Most Christians wrongly divide the word (IITim.2:15) by saying, “The Old Testament is for the Jews, the New Testament is for us.” But much of the New Testament is for the Jews too! Matthew 1:21 says the Lord would save “His people” in Israel (Lu.2:32) from “their” sins. Not until Paul do we read He’d save all sinners (ITim.1:15). So divide the Bible between Paul’s epistles and the rest of the Bible!
In Matthew, not even the Lord Himself said He’d die for all sinners (Mt.20:28), and that didn’t change at Pentecost (Acts 5:30,31). That shows that even in the fifth book of the New Testament nothing changed from the Old Testament (Isa.53: 8). Nothing changed until Paul (ITim.2:6). God always intended to save all men, but no one “testified” of that till Paul. That’s why he’s “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom.11:13).
The next verse in Matthew that shows it was written to Jews is Matthew 3:1,2. The “kingdom” John preached was the one Daniel predicted Christ would set up on earth after defeating the kingdoms of men (Dan.2:44). John said it was “at hand” 2,000 years ago, but it didn’t come because the Jews rejected their kingdom when they rejected their King. But that kingdom was for Israel anyway (Acts 1:6), not us.
Unless you realize that, you’re going to think like Jehovah’s Witnesses think, that that kingdom is where you’ll live eternally. Your apostle Paul says that instead, God will “change” your physical body so it can live in heaven (ICor.15:50-52). That change will come at the Rapture (Phil.3:20,21), when your body will be made like unto the Lord’s resurrection body, so it can do the things His body could do, like ascend to heaven on its own power (Eph.4:7-10)!
Matthew also teaches water baptism (Mt.3:5,6). We know this was a Jewish ordinance because the Pharisees didn’t ask John what he was doing, as if he were doing something new. They asked him why he was doing it (John 1:24). They knew what he was doing, for they baptized their priests (Ex.29:4). They asked him why he was baptizing if he wasn’t Christ because they knew their Messiah would someday come and baptize all Jews to make them “a kingdom of priests” in the kingdom of heaven (Ex.19:6). But you won’t be a priest in that kingdom, so you don’t need to be baptized with water.
The healing found in Matthew 6:23 was also for Jews, for priests couldn’t be lame or blind, etc. (Lev.21:17-21). No one today can heal “everyone” like Peter did (Acts 5:16), so we know God’s not giving men the gift of healing. You may want to be healed, but God wants you to know that His grace is sufficient for you in times of infirmity (IICor.12:8,9).
Matthew also says to pray “Thy kingdom come” (Mt.6:10), but we should pray “Thy church go in the Rapture!” Matthew says to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (v.11) but they were heading into the Tribulation that would have come if the dispensation of grace hadn’t interrupted God’s prophecies, and they’ll need daily bread when they can’t buy it (Rev.13:17). God will send them the daily bread of manna (Mic.7:14,15). That’s why Matthew records the Lord as saying to “take no thought” about your next meal (Mt.6:28); but you have to take a lot of thought about it (IIThes.3:10-12).
Matthew says you have to forgive others to be forgiven by God (Mt.6:12-15), despite the unforgivable things that will be done to believers by the beast in the Tribulation. They will have to forgive Antichrist’s government and submit to it because the beast will be a chastening tool in God’s hand, so to resist his government will be to resist the powers that be that are ordained of God. But forgiveness is a work, it is something you can “do” (Mark 11:26), and salvation today is “not by works” (Titus 3:5), it’s by “the washing of regeneration.” Our apostle says we should forgive others because we’ve already been forgiven by grace (Eph.4:32). That calls for “rightly dividing the word of truth!”