by C.J. Koster
For the sake of ensuring that this vital message comes clearly across, I have decided to use the terminology used in the well-known traditional version of the Scriptures, such as the KJV, rather than using the latest version, The Scriptures, which many of you already have. We are in a period of transition as far as this is concerned, and many brothers and sisters are still busy getting acquainted with the "Jewish" character of The Scriptures and the True Messianic Worship. Also, many readers of this article have probably not yet acquired The Scriptures.
Before we study Matt. 5:19, let me say this: The Set-apart Spirit is the Great Comforter - all of us can bear witness to that. However, he has a great arch-rival, Satan, who also tries to console people, as he did to Eve and succeeded. We also read how he tried to console Messiah by enticing (deceiving) Him into a trap in Matt. 4:1-11, but this time he did not succeed! The big difference between the Set-apart Spirit and Satan is that the former comforts us in truth, by means of the truth, while Satan consoles in falsehood, by means of a lie !
Again we find Satan coming and using Matt: 5:19 to console people, even believers, to trap them into a consoling snare of disobedience, to make them complacent in their sin, in their unwillingness to obey ! We might even call Satan the biggest "complacency-maker" in the world if we see how he consoles believers with lies - how he consoles sin, how he keeps believers in bondage to sin (lawlessness) ! For this purpose he uses false apostles and "prophets" who are in fact masquerading as "apostles of Messiah," as "ministers of righteousness," but who are only acting on behalf of the Father of all sin, the Father of all disobedience, the Father of all lies - Satan! Read this for yourselves in 2 Cor. 11:13-15, 2 Tim 4:2-4, Jer. 5:31, Jer. 23:11-36, Isa. 28:7, Isa. 29:9-10, Isa. 30:9-11!
Matt. 5:19 in Green’s Interlinear version reads, "Whoever then shall break one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and shall teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Note well: we are reading here of those who disobey the commandments (those who are therefore called "least") as well as those obeying the commandments (those who are therefore called "great"), both being IN the Kingdom of Heaven - disobedient believers and obedient believers being together IN the Kingdom of heaven.
Those who are made complacent in their disobedience, say, "Even if we don’t keep the commandments we are still going to heaven." Or else they say, "Even if we don’t keep the commandments we are still IN the Kingdom."
Let us look at both these "consolations." First of all, nobody is going to heaven - the Kingdom of heaven is coming down to earth. The Kingdom of heaven is physically going to come down and be set up on earth, when Messiah returns. However, the Kingdom of heaven has already come, Spiritually. When Yahushua came the first time he set up the Kingdom of heaven. In fact, He Himself is the embodiment of this Kingdom - read this for yourself in Luke 17:21 as correctly translated as "in your midst" in the NASB, RSV, MLB. Many other newer versions also correctly render it as "among you", which conveys the same meaning as "in your midst." This Kingdom could also be called the Messianic Belief - similar to the Body of Messiah.
Secondly, ""the Kingdom of heaven" is a term only used by Mattityahu while all the other writers of the Messianic Scriptures call it "the Kingdom of Elohim," or originally it might even have been "the Kingdom of Yahuweh." Why did Mattithyahu refrain from calling it like the others? Commentators are unanimous in saying that he was primarily writing to the Yehudim and did not wish to use the Father’s Name in those days, because the Yehudim were still taught by their religious leaders to avoid the Name - which we all know was a misguided teaching, even if they meant it well.
Thirdly, it is indeed true that disobedient believers are IN the Kingdom! However, please note: the darnel (the tares, the counterfeit wheat), namely those doing lawlessness, are also IN the Kingdom of heaven (the Kingdom of Elohim)! Read this astounding fact for yourselves in Matt. 13:36-43! The darnel, the "believers" who are lawless, the "believers" who are breaking the commandments, they are called the "least" in the Kingdom of Elohim, even though they are IN the Kingdom!
For almost 2000 years Yahushua has been patient towards this darnel, these lawless "believers," in order to give them a chance to repent of their lawlessness, their disobedience. Why? Because of His extreme compassion, His tolerance, His long-suffering towards sinners! But when He comes again He will send out His messengers who will gather these lawless ones and cast them into the furnace of fire! (Matt. 13:40-41).
In Matt. 13 Yahushua gave us seven parables, seven prophetic parables, of what would happen to the Messianic Belief, His Kingdom, during the last 2000 years. As the Great Revelator He revealed to us this unbelievable mystery: the mixed state of His Kingdom! Two of these parables were so important that He explained them to His disciples of then, and to us too. These two parables are that of the wheat, as well as that of the darnel (lawlessness) which the devil sowed and which took shape as "sons of the wicked one," being in fact sons of the devil! These are the "least" ones in the Kingdom!
All Interlinear translations reveal to us the indisputable fact that this darnel in the Kingdom is lawless and also represents those doing lawlessness. Many newer versions such as the NASB, the Rotherham Version, Young’s Literal Translations, the New King James and the New World Translations are similarly helping to open the eyes of sincere seekers to see this truth in Matt. 13 which previously had been hidden because of less accurate translations. Indeed, Jeremiah promised us in Jer. 23:20 that "In the "In the latter days you shall understand it perfectly." It was promised by Yahuweh that important hidden matters shall be revealed in the time of the end (Dan 12:3-10). Remember too that "SIN IS LAWLESSNESS" (1 John 3:4), or as the KJV renders it, "sin is transgression of the law."
Furthermore, this fact of the least (the ultimately rejectable ones) being IN the Kingdom at present, is not only found in Matt. 5:19 but it is again revealed to us in Matt. 8:11-12, as well as in Luke 13:24-28 where it is noted that these "believers" even appeal to the Master that "We ate and drank in Your presence" (Lk. 13:26).
If we consider all the texts of the Messianic Scriptures we clearly see that there is a vast difference between being IN the Kingdom and INHERITING the Kingdom. INHERITING the Kingdom means to inherit everlasting life. In order for us to inherit everlasting life Yahushua explicitly said that we need to keep the commandments. He said so four times - Luke 10:25-28, Matt. 19:17, John 12:50 and Rev.22:14. Why don’t we believe Him? Why don’t all believers believe Him?
The Apostle Sha’ul (Paul) likewise warned us that the unrighteous (those who practise sin, those who do lawlessness) shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim! Sha’ul clearly said so - read this for yourselves in 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21 and Eph. 5:3-5!