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Stumbling Blocks


Matthew 5:27-30See the note below.

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY';

28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29 "If your right eye makes you stumble [4624], tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose [622] one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

30 "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

NASU


NT:4624 skandalizo (skan-dal-id'-zo) ("scandalize")

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:4625; to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure):

KJV - (make to) offend.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to put a stumbling-block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall; to be a stumbling-block

a. to entice to sin (Matthew 5:29)

b. to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey

c. to cause one to feel displeasure at a thing; to make indignant (Matthew 15:12)


NT:622 apollumi (ap-ol'-loo-mee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:575 and the base of NT:3639; to destroy fully (reflexively, to perish, or lose), literally or figuratively:

KJV - destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to destroy

1. to destroy i. e. to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to, ruin (Mark 1:24); to kill (Matthew 2:13); contextually, to declare that one must be put to death (Matthew 27:20); metaphorically, to devote or give over to eternal misery (Matthew 10:28; James 4:12); contextually, by one's conduct to cause another to lose eternal salvation (Romans 14:15). The middle voice, to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed;

a. of persons; (&a.) properly (Matthew 8:25); (&b.) tropically, to incur the loss of true or eternal life; to be delivered up to eternal misery (John 3:15)

b. of things; to be blotted out, to vanish away (James 1:11)

2. to destroy i. e. to lose

a. properly (Matthew 10:42)

b. metaphorically, Christ is said to lose anyone of his followers (whom the Father has drawn to discipleship) if such a one becomes wicked and fails of salvation (John 6:39)


In this teaching, Jesus emphasizes the seriousness of sin. This isn’t just for an individual, but for the Body of Christ. The Bible teaches us that we are one body in Christ with “many members” (Romans 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12).

The Greek for “stumble” is skandalizo (skan-dal-id'-zo). It’s defined as “to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure).” Also, “to put a stumbling-block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall; to be a stumbling-block, to entice to sin, to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.” Through these definitions you can see why it is vital that certain “parts” among us must be removed. It is for the sake of those who might be persuaded, causing them to fall way from Christ with an apostate heart. They are cancerous cells in the Body of Christ that must be removed.

Jesus said it is better that we lose one part of our body, or “member” within us, than for the whole body to go into hell. Some will be cut off from Him so as not to cause others to be cast out from Him (see the Bible study Wholly Illumined No Dark Part). This is the major issue in the church in America today. We have allowed, without any church discipline, sin to exist in our midst without any confrontation of it, all in the name of “love.” This love is of man, not of God and His name and honor. The reason we tolerate sin in the church is that we are tolerating sin in our own life. It is a reflection, a manifestation of our heart.

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 5, Paul tells us that we are to judge those who are within the church, and that God will judge those outside the church (see the Bible study Church Discipline). He said;

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?”

(1 Corinthians 5:1-6/NASU)


Paul says that he has already judged this man in the church in Corinth who was involved in gross immorality, having handed him over to Satan so that he will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. He then says, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?” This is a major issue in the church. Because of a true lack of love for the body of Christ we have allowed, as a non-confrontational parent, God’s children who have become entangled again in sin to continue in it with no concern for the affect it is having on, not just them, but everyone else. What we are unwilling to do, God will do for His name’s sake, and His children's salvation.

Paul finishes in 1 Corinthians, chapter 5, with this;


Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

(1 Corinthians 5:7-13/NASU)


Our problem is obvious, we love man more than God.

Paul mentions something very similar to the Christians in Galatia. In his letter to them he said;


You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”

(Galatians 5:7-10/NASU)


There was a time when the disciples had forgotten to bring some bread with them as they followed Jesus. He then said to them; “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6/NASU) Jesus then rebuked them for their lack of faith. They did not remember the miracles they had just seen in the feeding of five thousand and, at another time, four thousand people with hardly any food that He had miraculously multiplied.

He then said to them;


How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

(Matthew 16:11-12/NASU)


The next 2 passages are from the section Wholly Illumined No Dark Part in the Bible study Freedom In Christ.


Matthew 13:36-43Again Jesus teaches about the dark parts being removed from His kingdom at the end of this age. They are defined as "all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness" (see 2 Thess. 2:1-8 below). They are removed from God’s kingdom at harvest time and are thrown into the furnace of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (see Matthew 13:30 below). Because the darkness has been removed, the Body is now full of light, spotless and blameless, shining bright as the sun with the glory of God.

36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."

37 And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,

38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.

40 "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.

41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks [4625], and those who commit lawlessness [458 - see Math. 7:23 and 2 Thess. 2:1-8 below],

42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [See Matthew 24:51 for weeping and gnashing and the assigned place with the hypocrites.]

43 "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN [see Daniel 12:3 below] in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

NASU


NT:4625 skandalon (skan'-dal-on) ("scandal")

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

probably from a derivative of NT:2578; a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare (figuratively, cause of displeasure or sin):

KJV - occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumblingblock.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

a. properly, the movable stick or tricker ("trigger") of a trap, trap-stick; a trap, snare; any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall (Romans 9:33)

b. metaphorically, any person or thing by which one is ("entrapped") drawn into error or sin

1. of persons (Matthew 13:41)

2. of things (Romans 14:13)

NT:458 anomia (an-om-ee'-ah)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:459; illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:

KJV - iniquity, transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. properly, the condition of one without law -- either because ignorant of it, or because violating it

2. contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness (Matthew 23:28)


Daniel 12:1-3In the above verses from Matthew, Jesus quotes verse three from this passage which also refers to the time of the end. Daniel was told that in the time of great distress at the end of the age, Michael will rise up and rescue all whose names are written in the book [of life]. Those who have been given insight from the Lord will be used to enlighten others, leading them to righteousness. The Greek has the sense of not just giving insight, but of warning others. Their warnings are to wake up the Body of Christ so as to be ready for His return. The Bible says they will shine brightly, "like the stars forever and ever." Amen.

1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued [“to save, to deliver, to preserve (1 Thess. 5:23- “preserved complete”)].

2 "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

3 "Those who have insight will shine brightly [2094] like the brightness [2096] of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

NASU


OT:2094 zahar (zaw-har')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to gleam; figuratively, to enlighten (by caution):

KJV - admonish, shine, teach, (give) warn (-ing).

Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon

to admonish, to warn, to teach, to shine, to send out light, to be light, to be shining

a) (Niphal) to be taught, to be admonished

b) (Hiphil)

1) to teach, to warn

2) to shine, to send out light (figurative)


OT:2096 zohar (zo'-har)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:2094; brilliancy:

KJV - brightness.

Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon

brightness, shining




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