Jesus Christ Prison Ministry
November 2019 Newsletter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ had spent some time teaching the people in parables. Teaching is very tiring. I understand a little bit of the exhaustion Jesus must have felt while teaching the people. When I put these newsletters together, I have to prepare myself to receive the information from the Spirit of God. Then, I have to let the Spirit of God dictate and direct the material through me. It is very exhausting. That is one reason why these newsletters are started between six and eight months in advance.
Jesus said, “I speak only what the Father has taught Me.” “The Father who sent Me has Himself commanded Me what to say and how to speak.” “I speak just as the Father has told Me.” “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own. It is the Father who dwells in Me and who carries out His work.” John 8:23; 12:49, 50; 14:10; 16:25.
Those of us who have been called by God to speak His words have no authority to add or subtract from His words. These newsletters, “Change Your Life Biblically” and this ministry only carry the words Jesus has dictated and directed. Jesus could not speak on His own. We are to follow the example of Jesus. We should learn how to live so close to Jesus that He will dwell in us as the Father dwelt in Him.
And yet, as often as we have been told and have read and claim to believe that Jesus is the Way and the Truth to the One and only Life, very few actually believe in Jesus. Very few actually obey His teachings. Most just go to church and believe they are saved by doing that which Jesus and the Bible never sanctioned for our eternal life. But when Jesus commands us to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life, I have not found one church, denomination or pastor who teaches the teachings of Jesus.
How exhausting it must have been for Jesus. His heart was aching for the people He called out of Egypt. They were the people who made the covenant in the wilderness to be His people. They committed themselves to living in obedience to His Ten Commandments. And here they were, His Sabbath-keeping, tithe-paying, church-going people looking for the Messiah, doing everything in their power to destroy Him in disobedience to the Ten Commandments. How challenging to His heart.
The same is true today. Those who claim to love Jesus, to believe in Jesus and to die for Him, refuse to live in obedience to Jesus. Soon He will leave them, as He did the crowds back then.
Mark 4:35 to Mark 6:29
That day, when evening had come, he told them, “Let’s cross to the other side.” So they left the crowd and took him away in a boat without making any special preparations. Other boats were with him.
The crowds are gathered in churches, but few are leaving “with Him”. Most are staying with the church. How sad. Those going with Jesus do not have to make any “special preparations”. We don’t have to hoard food for the “end times”. We don’t have to do anything but live as Jesus commands. He has promised to take care of us no matter what the storm that is coming. So few are developing their faith. The challenge is too great for most. It is much easier to just sit in church “believing”.
A violent windstorm came up, and the waves began breaking into the boat, so that the boat was rapidly becoming swamped.
There will be times as we walk with Jesus, away from the crowd, the church, the denominations and our past beliefs, that storms will come up. They may break into our lives and appear as if to swamp us, but never fear, as long as you are living in obedience to the words of Jesus, you are safe.
But Jesus was in the back of the boat, asleep on a cushion. So they woke him up and asked him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?”
It may appear you are going to die, but if you are working for Jesus, you won’t. He needs you. You may think Jesus is asleep and does not care about your swamped boat, however, He has it all under control. Many times in this ministry I have cried out to Jesus thinking we were about to be swamped. I felt that Jesus was in the back sleeping while I was working hard at the oars. Sometimes it does get frustrating. But as I look back over the years, I see I was not alone, nor left to work so hard at the oars. All I had to do was go to Jesus and give Him my troubles. Oar work can be very humbling. It is oar work that develops our faith in Jesus.
Then he got up, rebuked the wind, and told the sea, “Calm down! Be still!” Then the wind stopped blowing, and there was a great calm.
And as long as I am working for Jesus, living in obedience to His commands, everything becomes calm. I look around and wonder how it could have appeared so hopeless, and yet, in a matter of minutes, be so calm and peaceful. My faith in God has grown immensely over the years. Growing in faith is necessary if we ever plan on making it, through the seven months after the close of probation, to the coming of Christ. Those sitting in church are not preparing their characters for the coming storm. They are not getting experience at the oars that is needed to develop their characters or their faith.
“A daily, earnest striving to know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, would bring power and efficiency to the soul. The knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures would be flashed into the memory at the right time. But if any had neglected to acquaint themselves with the words of Christ, if they had never tested the power of His grace in trial, they could not expect that the Holy Spirit would bring His words to their remembrance. They were to serve God daily with undivided affection, and then trust Him.” DA 355. The sad fact is, there is not one word there about going to church to “serve God”.
He asked them, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?” Overcome with fear, they kept saying to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”
I wonder if Jesus looks at those sitting in church and asks the same question, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?” No, I don’t think so. Sitting in church does not produce faith. Cowards? I think Jesus was right. They refuse to go to work for Jesus because of the loss it may entail.
Those who call themselves “Christian” today have a very warped understanding of Christianity. The devil just loves it when we think of Christianity as a ooey-gooey, mushy, don’t offend, “God loves you” thing. Jesus was big on offending. Truth will do that. Truth is cutting. Jesus doesn’t care what your opinions or beliefs are, He cares about your eternal life. “Are you such cowards?” “Don’t you have any faith yet?” My, my, how offensive! Waking up yet?Christianity is not for cowards. It isn’t for church-going sissies. The devil has truly neutered Christianity. We need to stand up, face the storms as Jesus did, and overcome through His power. Challenges are what develop character and faith in our lives.
They arrived at the other side of the sea in the territory of the Gerasenes. Just as Jesus stepped out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met him.
Of course, that is why Jesus landed there. He stepped out of the boat to meet the challenge of the man with the unclean spirit. He didn’t avoid it. He didn’t run from it. He stepped out to meet the storm of the unclean spirit no different than He stood up in the boat to meet the challenge of the storm on the lake. He can do the same in your life. Stand up and go to work for Jesus; do not go to church.
He lived among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, not even with a chain. He had often been restrained with shackles and chains but had snapped the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one could tame him.
Do you have untamed spirits in you? Are you feeling out of control? Are you breaking the restraints of family, friends and society? Do you want Jesus to tame your life? How little faith we have in God. We go to church and claim to have faith, yet, with all our bad feelings we go to doctors, counselors and psychologists but we don’t have faith to go to Jesus. He can cure you if you would get out of your church and go to Him. Have faith and live in obedience.
Night and day he kept screaming among the tombs and on the mountainsides and kept cutting himself with stones.
Many, today, are cutting themselves in a variety of ways. Inside they are screaming for help. Do we pass them by? Do we avoid them? Are you just a “church-going-Christian” or are you one who is stepping out to challenge the demons in the power of Jesus?
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell down in front of him, screaming in a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you in the name of God never to torment me!”
Only the power of God is keeping the world “sane” today. But soon the power of God will be withdrawn. Why? The world doesn’t think it needs God in their lives. Every imaginable wickedness is being legalized: drugs, sinful sex, hate, coveting, stealing and the breaking of God’s Sabbath. On the other hand, laws are being enacted to keep the righteous from warning the wicked of their sins. When the Spirit of God is withdrawn, woe be to those who will be living in sin. The demons will be allowed up from the depths of the abyss and they will fill everyone who does not live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. Every day I pray for God to hold back the winds of strife. I plead with Him to fill the earth with His Spirit and the angels in order to give us time to get this information out. Will you join me?
Interesting, the demons did not want to be driven out of the man. They got their joy in destroying the man’s life. Without lives to destroy they consider themselves to be “tormented”. I see a lot of that today. There are those who find pleasure only in annoying, hurting, tormenting and destroying others.
Jesus had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What’s your name?” He told him, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us.”
It is a popular misconception that only those who act like “demoniacs” have demons in them. Therefore, we watch the news and see the mass killers, the serial sex offenders, the child abusers and all the others and think they are the ones with demons. What few people realize is, there are more demons in people going to church than in prison. They are just different demons. They are the “fooling” demons. They are the “masquerading” demons. They are the “put-on-a-show” demons. They are the “wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing” demons. Of course we don’t mind them. We love sitting next to them. They make us feel so “Christian”.
He kept pleading with Jesus not to send them out of that region.
Demons are no different than you or me. They had a nice home in those men. They didn’t want to leave home or go very far from home. They were settled. Would you want to be kicked out from your home? Are the demons finding a wonderful home in your life? Who are you fooling? Are you masquerading?
Now a large herd of pigs was grazing on a hillside nearby. So the demons begged him, “Send us among the pigs, so that we can go into them!”
An interesting aspect about demons, no matter what the “facade”, they love to destroy. Some more aggressively than others, but the end result is destruction. Sitting in church is just as destructive as shooting people sitting in church. The demons wanted to find something else they could destroy. A heard of pigs didn’t look too bad. Especially if people who claimed to obey God were the owners. The demons were sure they could cause so much economic pain, the citizens of that place would want Jesus to leave. “We win!” Of course, they wanted the “good” citizens to kill Jesus.
So he let them do this. The unclean spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the cliff into the sea and drowned there.
Since the eating of pig is forbidden in the Bible - okay, you can go into them. Keep in mind, Jesus didn’t command the demons to drive the pigs over the cliff and into the sea. Many people confuse “allowing” with “commanding”. God allows the devil to do many things. The devil could use that time constructively to help and bring blessings. But he doesn’t. It is the devil’s choice. It was the same with Job. God allowed Lucifer to interfere with Job’s life. But Lucifer could have brought blessings to Job. He didn’t. Same with us. God allows us to do many things in our lives. Some choose to use the allotted time to do good, while others choose the allotted time to do evil. But God doesn’t command us to do either of them. He gives us choices. Then, He tells us that He will judge us by our words and actions: choices. Therefore, I suggest you use this allotted time God is giving you, not to sit in church, but to put the time into action for good.
Now when those who had been taking care of the pigs ran away, they reported what had happened in the city and countryside. So the people went to see what had happened.
The devil is all about the show. Especially if it is something “bad”. The devil was hoping to discourage the people from listening to Jesus. He riled up their prejudices and it worked. The devil tries to do the same with this ministry. He uses anything “bad” about this ministry to rile up people’s prejudices against it. I praise God for His love and protection.
When they came to Jesus and saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there dressed and in his right mind, they were frightened.
How sad that something so wonderful was considered so frightening. Are we allowing the same response in our lives? The man was sitting there dressed and in his right mind. Many are sitting in church who are not in their right minds. Yet, we accept them because they sit in church. Church is destroying people.
A few months back I was having a conversation with a young man on the internet. He had just been released from prison. He was 24 years old. He had gotten involved with many terrible things in his life. After 5 years in prison he was now firmly established in the Messianic and Charismatic belief. I knew from past experiences that those involved in today’s “speaking in tongues” are under the control of demons. So I listened and watched closely his behavior. He was all show. Talked about how he loved Jesus and studied Hebrew and Josephus and wanted to serve God. I explored his sincerity by inviting him to serve the Lord here in the ministry. I offered him a life here. He was all excited. He was ready to give up the world and everything in it to live and work here. Unfortunately, he was not willing to give up porn, fornication and Messianic customs and ordinances.
And so it goes with those who put on a show, act real religious and are involved in “church” organizations. As Jesus said, it is all a whitewashing to cover the dead bones on the inside. Let’s put on a show while we continue to live in rebellion against Jesus and His Ten Commandments.
“During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters.
“As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy.” DA 29
“The priests and elders of Israel spent their lives in religious ceremonies, which they regarded as too sacred to be connected with secular business. Therefore their lives were supposed to be wholly religious. But they performed their ceremonies to be seen by men that they might be thought by the world to be pious and devoted. While professing to obey they refused to render obedience to God. They were not doers of the truth which they professed to teach.” COL 278.
Our churches are doing the exact same things today. The truth of Jesus is not being taught or lived. The ceremonies, services, ordinances and traditions are put in place of obedience to Jesus.
“The Jews had always prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services, and many of those who had been converted to the faith of Christ still felt that since God had once clearly outlined the Hebrew manner of worship, it was improbable that He would ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They insisted that the Jewish laws and ceremonies should be incorporated into the rites of the Christian religion. They were slow to discern that all the sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type met antitype, and after which the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation were no longer binding.” AA 189.
The people who had seen it told them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. So they began to beg Jesus to leave their territory.
Without Jesus in the heart, our lives are fearful. We may think we have control over our lives and destinies, but that is a mirage. Demonic influences can easily disrupt your best laid plans. The world is becoming more and more fearful as people realize how little control they have over themselves. That is one reason why so many are reaching out for a “government” to be the controlling power. Most are unable to control themselves, let alone their futures. Alcohol, religion, drugs, sex, power, money, position, church and a million other things are possessing lives. Our only Savior is Jesus Christ. When we surrender our lives to Him, He will be the controlling power for our day-to-day living and future success. Trust Him and live in obedience to Him and all will be well. Unfortunately, the world and the churches are kicking Jesus out of their lives.
“The customs and traditions so highly valued by the rabbis were of this world, not from heaven. However great their authority with the people, they could not endure the testing of God. Every human invention that has been substituted for the commandments of God will be found worthless in that day when ‘God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ Ecclesiastes 12:14.
“The substitution of the precepts of men for the commandments of God has not ceased. Even among Christians are found institutions and usages that have no better foundation than the traditions of the fathers (Catholic and Protestant ‘churches’). Such institutions, resting upon mere human authority, have supplanted those of divine appointment. Men cling to their traditions, and revere their customs, and cherish hatred against those who seek to show them their error. In this day, when we are bidden to call attention to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, we see the same enmity as was manifested in the days of Christ. Of the remnant people of God it is written, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.” DA 398. “Church” is a human invention.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging him to let him go with him.
However, those of us who are possessed by Jesus don’t want the world or its demons to possess us. We have had enough of this world. We want to go with Jesus. As Paul said, I “would prefer to be away from this body and to live with the Lord”. 2 Corinthians 5:8. However, Jesus has a work for us to do for Him while we are living in this world.
But Jesus wouldn’t let him. Instead, he told him, “Go home to your family, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been to you.”
Are you sitting in church or telling those around you “how much the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been to you”? If you are still possessed by the demons of this world let Jesus cast them out. Go to Him and find out how much the “Lord has done for you”.
So the man left and began proclaiming in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And everyone was utterly amazed.
Are the people around you amazed at “how much Jesus had done” for you? Why not? Are you living so close to Jesus that you have more to say other than, “come to church”? You will not find Jesus in church. Go share how much Jesus has done for you. It is in sharing that we walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
When Jesus again had crossed to the other side in a boat, a large crowd gathered around him by the seashore.
Today, large crowds do “gather around” the name of Jesus. They shout it, sing it, praise it and write about it, but few know Jesus. It is all a show. It is all about “what I get” from Jesus. The crowds want Jesus to be their Savior, but not their Lord. How sad.
Then a synagogue leader named Jairus arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet and begged him urgently, saying, “My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live.”
While the crowd did not recognize Jesus for who He was, but only saw a good show, Jairus recognized Him for who He was. While the crowd was dancing around Jesus praising His name and wanting to be part of this exciting new thing, Jairus fell at His feet in recognition and begged Him. Which one are you? The dancing around, or the one bowing in recognition?
So Jesus went with him. A huge crowd kept following him and jostling him.
Religions, churches, denominations are all “jostling Him”. They are not able to see Him for who He is. They do not want Him controlling their lives, they only want what they can get out of His life.
Now there was a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. Although she had endured a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all of her money, she had not been helped at all but rather grew worse.
I know many who are suffering, but instead of going to Jesus, they are going to doctors and spending money for nothing. We have the same example in king Asa. “Asa suffered from a foot disease. Even though he suffered greatly, he never sought the LORD, but instead looked to doctors.” 2 Chronicles 16:12. Isn’t it time to go to Jesus. Get out of your church and go touch His robe.
Since she had heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his robe, because she had been saying, “If I can just touch his robe, I will get well.”
She had faith. She put her faith into action. She didn’t sit in church wishing. She didn’t talk to her minister, priest or pastor. She went to Jesus in faith.
Her bleeding stopped at once, and she felt in her body that she was healed from her illness.
You can find the same healing in your life. If you go to Jesus in faith, believing He can heal you, you will find the bleeding of your physical and spiritual life stopped. Your sins will be removed, your life healed. Go now, don’t wait.
Immediately Jesus became aware that power had gone out of him. So he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples asked him, “You see the crowd jostling you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “But he kept looking around to see the woman who had done this.
When we go to Jesus for healing, He does expect you to give Him the glory. The healing Jesus offers is not “magic”. It is not “superstition”. It is not an “accident”. Jesus offers us full and complete healing. In return, He wants us to share with others that it was Jesus who healed us and not a doctor, a medical institution or some health diet. Jesus and Jesus only.
So the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came forward fearfully, fell down trembling in front of him, and told him the whole truth.
Are you telling the whole truth? Are you giving Jesus the glory? Or are you allocating some of His glory to your church, medical institution, doctor or diet?
He told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed from your illness.”
The only thing that healed her was her faith. If you go to Jesus in faith, you also will be able to “go in peace and be healed from your illness”.
While he was still speaking, some people came from the synagogue leader’s home and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?”
The world is working hard to get us discouraged. They don’t want you going to Jesus. They would feel better if you went to church, to your pastor, listened to your denomination or consulted a certified professional. But to stay with Jesus, no!
But when Jesus heard what they said, he told the synagogue leader, “Stop being afraid! Just keep on believing.”
“Keep on believing”. What a marvelous concept. From the time the woman began to believe, who knows how long it took before she reached Jesus. It could have been days. Maybe even weeks. Possibly months. But she kept on believing until she found Jesus. The synagogue leader also believed and found Jesus. However, there were those trying to get him to loose his faith. Don’t give up, my dear friends, “just keep on believing” and go with Jesus. In time, all will be well.
Jesus allowed no one to go further with him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
I have often wondered why Jesus did not allow the other disciples to follow. Why only Peter, James and John? Was there prejudice involved? Did Jesus not like the other disciples as much? I was bothered by this. Then, one day while in worship, the Spirit of God revealed the answer. Jesus was on his way to a home where a little girl had just died. The parents would be in mourning. If the crowed of gawkers had followed Jesus to the home, that would have been very disrespectful on the part of Jesus. Therefore, Jesus left the other disciples to act as crowd control. They were to barricade the crowd away from following Jesus in order to give Jesus an opportunity to apply His love and quiet healing powers to the family.
When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw mass confusion. People were crying and sobbing loudly.
Without the hope of eternal life, there is “mass confusion” with people “crying and sobbing loudly”. Our only hope is in Jesus. If we are living as He lived, we also will rise from our dead sinful lives into a new life.
He entered the house and asked them, “Why all this confusion and crying? The child isn’t dead. She’s sleeping.”
That is a truth very few want to hear. The world is so full of demonic spiritism they either believe you are in heaven or in hell when you die. But Jesus gave the truth, “she’s sleeping”. That’s it, death is just a sleep. For the wicked it will be an eternal sleep. For the righteous it will be a little sleep and when Jesus comes He will wake us up and take us home to live with Him forever.
They laughed and laughed at him. But when he had driven all of them outside, he took the child’s father and mother, along with the men who were with him, and went into the room where the child was.
When we share the good news with the world, most laugh at us. They do not want to believe the truth. To believe the truth would mean they would have to change their lives. But in the end Jesus will “drive all of them outside” into a fiery final destruction. They didn’t believe.
He took her by the hand and told her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Young lady, I tell you, get up!” The young lady got up at once and started to walk. She was twelve years old. Instantly they were overcome with astonishment.
There will come a day when Jesus will call the righteous to eternal life. He will come and say, “I tell you, get up”. We will get up at once and start walking to Jesus. The rest of the world will be “overcome with astonishment”. They will have lost out because of their lack of faith and obedience to Jesus.
But Jesus strictly ordered them not to let anyone know about this. He also told them to give her something to eat.
In this case, they did not have to let anyone know. The whole synagogue already knew. Anything else would just be boasting. And yes, Jesus did care about the little girl’s needs. He told them to “give her something to eat”. When Jesus wakes us up from our little “sleep” at the end of time, He also will have prepared “something to eat” for us. I understand it will be a wonderful banquet. I want to be there, don’t you? To be there, all we have to do is live the perfect, sinless and commandment keep life.
Another interesting observation, there is no record of the little girl having seen a “light” or going to heaven, etc. She was asleep in death. She was not alive in another state of being. Jesus didn’t tell the parents to rejoice since their daughter was in heaven. He woke her up from death and gave her back to her parents.
Jesus left that place and went back to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were utterly amazed. “Where did this man get all these things?” they asked. “What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What great miracles are being done by his hands!
When you accept Jesus into your life, you also will follow Him. You also will begin to teach to all around you. And yes, many will be utterly amazed at the wisdom you will receive from Jesus. Sitting in church amazes no one. What are you doing for Jesus?
This is the builder, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon, isn’t it? His sisters are here with us, aren’t they?” And they were offended by him.
Oh yes, if you work for Jesus, many will bring up your earthly past with all its offensive sins. Yes, we have all sinned. But we no longer have to remain there. We can amaze people by living as Jesus commands: perfect. A perfect life will offend those around you, but that is their problem. You just follow the example of Jesus.
He was called, “the son of Mary” because by this time Joseph had died. The brothers and sisters of Jesus were those of Joseph’s previous marriage. They were His older siblings. That is why they took offense at this “young up-start” and tried to take control of Him.
Jesus was telling them, “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own home.” He couldn’t perform a miracle there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went around to the villages and continued teaching.
How true that is. Not one of my family supports this ministry. They think I’m crazy. They think this is a cult. Like Jesus, there does not seem to be anything I can do to bring healing to their sin-sick souls. I am amazed at their unbelief. Therefore, I send material to inmates in prisons all over the country teaching them to live as Jesus commands.
He called the Twelve and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing along on the trip except a walking stick—no bread, no traveling bag, nothing in their moneybag. They could wear sandals but not take along an extra shirt.
Interesting, Jesus did not send them out to build churches, set up churches or to get memberships. He sent them out two by two, not to begin a church or denomination, but to teach people how to live in obedience to the Ten Commandments.
“It was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, but a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, that the twelve were called to the apostolate, and the Sermon on the Mount was given. The fields and hills were the favorite resorts of Jesus, and much of His teaching was given under the open sky, rather than in the temple or the synagogues. No synagogue could have received the throngs that followed Him; but not for this reason only did He choose to teach in the fields and groves. Jesus loved the scenes of nature. To Him each quiet retreat was a sacred temple.” DA 290.
He told them repeatedly, “Whenever you go into a home, stay there until you leave that place.
Our churches today are not listening at all to the Bible. They are listening to and adhering to the Catholic Church and its system of religion. All churches today are “antichrist”. They are all standing in the place of Jesus. In actuality, they are all fighting against Christ by refusing to live in obedience to Him. We go to church, but who is going to Jesus? Who is actually listening to and obeying the teachings of Jesus?
“It was under the trees of Eden that the first dwellers on earth had chosen their sanctuary. There Christ had communed with the father of mankind. When banished from Paradise, our first parents still worshiped in the fields and groves, and there Christ met them with the gospel of His grace. It was Christ who spoke with Abraham under the oaks at Mamre; with Isaac as he went out to pray in the fields at the eventide; with Jacob on the hillside at Bethel; with Moses among the mountains of Midian; and with the boy David as he watched his flocks. It was at Christ’s direction that for fifteen centuries the Hebrew people had left their homes for one week every year, and had dwelt in booths formed from the green branches ‘of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook.’ Leviticus 23:40.
“In training His disciples, Jesus chose to withdraw from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields and hills, as more in harmony with the lessons of self-abnegation He desired to teach them. And during His ministry He loved to gather the people about Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here, surrounded by the works of His own creation, He could turn the thoughts of His hearers from the artificial to the natural. In the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His kingdom. As men should lift up their eyes to the hills of God, and behold the wonderful works of His hands, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth. Christ’s teaching would be repeated to them in the things of nature. So it is with all who go into the fields with Christ in their hearts. They will feel themselves surrounded with a holy influence. The things of nature take up the parables of our Lord, and repeat His counsels. By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest. DA 290-291. Not one mention of going to “church”.
If any place will not welcome you and the people refuse to listen to you, when you leave, shake its dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
From many a church I have had to “shake its dust off” my feet. They refuse to listen to the teachings of Jesus. If you begin teaching and living in obedience to Jesus, you too will not be welcomed in your church. You will have to leave. Open your home and begin true Bible studies. Forget church, forget denomination, forget those fancy ministries out there with their fancy brochures and expensive staff. Leave them and go to humble Jesus and learn from Him.
So they went and preached that people should repent.
When was the last time you heard your preacher tell you to repent from your sins and live in obedience to the teachings of Jesus? When was the last time you heard your pastor, church or denomination tell you to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life? When was the last time your church pointed out your sins to help you overcome? “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21. Are you overcoming sin in your life as Jesus overcome?
They also kept driving out many demons and anointing with oil many who were sick, and healing them.
My sick sister went to the church for healing. They were not interested in her salvation, only her money. The show was important, so they put oil on her head and said a prayer over her. But she wasn’t taught how to repent, turn away from her sins and live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. She was only taught to “go to church”. Therefore, she is not healed.
King Herod heard about this, because Jesus’ name had become well-known. He was saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead! That’s why he is able to do these miracles.”
I am sure King Herod was not too pleased with the work of Jesus. He knew John the Baptist was a righteous man. He knew he would be held accountable for his death. Was this John the Baptist coming back to take revenge?
Others were saying, “He is Elijah.” Still others were saying, “He is a prophet like one of the other prophets.”
People love to put a “title” on things. It is much easier to put something you don’t understand into a box and close the lid on it if it has a “title”. What they were not willing to do was repent and change their lives. If he was “Elijah”, so what? If he was a “prophet”, so what? Nobody listened to them either. But to accept Jesus as the Messiah, sent to bring salvation to Israel? No! They did not want the “salvation” Jesus had to offer.
But when Herod heard about it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised,” because Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him with chains, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom Herod had married. John had been telling Herod, “It’s not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Jesus sent John the Baptist to prepare the people for His coming. To do that, John was teaching the people how to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. Today, Jesus is looking around to see whom He can send to teach people how to live in order to prepare for the coming of Jesus. Will you accept the challenge?
So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she couldn’t do it because Herod was afraid of John.
Yes, the wicked will hold grudges against the righteous. They can’t stand having their sins pointed out. Instead of changing their wicked lives, they just go to church and pretend that all is well. They will also work at destroying those who point out their sins.
He knew that John was a righteous and holy man, and so he protected him. Whenever he listened to John, he did much of what he said. In fact, he liked listening to him. An opportunity came during Herod’s birthday celebration, when he gave a banquet for his top officials, military officers, and the most important people of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. So the king told the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” He swore with an oath to her, “I’ll give you anything you ask for, up to half of my kingdom.”
Alcohol, drugs, music, church, entertainment and many other things have all been the excuse for the destruction of righteous people. We want to be pleased, while forgetting there will come a day when God will ask, “What did you do to please Me?”
So she went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” Immediately the girl hurried back to the king with her request, “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply saddened, yet because of his oaths and his guests he was reluctant to refuse her. So without delay the king sent a soldier and ordered him to bring John’s head. The soldier went and beheaded him in prison. Then he brought John’s head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
In our lives, how often we “behead” those whom we do not like. We “cut them off” no differently than Herodias had the head of John the Baptist cut off. We cut off all association, cut off our conversations, cut off our love, cut off our support, cut off our sympathies. In the end, we will have cut off our right to eternal life. Let us listen to those God has called to point out our sins. No matter how difficult or how humbling, it is the only way we will get into Heaven.
When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and carried off his body and laid it in a tomb.
Prison Mission Report
Dear Jesus Christ Prison Ministry,
Dear Brother Ron,
To Whom It May Concern,
Dear Jesus Christ Prison Ministry,
Testimony for God's People
My Dear Family in Christ,
The Spirit of Christ has revealed to me how deadly our churches have become. People who sit in church are no different than the Jews of Christ day. It doesn’t matter what day you sit in church. Nowhere in all the Bible will you find God telling us to go to church. Yet, He commands us to live sinlessly and to keep the Ten Commandments perfectly in order to get eternal life. However, few listen to Jesus. It is more acceptable to go to church as a good “Catholic” than to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life as a Christian.
Church member go to church to cover a multitude of sins. They sit in church while they covet the things of this world. Unless we get rid of our earthly treasures we will never make it to Heaven. We need to start now transferring our earthly treasures to heaven if we ever plan on making it to Heaven.
Transferring Earthly Treasure
I have felt very much burdened over your case since we met you at the Tipton camp meeting. I could scarcely refrain from addressing you personally while speaking to the people upon the words of Christ: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
I recollected your countenance as one that had been shown me in vision some time ago. You were thinking you had a duty to preach the word to others; but your example, as you now are, would hinder more from embracing the truth than your preaching would convert to its belief. You profess to believe a most solemn, testing message; yet your faith has not been sustained by works. You have the truth in theory, but you have not been converted by it. The truth has not fully taken hold of your heart and been carried out in your daily life.
You need to be converted, transformed by the renewing of your mind. When the truth takes hold of your heart, it will work a reformation in the life. The unbelieving world will then be convinced that there is a power in the truth which has wrought so great a change in such a world-loving man as you have been. You love this world. Your treasures are here, and your heart is upon your treasures. And unless the power of the truth shall separate your affections from your god, which is this world, you will perish with your treasures.
This was written almost a hundred and fifty years ago. Today, that paragraph could be applied to every person who goes to church. Churches today teach their members to be full of worldly treasures. To set their affections on their big, beautiful and money consuming churches, homes, cars, motorcycles and everything else. People just aren’t listening to Jesus.
You have but little sense of the exalted character of the work for these last days. You have not made sacrifices for the truth. You have a close, penurious spirit, and have closed your eyes to the wants of the distressed and needy. Your compassion has not been stirred to relieve the wants of the oppressed, neither have you had a heart to aid the cause of God with your means or to distribute to the necessities of the suffering. Your heart is on your earthly treasures. Unless you overcome your love of the things of the world you will have no place in the kingdom of heaven.
The lawyer asked Jesus what he should do that he might inherit eternal life. Jesus referred him to the commandments of His Father, telling him that obedience to them was necessary for his salvation. Christ told him that he knew the commandments, and that if he obeyed them, he should have life. Mark his answer: “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” Jesus looks upon this deceived young man with pity and love. He is about to reveal to him that there is a failure upon his part to keep, from the heart, the commandments that he confidently asserted he was obeying. Jesus says unto him: “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Jesus calls the attention of this young man directly to the defect in his character. He cites His own self-denying, cross-bearing life. He had left everything for the salvation of man, and He entreated the young man to come and imitate His example, and assured him that he should have treasure in heaven. Did the heart of the young man leap with joy at this assurance that he should indeed have treasure in heaven? Oh, no! His earthly treasures were his idol; they eclipsed the value of the eternal inheritance. He turns from the cross, turns from the self-sacrificing life of the Redeemer, to this world. He has a lingering desire for the heavenly inheritance, yet he reluctantly turns from the prospect. It cost a struggle to decide which he should choose, but he finally decided to continue his love for his earthly treasures.
You see, his church taught him that he could love his possessions and get to heaven, as long as he supported his church. Just put on a show and pretense and all is well. Church members have a “lingering desire for the heavenly inheritance” as long as they can have their worldly treasures. Just go to church all dressed up and look the part of a saint, and presto, you are fit for Heaven.
This young man had great possessions, and his heart was set upon them. He could not consent to transfer his treasures to heaven by withdrawing his affections from them and doing good with them—blessing the widow and fatherless, and thus being rich in good works. The love of this young man for his earthly treasures was stronger than his love for his fellow men and the immortal inheritance. His choice was made. The inducement presented by Christ, of securing a treasure in heaven, was rejected, for he could not consent to comply with the conditions. The strength of his affection for his earthly riches triumphed, and heaven, with all its attractive glory, was sacrificed for the treasures of the world. The young man was very sorrowful, for he wanted both worlds; but he sacrificed the heavenly for the earthly.
But few realize the strength of their love for riches until the test is brought to bear upon them. Many who profess to be Christ’s followers then show that they are unprepared for heaven. Their works testify that they love riches more than their neighbor or their God. Like the rich young man, they inquire the way to life; but when the way is pointed out, and the cost is estimated, and they are convinced that they must sacrifice their earthly riches and become rich in good works, they decide that heaven costs too much. The greater the treasures laid up upon the earth, the more difficult it is for the possessor to realize that they are not his own, but lent him to use to God’s glory.
To reach the thousands of inmates we are attempting to reach, we need more funding. Is anyone out there willing to dip into their worldly treasures, savings and retirement accounts to help us?
Jesus here improves the opportunity to give His disciples an impressive lesson: “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.” “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Here the strength of riches is seen. The power of the love of riches over the human mind is almost paralyzing. Riches infatuate many, and make them act as though they were bereft of reason. The more they have of this world, the more they desire. Their fears of coming to want, increase with their riches. They have a disposition to hoard up means for the future. They are close and selfish, fearing that God will not provide for their future needs. Such persons are indeed poor toward God. As their riches have accumulated, they have put their trust in them and have not had faith in God or His promises.
The poor man who has faith and confidence in God, who trusts in His love and care, and who abounds in good works, judiciously using the little he has in blessing others with his means, is rich toward God. He feels that his neighbor has claims upon him that he cannot disregard and yet obey the commandment of God: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The poor who are rich toward God consider the salvation of their fellow men of greater importance than all the gold and silver that the world contains.
Christ points out the way in which those who have worldly riches and yet are not rich toward God may secure the true riches. He says: Sell that ye have, and give alms, and lay up treasure in heaven. The remedy He proposes for the wealthy is a transfer of their affections from earthly riches to the eternal inheritance. By investing their means in the cause of God to aid in the salvation of souls, and by blessing the needy with their means, they become rich in good works and are “laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” This will prove a safe investment. But many show by their works that they dare not trust in the bank of heaven. They choose to trust their means in the earth rather than send it before them to heaven, that their hearts may be upon their heavenly treasure.
My brother, you have a work before you, to strive to overcome covetousness and love of worldly riches, and especially self-confidence because you have had apparent success in securing the things of this world. Poor rich men, professing to serve God, are objects of pity. While they profess to know God, in works they deny Him. How great is the darkness of such! They profess faith in the truth, but their works do not correspond with their profession. The love of riches makes men selfish, exacting, and overbearing. Wealth is power; and frequently the love of it depraves and paralyzes all that is noble and godlike in man.
Riches bring with them great responsibilities. To obtain wealth by unjust dealing, by overreaching in trade, by oppressing the widow and the fatherless, or by hoarding up riches and neglecting the wants of the needy, will eventually bring the just retribution described by the inspired apostle: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”
The humblest and poorest of the true disciples of Christ, who are rich in good works, are more blessed and more precious in the sight of God than the men who boast of their great riches. They are more honorable in the courts of heaven than the most exalted kings and nobles who are not rich toward God.
Those going to church have no idea how inmates are “more honorable in the courts of heaven” than they are. But they refuse to admit it since that would require a humbling of their pride, ego and arrogance.
The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to charge the rich: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” This admonition is applicable to you, Brother N, and to very many who profess to believe the truth for these last days.
Those who hoard up means or invest largely in lands, while they deprive their families of the comforts of life, act like insane men. They do not allow their families to enjoy the things which God has richly given them. Notwithstanding they have large possessions, their families are frequently compelled to labor far beyond their strength to save still more means to hoard up. Brain, bone, and muscle are taxed to the utmost to accumulate, and religion and Christian duties are neglected. Work, work, work, is the ambition from morning until night.
Many do not manifest an earnest desire to learn the will of God and to understand His claims upon them. Some who attempt to teach the truth to others do not themselves obey the word of God. The more such teachers the cause of God has, the less prosperous will it be.
Many to whom God has entrusted riches do not consider that they are working against their own eternal interest by selfishly retaining their riches. The apostle shows them that by becoming rich in good works they are working for themselves. They are laying up in store for themselves, providing in heaven an enduring treasure, that they may lay hold on eternal life. In distributing to the necessities of the cause, and helping the needy, they are faithfully doing the work that God has assigned them; and the memorial of their self-denial and generous, loving acts will be written in the book of heaven. Every deed of righteousness will be immortalized, although the doer may not feel that he has done anything worthy of notice. If the daily walk of those who profess the truth were a living example of the life of Christ, a light would shine forth from them which would lead others to the Redeemer. In heaven alone will be fully estimated the blessed results, in the salvation of others, of a consistent, harmonious, godly life.
My brother, you have much to do in your family to show them that the truth has wrought a good work for you and that it has had a softening, refining, elevating influence upon your life and character. You profess to believe that we are living in the last days and that we are giving the warning, testing message to the world; do you show this by your works? God is testing you, and He will reveal the true feelings of your heart.
The Lord has entrusted you with talents of means to use to advance His cause, to bless the needy, and to relieve the destitute. You can do a far greater amount of good with your means than you can do by preaching while you retain your means. Have you put your talents of means to the exchangers, that when the Master comes, and shall say, “Give an account of thy stewardship,” you can, without confusion, present to Him the talents doubled, both principal and interest, because you have not hoarded them, have not buried them selfishly in the earth, but have put them to use? Look over the history of your past life. How many have you blessed with your means? How many hearts have you made grateful by your liberalities? Please read the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Have you loosed the bands of wickedness? Have you sought to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Have you dealt your bread to the hungry, and brought the poor that were cast out to your house? Have you covered the naked?
If you have been rich in these good works, you may claim the promises given in this chapter: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.” “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” But you are not now entitled to these promised blessings. You have not been engaged in this work. Look back over your past life and consider how destitute it is of good, noble, generous actions. You have talked the truth, but you have not lived it. Your life has not been elevated and sanctified, but it has been characterized by selfishness and stinginess. You have served self faithfully. It is now high time that you were changing your course and working diligently to secure the heavenly treasure.
You have lost much that you can never regain. You have not improved your opportunities for doing good, and your unfaithfulness has been entered upon the books of heaven. The life of Christ was characterized by self-denial, self-sacrifice, and disinterested benevolence. You do not take a right view of the preparation necessary for the kingdom of God. Your ideas are altogether too meager. Talk is cheap stuff; it does not cost much. Works, fruits, will determine the character of the tree. What fruits have you borne? The apostle James exhorts his brethren: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; What doth it profit?” Your good wishes, my brother, will not supply the need. Works must testify to the sincerity of your sympathy and love. How many times have you carried the above representation out to the letter?
You have a very good estimate of yourself, but you have a work to do that no other man can do for you. Your nature must be changed, and there must be a transformation of the entire being. You love the truth in word, but not in deed. You love the Lord a little, but your riches more. Would the Master say to you, if He should find you as you are at the present time: “Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”? What joy is here referred to? “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The joy that was set before Jesus was that of seeing souls redeemed by the sacrifice of His glory, His honor, His riches, and His own life. The salvation of man was His joy. When all the redeemed shall be gathered into the kingdom of God, He will see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.
Those who are co-workers with Christ, partakers with Him of His self-denial and His sacrifice, may be instrumental in bringing souls to Christ, and may see them saved, eternally saved, to praise God, and the Lamb who hath redeemed them. 2T 678-686
Pleasanton, Kansas, October 15, 1870.
Your continued support and sacrifice is helping to bring many souls to Christ. This year alone, so far, we have reached over 6,000 inmates. We have sent over 1,200 books to inmates. Our little printer is doing all it can to keep up with the printing. So far this year, we have put over 500,000 prints through the printer. Your continued tithes, gifts, donations and offerings help keep everything working so we can reach souls for Christ.
“I’m pen-pals with an inmate who sent me this and asked me to sign up for it so we could study together. I hope that you will send me the book. I will donate to your ministry online! Thank you and God bless you all for what you are doing.”
Brenda, WA (Non-Inmate)
Keep up the good work, dear folks. The angels stand by your side as you sacrifice and practice self-denial for Him through this ministry. He will provide for all your needs as you are providing for ours. Quick note, someone in El Salvador is using our material to broadcast it on his radio program. Praise God.
Love in Christ,
I thank each and every one of you who loves Jesus so much that you continually, every month, sacrifice for this, His little ministry. So few love the truth. Your help is greatly needed at this time. Please remember us at tax time.