Matthew 7:1-5 NKJV (1) “Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (3) And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? (4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (5) Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Speck = splinter
Plank = large beam or telephone pole
- Jesus is addressing believers judging other believers.
- In God’s mind, when we judge someone else, that critical, judgmental attitude is worse that whatever we are judging the other person for.
- Judging is rendering a verdict as in a court of law.
- A critical attitude is rooted in pride.
- This is the same text that Luke 6:38 comes from. When we sow, the spiritual law says that we will receive back MORE than what we have sown.
Luke 6:37-38 NKJV (37) “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (38) Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
- Did you know that in the natural, the law of seedtime and harvest works for corn, beans, etc. but also works for marijuana, poppy (heroin), etc. The same law produces harvests from the GOOD or BAD seeds sown.
- In other words, when we judge others, we can expect MORE judgment and criticism than we have sown.
Matthew 7:4-5 NKJV (4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (5) Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Hypocrite – one who speaks behind a mask (dramatic term)
Matthew 7:6 NKJV (6) “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV (7) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (9) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (11) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Jesus switches over from teaching His disciples to a simple salvation message and then building blocks for life.
Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV (13) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. (14) Because narrow is the gate and difficult (straight) is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
In the KJV, the first gate is referred to as the straight gate. This is not correctly translated because the word is actually “narrow.” In verse 14, the word difficult should be translated “straight.”
Jesus is referring to the way to eternal life. He compares it to gates and roads.
This narrow gate that Jesus is referring to is very narrow. It is only wide enough for two people to fit through and that is you and Jesus.
This is a reference that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
The gate that leads to destruction is very wide and the way that leads to destruction is very broad.
This simply means that all of the religions of the world other than Christianity can stand side by side and walk down the way to destruction.
That is how broad the way is that leads to hell.
The way to heaven through Jesus is not narrow because it is difficult, matter of fact it is very easy to get on to that way. It is more difficult to go to hell than it is to go to heaven.
Contrary to what the world proclaims about Jesus, He is probably one of the most narrow-minded people that have ever lived.
John 14:6 NKJV (6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
There is only one way out of the pit and darkness. Since we know that way, we are obligated to tell people that there is one way out and His Name is Jesus.
Matthew 7:15-16 NKJV (15) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (16) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Notice Jesus did not say that we would know them by their prophecies and their teachings, He said that we would know them by their fruits.
The world knows how to speak our language and the only way we will know the difference is by their production (fruit).
False prophets know how to prophecy and to teach and take the scriptures and turn them for their purposes and if you listen to them long enough you will get confused.
This is why you can never get into debates with people who come and knock on your door or have gotten over into error because they can twist the Word of God to the point that by the end of the conversation you are confused about what you believe. You are better to stick with the simplicity of Jesus Christ and that He is the only way, pray for them and then let God work on them if they are open to it. Many times, these people are not open to change.
Notice that Jesus said that we would know them by their fruits.
Thistles are actually a cactus. The point of what Jesus is saying in verse 16 is that it is not the nature for thorn bushes to produce grapes just as it is not in the character of cactus to produce figs. In other words, these plants are never going to produce fruits of righteousness.
Righteous fruit will always benefit more than the fruit producer. In other words, when someone that is prophesying and teaching and they are the only ones that are benefitting from that ministry, then righteous fruit is not being produced. When the Lord is behind the fruit production, not only will the minister be changed but the lives of those that are listening will be changed for the better and brought into God’s plan for their lives.
Matthew 7:17-20 NKJV (17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree cannot (continually) bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree (continually) bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
A key word that needs to be added to this context is the word “continually.” “…Every good tree continually bears good fruit…”
Occasionally a good tree will bring forth fruit that is not good but because of the life that is in the tree it does bring forth good fruit most of the time.
The reality is that all of us bear bad fruit occasionally because we are human. But we do not produce bad fruit on a continuous basis.
The same thing is true with a corrupt tree. They may occasionally say something that lines up with scripture, but it will not be on a continual basis.
v. 19 is referring to the eternal destiny that awaits these false prophets and false teachers.
Matthew 24:23-25 NKJV (23) “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. (24) For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (25) See, I have told you beforehand.
1 Timothy 4:1-7 NKJV (1) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (2) speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, (3) forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (4) For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; (5) for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (6) If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. (7) But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.
2 Timothy 3:13-17 NKJV (13) But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (14) But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, (15) and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Remember that the reason that we see these things come to pass is because Satan must introduce the false in order to combat the real and true. In other words, we may be seeing a revival of these evil things but is only because there is a revival of the real things of God that is taking place in the earth.
We are always on the winning side in the Kingdom of God!
Note that in verse 19, God will handle those who we believe are teaching false things and He has not called any of us to expose those things in the earth.
It is not my responsibility as a Pastor to address those things unless it is directly affecting our church. God will handle that. Paul did this in some of his epistles where he mentioned people that were opposing the Gospel, but he did not take up half the book speaking about it.
I do not agree with everything that the Baptists minister but they are Born Again and love God and I will just let Jesus sort out all of the doctrinal things. My responsibility is to preach the revelation that God has given me that lines up with the Word of God.
Our job is to preach and teach the Word of God, win souls, lay hands on the sick and minister to people.
God has not called us in the earth to fight Satan’s Kingdom. He has called us to preach the Gospel and stop his kingdom in the lives of people.
Jesus expands on this in a parable that He gave later:
Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV (24) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; (Jesus and believers) (25) but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. (26) But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. (27) So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ (28) He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ (29) But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ “
Matthew 13:37-43 NKJV (37) He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. (38) The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. (39) The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. (40) Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. (41) The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, (42) and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
It is not the purpose of the church to expose false religions of the world. It is up to us to preach to those to win them out of those religions.
We also need to believe that our Gospel is more powerful and that it really is not necessary to study these false religions so that we can better combat them. This will only produce confusion.
When you try and speak Mormonism in order to win a Mormon there is no power present. No, understand that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
Romans 1:16 NKJV (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Paul preached the Gospel wherever he went even when other religions were present.
Matthew 7:20-23 NKJV (20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father (Enters in the narrow gate) in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ (23) And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
This is a great example of this in action (Matthew 12:22-28):
Acts 19:11-16 NKJV (11) Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, (12) so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. (13) Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (14) Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. (15) And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (16) Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Jesus is now speaking to the whole crowd:
The key to walking in successful ministry and to receive eternal life is doing what Jesus has said to us.
Matthew 7:24-29 NKJV (24) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (25) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (26) “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: (27) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (28) And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished (speechless) at His teaching, (29) for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.