Matthew Chapter 16 [KJVwc]

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1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven. 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. R4986:3

The agnostics or rationalists of that time. R2756:4


2 He answered and said unto them,
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[R384]

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[R1619]


4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. And he left them, and departed. No sign be given – The special light in both harvests is for the Israelites indeed. B26[B26], B27[B27]

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[R5111]

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. R5111:3[R5111]

That 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[R5111]


5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 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


7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 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

10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 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*


13 When Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 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


14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 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


15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 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


16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 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) R5120:5

The 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*


17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Blessed art thou – You have been greatly blessed of God to see this truth. R2656:5

Jesus admitted the correctness of Peter's answer. R5120:1

Not 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


18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 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, E376

Not that his followers should not enter the portals of death, but that eventually these prison-doors of death would open. R2657:2


19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 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[R3789]

Respecting the apostles alone, we have the assurance that whatever they forbade or allowed was under heavenly guidance and sanction. R3789:6[R3789]; 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[R5002:7]


20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 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. R2658:2

Because 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[R4645:10]

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


21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 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


22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 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


23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 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. R5546:5

The 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


24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 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. R3237:2

It 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


25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 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. R5426:1

Will gain the reward of life on the spirit plane. R5120:3


26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 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


27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 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


28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. 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


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