the process of withdrawal
FOUNDATION & OBLIGATION-page 2
we have dealt with the 'foundation' on page 1
we now deal with the 'obligation' we have in the ecclesia
It would be difficult to find a worse example of biased
and inaccurate translation than that which we read in
Matthew 18v18. What the translators have done is to
translate this verse exactly the same as Matthew 16v19.
This is in spite of the undeniable fact that the Greek
text gives an entirely different understanding in this
case. Of course, it is convenient for all those who depend
upon authority over their duped followers, to grasp at
any straw in order to reinforce their privileged position.
The normal English translation of Matthew 18v18 is:
"Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on
earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall
loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (AV).
This is almost verbatim to Matthew 16v19, which we
have dealt with on page 1. We have shown the earlier
occasion set forth an irrevocable prophecy concerning
the establishment of the ecclesia of Jesus Christ, based
NOT upon Peter AS A PERSON, but upon THE CON-
FESSION OF FAITH WHICH PETER HAD MADE.
This understanding demolishes the claim to Divine au-
thority which is made by the Roman apostacy.
Now in ch.18 we are dealing with an entirely different
situation, where the Lord is setting forth principles of
supreme importance relative to the operation of His
ecclesia during the long time of His absence. The 2nd
claim of the Roman apostacy to infallibility is shown
to be absolutely false, and blasphemy against God.
A correct translation of Matthew 18v18 is contained in
the Diaglott version, which renders the literal Greek-
"Indeed I say to you, whatever you may bind on the
earth, shall be having been bound in the heaven; and
whatever you may loose on the earth, shall be having
been loosed in the heaven".
You, the viewer, now having the opportunity, probably
for the first time, to read what Jesus was ACTUALLY
SAYING, will perceive the vast difference between the
literal Greek and the distorted version which has only
served the purposes of evil men. Let us summarise:
The translators' version says that God and Christ "in
heaven" will automatically ratify the decisions of fall-
ible men WHATEVER THEY ARE!
The correct understanding, as revealed in the Greek,
is that the decisions of fallible men MUST FOLLOW
THE PRECEPTS REVEALED CONCERNING THE
WILL OF GOD AND CHRIST "IN HEAVEN"!
The first translation serves the ends of those wishing to
retain their current power . The second (correct) trans-
lation shows that the followers of Jesus Christ have a
SOLEMN OBLIGATION (hence our heading) to
FOLLOW THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST.
The above is clear and allows no misunderstanding. And
when we come to examine the context more minutely, we
see that NO OTHER EXPLANATION IS POSSIBLE!
So that this might be demonstrated to the viewer, we set
out the relevant verses in Matthew 18:
v1-14: the teaching of Jesus to be "humble..as little chil-
dren" v4, 3. However, we are to "be not children
in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye child-
ren, but in understanding be men"- 1st Cor.14v20.
We are to care, as Jesus, for "that which was lost"-
v11. Note v14-
"Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in
heaven, that one of these little ones should perish"
(that is-the "little ones which believe in" Jesus,v6)..
v15 : the words "against thee" should be omitted, as they
are not contained in reliable texts, and they violate
the whole context-cp v21, where Peter asks a ques-
tion as to what to do if the sin is AGAINST HIM-
something which he would not have done if it had
already been dealt with by Jesus. And in fact in v22
the Lord gives Peter much different advice.
So what then is the meaning of verse 15?
It is obviously the situation referred to in Gal.6v1-
"..if a man be overtaken IN A FAULT"- i.e. it is not
a personal offence, but A SIN AGAINST GOD.
v15 : in such a situation, Jesus teaches:
a. speak privately to the offender, to "gain thy bro-
v16 : b. if a private discussion and warning is unsuccess-
ful, "take with thee one or two more, that in the
mouth of two or three witnesses every word may
be established". Here Jesus is quoting from
Deuteronomy 19v15, where the context is clear-
SIN AGAINST GOD– as in Matt.18v15-20..
v17 : c. if even this is unsuccessful, "tell it unto the eccle-
sia: but if he neglect to hear the ecclesia, let him
be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican".
It is in this context and this context alone
that we must consider what follows-
v18 : the decisions of the ecclesia must be in harmony with
Divine principles, as we have shown. In such a case
it is evident that God and Christ will endorse them.
However, an important consideration arises:
WHAT IS THE RESULT IF THE DECISIONS OF
THE ECCLESIA ARE NOT IN HARMONY WITH
THE PRINCIPLES SET FORTH BY THE LORD?
v19 : Jesus proceeds to deal with just this possibility-
"Again"- i.e. here is further teaching to cover this
very real possibility, that fallible men might not
"judge righteous judgment"- John 7v24.
"I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on
earth as touching any thing that they shall ask,
it shall be done for them of my Father in heaven".
We cannot, we dare not, wrest these vital words
from their context. The only "two" spoken of are
those mentioned (the faithful) in v16. So the "two"
in v19 can be any of those who stand for the Truth-
for they are all faithful witnesses. All faithful (as
also should we ) bear witness to the truth-perhaps at
a very great personal cost- link to 'apocalypse'.
Jesus Christ is "the faithful and true witness"-Rev-
elation 3v14...will He endorse any who betray Him?
Practically, the important thing here is that
THE ECCLESIA HAS MADE THE WRONG DE-
CISION WHEN THE SIN CAME BEFORE IT.
IT HAS DECIDED FOR THE SINNER AND NOT
FOR THE FAITHFUL WITNESSES!
But we must remain steadfast - link to proverbs-p.3.
As corrupt men gained power over the ecclesias,
just such situations began to multiply. They forgot
the admonition of Peter (2nd Peter 5v1-3)-
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am
also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of
Christ,and also a partaker of the glory that shall be
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the
oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly;
NOT FOR FILTHY LUCRE, but of a ready mind;
Neither as being LORDS OVER GOD'S HERITAGE,
but being ENSAMPLES TO THE FLOCK".
We have written much on the disastrous events which
followed such departure from the Faith.
SEE THE LINKS BELOW.
RETURNING TO MATTHEW 18, WE QUICKLY SEE
THAT WHAT WE HAVE PRESENTED IS CORRECT-
v20 : the result of the wrong ecclesial decision in favor of
the sinner in v18 has now resulted in DIVISION.
Does the Lord endorse such action?
We know that He prophesied that such would occur-
Luke 12v49-53; re the two "seeds" link to 'promises'.
We have already seen, in v19, that He promises the
request of the "two" (of the "witnesses", see above)
will be granted. What is the only possible request of
the witnesses in such an agonizing situation?
IT MUST BE THAT GOD AND CHRIST WILL BE
WITH THEM IN THEIR FAITHFUL ACTIONS.
v21 : The Lord answers their request in the most emphatic
manner when He says (linking with v20 by "for")-
"For where two or three (the only "two or three"
mentioned elsewhere in the whole of the verses under
consideration are the faithful in V16!)
are GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME"- i.e.
a faithful ecclesial assembly has been convened,
SEPARATED FROM THE
What does Jesus promise?
"THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM".
And so, these faithful ones have implemented the
Doctrine of Fellowship- as Paul later stated he would
do failing a change of mind by those in error, 2nd
Corinthians 10v6; 13v1,2,10.. and faithful disciples
have had to do down through the ages of time in obed-
ience to the obligation laid on them by Jesus Christ-cp
Luke 12v49-53; Rev. 2v2,9; 3v8; 12v6, 14-17- link to
'fellowship'.The fault that Jesus later found with some
ecclesias was that THEY WERE TOLERATING
ERROR IN THEIR MIDST! Revelation 2v14,15,20.
The only ecclesias fully commended had become separ-
ated from "the synagogue of the satan"-link to 'satan'-
Revelation 2v8-11; 3v7-13.
And so the presence of God and Christ has been re-
moved from the faithless assembly, and transferred to
the new ecclesia comprising the faithful witnesses.
Verse 20 has often been quoted to show that the Lord
is present even in small assemblies. This is true only if
THE ASSEMBLY IS FOUNDED UPON THE TRUTH.
If, after scriptural admonition, it has allowed apostacy
to remain, the presence of Christ is certainly not there!
There is a most significant Old Testament precedent for
this situation which we are considering. In Leviticus 26,
God withdraws fellowship from Israel because of their
unrepentant sin, after a three-fold admonition(as we see
in Matthew 18). And He also lists His witnesses to their
iniquity. The result is- "Then will I also walk
contrary to you" v24.
v21 : As we have stated, the question of Peter which follows
proves conclusively that the above is correct, for he
also has understood, as we have, that there is a
THREE-FOLD WARNING FOR SINS AGAINST GOD
but "how oft shall my brother sin against me and I
forgive him? Until seven times?" (thinking this would
be appropriate as against three times in the case of a
sin against God!). But the Lord answers him thus:
v22 : "I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but
UNTIL SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN".
In other words, forgiveness for personal offences
should be extended without any imposed limits.
THE MATTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN PRESENTED
ARE VITAL FOR OUR SALVATION. WE SUGGEST
THAT YOU ALSO LINK TO THE FOLLOWING: