GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
By Keith L. Estes
The scriptures are rampant with the word, “Heed,” and it’s warning to all. The Dictionary definition for this word is, to pay attention- to listen. To take more than casual notice of: To give careful attention.
In Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 6:1) it reads, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”
Jesus warns us not to give alms before men just to gain human recognition to ourselves. The one who does righteousness (or gives of his possessions) to the Lord before men merely to be seen of them has no reward from the Father in heaven. True worship results from the desire to serve God, not men, since pleasing God is far more important than pleasing men. Loss of reward is incurred by gaining the reward of human recognition as an end in itself.
In Matthew Chapter 16 Verse 6 the scripture says: “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.“
Later He explained to His Disciples that he was not speaking of bread, but of the doctrine of these two groups. What He is saying, basically, is to take heed of false doctrine. These two groups had taken over the religious teachings of the people and had changed and made laws that were favorable to them but not to the people. For example if a person didn’t wish to support their aging parents they could say to them, “The money you would have received for support from me has been given to the Temple.” Thus absolving any obligation on their part.
Beginning at Matthew 24:4 it reads, “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.” This is called Deception. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet.” This text speaks of Dissension. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, in divers places.” This reminds us of Devastation and Disasters. “All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nation for my name’s sake.” This speaks of the ultimate sacrifice, Death. “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” This is plain old Disloyalty. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” They shall have a strong Delusion. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
When love leaves, it can be known as a Defection. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This is Deliverance. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” This gospel message is the most important Declaration.
When Jesus said, “Many shall come,” it refers to the parade of false messiahs who have now spanned the centuries of church history and have led many astray into false religious cults. “Wars and rumors of wars refers to peace being taken from the earth and the constant wars that have continually marked the “age of the Gentiles.” Famines, and pestilences: These events mark only the beginning of sorrows, “birth pangs.” This is followed by martyrdom and the rise of false prophets and the abounding of iniquity. The “Gospel of the kingdom” refers to the missionary expansion of the church in all the world. The gospel shall be preached in the entire world, and unto all nations. Then shall the end come, would then refer to the end of the church age. Take heed! Read and follow the teachings of the Bible.
Reference: The Holy Bible, The Liberty Annotated Bible.