The literal meaning of course applies to the Scribes and Pharisees of the Law of Moses. But the account has 9 double designations each of which is declaring two word symbolic threads. The first word thread is the story of FDS1, members of which were scribes who wrote all of the new testament and the second thread is the story of the Watchtower who are the hypocrites and the offspring of vipers. Paul, the greater Zechariah, was therefore DFD by FDS1 between 69Nisan, the fall of the temple of FDS1 (the authority of the saints, the living stones) and the fall of the altar of GNS1, the end of GNS1 as a true religion in 81 AD. Whereas Gordon, the greater son of Barachiah was DFD by FDS3 before 1998Tishri27, the fall of the temple of FDS3 over the saints, and 2004Elul14, the fall of the altar of FDS3, the end of the constant feature, 9 months before it became a false religion on 2005Sivan14. The 'Temple' is the true religion and the 'Altar' is the place of sacrificial acceptance, which is the administration of a true church (for we all sacrifice). In the LWs the sacrifice is a new interpretation mainly. In the JWs it was a new convert mainly.
The Ark in the most holy is the sealing salvation covenants relevant to the church
The Candlestick in the holy is the evangelism of the church
The Showbread in the holy is the publicly advertised church doctrine
The things on the altar are all the sacrifices made by the members of the church. Sacrifices for love, sacrifices for evangelism, sacrifices for research
The Altar is the angelic judging pool for these sacrifices, for things placed on the altar go up to heaven. The angels judge the sacrifice and bless accordingly. A church with nothing upon its altar get no blessing.
Paul complained to Peter about his pharisaical behaviour in FDS1 saying:
11 However, when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him face to face, because he stood condemned.
12 For before the arrival of certain men from James, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he went withdrawing and separating himself, in fear of those of the circumcised class.
13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretence, so that even Barnabas was led along with them in their
pretence (Galatians 2).
The comments in blue are the meaning of the second word symbolic thread, the story of the Hypocrites of the Watchtower, FDS3.
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying:
2 The Scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses.
3 Therefore all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but do not perform.
4 They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger.
5 All the works they do they do to be viewed by men; for they broaden the [scripture-containing] phylacteries that they wear as safeguards [Big doctor's bags full of Watchtower literature, their defence to theological attack], and enlarge the fringes [of their garments] [Margin notes and cross references and constructively enlarging the significance of their interpretations as compared to the -*+scriptures themselves].
6 They like the most prominent place at evening meals [of physical food at gatherings] and the front seats in the synagogues [Kingdom Halls and Assemblies],
7 and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called Rabbi [Pioneer, Elder, Overseer, etc] by men.
8 But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, whereas all you are brothers [Jesus, their father by covenant, was rabboni].
9 Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One.
10 Neither be called 'leaders,' for your Leader is one, the Christ.
11 But the greatest one among you must be your minister.
12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13 Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men [saying we are the only ones to whom God will reveal his secrets]; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in [you are anti LW, anti research, anti truth and pro control and pro brainwashing].
14 [[Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you devour Widow's houses and for a pretense offer long prayers. On this account you will receive judgement more abundantly - not in the Vatican B]].
15 Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you traverse sea [the world of no religion] and dry [xhroV an adjective] [land] [the world of false religion with no water baptism - you cannot water baptise someone in a dry land] to make one proselyte/newcomer [water baptised brother], and when he becomes one [by joining Laodicea] you make him a son of Gehenna twice as much so as yourselves [You steer him toward failing two out of the 3 baptism tests - the 1AC, the ICC and the JAC tests] [The Jew under law faced the test of the law. He did not face any other test. If he failed the test of the law he went to Gehenna. The Gentile faces the test of the 1AC. But if during that test he converts and is circumcised then he faces two tests. He faces the test of the 1AC and the test of the law. But he is only under one law. The one law of Moses becomes two tests for him. It is the test for the 1AC and the test for the ICC. If he passes he becomes a son of Abraham and of Isaac. If he fails he becomes a son of Gehenna twice since he fails to complete his baptism into the 1AC and into Moses. So if he joins a rotten corrupt synagogue, which affords him little opportunity to keep the law that he is under, then he is worse off than if he had never become a proselyte, since he proselytes are denied the test of their conscience]
[The born agains are really the chosen race not the Jews. They are the covenant sons of Jacob rather than his genetic sons. All 1NC and 2NC Kings are under a spirit baptism test. This test is not impeded by the law of any church. But it does require them to submit to the law of the true church. If that true church is corrupt and does not afford them much opportunity to obey its law, then they can still be sealed in the spirit passing their spirit baptism test. So a rotten true church only makes them a single son of Gehenna. However the faithful dead (unsanctified, judicially first and second dead) are under the test of their own conscience when outside the true church. If they join the true church this test is upgraded to be a test of the law of the church. This denies them salvation based upon keeping their conscience clean, whilst still under church law, i.e. whilst still in the church.
So if the true church has become corrupt, then its congregation are frozen out of passing either the test of the ICC or the test of the 1AC (after the true has lost its water baptism, or the test of the JAC by leading the candidate into idolatry etc. Whilst one remains in such a church one is a multi son of Gehenna since one is failing up to 3 baptism tests. However if one leaves that church one is under the test of one's conscience and so can at least pass the test of the 1AC and thereby enter into the FRC.
If you die with a water baptism, then you are saved. But if you live in a true church without passing the water baptism test you have not yet escaped Gehenna. If the church is preventing your from passing this test, then it is making you into a son of Gehenna. One cannot take the test of the ICC and the 1AC at the same time. If you are in the true church whilst it still has a valid water baptism then you are taking the test of the ICC. If you are not then you are taking the test of the 1AC. The ICC replaces/upgrades your 1AC test. You can take the tests of the 1AC and the JAC at the same time if you do not have a valid water baptism and you can take the test of the ICC and the JAC at the same time if you do not.
16 Woe to you,
blind guides, who say, 'If anyone swears by the temple [the true church], it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple [the 1NC saints], he is under obligation.'
17 Fools and blind ones! Which, in fact, is greater, the gold or the temple that has sanctified the gold? [Not a Binary Question since it is answered in verse 21. In the greater meaning the church baptises the 1NCs. So do not swear by any group of 1NC saints, to a few nuggets of 1NC gold at best. Swear by the church that sanctified them. Actually there is a 1NC congregation in heaven which baptised the gold into the 1NC. One could swear by what is now the 3rd holy spirit]
18 Also, 'If anyone swears by the altar [the heavenly blessings for sacrifices administration], it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it [their particular sacrifice, their works, field service and sales figures - in the first century it was interpretations and research as well, a different gift], he is under obligation.'
19 Blind ones! Which, in fact, is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? [The altar judges the gift and the blesses the giver accordingly]
20 Therefore he that swears by the altar [heavenly sacrifice judging pool] is swearing by it and by all the things on it [by the altar and by every sacrifice made in the church for God];
21 and he that swears by the temple is swearing by it and by him that is inhabiting it [Jehovah's focus and attention are on the true church down here, more than on anywhere else in the physical or spiritual universe or outside it! He is interacting with the church the whole time in preference to any other of his children];
22 and he that swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by him that is sitting on it [Jesus today].
23 Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you give the 10th of the mint and the dill and the cumin [for example], but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was binding to do, yet not to disregard the other things.
24 Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel!
25 Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish [of the new covenant wine and bread], but inside they are full of plunder and excess [full of stolen 1NC and 2NC saints who should be in the LWs but are too weak to move to us or to understand all the covenants that they should be drinking].
26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside of it also may become clean.
27 Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men's bones and of every sort of uncleanness.
28 In that way you also, outwardly indeed, appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the graves of the prophets and decorate the memorial tombs of the righteous ones,
30 and you say, 'If we were in the days of our forefathers, we would not be sharers with them in the blood of the prophets.'
31 Therefore you are bearing witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
32 Well, then, fill up the measure of your forefathers.
33 Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna? [by joining the LWs/Zoar]
34 For this reason, here I am sending forth to you prophets and wise men and public instructors. Some of them you will kill and impale, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city;
35 that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah [remembered of Jehovah - AOL], son of Barachiah [blessed by Jehovah - Elijah4], whom you murdered between the temple [sanctuary] [the end of the Watchtower as a true church on 2005Sivan14] and the altar [the end of 1NC reserves offering themselves up on 2019Tebbeth14. AOL was prevented from doing any further LW type bible research by the eye boring agreement of 1Samuel11 - see U271c. And forced to swear all sorts of other idolatrous secrecy agreements. This killed him spiritually to the LWs].
36 Truly I say to you, All these things will come upon this generation (Matthew 23)...
Temple (4), Moses (0), Synagogues (2), meals (1), Rabbi (2), Gold (3), Altar (4), Gift (3), Zechariah (0), Barachiah (0).