual way, but also through the medium of the heart. R1789:2 Learn the good lessons, whereby he prepares them for future glories, honors, immortality. CR16:3 Do not attempt to guide yourself. R1961:3 From him we learn the way; in company with him we catch his blessed spirit; we learn of that meekness which despises no humiliation. R1276:5* Not until we have taken the Lord into our daily life as our personal companion, confidential friend, counselor, comforter and guide, as well as Redeemer and Lord, can we fully learn those lessons which give joy. R1789:2
I am meek— The secret of rest is in a meek and quiet spirit. R1962:1 This humility of mind and heart was, in many respects, the secret of his success. R5186:2 Teachable. Even in his perfection, these were things to be learned. R5370:2 Only those who have meekness and lowliness of heart are prepared to humble themselves, acknowledge their own unworthiness and need of help, and accept the Lord's proffered assistance and take his yoke. NS382:6 The Lord with unerring precision has always chosen the meek for every great work—Moses, the prophets, the ancient worthies, the Lord Jesus, the twelve apostles—and so also the whole Gospel Church. R1921:1
Lowly in heart— Because he was meek and lowly in heart, Jesus could ignore his own will, cease to do it, and take upon him the yoke of the Father's will. R955:6* The quiet spirit will humbly submit to the easy yoke of the divine will and cease the strife to gratify the perverted human will. R902:2
Rest unto your souls— Typified by the seventh day of rest of the Jews. "We which have believed do enter into rest." (Heb. 4:3) R2534:4 Rest from the vain ambitions and fruitless works and plans which other taskmasters would force upon us. R1276:6* Rest in him, our true Yoke-Fellow. R5886:2 The second rest, the "second blessing," the growing and abiding peace and joy of the holy Spirit. R2625:4 And not merely rest to the flesh—mind-rest, nor merely bodily rest. He who believes fully, rests fully; he who believes only partially, rests but partially.R2534:3, 2268:1 Soul satisfaction: the peace of God which passeth all understanding will rule in our hearts. R2625:4

[Matthew 11:30]

For my yoke— The Master's yoke was his hearty, glad submission to the Heavenly Father's will. NS380:6 We have bound ourselves unto the Lord with a covenant of faithfulness unto sacrifice, sacrifice unto death. NS381:6 As compared with the yoke of politics, society, business, sin, selfishness or pride. R1961:2
Is easy— Comfortable and enjoyable, an elastic yoke, meeting varied conditions. R5886:4 To the world, consecration looks like a terrible yoke, but to the true child of God it seems a most reasonable service. R2625:5 Easy for those whom it fits. R2268:4, 5886:4 Because of his love to us and our love to him. R1893:4 Because we love righteousness and hate iniquity, and because we love the Lord and the Heavenly Father. NS382:5 Because our yoke is appreciated and because the Lord is with us in the yoke. Our burdens are his burdens, our trials his trials, and our interests his interests. R2625:6 When we let it rest naturally upon us. R902:2 In the sense that it is possible to bear and that it is not galling. R5886:2 Because all things work together for good—the heavier the burden, the greater the blessing and reward. R2625:5 A yoke that does not fit an animal will chafe him and cause restlessness; whereas a yoke that is properly fitted will be comfortable and make the load more easily drawn. R5886:4, 2268:4 That which makes the yoke set lightly upon us is the fixedness of purpose which does not chafe under it nor try to get away from it. R1276:3* Few would say the Apostle Paul's was an easy yoke, but evidently he thought so, counting it a privilege to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ. R1961:5 However hard or difficult it may seem to others, the Lord's supplied grace enables those who are his to triumph in all things. NS170:6 We may well count all our losses, all our crosses, our burdens, as light afflictions, because of the excellency of the knowledge of divine favors and blessings which we have received through Christ Jesus our Lord. R2268:4
My burden is light— Much lighter than the yoke and burden of sin. R4599:6 The secret of the light load lay in the easy yoke. NS380:5 No one is required to do more than he is able to perform.R5886:5 The Lord himself is the great burden-bearer of those who are yoked with him. He will not suffer them to be burdened with more than is for their good. R2625:6,5886:4 As compared with the yoke of sin and the burden of death. Nevertheless, they have some burdens which decrease as they become acquainted with their heavenly Father. NS223:2 His will is not burdensome, but a delight to us. R245:4

[Matthew 12:1]

Jesus went— Probably on the way to the synagogue. R3316:6
Through the corn— The wheat. R3754:1
To pluck the ears— The Pharisees claimed that rubbing the grain in the hands and blowing away the chaff constituted winnowing and threshing, thus violating the Sabbath. R3316:3, 4600:4, 3754:2, 2268:1 Some today who would not ride a street car on the Sabbath would think nothing of allowing their minds to dwell on worldly or evil subjects. This is hypocrisy. R3754:2
And to eat— The Pharisees had a rule that no food should be eaten until after worship in the synagogue. R3316:6

[Matthew 12:2]

The Pharisees— Pharisaism had become formalism in many respects. R2268:6 There is considerable similarity between the scribes and Pharisees of our Lord's day and so-called orthodox Christians of our day. In some denominations particularly, there is evidenced the same spirit of despising others outside their favored cult. R3315:3
They said— Those who today make an attack upon the truth only cause its beauties and harmonies to be the more clearly discerned by those whose eyes of understanding are opened. R3316:2
Is not lawful— Those who have little of the truth are sometimes great sticklers for formalities. R2268:2
Upon the Sabbath— The Great Teacher, as a Jew, was as much under the obligation of every feature of the Law Covenant as any other Jew. We may be sure he violated no feature of it. R4600:2,2268:6 Christians are free to follow the spirit of the law rather than its letter. This is true of the entire Ten Commandments, as well as of the fourth. R4599:6 Spiritual Israel keeps Sabbath every day: resting in the finished work of Christ, resting from our own works, from all endeavor to justify ourselves through the law. R3753:4, 2269:5 Typical. The true Christian enjoys the antitype. The seventh day represents a rest of a higher character, a rest of faith instead of a physical rest. R4600:1, 2269:4 As seven is a type of perfection or completeness, so the seventh day rest was a type of the complete or perfect rest which we have in Christ. R2269:4 We can rest the most when we work the hardest. Q608:1 Let our homes be the most quiet of all on the appointed day of rest, let no sound of labor or worldly pleasure be heard, but let our joy of hope, love and faith abound. R3753:6 The early Church began to meet on the first day of the week because it was on that day that Christ arose from the dead, and on that day were all of his post-resurrection appearances. No wonder it became known to them as the Lord's day. R4600:2 It wouldn't surprise me if mankind kept the seventh day during the Millennial age. Q608:1

[Matthew 12:4]

And did eat— The emergencies of the case justified the deviation from the rule. It was a case of necessity, to preserve life. R3316:3, 3754:2, 2268:3
The shewbread— Type of the truth. T22, 115

[Matthew 12:5]

In the temple— Proving that labor done sacrificially for the assistance of others, as well as for their own necessities, could be no violation of the fourth commandment. R2268:3
And are blameless— The Law specifically provided for the labor which they would perform, and hence such labor could not be considered a profanation of the Sabbath. R3316:3

[Matthew 12:6]

Greater than the temple— These disciples were doing still more consecrated work than the priests and the Levites in the temple because he, the representative of the Father, was greater than the temple. R3316:3

[Matthew 12:7]

If ye had known— Equivalent to saying that they did not know its meaning. R539:1*
Mercy and not sacrifice— God is desirous of seeing in his creatures the quality of mercy toward one another, rather than merely the sacrificing of their comforts. R4600:4 It was the loving kindness of Jesus that disturbed their pharisaical natures and called forth their opposition. R539:1* Consequently any deeds of mercy, sympathy, pity done on the Sabbath are more pleasing in God's sight than sacrifices performed in the typical temple. R2268:3 This mercy would have hindered them from condemning the disciples. Similarly today, the great failing of many critics and fault-finders is their lack of mercy, of love. R3754:4
Not have condemned— The fault-finding disposition that is ready to accuse and condemn everybody indicates a wrong condition of heart. R3316:4

[Matthew 12:8]

Is Lord even of— Is the proper teacher to set forth the real significance of. R3754:4, 3316:4
The sabbath day— Type of the Seventh Thousand Year day. B40

[Matthew 12:9]

Into the synagogue— Where they wished to find ground for an accusation against the Lord before the congregation. R3316:6

[Matthew 12:11]

Shall have one sheep— He knew their tender spots of selfishness. R2269:1
Fall into a pit— The poor cripple had been trapped into sin and sickness by the Adversary. R2269:1
On the sabbath— Although labor was prohibited under the Law, it was to bring rest, comfort, refreshment and blessing, and not to bring hunger, inconvenience and distress to either man or beast. R2268:3
Lift it out— Because of their love of gain, to avoid its death and, hence, a financial loss. R2268:5 Even though it might require considerable exercise for several persons. How foolish, then, to find fault with our Lord who, by one word, could rebuke the disease. R3317:1

[Matthew 12:12]

Than a sheep— This is something the world does not seem to have learned. R3754:5
On the sabbath days— Jesus did many of his miracles on the Sabbath as a prophetic picture of the antitypical Sabbath day being the Millennium. R4600:5

[Matthew 12:13]

Was restored whole— Manifesting the predominance of love above any law along the lines of the prophecy he had just quoted, that mercy was higher in God's estimation than sacrifice. R3754:5Demonstrating that he had the divine favor, and that his teaching on the subject had this evidence of its truthfulness. R4600:4

[Matthew 12:14]

Then the Pharisees— Manifesting a rabid spirit of sectarianism and self-importance, imitated by some in our day who lack the spirit of the truth. R3754:5
Council against him— Less popular in Galilee than in Judea anyway, they felt that their influence before the people had been lessened by their conflict with the Lord. R3754:4
Might destroy him— The Lord's superior teachings excited the Pharisees to envy, malice, hatred and the very spirit of murder. R4600:5 They felt fully justified in murdering anyone whose words and conduct so overmatched them as to hinder their influence from spreading. R3754:6

[Matthew 12:15]

He withdrew— Setting the example to be on the lookout for divine deliverance and the opening of a way of escape from things too difficult to endure. F508; R1735:1

[Matthew 12:19]

In the streets— Not bandying the gospel in the streets, giving a reason for our hope to him that asketh. Neither the Bible nor sound judgment dictates quarreling for the truth's sake. R1468:4

[Matthew 12:20]

A bruised reed— A Christian not wholly consecrated. F684 A humble, contrite, faithful heart. God takes cognizance of it and confers his blessing. R1945:5
Shall he not break— God kindly condescends to human ignorance and weakness. R1675:1 If there be even a slight disposition to penitence, he fosters and cherishes it. R1614:5
And smoking flax— Smouldering faith. F684
Shall he not quench— If there is even a smouldering spark of love toward God, he will fan the spark, if perchance it might become a blaze. R1772:5, 2073:1*
Send forth judgment— Justice, righteousness, truth. D18 When Christ shall assume his kingly office at his second advent. NS640:5
Unto victory— Thus making Jehovah's footstool glorious. E47 Life and immortality were brought to light by Jesus' own successful probation. HG40:3 When all evil and all willful evil-doers shall have been cut off. His victory will consist in the establishment of righteousness and peace, no matter how many or how few fall in the conflict. R1443:5

[Matthew 12:23]

The son of David— "The Lord shall give him the throne of his father David." (Luke 1:32) C257 The long-promised king of David's line, the Messiah. E130, 133; C257; PD65/77; SM210:2

[Matthew 12:24]

Pharisees— As we see how blindly the scribes and Pharisees hated Jesus, and said all manner of evil against him, we see that really they were on Satan's side. R4608:3
But by Beelzebub— Satan: the first and, for a long time, the only enemy of the divine government. R2171:5 Refuted by Jesus' refusal to accept the testimony of any demon. R3310:4 The deluded Pharisees had even charged the Master with being Satan himself. (Matt. 10:25) R4608:5 Such a manifestation of hatred, malice and opposition to light came not through the "fall" and cannot be forgiven as such. R723:5
The prince— The chief, doubtless because of being by nature a superior order of being. R2171:5, 4608:5
Of the devils— Of the angels which fell at the time of the flood. R2171:5 His influence or spirit is exercised in his servants much the same way that the spirit of God works in his children.R370:6

[Matthew 12:25]

Said unto them— The Master took the time to philosophize with them on this subject. R4608:5 "When he was reviled, he reviled not again." (1 Pet. 2:23) R4802:6
Kingdom divided— Satan's struggles to retain control of mankind will be specially desperate at its close—before he is "bound" for the thousand years. R2189:2
Against itself— In its continued subdivision into sects the Protestant church has had its strength so decimated that, as the Master long ago predicted, it is doomed to fall. R1294:6*

[Matthew 12:26]

And if Satan— Whose very existence is now denied by many. F609 Spirit demonstrations are made by spirits who hate God and have no fellowship with that which is good. They universally reject the Bible as the Word of God, denouncing it as a fable and unworthy of belief. HG327:3*
Cast out Satan— By aiding the miraculous cure of the sick. F641 We advocate no general rejection of healings and miracles as being Satanic, but a careful study of every person or system seeking to establish itself by miracles. F638 As he is now doing through "Christian Science." R2189:1,2, 3784:3 Now, as Satan's kingdom is about to be overthrown, it is his effort to support it with many wonderful works. R5802:1, 3275:1, 1644:4 Satan's power of death makes quite possible his relief from sickness through agencies of his choice for the purpose of enforcing their false doctrines. R1685:6, 1644:3 The demons must sham to be "angels of light," teachers of advanced truths and good physicians, both of souls and bodies, in order to re-ensnare those who are feeling after God. R2189:2 He has long palmed himself off as a teacher; but Satan in the role of faith-healer is a novelty belonging chiefly to our day, though undoubtedly he has had to do with the relic-miracles of Papacy for centuries. R3120:2
His kingdom stand— When Satan would work against his own associates, it would imply the speedy fall of his empire. R3784:2, 4608:5 The necessity for his playing reformer and good physician today is an evidence that his fall is near. F641

[Matthew 12:27]

Beelzebub— Satan, because created on a higher plane, is styled the Prince of demons in his relationship to the fallen angels. R4608:5, 1686:1
Do your children— He pointed out that demons had been cast out by some whom they acknowledged and honored. R4608:5

[Matthew 12:28]

The spirit of God— Influence or power of God. R372:5 Which I do not claim as my own power. E271 If he, by God's power, cast out demons, it was an evidence that God's Kingdom was nigh, just as he had proclaimed. R4608:5

[Matthew 12:29]

One enter into— This would be in the second presence of our Lord. From the time of our Lord's parousia, disorder began in Satan's household. R4609:6
Strong man's house— His household, which would include the fallen angels. R4609:3
Spoil his goods— All the present institutions of the world are Satan's goods and arrangements. Q626:1; SM103:1; R1626:6 In his Reign of Righteousness, our Lord will destroy the works of evil, sin, superstition, ignorance, etc. SM243:1
First bind— Seems to imply that it will begin in a sudden manner. R4609:3 The first work of the new king is the binding of Satan. Truth will be the chain which will bind evil. When the knowledge of the Lord fills the whole earth, Satan will be completely bound. R430:3,6* Before anarchy comes, Satan must be bound. The collapse of Babylon, ecclesiastical systems and false doctrines, will indicate that Satan has been quite fully bound. Q626:1 The prince of this world, being slow to move out though his lease has expired, will be put out, bound hand and foot, causing a great deal of trouble.R5328:6 Every advance step of light and knowledge is that much restraint upon darkness and evil superstition. R4609:6 How will Satan be bound? Not with handcuffs.Q627:2
The strong man— Satan. SM103:1; R4609:3 "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and bound him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:2) C341; R4609:3 Gentile supremacy. R5526:2 That system of things of which Satan has stood as the head. R4609:3
And then— If the house is being spoiled already, must we not conclude that the personal devil has been bound for some time. R4695:3*
Spoil his house— Our Lord will spoil Satan's goods, overthrow his arrangements and institutions that are so deceptive. SM103:1 These will be spoiled in the great time of anarchy which will make ready for the establishment of the Kingdom of Messiah. Q626:1 Christ shall not only bind the strong man, but then he shall spoil his house, and during his reign he shall distribute the spoil to mankind, the dominion of earth. R575:1 Overturn his arrangements in order to establish a better. R668:5 Drive his household out of power. C341 "He shall divide the spoils of the strong." (Isa. 53:12) R575:1 When Satan's power begins to fail because the stronger than he begins to spoil his house, then this system will begin to be seen, revealed, and recognized in its true character, as "The Mystery of Iniquity." R711:1 Hence we cannot pray our Father to grant abundant harvests, send rains, prevent famines, droughts, wars and pestilences. R798:4

[Matthew 12:30]

Not with me— The side of God, truth, righteousness. R4608:3 If we believe that there is a Chief Reaper, we ought to recognize him and look for his guidance over the harvest field. We see different things going on, all under the supervision of the Great Reaper. CR63:4 Are we now to have a different Reaper? Will the same Reaper change his plans? Or shall we expect the great Chief Reaper to continue his work just as he began in an orderly procedure to its full culmination? CR62:6 Whoever thinks he may do a separate harvest work, and that each should do a separate work according to the bent of his own mind, has misunderstood the divine program. R3885:4
Is against me— Having thus answered their objection, he showed that they were against him and thus opposing God. R4608:5 The side of error, falsehood, Satan. R4608:3 The entire human family is either on one side or the other of a great battle between right and wrong, truth and error. R4608:2 The Sadducees, Pharisees and Herodians made common cause in opposition to the Master and the harvest work in the end of the Jewish age. R3883:5 In our day, devotees of every sect can meet together in harmony; but all, with one accord, are violently opposed to present truth. R3883:3 In this day of the Lord's presence, it becomes our duty, as well as our privilege, to judge who is on the Lord's side; and who is against him is against us. R1362:3 So far as the Lord is concerned, nobody can upset the work, but you can do that which is the work of the Adversary in the way of interrupting the Lord's work. CR64:5
Gathereth not with me— Their zeal is not according to a knowledge of God's plans; they are not working with God. R634:4*
Scattereth abroad— If others want to work outside and scratch around, let them do so. Let the Chief Reaper do the interrupting if it is necessary. CR64:5 They hinder the harvest work, they attempt to sow discord amongst the under-reapers by saying all manner of evil falsely against some of them. R3884:5

[Matthew 12:31]

I say unto you— Whether or not the scribes and Pharisees came to a sufficiently clear appreciation of God's holy power to constitute them amenable to the Second Death, we cannot judge. E272
All manner of sin— Ordinary sins resulting from the fall, ignorance, superstition, etc. R4608:6; E273 To have misunderstood and misrepresented the invisible God would have been a much lighter offense. E271
And blasphemy— Malicious words of opposition (see verse 36). R723:5
Shall be forgiven— Would all, in God's providence, be ultimately forgivable, if not willful. R4608:6; E273 Not may, but shall; but not without repentance. God, by his goodness, will lead men to repentance. R78:1* In some respects it is a mercy that the world is, in a large measure, blind and deaf, and therefore in the same proportion irresponsible as respects the message now being delivered to the meek. NS208:3 During this age, for lack of light; during the next age, as knowledge and strength will be acquired gradually, all imperfection and shortcomings will still be forgiven because of Christ's redemption, until men reach perfection. R569:6 If there is more or less of ignorance, then the punishment is in proportion to the amount of willfulness. Q281:5 The sins and blasphemies which may be forgiven are such as are committed in ignorance. The sins which cannot be pardoned are the willful sins. R1984:4
But the blasphemy— Evil speaking, evil acting, contrary to the spirit of the truth, the spirit of righteousness, the Spirit of the Lord, as they had learned and understood the same. NS244:1 "He that committeth sin is of the devil." (1 John 3:8). Those who sin willfully, deliberately, are of the devil, and are not guided by the holy Spirit of God. NS243:6
The holy ghost— Every sin against the holy Spirit, against clear light and knowledge of divine power, is unforgivable. E273; R4608:6,2612:2 The holy Spirit here denotes a light, an intelligence, respecting God's purposes. R5105:6 Whoever willfully and intelligently would sin against Jesus would be guilty of blasphemy against the holy Spirit. R5106:1; Q280:7 Attributing God's spirit or power to Satan's power. R4608:5 There may be various degrees of heinousness in God's sight, small or great sins. R5452:6 When a demonstration of the power, spirit, of God in doing a good work was manifested, though they might not have received it as a proof of Jesus' claims, they were inexcusable for attributing it to Satanic power. R723:5, 260:2 The Pharisees had not intentionally blasphemed Jehovah, nor particularly blasphemed Jesus; they had blasphemed against the holy Spirit which was operating in him. E271; R5453:1
Not be forgiven— Some sins against the holy Spirit might be punished with stripes, others with death. R5452:6 Must be expiated by punishment. E273 The Pharisees, to whom these words were addressed, could not commit this sin, because they had not the fullness of knowledge. R5293:4, 5452:6 Where any measure of willfulness is associated with sin it takes it to that degree out of the list of forgivable sins and places it in the list of the unforgivable. NS244:3 Adam's sin was an unforgivable one because it was the sin of a perfect being, a willful sin against the Spirit, not unintentional, but deliberate. NS243:2 If we were perfect, as Adam was perfect, any transgression of the law would be as unforgivable as was Father Adam's transgression. NS243:4

[Matthew 12:32]

Speaketh a word— Ignorantly. E271; R5390:6
Against the Son— If one blaspheme the name of Jesus, being deceived in some way, then the sin is not blasphemy against the holy Spirit and may be forgiven. Q281:T To have misinterpreted Jesus' motives, claiming he was merely trying to usurp a throne and exalt himself in power, would have been a comparatively light offense. E271; R732:5,260:2
Shall be forgiven— To the proportion of its ignorance and weakness, any sin is forgivable; to the proportion that any sin was willful, intentional, it is unforgivable and must be expiated by punishment. E273; R5453:1, 5390:6, 5106:4, 4608:6
The Holy Ghost— Denotes a light, an intelligence, respecting God's purpose. R5105:6 Maliciously attributing to an evil source what could not be denied as a good work, free from sin, selfishness or ambition. E271; R5390:6 All sins against light and ability are unpardonable, cannot be forgiven at any time, and hence they must be punished.R260:5 Sins against clear manifestations of divine grace cannot be attributed to weakness of the flesh and heredity, but must be properly charged as willful viciousness of the heart, which is unforgivable. E272
Not be forgiven— This does not mean that the individual will be punished for it forever. It simply means that such sin cannot be forgiven and could only be expiated. R5690:2, 723:5, 372:5, 260:3 If punishment does not bring reformation, it would mean the second death. R5390:6 All who receive "stripes" receive them for unpardoned sins, for if the sins were pardoned they would not be punished for them. R260:3 The Lord will accept a judging of ourselves as being the stripes due such a sin and probably give no further stripes, because of the self-correction. NS245:6 Those who do not accept when once they have a full opportunity, die the second death, from which we are told of no recovery, no ransom. R44:2
Neither in this world— During this Gospel age. R4608:6 Jesus' miracles and preachings were the commencement of the Gospel age, as he is the head of the Gospel Church. R723:5 There is such thing as forgiveness of sins, both in the present Gospel age and in the coming Millennial age. R260:2
The world to come— The Millennial age. R4608:6 Future. The word "age" occurs but once in the text. R723:5 Those who have utterly apostatized here cannot be forgiven there; but the honest, though weak, who have failed of the crown now, through weakness of the flesh, may be forgiven there. R779:5*

[Matthew 12:34]

Generation— Greek, gennema, race. D603
Of vipers— So set on the traditions of their church that their eyes were blinded against the simplest kind of reasoning. E271; R372:5
The abundance— Whatever one has stored up in the mind will be topmost and sure to be spoken. R5518:6 A man's treasure shows in which way his mind is bent. His preferences demonstrate his character. The things which we cultivate are an index to our character. R5519:1
Heart— Used with the force of the word "mind." R5518:4 The heart is representative of the character, and the mouth is the index of the character. R5518:4, 5122:6, 1937:1 If we get the heart right, the effect will be a proportionate cleansing and purifying of the flesh. SM335:1 A right condition of heart is necessary to right words. R1937:1Heart attitude. R5470:6 A heart filled and overflowing with the spirit of love and truth will bestow it upon others. R4770:6, 2444:1 The Scriptures everywhere exhort the Lord's people to be pure in heart. SM336:T Our first concern, then, should be for the heart, that the affections and dispostions may be fully under the control of divine grace. R1937:2
The mouth speaketh— If the principles of truth, righteousness, reverence for God and love for the beauties of holiness are established in the heart, we shall have no difficulty in controlling our tongue. R5519:4, 5247:3 He who watches his tongue is putting a detective on his deceitful heart, and can better know and master it. R2445:1 If it speaks slander, it shows the real heart condition.F408; NS590:5 Our words continually bearing testimony of the condition of our hearts. R5122:6 An evil mouth, a mouth which does injury to others, indicates an evil heart. R2444:1 What a fearful responsibility attaches to the tongue that wags in an evil or even in a flippant way, which is also dishonoring to God. R1938:2The Lord judges the heart according to our words. R5122:5 By this we may judge or test ourselves. OV208:4 Today, opponents of the truth use slanderous charges rather than personal violence. R5545:2

[Matthew 12:35]

The good treasure— We must reach the place where not only we do not will to do harm to our neighbors, but where we sincerely wish to do them good. OV209:1
Forth good things— The fruitage of kindness, mercy and love—good works. SM335:2; OV208:4 Our lives should be so that all of our friends and acquaintances would be ready to say of us, He is a good man; his message will have something of consolation in it. R4277:6
Evil things— Bitter things, poisoned arrows, injurious to all with whom they come in contact. OV208:4

[Matthew 12:36]

But I say unto you— The Scribes and Pharisees, who were trying to catch him in his words, using technicalities of language. R5517:2; OV208:3
Every idle word— Unprofitable, pernicious, injurious, disloyal, frivolous, flippant, unkind, unthankful, unholy, impure. R1938:1, 5517:2, 2613:1, 722:2 Whether written or spoken. OV208:3 Our Lord referred to the thoughts behind the words. R5518:2 The safe attitude of the soul under afflictions and severe testings is silence before God, waiting and watching to see his leading before presuming to touch things that involve so much. R1937:5 Perfect mastery of our words and ways is to be sought by vigilant and faithful effort. R4805:2 Every evil act and every pernicious word will be recorded in the individual's own character. OV209:2 In the context, referring to words of willful and malicious opposition spoken against manifest light (see verses 24, 31, 32). R2613:1,722:3 Oh, the power of a slanderous word! the power of an insinuation! Yea, even of a shrug of the shoulder! OV208:3
Shall give account— Be dealt with, corrected and disciplined in righteousness, to bring to true reformation and final perfection. R1469:5, 5517:3 The wrong-doer specially injures and marks himself by the wrong he has practiced in evil-speaking and evil-doing. OV209:2; R5517:6 The Christian should daily render his accounts at the throne of grace. R4805:2,5517:6 Let us remember daily to settle our accounts with the Lord, to make sure that no record of idle words, unrepented of, and consequently unforgiven, stands against us. R1938:6
Day of judgment— Day of trial, of testing, of reckoning. OV207:1; R5517:6 Not a day of doom. OV207:1 With the Church, this Gospel age. R5517:6,1938:1; HG40:6; OV208:2 The Church is now standing before the bar of divine judgment. Both the heart and mouth are under special scrutiny. R5518:3, 4805:5 The Millennial day, granting to Adam and each member of his race an individual, personal trial. OV207:2 In the Millennial age "day of judgment," there will be a reckoning, even for every pernicious word. R1654:1

[Matthew 12:37]

By thy words— The Lord's consecrated people have a responsibility for what effect their words and influences have upon others. OV208:3 The Lord has agreed that he will not judge the Church according to their words and their deeds entirely, but according to their spirit, intention and will. OV208:4
Be justified— Nothing but the merit of Christ's sacrifice can justify any from the Adamic condemnation. OV209:3 The word is used here in a limited sense. R5470:3 The good words spoken being an indication of the converted state of the heart. PT391:T* By our words of repentance, supplemented by the merits of Christ applied by faith. R1938:3 Acquitted. R1937:4 Not that every man will be justified from the Adamic condemnation by any words that he could utter. OV209:3
By thy words— Words are an index of the heart. R5470:5
Be condemned— Suffer the consequences. The first will be self-injury, and the second, a bad example for others. R1938:3 "Blessed is the man who is not condemned by that which he alloweth." (Rom. 14:22) OV209:4 By their words the Pharisees proved themselves dishonest; no longer worthy of God's special favor. R5470:5 The Pharisees were in their trial time. R5470:2 Idle words will stand against us if not repented of. R4805:5

[Matthew 12:38]

See a sign from thee— A proof of his Messiahship; not recognizing his teachings and his miracles as proof sufficient. R4608:6

[Matthew 12:39]

The prophet Jonas— He then told them of one sign which would come to them too late. R4608:6

[Matthew 12:40]

For as Jonas— The various parts of the entire Bible are bound together by their mutual endorsement of the various writers, so that to reject one is to mar the completeness of the whole. R1145:5;A61 Contrary to the belief of many modern theologians. A61; HG317:5
Three days and three nights— Indicating that his resurrection would be on the third day. Q586:T; R4608:6, 4603:2 Typifying the last part of the fifth, all of the sixth, and the first part of the seventh thousand-year day, in which the body of Christ was to be in the prison-house of death. R2888:3, 3568:5* This statement of Jesus was idiomatic and implied that he would be in the heart of the earth "till the third day." (Matt. 16:21; 20:19) For proof see Gen. 42:17,18; 2 Chron. 10:5,12; Esther 4:16; 5:1. R3574:5*
In the whale's belly— If these be false, Jesus must have been a fraud and not the Son of God. It would also imply that he was much less inspired and wise than were the modern wise men who dispute these facts. R4151:6

[Matthew 12:41]

Rise in judgment— In the Millennial age the people of Nineveh will rank higher than they. R4608:6
This generation— Greek, genea, people living contemporaneously. D603
Shall condemn it— Just as heathendom will condemn Christendom for its misuse of divine favor. D72

[Matthew 12:42]

Queen of the south— The Queen of Sheba had journeyed afar to hear Solomon's wisdom. R4608:6
Shall condemn it— A reproof for his own nation, indicating that they were careless, indifferent respecting the truth. R3284:6
Uttermost parts of the earth— Sheba, the queen's home, was in southern Arabia, a land noted at that time for its immense wealth and particularly for its perfumes. R2067:5
To hear the wisdom— Her zeal for wisdom is evidenced by the fact that she brought so valuable a treasure so long a distance through a wilderness where she was liable to the attacks of Bedouin robbers. R2067:5 Indicating the Lord's approval of this desire for wisdom evinced by the queen. R3284:6
Greater than Solomon— The antitype being greater than the type. R2068:1, 1517:2 A still wiser man, heir to the world, seeking a bride for joint-heirship. R5722:5 Our Lord Jesus Christ, the embodiment of wisdom, justice, righteousness, with riches of grace, glory, honor, dominion. R2068:1, 3284:6 Those who were in his presence realized it not and heeded not his message. R4608:6, 5722:4

[Matthew 12:44]

Swept and garnished— Sins forgiven and grace of God received. R5378:5

[Matthew 12:45]

Then goeth he— If Christ has not been enthroned in the mind already weakened by previous obsession. R2173:3, 4291:5 Satan will seek to regain control through the spirit of the world—pride, anger, malice, hatred, strife. R5378:5
Seven other spirits— The number seven representing perfection or completeness. These seven are contrasted with the seven spirits of God. (Rev. 1:4; 3:1) R370:6
Worse than the first— Worse than before he came into relationship with Christ. R5378:5 "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of
righteousness, than, after they had known it [been begotten by the Word of God] to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." (2 Pet. 2:21) R1698:3
They enter in— Even if justified from all sins, we need an occupant for our hearts—the Divine One, to guard our hearts. R4291:5

[Matthew 12:48]

Who is my mother?— When our new condition is fully entered upon, we shall no longer be husbands, wives, parents, children, brothers and sisters with those on the earthly plane. R943:6 Our love to our former dear ones will be no less than now. Our love will be greatly intensified, though not bounded by the former limits of blood relationship. R943:6 Does not imply that the unbelieving husband or wife is to be neglected so that time and fellowship can be given to those of the new mind; but the obligation of each is to his mate. F590
Who are my brethren?— Not all who name the name of Christ. R5938:4 The word implies fellowship and being children of one father. R2798:4

[Matthew 12:49]

Behold my mother— Our most intimate relationships are no longer those of earthly origin. R943:3
And my brethren— How beautiful the lesson of the Great Teacher's breadth of spirit. R5037:6

[Matthew 12:50]

Whosoever— Regardless of caste or class. R5037:6
Shall do the will— It is by our deeds and not merely by our professions that we are accepted of the Lord. R5938:3 We are to anticipate true fellowship only with those who earnestly seek to do the Father's will, serve his cause, and exemplify the instruction of His word, in deeds as well as in professions. R5938:4, 2235:3
Same is my brother— Those who earnestly seek to do the Father's will. R5938:4 In my new family, "the household of faith." F590 A very emphatic statement of our dear and close relationship to him and to the Father. R297:1 And yet the hour came when even these were scattered and he was left alone. The persecution became so severe that they all fled. R1069:4*

[Matthew 13:2]

Went into a ship— From a boat our Lord taught a lesson respecting the method of selecting the Little Flock. R4634:3
On the shore— Which at this point is said to rise rapidly, therefore giving the general effect of an amphitheater. R2627:2

[Matthew 13:3]

In parables— Really word-pictures of the Kingdom. No one of these parables represents the complete view of the subject, but merely one phase of it. R2633:3 Giving prophetically the Church's experiences from various standpoints—from the time the work of selection began until the time when that work will be completed. R2276:3 Parables which illustrate truths can only be seen as illustrations as the truths they illustrate become manifest. R1742:4 These parables, seven in all, refer not to the non-professing world, but to two classes in the Church. R580:3,263:6 About nine of them. Their object was to depict the processes of development by which the Kingdom class would be selected. R2633:6, 2634:1
Behold— It is never said, "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a sower"—there was no Church of Christ, no Kingdom of heaven, until the day of Pentecost. R97:3*
A sower— Our Lord was the great sower, then the Apostles and his faithful followers. R4634:3
To sow— Various classes of hearers are shown here. R4635:1 Designed to show that it is not the eloquence, force or truthfulness of the message that determines the result, but chiefly the attitude of the heart that hears. R2627:2 This parable refers only to those who are no longer willing sinners, but are outwardly righteous. R4635:1

[Matthew 13:4]

Seeds— The Kingdom message, or invitation. R4634:3 The Word of God that liveth and abideth forever. R1698:4
By the wayside— The fields of Palestine are not fenced and the paths of travel frequently cross them. R3763:2 Representing merely formalists. R4635:1
And the fowls— Birds are very numerous in Palestine; a farmer's chief pest. R3763:2 Typifying Satan and his agents. R5406:5, 4634:6, 2634:6
Devoured them up— Ever ready to take away the seed of truth. R5406:5

[Matthew 13:5]

Upon stony places— Palestine abounds with limestone which renders the soil very rich, but when shallow, very hot. R3763:2 Represents a class of hearers who lack depth of character; they flourish for a time, but when trials and testings come, they stumble. R4635:1

[Matthew 13:7]

Among thorns— There are 50 varieties of thorny plants in Palestine, some growing to a height of 15 feet. R3763:2 Not briar bushes or brambles, but an aftergrowth of a variety of thistles which come up quickly in every wheat field of Palestine. R2627:6* The spirit of the world, its ambitions, wealth and influence, its love of the good things of life. R4635:2 These thorns are not sensual vices and criminal appetites, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches. R4635:1 The ground which will produce thorns is rich and very suitable for the production of proper Christian character. R4635:1

[Matthew 13:8]

Good ground— In the heart. R4634:6
Brought forth fruit— Fruitfulness of heart, life and character depend on the individual and how he receives the message. R4635:4
Some an hundredfold— Those who come up to the very highest standard in the fruits of the spirit. Q426:3; CR276:4 The larger the returns, the greater the Father's pleasure and the Savior's glory. R4635:4 Indicates the degree and intensity of our earnestness. The rewards in the Kingdom will also be proportionate. R4635:5 A single grain of barley has been known to produce a fruitage of 276 grains. R3763:2, 4635:4
Some sixtyfold— The same class, but not to shine quite as highly in the Kingdom. R426:3; CR276:4 The Apostle John speaks of the variety among Christians—little children, young men and fathers. (1 John 2:12, 13) R97:5* The same means of grace do not profit all to exactly the same extent. Some, for instance, are by nature more studious, thoughtful, generous or grateful. R1973:2
Some thirtyfold— This might mean those who will be of the Great Company. Q426:3; CR276:4

[Matthew 13:9]

Who hath ears— "Take head how ye hear"—see that your heart is in a right attitude to receive the truth. R2627:2
To hear— "Preach the Gospel to the meek." (Isa. 61:1) R2965:6
Let him hear— Those who had an inclination to be his disciples. R5003:5 "Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 2:7) B16The Gospel was not to the Jews only, but to every people with hearts to appreciate it. R2995:6 Do not expect all to hear and obey and enlist with us. NS61:6

[Matthew 13:10]

Said unto him— Earnest desire to understand every word of God is an evidence that we belong to the Kingdom class. R3763:5
In parables— Dark sayings. Q748:2; D614 There is considerable truth in the claim that the doctrines of Christianity can be better gleaned from the writings of the Apostles than from the sayings of Jesus as reported in the Gospels. R5088:2

[Matthew 13:11]

Is given unto you— The Church. E333 The meek, honest and faithful of God's people. D614; C214 The Apostles, the elect, the sanctified in Christ Jesus. OV230:4; R5462:4, 4909:2, 4334:3 Not only to the disciples of that day, but to the disciples all through the ages. R1742:1 Even "as many as the Lord your God shall call." (Acts 2:39) SM242:T As the Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile got the message, so a similar class will get the message now. SM302:T Not to inspire thankfulness and consecration, but only to the thankful and consecrated who already have presented themselves living sacrifices to God. R2723:1,4 "If any man shall do my Father's will, he shall know of my doctrine." (John 7:17) R2817:1
Know the mysteries— The Divine Plan of the Ages, the Messianic Kingdom, the times and seasons. Q748:2; C215; R5244:6 "The deep things of God." (1 Cor. 2:10) R5402:2, 1506:1 "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief." (1 Thess. 5:4) C215 Being "taught of God" and guided by his holy Spirit to an understanding of his Word. R2627:3 The Lord's people in the present truth are the only ones who understand the great mystery of why evil was permitted. R1506:1 To be so led by the Spirit and Word of the Father is to understand his purposes and be enabled always to be workers together with God. R1948:1 A distinction should be observed in knowing about God and knowing God himself. NS809:5 So that the Lord's consecrated people might know of the time in which we are living, be more quickened and more separated from the world and its spirit, and ripened as wheat. HG399:2 His secret counsels which others cannot know. R3161:4 The mystery which was kept secret since the world began, to know and realize their relationship to Christ as his prospective bride and joint-heir. R1957:6 That a certain class is permitted to join with their Redeemer in his sacrifice and sufferings in order to be granted a share in the glorious work of his Kingdom. R4515:3
Kingdom of heaven— An interchangeable expression with "Kingdom of God." R396:6
But to them— Those outside of the twelve and other special disciples. R4909:2 The multitudes who went to hear him; outsiders, not specially interested. R5462:4, 4398:6, 3803:2; CR35:1 Not Israelites indeed. B28; HG399:1 Those without—strangers to God and unconsecrated. R2276:4 Outsiders, in what the Scriptures term "outer darkness," the darkness which belongs to this present time of ignorance and superstition. (Matt. 25:30) R4398:6
It is not given— The Lord never meant anybody to understand all these things except the brethren. CR476:3 Not understood by those who heard them, and little better comprehended today. A128 Not God's intention that many will understand the divine philosophy of the ransom. R4352:3 The world knows nothing about the deep things of God. R4398:6 The special light in both harvests is for the Israelites indeed. B27, 28 In mercy, God has hidden his plan from the world. NS731:6 The majority are blinded by the God of this world, Satan, through various traditions, heathen and Christian. R3140:5 Either because they never came into the right attitude of heart to receive them, or because they subsequently left that proper condition of devotion, humility and teachableness. R4352:4 An understanding of spiritual things would do harm rather than good to those not spiritually begotten. R5008:1Even his devoted followers, including the apostles, were natural men who did not receive the begetting of the holy Spirit until Pentecost. R5941:2 The mystery has been in operation from the beginning of the world and is still a mystery so far as the world is concerned, and will continue to be a mystery until the end of the present dispensation and the opening of the Millennial age. NS399:1 Not until the elect shall be glorified and the Millennial Kingdom established will the "mystery" be made fully known to the world and every knee bow and every tongue confess. OV230:4; NS588:2

[Matthew 13:12]

Whosoever hath— Hath used. R2496:6
Shall be given— Shall be given more. CR309:3
More abundance— The Logos, who had always proved faithful in all things, was offered the headship of the New Creation. F64
Whosoever hath not— Hath not used. R2496:6; CR309:3
Even that he hath— The privileges that he had; so don't overlook the little things. CR309:3

[Matthew 13:13]

Therefore— The purpose was that those in the right condition of heart might receive the instruction while others, indifferent, careless, would be left in ignorance. NS605:6
In parables— The misconceptions of our forefathers on the subject of punishment for sin were built upon mistranslations or statements meant to be understood symbolically. HG653:6
They see not— There are many who lack spiritual sight, who cannot exercise faith in what they cannot see; and, according to the Scriptures, they are not responsible for their failure. SM680:T God is not blaming them. We do not smite a blind man because he does not see. On the contrary, we sympathize with him. SM679:4
They hear not— When our Lord was preaching, comparatively few had an ear to hear. The majority were too full of their own ideas and projects, and thus it has been all down the Gospel age. SM679:3 Many of the Lord's saints have had the ears of their understanding so perverted by false teachings respecting predestination that they do not know the song of Zion when they hear it. NS634:3 The majority of professing Christians are careless, indifferent to what the Lord has caused to be written for their admonition and encouragement and assistance in this "evil day." SM288:1

[Matthew 13:15]

They have closed— Because of ignorance and blindness. R5338:6
Be converted— Turned to a proper course. R3763:3
Heal— Greek, Iaomai, to heal; also signifying "saved." R4099:3*

[Matthew 13:16]

But— God's work in the present time is not the conversion of the world, which certainly is not being accomplished; but the taking out of the world a people for his name, to bear the name of Christ as his bride. NS859:6
Blessed— Especially anointed, specially blessed. R5418:4, 5372:6 For these alone is the message. OV230:5; SM109:2, 679:3 It is a great privilege to hear and see. SM343:3; NS859:6 With a present opportunity; and, if we respond, we are now on trial. Q590:2 A blessing in the life that now is and also in that which is to come, and a peace and joy which they never knew before, which the world can neither give nor take away. NS412:1 Blessed indeed in advance of the world; but blessed also will be the world when God's due time shall come. NS569:4
Are your eyes— Of faith, of understanding. R4677:2, 4967:6, 177:5, 175:6; OV57:4; CR126:4 The eyes of our understanding must be opened before we can appreciate spiritual things. PD44/53 The opening of our eyes is a gradual work. CR334:1 God is not trying to attract the world now; they are blind and deaf. SM343:3 Only a "remnant" of Israelites indeed, who accepted the Messiah, were received into the higher dispensation. R2371:6; NS631:2 The time is coming when all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. Q416:2;SM729:1; NS386:3
For they see— Intimating that some could see and others could not. R5338:6; Q590:2 The blessing of present truth. CR13:6 See His Word, showing us the way in which we should go. CR13:5 At the first advent, the humble Israelites indeed were not confused, but enlightened, and the same is true now. D599 We may now rejoice in things too hard for the Jew to understand and equally impossible for the natural man of the Gentiles to comprehend. R3590:6 We are to expect a wide difference of understanding of God, his mightiness and character, as viewed by the saints and by the world. R2712:2 These alone see that the "hell" of the Bible is the tomb, that there is provision for the salvation of all—two classes of mankind—and many other truths. NS588:2 The eye of faith is directed by God's Word. Q416:2 We can see more clearly because we are spirit-begotten. R5418:4 He only wished to have those see it who would accept the blessed truth. R327:5* The opening up of the divine word, the discernment of the divine plan with its times and seasons, and the confusion upon Babylon are satisfactory proofs of the presence of the King. D599 The manifestation of God's love. The world in general has seen only the display of divine justice in permitting the wages of sin to bring calamities and troubles. NS462:5
And your ears— Ears of faith. R4677:2, 4967:6, 4557:2; CR126:4 While spirit-anointed members of Christ tell the good tidings unto all people, they understand that only such as have ears to hear will be able to comprehend and appreciate the message until the new dispensation. NS222:2
For they hear— The message of the Lord. CR13:3,5; SM369:1 You who have heard must have been called. CR13:2 Thus far, Jesus has not been dealing with the world, but merely with those having the eye and ear of faith. R4967:6 Before your study can be effective you must make your consecration to the Lord. These are the ones the Lord has promised shall see and hear. CR14:1; Q186:1An opportunity to return to harmony with God cannot come except through knowledge; hence, it comes first to those who have the "hearing ear." R4154:6

[Matthew 13:17]

Have desired— Before the due time. R1307:5
Have not seen them— Though much had been foretold by the prophets, they confessed their ignorance of the import of their prophecies. B23 "They say of me, Doth he not speak in parables" (Ezek. 20:49); "I heard, but I understood not" (Dan. 12:8). B23 The operation of God's spirit upon the prophets was so different from the operation of the same spirit upon the Gospel Church that the humblest Christian may know more of God's plan than would the greatest prophet. R435:3

[Matthew 13:18]

Hear ye therefore— Understand ye. NS605:3 One of the few parables which our Lord himself interpreted. R4634:6

[Matthew 13:19]

Word— Message of the Kingdom. R5039:2 "The Gospel of the kingdom"—the information that God has appointed Christ to be King and he is now seeking a little flock to be his associates in the work of blessing and restoring the world. NS606:3,6
Of the kingdom— The message respecting the Kingdom, which, germinating, constitutes his Church. R2276:5 The message of the Kingdom may be said to be the only message God has yet given to mankind as a message of hope. R2628:4 At the time of utterance, the message of the Kingdom took on a special form—an invitation to become joint-heirs with the Messiah, the heir of the Kingdom. R2628:5
Understandeth it not— On such ears, the message is lost. R4634:6
Then cometh— On the alert, to take it away. R4634:6
The wicked one— Satan. R3764:3, 5039:2, 4634:6
Catcheth away— Devouring the exposed seed of truth. R4635:1, 5406:5
In his heart— In the first parable, the field is the heart; in the second, "the field is the world." (Verse 38) R97:2* If all hearts were right, the seed would bring forth much fruit. R4634:6
This is he— We blame not. The Lord blames him not. It was not his fault that his mind was so down-trodden with ignorance that the message of the Kingdom could find no lodgment in his heart. NS607:1
Seed— The Kingdom message or invitation; many do not understand it. R4634:3,6
By the way-side— The heart being solid and compact with selfishness that comes with prosperity, needing the plowshare of trouble. R2627:3, 3754:3 Wayside hearers constitute the most numerous class in every nominal church congregation. R4635:1

[Matthew 13:20]

Into stony places— Having a veneer of outward grace, but at heart a character of selfishness. R2627:5 The influences of the Kingdom will give them strength of character and take away the unfavorable, stony condition which now hinders fruitage. NS607:4

[Matthew 13:21]

Not root in himself— They lack depth of character. R4635:1, 1711:4 The selfishness which is the sub-stratum of their character will not permit them to endure hardness for the truth's sake.R2627:5
Persecution ariseth— Persecution withers them. NS607:3 As soon as they find that with the truth goes something of persecution and tribulation, their interest speedily dies out. R2627:6
He is offended— The purpose of permitting offenses and divisions is
"that they which are approved [by God, because they endure the tests and stand fast in the truth] may be made manifest among you." (1 Cor. 11:18, 19) R1711:5

[Matthew 13:22]

Among the thorns— Pride, ambition for self and for family, love of money and the pursuit of it, and the award which this pursuit brings, are the thorns. NS608:1 Earthly projects and ambitions whose interests conflict with the interests of the Kingdom. R3764:5 Thorns are uprooted by drawing time and attention away from the earthly things in a compulsory manner. R2628:2 In Palestine, the thorns and thistles grow in the very best kind of soil. R2627:6
Is he— There are many noble people represented by this portion of the parable. R4635:2
Care of this world— Involved with the spirit of the world. R4635:2, 5055:5 Being swallowed up by ambition or business. R5625:5 Home duties, family duties, business cares, etc. R2628:1
Deceitfulness of riches— Greediness. R5307:2 Few of the Lord's people can be trusted with riches. R2520:2 If a Christian grows rich, it should be with fear and trembling. The power in money is more dangerous than dynamite. R1045:5*
Choke the word— Swamped by the ordinary duties of life, proper enough in themselves, to a limited degree. NS607:6
Becometh unfruitful— Fruitage is a necessary qualification. R4635:2 "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24) R3764:5

[Matthew 13:23]

Into good ground— We, as new creatures, have the determining of the condition of the soil in our own hearts. NS608:3
Understandeth it— We should understand the Kingdom message. Hence the need of Bible study. R4635:4 As study is wisely devoted to prepare for the short earthly life, how much more is it proper for our preparation for eternal life? R4635:5
Beareth fruit— Of character-development; the manifestation of God's grace in our hearts. R4634:3, 5284:2 Varying amounts according to circumstances, conditions and ability; but always their very best. R5736:5
And bringeth forth— The harvest of thirty, sixty or a hundredfold illustrates degree and intensity of our earnestness. R4635:5
Some an hundredfold— Those who love the Lord, his truth and his people most fervently. R2628:4 The rewards of the Kingdom will also be proportionate. R4635:5
Some sixty— "As star differeth from star in glory, so also will be the resurrection" of the Church. (1 Cor. 15:41, 42) NS608:5
Some thirty— He does not speak slightingly of those which bring forth but the thirty-fold. R2628:3

[Matthew 13:24]

Another parable— He had something more to communicate, some additional truths were to be illustrated. R97:1* These parables are related to each other, but should not be confounded. The first prepares the way for the other. The first deals with the individual; the second with the church collectively. R97:1,4*; NS626:2 To show some of the difficulties which interfere with the best hearers, the best hearts, some with the best seed. R3769:3
Kingdom of heaven— Practically every parable which our Lord uttered was given to teach something respecting the character of the Kingdom. NS627:2 The embryo Kingdom during the entire Gospel age. R5048:3, 3769:3
Is likened unto— It is the invisible world which is the fact; it is the visible world which is the metaphor. R29:5*
A man— The Lord Jesus. R3769:3, 5048:6
Sowed good seed— The Gospel of the Kingdom from the Word of God, "He brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." (2 Tim. 1:10) R3769:3, 5048:6 Seeds of truth, the promises, which, springing up in the hearts of his disciples, transformed them to newness of life. R2634:1 "Which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord." (Heb. 2:3) R3769:3 Christ and the Apostles sowed the good seed, meanwhile gathering the ripe wheat of the Jewish nation. R5018:3 It was impossible for the Adversary to corrupt the seed of truth which Jesus and the Apostles sowed. R4635:3 Christ's saintly followers. OV395:2 His personal seed-sowing of the Gospel message was accomplished more than 18 centuries ago, but since then he has been represented by his followers. NS626:2 An illustration of slow, gradual, methodical development covering the entire period of this Gospel age. R5049:6 This parable ignores all except the "good ground" hearers of the preceding parable. R4635:2
In his field— The entire world. R5048:6 The civilized world. C137, 140 Especially throughout Europe and America. R2634:2

[Matthew 13:25]

But while men slept— After the apostles fell asleep. F60, 201; R4635:2, 3769:6, 2634:2, 2276:6; OV395:2; NS633:5 In the night, the dark ages, while a general spirit of slumber regarding the truth prevailed among the Lord's people. R3769:6, 5018:5, 4891:4 Even yet the same thing is true. "Therefore, let us not sleep as do others." (1 Thess. 5:6) R3769:6 The Church was kept free from tares before the apostles fell asleep by God arranging that truth be put forth for acceptance or rejection by the Jews in its most unfavorable light, so that only Israelites indeed would be inclined to become followers of Jesus. R2925:1 During the Apostles' days such special gifts as "discernment of spirits" enabled them to prevent tares from getting in among the wheat, hypocrites from getting into the Church. R580:3, 20:1 "After my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock." (Acts 20:29, 30) NS633:6 Many of the Lord's followers have been dreaming about the conversion of the world while the great enemy, Satan, has been sowing tares with liberal hand in their very midst. R3769:6
His enemy came— The great adversary, Satan. R4635:2; OV395:2 He had a comparatively free hand. R2943:2 Satan and his associates, fallen angels, have been plotting against the divine plan and operating with a view to thwarting the same all through this age. R3770:3 Using human instrumentalities. NS94:3
Sowed tares— Sham wheat, imitation wheat, professors who draw nigh with their lips while their hearts are far from the Lord. NS94:3 Hypocrites, Nominal Christians, resembling or counterfeiting the true, to choke the wheat, if possible.R4653:3, 5823:5, 5018:5, 4635:3, 3770:2 The offspring of error, children of the wicked one. R4644:2, 5864:3 Errors, more or less twisting and distorting every truth of the divine revelation. F60; C137; OV395:2 It may be a message of morality or purity of life, but it will not produce the Kingdom class. R5736:6 Nullifying the virtues of the death of Christ by a method of imitation. R5848:4* The tare seed is false teaching, human philosophies and doctrines of devils.R2627:3; NS93:5 Bearded darnel, which cannot be discerned from wheat until the harvest. The wheat, weighted with golden grains, humbly bows its head; while the tares stand straight, the head having little weight and the seed being black. R3770:1, 5848:3*, 4635:3 The darnel seed is poisonous. R3770:2, 2276:6 Poisonous, and acts as an emetic, causing vomiting. R2276:6 Such spite-work is not uncommon in the Orient, or in Palestine. R4635:3; CR250:6 These have run the church organizations, and the Lord has permitted it to be so and is allowing the truly consecrated ones to be developed under these different conditions. NS292:5 Deceived persons, misnaming themselves Christians, because mistaught by churchianity. R2943:1 The spirit of rivalry, under the guidance of the Adversary, led step by step to the ultimate organization of the great Antichrist system—Papacy. F201 The tares are begotten of error—false doctrine. NS94:3 With the error respecting the nature of man, that he is alive when dead and needs no resurrection; and respecting the Kingdom of God, that it came in Papacy. HG272:4 The heathen, converted by Papacy, were not benefited, for they were still heathen in God's sight, but deluded into aping what they did not understand or do from the heart. R2598:3 Since the death of the apostles, any number of hypocrites have come into the church, indeed have been dragged and coaxed in to swell the numbers. R2943:5 There are many fine, noble people among the tares who have neither part nor lot with the wheat because they are not of the same nature, not begotten of the truth. NS94:2 Doubtless in the same manner as the wheat; the wheat growing from seeds of truth, while the tares are offspring of errors. C146; NS627:3 False doctrines, false teachings. R5048:6 Because it was impossible for the Adversary to corrupt the seed of truth. R4635:3 A certain amount of tares spring up with the wheat anyway, and these the servants gather out as soon as discerned. But our Lord wished to show an abnormal condition. R3770:3 The Greek implies over-sown; intentionally, maliciously sown in the midst of the wheat, for the very purpose of damaging or totally spoiling the entire crop. R2276:6 More liberally than the wheat was sown. R2634:2
Among the wheat— The true saints, the children of the Kingdom. C137; R4635:3, 4644:2, 2943:1, 283:6 For the very purpose of choking it, "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits in high positions." (Eph. 6:12) R3770:3 Wheat is the standard food of the world and is said to contain the elements of nutrition in the best propositions for man's use. R2276:6

[Matthew 13:26]

The tares also— Nominal Christians, much more numerous than the wheat. C137 The children of the devil. R283:6 Imitation New Creatures, respectable, moral, good people. F200; R5736:6, 2277:3 The tares, as well as the wheat, were above the level of the field in general, indicating superior morals. R2277:3 Begotten not of truth, begotten of excitement, of fear of hell, of hopes of worldly advantage, of pride, of social and financial ambition. R2634:2

[Matthew 13:27]

From whence then— But God knew all the time. CR250:6

[Matthew 13:29]

But he said, Nay— We cannot follow the usual custom in this case, because of the greatly excessive proportion of tares. R3770:4 While it was out of place for any to attempt harvest work before harvest time, it is likewise a mistake to neglect harvest work in harvest time and give attention to seed-sowing. R885:1*
Gather up the tares— Because the true and false are too intimately associated, their roots intertwining in society, home, etc. R4635:5
Ye root up also— Unsettle, disturb. C137; R4635:5, 3770:4 So closely intertwined are the roots of the two classes that to disturb such close relationship in life would cause great commotion. NS627:4 "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will manifest the counsels of the hearts." (1 Cor. 4:5) R98:1*
The wheat with them— So intimately were the true and false associated. R4635:5 To have cleansed the wheat field in the past would have meant a commotion which would not have served the best interests of the wheat. R2634:4 Only the Lord, who could read the hearts, could distinguish between them with unerring precision. R1362:1

[Matthew 13:30]

Let both grow— Christ did not seek to prevent or hinder tare development. F200 The nominal church has neglected these instructions, yet has not kept all the wheat in, or shut out all the tares; hence they are without any excuse. C138 They have set up false, unscriptural standards and doctrines, which have really developed many tares and choked and separated the wheat. C138 For the wheat's sake, God's favor extended even to these mixed bunches of Babylonish systems until 1878, when they were completely and forever cut off from all favor. C155
Together— Throughout the age. R4635:6; PD59/70 Christians and imitation Christians have lived side by side in the same city, house, family. R5049:1 Only the expert can discern the wheat from the tares while growing. R4635:3 During the Gospel age the wheat and tares together represent the Kingdom of God. R4653:3 In the general nominal church system, elsewhere called Babylon or confusion, because of its mixture of truth and error, wheat and tares. NS93:6 The nominal church has included wheat and tares; many of the latter have found their way into the pulpits. D61 The Lord has not hindered them from associating with his saints or using his name and claiming that they are members of his Church. NS94:4 The tare class has had a general control for some time, and has divided the wheat-field with various creed-fences. NS389:1 The tares received a certain advantage from their attempt to imitate wheat. It has made them more respectable than they would otherwise have been. NS94:4 There were separations of politico-doctrinal storms before the harvest time, but among these the tares, still predominating, formed other though less objectionable, Babylonish systems. C154 We cannot admit that the wheat was all brought under Baptist fencing, and that the tares were all outside. NS49:3
Until— The command "Come out of her" was not given until after the announcement "Babylon is fallen." (Rev. 18:4, 2) R457:5*
The harvest— The end, or close, of the Gospel age. A237; B15; R4635:6; OV297:3 The harvesting of the Jewish age began with our Lord's first advent, and ended 40 years later at the destruction of Jerusalem. NS626:3 Parallel to the Jewish age harvest; many believe it began in 1874 and will end in 1915. R5363:4 Forty years long—1878 to 1918. SM287:1; R5049:2, 5018:6, 4891:5; NS627:2 The time in which the tares will be gathered into bundles, and the wheat into the heavenly garner. R5049:2
And in the time— The close of the summer time of favor. D578 Signifying that it will not be instantaneous, but require time. R5049:2,580:4, 236:3*, 223:1* Which chronologically precedes the world's troubles. R593:3 Discussing such matters as when the harvest will end merely takes away opportunities for usefulness. We would be better not to talk about such things and be busily engaged in the harvest work. Q320:3,5
Of harvest— In which we are now living. D31 Beginning October 1874. R5950:5 Parallel in time and work to the harvest of the Jewish age.B233; HG52:2, 55:1, 70:6 The harvest of the Jewish age gives us clear conceptions of what may be expected in the harvest time of the Gospel age. NS21:3 During the harvest of the Jewish age a two-fold work progressed—the harvest of the Jewish age and the preparation for the Gospel age. NS626:5 A time of reaping rather than sowing, a time of testing, of reckoning, of settlement and rewarding. The harvest of the Jewish age being a type of this age. C135 Three great periods of separation are revealed in God's Word: chaff from wheat (Matt. 3:10, 12); tares from wheat (Matt. 13:37, 43) and sheep from goats (Matt. 25:31). R34:2* The time of executing the command, "Gather my saints together unto me,
those who have made a covenant with me by [self-] sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5) R375:5 When the truth makes manifest the true character of these systems. R767:5 The harvest is not a time for peace; but, on the contrary, it will surely produce separation and alienation between true wheat and all else. R969:6 Harvest work is reaping rather than sowing. We, therefore, dispense stronger truths, not to the world but to the professed church. These truths, as harvest sunshine, are warm and strong and tend to ripen the wheat. R1073:5 The Jewish harvest is spoken of as being a separation of wheat from chaff, while the harvest of this age is designated a separation of wheat from tares. R2237:6; B234 Harvest time is the busiest time of all the year and a very brief period compared with the time for sowing. R885:2* It has three elements: separation, gathering and burning. R198:5* The harvest is not ended; our expectations must not be allowed to weigh anything against the facts. R5950:1
I will say— The recognition of the harvest work in actual progress is proof of the Lord's presence. B150 "He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth and the earth was reaped." (Rev. 14:16) B150 The Lord will be the chief reaper and director of the work, and this would be his first work. B150 He directs them through the Word by opening their understanding to discern the times and seasons there indicated and the work to be accomplished therein. R600:3 It is not we, but Christ, who calls his people out of Babylon. We merely call their attention to this words and show that they are reasonable. R986:4
To the reapers— Angels, messengers. C137 Such as he has used in plowing, sowing and watering throughout the age; those begotten of his holy Spirit. D601
Gather ye together— Into Labor Unions, Trusts, denominations and protective associations of every kind. C140; Q317:4; R4636:1 The true wheat are to avoid membership in lodges, societies, churches, sects, parties. R4636:1 The special trials appropriate to the complete separation of the wheat from the tares are upon Christendom now. SM287:1
First the tares— Which largely predominate, as did the chaff in the harvest of the Jewish age. B234; R3770:4 Who think themselves to be the true Church. R4636:4 There are two parts to the harvest, the gathering of wheat followed by the burning of tares. R5761:2 There is order in this harvest. R580:4 Very elect, with the appearance of being the masters of the field; illustrating the proud boastfulness of those who are Christians in association and appearance only. R2277:1
And bind them— Restrain all individual thought and study on religious subjects, as is done by the International Sunday School system, with its carefully printed questions and answers and exercises, singing, entertainment, picnics, etc.C142-144 As the Jews failed to recognize the binding and blinding influences which came upon them, so nominal Christians today fail to see the features of the "harvest" work now in progress. R2237:6 They are bound by human traditions and by a worldly spirit. R920:6 Bound rightly by their own prejudices. R878:6Pride will hold them together; none will wish to appear disloyal or cowardly. Societies act en masse. R1828:1 They seek to bind all by the impression that it is essential to salvation to be joined to some one of their sects—it matters little to which one—thus combining the idea of individual responsibility with sectarian bondage. C141
In bundles— Necessary, because of their great preponderance. R3770:4 Human organizations. R3771:1 Not only church organizations, but all the various organizations which tie men together today, as never before. R1828:1; Q317:4 Labor Unions, Capitalistic Trusts and protective associations of every sort.C140 Into lodges, societies, churches, sects, parties. R4636:1 Into great denominational bundles, labeled with various sectarian names. R1488:2 A unification of sects. R3497:4 If it were demanded that we must join a union before we could work, we should join; but if that organization should do anything we could not approve, we should feel free to withdraw at any time. Q318:4 The spirit of the tares is toward sectarian greatness and show, rather than toward individual obedience and allegiance to God. C141 In most of these bundles, sects, there are still some grains of wheat, some consecrated ones, in whom the spirit of truth still has some residence. R375:4Each denomination retaining its own bondage or organization, and becoming more firmly bound by being wedged in with others. C142 An evidence of the harvest work in progress. R4636:1 Ready for the burning, destruction. R5409:2
To burn them— To destroy them, not as individuals, but as tares, imitation wheat, in the great time of trouble. B105; C146,148;F200; R5916:3, 4644:2 Return them to the ground, the world whence they came. C140; R3771:4 Not with literal fire. R4636:4 We cannot burn symbolic tares in literal fire. CR251:3 They do not burn them at once, but proceed to gather the wheat into the garner. Not until the wheat is garnered does the fire consume the tares. R2634:4 The Christian's duty is to lift up the standard and get the true wheat out of all the tare-bundles into liberty, in union with Christ, the only Head. R3566:6 Apparently the consuming of the tares will correspond very closely with the division of the Jordan. R5951:4 So that none of the bad seed might affect the future crop. R4635:6 This is when the Great Company will wake up. R5761:2 Professed Christians will be shown in their true light. The true and false will be completely manifested. R5761:5,6
But— Without binding it into bundles. C140; Q318:1
Gather the wheat— With the sickle of present truth. C139 The Church of Christ. R5256:4 Comparatively only a handful, a "little flock."B205 "They shall gather together his elect." (Matt. 24:31) B164; D601 "Gather my saints together unto me." (Psa. 50:5) B164 "Make up my jewels." (Mal. 3:17) B164; D600 "Come out of her, my people." (Rev. 18:4) D601 Evidently in smaller proportionate quantity, being taken directly to the barns unbundled—precious, scarce. R3770:4Separated from the tares—in spirit, but not necessarily in person. NS390:3 The wheat heads, full of heavy wheat, bend over with the weight; a beautiful illustration of the modesty and meekness of the true and fruitful Christian. R2277:1 Many laborers seem not to know whether they are to sow or to reap. They want to sow and reap at the same time. R628:4* The harvest is not of the living only, but also of the "dead in Christ." The angels gather the living, but our Lord, the Chief Reaper, gathers or raises, the dead. R20:2 If he is come to gather his saints and is also to come "with all his saints" (1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14; Zech. 14:5), there must be two parts or stages of his coming. HG23:6,3 Those who are not spirit-begotten have no right to class themselves with the wheat. R4635:6
Into my barn— The barn condition of security, separateness from the worldly. C212 Not into another denomination, but gathered to Christ, into oneness with him, in fellowship of spirit through the knowledge of his Word. R2751:4 The spiritual condition; the glorified condition. R2693:2, 4644:2, 3686:2, 2277:6; F200; CR251:4; HG272:4, 438:5; NS21:4, 89:5, 810:2 The heavenly garner, the resurrection change. R4635:6, 5049:2; CR251:4; PD59/70 We are not to understand that the harvest is yet wholly finished. R5761:2

[Matthew 13:31]

Parable— These different parable-pictures represent the same subject from different standpoints. R4636:2, 5049:6
Kingdom of heaven— The nominal church of this Gospel age. R2634:6, 5049:6 The class called out of the world of mankind to be associated with him in his Millennial Kingdom. R4636:2

[Matthew 13:32]

The least— The Church of Christ was so unimportant in the world at one time that it was a shame to belong to it. R4636:2
When it is grown— Ultimately the nominal church would become honorable and great. R4636:3 Illustrates how the gospel of the Kingdom would, from a small beginning, attain considerable size.R4636:2
Greatest among herbs— Not great among the trees, but among bushes of herbage. R4636:2 Yet this large development does not signify advantage; on the contrary, a disadvantage, in that the fowls of the air come, lodge in its branches, and defile it. R2634:6
Becometh a tree— With its various branches and denominations, the nominal church is Babylonish. R4636:3
Birds of the air— Satan and his agents. R2634:6, 5049:6, 4636:2
In the branches— So great that the adversary's servants would have pleasure in its shade. R4636:3 "The hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev. 18:2)R2634:6, 5050:1, 45:6 Satan and his agents have been lodging in the branches of the Gospel Church for centuries, defiling it. R2634:6

[Matthew 13:33]

Kingdom of heaven— The Gospel age Church is the Kingdom in its embryo, incipient or preparatory state. R1525:2, 5049:3, 2635:1 A parable of the Kingdom in the sense that it shows one of the experiences which the Church would pass through in its present preparation for Kingdom glories. HG272:5
Is like unto leaven— Yeast, sin, error, corruption. F464; T98; R5050:1,4, 4636:3, 2635:1
Which a woman— An ecclesiastical system organized and in power at an early date. R5050:4 "That woman Jezebel," the Papacy. (Rev. 2:20) R2635:4
Three measures of meal— The pure food provided by the Lord for the household of faith. R5050:4 The entire testimony of God's Word, the food for his family. HG272:5 Equivalent to one ephah, a good, liberal household supply. R2635:1 The faith once delivered to the saints; the hope set before us in the Gospel and love, the bond of perfectness. R2635:4
Whole was leavened— The food of the entire household became corrupted. R4636:3 The entire mass of theological doctrine is putrid and offensive to all Christian people. R5050:4 Not a particle of it was left uncontaminated. The result has been indigestion. R5050:4, 4363:3 Faith was distorted; hope was changed to another hope; and the spirit of the Lord, love, was perverted to a selfish love of creeds and human institutions. R2635:4

[Matthew 13:34]

In parables— None was ready for the depth of his teaching until after the holy Spirit of Pentecost began to give qualification. R5444:2
Unto the multitude— Jesus, speaking to his disciples, used plain language; on the contrary, when he spoke to the multitudes, he always employed a parable. HG511:4
Without a parable— Not a statement of literal facts. R5004:3 Symbolic language; this was the customary way for Jesus to preach. CR250:2; R4679:1Because the true invitation was not for the ordinary multitude, but only for the consecrated. R5088:1 An understanding of spiritual things would do harm rather than good to those not spiritually begotten, to those not fully consecrated to the divine will. R5088:1 Part of our difficulty has been taking the words of Jesus literally when their very form should have shown us that they could not have been meant literally, but as the figures of speech we use today. OV162:10
Spake he not— None of the lessons of the Great teacher were given in literal language; they were all symbolic. R4679:1

[Matthew 13:35]

In parables— In figures and obscure sayings. R2602:6 An illustration of a truth by something which is, in many respects, like it. A138Not yet understood by the word, neither appreciated by any except the few, his "little flock," the consecrated. CR10:6
I will utter things— Expound the hidden truths of divine prophecy. F233 Jesus not only expounded the prophets, but he did so in parables, prophecies and dark sayings. R667:6

[Matthew 13:36]

His disciples came— Humble and truth-hungry, inquiring earnestly for the truth. B28
Declare unto us— The special light of both harvests is for the Israelites indeed. B28 A special request for interpretation. R4635:6
The parable— In every parable explained by our Lord, the thing said is never the thing meant. R1000:2, 283:6; HG385:3

[Matthew 13:37]

He that soweth— Jesus and the Apostles, and all his true followers. R5048:6
The good seed— The Gospel of the Kingdom. R4635:6, 5048:6
The Son of man— His disciples have assisted under his direction. R576:1

[Matthew 13:38]

The field— In which, during this present harvest time, the fruitage of this Gospel age must be gathered; and the work of clearing, plowing and preparing for the sowing and reaping of the Millennial age, must take place. C121
Is the world— The world of mankind, the civilized world, all nations. C140; R5048:6 The kosmos, not the ge, the earth; nor the aion, the age. R2227:1, 97:2* The world of mankind; and the seed is sown in their hearts. HG92:6 The world of mankind being counted the ground out of which the wheat and also the tares grow and develop. C140 The world are neither wheat nor tares; they are simply material, as ground, in which both good and bad seed may be sown. HG93:1 He is not dealing with the field, the world in general, but merely with the corner of it which he has planted with the good seed. R3771:2 The good seed was planted in Palestine, Asia Minor and Europe, and from thence has spread to America, and to some slight extent elsewhere. Strictly speaking, Europe and North America are the wheat field. R2277:2
Children of the kingdom— The spiritual children; classes n and m on the Chart of the Ages. R275:3
But the tares— The imitation New Creatures, posing as Christians. F200; R4636:1 The result of false doctrines, false teachings. R5048:6 Not begotten of the holy Spirit. CR251:3
The children of— Because their presence in the church is the result of false doctrines, false teachings, sown by the adversary, Satan. R5834:3
The wicked one— Despite the fact that they are mainly respectable, moral, good people. F200; R4636:1; CR251:3 All of class q and many (if not all) of class p on the Chart of the Ages. R275:6 The whole world of mankind, excepting the true Christians, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, aliens and strangers from God, may be spoken of as "children of the wicked one." R2277:4

[Matthew 13:39]

That sowed them— Seeds of false doctrines, error, deception, using human lips and pens in Satan's service through pride and ambition. R5137:3, 5769:3, 4635:6 And thus brought the worldly masses into the church. R2598:3
Is the devil— Whose personality is here recognized in unmistakable terms. R3769:6*
The harvest— We have entered into that period of time when the present age is closing and the new age beginning. CR438:2, 308:1; R4891:4, 4635:6, 2277:6 There is a large crop of tares. R5769:3 The time of trouble coming upon the church should be recognized as the harvest, the threshing time, the time for separating the real grain from the chaff and tares. R576:2, 82:5* The sign of the presence is the sign of the time of harvest. The worker and the work are related to each other. R236:3* There are many harvests as there are kinds of seed (1 Cor. 15:38-44), but order governs all. R576:2 Many believe it began in 1874 and will end in 1914. R5363:4
Is the end— Is that which constitutes the end. C24, 214; D568 The Greek word suntelia, translated "end," does not mean a "point," but a "period of time." R236:3* The last forty years of the Time of the End. C24; 121 As the Chart of the Ages illustrates, the harvest of this age and the end of the evil world or dispensation terminate together. NS21:5 Just before the inauguration of the new age of Christ's Millennial Kingdom. R4635:6 The regathering of Israel is a sign of the end of this age, and therefore a sign that we are living in the harvest time. R384:5 No millennium in between is shown. HG272:4
Of the world— Of this Gospel age. B15; C24, 121; D568; R5049:2, 2977:4 Of the age: Greek aion. CR251:2, 292:1; HG116:1
And the reapers— Who have learned that it is harvest time and that their work is gathering the wheat. F608 The Lord is sending forth more laborers continually, yet only such as recognize the nighness of the Kingdom, the parousia of the King, and have a zeal to tell the joyful tidings to others. R2674:3
Are the angels— The messengers, begotten of his spirit. D601; A237; R1279:2Messengers, missionaries, saints of God. R885:3* His servants. R2604:1 The Lord's followers now, just as a similar class were the reapers of the Jewish harvest.C139 The "harvest message" is the Lord's sickle and all associated with the promulgation of this message are reapers in this harvest, co-laborers with the great Chief Reaper. R2490:4 Every faithful disciple who now follows in the Master's footsteps has the privilege now of being a co-worker with him in reaping this harvest. R600:3 The Lord uses various human instrumentalities as his servants, messengers or angels. R3771:1 Invisible, spiritual beings, quietly separating wheat from tares. R189:4, 175:5, 124:2

[Matthew 13:40]

Tares are gathered— Our Lord would be present at the end of the Gospel age and, as the Chief Reaper, would gather tares in bundles to be burned. R5769:3 In the winter time: "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter." (Matt. 24:20) D578
Burned in the fire— Destroyed as tares in a time of trouble; not literally burned. R5737:1, 5049:4, 4636:4, 2277:5; CR251:3 Their delusions will be dissolved. R4636:4 Manifested to all, to the intent that all may thereafter profit by the lesson, to all eternity. NS94:5 To occur within the harvest period. R1493:4 The fire already kindled, "the fire of God's zeal." C148 It is not the field, the "world," that is to be burned, but the tares. NS21:5 Signifying the destruction of the false pretensions of this class. C146 In the sense that none of them thereafter will claim to be what they are not, none of them will claim to be God's consecrated people. R2634:5; SM287:T And thus returned to the ground, the world, from whence they came. C140 That the entire field might be cleansed and made ready for a new sowing of the pure seed. NS93:6
The end of this world— End of this age. D568 Proving that the burning of the tares is included in the gospel harvest, for "the harvest is the end of the age." (Verse 39) R115:6*, 98:4*

[Matthew 13:41]

The Son of man— A title of high honor, a reminder of his obedience, even to the death of the cross, by which he secured title to the honor, dignity and power of the divine nature. E151Christ, who once became a son (in law) of Adam. E150, 152
Shall send— Christ is superintending the harvest; he sends forth the reapers. R223:5* The Lord not only sends the sickle of truth to gather the wheat, but he also sends the strong delusions to gather the tares. OV297:4; NS128:6
Forth his angels— Servants or messengers, begotten of his spirit. D601; A237; R1285:1*, 1279:2
Gather out of— Or from. A239 Various errors gather out of God's Kingdom all that offend. R1644:5 In one sense, the wheat is gathered out from among the tares, because of the greater abundance of the tares; in another sense, the tares are gathered from the wheat. The wheat has the place by right; it is a wheat field, not a tare field. C139They shall be swept out by the incoming flood of infidelity, overthrown by the winds of false doctrine, and finally burnt up by the scathing reproach of the world. R600:5 He has chosen to make the separation publicly, to demonstrate his own justice in the matter. OV297:4
His kingdom— The true Church. A239; R275:5 In the sense that the Church at the present time is God's Kingdom in embryo. R4635:6, 1927:1 Harvest siftings are necessary, that the Judas class may be entirely sifted out, and that the Peter class may be thoroughly stirred up by trials and difficulties. R4908:4 It is one thing to gather his people out of Babylon, and quite another to gather the offenders out of his Kingdom. Really the "tares" leave the "wheat" by utterly abandoning the faith once delivered to the saints. R2545:2
Things that offend— Those who put off the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness. R2275:6 Those that cause others to stumble, including many teachers and preachers, and many doers of wonderful works. R5049:4 Not only "those that do iniquity," the "tares," but also "those that offend," those who fail to come up to the requirements of their covenant in fullness of consecration. R2541:6 That are blameworthy; because they are in the nominal church and posing as Christians. R4636:1 Realizing that this is a present activity, we cannot too carefully consider the principles upon which this judgment and selection are made. R1937:1 All organizations having the motive of hope of improvement deteriorate rapidly into machines of aggrandizement of clique or class, owing to the cupidity and sordidness of men. R1285:1* Not that a man could not be a member of a union, but the position of separateness from these human institutions and bondages is a safe position for the saints. R1285:5
Which do iniquity— Which practice sin, or which are not fully in sympathy with the principles of righteousness. R2276:1, 5049:4 "Do lawlessness." (Diaglott) R1285:1* The tare class, the great mass. R4635:6, 5802:1, 1644:5 The only things that shall remain are the things that cannot be shaken, the true and faithful. R3053:1

[Matthew 13:42]

A furnace of fire— A time of trouble destructive to the nominal systems and false professions; occasioned in great measure by the growth of infidelity and Spiritism of various kinds. A239; C146; R275:5 It would be thoroughly illogical to burn symbolic tares in a literal furnace with literal fire. CR251:3; R5049:4, 4636:4 The fire is as much a symbol as are the tares, the wheat and the garner. R2634:4, 2277:5 There is no such furnace for the wheat and tares all down through the Gospel age. R3771:2 So-called Christendom will be the great furnace. R3771:4
Wailing— There is such a commotion in connection with the separation of the wheat and the tares because Christendom as a whole, though nominally a wheat field, is practically a tare field. OV297:4; NS128:5 The saints won't have any of this weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, because the plan of God will be so closely before them that they will rejoice because the things occurring will presage their deliverance. Q733:T
Gnashing of teeth— Great disappointment, sorrow, pain, trouble and anguish throughout Christendom. R3771:4; Q732:2 "Men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21:26) R3771:4 Signifying chagrin, disappointment, savage animosity: "They gnashed on him with their teeth." (Acts 7:54) R4329:1; Q732:2 The great time of trouble will make general havoc of present arrangements—social, financial, political, ecclesiastical. R5802:4, 5864:1, 2303:5, 1644:5

[Matthew 13:43]

Then— In the end of this Gospel age. SM790:2; R5769:3 We are in the dawn of the glorious day. It is not yet sunrise, the shining forth of the Church; but the "Day Star," Jesus, has arisen in our hearts. R470:6 The Lord links the fire upon the tare field with the speedy shining forth thereafter of the Sun of Righteousness. R2760:6 After this age and after its harvest. R857:3 After "the wheat" of this age is gathered into the garner by the power of the first resurrection. R5135:6, 6013:5, 5769:3, 5420:2, 4103:2, 2504:4; CR19:1; SM561:T, 790:2
Shall the righteous— The Church, as a whole, in glory. F725; R5135:6, 4988:2, 4967:5; SM287:T; HG417:3 Jesus is the head of the Church. SM791:T; R5097:3 When the division is accomplished, the wheat alone will represent the Kingdom of the Church of Christ, while the church nominal will fall and be broken. R593:4
Shine forth— To refresh and bless the world by scattering the darkness of sin, superstition and evil. R2425:5, 4849:6, 4636:4, 3770:6, 1012:4; SM246:T To abolish darkness. R4988:1, 4849:6 The manifestation, or appearing in glory; the descent of the new Jerusalem as the Bride of Christ and mother of the nations. Light, deliverance and glory to the nations will be the result. R82:5*; HG163:5, 234:6; NS252:3 Then shall the morning of the Millennial age be manifested to the world. CR19:1 Be revealed, and be seen by men with the eyes of their understanding. R2606:3 To heal earth's sorrows and scatter earth's night. R5135:6 To bless, restore, purify and disinfect from sin and error the whole world of mankind. C149 To bring order out of present confusion, to scatter present darkness, ignorance and superstition, to cause the knowledge of the glory of the Lord to fill the whole earth. R3770:6 The consummation of the Church's hope in the end of this age. R4636:4 God gives light that it may shine that others may see and be blessed. To shine can mean no less than to give light. And if the Church give, the nations receive and "walk in the light of it." (Rev. 21:24) R25:2* That true light will shine first upon the house of Jacob, returning to them divine favor. Then the call will come to them, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come." (Isa. 60:1) R2037:4 His Church is invited to become associated with Him as light-bearers; and, if faithful in permitting their light to shine now, they will by and by be parts of that great Sun of Righteousness. SM560:3; NS89:5 If unfaithful in shining forth under present conditions of prevalent darkness, they will not be esteemed worthy to shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom. HG438:6 God's plan will not always be shrouded in mystery. A86
"They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament [as the sun]." (Dan. 12:3) R1881:6, 722:6; C61; F666; HG334:4 "The earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God." (Rom. 8:19) R6:2
As the sun— Jesus is the true great Center of the Sun of Righteousness; and the bride will be with him in the morning, shining forth his glory. R5135:6, 5769:3, 4107:6, 3686:1, 2409:1; OV205:5; PD59/70; Q822:1; SM244:1, 791:T "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings." (Mal. 4:2) R3686:1, 2834:1, 1311:5, 369:1; A322, 86; CR126:4 The great Sun of Righteousness, the great Messiah, the great Prophet, Priest, King and Mediator between God and man. OV205:5 "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light." (Isa. 9:2) R3686:1 We are not now shining as the sun, but as candles. CR62:2; R5769:3; HG438:6 In the future state of glory, in contrast with its present role as a lampstand. R3560:6 Collectively; but individually there will be differences in position and honor: "as star differeth from star" in magnitude and brilliancy. (1 Cor. 15:41) F725 "The elect," burning and shining lights," are all to come together by and by, all to be changed from human to spirit beings and, with their Redeemer, constitute the great Sun of Righteousness. R3026:6 To heal earth's sorrows and scatter earth's night. R5135:6; NS173:3 Which shall scatter the darkness of earth, binding the prince of darkness, Satan, and freeing mankind from the bonds of ignorance, superstition and credulity. NS292:6, 810:2 For the scattering of the night, the scattering of darkness, superstition and evil that now enshroud the world. HG116:3, 651:5; NS555:2, 614:2
Of their Father— Primarily, the Kingdom is God's but he has voluntarily, for a thousand years, placed it under charge of a viceroy, the Christ. D642, 643
Ears to hear— The attitude of heart to appreciate it. R4636:4, 2995:6; CR126:5 The ability to understand spiritual things. R4636:4 Not everyone has the hearing ear. R4636:4
Let him hear— We should not despise those who cannot hear, but rather sympathize with them and be thankful for the hearing ear which permits us to appreciate the various features of the divine plan. R3771:5

[Matthew 13:44]

The kingdom of heaven— The Millennial Kingdom. R4535:3
Like unto treasure— The Church and restored humanity. E441; D648; R5047:6, 288:4, 16:1 The share in the Messianic Kingdom. R5048:1, 4635:5, 4535:3
Hid in a field— "The field is the world." (Matt. 13:38) D648 Mankind and the earth itself. E441; D648; R281:4 The hiding of the treasure is necessary: "Cast not your pearls before swine." (Matt. 7:6) "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God." (Rom. 14:22) R4636:5
When a man— The man Christ Jesus. R729:3, 720:1, 611:3 Our thought is that the Great Teacher referred not to himself, but to those whom he instructed. R5047:6 The buyer is the Lord and those who accept his invitation to sacrifice earthly interests. D648; R4636:5
All that he hath— When our Lord had paid man's ransom price, he had nothing left. "He poured out his soul unto death." (Isa. 53:12) R2410:1 Our Lord laid down the earthly kingdom, the earthly rights, all that he had, as man's ransom. OV251:1; R4536:1, 1015:3 He took our human nature that he might give it as a ransom for all—his human nature for our human nature. R611:3 When Jesus died at Calvary all existence was at an end. After three days he received life as a new creature, but he took not again the human nature and never can do so. R482:3, 240:3 Jesus could not have given a part of his being and retained part. R719:6 The Lord's followers are to reckon that no sacrifice is too great to attain the blessing; indeed, the Kingdom can be attained at no less cost than the surrender of all their earthly hopes and aims. HG439:1 To gain this treasure, we must give all—our time, our will, our property. CR252:2; R4636:5 The price is small, but it is all that we each have to give—ourselves, our all. R1657:1
Buyeth that field— Realizing its value. R4636:5 The field belongs to God. He has put the treasure there. He offers it for sale to any willing to pay the price—the Lord and those who accept his invitation to join with him. R4636:5 Our Lord's payment of the price of justice. R4536:1 He did not buy the world, but the Church. R4536:2 In order to re-produce the human race lost in death through Adam. R729:3 The inference is that what we possess naturally is not of lasting value, while that which we may obtain instead is of priceless value and everlasting. R1656:2

[Matthew 13:45]

Again— This parable illustrates the process by which his Kingdom is obtainable. R4535:6
Seeking— Seeking imperishable values of not frittering away life and its opportunities; seeking for the best things, and most valuable things, temporal or spiritual. NS514:2
Goodly pearls— In ancient times the pearl occupied the chief place among the jewels of personal adornment. NS511:1 Those qualities and rewards, even of an earthly kind, which would be enduring. NS514:5 All the other pearls—of being a great doctor, a great artist, a great musician, a model house-keeper, or something else—are trifling and insignificant in comparison with this great Pearl. Q428:4; SM681:2 We all seek something valuable for which to exchange time and influence. Q429:2; SM681:2

[Matthew 13:46]

When he had found one— Representing the Gospel offered as being superior to all other propositions of the world. R4636:6
Pearl of great price— Priceless, the finest he had ever seen. R4636:6; CR426:4 The riches of God's grace. Q161:3 The Kingdom offer of joint-heirship with Jesus in the heavenly Kingdom, and association with him in blessing all the families of the earth. R4636:6, 5594:3, 5005:5; CR426:4, 244:4; Q429:1; HG746:2; SM681:1 Our high calling of God in Christ. OV24:5; CR365:5; R5198:6, 4969:4 The glorious Messianic Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, of priceless value. CR426:4; R5484:4, 5270:3; Q427:5, 429:1 The prize first presented to our Lord; now set before us. R4535:3, 6 Whoever possesses this pearl will be in harmony with God. SM681:3
Sold all— Jesus gave all he had, and he had far more than any of us. Q429:2 Illustrating the feature of Jesus' work in the laying down of his life. R4536:1 The price is self-sacrifice, even unto death. R5048:2 All who would gain this pearl must sell all that they have, all that they enjoy of earthly life or privileges. R5342:1, 5048:2, 4636:6; PD59/70 Let us count the things of this earth as loss and dross that we may attain this. R5422:4 Consecrate yourself, all you have. CR252:5; PD59/70 To buy we must consecrate and give—time, energy, study. Each day will bring opportunities for giving up something considered by the selfish, carnal nature to be precious. R1657:1 Whether a man be wealthy or poor, learned or ignorant, influential or otherwise, the cost of this Kingdom pearl will be his all; it cannot be had for less. R5048:2; SM683:1 If seeking the Kingdom seems to hinder some of our earthly prospects, so much the better. The Master said it would cost us our all. R5048:5 He that is not willing to have the Kingdom at such a cost is not worthy of the Kingdom. R4637:1 Some of the earthly treasures can be relinquished in the interest of the heavenly treasures. SM684:T
Bought it— Our Lord's payment of the price of justice. R4536:1 The terms for us are: Self-sacrifice, faithfulness to God at any cost, patient endurance under adverse conditions. R5461:6 Only those who walk the "narrow way" will gain the great prize. R5005:5 To purchase it, we must submit ourselves fully to the Lord, henceforth to have no will of our own in anything—to suffer reproach, scorn, persecution, loss of friends, tribulations. SM683:1 The number who will obtain this pearl is limited, only 144,000, and is now very nearly complete. SM684:1 We shall gain the Pearl of Great price in the Kingdom. SM685:3

[Matthew 13:47]

Kingdom of heaven— The nominal Christian church. C214 As it exists in its incipient and imperfect stage in this age—which, in its widest sense, is the nominal Christian church. R920:1 The embryo Kingdom during the Gospel age. R5048:2, 5555:1 This parable is applicable to the close of the Gospel age. C213
Is like unto— Not like a net; but the embryo Kingdom resembles a fishing experience with a net. R5048:2
A net— The Gospel message. R4637:1 Representing the nominal church of this present time. HG438:6
That was cast— First cast at Pentecost, and from then to the present harvest time it has been gathering in all sorts of fish, together constituting the great nominal Gospel church. R1716:1,920:1
Into the sea— The world. C214 The world, where no distinction was recognized between Jew and Gentile. R1716:1
And gathered— "I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) C214; R5555:2
Of every kind— Real Christians, half-deceived and deluded Christians, and multitudes of hypocrites. C214 Some fish are in the Gospel net, looking for worldly ambitions, matrimony, social standing, moral atmosphere, as a cloak for business, etc. R5048:4 "So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all, as many as they found, both bad and good." (Matt. 22:10) R2301:4 Not every kind will inherit the Kingdom as joint-heirs with Christ Jesus. R4637:1

[Matthew 13:48]

When it was full— When in the fullness of God's time the full number of the particular kind desired had entered the net. C214, 215 At the end of the Gospel age. R5555:1
They— The fishermen, the Lord's people. C214; R5555:1
Drew to shore— Withdrew the invitation to a place in the Kingdom. C214
Sat down— Not to dive again into the sea, either with net or hook and line, to gather more fish. R920:2
And gathered— Separated, divided. C214; D600 "Come out of her, my people." (Rev. 18:4) D601 The catching and the sorting are two parts of the one grand work of making ready a people prepared for the Lord, corresponding to the works of the sower and the reaper. R1716:4 In the harvest, from 1874 to 1915, a separating work is to be accomplished. R1716:1
Into vessels— The special work of harvest is the gathering of the good fish into safety, rather than to catch more fish. R1716:4
Cast the bad away— As unsuitable for a place in the Kingdom. C214; R5555:1, 2, 4637:1 Corresponds with the tares of Matt. 13:30. The unsuitable fish in the net are all church members. The unprofessing world are not represented in the parable at all. R5048:5 They are not fit for the purpose of the present selection, undeveloped, not overcomers of the world, but are overcome by the world. R920:5 The Lord has not been fishing for all kinds of fish; he has not been seeking all kinds of people; he has been drawing especially only the elect, the saintly. R5048:4 The Great Fisherman has no special use for any more or other than one kind of fish now; by and by the "abundance of the sea shall be converted." (Isa. 60:5) R920:2 During Christ's Millennial reign, these will be dealt with. R4637:1

[Matthew 13:49]

End of the world— The end of this age, a sifting and separating time. R4637:1; C214 "The harvest is the end of the age." (Matt. 13:39)C214 When the Lord shall have gathered the foreordained number of the elect Church. R5048:4
The wicked— But some of the true children of God will also be rejected and get into the wailing and gnashing of teeth condition because they have assimilated with the worldly-minded. R920:5

[Matthew 13:50]

Furnace of fire— The great time of trouble. R5048:5, 4637:1
Gnashing of teeth— "Gnawing their tongues in pain." (Rev. 16:10) R920:5 Symbolically expressing the vexation and anger of those in whom the truth only awakens a spirit of opposition and hatred. R920:4 See comments on Matt. 13:42

[Matthew 13:52]

Like unto a man— Our Lord and Master has come to his waiting people and spread out for them a bounteous table of truths, new and old, in order. R1867:5
Which bringeth forth— Through his servants, who have the keys. R1150:5 Feeding the flock; not feeding themselves upon the husks of science and man-made theology. R633:2
Out of his treasure— Considering his parables as a householder would consider his reserve of food supplies from which, time to time, truths "both new and old" would be brought. R5048:5
Things new and old— Some things old and good might be brought forth from the sectarian creeds, but nothing new. A24 That which our Lord said he would serve at his second coming. R5568:6 New things respecting the glory of the Kingdom and the work of the thousand years. R5568:6 Clearer light on old things: justification, sanctification, the types of Leviticus, baptism, etc. R5568:6, 5569:1 Respecting the covenants and the atonement sacrifices. R4434:2 Features of God's plan unseen since the days of the Apostles. R4434:2 Contained in the Studies in the Scriptures. R4710:1 Not only expounding the hidden truths of ancient prophecy, but also disclosing new revelations of truth. F233 Able to see the new features of his work as well as the old whenever the new features become due; not rejecting the new because they are new. R920:2 Old things that God's people have recognized as true for centuries: note how appetizing they are to us now, how strengthening to faith, how refreshing! R4043:4 The new truth must always be in harmony with the old truths. R116:3* A new point of interpretation must have the assent of at least two of the best posted and most conversant with the Scriptures before it appears in our journal.R312:3 The reason for the present abundance of truth for the hungry ones is that we are again living in the "days of the Son of Man." NS155:4

[Matthew 13:54]

He taught them— As a public teacher he had no equal. What other teacher ever had 5,000 people leave their employment and, negligent of food, follow him for three days in the wilderness. R575:2
Whence hath— His humble birth gave him none of the advantages of education or social culture. R1682:1 True, also to some extent of those who follow Jesus' footsteps. When the Lord sends you out, you will know it; you will be so filled with the knowledge of the truth and so inspired by it that you must speak. R646:6
This wisdom— Due to his ages of prehuman existence. E91

[Matthew 13:57]

In his own country— Human nature esteems that which is distant as grander. R3494:2, 2424:6

[Matthew 13:58]

Because of their unbelief— And hardness of heart; therefore, they lost the benefit of his wisdom and teaching and many of his mighty works. R1359:3

[Matthew 14:1]

Herod— Antipas. R3325:3 A type of the civil power. R5569:5, 2280:4; B261
The fame of Jesus— The popularity of Jesus did not evidently become so general until after John's death. R3326:1

[Matthew 14:2]

This is John— Wondering whether or not there might be some truth in the Grecian theories that the dead were not dead, but had power to communicate through living persons. R3326:1
Risen from the dead— His mind was troubled, yet he was not penitent. R3326:1 Tradition has it that Herod was haunted with fear. R4609:5

[Matthew 14:3]

Herod— Representing the civil power. R5569:5, 1754:4; B261, 262
John— Type of the true Church. B261 John was a semi-type, the semi-antitype of Elijah, who was a type of the Church. R5569:5; B253 As there is a striking resemblance between John and Elijah, his type, so there is a strong resemblance between the experiences of John and those of the faithful Church—the great antitype of Elijah.R3325:3, 2279:2, 968:4
And bound him— After he had preached about a year. R3325:2 Typifying the coming restraint of the church's liberties. B261; R2280:5 John's liberty was restrained soon after the delivery of the message announcing the present One and the work before him. B261; R968:6
Put him in prison— Josephus supposes that he was confined in a dungeon connected with the castle Macherus. R3325:2 There he remained about a year before execution. R3325:2
For Herodias' sake— Type of the Roman Catholic Church. R5569:5 The unfaithful nominal church. B261, 262; R2280:4 Governed by boundless ambition, she realized her position insecure so long as John lived. R4609:1,2 Type of the ecclesiastical power of Christendom now seeking and longing for union with, and the co-operation of, the civil powers. R1754:4 Representing the nominal church which, throughout the symbolic Scriptures, is represented by a woman, Jezebel, etc. R2280:4 The second Jezebel; the third Jezebel is mentioned by name in Rev. 2:20. R3326:6 Two strong and two weak characters meet here. John and Herodias were strong characters, the one for the right and for God, the other for selfish ambition and sinful indulgence of it. R4609:5 Evidently she strove to incite her husband to put John to death at the time he was imprisoned; but her influence was offset by Herod's fear of the effect of such a course upon the people who esteemed John to be a prophet. R3325:6 Women are naturally more sentimental than men. If they become evil-minded and vicious, they are correspondingly disposed to even greater extremes of wickedness than their brothers. R2279:6
Philip's wife— She had married Philip, thinking he would be king. R4609:1, 3325:5

[Matthew 14:4]

For John said— Perhaps acting imprudently and exceeding his duty. R3326:2, 4609:1, 2280:2 He was a thorn in the side of King Herod and his courtiers. R4609:1 As a rule, we believe it to be the wiser plan for Christian ministers to speak forth the word of God fearlessly without attempting personal application. R4609:1, 2280:4 It is not the duty of the Lord's people to go through the world rebuking sin, but preaching the Gospel. R3326:3 Paul, personally before Agrippa, Felix and other disreputable men, made no personal attack upon them. R3326:2 Perhaps typical of the duty of the true church to reprove the civil powers as well as the nominal church systems, and to declare their union unlawful, contrary to the Word of God. R2280:4, 1754:4 The true church, like its prototype, John the Baptist, will be unpopular and restrained of liberty because of faithfulness in opposing and condemning the error of the union of church with state.R969:1 Persecution should not lead us to surrender when the kings of the earth stand up with the religious rulers of the people against us and God's truth. R969:5
It is not lawful— Declaring that Herod and his wife were living in adultery, the king separated from his own wife and improperly associated with his brother Philip's wife. R3325:5, 2279:5
For thee to have her— For church and state to be united. B261 The nominal church adulterously allied to the kingdoms of this world while nominally espoused to Christ. R3325:3 Prophecy points out that a closer union between church and state than at
present [is possible]. B262; R969:1

[Matthew 14:5]

He feared— But Herodias feared neither God nor man. R5069:1
The multitude— The common people, who heard Jesus and John gladly. R4609:1 A prophet—A public expounder. A55

[Matthew 14:6]

Birthday was kept— On such occasions it was customary to have great hilarity and to use intoxicating beverages with more than usual freedom. R3325:6 Wine was in plentiful supply. She well knew that the wine would inflame the passions and relax the moral tone of the company. R4609:2, 3325:6
Daughter of Herodias— By her former marriage. R3325:6 Salome, a type of the Protestant churches federated. R5569:5, 2280:5

[Matthew 14:8]

Being before instructed— The plan succeeded to the letter. R4609:2, 3778:6
Of her mother— Illustrating parental influence. Evil as she was, Herodias had retained the affection of her daughter and her absolute confidence and obedience. R3326:4 A true, pure, sensible mother has an almost untellable influence, for good or for evil, with her husbands and sons, as well as with her daughters. R2280:1
Said— While the flush of excitement and liquor was upon him, and while his counselors were present who had heard the oath, before whom any indecision would stultify himself. R3326:5
Baptist's head— They would cease to have his continual reminder of their wrong course. R5569:6 Evidently thinking that, with the prophet out of the way, all other advantages were accessible to herself and her daughter. R3326:5 Without John's death, Herodias and Salome might any day be hurled from conditions of affluence into the abyss of degradation and poverty. R4609:4 So fully in sympathy with Catholicism, United Protestantism will become her tool in the destruction of the most loyal servants of God. R2280:5
In a charger— On a platter. R4609:4

[Matthew 14:9]

King was sorry— His conscience was not quite dead. R4609:4 We may be sure that his mind was frequently disturbed with the thought of his injustice, and that against one of the Lord's favorites, a prophet. R3326:1 We are not to infer from this any heart-repentance, but merely that the matter was incongruous to his sentiments and wishes. R2280:2People do things which they recognize to be wrong, violating their conscience, and feel sorry; yet this is not a godly sorrow, for the sorrow God recognizes and appreciates leads to repentance. R3326:2
The oath's sake— "The fear of man bringeth a snare." (Prov. 29:25) R4609:4 "Highly esteemed among men but an abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15) R3779:1 For pride's sake. R3779:1, 4609:4, 2280:2
He commanded it— A course which led to his banishment, in which Herodias shared. R4609:5, 3326:5

[Matthew 14:10]

Beheaded John— The close of the earthly career of the true church is represented in Elijah's whirlwind and John the Baptist's imprisonment and beheading. R969:5 So when the coming night imprisons the faithful elect, the only deliverance will be through the valley of the shadow of death into the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Savior. R1754:5

[Matthew 14:12]

His disciples— Doubtless at the present time the vengeance of the antitypical Jezebel upon the antitypical Elijah will move the friends of the Elijah class, including the Great Company, more closely to the Lord. R3327:4
And told Jesus— They knew where to find sympathy and consolation. To whom shall we go with trials, difficulties, sorrows, troubles, disappointments?. R3327:1 Doubtless becoming his disciples. Thus their trials in connection with their leader brought them into closer knowledge and fellowship with the Great Teacher. R3327:1

[Matthew 14:13]

He departed thence— For private meditation and conference with his disciples, who would be greatly agitated by the news of John's death and needed his calming influence and assurance that Herod could have no unpermitted power over them.R2435:2 Possibly to avoid Herod's interfering with his labors, possibly fearing that his teachings would incite a rebellious spirit, possibly seeking privacy with his disciples to consider the character of his work. R3332:3, 1754:2
Desert place apart— Out of the dominion of Herod. R3332:2, 2435:3, 1754:3 Near Bethsaida. R2435:3

[Matthew 14:14]

A great multitude— In some respects, picturing the world during the Millennium. R3781:4 Evidence of his growing popularity. R3332:3 The crowds continued to gather wherever Jesus went, partly for hearing, partly from curiosity, and partly because the message he gave was one of comfort, consolation, hope. R5095:2 The largeness of the company is accounted for by the fact that it was near the time of the Feast of Passover and large numbers of the religiously inclined were on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. R2435:3
Moved with compassion— In season and out of season, so far as his convenience was concerned, he must work the works of God, lay down his life, inch by inch, hour by hour. R3332:3 He is today looking with sympathetic compassion upon the multitudes of so-called "Christendom." R2436:1 Such will be the spirit of all the Lord's followers; not self-gratification, but "doing good to all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith." (Gal. 6:10) R2435:4

[Matthew 14:15]

Evening— After three o'clock in the afternoon, in the early evening. R3332:6
A desert place— Tell the good tidings, no matter in what form they must be presented, no matter how intolerable the conditions. The important thing is that some are hungry for the truth and the Lord will bless us in ministering it to them. R3333:5
Buy themselves victuals— The people seem to have been so entranced with the good tidings that they entirely forgot their own necessities. R2435:5

[Matthew 14:16]

Give ye them to eat— There was a seeming necessity for the miracle. R4617:2 Before sending them away he instructs all his disciples to supply them with something to eat—spiritual food, truths pertaining to the kingdom, affording strength and encouragement for the dark hour of trouble ahead. R2436:1,4; NS123:5 We should be ready at any time to distribute our store of truth; whenever anyone is hungering and thirsting after righteousness. R3333:5 If they do not get spiritual food, they will faint by the way as they go looking for other provisions. We have the very thing which all the household of faith needs. R3334:1

[Matthew 14:17]

But five loaves— It was Andrew who returned with word that a lad of the company had five loaves and two small fishes which he put at their disposal. R3333:1 A lesson also respecting the spiritual food, that we should not despise the day of small things. R3333:5 We may feel that the multitude is large and that the means at our disposal for reaching them with the bread of life are limited. R3333:5 It requires faith to go forth and to hope to accomplish the great harvest work under present limited conditions. R3333:6
And two fishes— The Lord takes our time and talents, little and unworthy as these are, and blesses them and uses them in his service, and accomplishes great things. R3780:5

[Matthew 14:19]

The five loaves— About the size of our large buns and made of the entire wheat, ground. R5104:5
And the two fishes— We object to the claim of special sanctity and acceptableness with God on account of a purely vegetable diet. R3098:3
He blessed— The giving of thanks did indeed give a blessing upon the food. R3780:6 It is incomprehensible how any consecrated Christian dare neglect to render thanks for his daily food. Mere outward formalistic acts of piety by others, however, are not pleasing to God. R2643:6, 2644:2
To his disciples— Possibly the increasing continued at the hands of the apostles as they in turn distributed the food to the people. R3333:1 Those who now follow the Lord as his special disciples will, in the Millennial age, be supplied abundantly with the bread of life, and be privileged to distribute it to all the families of the earth. R3781:4 He could have fed the multitude without their help. R2644:4 We now have the privilege of being co-workers in the dissemination of the harvest message. R2644:4

[Matthew 14:20]

They did all eat— A lesson of divine power; also, that Jesus was the Son of God, through whom that power was exercised. R4617:6 The Lord's miracles of feeding and healing were performed not upon his consecrated disciples, but upon others, his followers having covenanted to share with him in the work of sacrifice. R1754:6 Exemplifying the coming power and glory of the great King of the world, who is to bless, feed and and uplift the race of Adam. R3333:3
And were filled— If we lived more on the plain substantials of life, we would know when we had enough. R3781:4 Skeptics who deny this miracle cannot deny that this grain and these fishes could, in due time, by natural methods, have brought forth enough to feed this multitude. R3333:2
They took up— Those who receive of the Lord's bounty should be none the less appreciative of it, and careful of its use. R2435:5 We are not to waste spiritual privileges because they are free gifts; rather we are to prize every spiritual morsel and gather up in store for future needs of ourselves and others. R2435:6
Of the fragments— Not the fragments left by the multitude, but those broken by the Lord and not yet distributed. R3781:4 The Master displayed frugality and encouraged economy on the part of his followers. R5104:5
Twelve baskets full— Haversacks, in which the 12 apostles carried their provisions; a good supply for further necessities. R2435:5 It was those who scattered to others who had their own haversacks full in the end, those who are most intent upon feeding others the bread of life are themselves most bountifully supplied. R3504:2, 2436:4 So that none of God's provision for his people might be wasted. R3333:3 The memory is our "basket" in which we are to gather up in store for ourselves and others every spiritual morsel. R2435:6

[Matthew 14:21]

About five thousand men— Yet at the time of his temptation he refused to miraculously appease his own hunger. F650; R1063:2* Arranged in 100 groups of 50 in the form of a three-sided square, after the shape of a Roman reclining table, the disciples passing in at the open side were thus able to reach the entire company. R3333:1 By reason of having received the holy Spirit, Jesus had power to do anything that might be necessary in God's service. Q495:2

[Matthew 14:22]

Get into a ship— To expedite the dispersion of the multitude. R2649:3
To go before him— To give them opportunity to think over the miracle, and talk it over by themselves in his absence. R3333:5
Unto the other side— Back to Galilee, Herod's territory, evidencing the fact that our Lord's conference with his disciples had a pacifying and strengthening effect on them. R2435:3

[Matthew 14:23]

A mountain apart— Pray in secret. R5379:6*
To pray— The Lord frequently spent whole nights in prayer. R1863:5 For the refreshment of his own zeal, for the keeping warm of his own love and devotion, which was the basis of his consecration. R2649:6 We cannot come too often. R1865:3 Nearly all the Great Teacher's recorded prayers are simple and brief. Whenever he wished to make long prayers, he went to the Father alone. R5095:3
He was there alone— Even his beloved disciples, not having been begotten of the Spirit, could not enter into fellowship with him in respect to spiritual things, nor appreciate the trials which came to him as a perfect man. R2649:6 Though he sometimes prayed with the disciples in their hearing, he was not content with these opportunities, but frequently sought the Father alone. R2649:3There are times when we love to join our hearts and voices with others at the throne of grace, and there are other times when we need individual, personal, private communion with God. R3333:4

[Matthew 14:24]

But the ship— Representing the experiences of the Lord's true church. R2650:3
Was now— Throughout the Gospel age. R2650:4 During the darkness of the nighttime which precedes the Millennial dawn, there will be storms and difficulties arising which would overwhelm us without the Lord's aid. R2650:3
Tossed with waves— Representing the great storm of trouble and persecution, against which the true church has been obliged to contend. R2650:4; SM748:T
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood [merely], but against principalities, against powers." (Eph. 6:12) R2650:4
The wind was contrary— The great adversary, through the anti-Christ and many less anti-Christs, has aroused, all through the Gospel age, a great storm against the Lord's faithful few. R2650:4

[Matthew 14:25]

In the fourth watch— Between three and six in the morning. R2650:2 In the early dawn of the Millennial day. B191; R2650:4 "God shall help her early in the morning." (Psa. 46:5) R2650:4
Jesus went— Typifying the second advent of the Lord. B191
Unto them— Typifying the church in the flesh in this harvest time. B191
Walking on the sea— Typifying the stormy sea of the world's unparalleled trouble. B191 The manner of his coming was different from what had been expected. R2650:4 Storms and trials have beset the church collectively all through the journey from Pentecost until now. In the morning watches he has appeared. SM748:1 Individually we have such experiences. The Lord for a time permits the storms of life to assault us. Then he manifests himself, and the storms no longer cause us dread and fear. SM748:T

[Matthew 14:26]

It is a spirit— They supposed it to be an apparition, a spirit manifestation in human form, walking on the water. R5095:3 Thinking they had seen a supernatural being and that it foreboded some calamity. R2650:2

[Matthew 14:27]

Be of good cheer— It helped the disciples later to remember how the Master came to them on the troubled sea and brought peace and quiet. R5095:5 It is the privilege of those who are fully consecrated to the Lord to be cheerful, happy, even in the midst of unsatisfactory and painful conditions. R4592:4, 2083:5, 1949:5 Cheerfulness is one of the loveliest graces of the Christian character. R1123:2*
Be not afraid— They were all affrighted until thus reassured. R4618:2 "All things work together for good to them that love God." (Rom. 8:28) R1607:5, 5058:6 See also comments on John 6:20.

[Matthew 14:28]

And Peter— Representing those who now believe the Lord is present. R2650:4
Answered him— Showing both the strength and weakness of Peter's natural disposition: noble and courageous, but rather forward and boastful. R4618:1
Bid me come unto thee— Peter had the wonderful courage to make the effort. R5095:6 Perhaps rashly. SM748:1

[Matthew 14:29]

And he said, Come— "Come out of her, my people." (Rev. 18:4) C167
Walked on the water— By the same power that enabled him and the other disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons. R4618:2

[Matthew 14:30]

Afraid— His faith failed. R5095:6 The same Peter who later drew his sword and smote the servant of the High Priest in his Master's defense; yet, only a few hours later, denied him with oaths and cursing. R4618:1
Beginning to sink— While Peter's faith was stronger than that of the others, and of ours today, it was not strong enough. R4618:2 As the Lord found no fault with St. Peter for his efforts, we are bound to admire the degree of faith and courage which he manifested. R5096:1 When conviction of unworthiness becomes deep-seated, the heart is most likely to cry unto the Lord for deliverance from darkness. R4618:4

[Matthew 14:31]

Stretched forth his hand— Our Lord's help of Peter corresponds to that greater help from death for the whole world; and of a helping hand to God's children now. R4618:5 The same arm supports them well who now come out of Babylon. C167 To all who cry unto the Savior for deliverance from sin and death, he lends a helping hand. R4618:4 All God's people, like Peter, would like to do some wonderful thing to show their faith; and often they would utterly fail, did not the Lord interpose for their rescue. R5095:6 So all of the faithful now will need the Master's hand stretched to their relief; otherwise they would sink in discouragement because of lack of faith. R2650:5 He will not reproach for sins repented of; rather, he will say, Why did you not come sooner? I was quite willing to aid you as soon as you cried. R4618:4
O thou of little faith— Had his faith continued, he would have been sustained. R5095:6, 4618:2 The Lord's rule with his people seems to be, "According to thy faith be it unto thee." R5095:6 Peter made a mirror of his mistakes and thus, learning to know himself more particularly, he was safeguarded through the many dangers natural to his temperament. R5096:1

[Matthew 14:32]

The wind ceased— The lesson of the occasion being ended. R4618:2 All the storms and billows of trouble and persecution which may impede and weary us are amenable to his control. R2650:3 If the miracle of the loaves illustrated his power to protect his people from want, this manifested that his power is able to preserve his people in the storms, difficulties and trials of life. R2650:3 When the Lord has joined himself to his church, the trials, storms and difficulties will be at an end, and the desired haven of the heavenly condition will have been reached. R2650:5


[Matthew 14:33]

Worshipped him— Realizing afresh that he was the Son of God in power; that even the winds and the waves obeyed him. R4618:2
The Son of God— If the Son of God, he is true; and if he is true, then all the exceeding great and precious promises which he left for us may be relied upon, built upon, anchored into. R2650:6

[Matthew 14:36]

Touched the hem— God's consecrated people have realized a spiritual blessing as Jesus passed their way, and by faith they touched him. R5096:4 Realizing him to be the Son of the highest.R5096:5

[Matthew 15:1]

Scribes and Pharisees— They would have been glad to have recognized him as a Pharisee and do his mighty works in the name of Pharasaism, but his attitude was that of an independent. R3786:2Prophesying, in the ordinary sense of teaching, afterward became popular with a certain class, and degenerated into Pharisaism. A55

[Matthew 15:3]

Transgress the commandment— Make void the law of God. NS843:2

[Matthew 15:6]

He shall be free— The commandment had been changed by the Talmud and any man might be free from all obligations to his parents by consecrating himself and substance to God. R5096:6
None effect— Null and void, which they had no right to do. R5096:6
By your tradition— Teaching as commandments of God what are really the traditions of men. OV159:T; Q747:2 Similarly, both Catholics and Protestants are teaching traditions of the "Dark Ages" instead of the Word of God. OV159:T; NS762:5 Every creed tends to take the place of the Bible, just as the Talmud does with the Jews. R5298:5 The theories and opinions that had been formed and handed down from the past, that were not based upon the inspired testimony of the Prophets. Q747:2 As found in the Systematic Theology volumes of Christendom and in the Talmud of the Jews, teaching for doctrine the precepts of men. D64; HG716:4 Handed down through all the creeds of Christendom; the doctrine of Purgatory being a little less unreasonable than the creeds of Protestants. NS763:1 The traditions of men are unreliable, and from these come the errors which hinder the proper understanding of the Scriptures. NS301:3 Satan could not get Israel to forsake the law, so he took the opposite course and, by multiplying the forms and ceremonies of religion, he satisfied their consciences, while he blinded them to the true meaning of the Law. R525:5 The traditions of men speak fear of the Almighty who, they say, has already sent to eternal torment the vast majority of our relatives, friends and neighbors. NS762:4 There are true traditions (Gal. 1:14; 2 Thess. 2:15) and false traditions. Their harmony with the Divine Word determines which are true and which are false. Q747:2,1

[Matthew 15:7]

Ye hypocrites— Hypocritically pretending to make a covenant with the Lord, pretending to be his people. Their punishment will be greater because of their hypocrisy; nevertheless, it will be with a view to their recovery and not their destruction. HG684:5

[Matthew 15:8]

Draweth nigh unto me— There never was a time when Jewish laws and ordinances were more faithfully observed than during that harvest—every form, ceremony and tithe was scrupulously remembered; the Temple of Herod was their grandest, and missionary enterprises were on foot for Judaizing the world. R235:1 The outward show and splendor of civilization called Christendom is, in many respects, impressive. SM245:1
With their mouth— It would be better not to approach the Lord at all than to do so in an improper manner. R5480:1 A Christian should not say prayers, but should pray. He should not think of saying even one word that he does not mean and has not thought out. R5480:1 With what carefulness should we take upon us his worthy name! R1527:6 "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." (Ex. 20:7) R1527:2 "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Tim. 2:19) R1527:3
Their heart is far— Few indeed apply their hearts unto instruction; yet, without the least hesitation, multitudes take the name of God and of Christ in vain. R1528:5 The Lord regards anything short of simple candor and honesty of heart with aversion. R1527:6 The command of chief love should be in our hearts. If so, love for God will permeate everything. R4052:3

[Matthew 15:9]

In vain do they worship— The difficulty is that these improper worshippers have such a wrong fear of God that they cannot love him and hence cannot draw nigh to him with their heart. NS762:3
Teaching for doctrines— What gross and hideous doctrines have not shielded themselves under the name Christian, vainly taken? R1528:5
The commandments of men— Thereby opposing the truth and becoming false prophets or false teachers. A55 Their own dreams, imaginings, or the dreams of their forefathers, in neglect of the Word of God. OV158:6 The traditions of men, the propagation of men's theories, the advancement of denominational interests. R5631:1 Through sectarian creeds and catechisms. The result of even mixing truth with error is confusion—Babylon. R442:5 For their own erroneous doctrines they have claimed divine authorship; their words are not acceptable to God because they have not submitted themselves to his plans and methods. R3647:6

[Matthew 15:13]

Hath not planted— The true Church, the New Creation, is of the Father's planting. Our Lord says, "I am the Vine, ye are the branches." (John 15:1-6) F207
Shall be rooted up— "And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth." (Rev. 14:19) F207

[Matthew 15:14]

Let them alone— Special light in both harvests is for the Israelites indeed. B28 Corresponds to the command, "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins." (Rev. 18:4) R718:3
Blind leaders— Bewildered leaders of human thought. R5468:2 These words, though applied by Jesus to the Jewish house, were also intended to apply to that of which it was a shadow, the Gospel house. R718:3 Blinded by Satan who, by mixture of dishonoring falsehoods with their little truth, conceals the grandest elements of the divine nature. R525:5Illustrated by the prophet in likening them to "blind watchmen" (Isa. 56:10); not for lack of natural vision so necessary to watchmen, but of mental perception—"they are ignorant" of the character and purposes of God. R718:3 The Master denounced the religious hypocrites of his time as greater sinners than murderers and thieves. OV390:1 The body of the ministry today has sadly fallen. R5631:5 The end of the Gospel dispensation would be characterized by general declension in religion, especially by the falling of pastors or teachers from the truth. R718:3
Of the blind— The blindness will continue upon fleshly Israel until the Gospel church is completed. (Rom. 11:25) R2615:4 In the coming age, their blindness shall be taken away, their pride shall be humbled, and then shall they seek Him whom, with wicked hands, they had crucified and slain. R606:6
Lead the blind— By the tendency to depart from God's Word. R1717:1
Both shall fall— While the most influential, who betray their trust as stewards, are the greatest sinners in Zion, those who blindly follow their leading become partakers of their sin (Rev. 18:4) and share the same penalty. R1875:1
Into the ditch— Into the ditch of general doubt and unbelief here, as their prototypes did in the trouble which closed the Jewish age. R2948:1, 2615:3, 2036:1, 1792:3 The pit (Diaglott). R718:3 Because Jesus was a "stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel" (Isa. 8:14)—the fleshly and the spiritual house. R862:5 The Federated Protestant "image" will fall into the ditch of anarchy. R4690:3

[Matthew 15:21]

Then Jesus went— With the people discussing the wisdom of making him king, with Herod's boldness manifested in the beheading of John, and with the realization that his time had not yet come, he left the parts where he was so well known.R3786:1
Into the coasts of— Into parts of Galilee which bordered upon Tyre and Sidon. R2280:3, 3786:2 Not into the countries themselves, for they were Gentile countries. He was still in Israel, in Galilee, but over toward the border of Tyre and Sidon. R2280:3
Tyre and Sidon— Within the boundary of the land called Phoenicia. R3786:1 Populated largely by Carthaginians and Syrians. R3786:6

[Matthew 15:22]

Woman of Canaan— Not an Israelite, therefore "without God and having no hope in the world." (Eph. 2:12) R2653:2, 4627:1 Of Syrian ancestry, by education and language a Greek. In a word, she represented quite a mixture of nationalities, a Gentile out and out. R3786:6
Cried unto him— In a loud voice, and probably with weeping. R2653:2 Not only overcoming the prejudices of her own heathen ideas, but also everything akin to pride and the fear of being rejected as one unworthy of the favor she sought. R2653:2 As a poor and uneducated woman she would naturally have great diffidence in approaching a learned man, especially one so notable as this great Prophet of Israel. R2653:2
Have mercy on me— Jesus ignored the petition. R4627:1
Thou son of David— "The Lord shall give him the throne of his father David." (Luke 1:32) C257 The long-promised king of David's line, the Messiah. E130; C257; SM210:2
Grievously vexed— In danger of entirely losing reason. R4627:5
A devil— A fallen angel. It is a great and important truth that many humans are more or less obsessed by evil spirits—demons. R4627:5 In a sense, all sin and sickness are afflictions of the devil, the result of Satan's lie. R4627:5

[Matthew 15:23]

Not a word— Perhaps the delay was in order to consider well the path of duty, the work which the Father had given him to do. R2280:3 To test the woman's faith as well as to manifest to others, then and since. R2280:3 We consider it not unreasonable to suppose that he thoroughly understood the case from the beginning and adopted the method he did to draw out her faith. R2653:3 To many, this would have been sufficient to have discouraged faith and sent them away weeping. R2653:2 How apt the majority are to speak and act without one moment's thought respecting the will of the Father. R2280:6 How different in our case! We, who were once aliens, have, upon making a covenant, been adopted into the Lord's family. We need not importune for favors; they are ours for the taking. R2653:6 If, in our case, the Lord see not best to grant a prompt response, we may be sure it is not from lack of interest in our welfare. At the very latest, by the Millennial kingdom, deliverance will be granted, not only to us, but to all mankind. R2653:4 With us, too, we may see that it will be better if he should for a time ignore our petitions, that thus we might become more earnest and perhaps increase our faith. R3787:4
Besought him— Whether from sympathy or from vexation because she was interrupting their opportunity for study and communion with the Lord we cannot judge. R2280:6
Send her away— Grant her request, and let her go away. R2280:6, 2653:3 Crieth after us—Her importuning of the disciples would imply that Jesus had left the house. R3787:1, 2653:2

[Matthew 15:24]

I am not sent— To manifest God's favor towards. R4627:2 When our Lord sent forth his Apostles to preach and heal, he told them to pass by all who were not Jews. R4627:1 Not because of narrowness on his part, nor because of insufficiency of time on God's part, but because time and order have to do with every feature of God's plan. R4344:2 The time had not yet come for giving Gentiles a place in God's family as children of Abraham. OV365:T
Unto the lost sheep— Those who have wandered from the Lord and were lost in the wilderness of sin and darkness. R2084:3 Individuals, not tribes. R2085:1
The house of Israel— Until the full end of Israel's 70th week of favor. C170 Gentiles and Samaritans were passed by. With a few exceptions, our Lord's miracles were confined to the Jews. R4627:1 They alone were God's covenanted people. R4627:1, 2512:2 "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." (Matt. 10:5) A72, 97; R2872:1, 1451:2, 257:2; HG343:2; OV224:5 "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2) A97 Our Lord said not one word about the "house of Judah," which he manifestly considered was merely a part of the whole nation of Israel. C300 The whole twelve tribes, all of whom were represented in Palestine. B207; C252, 293 No longer represented by our Lord and the Apostles as the "ten tribes" merely, but, as it is expressed, "all Israel." R1341:1; B206; C252 When the apostles were finally sent out to preach the gospel to all the world, they were told to begin at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47) R1783:6 It was not until Israel had stumbled through unbelief and been rejected of God (Matt. 23:37,38) that he authorized the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles. R2518:6 So, in this harvest, the message is only to spiritual Israel. R1742:4

[Matthew 15:25]

Then came she— The faith was there, hence the persistency of the request. R3787:1
Lord help me— Her importunity, when she recognized the Lord as the only help. R4627:5 She left it entirely to the Lord's wisdom how the help and mercy should be bestowed. R2281:1 Her daughter's cause was her cause. R2280:6 However degraded and outcast from God's favor, we may still know of the divine compassion. R4627:2

[Matthew 15:26]

It is not meet— Because the appointed time had not yet come, according to God's Plan, for favor to be shown to any people but Israel. R1451:2
The children's— Israelites'. R2604:3, 1000:4
Bread— Favor. R1451:2 The children of God will be first fed from this table. R4627:4
Cast it to dogs— Customary Jewish phraseology respecting Gentiles, signifying their inferiority. R4627:2, 5444:4, 5004:6, 2604:3, 1451:2 This did not signify that the Lord had no love for the remainder of mankind; their blessing would come in due time. R4627:4 Our Lord used the form of word which indicates the little pet dogs of the family. R3338:4 The word here used by our Lord, and also by the woman, signifies house dogs or little dogs, pet dogs, and not the objectionable wild dogs of Rev. 22:19. R2653:6 Not ferocious dogs, but house dogs—dogs which were friends and companions of the children. R2281:1 A rebuff, calculated to dishearten one of little faith, but correspondingly to strengthen a great faith; not of disdain, contempt or indifference, but implying interest and sympathy, explaining a reason for rejection. R2653:5 Had pride been in her heart, this response would have been sufficient to put her on her dignity, so that she would have ceased her importunity and tiraded against the Lord and the Jew as ecclesiastical bigots. R3787:2 Are we humble enough to accept his mercy on his conditions, acknowledging ourselves nothing, that we have no merit to plead with him?R3787:4

[Matthew 15:27]

Truth, Lord— Her faith, while persistent, was not intrusive nor assertive; as a result, her prayer was granted. R2281:1 Note the difference between this attitude and the curious and unbelieving desire for miracles of the people of his home city, Nazareth. R2579:5
Yet the dogs— She was willing to confess herself one of the Gentile dogs, that she had no right to claim any of those blessings of healing for her daughter because she was not of the Jewish nation. Q601:T
Eat of the crumbs— What perseverance was manifested: she believed the Lord to be the Messiah. R4627:2 Jesus granted the woman a crumb from the divine table. R5004:6 "There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, laid at his gate, full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs." (Luke 16:20,21) R2604:2 As he let some of the crumbs of knowledge and blessing fall to the Samaritans in John 4; an illustration of the Apostle's words, "Do good unto all men as you have opportunity." (Gal. 6:10) R2574:5 Offering a clear explanation of how the Gentiles, pictured by Lazarus in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, ate of the crumbs of divine favor which fell from Israel's table of bounties. R1087:1, 1086:6, 1000:4, 802:3, 284:2; HG385:6; Q600:1 In God's due time not only crumbs will fall for the remainder of the race, but rich and bountiful provision. R4627:4
Master's table— The table, or food, spread before fleshly Israel, God's fleshly children, consisted of those special favors and promises of God to them as his Chosen People. R4782:1

[Matthew 15:28]

Great is thy faith— She had more faith than a majority of the Jews. R4627:2 God's chiefest blessings are for the faithful. R4627:1

[Matthew 15:30]

Lame, blind, dumb— All "afflicted of the devil" (verse 22), for all afflictions are either directly or indirectly of Satan. R2281:2 To unstop the mental ears is more wonderful than to open the physical ears; to cause the dumb to sing praises to God is greater work than the giving of natural speech. R5104:5
He healed them— If the laws of nature can be controlled to some extent by man for his own convenience, how much more able is God to control the operation of his own laws. R2281:5 His mission was not to heal the sick and cast out devils, but to give his life a ransom. The miracles and cures were merely incidentals, and not his real work; incidental in that they illustrated his great kingdom work. R5104:2, 2281:4 It was not so important that certain persons be physically healed, nor that the multitudes not go hungry over night, but that the apostles should get the needed lessons and see the Lord's power. R5920:5 It would have been still greater to have opened the eyes of their understanding and their deaf ears; but this work could not be accomplished at that time. R5104:4

[Matthew 15:31]

The God of Israel— Of the whole twelve tribes. C252, 293, 300

[Matthew 15:32]

I have compassion— The necessity prompted our Lord to use of the divine power communicated to him by the holy Spirit; but he had refused to use this same power selfishly. R4617:2, 2006:4
On the multitude— He created food for the multitudes, but not for himself or his disciples. They undoubtedly ate of the food, but its object was for the relief of the multitude. R2006:5
Three days— What other teacher ever had 5000 people leave their employment and, negligent of food, follow him three days in the wilderness?. R575:2

[Matthew 15:36]

Loaves— Of ground whole wheat, about the size of our large buns. R5104:5

[Matthew 15:37]

They did all eat— Hungry and thirsty, yet feeding thousands. R1063:2* Quite possibly some of us would find ourselves equally healthy and strong on similarly plain food. R5104:5
And were filled— From the Bible standpoint, these miracles are most rational. The power of God, which produces as much as 250 grains from one kernel, is surely sufficient to produce many times as much if the necessity occurred. R4617:5 Jesus refused to use this same power selfishly for his own comfort, even when he hungered after having spent forty days in the wilderness at the outstart of his work. R4617:2
They took up— The Master displayed frugality and encouraged economy on the part of his followers. R5104:5

[Matthew 16:1]

Pharisees— A strong holiness party. OV71:T; R4986:3, 2939:5, 2485:6
Sadducees— Higher Critics and politicians; or Reform Jews. OV70:3; R2939:6 Practically unbelievers; of the wealthier, more respectable class. R4986:3The agnostics or rationalists of that time. R2756:4

[Matthew 16:3]

Foul weather— Our interest in the weather leads us to take notice of the conditions of the sky which presage storms and fair weather. NS632:4
Can ye not discern— Many see the signs of the new dispensation without knowing how to read them or what they signify. NS632:5 Should we not be much more deeply interested in the much more important things pertaining to the development of the divine plan? NS632:4 It was then, as now, the nominal church which discerned not. R384:3
Signs of the times— Even those who have no knowledge of the divine plan are now reading the signs of the times so clearly as to approximate the time of a new order of things. R1619:3

[Matthew 16:4]

No sign be given— The special light in both harvests is for the Israelites indeed. B26, 27 While dismissing the self-satisfied, fault-finding quibbles of the Pharisees with dark or evasive answers, our Lord took time and care in making truth clear and plain to the humble. B27
But the sign— The one great sign given that nation was not given until Calvary. R5111:3
The prophet Jonas— As Jonas was (portions of) three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so the Son of Man would be a similar period in the earth, and then come forth. R5111:3That sign did have a great effect upon thousands of Jews, as is evidenced in the account in Acts of the thousands baptized upon hearing Peter's preaching of Jesus' death, three days in the tomb, and resurrection on the third day. R5111:3 See also comments on Matt. 12:40.

[Matthew 16:6]

Beware— Be cautious, careful and watchful. R1670:6 Be ever on the watch that we be not caught in any snare of the Adversary. R1661:6*
Of the leaven— Corruption, error, sin. F464; T98 Incipient putrefaction, hence a symbol of impurity. R1800:2 Symbol of an evil influence. R5390:2 Symbolizing not merely false doctrine, but also a wicked disposition. R2283:4
Of the Pharisees— Typifying the synods, conferences, councils, etc., of the nominal church. C152

[Matthew 16:9]

How many baskets— Doubtless our Lord and the disciples partook of the bread and fish after they were made, but the object was the relief of the multitude, and not their own refreshment. R2006:5,1754:6

[Matthew 16:12]

Of the doctrine— With special reference to the state of the dead. R433:1*
Of the Pharisees— The Pharisees believed in the immortality of the soul and the eternal suffering of the wicked. R432:6*
Of the Sadducees— The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, nor in angels or spirits. R432:6*

[Matthew 16:13]

When Jesus came— Probably toward the close of the third year of our Lord's ministry. R3339:2, 2287:3
Caesarea Philippi— On our Lord's most northerly journey in Palestine, just at the headwaters of the river Jordan. R3788:1
Whom do men say— Not because of his own ignorance, but that he might draw out the thoughts of his disciples. R4645:1 Drawing out the apostles, and seeking to crystallize in their minds the thought which he knew was already forming or had formed. R3339:6
The Son of man— A title recognized among the Jews as appropriate to the Messiah; a title applied to Messiah by Daniel the prophet. (Dan. 7:13,14) R3788:1

[Matthew 16:14]

Thou art John— Herod, who had beheaded John the Baptist, seems to have started the suggestion that Jesus was John risen from the dead. R2656:2 The answer that some thought him John the Baptist risen from the dead showed that the public mind was being exercised, noting that he was not an impostor. R3339:6
Some, Elias— The Elijah prophesied to precede Messiah's coming. R2656:2
Others, Jeremias— The doctrine of reincarnation, wholly unscriptural, is suggested in these answers. R4645:1
One of the prophets— Very few seemed to have thought of him as the Messiah—expecting Messiah, when he would come, to be very kingly. R2656:2

[Matthew 16:15]

Whom say ye that I am?— This was a pointed question, calculated to bring out a full expression of their faith. R1760:2 Jesus had been with his disciples working miracles for nearly two years before he asked them. R5767:5 With the intimate acquaintance that you have had, what is your opinion? R3339:6 This is the great question of today. R5120:5

[Matthew 16:16]

Simon Peter— Probably the oldest of the disciples, and their spokesman. R3339:6
Answered and said— Displaying not only the strength of his faith in the Lord, but also his own strength of character and his zeal. R2656:3 Peter was the one who had the courage of conviction to speak out. CR151:5 Special blessings come, not only from believing in Christ, but also from confessing him to and before others. R4645:2
The Christ— God's Anointed One; Hebrew, the Messiah. R3339:6 "The man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:5,6) R5120:5The Messiah, the great deliverer of Israel and the world of mankind. NS194:5 To be the Christ, he must have been the "man Christ Jesus" who gave himself a ransom-price for all, signifying an extraordinary birth; else, as Adam's son, he would have been subject to the sentence of death. R5120:5 As the Anointed Lord, he shall be the great King, Prophet and Priest. R5120:6 Who left the glory of the Father and was made flesh to be the great Redeemer. R5120:5 This was the first public declaration of Jesus' Messiahship. SM464:1; HG737:2
Our Lord hesitated to present it; it would better come from the disciples themselves. R4645:1 There was no protest on the part of any; their silence gave consent. R3788:2
Son of the living God— The apostles did not contradict the Lord and say that he was the Father, nor that he was equal with the Father. NS195:3 The Scriptures nowhere speak of the Lord Jesus as his own father, the Almighty Jehovah. R3788:3 Not of ordinary birth, but the Sent of God. R5120:5 Not only recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, but also his divine authority and paternity. R2656:3 Possibly, the Son of God who is the author of life; probably, the Son of God, the Living One—the one who has a right to life according to the law; all others are under condemnation to death. R5120:5, 2656:3,5 Peter thus declared his faith that Jesus was the Son of God, not the son of Joseph. R5767:5; OV328:4 The belief that Jesus, the Son of Man (verse 13) was also the Christ, the Son of the living God, lies at the very foundation of Christianity. R944:4*

[Matthew 16:17]

Blessed art thou— You have been greatly blessed of God to see this truth. R2656:5 Jesus admitted the correctness of Peter's answer. R5120:1Not only was Jesus' heart cheered by Peter's zeal, but Peter was also blessed. R785:2
Simon— Peter, being the most prompt to confess Jesus' Messiahship, received the first and warmest commendation and reward. R1760:2
Bar-jona— Son of Jona. R2656:5
Flesh and blood— Signifying human nature. R4793:6, 611:2 Mankind in general. R2656:5
Revealed it— The eyes of your understanding have been opened. R2656:5
But my Father— Here again our Lord disclaims being the Father. R3788:3 The natural man cannot see the deep things of God, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14) R5920:3 Not that St. Peter had experienced a special vision or revelation, but that such a spiritual fact could be appreciated only by one specially favored of the Father. R4645:1, 5563:2
Which is in heaven— Jesus referred to the heavenly, and not to an earthly father. R5767:5, 3788:3 Not on earth, except representatively. R3788:3

[Matthew 16:18]

Thou art Peter— A piece of rock. NS194:3 The word Peter signifies a stone of moderate size. HG737:2; SM464:2 A stone, a strong-minded, strong-willed character. R4645:2, 2658:5 Greek, petros, a rock or stone; one of the "living stones" of the spiritual temple. (1 Pet. 2:5) E375; F220; R4645:2,3789:2, 2656:6, 1525:1; NS194:4; SM464:2 A stone ready for the spiritual temple, the first to publicly acknowledge Jesus. HG737:2; SM464:1 Represented as one of the Twelve Foundation stones in the New Jerusalem, the other apostles being equally foundation stones. (Rev. 21:12) R2656:6 He was honored by the name Rock, or Peter, as a memorial of his being the first to recognize the great Rock—Christ Jesus. R813:1*
Upon this rock— Greek, petra, mass of rock, fundamental rock, truth. SM464:2; F220; R2656:6; NS194:3 This great truth that I am the Christ. E375; SM464:1; R4645:2, 3789:2 Peter's confession of him was a rock testimonial—a declaration of the foundation principles underlying the divine plan. F220 The apostles, the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem, were not laid in the sand, but upon the sure and steadfast rock, Christ Jesus. R1522:1"Other foundation can no man lay that that is laid, Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 3:11) HG736:6; SM463:1 To think of St. Peter as the only foundation for the Church would be to deny Christ's teaching and St. Peter's own statement that the entire Church is symbolically represented as living stones built together by the Lord through his holy Spirit. (1 Pet. 2:4-10) HG736:3
I will— Spoken of as future. The foundation was not even laid until Christ was risen a spiritual being. The building is a spiritual house and is built on a spiritual rock. R97:3*
Build my church— The Kingdom of God in embryo, in preparation. R5616:4 Composed only of those who have taken the steps of repentance from sin, restitution to the extent of ability, acceptance of Christ's sacrifice, and consecration. F275 Probably the first intimation that the Lord gave of his intention to build a Church. R2657:1 The Church which Christ organized has existed through the centuries and is composed of all those individuals inside and outside of man-made churches, sects and parties. NS193:6 The Church of Rome holds that Peter was its founder, but it can produce no evidence to this effect. R2657:2, 812:3* Not the present-day, man-made, creed-bound and clergy-lorded systems. R2657:2
The gates of hell— Greek, hades, oblivion, death, not torment. E375; SM459:1; NS195:5 Not gates to some place of torture, nor to purgatory; it might well be translated "the gates of the grave." R4645:2 We are not to suppose it is a barred gateway to a fiery hell and the Church trying to break in; nor should we imagine the Church on the fiery side, trying to get out. "O hades, where is thy victory?" 1 Cor. 15:55) R3789:4
Shall not prevail— As the heavenly Father raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, so the gates of death shall not prevail against the Church. OV363:4; SM463:3; R4693:2; NS196:1 The gates of hades did close over our dear Redeemer himself for portions of three days, but they did not prevail. R2657:2, 1760:3 Our Lord prevailed over hades on the third day in his resurrection; the Church also shall prevail on the third thousand-year day. R1760:3 An assurance of the resurrection of the dead. HG737:1 Bursting the bonds of death, bursting the restraints of sheol, of hades, by the Father's power. R3789:4 Persecution, even unto death, would afflict the Gospel Church, but never prevail to her utter extermination. R4645:2, 2600:2, 1760:3; E375, 376 Not that his followers should not enter the portals of death, but that eventually these prison-doors of death would open. R2657:2

[Matthew 16:19]

Unto thee the keys— Representative of the opening power vested in the one who has been duly authorized to act; as we sometimes say, "He holds the key to the situation." Q783:4, 795:4 The opening power. F221; E214; R4345:4 Symbol of power or an authority or an initiative. HG737:4; SM465:3 A key implies a lock. The thought here is that God's Kingdom was locked up so that none could enter it. R3789:5 Our Lord did not open the doors of the Kingdom in the full sense of the word; they could not be opened until first the great transaction of Calvary had been accomplished. R2657:4 The key which Peter used was dispensational truth then due, and first made clear to the mind of Peter by the holy Spirit. R1525:2 Keys represent power and authority. He needed more than one because hitherto Jew and Gentile were totally distinct and the Gentiles were not fellow-heirs, not of the same body. R376:1 Keys, in the plural, implies that more than one door was to be opened. As a matter of fact, there were just two doors and just two keys, one for each door, Jewish and Gentile. E214;NS803:1 The first key, on the day of Pentecost, to open the door for all Jews; three and one-half years later he used the other key and threw open the door to the Gentiles. PD73/87; SM465:3,4; R4645:4, 4345:4, 3789:6, 1760:5, 1525:2, 795:4; Q783:4 In 69 AD the door of Jewish favor closed. Since then, they are privileged to enter the Kingdom of heaven class only upon the same terms and conditions as the Gentiles. NS186:6 But, the door once opened, neither Peter nor any other man can close it. Our Lord has the "key of David." (Rev. 3:7) R1525:2 So powerfully was the Kingdom key used by Peter that 3000 believers were found—six times as many as had accepted our Lord during the three and one-half years of his ministry. NS185:5 The other apostles were associated in the work, but Peter was the leader and chief spokesman in that opening work of the Gospel dispensation. NS185:4 This door will be closed forever when all the wise virgins shall have gone in to the wedding. R3789:6
Of the kingdom— Which, when Christ spoke, was securely locked. R3789:5 A class being called out of the world to become, with Christ, the ruling power of the world. SM465:2 The Lord used the words "Church" and "Kingdom" interchangeably, showing that the Church is the Kingdom in embryo. R32:3*
Whatsoever thou— All of the apostles, including Peter. R3789:6, 1760:5, 1525:2 As Peter was only one of the foundation stones of the Church, so he was only one of the twelve to whom this declaration was made. (Matt. 18:18) HG736:4; SM462:2 Not that the Lord turned matters over to St. Peter and made him Lord of heaven and earth; nor that any or all of the apostles were so honored. R4645:4 Not applicable to all of the Church, but chiefly to the apostles. (John 6:70; 15:16; Rev. 21:14) R2658:1
Shalt bind on earth— Binding and loosing was a common form of expression in those days to indicate forbidding and permitting. R3789:6 Respecting the apostles alone, we have the assurance that whatever they forbade or allowed was under heavenly guidance and sanction. R3789:6; CR415:4 If they bound certain doctrines and teachings, we must know that those are bound and firmly established in heaven.R4645:5 They would be enabled to understand which things of the Jewish Law were binding upon the Church and which were not binding. HG736:5; SM463:T Informing us that certain sins, willful sins, are not forgivable and may be indeed sins unto death, unto the second death. R2658:2
Shall be bound— We must recognize the apostles as God's inerrant mouthpieces. R4645:5 Signifying that God would specially control their utterances so that their decisions and writings might properly be considered authoritative. R2658:1, 1760:5, 1525:2; HG736:5
Loose on earth— Permit in the Apostolic writings. R3789:6; CR415:4 Whatever they loosed under the Mosaic law, they were supernaturally directed to do so. R1760:6, 1525:2 If they declared that certain of the Jewish commandments were not binding upon Christians, we know that the statement is true and that, in heaven, the release or change is recognized. R4645:5, 4122:2 Informing us that certain sins can be remitted or forgiven: sins of weakness and of ignorance, traceable to our fallen nature. R2658:2
Shall be loosed— The Lord's overruling would make the twelve apostles safe guides for his Church. SM462:4 Said to the apostles, and respecting them; applies to none others of their day or since. R5002:2

[Matthew 16:20]

Tell no man— Because the result of such a program would have been to have aroused at least a party spirit amongst the people, and insurrection would naturally have followed. R2658:2Because it might hinder his crucifixion; or else bring it before the due time. R3790:1 The people in general still needed line upon line and precept upon precept in the way of evidence before they would believe. R1760:6 In view of the Jews' expectation of Kingdom glories, had Jesus announced himself the Messiah at the beginning of his ministry, the effect would have been disappointment to the degree of disgust. R3339:3 The time for the proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah did not come until after his death and resurrection. Indeed his Messiaship properly dates from his resurrection. R4645:5 He must purchase the world of mankind before he could become its Lord and Life-giver, its Restorer, its Messiah. R3340:2
That he was— He did not need to proclaim his Messiahship, for he already knew that whomsoever the Father would draw would come. R2658:3

[Matthew 16:21]

From that time— After preaching the blessings of the Kingdom for three years. R3340:2 About the Passover season. R3178:3, 1238:2
Implying that thereafter his coming death was frequently a subject for discussion and consideration between him and them. R3340:3 The former part of our Lord's ministry was devoted apparently to the establishment of his disciples' faith through cures, miracles and instructions. R2287:3 Truth should be told as the hearers are able to bear it: milk for babes, meat for men. R2287:6 There is a lesson in this for us: we should tell our hearers about the blessings of restitution before we preach the sufferings of the narrow way. R3340:5
Suffer many things— Testings of faith are as necessary to Jesus' followers as they were to him; for the same reason: to develop and crystallize character. PD76/90
And be killed— He knew the cup was about to be poured for him, but the disciples did not understand. R5421:2 They must be prepared in advance for his shameful death, else it would prove such a shock to their faith that they could not recover from it, nor believe in the resurrection. R3340:2

[Matthew 16:22]

Then Peter— Perhaps unduly elated by our Lord's words of commendation just uttered. R3790:1, 3340:3, 2287:6 Allowance must be made for Peter in that he was not only the eldest of the apostles, but quite a good deal older than our Lord and of a very ardent disposition, strong and impulsive. R3340:3 Moved, not merely by selfish motives of prejudice, but doubtless also by his love for the Lord. R2658:3 Like all strong characters, he had proportionate opportunities and liabilities to misuse his strength for evil. R2656:2
Took him— Apart from the others for a private interview and exhortation. R2658:4
And began— Our Lord did not wait for him to finish. R2658:4
To rebuke him— Peter undertook to be the teacher, "not holding the head" in proper reverence. R3790:2 Let us each see to it that we be not disposed, as Peter was, to be wiser than our Lord, and to attempt to tell him how matters should be conducted. R3340:5
Be it far from thee— Master, do not talk that way. R5585:2 Tempting our Lord to repudiate his sacrifice. R3178:6 He urged that the Master should not think of any steps which would lead to death, but should think rather of prosperity and earthly favor. R4645:5 Trying to persuade the Lord not to yield himself as the sin-offering. R1217:3
This shall not be— This death, and the scattering of thy people, and the triumph of evil generally. D564 The apostles could not understand how the Messiah could be crucified. R5331:2, 5330:5, 4831:6

[Matthew 16:23]

But he turned— Though tempted, he ignored his own will and all suggestions from others contrary to God's plan. Therein lay the secret of his success. R1125:5; HG292:6
And said— Not privately, but in the presence of all his disciples. R3340:4
Satan— Adversary of God and of all in harmony with God. R5585:2, 5427:1, 2658:4 Adversary, opposing spirit—Young. F611 Hinderer of the work. R5585:2, 4645:5, 3790:6 You are becoming my opponent. R5585:2, 3340:4 In this course, St. Peter was opposing the divine will and plan, of which the death of Jesus was the very center or hub. R5120:2, 4756:2 "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." (Rom. 6:16) R5427:1, 3340:4 Peter had come under the influence of Satan and become the mouthpiece of error. The great enemy of God sought to use Peter as a channel of temptation. R2288:1, 1217:3, 450:3 He had become the unintentional servant of Satan, whose bad counsel, if followed, would have been a violation of Jesus' covenant. R1217:3 As Peter was the Lord's adversary, so the world often becomes adversaries of God's children. R5546:5The followers of Jesus sometimes need to resist their friends who offer counsel contrary to the divine will. R5585:2, 4645:5, 2658:5 Informing compromising friends that their influence is being exercised in the wrong direction, against the truth, our best interests and the divine plan; hence they are not only our adversaries, but also adversaries to the Lord. R2658:5 Beware that Satan does not get possession of our talents and, under the guise of working for Jesus, really use our powers against the truth. R451:1 Let us take heed that we be not tools of the adversary in stumbling others and that we be not stumbled by others who take such positions, no matter how kind and sympathetic their manner and intentions. R2288:2 Even kindly-meant dissuasions from duty on the part of our own friends, or the natural desires of our own flesh, we should recognize as besetments of the Adversary. R1760:6 Jesus was full of love, but he spoke most emphatically against evil-doers; yet, how differently the Lord's rebukes affected his loving disciples and the proud Pharisees. R664:1*, 416:1*
An offense— "A stumbling block" (Revised Version); a stone of stumbling. The same Peter earlier designated a stone, indicative of strong character, was now in danger of becoming a stumbling stone. R2658:5 Instead of helping, you are hindering me. R5585:2 It was about the Passover season, the time when the Lord's people seem to be be in the greatest danger of stumbling. R3178:3 "Be not many of you teachers, brethren" (Jas. 3:1), knowing that a man that is a teacher has severer trials. R3790:2
Savourest— Partakest. R2658:5
That be of God— Divine wisdom. R3340:4, 3790:3
That be of men— Human wisdom. R3790:3, 3340:4 The things of human judgment and preference. R5120:2 You are viewing matters, not from God's standpoint, but from the standpoint of fallible, fallen men. R2658:5 Your counsel is that common to the world and not of God. R4645:5 Your suggestions are contrary to the divine program; it is necessary that the Son of man suffer sacrificially. R4756:2

[Matthew 16:24]

If any man— Who is already a believer. R5003:5, 3235:6 The reference is exclusively to those on the "narrow way" and does not at all refer to the world of mankind. R2615:5 Many—all believers during the Gospel age—are called, but all do not care to accept the conditions of sacrifice which are attached to the call. R1310:4 His words imply that it is a matter of choice with the individual, and not a matter of compulsion in any sense of the word. R3235:3; Q282:1; NS344:5
Will come after me— Will follow my example, be my disciple. R5654:1, 5596:6, 5588:3, 5553:1, 5223:1, 5003:5, 3790:3 Not merely believing that Jesus died, and that he was holy, etc. R5833:2 Be a follower of mine, walk in my steps of obedience to the Father's will, and share with me in the Father's reward. R3236:4
Let him— Take the steps which the Master indicated as necessary, not optional, for membership in the household of faith. SM636:1 His followers should count the cost of discipleship in the same cool, calculating, methodical manner in which they would count the cost of erecting a building. R3235:6; NS344:5, 654:3 Any who decline these terms are declining the only entrance conditions connected with the school of Christ. NS671:5
Deny himself— Sacrifice himself, his earthly interests and ambitions. R5696:6, 5588:3,4, 5570:1, 3845:5; Q399:T Set himself aside, ignore himself, renounce his own self-will. R5691:1, 5596:6, 5588:3,4, 2616:1; Q399:T; CR409:4 Self-sacrifice unto death. R5006:3 Give over the doing of his own will—his self- sufficiency. CR347:2 Let him deny all ability to wash away his own sins; deny his own righteousness and accept of mine. R761:5 Die to himself. R5719:2 Humble himself. R5303:3 It is easier to deny everything else than to deny yourself. CR149:1 In so doing we are sowing to the Spirit and shall reap the great reward. R5665:6 The first step is self-renunciation, full consecration. R5719:2, 5654:1, 5303:3 Set himself aside, ignore himself, his talent, his will, his wealth, his everything—discipleship first. R5588:3 Self-negation, absolutely necessary to discipleship. R2658:6 Self-renouncing and fasting, in the highest sense of the word, is enjoined with fasting from fleshly desires (both good and bad) in the interests of the new creature and for effective service. NS154:2 Ignore self-will and self-gratification, including all earthly ambitions and desires, the sinful, and no less they that are laudable and proper. R2616:1 Whatever is sweet to nature must be disowned; illustrated by honey being forbidden in sacrifices. R84:6* Not merely the outward form practiced by Christendom during Lent, but that of self-consecration and immolation which our Lord's words signify. R2616:6 Kill his will outright, not merely hack and mutilate it. This is not a cross. The desire to give up our will and accept God's will must be a pleasure. "I delight to do thy will, O my God." (Psa. 40:8) R3237:2 This first step in following the Lord is properly designated a sacrifice, but it is not the taking up of the cross. R3236:6 Self-denial relates more to passive obedience, cross-bearing to activities in the Lord's service; self-denial means courage and zeal, cross-bearing means victory; self-denials may be victories in our own hearts; cross-bearings may be seen by others. R2616:2 In order for the sacrifice of our wills to be acceptable to the Lord at all, it must be no cross to us. R3237:1 All subsequent sacrifices which we may make in the Lord's service are included in, and represented by, this sacrifice of the will. R3236:6 We should not sacrifice others in order to be his disciples. It is ourselves that we are to deny, ourselves that we are to sacrifice. R3845:5
Take up— Thoroughly imbued with a zeal for God and for righteousness. R3236:1 Having counted the cost of discipleship. R3235:6 It is not enough that we should start out with a courageous intention, a bold acknowledgment of Jesus and a bold profession of discipleship. R5426:4 It is to be not merely lifted, but carried. R5223:2 The taking up of the cross is done after we come to a knowledge of the truth. We cannot take up the cross until we have seen what the cross is. R5223:2,4 Bearing the cross means enduring it. R5223:4 The bearing of the cross is the way of growth in character for the consecrated child of God. R5223:5
His cross— The trials, difficulties, disappointments; the "crossing" of the human will made necessary by doing God's will under present unfavorable conditions. R5596:6, 5553:4, 3237:3, 3236:4, 2658:6 Suggestions of the world, the flesh and the devil which conflict with the divine will. R5426:4 Self-denial, cross-bearing is the sacrifice necessary to discipleship at the present time. R5055:3; SM642:2 As soon as we take hold of the cross and put forth our efforts, our Lord lifts the real weight of it. R3236:6 A symbol of self-denial, self-sacrifice, suffering for righteousness' sake in opposition to the spirit of the world, the flesh and the adversary. NS622:4 In the sense of being sacrificed, even of earthly interests. Q399:T A crossing of their own wills, submission to the divine will. R3341:1 Our faithfulness in cross-bearing consists in our willingness to stand up for the truth, no matter what the cost of friendships broken or enmities enkindled. R3237:3 The shame of the Cross, the ignominy of the Cross, the ordeal pictured by the Cross. NS622:3 Opposition of husband or wife engendered by faithfulness to the Lord, endurance of opposition by business competitors because of faithfulness to Christ are part of our cross-bearing. R5223:3 Jesus' cross-bearing was practiced continually throughout the three and a half years of his ministry. R2616:3 The Master's cross-bearing did not consist in fighting the weaknesses of the flesh, for he had none; nor are the weaknesses of the flesh our crosses. R3237:2It is fortunate that in the outstart we cannot appreciate the full meaning of cross-bearing, or few of us would have the courage to make a consecration. R3536:5 If we were in heaven, in full accord with the divine will, we could have no crosses from the time we fully consecrated to the Lord. R3236:4 It is remarkable that the cross, which symbolized the most ignominious form of capital punishment under the Roman Empire, should be the symbol of Christianity. NS622:2
And follow me— Walk as he walked; in the same way, the same direction. R3237:5 Patiently continuing to bear the cross. CR347:4 In the footsteps of Jesus, in the sacrifice of human life and restitution rights. R5596:6, 3237:6; OV251:3, 123:3 "Walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:1,4) R3237:5 In direct opposition to the world-current. R2616:5, 1790:5 It would be better not to take up the cross unless we have the determination to go unto the end. R5223:2

[Matthew 16:25]

Whosoever— Of Christ's disciples. R5806:6, 5425:6
Will save his life— Greek, psuche, soul, being. E335 Many professing Christianity have never become Christians according to these conditions. R5425:3 Save present social and ecclesiastical life, including reputation. R591:6 Be solicitous of maintaining his rights and holding on to the present life. R5120:3 Amounting to a question as to whether we love the present or future life. R3341:1 Refusing to sacrifice it after having made the consecration. R2615:5 If we, consecrated believers, turn back again to live after the flesh, we shall die; for us to be carnally minded is death, to be spiritually minded is life and peace. R5806:6,1748:3
Shall lose it— No question of torment, but of life or no life, of being or not being, of existence or non-existence, of eternal life or destruction in the second death. R2288:5 The disposition to preserve the present life and its comforts at any cost is the disposition which will be deprived of eternal life. R2288:2 Entirely—losing all hope of a future life. R2615:5 One must either gain the spiritual life they have started out for, or lose all life. R2615:5 Lose the great prize of the divine nature. R5120:3 Discipleship meant the very reverse of what the apostles had naturally expected. R3790:3
Will lose his life— Greek, psuche, soul, being. E335 Sacrifice every earthly hope, aim, object and to lay down life. R5426:2 It is a case of losing our earthly lives and gaining the heavenly. R3790:4 Only through much tribulation would they enter the Kingdom. R5426:1 Such devotion will necessarily mean the severing of many earthly ties. R5426:2
Shall find it— Only those willing to comply with such terms, demonstrating their love and loyalty, could be entrusted with the great power, glory and honor granted the Kingdom class. R5426:1Will gain the reward of life on the spirit plane. R5120:3

[Matthew 16:26]

Is a man profited— Men labor for wealth, to gain as much as possible of the whole world, only to find when they are rich that wealth has come at the expense of health. R276:6, 205:2; E258
Gain the whole world— If they selfishly seek for the whole world, the selfishness thus developed will make them unfit for eternal life. R5120:3
Lose his own soul— Utterly perish. R2288:4 Become a cast-away as respects the eternal promises within his grasp through Christ. NS265:5 As a result of that selfish will which is opposed to the divine will and its law of love. R3341:2
For his soul— Being, existence, his most valuable possession. E258 The word "soul" in this verse, psuche, is the same Greek word rendered "life" in the preceding verse. R2658:6, 2288:2, 248:6; E335 His future existence. R2615:6

[Matthew 16:27]

The Son of man— It is proper to think of our Lord as the seed of David, and equally proper to think of him as the seed of Adam, through Eve. E152
Shall come— At his second coming. R4645:6, 4142:5*, 2288:5
With his angels— Messengers. R4645:6
And then— During the Millennial age. R2304:2 The full reward is not given to the Church until Christ comes. A103 Assuring them that they would not get the Kingdom inheritance until some period in the future. R3790:5 The rewards of Christ's discipleship were not to be expected in the present life. All that we may now have in the way of compensation will be the peace and blessing of the Lord in our hearts with glorious hopes for the future. NS602:4 Full recompenses, either rewards or punishments, are not to be expected before the resurrection. R1881:4 Therefore those who have "fallen asleep" have not already "gone to their reward." HG347:4
Reward every man— Including the unjust, for "the Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." (2 Pet. 2:9) A103
According to his works— Whereas it is now, "according to thy faith be it unto thee." (Matt. 9:29) R2304:2 Whosoever now gives even a cup of cold water to one of the Lord's disciples, because he is such, shall have a reward. R1469:6

[Matthew 16:28]

Verily I say— This verse is separated from its connection by the starting of a new chapter. The Revised Version corrects this difficulty. R2288:5
There be some— Peter, James and John: the three apostles most advanced in faith and zeal. R2659:1
Till they see— On the mount of transfiguration. Q797:2
Son of man— The three disciples had seen the Son of Man in his Kingdom glory in vision. The reality has not yet come to pass. R4649:6
In his kingdom— Properly rendered "Royal Majesty." Q797:2 As explained in the first nine verses of chapter 17. R3790:5

[Matthew 17:1]

And after six days— Just about enough time to permit them to discuss and digest the meaning of our Lord's words concerning his coming death. R3345:5 During the six days following the announcement of the Master's coming suffering, ignominy and death, we may assume that the apostles were sad-hearted and bewildered. R5121:2
Jesus taketh— Seeking to draw their minds gradually to a realization that his death would not mean a repudiation of the promises of the Kingdom and its glory. R5121:1 Intending to assure the apostles respecting the certainty of the Kingdom, notwithstanding the apparent failure of all Kingdom hopes in our Lord's crucifixion. R2659:2 The object of the vision was probably two-fold: the comfort and strengthening of the Lord and the enlightenment of his chosen witnesses. R1761:4
Peter, James and John— Those most advanced in faith and zeal. R2659:1, 3345:5, 2289:2 Three of his favorites. R4649:3
An high mountain— Supposedly Mount Tabor. R4650:1 Presumed to be Mt. Hermon. R3345:2
Apart— Luke tells us that he went there to pray, and we may reasonably suppose that the three apostles joined with him in prayer. R3345:2, 2659:2, 2289:2 So all those who seek God in prayer may, to a large extent, with the eye of faith realize this same blessed vision of the Kingdom. R2660:1

[Matthew 17:2]

Transfigured before them— That is to say, his appearance changed. R4649:3, 558:3 Not an actual change from human to divine, but a vision or picture of it. R3793:6, 2659:5 An illustration of the Kingdom. PD64/74; R2288:6, 3345:6, 1761:2 It was a vision of Christ's dignity and glory in the Kingdom. The central figure was Jesus himself. Moses and Elias were merely accessories to fill out the picture. R3793:5, 2659:2
As the sun— Representing him as no longer the man Christ Jesus, but the risen, glorified Son of the Highest, a spirit being. R2659:4, 2288:6
White as the light— Representing the "glory to follow," when the sufferings are all complete. B20 His garments put on a shining appearance and became part of the vision. Q713:2 After the manner of angels. R5121:2

[Matthew 17:3]

Appeared unto them— It was only an appearance, because Christ was the firstborn from the dead; and neither Moses nor Elias is as yet made perfect. F676; Q761:3, 713:1; R2288:6 Radiant, but less so than Jesus. R5121:2, 3345:2 There was glory and honor attached to the Jewish dispensation and to the Gospel dispensation, but a still greater glory was manifested in the presence of Jesus, who represented the Millennial dispensation. R3345:6 The figure was glorious; the reality excelleth in glory. R1323:2*
Moses— A figure of Moses, representing the Mosaic or Law dispensation; or the overcomers of the Jewish age. B255, 20; F677; R5772:4, 5121:4, 3794:3, 3790:6, 3345:5, 2659:4, 2289:1, 2288:6, 1761:2 Identified, either because Jesus used their names in talking with them; or by Jesus informing the apostles on the way down from the mountain.Q807:2 Moses spoke of the sufferings of Christ in all the arrangements of the Law and its sacrifices. R2659:3 He was the mediator, or representative of Israel, and would very properly represent them in this tableau. Q260:1
And Elias— A figure of Elijah, representing the Gospel or Christian dispensation; or the overcomers of the Gospel age, the Church. B255, 20; F677; R5772:4, 5121:4, 3345:5, 2289:1 Representing the prophets, who declared not only the coming glories, but also the sufferings which must precede them. R2659:3 Both Moses and Elijah had fasted 40 days, as had Jesus, showing that they were one with him in remarkable devotion to the heavenly Father. R3794:3 Both Moses and Elijah passed from earth's scene under peculiar circumstances; yet we are assured that both died. (Deut. 34:5; Heb. 11:13) Q761:3 Neither Moses nor Elias went to heaven. R5333:5Moses and Elijah represented two classes that will participate with Jesus in his Messianic glory in the Kingdom. R5333:5
Talking with him— Both dispensations speak of the sacrifices and sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow. B255 The conversation of the vision corroborated his statements that he would suffer a martyr's death at Jerusalem. R3345:5, 2659:3, 2289:1 Probably while the disciples were asleep (Luke 9:32); and doubtless, therefore, specially for his own comfort. R1761:5 It was a vision of the heavenly Kingdom, Moses representing one class, Elijah another, and Jesus himself representing the other. HG205:4 Moses and Elijah represented the two classes associated with the Lord in the glory of his Kingdom who will constitute the earthly and heavenly phases of the Kingdom—Moses the earthly, Elijah the heavenly. R1761:2, 559:4 The glorified Jesus stood between the Moses class, called previously, and the Elijah class, which had just begun to be called. R5121:5

[Matthew 17:4]

Three tabernacles— How many, like Peter, want to rear earthly tabernacles, failing to understand the real vision of the Kingdom. R3795:1 We cannot build tabernacles on the mountain heights of faith and hope and expect to remain there in enraptured vision, but must remember that present duties and conflicts are essential to our development and part of our covenant. R2660:1,4

[Matthew 17:5]

A bright cloud— Representing the cloud of trouble into which the apostles were plunged by the death of the Redeemer. R3794:5 The cloud of trouble and opposition is permitted to keep us humble, to listen to the voice from heaven. R3794:5 A misty cloud of light saying to the disciples and to us that his glory will be obscured for a time, observed only with the eye of faith, but which, though more or less cloudy, will nevertheless be bright to those who look unto him. R2659:6
Behold a voice— "And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy mount." (2 Pet. 1:18) B255
Out of the cloud— Similarly at his birth, heavenly angels announced him; and at his baptism, the voice from heaven declared him the acceptable Son of God. R1761:5 Hence God twice burst heaven open to exclaim, "This is my beloved Son"; but this was the only time in the history of our race that God's silence was thus broken. R84:2*
This is my beloved Son— In the sense of being begotten by him, Christ called God his Father, and God acknowledged him as his Son. R944:4*; HG297:1 Their faith was corroborated: what they had previously believed, God here testified himself. R5121:3
Hear ye him— All through the Gospel age, while the misty cloud surrounds his glory, we shall have great need to continually hearken to the Word of the Lord. R2659:6 "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak." (Jas. 1:19) R2289:4 Seeming to say, Be still! Hearken rather to the words of my beloved Son. Not a few need to learn this lesson of quietness—to hear and learn, to be taught of God. R2289:3 "My sheep hear my voice." (John 10:27) R3346:5 The essence of the entire vision was to impress upon the minds of the apostles the fact that Jesus was the Messiah. R3794:5

[Matthew 17:6]

Heard it— Not many have heard, understood, appreciated or obeyed the Gospel invitation; but in the Millennial age it will be the will of God that all shall hear. R3345:6
Were sore afraid— Received a needed lesson in reverence. R2289:4

[Matthew 17:7]

And touched them— It required our Lord's kind words and touch to relieve the apostles of their fright. R4649:3
Be not afraid— With the fear engendered in the reproof of the voice from heaven which said, "Hear ye him." R2289:4 As we realize our unworthiness, fears are likely to grasp us and torture us. The more we learn of him, the more does the love of God cast out fear from our hearts. R4650:1 He who created us is sympathetic towards all who are striving for righteousness. He is a great God, not a little one. R4650:1

[Matthew 17:9]

The vision— Of the coming Millennial Kingdom. B255; R5333:5, 5121:6; Q713:2 Not an actuality, but a vision, such as seen by John the Revelator. R5772:3, 5121:4 Greek, horama, occurs twelve times in the New Testament, and on every occasion the context shows that the thing is not real, but is a vision. R4142:4* Moses could have been resurrected by God's power, but nothing in the narrative demands it. If Jesus called it a vision, why should we call it a reality? R201:1 A vision was just as useful to the purpose as a reality could have been. R2659:5 Visions are not realities, though they symbolically represent them. R2826:1, 2288:3 Just as the trumpets, beasts, etc., of Revelation are not realities, but visions. R5333:5, 5772:4, 5121:4, 3354:3, 2659:5, 2288:3, 559:1; Q259:7, 713:2, 761:3 Special visions and revelations of the holy Spirit were granted to the apostles to instruct them concerning things to come. R1525:6 A vivid and refreshing symbolic view of the Kingdom; but without the "sure word of prophecy" (2 Pet. 1:19), it would have been unintelligible. R1761:4 Frequently the blessings received are mental visions of the glorious things which the Lord hath in reservation for them that love him. R3345:2

[Matthew 17:11]

Elias— The glorified Christ. B20, 254; Q259:4 A woman is the figure used when the Church alone is referred to; but here a man, Elijah, is used because the work prefigured is not the work of the Church separate from her Lord, but the one work of both. B255
Truly shall first come— Oldest manuscripts omit the word "first." B254 To prepare the way of Messiah by performing a reformation work in preaching repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and declaring the Kingdom of heaven at hand. Q772:4 The coming of Elijah must precede the day of the Lord (Mal. 4:4,5); but his work belongs to that day. HG68:3
Restore all things— In the times of restitution of all things. (Acts 3:19-21) B254 John did do a work of reformation amongst the Lord's people at the first advent, the work of introducing Messiah. R3292:6 Christ here speaks of restitution, and he is a prophet. (Acts 3:21) HG56:2 The restitution of all things does not begin until the return of Christ. Hence the work of Elijah does not begin until after the personal advent of Christ. HG68:3

[Matthew 17:12]

Elias is come— Not reincarnation, for that theory is nowhere taught in the Scripture. Q772:4, 817:2 Jesus was calling to mind the prophecy of Mal. 4:5,6. Q772:4 We know positively that John was not Elijah, for we have his own testimony, "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not." (John 1:21) Q772:4, 817:2 John the Baptist, a type of the Elijah class, forerunner of the Church in the flesh, as the Church is the forerunner of the Christ in glory. B253, 252; R3346:4,3292:6, 557:1 Elijah was a type of the Church, and John a continuation of the same; while at the same time a shadowy fulfillment of it. B254, 253, 257 However, John did not do all that is to be done by Elijah, and hence a greater Elijah is to be expected. (Matt. 11:14) R2838:6 See also comments on Matt. 14:3.
Knew him not— Though they for a short time recognized him as a sincere man, a servant and a prophet of God. (John 5:35) R968:5; B260
Whatsoever they listed— But to the antitypical Elijah they shall not do as they list. HG69:2

[Matthew 17:14]

When they were come— At the same time this vision was taking place, the other disciples at the foot of the mountain were contending with the adversary, even as are the Lord's people of the present time. R2659:4

[Matthew 17:15]

He is a lunatick— The Revised Version speaks of the sufferer as an epileptic. We prefer the narrative as it reads—that Jesus rebuked the "devil" and cast him out of the boy. R4650:2

[Matthew 17:16]

Could not cure him— Thus the Lord's people are still in the valley of conflict with the will of the flesh and the devil, while with the eye of faith they behold at the top of the mountain their glorious Lord, soon to share with them the glories of his Kingdom. R2659:4

[Matthew 17:20]

Your unbelief— Faith, to be successful, must be backed by spiritual power. R4650:4
If ye have faith— Not imagination or blind credulity. Q774:3; R1967:3
Say— The request must be in harmony with the divine will. Q774:2; R1967:3
Unto this mountain— Regarding the mountain as difficulties and obstructions in our Christian course, or in the course of God's work, we know that "miracles" are wrought for those who exercise faith. R1967:5; Q774:3
Remove hence— God gave no such command in respect to literal mountains. R5446:4, 1967:5
It shall remove— If they had proper faith in the power of God and should receive a command from him. R5446:4, 4650:4 We are not to suppose that our Lord meant that his followers should try to remove mountains as a diversion, nor as a proof of their faith. R4650:4

[Matthew 17:21]

Prayer— The lesson to the apostles was that their greatest power would result from their living very near to God; living lives of self-denial and prayer. R4650:4; NS153:2

[Matthew 17:27]

Give unto them— This example of submission to the authority thus represented that they were all respectful and law-abiding. R1555:6
For me and thee— Yet Christ refused to miraculously provide for his own needs at the time of his temptation. F650, 651

[Matthew 18:1]

At the same time— Apparently after the journey back to Capernaum from the Mount of Transfiguration. R2660:3 Shortly after the vision on the mount of transfiguration. Our highest views of heavenly things are quickly followed by earthly trials and difficulties, which serve to test and prove us. R3795:3
Came the disciples— The colporteurs and all public representatives of the truth also are fallible and subjects of special temptations. R1537:1
Who is the greatest— Perhaps the fact that Peter, James and John had been favored more led to this query. R5130:2 Who would be the most influential, the Lord's prime minister. R5361:6, 5130:2 Probably the disciples who were not with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration felt a little envious of those who had seen the vision and who subsequently told them. R3796:1, 2660:3, 1766:3 The Master invariably encouraged their hopes and ambitions. His reproofs were merely against their strifes as to which would be greatest. R1415:3

[Matthew 18:2]

And Jesus— Avoiding personalities, as it is always wise to do when possible. R3796:2
A little child— Unsophisiticated, guileless, asks questions, seeks instruction, does not profess and boast of wisdom, is candid, truthful. R5130:2 With heart purity, simplicity, trustfulness.Q787:2 What a charm there is in childhood's simplicity. It confidently takes your hand to be led where you please and you may write upon its blank pages whatever you will. R657:1* Afterwards, says Luke, he took it in his arms. R3796:3

[Matthew 18:3]

Verily, I say— The manner is impressive and solemn; as though he would say, I want you to take this lesson to heart and ponder it well. R1766:6
Except ye be converted— "Except ye turn"—Revised Version. R2660:5 Turned about, changed from your present attitude of mind in respect to ambition for place and honor in the Kingdom. R5224:3, 5130:2, 3797:1, 2660:5, 1766:6 From the spirit of the world to the spirit of Christ. R5557:5, 4767:4, 3647:4 Because the simplicity and meekness of childhood have been displaced by the art (the selfishness and the proud, haughty spirit) which despises instruction. R657:1*
As little children— In meekness and teachableness. R5557:5, 4767:4, 3152:5 Simple of heart, meek, truthful, free from ambition and rivalry, faithful, trusting, loving, obedient, teachable, without guile, indifferent to social distinctions and popular notions. R1766:6, 3796:4 Confessing their littleness and ignorance, and going humbly to the Lord for the necessary instruction. R5130:3 Not that little children are members of Christ's Kingdom class. The Lord is seeking mature men and women who have a childlikeness of mind. R5130:3, 3796:3, 2660:2 The emphasis lies upon the word "as," in the sense of "like." Only the child-like and trustful disciples can experience God's highest favor—a share in the Kingdom. Q787:2 As natural, unlearned men, the disciples had no doubt been aiming as far as possible from childlike simplicity to assume the dignity of mind they considered appropriate to their future high positions. R2660:4 How beautiful the thought, "children of God!" R521:3 "Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be ye men." (1 Cor. 14:20) R2660:2,521:3
Shall not enter— Much less be greatest in. R1766:6
The kingdom of heaven— The Lord is not discussing the world. R3796:4

[Matthew 18:4]

Shall humble himself— Those chosen to the place of eldership and prominence in the Church should be amongst the most humble of mind and of conduct in the whole company. R3796:5
As this little child— Become a child of God and be taught of God. R5130:3 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (1 Pet. 2:2) R2660:3 Indicating that the person is not overestimating himself and that he has a tender consideration and love for others which cannot vaunt self. R1767:1 The effect which God designs is that we should realize our own insignificance and unworthiness of such great honors. R3797:1 While this meek and teachable spirit is commended to all, it is not the will of God that they should always remain babes. R3622:1, 1568:1
The same is greatest— Will be most honored. Humility and child-likeness among the Lord's people now should be esteemed a mark of true greatness from the Lord's standpoint. R3796:5 Not by any arbitrary law of retribution, but on the philosophical principle that humility leads to greatness. R1767:2 Rank and honor in the Kingdom will be proportionate to humility and service here. R309:4* The maintenance of the child-like spirit—after the world's hopes, ambitions, etc., have been brought within the mental grasp of the man—is evidence of that self-control and self-discipline which invariably bespeak a noble character. R1766:6

[Matthew 18:5]

Shall receive— Recognize and show kindness to. R1767:4
One such little child— One such disciple as has this child-like character. R3797:2 Privileged to be God's little child, and thus Jesus' younger brother. R5130:5
In my name— Because he is mine. R1767:4
Receiveth me— They shall be considered and rewarded as though they had received the Master himself. R3797:2

[Matthew 18:6]

Whoso shall offend— Greek, skandalon, scandalize, stumble, entrap, injure, hurt spiritually, thus perhaps subjecting himself to losses beyond the present life. R3797:3, 5130:5, 2661:1 "Ensnare"—Diaglott. R3622:1 Sowing seeds of discord and planting roots of bitterness which are sure to bring forth evil fruitage. R4502:2 It is not only a serious crime against the law of love to cause one of the Lord's brethren to stumble, but even to stumble others, hinder them from becoming brethren and members of the household of faith. R3145:6 A sin in no way covered by Christ's sacrifice, a sin against a measure of light and knowledge. The chiefest of these are those against God's people. R5463:5 Ensnare, beguile, lead astray—from the truth or holiness of life.R1767:4
These little ones— Those that are little or humble-minded, meek and loyal of heart. R3797:3 No matter how poor, weak, ignorant they may be, the very least of the consecrated are supervised, and injury to them is punishable. SM221:3 New creatures who have only started in the new way of full consecration to God's will. R5445:2 "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth his little ones that love him." (Psa. 103:13) R657:1*
Believe in me— Showing that Jesus did not refer to infants. R5445:2
Better for him— Because such a calamity could not in any way affect his future life. R3797:3, 5445:3; SM221:3 But one who injures the Lord's little ones will be held responsible for his deeds, even in the next life, in proportion as he realized what he was doing. R5130:5
Hanged about his neck— A special reprobation for those who do injury to the Church. R4502:2
He were drowned— Some drastic punishment, but not eternal torment. SM222:T

[Matthew 18:7]

Woe unto the world— Particularly in the time of trouble. R1767:4
Because of offences— Greek, skandalon. Much of the world's troubles arises because of these very snares, traps and injurious misrepresentations. R3797:4 Willful offenses against sufficient light to avoid them. R1767:4, 5130:6 Including secular organizations. The same word is that translated "things that offend" in Matt. 13:41. R1285:1*
It must needs be— Necessary because it is the divine will that all the elect Church shall be thoroughly tested and developed in character. R2661:1 That the faithful overcomers may be developed as well as separated from all others; and that, by their exaltation, the new Millennial age may commence. R745:1
That offences come— And divisions. R1279:5 Because men's hearts are not right. R1767:4 Stumblings, ensnarements. R5445:2 That he should be crucified. R4908:2
Woe to that man— That willful sinner. R1767:4 Who would deliberately attempt to deceive, ensnare, entrap, or discourage his followers. R5445:3However necessary, this does not lighten the responsibility of those who lend themselves to the adversary's influence in placing these stumbling-blocks before the feet of the saints. R2661:1 Many today do not realize that they place stumbling-blocks before the Lord's "little ones" to lead them from the narrow path of full consecration and self-sacrifice. R2661:2 As the spirit of selfishness undermined the loyalty of Judas to his Master, so a similar spirit of selfishness may today undermine loyalty to the Lord, his truth and his work. R3885:1, 2468:1

[Matthew 18:8]

If thy hand— Any comfort, pleasure or taste as dear as a hand. R2603:1, 5130:6, 3797:5, 2602:1 The offending hand would represent the doing of things that would be contrary to our highest spiritual interests. R2661:4
Or thy foot— Anything serviceable as a foot. R2603:1 The offending foot would represent the going into forbidden paths of sin or self-gratification. R2661:4 A quality of character that would seem as close and precious to us as a right hand or a foot. R3797:4
Offend thee— By their gratification would forfeit the life to come. R2603:1 Cause you to stumble. R5130:6 Cause thee to maintain an injurious character, a tendency to scandalize others. R3797:5
Cut them off— Remember that Jesus spoke to the people in parables, and never without a parable. R5130:6 Cast them from thee—If we do not put away such practices we cannot enter the Kingdom. R3797:5
It is better— Would be far better than possessing these privileges, only to be ultimately destroyed in Gehenna fire. R3797:5, 2602:1, 2603:1 Better than to retain your members and lose all in Gehenna. R2603:1
To enter into life— Everlasting life, which is the opposite of the destruction symbolized by Gehenna. R2602:5
Everlasting fire— Everlasting destruction, the second death, symbolized by the continual fires kept burning in the Valley of Gehenna, where the garbage of Jerusalem was destroyed. R2602:3,6,2603:2, 2601:2, 3797:6 Equally symbolical with the other parts of the figure. R2661:5

[Matthew 18:9]

If thine eye— Anything in your make-up as dear as an eye. R5130:6, 2602:1, 2603:1 The offending eye represents besetments which appeal as beautiful to our natural tastes and likely to charm and attract us to earthly things. R2661:4
Offend thee— Cause thee to stumble. R5130:6
Pluck it out— Cut off that tendency, no matter what it costs. R5130:6 The Lord's commands against sin and evil are to be executed, no matter if the sin is as dear as a right hand or eye. R5648:5
Hell fire— Greek, gehenna fire, everlasting destruction, second death. R3797:6, 2602:3,6, 2603:2

[Matthew 18:10]

Ye despise not— Do not hate, or in any way persecute. R1767:4 Or do anything demeaning toward them. R3797:6 They may seem humble and insignificant, but they are God's friends—yea, God's children, for whom he cares, and whose every injury is an insult to him. R2661:5 Those yet in the nominal church are despised and unnoticed by the proud professors of Christianity who occupy the prominent positions in Babylon. R657:4*
These little ones— These humble-minded children of God. R2661:5, 3797:3,6 God pays careful attention to all the affairs of the weakest and most ignorant of his children. Q270:3 "Little" in malice, pride and in the world's estimate. R2063:4
Their angels— Each son of God has a special angel to care for his interests. CR472:6; F76; R5606:1, 5387:5, 5257:3, 5131:4, 4926:6, 3798:1, 3441:2, 2661:5; Q270:4 "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them" (Psa. 34:7) that are his. "Are they not all ministering spirits?" (Heb. 1:14) F76; R5606:1 As illustrated by the vision granted to Elisha's servant. R3441:1 They are under a very special divine supervision and protection. NS337:4 Perhaps one guardian angel to each saint, perhaps more than one. R2350:4 In hours of danger and affliction, their services are needed and freely tendered. Our Savior himself, in His earthly life, needed and received the help of angels. R75:1* Whether it is a living spirit being that interposes for us and guards us, or whether influences or powers of God, it makes no difference to you or me. Q270:4 The word angel might include all the powers of God, both animate and inanimate, by which he could take knowledge of and render assistance to those who are his. R3798:2 It is erroneous to presume that every human being has a guardian angel. The Lord does not anywhere indicate such special guardianship on the world's behalf. R3798:1
Do always— These, and only these, may know that their prayers are always heard. HG622:3; Q270:4 We are to get the thought that there is no delay in the bringing of any and everything which pertains to their welfare and interest before the attention of the great King. R2661:5, 2350:4
Behold the face— Have access to the presence of. R5634:3, 5257:3, 4926:6, 3441:2; CR472:6 Have immediate communication with. R5387:5 Spirit beings can and do see God, "Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1 Tim. 6:16) B132
Of my Father— He is always ready to give attention to their messages. Q270:4; R5387:5

[Matthew 18:11]

For the Son— This verse is omitted from the Revised Version and is not found in the oldest manuscripts, good authority for omitting it. These words do occur in Luke 19:10 and represent an eternal truth. R3798:2
To save— Recover. R5427:4, 4398:2 During the Millennium. R4398:2 By restitution. (Acts 3:19-21) E456, 457
That which was lost— An earthly paradise and an earthly existence. A177; E457; F669 Earthly perfection and dominion. A177; E457; OV251:2; NS266:6 Eden, harmony and communion with God, human perfection, and everlasting life, were lost and will be restored. CR173:1 The spirit of the Lord, the relationship of sons. R5623:5 Not spiritual or divine nature. CR472:1 Men, by disobedience, had lost the right to eternal life and all the privileges, blessings and opportunities pertaining to that great boon. NS3:1 Man did not lose heaven, for he never possessed it. He lost earthly life, an Eden home, human perfection. R4941:6;HG131:2 All that our race lost through Adam's disobedience. R4398:1, 3825:2, 1256:5; OV291:2 In contrast with evolution, which tells us that nothing was lost. HG492:6

[Matthew 18:12]

An hundred sheep— All the Little Flock. R3798:4 Applied in a different manner than the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3-7. R3798:4
And seeketh that— He that recovers a sinner from the error of his ways saves a soul from death and hides a multitude of sins. (Jas. 5:20) R3798:5

[Matthew 18:14]

Even so— All who are in harmony with the Lord should have the same interest in one another; they should be willing to spend and be spent in the recovery of a brother from the snare of the adversary. R3798:4
These little ones— All the Lord's true followers, subject to special divine supervision. R5131:4 The babes in Christ, because of their very feebleness and inexperience, have much special care bestowed upon them. R1568:1 How careful the Lord's people should be not to stumble one another. R5131:1

[Matthew 18:15]

Moreover— There are no exceptions to the rule here laid down. R4984:2 We must not only scrutinize our motives; but, after finding good motives, we must scrutinize our methods and square them all with the Word of the Lord. R4218:4
If thy brother— This instruction is given only to the brethren, the Church. R5782:5, 5445:5, 5134:2, 4984:3 Those not brethren, not children of light, but children of darkness associating with the brethren, must be dealt with along the divine direction here laid down. R5229:6, 5782:5 In respect to dealings with those who are without, the same spirit will apply. But if the unbelieving has attempted a fraud willfully, he should be delivered to the world's courts. R2666:5 These instructions given only to the Church; but whoever learns to apply this rule to the brethren will find that it commends itself as a wise course of conduct in all the affairs of life. R4984:3
Shall trespass— We should put on love (Col. 3:14) and overlook much of what others do. R4984:2 Or have anything unpleasant to say, or any criticism to offer concerning the private life of another. R5123:2 The true Christian will cultivate the disposition to think charitably of the works and actions of others, and to suppose that their intentions are good, until he has positive evidence to the contrary. R5123:1
Against thee— Not what he does against some one else, but against "thee." R5529:4 If someone tells us a trouble concerning another, we should ask that he state it in such a way that the name is not given nor a description by which we might recognize the other party. R5409:1 If a brother find another discriminating against him and more appreciative of another than himself, he should not take offense. R4984:3
Go— This law should be understood in the smallest details and followed without any modification. NS566:2 These principles are practically illustrated in the following citations. R4282:4,4283:1, 3594:5; F415
Tell him his fault— Without judging or condemning him beforehand. F415 Not to make him ashamed or to berate him, but to secure cessation of the wrong and, if possible, some recompense for injuries received. F291 Have a clear understanding; to do so would result favorably in nearly every case. R4984:3 Not the trivial matters, evil surmisings, rumors, fancied insults, but positive wrongs done us. R5885:4, 4978:2 Not in a dictatorial way to show him there is something wrong, but in a kindly way, to be reconciled. R4984:6 You have no authority to punish him; that belongs to God. R5409:1, 3744:6 To help him; not to twit, anger, tease or entrap him. R4985:1 If the matter is too small to mention, it should be forgotten. R4984:2 So long as the outward conduct of any brother or sister is reasonable and fair, both justice and love say that you should not meddle with them. R5274:6 If one chooses to overlook the brother's fault, it is not necessary to follow all these regulations. R3744:3
Thee and him alone— Privately, without previous conference or talking with anyone. F291 Thus did our Lord guard against the insidious sin of slander, which stops growth in the truth and its spirit of love. R4803:2 The probability is that misunderstanding is all that there is of it. R5134:3, 4803:2 Even with positive evidence, go to the offender alone. R5123:1 Meeting with candor as "brethren" to discuss the matter. R4803:1, 3594:5 Disobedience to this command results in roots of bitterness, misunderstandings, anger, malice, hatred, strife. R5123:2 The one and only proper manner of rebuke given by our Lord; the one and only way of adjusting a grievance. R4978:2 It is a well-established principle of government that wrong-doers can be treated to better advantage alone than in the presence of an audience. R3801:2 If the matter is a trespass against yourself; if it is something against the Church or outwardly immoral, the elders would be the better able to judge, and know better how to approach the matter. R4598:5, 4459:2 The adversary will use every means to turn us aside from the plainly stated rule of love; he will endeavor to make us think that it cannot be applicable to the difficulty which troubles us. R4208:6 The usual sophistry by which the "old man" sets aside this divine rule is to conclude that it is not applicable in this instance, or to be persuaded that he does not know how to apply it in this case and must ask counsel of others, the very thing here forbidden. R4191:3 To have a desire to tell of the weaknesses or faults of another is an intimation of lovelessness on our own part. NS566:2 Not even to ask advice should the matter be told. We have the Lord's advice, and we should follow it. F292 And not so much as mentioned to others, unless offenders refuse to hear, refuse to correct the fault. R3035:5 In a family matter it might be proper to go to the head of the family; in an institution where the offender is merely a representative, it would be proper to go to the head of the society. R4984:2
If he shall hear thee— The Lord did not say anything about his apology. But if he recognizes that he is wrong and fails to apologize, he is doing himself injury. R4985:1
Gained thy brother— Recovered him. R3744:6 The matter is settled, peace prevails, the threatened break has been averted and no one is the wiser. R4803:2, 3594:5 Seek to win thy brother and not cast him off nor excommunicate him. R4209:1 Back to fellowship, righteousness, harmony with the Lord. R2666:3 Gained him for righteousness, for salvation, for a Christian life, and probably as a friend. R3801:2

[Matthew 18:16]

If he will not hear— Unless the trouble is serious, the matter ought to stop with the personal appeal to the erring one, whether he hears or forbears to hear, to yield. F292 Alone, privately. F291
Then take with thee— Make sure the matter is of sufficient importance. R4985:1 Only after deliberate thought and prayer. R4985:1 If occasion require, take the subsequent steps. R5123:1
One or two more— Unprejudiced brethren, not necessarily elders. F289 Preferably one of the two being an elder. They should go primarily to the elders, and an elder would be the proper one to bring the matter before the Church. R5409:2 Those called in should be "wise" (1 Cor. 6:5); such as both the accuser and the accused would recognize, and whose judgment they would respect and follow. R2431:6 Without any explanation whatever to them before they meet together with the accused. F292; R5134:3; Q704:2 Fair-minded, honorable people in the Church; friends of the brother injuring us. R4985:1
Be established— If the witnesses disagree with you, you should acknowledge that you have erred. R5134:3 If we are in error, we should be more anxious to be corrected ourselves than to have the other corrected. R4985:1 If these give their verdict against the accuser, that should settle the matter; the accuser should recognize his error. Not do do so would imply that he was not seeking to ascertain the truth, but that he had judged his brother personally. R2431:6

[Matthew 18:17]

If he shall neglect to hear— But not sooner. F289; Q104:2 The advice of these brethren should be followed by both. R5134:3; F289 If the injurious actions continue. R4985:2, 5134:3 In the event of the concurrence of the brethren that the wrong is being done and of the refusal of the wrong-doer to desist. R5782:5 Even if the witnesses agree with us and the wrong-doer is not corrected, we are still not at liberty to make mention of the case to others. R3030:3
Tell it— The elders might constitute themselves into a Board or Committee and get one of their number to look into the case and see if the wrong could not be stopped or adjusted. Q479:4Facts, evil deeds or evil doctrines, and not evil surmisings nor rumors, are the basis of Scriptural disfellowship. R3035:5
Unto the church— The consecrated. R2666:3 To patiently hear definite, positive charges of sufficient importance. R4985:4 Not to be punished but, as a last resort, for reproof and correction. R3744:6 In the presence of the accused. F415; R4985:4, 4281:5 If it is considered of sufficient importance as concerns himself, or the Church, or the truth. F291, 292, 415 In the case that the matter had gone beyond the individual, and had somehow involved the whole congregation. Q479:4 There must be brought evidence to show that there is really a matter to come before the Church, and that it is not merely a case of busybodying. R4985:3 Up to this time, the case should not be discussed outside of these witnesses. R5409:2 In proportion as they are saints they will desire to say no more to anyone respecting the weaknesses or sins of anybody. F292 First certifying the facts to the elders. F289 The two witnesses should say to the elders of the Church that they have a case to present for a hearing, but they should not make charges. R4985:2 The elders should call a special meeting to inform the Church of the case, and the Church should decide when to call a meeting to consider it. R4985:2 For the one to state his trouble and the other to answer. R4985:4 At no stage of the proceedings should unkind words be permitted.R4985:4 It will be reasonable to expect that the voice of the Church in such a matter will be supernaturally guided, that truth and righteousness may triumph. R2666:4The Church's decision of the question is to be final, binding upon both. R5134:3, 4985:3
Neglect to hear the church— By not repenting and reforming. F290 This is the highest tribunal. Brother should not go to law with brother in the worldly courts, however much he may feel himself aggrieved. R2666:4 If either still have doubts as to the justice of the matter, he will surely obtain a blessing by giving full and hearty consent to the Lord's arrangements. R2666:4 The vote of the Church should be unanimous, if possible, ignoring all partisanship. R4985:4 The administration of discipline is not the function of the elders only, but of the entire Church. F289; Q479:3 Their advice must not carry with it any penalty whatever. R4985:4;F290
Let him be unto thee— In carrying out the findings of the Church court, the matter rests with each individual; each must discern the justice of the decision for himself. F292
As an heathen— In that we can no longer have Christian fellowship with such. R1663:5* We would treat a heathen with justice and kindness and the love of pity, but not with the love of affection due to a brother in Christ. R1255:4 Outside of your religious and social company, but not outside of your love, care and desire to help. (Rom. 12:19,20) R3801:3 Not forbid attendance at meetings. The most would be to withdraw fellowship, refuse to visit their homes or to invite to our homes, and not appoint to any office in the class. R5954:3Lest our continued fellowshipping cause our influence to oppose the truth and favor the error, and thus make us sharers in the evil being done. R1255:1 His punishment is not the object, but to secure repentance and reform. F290
And a publican— He is a brother still, but not in the best standing. R4985:5 Deprived of any and all manifestations of brotherhood. F290Not appointing him to any position or honor in the Church. R5782:5, 5134:3, 4985:5 Not to be asked to offer prayer. R4985:5 To be debarred from participation in the Lord's Supper. F474 Treated in the kindly, courteous way in which we would treat any publican or Gentile, withholding the special rights, greetings or voting opportunities that belong to the Church.R3745:4 Not to be harshly spoken of even after the separation, just as we are not to berate or rail against heathen men and publicans. F290 In that we could no longer respect such as we would an honorable man of the world. R1663:5* But not injured or treated unkindly in any way. F303; R5134:3, 4985:5 Disfellowshipped until he recognizes his wrong and makes amends to the extent of his ability. F293 Taking heed to "speak evil of no man." (Titus 3:2) F290 We are to distinguish between avoidance and appointment to honorable positions in the Church and the still different matter of disfellowship and cutting off from the body of Christ, the Church. R4318:4 A complete separation from the Church. Until he has made a complete reform he should be thoroughly disowned by the Church. R5275:1

[Matthew 18:18]

Whatsoever— Showing the apostles' complete inspiration and infallibility—not even wrong "only once." R1793:6
Ye shall bind— The inspired Apostle bound the question of a purely vegetarian diet, and settled it—see 1 Tim. 4:1-4. R3098:3
Ye shall loose— They would declare not binding upon the followers of Jesus only such things as in God's sight would not be binding. R5002:2
Loosed in heaven— Thus guaranteeing divine supervision of the apostles' decisions respecting what is obligatory or optional. F220; R5588:1,4827:1, 3124:4; SM463:T We are thus assured of the infallibility of the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. OV160:1; R5002:2 This applies to the apostles, and none others. R5002:2; OV395:6 Applies to all the apostles, and not just Peter. R4645:4, 3789:6, 2658:1; HG736:4; SM462:2 Applies to the Apostle Paul as well as the other apostles. R4826:6 See also comments on Matt. 16:19

[Matthew 18:19]

Two of you shall agree— The Lord is pleased to reward the united efforts and prayers of his people. R4306:5, 1866:2

[Matthew 18:20]

Two or three— It is a mistake to feel that no meeting must be held except as appointed by the ecclesia and conducted by one of the elected elders; but it is unwise to entirely ignore the class in the matter of holding meetings. R4010:2, 5122:2,1
Are gathered together— "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it." (Mal. 3:16) F309 For mutual advancement in spiritual things.R309 For encouragement, mutual fellowship, mutual helpfulness and regular association. R4854:5 This is our charter-right and we must concede an equal right to all of God's people who may choose to meet in his name at any place and at any time. R5501:3 Even two or three in fellowship are a body of Christ. R4965:9, 4592:6 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." (Heb. 10:25) F309; R4306:5 Not in elaborate church buildings, but where two or three are met together, that is the house of God, and there his glory is seen and felt. R2010:5
There am I— The Lord will be specially present to grant a blessing. R4854:5 The holy Spirit represented Christ; comforting those who came seeking his blessing. R531:3 Those who realize the Lord's presence among them when they meet will be very careful of their words, actions and the very thoughts of their heart. R2543:3
In the midst— Illustrated on the walk to Emmaus. R1823:2

[Matthew 18:21]

How oft— Imperfect ourselves and surrounded by others who are imperfect, we continually have need to exercise mercy, benevolence and forgiveness. R4650:2
Shall my brother sin— The Lord is not laying down any rule by which we may deal with the world, but merely the rule which would govern amongst his followers. R3801:3 It is the new creature and not the old creature that is the brother of Christ. If a brother trespass, the wrong is not by the brother, the new creature, but by his mortal flesh. R2666:3 In another account of the same matter, it is implied that before forgiveness is granted, it be at least desired, if not sought. (Luke 17:4) R4650:3 If he trespass seventy times seven he should be rebuked as often, either by word, conduct, or both, and should repent in words and turn in conduct just as often; and as soon as we believe him sincere, we must be prompt and hearty in our forgiveness. R1694:2,5
Till seven times— Peter no doubt had in mind the thought that seven was the symbol of perfection, and that this might mark the reasonable limit of mercy and forgiveness. R3801:4

[Matthew 18:22]

Jesus saith— This is not merely advice, it is a command. R3801:5
Until seventy times seven— No limit. R5134:3, 2666:1 How it tells us of the loving mercy and forgiveness of him with whom we have to do. R4650:3"If thy brother trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times a day shall say, I repent, thou shalt forgive him." (Luke 17:4) R4650:3 It is as much the Lord's command that we do not forgive until he turns again and repents as it is his command that we do forgive when he does turn and repent. R1694:2 Forgiveness is obligatory when asked for. R5134:5Even though fully forgiven, we may not put such a one into the same place of responsibility previously held until we see a stronger and truer character developed in him. R1694:5 This does not imply, however, that there may be no penalties attached with the forgiveness. R2666:1 Evidently to imply that forgiveness should be granted as often as it is sought with any manifestation whatever of sincerity. R3801:5 We may not decide that any transgression against us is unforgivable. Our imperfect knowledge, as well as our imperfect judgment, forbids such a decision. R1694:2To return evil for good is devilish, to return good for good is human, to return good for evil is Godlike. R3802:1*

[Matthew 18:23]

Therefore— This parable does not refer to divine forgiveness of original Adamic sin, but to subsequent sins. R5135:4, 528:3
Kingdom of heaven— The Church in the present embryotic condition. R5134:6, 4650:6, 3802:2, 2666:6
Of his servants— Tax-collectors: representing the justified and consecrated children of God, entrusted with the stewardship of the Lord's goods. R3802:1,2, 5135:4 This parable does not relate to dealings between God and the world of sinners; but between God and his covenanted children, called here, as elsewhere, "bond-servants." R528:3 The world, as sinners, are not God's servants, but aliens. The only ones God recognizes as servants are such as come back into relationship with him through Jesus. R5135:4, 4650:5, 3802:2, 2667:1, 2295:3

[Matthew 18:24]

Owed him— This can be understood in two ways—either the debt resting against the whole human family, the death penalty; or the obligations of the covenant of a new creature. R2667:4
Ten thousand talents— Representing in value about $20 million, fitly representing our great obligations to God as a race and our utter inability to meet these obligations. R2295:3 Estimated to represent $9 million. R3802:1

[Matthew 18:26]

Worshipped him— Asking, as members of the Body of Christ, in the name of their Head. R528:6 Lord, have patience—God does not forgive our sins until we acknowledge them and ask his forgiveness. R2295:6

[Matthew 18:27]

Then— As soon as the debtor asked for mercy. R2295:6
Moved with compassion— Mercy is an element of love, and love is the fulfilling of the whole law of God. R3802:5
Forgave him— Not referring to divine forgiveness of original sin, but entirely to subsequent sins. The sin of Adam is not forgiven simply because we cry for mercy. R5135:4, 4650:6, 3802:2

[Matthew 18:28]

The same servant— Representing the Great Company; or, possibly, those who sin the sin unto death. R3802:6, 4079:5*, 2667:4
Fellowservants— Other brethren. R5135:4
An hundred pence— A small debt, probably representing not more than a hundred dollars proportionately to our money and time. R3802:3 About $16. R3503:3, 2295:6 A very insignificant sum in comparison to the one which he had owed his master. R5134:6
Took him by the throat— Just as some professed followers of Christ apply the law to their fellow disciples. R151:6* The harsh and unsympathetic will be likewise treated. R5135:1

[Matthew 18:30]

Pay the debt— If our standard in dealing with others be one of exact justice—requiring others to measure up to our standard by some sort of penance before we forgive them—we may expect no mercy at the Lord's hands. R2667:5

[Matthew 18:32]

Wicked servant— He who cannot render perfect justice cannot rightfully require it of others. R5266:3

[Matthew 18:33]

Compassion— The trespasses of others against us are trifling indeed in comparison to our obligations to the Lord. R5135:1
I had pity on thee— As we remember and appreciate our own weaknesses and blemishes, it will make us sympathetic with the brethren and with all mankind. R5135:2

[Matthew 18:34]

To the tormentors— The jailers of Oriental countries were accustomed to torment their prisoners. These doubtless represent Satan, to whom will be turned over for the destruction of the flesh all true servants of the Lord who fail to come willingly into accord with his spirit. R3802:5 Illustrating earthly disciplines. This might mean financial difficulties or losses, or physical ailments, disease or what-not. R2295:6 To trouble and distress in the present life, sufficient to make them sympathetic with the weak and erring. R528:6 The Great Company must wash in the blood of the lamb, in the "great tribulation." These tribulations correspond to the tormentors of the parable. (Rev. 7:14) R3802:6 Not that the Lord had sympathy with those barbarous customs, but that he was speaking to the people from the standpoint of customs which they would understand. R3802:5
All that was due— The full consecration promised. R3802:4, 2667:4 It might represent the original debt resting upon the human family—from which the Lord redeemed all; hence the unmerciful servant's penalty would signify second death. R2667:4 Or if the debt represents the obligations of his covenant as a new creature, he would be required to comply to his vow by going into the great time of trouble. R2667:4 We are inclined to think that the uttermost farthing signifies a hopeless case—second death—in the case of the Lord's people who fail to exercise forgiveness toward the brethren. R2667:4

[Matthew 18:35]

So likewise— What I am seeking in you, my servant, is perfection in my character-likeness. R4651:4
My heavenly Father— We are too inclined to look at the justice of his character and copy it, and deal severely with our debtors. He wishes to make clear that the grandest elements of his character are love, sympathy, kindness and forbearance. R4651:4
Do also unto you— Whatever our faith and works, they amount to nothing if we do not have love which is merciful, generous, long- suffering, patient toward those who injure us. R3802:5 Not that he wishes to retaliate, but to prepare us for a special service; he desires that we learn the lesson of forgiveness and mercy. R4651:1, 2667:6 If we are harsh, unsympathetic, unforgiving toward our brethren, the heavenly Father will so deal with us and not forgive us our trespasses. R5135:1, 3803:1
From your hearts— Not merely from our lips. R2296:1, 3604:4, 2295:5 If at heart we treasure up resentment against others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us. R5123:3, 5135:5, 2444:6 Not only forgive; but forgive gladly, freely, heartily. R3604:4 Heart forgiveness leaves no sting, no animosity, no grudge. R2296:1 We should harbor no other feeling than that of forgiveness and good will toward all, no matter how seriously they may have transgressed against us. R2296:4 Not a lip-forgiveness and a heart-hatred. R1694:5
Forgive not— God will be no more generous to you and your imperfections than you are toward your brethren in their imperfections. R4651:4 Let every Christian, in approaching the throne of grace daily, inquire of his own heart whether or not he has forgiven those who are indebted to him. R2253:4

[Matthew 19:6]

Joined together— As a type of the lasting union of Christ and the Church. R1554:5

[Matthew 19:9]

Put away his wife— Secure a divorce. F505
Except it be— Adultery, or the re-marriage of a divorced person, releases the wronged one from the obligation to the marriage tie. R5954:3 Separations for other grounds, while sometimes justifiable, do not give one liberty to remarry. R3089:4; F505
Marry another— Marriage is not cancelled by any earthly court to such an extent as to permit marriage to another, except upon the one case specified. F516
Committeth adultery— The new creature's marriage contract is similar to that of Christ and the Church, perpetual. F516

[Matthew 19:10]

Be so— If the marriage covenant is so binding and indissoluble. R1554:5

[Matthew 19:11]

All men cannot receive this— The advice to remain unmarried is not imperative upon the saints. R1554:3

[Matthew 19:12]

Made themselves eunuchs— Figuratively, by determining not to marry, but to live celibate lives. F509 A privilege, a sacrifice in order to render the better service to the Lord; not a command, not an obligation. OV369:1 To both facilitate individual progress and the progress of the work in general of the Lord. R1554:3, 901:4 It is for each one of the Church to consider his consecration and to remember the example of Jesus who, by the power of his consecrated will, became a eunuch for the Kingdom of heaven's sake. R3922:5; OV369:1 Thus it is proper for an unmarried man to be an elder. R1892:1 None should make the mistake, however, of supposing that the responsibilities of a family already incurred can be ignored or set aside. R901:4 After the marriage it is too late for one to decide for himself whether or not he prefers to live a celibate life. F512 Contrary to Mormon teaching that man's future glory will depend upon marriage and offspring. HG732:1
He that is able— Both from his own disposition and from his circumstances. R1555:1

[Matthew 19:13]

Rebuked— Feeling that the Lord's time was too valuable to be thus used. R5362:1

[Matthew 19:14]

Suffer— Permit, allow. R5362:1
Little children— The Great Teacher was a lover of children, even though he did not generally give his time to them. R5362:1
Of such is the kingdom— Those who will be of the Kingdom of God must be like little children: simple-hearted, true, teachable, obedient, honest and trustful of their heavenly Father. R4658:1,4853:4, 5362:2 The Kingdom of heaven will not be literally composed of little children. R4658:1

[Matthew 19:15]

Laid his hands on them— Merely signified his sympathy and love and appreciation of the purity and innocence of childhood. R4658:1

[Matthew 19:16]

Behold, one— It has been supposed by some to have been Lazarus, whom Jesus later awoke from the dead. R3529:1
Came and said unto him— Notwithstanding the persecuting spirit of the rulers and teachers in Israel against the Lord and all who believed in the validity of his claim, he came to him openly. R1774:3
That I may have— He perceived that even the best men of his nation had failed to gain eternal life under this covenant; that all had died. R2727:3, 1774:3
Eternal life— He had the right idea, that eternal life is the grand hope of all hopes before the human family. R4658:2

[Matthew 19:17]

Why callest thou me good— Our Lord parried the question to draw out the young man. R4658:2 Why do you acknowledge me as a good teacher? I am either the Messiah, as I claim, or an impostor and far from good. Do you accept my Messiahship? If you do not, how can you call me good? R4658:2 Unless you believe from the heart that I am the Son of God and not a falsifier, hypocrite and blasphemer. R2727:6, 4658:2 If you really believe me to be good, you must believe in me as a teacher sent of God, the All-Good. More than this, that I proceeded forth from God, that I am the Son of God. R2727:6
One, that is, God— And the "one sent of God." R2727:6 Everything that is really good is of God and in accordance with God. R5465:2
Keep the commandments— The only way to everlasting life then open. R2728:1, 823:1 The Law Covenant was still in force. It had not yet been "nailed to the cross." (Col. 2:14) R3843:2

[Matthew 19:18]

Do no murder— Ignoring the commandments relating to Jehovah, realizing that the young man was seeking to know and do the will of the true God. R2727:1

[Matthew 19:19]

Love thy neighbor— Delivered to Israel as a part of the Law (Lev. 19:18), the teachings of which, however, were never understood until Jesus expounded them by his example and teachings. R2419:3Our interests justly balanced with the interests of others. SM156:2 Who can love his neighbor as himself and see that neighbor suffer while he has enough and to spare? R823:2 He loved self more than God or neighbor. R1774:6, 823:2 The young ruler evidently neglected to attach to these words their full import. He was thinking of the more specific definitions of the law, neglecting this more comprehensive statement. R3843:4
As thyself— Which, in the present age, implies self-sacrifice and daily cross-bearing in imitation of Christ. R1774:6 It does not say, "better than thyself." Christ's course of self-sacrifice in our behalf went beyond this requirement. R3804:6, 3805:1

[Matthew 19:20]

Have I kept— He was keeping the Jewish law to the extent of his knowledge and ability. He was merely doing his duty. No one has a right to live a bad life. R4658:3, 5438:6, 5464:2 He thought that he was loving his neighbor as himself. R4658:3
What lack I yet?— He was anxious for a perfect conformity to the will of God; and so anxious that he manifested his willingness to bear reproach for it in thus coming to Jesus. R1774:6 Let this be the sincere inquiry of every child of God. R1775:4 There is none so perfect that he lacks nothing. R1775:4

[Matthew 19:21]

Wilt be perfect— Reckoned of God as perfect and as having kept the commandments. R823:3 You have been getting the outside shell of the divine commandment but have entirely overlooked the kernel—love to God supremely and love toward your fellow man as toward yourself. R2728:2 To keep the Law perfectly in this age requires sacrifice. To keep the Law in the next age will not require sacrifice because of changed conditions. R823:2
Sell that thou hast— Use earthly things with great moderation and self-denial. Q149:4 You must do more than merely avoid sin; God is now calling for sacrificers. R5438:6 All thy possessions, all thy time, all thy reputation, all that hitherto has been dear to thee. R1775:1 The poor man must give up the idols of his imagination and ambition, his covetousness; the rich man must sacrifice, not only what he possessed, but all for which he hoped. F575 He might have been kept busy for many years disposing of his goods. The selling of that which he had would go on proportionately as he could find use for the money. R855:4; F576 Dispose of your natural abilities and talents, wisely of course, for the benefit of yourself, your family, and all who have need of such services. R1656:3
Give to the poor— Wisely, however, as becometh God's steward. F576; R1775:1 Reckon yourself God's steward, commissioned by him to use all those goods, as well as your personal talents, to his glory in serving those about you. R855:1 Not necessarily with the bread that perisheth; but first, rather, to feed the spiritually hungry with the bread of life. R1775:2 A consecration of our all to the Lord does not mean that all of our possessions should be used exclusively in religious work. We have family mortgages. F576 "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Rom. 13:10) R2728:2 Had he waited for Jesus to ask him for some of it he would have waited and have kept the money and never have obtained the Kingdom. R855:4
Treasure in heaven— Instead of on earth. R4658:3 Joint-heirship with Christ in the Messianic Kingdom; glory, honor and immortality, the divine nature. R5438:6 More than the Law promised. R823:3 Reserved for all those who, like Jesus, keep the law in this age, when its requirements amount to and imply a sacrifice even unto death. R823:3
And follow me— Sacrifice also your earthly reputation and become my follower. R4658:3 Taking up the cross of self-denial thus involved. R2728:2

[Matthew 19:22]

Went away sorrowful— Evidently convinced that he yet fell short of the requirement of the law. R823:2 He was content to be very rich while some of his neighbors, whom he thought he loved as he loved himself, were very poor. R4658:4 He saw himself as never before. It became a new test with him. R4658:4 No doubt the heart of Jesus was sad also, when he saw the blight of selfishness and self-will attacking that promising half-blown rose of character. R1774:6 For centuries this has been called "The Great Refusal." R2727:3His loss of the Kingdom was a sufficient penalty without suffering eternal torment in the future. Such as he will doubtless make rapid progress to perfection in the Millennium. R4658:4

[Matthew 19:23]

That a rich man— With any kind of riches: honor of men, political influence, many and large talents or abilities, social standing, fine education, material wealth, mental endowment. R2728:5,2761:2,3 The rich have temptations in the good things of this present life which tend to attract their hearts and become their idols and treasures. F575 When one who is rich does present himself to the Lord, it implies a greater sacrifice than if he were poorer, and the exercise of greater opportunities in the Lord's service. R2729:1
Shall hardly— With difficulty. R2761:2, 4658:5, 5465:6; D304 Because riches are less favorable to the development of faith, are more likely to develop pride, bring with them worldly friends and associates, and are proportionately more to sacrifice. R2729:1 It was hard for the Scribes and Pharisees, rich in titles and honors; for the Jewish nation, proud of being Abraham's seed; for the Greeks, proud of their worldly wisdom; for the Romans, proud of their prestige and power; hard today for religionists, proud of their sects; for those who boast in human philosophy and science and those who reverence the opinions of men. R1920:2 In a word, no rich man can get into the Kingdom. He must give up everything to the Lord or else be barred from a place in the Kingdom. The terms of acceptance are the same for the rich as for the poor. R4658:5 Though difficult, it is not impossible. R1775:2
Enter into— Equally invited, but less likely than others who are poorer to accept the Lord's invitation and present themselves according to the terms of the Kingdom call. R2728:6
Kingdom of heaven— Certainly not the nominal church, for rich men find little difficulty getting into it. R2761:3 In verse 24, "kingdom of God," proof that Matthew uses the expressions interchangeably. R397:1

[Matthew 19:24]

The eye of a needle— A small gateway of ancient cities, used at night; camels could pass through unloaded, and on their knees only. D304; F574; R4658:5, 5466:1; PD66/78
Rich man to enter— The needle's eye illustrated how the rich must unload their wealth if they would share the Kingdom. PD66/78; R4658:5,5004:2 A rich man could enter the Kingdom of God only by renouncing his burdens, giving up all to the Lord. R5466:1 The rich are disadvantaged because their wealth preserves them from many trials to which the poor are subjected. R5004:2
Into the kingdom— Become a joint-heir with Christ in his Messianic Kingdom. R5004:2

[Matthew 19:25]

Exceedingly amazed— Because they knew that the majority of the religionists belonged to the wealthy class. R4658:5
Who then can be saved— Since the rich seemingly had all the opportunities of time, influence and money to serve the Lord. R5466:2

[Matthew 19:26]

With men— Men would say that God would find no one for the Kingdom if he rejected the rich. R4658:5
Are possible— If the rich man's heart be pleasing to the Lord, the Lord would know how to show him his will in respect to using his riches. R5466:2 God knows how to overrule all things for good to those who love him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. R5466:4 God has made provision for the trial of the wealthy, and for all, in the Millennial age. R3844:6

[Matthew 19:27]

Behold, we— The twelve, especially. R1735:2
Forsaken all— We need to watch that there is not a measure of selfishness connected with our consecration. R4906:3,4
What shall we have— If it had been wrong for them to have the promises of Kingdom honors in mind, it would have been wrong for the Lord to have given them these promises. R5376:1 Our thought of a share in the Kingdom should be secondary. Our merit should be of a higher order than merely a desire for reward for service. R4906:3

[Matthew 19:28]

That ye— The Church, Head and Body, will be the judges. R2426:4
Which have followed me— In the narrow way of self-sacrifice in the present life. OV380:1 "To him that overcometh will I give to sit with me in my throne." (Rev. 3:21) R531:6
In the regeneration— Greek, palingenesia, restitution, restoration, renovation. R2574:4 Literally translated: "a new birth day." R1096:6* The expression signifies to "give life again," but in no way implies that it will be given in the same way as now. R1388:2; NS102:4 When the world is born from the dead. E142; CR472:2 The general regeneration of the Millennial age. E138; R4556:3; Q208:T;OV380:1; PD9/16 A thousand years. OV380:5; NS844:5 That glorious moral, social, political, religious and physical change which will be introduced by the Messiah. Q822:3 The same time which St. Peter styles the "times of restitution," the Millennium, the times of "resurrection by judgment" (Acts 3:19-21; John 5:29, R.V.). R4556:3 The coming forth from the tomb will be merely the beginning of the work of regeneration. OV381:7 The creating of man was a momentary act; but the re-creating, the re-generation, the re-newing, the re-storing of his heart, will be a gradual work. R1374:4 The regeneration of the world in the Millennium is separate and distinct from that now possible to the Church. OV378:2; Q822:3; E138This is the age of generation, the one to follow is the age of re-generation. R351:1*, 342:2* After the Church has experienced the new birth. Q822:3; NS102:3 He waits for his bride. The world cannot be regenerated until the Redeemer first applies his merit, his ransom-price "for all the people." R4556:4; E142
Son of man shall sit— Rest securely. "His rest shall be glorious." (Isa. 11:10) R1283:5* Not in "masterly inactivity," but the very opposite. He is very active, and his strength is equal to his activity. R1283:6* During his Millennial reign. OV380:1 Figurative, indicating that the position of the Son of Man, invested with all executive authority and power, has been established; and not merely established, but permanently established. R1283:5*
In the throne— A throne is the seat of a priest or king, and it is often used as the emblem or symbol of sacerdotal or regal authority. R1283:1* Not merely first in executive authority, but first in executive power also, in the accomplishment of the divine purpose regarding the salvation of man. R1283:5*
Of his glory— The glory of the divine nature. R1283:3* The glory of our blessed Lord is of the same kind as that of the Most High himself. R1283:4*
Ye also— The Church glorified will be the judge. HG684:6 As Eve was associated with Adam in sin and disobedience, so the elect Church, when completed, glorified, will be Christ's associate in the regeneration. PD9/16 The glory which is peculiar to the divine nature, as well as judicial, sacerdotal and regal authority, are to be jointly participated in, not only by Jesus and his Apostles, but by all overcomers.R1284:4*
Sit upon twelve thrones— Participate in the rulership. R1283:6* The apostles shall be associates with him in judging and ruling the world. R4990:4;OV379:5 Implying that they which have passed to that life would be in the condition of the enthroned. R5684:1 Only twelve apostolic thrones, no more. OV410:1; SM670:1 This gives every apostle a throne. Not that the number of thrones is restricted to twelve, or that he who is to occupy a throne must be of necessity an apostle. Luke speaks of "thrones" without restricting them to twelve or any definite number. (Luke 22:28-30) R1283:6* All the Lord's faithful followers will have a share. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne." (Rev. 3:21) OV379:5
Judging— Greek, krino, judgment or trial. R2430:1, 2426:4 Ruling. NS795:1 The whole world shall be judged, not again representatively, but individually. R699:5

[Matthew 19:29]

Hath forsaken houses— We are not to get the mistaken idea from this that the Lord wishes us to sacrifice others. It would be wrong to deprive our families of necessary comforts and temporal provisions; but having provided these, the remainder is the Lord's. R3845:6
An hundredfold— A reward a hundred times greater than that which we lose. The greater our present losses, the greater our reward both now and hereafter. Those who sacrifice nothing need expect no reward. Those who receive little of the Lord in the present life and have small hope of a share in the Kingdom are those who have sacrificed little for his sake. R3845:2,3

[Matthew 19:30]

First shall be last— In order of development, it was first the natural or earthly, afterward the heavenly rulers; but in order of grandeur of position and time of installation, it will be first the spiritual, afterward the natural. A293; B206
Last shall be first— In point of time, God called fleshly Israel first; but in point of favor, and in time of realization, spiritual Israel comes first. B206; A293 And also first in grandeur of position. A293; B206 The merit of Jesus' death was utilized first on behalf of the spiritual elect. R5576:4 Some who have not been favored during this Gospel age will be granted the chief favors during the coming age. F118 When the Kingdom is ushered in, God's special favor will pass again to natural Israel. F118, 119 Adam and Eve will probably be the last to be awakened. The last to die will probably be the first to be awakened. R4499:1, 5531:6; D641; SM441:T

[Matthew 20:1]

The kingdom of heaven— Hence we know that it applies to the experiences of the Church during this Gospel age. R5473:2 We think it applies entirely to the present-life experiences of the Kingdom class, especially to those living at the close of this age. R5473:3; Q258:2
Is like unto— This parable is difficult to interpret in such a way as to make all of its facts find fulfillment. R5473:2; Q531:T, 258:3 We do not expect that every little feature will find a correspondency. Some merely round out the story or call attention to some particular feature. Q530:1
Early in the morning— Some might say the call began in the days of Jesus and the apostles, and that the various calls relate throughout the Gospel age. Q258:2
To hire laborers— Earnest, consecrated children of God throughout this Gospel age. C223 To tend the vine, look out for the injurious pests, keep the soil in good condition, and assist every way in the production of "much fruit" and of fine quality. R4666:2
Into his vineyard— To faithfully spend their time and energy in his service. C223 The Church is God's vineyard. R214:2

[Matthew 20:2]

When he had agreed— The promise of the Kingdom was clearly understood by the early Church, but was afterward lost sight of. C223
A penny a day— The Roman standard of the time; as the lira, mark, franc, shilling and dollar are today's Italian, German, French, English and American standards. R4666:4 In one of the old English cathedrals, records show that the chisel work cost "a penny a day and a bag of meal for each laborer." R4666:4 From the Greek denarius, a silver coin of about 17 cents value. R4666:3, 3535:1 This giving of the penny seems to be on this side the veil. Q531:T This parable is evidently intended to teach that God will give all that he has agreed to all who labor. and more than he has stipulated. R4666:4 The Kingdom honors. C223 What the penny will be, I am not sure. Q258:3Might be understood to refer to everlasting life, merely. Q530:1, 500:5 Would seem to be something of the joys, blessings, honors and privileges of God's people in the present life at the close of this age. R4666:5 May be connected with the great work of smiting Jordan which, I think, is the thing before us. Q531:T Perhaps the reward the Lord would give those who are his, not only those who are of the Little Flock, but also of the Great Company. Q500:3 As applied to the Jewish harvest, it represents the privilege of entering the Kingdom of heaven, the privilege of discipleship. R5473:5

[Matthew 20:3]

The marketplace— Greek, agora, root word of the word agorazo, to purchase in the open market, translated redeemed. E429

[Matthew 20:4]

Go ye also— During the Gospel age, our Lord has continually, through his mouthpieces in the Church, invited all believers to enter into his service. C224
Whatsoever is right— The exact, clear understanding of what the wages should be was mentioned only at the beginning. C223 The promise of the Kingdom was clearly understood by the early Church, but afterward was in the main lost sight of and not clearly enunciated. C223

[Matthew 20:6]

The eleventh hour— The last hour. C223 The very closing time of this Gospel age. Q258:2 5 p.m., only one hour before the labor of the day would cease. We are now just at the close of the Gospel day. R214:2 We are even now (1889) in the eleventh hour. R1111:5 Apparently no others were admitted during the twelfth hour. Q74:4
And found others— Perhaps 20,000 to 30,000 of the consecrated in 1881 did not prove faithful to their covenant of sacrifice and were replaced. This process will continue until the last crown is everlastingly apportioned. F95; R4304:1 Partly applicable, in the Jewish harvest, to some publicans and sinners who had previously neglected God's service and labors in the vineyard. R5473:5
Standing idle— Waiting for an opportunity to enter the vineyard. R4303:5; Q258:2

[Matthew 20:7]

Hath hired us— We were too late to get into the service under the call. C223, 224
Go ye also— Some of the places in the work will be vacated by reason of some not continuing faithful. C225 All were hired. There is so great a variety of work that all may find employ. R214:3
Into the vineyard— So long as the door of opportunity for service is open. C224
And whatsoever is right— These words, to the end of the verse, are not in the old manuscripts. C224 I promise nothing. The general call is ended. The time is short. The time for labor is nearly ended. C224 Who can tell the blessings which may flow from one hour's service under God's direction? R214:3

[Matthew 20:8]

Call the laborers— Only the faithful are represented by the laborers. C223

[Matthew 20:9]

Penny— Something of the joys, blessings, honors and privileges of God's people in the present life at the close of this age. R4666:5 Eternal life, the reward of those who labored throughout the whole day, or only an hour; to the Little Flock and to the Great Company. Q500:3

[Matthew 20:10]

Every man a penny— Drawing attention to the fact that it was the same reward to all—the prominent feature of the parable. Q530:1 Perhaps the only significance is to call attention to that fact and the reason for the murmuring. Q530:1

[Matthew 20:11]

It— The penny, representing eternal life. Q500:1,5
They murmured— Whatever it shall signify will be something that will yet be in the Church before we pass beyond the veil, because surely no one would murmur on the other side. Q258:3,531:T Anyone who would be inclined to murmur against the Giver of all Good would not be accounted worthy of a share in the Kingdom. R4666:5; Q530:1, 500:6, 259:T It will mean that they were looking for the reward merely, and not appreciating the privilege of being laborers with Christ and with the Father. R4666:5 A warning to those long in the truth, with great privileges of service. R4666:5 All who are servants should be praying to the Master to send other laborers into the vineyard. They should not be feeling jealous of any others who might come. R5474:1

[Matthew 20:12]

But one hour— Similarly today some Christian people stumble over the fact that the time is near at hand when God will pour out his spirit upon all flesh. R4666:6
Made them equal— The Scribes and Pharisees thought that, if publicans and sinners were to be privileged to have discipleship with Messiah, some still higher favor should come to themselves. R5473:5
Of the day— This Gospel age. C223

[Matthew 20:13]

I do thee no wrong— All who appreciate that God is just, generous and bountiful, will rejoice in the blessings which overflow upon others. R4666:5 Whatever God has to offer is a gift. R5473:6

[Matthew 20:15]

To do what I will— In matters of grace or favor. R5069:4
Is thine eye evil— A special test upon them as respects their loyalty and their motives. R4666:6

[Matthew 20:16]

Last shall be first— Some last and least found opportunity for receiving the divine blessing sooner and more effectively. R5473:6
The first last— Some first to respond to the call may be the last to receive special blessings, testing their loyalty and motives. R4666:5, 5473:6 See comments on Matt. 19:30.
Many be called— To the divine nature through opportunity to sacrifice. R682:2 Not many are called in proportion to the whole, but many are called in proportion to the number chosen, the few, the elect. R2508:1; HG746:1, 744:3 More are called and drawn by God's providences and the preaching of the message than he designs to save in the present salvation. NS769:6
But few— The approved. R779:3* The terms and conditions of the present salvation are extremely difficult. NS769:6 Not only was the Jewish nation a small nation amongst the others, but the "very elect" out of that nation, the ancient worthies, was a very small proportion of the whole. NS369:6
Chosen— This does not make God partial. He was under no kind of obligation to make any of the race immortal rulers. R779:3*

[Matthew 20:18]

They shall condemn him— The priestly Sadducees, not the people, were interested in having Jesus brought to trial for his open attack on the priestly misrule, and they feared lest the Romans might hold them responsible. R2420:1*

[Matthew 20:20]

With her sons— James and John, supposed to have been Jesus' full cousins. R3362:2

[Matthew 20:21]

Grant that these— If it had been wrong for them to have the promise in mind, it would have been wrong for the Lord to have given the promise. R5376:1
On thy right hand— And on the left, the two positions of chiefest favor. R3362:2 Others might not care so much where they were placed, but James and John would like to be close to the Master.R5091:1 Evidently thinking less of the glories of the Kingdom than of nearness to the Master. R4487:3 The disciples were afflicted with a common ailment: love of honor of men and also of honor of the Lord. R5375:6 It is possible that one of these positions is reserved for the Apostle Paul. R3362:6
In thy kingdom— There was no doubt in their minds that the Kingdom was near. R5090:6

[Matthew 20:22]

Jesus answered— From the few recorded words, we gather the drift of the more extended conversation. R2072:2*
Ye know not— At that time they could form no idea of the blessedness of being joined with Christ in his Kingdom and glory, to sit with him in his throne as his Bride and joint-heir. R2072:2*
What ye ask— Jesus did not condemn them for this desire. R5786:4 You can form no idea of the blessedness of being joined with Christ in his Kingdom and glory. R2072:2* They little realized what this high privilege of sitting with him in the Millennial throne would cost. NS755:4 When we consecrate ourselves we agree to do the Lord's will, but we do not know what it means. R5081:5
Are ye able to drink— Are ye willing to participate, to drink? 5599:2, 5538:5, 4547:2, R3362:3; Q188:T The word "able," while it contains the thought of force, nevertheless expresses willingness. It refers to the will. Not, Are ye physically able?—but, Are ye mentally able? R5599:2
Of the cup— Of shame, ignominy, suffering and reproach. R5599:3, 5421:3, 4669:1, 2292:4 Of self-denial and self-sacrifice with Jesus, participating in his sacrifice. R4456:4, 5421:3-5, 5192:6, 4547:2,5, 4429:4; CR47:5 The earthly experiences of the Lord. R5538:6, 5599:5 Showing not only our interest in his sacrifice, but also expressing our own covenant to be dead with him and to drink of his cup. R325:5 We are called to share the cup with him, thus partaking in symbol of his death. R721:4Does not symbolize justification, but only the justified may drink of it. R4547:4 It is our individual cup, and yet it is our Savior's cup. R5538:5 "The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11) R3362:3, 5599:5 If we drink our Savior's cup of death with him, then we shall participate with him in the future cup of joy. R4547:2, 5538:6; CR307:2 Our cup is supervised by our Savior, although it is the cup poured by the Father; for it is the Father's program. We shall not be alone. R5422:1,5538:5, 4547:2 Symbolizes the means of our sanctification, by which we exchange our justified earthly rights for the heavenly inheritance and joint-heirship. R4547:4 To lay down your lives completely, even though it shall mean injustice to you. R5421:3 While this wine of sacrifice exhausts the human nature, it invigorates and makes strong the spiritual nature. R588:3
I shall drink of— Jesus was to drink of the cup which belonged to the sinner, that he might redeem man. R5421:6 He drank the bitter cup to its dregs, thankfully. R5422:1, 5538:5 That cup was a terrible draft to him—not the dying, but the cross. R5599:5, 5422:1 About to be poured for him. R5421:2 The same cup. He did not drink of one cup and we of another. R4475:2, 4547:2, 212:2* Neither James nor John nor anyone else can sit on Christ's throne unless he drinks of this cup. R4547:2, 4475:2
With the baptism— The baptism of death. F438, 442; R4547:5, 4669:1, 5599:3, 1543:1; PD66/78 Into his sacrificial death. R4547:5 Signifying the complete surrender of self to God at any cost or privation or suffering, even unto death. R2072:2*
I am baptized with— Now, during the three and a half years of his ministry. R5421:1 The sacrifice of all earthly interests. R4669:1
We are able— We are willing. We will sacrifice everything to follow in your footsteps. R3362:4, 5421:3,4, 5599:2, 5786:4 Let us make such a decision promptly, and think of it daily. R5607:3 They did not, of course, yet know the full import of the word "baptism" or the word "cup." R5421:4 And we can do no more. If left to ourselves, undoubtedly the contract would be more than we would be sufficient for, but our sufficiency is of God's providence. NS755:4 Our Lord was evidently gratified with their promptness to make the consecration, declaring themselves willing to endure the cross to win the crown.R2292:4 They had counted the cost and promptly responded as to their willingness. R4669:2 They were ready for anything, with the Master's help. PD66/78 Not a boast on their part, but a simple declaration of their decision to obey and follow the Lord's footsteps in whatever circumstances might arise. R5607:3 And so with us. Our wills are made up. There is not a doubt—nothing to interfere. R5599:3

[Matthew 20:23]

Ye shall drink— The apostles could not actually drink of the Redeemer's cup until he, as their Advocate, should appear in the presence of God for them. R4547:5 Jesus guaranteed that, being willing, they should have these experiences; continuing willing, continuing to suffer with him here, they should reign with him in his throne. R5421:4, 4669:2, 2292:5 Those who drink will share with him in the glories of the future. R5607:3 Jesus, in turn, pledged that they should indeed be able to carry it out. R2292:4 He assured them and us that he will furnish trials and assistances, and that, if faithful to the end, we shall have a crown of life. PD66/78 There is no doubt—if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, a life of obedience, we shall suffer. R212:1* It is hard that our good should be evil spoken of, that we should be declared to be poisonous to every religious sentiment. This is a part of our experience. R5599:5
My cup— Styled the blood of the New Covenant, New Testament, New Will. R4436:2 Of suffering or ignominy. R5607:3, 4555:5, 2292:4 Share with him in his sacrifice—not a different cup, not a different sacrifice. R4475:2 The merit of Jesus is the only merit which cancels the sins of the whole world; but it is applied indirectly through the Church. This is the favor he specially offers them. R648:6 The same cup represented in the Communion service. R5421:3, 4555:5 Also signifies a share in his glories, honors and immortality, the new wine with him in the Kingdom. R5192:6 Those who drink of his cup are specially loved of the Father. R5607:3
And be baptized— If we have indicated our willingness, we have his promise that the ability will be supplied. R445:1
Sit on my right hand— Be associated thus intimately with me on my throne. R2072:2
Not mine to give— Will not be given according to favor, but according to justice. R5786:4; PD66/78 Positions in the Kingdom of heaven will be awarded according to the degree of development of the fruits of the holy Spirit. This means a love which will lead to zeal in the Lord's service. Q121:3
Be given to them— Possibly Paul and John. F726
For whom it is prepared— Reserved for overcomers. At that time it yet remained to be proved whether these would be faithful to their covenant. R2072:2*
Of my Father— According to the standards which the Father has prepared and established. R4669:2

[Matthew 20:25]

Jesus called them— In answering the ten, he did not reprove the two specifically, but indirectly. R4669:2
Exercise dominion— The Gentiles exercise authority over their people at the expense of the ruled. R5375:6 With men, the aggressive and powerful hold the lordship and dominion over others, but in the divine arrangement the order is reversed. R4669:4 The great success of Papacy's rise to power, accomplished by cunning, trickery and political intrigue, was wholly foreign to the spirit of true Christianity. R1093:5
Exercise authority— The Church of Christ has probably suffered more from pride and ambition for leadership than from any other one cause. R1883:6 Many have lorded it over God's heritage; our Lord had this class in mind. R5375:6

[Matthew 20:26]

Not be so among you— With the followers of Christ there is not to be a spirit to dominate, to rule others, but a spirit of love, which seeks to serve others. Q119:6 There should be no rulership, lordship or masteries amongst those whom the one Master, even Christ, has put upon a common level. R1883:6 But it has been so in the Papacy. F230; R1523:5
Be your minister— Greek, diakonos, deacon, servant. F253 The highest position in Christ's Church was to be servant, and he declared himself to be the chief servant or minister of the Church. R1883:6

[Matthew 20:27]

Whosoever— Of his disciples, the Lord's people. R5793:1
Will be chief— Teachers, instructors of the flock. R5321:3 Someone is bound to be chief. An absolute equality is not possible. R5793:1,5322:4; Q119:7 We should leave to God's attendance the matter of honor, and be content merely to be a servant to the brethren. R5793:2 Our Lord had been pointing out to his disciples a certain weakness on their part.R5793:1,2 A person without any ambition never amounts to anything. R5793:2, 5321:3; Q120:3 A certain kind of ambition, to please God and have his rewards, is encouraged by the exceeding great and precious promises of God's Word. R4668:3 Nevertheless, the ambitions awakened by these promises, we are warned, might become our snares. R4669:1 To guide the Church. R5793:2 The Apostle Paul says that those who desire the office of a bishop are desiring a good thing. (1 Tim. 3:1) Q120:5 The Lord does not raise up rulers in the body of Christ, but he does raise up faithful leaders, to whom heed should be given, whose faith and example should be imitated. R1559:4 God made Jesus a chief. He passed by Satan, who was self-seeking. After Jesus proved his humility, then the Father gave him the high exaltation. R5322:5 We are not to help one who aspires to the chief place into that position. This would do injury both to him and the cause. R5322:4
Be your servant— He who renders the greatest amount of service and brings the greatest spiritual blessing, consider him your chief. R5793:2 The chief honor amongst the Lord's brethren is to be servant. The one most faithful should be given opportunity to serve. In that sense, he would be your chief. R5322:5 Honor those most in the Church who serve the Church, not those who demand service, honors and exaltation. R4669:4 A bishop at that time was a humble, untitled servant of the Church, caring for the interests of the sheep. Q120:5 We are to lay aside any desire to be chief so far as ambition for personal glory is concerned. R5793:3; Q120:4 Not of a spirit to dominate, to rule others. R5793:1 Serving in any way, in the most capable manner possible. R5793:2 This does not mean that we have no aspirations. The controlling impulse is to serve the Church. R5322:4 Let the Lord take care of your place of service; let him open the way. R5322:2

[Matthew 20:28]

Even as— Pointing to his own course as an illustration. R4669:4
The Son of man— No longer on the spirit plane, but on the human plane. R5786:1; Q368:2 The requirement was that he become a man in order to ransom mankind. He could ransom man only by becoming man. R5786:1, 3088:2
Came not— Before coming into the world, our Lord had perceived that mankind was in need of a Savior. No doubt this had to do with his accepting the divine arrangement. R5375:2
To be ministered unto— Not that our Lord refused to have anyone serve him, but he came to render a service. R5375:3 Not to be served, honored or titled. R1711:1 He did not come into the world to have servants and get all that he could. R5375:3 The difference between himself and other kings. R5785:3He did not try to use his power, his intelligence, selfishly for his own comfort; but he laid down his life unselfishly. R5375:2
But to minister— The true meaning of the word "minister" is one who serves. R5785:3, 5375:2 To serve others. E426; F230; R5375:2,3, 5785:3 In the service of his Church, which is his body. R5250:3 Because it was helpful service, and was the Father's will. R5375:5 Illustrating the spirit of meekness, of service, which must characterize the hearts and, in some degree, control the lives of all his true disciples. R4669:5 The privilege of serving the fallen race as their Redeemer and Restorer was one of the rewards the Father set before His Son. NS751:3 Lord of all, yet servant of all. R1063:2* He set himself forth as an example: all disciples must manifest so great loyalty to the principles of God's government, and so great humility of spirit, that they would be glad to render service to anyone in need. R5376:1 The spirit of Christ will be the spirit of service: a zeal, a warmth, an energy, prompting us to serve in the Church. R5250:2 Our ministry begins at the time of our consecration. We are not authorized to minister in holy things until we have entered upon the way the Lord pointed out to us. R5785:6
And to give— The object in becoming a man was to redeem men, to taste death for every man. R507:1, 145:1* He came not to preach and write books. Others, under inspiration, could do those things. But he alone had an unforfeited life to give for the life of the world. R3234:3 The serving of Jesus' ministry and the example of obedience and self-denial, though blessed to those of his day and to others since, was not all there was to Jesus' life. R851:6 Becoming a man did not pay our ransom price. E426 The human existence of Jesus, our ransom, our substitute, was surrendered to everlasting death; but he lives as a divine being to restore purchased mankind. R823:5 Otherwise his death would have been contrary to God's will, a suicide and a sin. R1213:3* He could not rise from the dead as a human being, as flesh, his flesh being given once for all and forever for the life of the world. NS3:6
His life— Greek, psuche, soul, being. E335; R851:6, 62:1* The death of Christ secures for Adam and all of his race one full opportunity for salvation. R4594:4 His being or existence in the condition he then possessed it, life or existence as a human being. The human Jesus gave himself, his life, a ransom for all. R823:4, 726:3*, 53:4*; NS3:6 His life to secure life for condemned sinners. R1086:3 Not his pre-human life, for he did not die to become man, but he said, "Before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58) R1298:6*
A ransom— Greek, lutron-anti, a price to correspond. E428; R5925:1, 5622:6, 4426:1, 4352:2, 3088:2, 1256:2, 387:3; SM269:1 Greek, lutron, a price. R408:1* A substitute. R1256:2, 965:4 Exchange. R432:4 Not only the English words "ransom, bought, redeem" mean "the giving of one thing instead of, or as a substitute for another," but also the Greek words which these are used to translate. R432:4 The word "ransom" is used in respect to the purchase-price of humanity and also in connection with the deliverance of mankind after having been purchased by that price. R4818:3 The word occurs but three times in the Greek (here and in Mark 10:45 and 1 Tim. 2:6) and signifies to recover by paying a price; intensified in Timothy to signify a corresponding price. R867:3, 145:1* His death was the ransom which justifies all mankind to life, not the sufferings of Gethsemane, nor the weariness of his three-and-a-half year ministry. R392:6 Corroborating the declaration that man was under a sentence of death and needed to be ransomed from it. R5465:1 Jesus was the only one who could be the corresponding price for Adam. R5622:6 None other than the man Jesus. PT386:3* Our Lord's first statement of the philosophy of the divine plan by which, as Abraham's seed, he would bring the promised blessing. R4352:2 His death was a free-will sacrifice. He could have sustained life as a perfect man forever. R463:6 The word here used also indicates the deliverance of mankind after purchase: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave." (Hos. 13:14) R4818:3, 726:3* Without the ransom there could be no resurrection of the dead. R5465:1 The ransom-price that Jesus gives has been a progressive matter and is not yet completed. R5622:3 To view our Lord as merely an example for proper living would be an absurdity. SM269:1 The work of ransoming Adam and his race is much more than merely providing the ransom-price. It includes their delivery from the power of sin and death. R5873:2, 4818:6 Prefigured and elaborated upon in the types and shadows of the Law to Israel. R4352:2 The Master tells how he gained the right to loose the prisoners of sin and death from the tomb, and to offer life, restitution, to all for whom life, and everything, had been lost. R866:4
For many— For all. SM269:1 The principal meaning of the word "for" is "instead of," as a substitute or representative stands for, or "instead of," those whom he represents. R588:5

[Matthew 20:30]

Two blind men— Bartimeus was one of the two. (Mark 10:46) R2729:3
Thou son of David— "The Lord shall give him the throne of his father David." (Luke 1:32) C257 The long-promised king of David's line, the Messiah. PD65/77; C257; E130; SM210:2

[Matthew 20:31]

Rebuked them— When the spiritually blind cry for help, there are sure to be some, even amongst the Lord's friends, to rebuke instead of encourage them. R2730:4

[Matthew 20:32]

Called them— Giving those about him an opportunity to share in the work of blessing. R2729:3
What will ye— Many today, when asked this question, do not choose as wisely, but request riches, honor of men and temporal blessings. R3848:4

[Matthew 20:34]

Received sight— Only the Great Physician is able to open the eyes of the understanding. R2730:4 It is not in our power to open the eyes of the physically blind, but it is in our power to help many into a clearer insight into the things of God, which the natural eye hath not seen. R4669:5

[Matthew 21:1]

And when— Just five days before his crucifixion, on the exact day when he should have been received as the Lamb of God so that they might be passed over as a nation and become the antitypical Levites, from whom would come the antitypical priests. R4669:2, 839:2, 465:5; NS74:5, 630:6
Bethpage— A little village on the Mount of Olives. R3850:2

[Matthew 21:2]

Over against you— Another village close by. R3850:2
Ye shall find— Manifesting his superhuman power by designating where and how the animals would be found. R2745:3
An ass— Probably a white one, for it is reputed to have been the custom of the kings of Israel to ride upon white asses. R4669:5, 3850:2, 2745:3; SM400:2; NS629:6
And a colt— Its little colt. R4669:3, 3850:2
Bring them— The owner of the animals may have been acquainted with Jesus and, if so, would also have been acquainted with his disciples. R3850:2 Has no bearing on the question of the rights of private property. All things belong to God and have their legitimate and illegitimate uses. R1695:6

[Matthew 21:4]

Might be fulfilled— It was necessary that our Lord should do literally what the prophets had foretold, so that Israel might be without excuse in their rejection of him. R3850:6, 2296:3; B225
By the prophet— Fulfilling two prophecies: Isa. 62:11 and Zech. 9:9. R3850:5

[Matthew 21:5]

Thy King cometh— "He is Lord of lords and King of kings." (Rev. 17:14) B238 He also presented himself to them as Bridegroom (John 3:29) and Reaper (John 4:35,36), the same three characters which he presents now to the Christian house. B238 The entry was viewed from three standpoints: for the disciples and multitude, full of Messianic expectation, it was a grand occasion and a real triumph; from the standpoint of Herod, Pilate and the authorities, it was merely the parade of a fanatical leader; from the standpoint of the Lord, the angels and ourselves, it foreshadowed his coming glory and triumphal entry upon his return from the far country of heaven. R2745:5 The formal presentation and rejection was so that God's judgment would not only be just, but its justice would be apparent to his creatures. R2296:5; NS630:3 Though he knew the result, this action was performed as a part of that great system of types which foreshadowed good things to come. R1795:2 In the parallel of time, he must offer himself to spiritual Israel, at the appointed time, as their King of Glory. NS632:2 "Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee." (Zech. 9:12) B225 Natural Israel waited 1845 years for the Lord to come; the corresponding date for spiritual Israel is 1878 AD. R3851:3, 2746:5, 1795:2; C233, 234 This exercise of kingly power and authority in the spring of AD 33 typified the raising of the sleeping saints in AD 1878. C233 As a King, he is now taking possession of his Kingdom—first, as with the Jews, offering himself to his professed people—but now, as then, finding only a remnant. R2297:2 This message has proven to be the test to both the fleshly and the spiritual houses of Israel. C136
Meek— Whereas he was meek and lowly of heart, they were proud and boastful; whereas he was pure and unselfish, they were impure and self-seeking. R3850:6
Upon an ass— After the manner of Israel's kings. PD66/77 See comments on verse 2.

[Matthew 21:7]

Put on them— As a saddle. R3537:6
Set him thereon— A lesson for spiritual Israel at the end of this age, because the history of natural Israel was typical of spiritual Israel's experiences. R3851:2

[Matthew 21:8]

Great multitude— A million or more Jews in Jerusalem hailed him as King. R5331:3 Not only from every quarter of Palestine, but from Babylon, Egypt, Greece and Spain. R3537:3 We cannot suppose that they were all saints, though doubtless many of them were sympathizers with Jesus. R3851:1 Thus selecting its Paschal Lamb on the 10th of Nisan. F461
Spread their garments— A custom amongst various peoples for long centuries to thus treat their honored rulers. R3851:1, 2745:3; NS629:2 As marks of honor to the great King whom they imperfectly, indistinctly, recognized, not realizing the still greater glory of his later revealing at the end of this age. R4669:6, 3538:1, 2296:2 Garments of praise. R3538:6 Their hearts were right; they had not been spoiled by doubts. So with the Lord's people today, in the simplicity of our hearts we see his promises and are ready to believe them. R3538:2
Cut down branches— From nearby date palm trees, fernlike in shape and sometimes ten feet long, symbols of rejoicing and honor. R3538:1 Implying that the best of earth was not too good for one so great. PD65/77 Branches of such victories as can be gained on behalf of the Truth in conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil. R3538:6
Strawed them— After our Lord's beast had walked over them, they went ahead with these and strewed them afresh, in every way seeking to honor the one whom God had so signally recognized. R3538:1

[Matthew 21:9]

And that followed— Two multitudes—one who had come with him from Jericho and lodged in Bethany over the Sabbath, and another from Jerusalem who had come forth to see him and Lazarus. R2745:3
Hosanna— An acclaim of praise, confidence and expectancy, very closely resembling the word Hallelujah. R3538:2 Their unstable and fickle minds, swayed by false teachers and unwilling to act upon convictions in the face of opposition, would, only a few days later, cry, Crucify him! Crucify him! R1795:2, 1696:4; NS630:3
The son of David— The King of the royal line, probably being deterred from using the word "king" lest they should bring upon themselves charges of treason against Herod and the Roman Empire. R2745:3 The long-promised king of David's line, the Messiah. PD65/77; SM210:2; E130; C257; NS631:6 "The Lord will give him the throne of his father David." (Luke 1:32) C257 So we, today, hail him Messiah and proclaim ourselves believers in him. This is justification by faith. Hence, Palm Sunday may be considered as symbolizing the attainment of justification by those who recognize Jesus. NS631:6
Blessed is he— As truly and as necessarily as there was shouting and rejoicing then, so there is and must be now. R1795:5
Name of the Lord— Jehovah. PD65/77

[Matthew 21:11]

The multitude— Josephus tells us that sometimes the population of Jerusalem, on such an occasion, was swelled to the number of two millions. R4122:6, 3537:3
Nazareth of Galilee— Not highly esteemed among men and in religious circles; thought to be rather peculiar at very best. R3538:6

[Matthew 21:12]

Into the temple—Not to Herod's palace or to Pilate's palace; but, as the representative of God, the Messiah, he went appropriately to the Father's house or palace, the Temple. R2746:3 The temple, built by Herod, was only a type of the Church of the living God, either in future glory or in present humiliation. R3851:5 Typifying the cleansing of the consecrated Temple class since 1878; every selfish, carnal thought, and all worldliness, must be cast out, that the Temple may be clean, the dwelling-place of God's holy Spirit. B239; R4123:2, 2746:6, 1696:1
And cast out— As any Law-abiding Jew was privileged to do. R2746:4, 3851:4, 4123:2 Beginning to exercise power, as befitting a spiritual king, by reproving those who were violating the holy Temple and its precincts. R2746:3, 1695:6 It is assumed, we believe without sufficient authority, that there were two cleansings. R4122:3, 2332:1; 1695:3 He had visited the Temple time and again as a Jew and had witnessed these same scenes, but had not interfered, a proof that the occurrence took place but once—after our Lord had assumed the office of King. R4123:2It is but reasonable to suppose that the use of force in cleansing the Temple followed, and did not precede, the assertion of regal authority shown in the triumphal entry. R2332:1 The last verse of John's account, like the other Gospels, shows the hostile attitude of numerous opponents which did not appear in the beginning of his ministry. R1695:3 Fulfilling the prophecy, "The zeal of thine house hath consumed me." (Psa. 69:9) R4670:4, 4123:2 As a typical act, indicating that, in the end of this age, judgment begins with the professed house of God. (1 Pet. 4:17) R1795:5 In the end of the Gospel age, God purposes a cleansing of his sanctuary, the Temple—Christendom. (Dan. 8:14) R3851:5 Those associated with the Lord's work for selfish reasons must be driven out. R3851:6 Necessary before the Temple shall be ready to be filled with the glory of God and become the place of prayer for all nations. R2297:4
All them that sold— The antitypical cleansing, now in progress, mainly affects those who make merchandise of holy things. R3851:6
In the temple— They had no right within its hallowed precincts. R4760:4 Not in the Temple proper, but in its outer courts, the whole of which was designated the Temple or house of God. R4123:1
The tables of— Not only stopping their usurious exchange business, but keeping them busy looking after their coins. R4123:2
The moneychangers— Typifying those who rob the people by accepting money for that which is not food. R3851:6 Reaping a profitable harvest from the worshippers who had traveled from a distance, whose money, not being Jewish, could not be accepted at the Temple. R2746:3 A certain Temple tax must be paid in the "shekel of the sanctuary" which was last coined in BC 140, hence quite scarce in our Lord's day and sold at a premium. R4122:6 Today in the nominal temple some make merchandise of their privileges, opportunities and knowledge. Catholics are led to believe they can present nothing acceptable except through the priests; Protestants have regular collection plates and frequent strong appeals for money. R4123:3
The seats of them— He did not set at liberty the doves, which could not easily have been recovered, but permitted their owners to take them away. R4123:2
That sold doves— Multitudes of strangers from afar rarely brought with them the doves, pigeons or lambs which they presented in sacrifice. R4122:6

[Matthew 21:13]

House of prayer— The channel though which all mankind may, during the Millennial age, find access to God. R2297:5
A den of thieves— Taking advantage of the necessities of the people. R4123:1 The thief usually poses as an honorable man; the same is the case with many Christian ministers, teachers and elders. R3852:1 Robbing God by detracting from his honor; robbing the people by taking from them money and honors while selling them bread which is not spiritually satisfying. R3852:2 Of this class are evolutionists, who rob God and receive the money of the people under false pretense. R3852:1

[Matthew 21:14]

The blind and the lame— He cast out the wrong-doers and received the poor outcasts of society. R2296:5 Everywhere we find that earthly wisdom is apt to misinterpret divine promises. Frequently, therefore, the Lord makes use of the weak, poor and ignorant instead. R3852:5
He healed them— Continuing the healing and teaching for several days, but without any further demonstration as a King. R2746:4 Typifying the opening of the blind eyes and the healing of the spiritually lame, particularly since 1878. R2746:6, 1795:5

[Matthew 21:15]

And the children— Little, uninstructed children. R3538:6 Little children and those who, in simplicity of heart and meekness, become as little children, become the instruments the Lord uses in shouting his praises. R2746:4 Typifying the Lord's little ones in the present harvest whose praises will fill the true Temple of God. R2746:4, 3852:4,5
Crying in the temple— Doubtless without any particular meaning. R3852:4
Were sore displeased— Typifying the displeasure of the clergy at the present time because of the harvest message now being proclaimed. R2746:6

[Matthew 21:16]

Babes and sucklings— Out of the mouths of the common people. R1796:6

[Matthew 21:17]

Into Bethany— Throughout the week he made Bethany his home, going daily to the city and returning at night. Bethany was about two miles distant from the Temple. R3850:2, 2746:4

[Matthew 21:19]

A fig tree— The Jewish nation. "Now learn a parable of the fig tree." D602, 604; R750:3, 127:1*
For ever— "To the age." (Diaglott) R127:1* "Cursed to the age"—during the Gospel age, as a nation, they have borne no fruit, but when the Bride is taken out from the Gentiles, they will receive favor. (Acts 15:14,16) R127:3*

[Matthew 21:21]

If ye have faith— Absolute confidence in the Word of God. R5446:4
Unto this mountain— Symbol of difficulties and obstructions in our Christian course. R1967:5; Q774:3 A mountain-moving faith would count for nothing without love as a basis. R2203:3
Be thou removed— God gave no such command in respect to the literal mountains. R5446:4 Since there is no basis of evidence that the will of God is to remove literal mountains, a genuine faith in his willingness to do it is an impossibility. R1967:5
Cast into the sea— Swallowed up in anarchy. D596
It shall be done— If they had faith in the power of God, and received a command from him to move the mountain. R5446:4 See also comments on Matt. 17:20.

[Matthew 21:22]

Ye shall ask— God's children are cautioned to ask only such things as he has promised in his word. R2005:4
Ye shall receive— It must be understood that all petitions would be subjected to divine wisdom. Therefore, the answers, though always sure, might not always be in the way expected. R1866:1

[Matthew 21:23]

By what authority— The apostles' authority was questioned by the same class. Should persecution rise again, let all continue to preach as did the early Church, asking no other authority than the command of the Lord. R992:6 "He that hath my Word, let him speak my Word." (Luke 23:28) OV158:4
This authority— Authority to teach and do good. OV158:3

[Matthew 21:24]

I also will ask— Mark the wisdom of his replies when they sought to entrap him in his words. R575:2

[Matthew 21:28]

First— Represents the class of Israelites who made no pretense of serving God, and were branded publicans, sinners, and harlots. R4678:3

[Matthew 21:29]

I will not— They made no pretense of serving God. R4678:3 Repented, and went—Through John's message and the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, the publicans, sinners and harlots were the ones ready to receive him. R4678:3, 2755:6

[Matthew 21:30]

Second—Represents the outwardly religious and pious, the Scribes and Pharisees. R4678:2, 2755:6 Corresponding to the "elder son" of the parable of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32) R1958:3 Do not really seek the divine service, but rather serve their own sects, personal aims, honor, etc. R4678:2

[Matthew 21:31]

Go into the kingdom— Poor, self-righteous Pharisees! To this day, they are jealous and will not "go in." (Matt. 23:13) R1460:4, 1035:5
Before you— The "elder son" class who had cultivated a spirit of pride and boastfulness. R1958:3
"The common people [who knew not the Law and had not heretofore heard the invitation] heard him gladly" (Mark 12:37); but those first invited were rejected. R342:6

[Matthew 21:33]

Another parable— Forming a part of the Lord's discourse on the last day of his public ministry. R1982:2 Apparently our Lord had in mind the parable of the vineyard of Isa. 5:1-7 when he gave this parable. R2904:1, 1982:3, 1896:2, 1795:3 Nearly all parables related to the Kingdom; some directly, others, as this one, indirectly. R5504:3
A certain householder— Jehovah. R1982:3, 4678:3, 5504:6, 2755:6, 1795:3
Planted a vineyard— "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel." (Isa. 5:7) R1982:3 The Jewish nation, typifying Christendom. R1982:3, 1983:1, 4678:3,5, 5504:3, 1795:3 Since nominal fleshly Israel was a prototype of nominal Christendom, we may look for somewhat similar conditions and dealings in the harvest of this Christian age. R4678:2 In all respects well-appointed and furnished for his purpose. R4678:3 The vineyard represents the Jewish polity, and the vine represents the people, especially such as were in influence and power—the leaders. R2904:1 With a root of promise, a hope, the promise made to Abraham. R5504:3
And hedged it— With the divine Law, the prophecies, and special supervision and guardianship. R1795:3 With the divine promise that as long as Israel would be faithful and loyal to God, they would be thoroughly protected against their enemies. R5504:3
Digged a winepress— Including the trough in which the grapes were pressed, and the vat for the reception of the juice pressed from them. R1795:3 The various advantages conferred upon Israel, such as the worship of the sanctuary, the leadings of Jehovah, and the teachings of the prophets, all of which should have caused the vine to yield a large increase. R1795:6
Built a tower— A watch tower, representing the prophets. R1795:6 The watchmen were the prophets who cried aloud and warned the people from time to time in respect to any and every breaking down of the wall or partition. R5504:3 The Lord declared himself to be Israel's High Tower. R5504:3
To the husbandmen— The scribes and Pharisees, who sat in Moses' seat. R2756:1, 5504:6, 4678:3, 1982:3 Whose duty it was to care for the vines and fruitage, and render an account. R4678:3 Whose duty it was to instruct and lead in the way of the Lord. R1795:6
Into a far country— Implies that the arrangement was intended to stand for a long time. R5504:5 To receive title to his Kingdom, and to return to take possession of it. (Matt. 25:14,31) SM693:2; NS855:6

[Matthew 21:34]

Time of the fruit— Which the Lord had a right to expect from Israel. R1796:1, 5504:6 The appointed harvest time in which those addressed were then living. R1795:6 These husbandmen had this stewardship from the time of the exodus down to the time of the coming of Messiah, a period of nearly nineteen centuries. R1982:3
Sent his servants— Prophets and teachers. R4678:3, 1982:5, 5504:6, 1796:1 These servants (the prophets) and their messages became tests as respected the love, devotion and loyalty of the vine-dressers, and tests also of the character-development of the people of Israel. R5504:6
To the husbandmen— The rulers in Israel, because of their influence and power, were held specially responsible for the course of the nation, though this did not relieve the individuals of their responsibility. R1796:1
The fruits of it— Gratitude, love, obedience, meekness, teachableness. R1795:6, 4678:4 Expecting that, through their inability to keep the Law, they would become stronger in character, more reverential and loyal to God, more desirous for the real Kingdom. R5504:6 "He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." (Isa. 5:7) R1982:3

[Matthew 21:35]

Husbandmen took— Today also we see some high in official positions as representatives of God who use their positions to entrench themselves, hold power over the people, and carry out their own schemes. R4678:6
His servants— The scribes' and Pharisees' pride prompted the mistreatment of the Owner's special representatives, the prophets. R4678:5, 5505:1
Beat one— Reasoning that to acknowledge these servants and their reproofs would mean to acknowledge that they themselves were merely vine-dressers and not the owners. R5505:1
Killed another— Today they behead in the sense of ostracism, and shoot out the arrows of bitter words and slanders. R4678:6 The prophets were stoned, beaten, murdered, sawn asunder, became wanderers, and dwelt in dens and caves. (Heb. 11:36-38) R4678:4

[Matthew 21:37]

His son— Our Lord Jesus. R1982:5, 5505:1, 1796:1 His claim to be the Owner's son was backed by numerous signs which the people were disposed to recognize. R5505:2
They will reverence— Though God knew it would be otherwise, it is so expressed to show the reasonableness of such expectations. R1796:1, 5505:1

[Matthew 21:38]

The husbandmen— The chief priests and rulers. R1796:1, 5504:5
Among themselves— Privately and deceitfully. R1796:1
This is the heir— This man claims to be the Messiah. R1796:1
Let us kill him— His death was necessary for the success of their theories and plans, because his theories and teachings were so different from theirs. R5505:3
Seize on his inheritance— Retain our prestige and power. R1796:1, 1982:6 Lord it over God's heritage. R4678:5 Acting as though they were the real owners and not merely the Owner's servants. R5504:6 Not realizing that this course was the very one which would lead to the destruction of that typical kingdom, that typical vineyard. R5505:3

[Matthew 21:39]

Cast him out— Whatever the reasons for thinking the other prophets deceivers, none of these arguments would hold against the Owner's son, whose credentials were manifest in his holiness. R5505:2
Slew him— Thus Jesus foretold his own violent death. R5505:3

[Matthew 21:41]

Miserably destroy— God's judgments came upon the Jewish nation, with the result that it was entirely overthrown in the year 70 AD. R5505:4
His vineyard— Putting into it only the true vine, inspired with faith and loyalty toward God. "I am the true vine and ye are the branches." (John 15:1,2) R5505:5 Other vineyards have been started. The Bible speaks of two—"the vine of my Father's right-hand planting" (Isa. 60:21), and "the vine of the earth" (Rev. 14:18). R5505:5
Other husbandmen— Jesus and the apostles, and other teachers of the Gospel Church. R1982:6, 2756:1, 5505:4, 4678:5 Dispossessing the scribes and Pharisees. R4678:5

[Matthew 21:42]

The stone— The top stone, Christ Jesus, the head stone of God's building, pattern for the whole, a stone of stumbling and rock of offense. C329, 330; R1982:6, 4678:6, 5505:6
The builders— The priests and Pharisees. C329
Rejected— By the Jews. R5505:6 Fleshly Israel failed to accept Christ as their headstone, and hence were rejected from being the special house of God. C329
Is become— Though rejected by them, that would not hinder its exaltation in God's due time as the chief stone in the glorious spiritual Temple of God. R1982:6
Head of the corner— The building of God being referred to as a pyramid, of which the top stone is the chief corner stone. (Psa. 118:22; Zech. 4:7) R1982:6; C329

[Matthew 21:43]

The kingdom of God— The Kingdom privileges or opportunities, first offered to natural Israel, were transferred to spiritual Israel. R4593:6, 5505:6; B119 The Kingdom dignity pictured by the purple raiment of the rich man. (Luke 16:19) NS819:1
Taken from you— "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for." (Rom. 11:7) B119 Taken from them as a nation, not as individuals. NS513:5, 606:5, 631:1 Their typical righteousness ceased, and the promise of royalty ceased to be theirs. R2604:3, 1000:4, 284:2; HG386:1 Israel was not ready to be used of God in the blessing of other nations; only a remnant was found worthy.R4593:6
Given to a nation— Spiritual Israel, whose existence began at Pentecost. R4593:6 "An holy nation, a peculiar people." (1 Pet. 2:9) R2604:3,2125:5; NS630:5 Separate and distinct from all others, gathered out from Jews and Gentiles, bond and free, from every nation and denomination. R5505:6 Not to some other nation. God proposed to organize a holy nation, composed of the holy Jews and others of a similar class among all nations. NS513:5 A class they esteemed less than the publicans and sinners, the Gentiles, whom they esteemed as "dogs," and from among whom the Bride of Christ is being selected. R1460:4; HG153:5 Represented by "Lazarus" in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. R1087:1, 2604:3, 1000:4, 802:3*, 284:2; HG386:1

[Matthew 21:44]

And whosoever— The Jewish church in the harvest of the Jewish age, and the nominal Christian church in the harvest of the Gospel age. R1983:1 "And he shall be for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel." (Isa. 8:14) R1983:1
Shall fall on— A number of prophetic statements which met a fulfillment in Jesus were so mixed up with others not specially applicable to him, that one might readily stumble over them, not applying them to Messiah, had not the holy Spirit brought them to the attention of the apostles. R435:3
This stone— Our Lord was a stone of stumbling to natural Israel in their harvest, and similarly to spiritual Israel in the present harvest; especially his presence and his work. R5817:1Messiah. R4678:6 The doctrine of the ransom. R448:2 Connected with the stone that strikes Nebuchadnezzar's image. (Dan. 2:34) R3359:4*
Shall be broken— By stumbling over Jesus they injure themselves. R5505:6, 4678:6 In stumbling over Christ at his first advent, the Jewish nation was indeed broken to pieces. R1982:6 In stumbling, the nominal gospel church will, as natural Israel, be broken. The whole institution will be disintegrated. R1983:4
But on whomsoever— When the Kingdom is established. R1983:4
It shall fall— After it has been raised to glory and power. R1983:4 In the sense of condemning them. R5505:6 By stumbling over him, they injure themselves; but if he falls on, or condemns them, it signifies their utter destruction, their cutting off in the second death. R5505:6, 4678:6
Grind him to powder— When the Church is glorified, upon whomsoever this stone falls, it will utterly destroy. "Every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:22,23) R1983:4 In and by the great time of trouble, all opposition shall be thoroughly broken down. NS435:1

[Matthew 21:46]

Lay hands on him— Thus fulfilling the