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Matthew 18:15-35 Sin, Debt and The Law

Sin as defined by the New Testament writing of 1st John 3:4 - “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law.” The Law of YeHoVaH covered every aspect of the Hebrew Israelite’s life from conception to the grave. YeHoVaH gave the Hebrew Israelites the greatest set of instructions and Laws that no other nation had. These Laws were to govern Israel and teach them the ways of YeHoVaH as a free people.

YeHoVaH gave His Laws to a free people to prevent them from ever going into bondage again. Debt was a form of bondage according to Proverbs 22:7 “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

In this portion of Matthew, Yeshua gives clear, step by step instructions on how to deal with a brother who sins against us based on the Law of YeHoVaH. Yeshua then connects a parable and the Law of YeHoVaH to illustrate the importance of forgiving each other in relation to how we can expect to receive forgiveness from YeHoVaH.

The passage we are about to study is one of the most neglected set of instructions given by Yeshua to the Body of Messiah.

If you haven’t read the book, Offended and Offending ‘Dealing with Offences’, it is a must read.

Mt 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 

Moreover, connects this passage to the previous passage.

Trial, Judge, and Jury #1 - You are Judge and Jury

First step: You have judged a matter to be worthy of a trial between you and the brother who has sinned. As the jury, you have reached a verdict.

Your brother hears you = the trial is over.

Mt 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 

In this passage Yeshua expounds on the Law and Commandments about witnesses in a trial in a court of Law amongst the Saints. 

Deuteronomy 19:15-20

Dt 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. 

Dt 19:16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; 

Dt 19:17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; 

Dt 19:18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 

Dt 19:19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. 

Dt 19:20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

Trial, Judge and Jury #2 - Two Witnesses

Second step: You take one or two with you to your brother who has sinned. As the jury, you have reached a verdict.

Your brother hears you = The trial is over.

Mt 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 

Trial, Judge and Jury #3 – The Assembly

Third step: You take the matter before the assembly.

Treated as a heathen and a publican = Disassociate/have nothing to do with him.

When we do as Yeshua commands, the issues are confronted and dealt with.

When you deal with matters as the American church does and refuse to judge properly, not following the protocols instituted by the Lord, that the church claims to follow, conflicts arise, offenses are established, splits occur, and people leave with offenses that are never resolved and they defile people and congregations wherever they go. 

Hebrew 12:14-15

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 

Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

This is why we deal with issues and instruct people to follow the pattern Yeshua commanded.

Mt 18:18 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. 

Mt 18:18 connects back to what Yeshua said in chapter 16 concerning the keys to the kingdom of binding and loosing or judging a matter and issuing a judgment that is binding.

Mt 16:19 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.

Mt 18:19 Again 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 which is in heaven. 

The word “touching” in this passage has been used in grave error amongst religious people because they assume and insert the English definition of touching to the Greek word in this passage. 

 This is why many join hands when they pray. They believe they have to physically touch one another to fulfill this verse. Televangelists have had people touch the TV screen. Prayer groups have established prayer circles squeezing one another’s hands, etc.; don’t have a ring on in these prayer groups and circles for you could possibly pay dearly by enduring excruciating pain from the grips of some Saints during prayer.

Touching – 4012 περί peri {per-ee'} 

Meaning:  1) about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near 

Usage:  AV - of 148, for 61, concerning 40, about 31, as touching 8, touching 3, whereof + 3739 3, not tr 4, misc 33; 331

Prayer circles

Prayer chains

Extra Biblical Teaching

Mt 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mt 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Mt 18:22 Yeshua saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 

Lk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 

Lk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. 

Lk 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

Mt 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. Mt 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 

Talents – 5007 τάλαντον talanton {tal'-an-ton} 

Meaning:  1) the scale of a balance, a balance, a pair of scales 2) that which is weighed, a talent 2a) a weight varying in different places and times 2b) a sum of money weighing a talent and varying in different states and according to the changes in the laws regulating currency

2b1) the Attic talent was equal to 60 Attic minae or 6000 drachmae 2b2) a talent of silver in Israel weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg) 2b3) a talent of gold in Israel weighed about 200 pounds (91 kg) 

Usage:  AV - talent 15; 15

This is the equivalent of millions of dollars. 

Mt 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 

Selling someone as a slave to pay off a debt is found in the Torah.

From the Exodus teaching:

Hebrew Slaves


Ex 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.


Lev 25:39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:

The Prophets

2Ki 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

Mt 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Mt 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 

Mt 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 

This was a violent demand.

Pence – 1220 δηνάριον denarion {day-nar'-ee-on} 

Meaning:  denarius = "containing ten" 1) A Roman silver coin in NT time. It took its name from it being equal to ten "asses", a number after 217 B.C. increased to sixteen (about 3.898 grams or .1375 oz.). It was the principal silver coin of the Roman empire.) 

Usage:  AV - penny 9, pence 5, pennyworth 2; 16

This is the equivalent of a few thousand dollars.

Mt 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Mt 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 

How can someone pay a debt from prison?

His wife, children, or other family members raise the money and redeem the person.

Mt 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Mt 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 

Mt 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? Mt 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 

Tormentors – 930 βασανιστής basanistes {bas-an-is-tace'} 

Meaning:  1) one who elicits the truth by the use of the rack 1a) an inquisitor, torturer also used of a jailer doubtless because the business of torturing was also assigned to him 

Usage:  AV - tormentor 1; 1

Mt 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

In this statement, Yeshua connects back to the prayer He taught His disciples in Chapter 6.

Mt 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

In Mark, Yeshua said this:

Mk 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 

Mk 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

The year of release, or the forgiveness of debt, is this coming Biblical New Year.

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