Matthew Bible Study Lesson 34

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Part 1 Sunday School lesson audio file part 1
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The Disciple’s Instructions

Matthew 10:21—22

Christ continues to instruct the Disciples as to what they need to do and what they should expect as they are being trained to take over Christ’s ministry with Israel. The instructions given in Matthew 10 are not necessarily in chronological order but are given to emphasize Christ as King. The Disciples were commissioned to go out for the first time alone with the Gospel of the Kingdom and were told to take nothing other than what they already had with them and to prepare nothing to say since God would give them the right words to speak at the right time (Matthew 10:9, 19; Luke 9:3).

Verses 21—22

Christ is warning the Disciples about what will happen in the Tribulation. Everything written in the Gospels is about Christ gathering His sheep out of Israel (10:6; 15:24), giving them the information they needed to get through the Tribulation and preparing them for their role in the Millennial Kingdom. If you keep this in mind as you read the Gospels, they will become much more meaningful.

This is how we need to interpret verses 21 and 22. Christ is looking ahead to the Tribulation and seeing how divided Israel will become. There will be those who hold on to the teaching of the Pharisees who will accept the antichrist as Messiah and there will be those who see the antichrist for how he is and be waiting for the real Messiah to come back. These are true Israel (Romans 9:6—8).

During the Tribulation there will be a great division between individual Israelites and between family members. They will be divided between following Christ and the antichrist. The antichrist will come with many signs and wonders that will deceive many into believing that he is the Messiah. Those who believe the antichrist is their savior will be convinced that those who do not believe are heretics causing great fighting between the two groups in Israel. Those who believe the antichrist will apparently be told to put unbelievers to death while Christ tells His believers to forgive their brother even 70 x 7 times if necessary (Matthew 18:21—22). This spirit of deception will be so great as to even influence those who are believers.

Matthew 24:4—5, 24—25 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 

Endure unto the end

Since the Tribulation is in view here the idea is that anyone who lives through the Tribulation will be saved.

Those who do not correctly divide Scripture often use this verse as proof that there is no security in our salvation. It is often interpreted to mean that only those who are faithful to the end of their life will be given salvation. It is often put together with verses such as 1 Corinthians 6:9—10 that says the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God including fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, etc. Those who commit theses sins will lose their place in the kingdom meaning they will not go to heaven.

This is why it’s important to divide truth from truth. We are often accused of tossing out everything except Paul’s writings when in fact we are accepting all of Scripture as God’s Word but we are applying only the truth given to the Body of Christ. The Bible has truth written to Adam, Noah, Abraham and Israel and the Body of Christ. It’s as wrong to take what was written concerning Adam for the Church as it is to take what was written to Israel for the Church. Adam’s truth belongs to Adam, Israel’s truth belongs to Israel and the Church’s truth as revealed through Paul belongs to the Church. Confusion results every time those barriers are breached.

The end in verse 21 refers to the Tribulation. Those who have endured to the end of the Tribulation without taking the mark of the beast or worshipping him will have endured (Revelation 14:9, 11; 16:2; 20:4). John calls these people the overcomers (1 John 2:13, 14; 5:5). The overcomers are the Little Flock or the remnant of believers. Salvation is promised to those who overcome the temptation to bow down to the beast (antichrist) (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5. 12, 21) and to these overcomers is given the promise of inheriting all (earthly) things (Revelation 21:7). 1, 2, 3 John were written so that the believing remnant will be able to discern who is a true believer because there will be many who profess to be believers but are in fact of Satan. John also gives assurance to believers that they are indeed saved.

These unbelievers, who are parading as believers in the Tribulation, are personified in the Disciple Judas. He was chosen by Jesus to become one of the twelve (Luke 6:12, 13), he helped Jesus with spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 10:5) and in healing the sick and casting out demons. He took on the role of treasurer of their group (John 12:4—6) and all the other Disciples accepted him as a believer (John 13:21, 22). Unbelievers in the Tribulation will appear as believers and will easily deceive the true believers.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Those who do endure to the end of the Tribulation may not necessarily be believers right at the end. Scripture says that all Israel will believe (Romans 11:26). It seems this will happen at the Second Coming when all remaining Israel at the end of the Tribulation will look at Christ coming and realize Jesus is their Messiah and at that point they all will believe in Him. They will mourn because of what they did to their Messiah but will believe and therefore be saved.

Zechariah 3:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds (scattered tribes of Israel) of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Many use the enduring to the end to prove that there is no Rapture. How can there be a Rapture, and thus an escape from the Tribulation) if we must endure to the end? The simple explanation, of course, is in understanding the distinct differences between Israel’s prophetic program and the Body’s grace program as revealed through Paul. The Tribulation is a time of God’s wrath being poured out on the earth (Ezekiel 20:33—38; Zephaniah 1:14—18). Paul, however, clearly states that we will not be subject to God’s wrath.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ