Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

Book of Matthew 

with Commentary

Mission Impossible

Part 1

In the military, the focus is on “The Mission”. The man is not to be glorified because the mission is the object. Any military man will tell you that what they don’t want is a “showboat”. Usually, a “showboat” type person will put the mission in jeopardy. The men on the mission do not want their lives put in jeopardy by some fool who is trying to “make a name” for himself. It is “teamwork” that accomplishes the mission.

Yes, after the mission there may come a time when individuals will be honored for their sacrifice and commitment to the mission. But in preparation for the mission, men are chosen who are capable, trained and ready to lay down their lives to accomplish the mission.

During any war or conflict, each side is looking for “good men” to help in achieving the goal. They also want to make sure that the men who are going to execute the mission are loyal and come from a background of loyalty and commitment to the cause.

Truth and righteousness are in a war against falsehood and wickedness. Each side is looking for “men” who will carry the fight to the enemy and accomplish the mission that has been decided upon by the authority. In our study of the book of Matthew we will be referring to these concepts. Please keep them in mind.

Matthew 1:1 - Matthew 4:22

Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors.

From Abraham to King David, his ancestors were: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers (Judah’s sons were Perez and Zerah, and their mother was Tamar), Hezron; Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David.

From David to the time of the exile in Babylonia, the ancestors of Jesus were: David, Solomon (his mother had been Uriah’s wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram; Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers.

From the exile to the birth of Jesus, his ancestors were: Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim; Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.

There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There were also fourteen from David to the exile in Babylonia and fourteen more to the birth of the Messiah.

Why was this information important to Matthew? Maybe because he understood the concept of knowing “where your man comes from”. Jesus came from a line of descendants stretching all the way back to faithful Abraham.   On Mary’s side, she came from the priestly line of the Levites. Moses and Aaron were her heritage. Her husband Joseph was from the tribe of Judah. King David, from the tribe of Judah, was a man who could be counted on to accomplish “The Mission”. Jesus came from a family line of rulers and priests who knew their duty. Yes, some in that line failed in their duty. But those born into those tribes were inculcated with the concepts of duty and responsibility to the Kingdom of Israel. David’s descendants were trained from birth with the understanding that they were responsible to fight the battles of Righteousness for the Kingdom that God had set up on earth.

It is possible that at the time Matthew wrote this, the majority of the people of Israel were still looking for “the Messiah”. Through a misunderstanding of prophecy, the people of Israel, or those left after the return of the exile from Babylon, were looking for a deliverer who would ride in at the head of an army and liberate them from their political foes. The nation was looking for a “showboat”, one who would meet their pride and ego for national fame and glory.

The church of Christ’s day had rejected the meek and humble representation of the temple sacrifices and ordinances which pointed to the Messiah. They surrounded and hid those examples with pomp, show, riches, pride and arrogance. Their church became an extension of their own character. They were not ready for the humble “Messiah” that was prophesied through the prophets of God in the Old Testament. They had become a “Rogue Nation”. Matthew was attempting to bring the mind of the reader from the brainwashing of the church to the reality of the truth in the Old Testament. How could Jesus be “the Messiah”? Through genealogy, prophecy and spiritual accomplishments Matthew was attempting to show that Jesus met all the biblical requirements as “the Messiah” and accomplished “the Mission”.

This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David’s family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit. Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.

To have a baby out of wedlock was considered a sin of such magnitude, by the pious church officials, that the punishment was death. Matthew is attempting to bring the minds of the church people from their previous prideful and arrogant thinking to the humble reality that God looks upon the heart and not the church. But he also wanted to make it very plain that Jesus came from the line of “King David’s family”. David was chosen to be king because of his humble upbringing and righteous character. David was a shepherd, not a wealthy ruler when God called him. In fact, he was the least of all his brothers. And remember, David’s great grandmother was a convert from paganism. In other words, the family line was not “pure” but was “tainted” by “uncleanness”. But that did not stop God from calling David to be the leader of His people. Matthew was making sure they understood Jesus had the right to rule because He had the character of David, humble submission to God. Mistakes David made, but that is not the same as rebellion. As back then, so today, people were thinking, “He can’t be from God. God wouldn’t work outside of ‘His church’ and ‘church rules’”. But that is exactly what God did.

This history and these concepts were understood by the people of Matthew’s day. Unlike today, our churches have made us brain-dead to the truths and facts of Bible history and concepts.

While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her.

Two very humble servants of God were chosen. They were far, far away from the “church” of their day. They were about 75 miles from Jerusalem. That would be about a three day’s journey back then. God had to search quite a distance from the center of His church to find people who would listen and obey Him. Getting to heaven has nothing to do with how much money you have, or what your lineage is, or what church you belong to, or your position in the church, or your status in society, but by your character of love and obedience. Mary obeyed even though it could have cost her life. Joseph obeyed even though it could ruin him by giving his character a bad name in the eyes of his family, neighbors and church. The only thing Joseph and Mary were concerned about was obedience to the “Word” of God. It is interesting to note that Mary and Joseph did not consult with the church, minister or families before making their decision. How unlike church members today who read what the “Word of God” commands, then they go and ask their pastor or church if that is possible and if God really meant what He said. Mary and Joseph simply did as God commanded, they obeyed the “Word of God”.

Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

Joseph, being a good member of his church, was also expecting “the Messiah” to come to save the church from the worldly influences that were surrounding and paganizing it. Through Mary’s cousins, he had heard of the miraculous encounter Zechariah, a priest from the tribe of Levi, had with an angel who gave him the prophecy with regard to John to prepare a people to meet “the Lord”. Luke 1:17. This prophecy had been given at least a year before Joseph and Mary were married. The church leaders rejected it. The influence of the church had clouded Joseph’s understanding. Therefore, it was important for God to prepare Him for the true “Mission” of the Messiah. He would not be coming at the head of armies to save the nation from its political enemies, but to “save His people from their sins”. How humbling for Joseph.

After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord’s angel had told him to do. But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.

It is interesting to note the similarities throughout the Bible of the obedience to the commands of God by the people of “God’s church”. This concept of “obedience” runs throughout the Bible. In the first five books of the Bible this theme of obedience is prominent. The phrase, “just as the LORD commanded”, is used 76 times in the first five books of the Bible.   In our lives, we also are to be obedient in everything “just as the LORD commanded”. “I was shown that those who are trying to obey God and purify their souls through obedience to the truth are God’s chosen people, His modern Israel.” 2T 109.

Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and the prophets of God did everything they were commanded. All of God’s people did everything they were commanded. Only the “church” refused to be obedient. Joseph and Mary did everything they were commanded. Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:10. How sad that the churches of today refuse to teach the correct concept of obeying “just as the Lord commanded”. Church going has taken the place of obedience.

(Nora came over for Bible studies one Sabbath. She had written an “essay” on obedience in 1996. When she saw the book, “Change Your Life Biblically” she was at first very excited. I gave it to her when we met at the Post Office. She read a few chapters and we got together to study. She was all for “obedience”, “stop sinning” and “keeping the commandments” until it came to the Sabbath. Then all that “obedience” went out the window. “What? God won’t keep me out of heaven over a day!” Everyone is a fan of “obedience” until it bumps up against their favorite sin or church. Then all of a sudden, we are “saved by grace” and don’t need to be obedient any more. Just go to church and/or “believe in Jesus”.)

When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

It is interesting that God had to step outside of “His church” in order to bring information “to His church”. Since the church had rejected every avenue which God had prepared for them to receive their “Messiah”, He had to bring the information to them from pagans. God is no respecter of persons. He will use anyone who will submit and do as He commands. But our churches today have refused to humble themselves to God. Church today is no different from the church of Christ’s day. It is all about doing it the church way. Committees have taken the place of God. That is why He has had to step outside of “His church” today and raised up this little ministry to bring back the truth the church has buried under man-made fables.

The Magi, or “wise men from the east”, probably belonged to the priestly caste of the Zoroastrian religion. They were very interested in the stars and had an international reputation as astrologers. The English term “magic” comes from their practices and use of astrology. Since they studied the heavens and the stars, God used that knowledge for His benefit. When they saw the “star” over the land of Israel, it was nothing they had seen before. In searching ancient records, they came across the prophecy of Balaam who prophesied, “There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel”. Numbers 24:17. This prophecy clearly indicated that someone of royal birth would be born in Israel. They made plans to go see Him. By the way, the “star” the Magi saw were the angels who had visited the shepherds. After revealing themselves to the shepherds, they manifested themselves as a “star” formation to the Magi. Keep in mind, December 25th is a pagan festival and has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Jesus was born sometime between the months of September and October.

Two years before the Magi came visiting, the angels came visiting shepherds who were out watching their sheep. One of the angels told them, “Listen! I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people. Today your Savior, the Lord Messiah, was born in the city of David.” Luke 2:10, 11. And again, the angels had to prepare them for the sight of their “Messiah”. They were expecting their “Messiah” to come riding at the head of armies. Now they were told, “this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Luke 2:12.

Be assured, they did not keep this information to themselves. It would have spread all over Israel, just as the birth of John the Baptist had spread over the land six months before the birth of Christ. The birth of Jesus was no secret. But the leaders of the church refused to accept any interpretation about “their” Messiah other than what they wanted to believe in their pride and ego. For two years they knew of the birth of Jesus, their Messiah, but the church leaders would not have such a humble “Messiah”. No, their “Messiah” would reign and conquer the world. Slowly, imperceptibly, the leaders of the church had been growing in rebellion against Jesus. They were becoming a “Rogue Nation”. Finally, God had to “hit them over the head” with it. If the church which God raised up in the 1840’s does not wake up, God will hit them over the head as He did the Pharisees. Unfortunately, it will be too late.

When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?” They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote, ‘Bethlehem in the land of Judea, you are very important among the towns of Judea. From your town will come a leader, who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.’”

How humiliating having to acknowledge that their “Messiah” was not going to come miraculously, appearing out of thin air, at the head of armies, but was going to be “born”. They hated that. It was humiliating having to come before a secular king to explain that which they did not want to believe. Their reluctance to admit the truth of the Bible was what made Herod so angry. He thought they were planning a secret rebellion. He could not allow that. Because of the stubborn hearts of the church leaders, many hundreds of boys would be killed and eventually their nation would be destroyed.

The same is true today with the church that claims to be “His people”. They are running around with pride and arrogance talking about “the soon coming of Jesus”. But they refuse to accept that He can’t come until there are 144,000 individuals who are living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. Then He will come. But the church is not doing its part in preparing people to humble themselves in order to live in perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments. They are expecting Jesus to just “burst from the sky” and take them to heaven because of their church membership or “belief”. How egotistical. How arrogant. How prideful. How like the Jews of Christ’s day. It will not happen that way. He cannot come until the message He has commanded us: to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life (the 3 Angel’s Messages), is given to the whole world and obeyed by His people. How humbling!

Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.” The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star.

When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him. Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.

While the church leaders refused to believe the truth, Herod accepted it, the Magi accepted it and the shepherds accepted it. Only church leaders and members refused to accept it. The proud leaders of the church refused to bow before their God. The pagan Magi had no problem bowing before the King of the Universe. Why is it, we today have no problem bowing before our prideful churches in obedience, while we refuse to bow before the truth as taught by the humble Messiah?

After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.” That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, where they stayed until Herod died. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “I called my son out of Egypt.”

How sad, God had to move His Son out of “church” territory. He could not trust His Son with the people who claimed to be “God’s special people”. So it is today.   This ministry has had to work outside of “church” territory because the church hates the teachings of Jesus to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. It is far too humbling to admit that God had to use an inmate because He couldn’t find a “church person” willing to listen to Him.

In obedience, Joseph did as he was commanded. There was no “but” or complaint. He didn’t try to find an alternative route or place, he simply got up and did what he was told. It was probably very inconvenient to pick up his family with a two-year-old and leave the carpentry business he had built up over those two years in Bethlehem. But they were obedient no matter what the inconveniences. How very unlike the “Christians” of today.

Many wonder why God doesn’t “speak” to them today as He did in days of old. How can He? Church members are so comfortable and set, they are not willing to rise up and go. I can hardly get church members to request cases of books that God has dictated and directed to this ministry to hand out. They are not interested in what God says, only what their church says.

On the other hand, this little ministry, when it was called by God, had to make four moves in six years. I simply obey Jesus. When He calls, this ministry obeys. There is nothing to keep it in any place. This world is not my home. Is it difficult to pick up and move all the equipment and find a new place? Yes, very! But if you are living for Jesus instead of your selfish, lazy church life, you will live in such a way that you can pick up and work for Jesus any time, any place, anywhere.   That is the example of all God’s true children. Noah was willing to pick up his ax and build an ark and then just “float” away when God called. Abraham lived in such a way that he could pick up, pack up the camels and leave when God called. Jacob left when called. Moses left when called. Are you truly living for Jesus, or settled in this world?

When Herod found out that the wise men from the east had tricked him, he was very angry. He gave orders for his men to kill all the boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger. This was based on what he had learned from the wise men. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet Jeremiah had said, “In Ramah a voice was heard crying and weeping loudly. Rachel was mourning for her children, and she refused to be comforted, because they were dead.”

If the leaders of the church had been faithful to God, being obedient to His plan and humbly acknowledging Him, God would have intervened and saved the children. I have seen this time and time again in those who are obedient to the teachings of this ministry. When faithful, God works miracles. Troubled waters come to the disobedient.  

After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt. The angel said, “Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.” Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. But when he heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”

How easy it would have been for Joseph to get his pride and ego up and decide to settle in the city of his ancestors. How easy to think, “This is God’s child, God will take care of Him no matter what I do.” How like our churches. However, Joseph did not tempt the Lord but did everything in his power to protect the child Jesus. Again, he did not consult the church in this matter. He was willing to move back to Nazareth and continue his humble work as a carpenter. How unlike our prideful churches. Can you imagine what would happen today? The parents and the church would be out selling tickets to see their “son of God” the “Messiah”. They would be using Him for their own profit and fortune. And that is what is happening in our churches today. They are using “The Messiah” to sell tickets, put on programs and make a profit and fortune. How pagan. God hates our churches. He will destroy them and all who remain in them.

It is so sad that again, they were not able to settle in among “church members”. Mary and Joseph had to go to Galilee which had a very mixed population of a few Jews but mostly pagans from all over the Roman Empire. It was among the “pagans” that the Son of God would be “safe” from “God’s church”.

In prison, I found that concept to be very true. I was protected by the “pagans” when the “Christians” wanted to hurt me because of my obedience to the Ten Commandments. Actually, it is the church people who give this ministry the greatest amount of persecution and trouble. The “pagans”, like the Magi, are learning to accept the teachings of Jesus and obey them while the church members refuse.

Years later, John the Baptist started preaching in the desert of Judea. He said, “Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here.” John was the one the prophet Isaiah was talking about, when he said, “In the desert someone is shouting, ‘Get the road ready for the Lord! Make a straight path for him.’ “John wore clothes made of camel’s hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.

As God called John the Baptist to be His voice from the desert, so God called this ministry to be His voice from the desert to “shout", "Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here.” Unlike the churches of today who simply claim that “Jesus is coming”, they have forgotten to add the “turn back to God” part. That is not popular. We don’t want to stop sinning, no, we want to be saved in our sins. Now, instead of “turn back to God”, it is all about “turn to church”.

For 30 years the leaders of the church knew of Jesus and had actually been keeping an “eye” on him. But they refused to accept Him as their Messiah. As long as He did not “rock the boat” of their church, they were satisfied to let Him be. They had an agenda, and as long as Jesus refused to bow to the leaders of the church, He was not to have a part in it.

From Jerusalem and all Judea and from the Jordan River Valley crowds of people went to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the river. Many Pharisees and Sadducees also came to be baptized.

Unlike our churches today who use baptism for their profit, John did not baptize anyone until “they told how sorry they were for their sins”. First came repentance. They had to be instructed in righteousness. Today, the “instruction” is in “church membership”. Then the candidate is baptized into a “church”. John baptized people who were repenting of their sins and turning away from them. He did not baptize them into a church or an organization. He baptized them into obedience to the Ten Commandments, the “Church of God”.

The crowds who went to John were not just from “the church”, but pagans and those considered by the church as “sinners” and outcasts. This made the Pharisees and Sadducees very angry. The church leaders were not coming to be baptized because they felt the need to change their hearts. No, they came because “it was popular” and of course they had to be on top of the “popular movement” of the day. They believed they really didn’t need to be baptized or to “confess” their sins. After all, they were born and bred church people. They had a legacy of generations in the church. How could God not accept them?

But John said to them: You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? Do something to show that you have really given up your sins. And don’t start telling yourselves that you belong to Abraham’s family. I tell you that God can turn these stones into children for Abraham. An ax is ready to cut the trees down at their roots. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into a fire.

And so it is today. Those who claim to belong to a church or from generations of Baptists, Mormons, Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Catholics and others are all a “bunch of snakes”. Church has become their god. They are not interested in obedience to the teachings of Jesus. They are so involved in their church politics that they are not able to hear the “still small voice” of the Spirit of God who is trying to point them in “the Way”. How un-PC of John. There was definitely no “saved by grace” in John’s message. Lives were at stake, how could he teach a smooth, peace message to a people who were about to be “chopped down and thrown into a fire”. No, they had to hear the truth and make way by stop sinning and become perfect in order to prepare for the coming Kingdom of God in their hearts.

I baptize you with water so that you will give up your sins. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His threshing fork is in his hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks. He will store the wheat in a barn and burn the husks in fire you cannot put out.

I do not understand how we can read and not hear. I do not understand how we can read and instead of taking to heart what we read, we seem to point the finger at others and assume that what is spoken is for “them” but not for “me”. The Spirit is in the process of separating the wheat from the husks. The method He is using is His Word. Those who live in obedience to His Word to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get their eternal life, will be sifted out of the churches and into the barn of God’s protective cover. Those who refuse to obey will be burned in the fire. John the Baptist and Jesus had no message of “saved by grace” or “unconditional love” or “go to church”. The only message they had for the “rogue nation” was, obey and live or disobey and die.

Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John kept objecting and said, “I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?” Jesus answered, “For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do.” Then John agreed. So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.”

Jesus is our example in all things. For 30 years He lived in obedience to His father and mother. He fulfilled His duties in the family order of things. He didn’t go to a “Christian” school, He was home-schooled. He didn’t go to “church”. In His spare time, He was sitting out in nature reading, studying, learning from His “Bible” and listening to the voice of God. He wasn’t “running the streets” or hanging out with “homeboys”. He simply was obedient to God’s plan for His life in His family and society. All the forms, rituals and institutions that the church put up were only smoke screens that had nothing to do with eternal life. Jesus simply lived the obedient life. He never took a vacation, never took a holiday, never got involved in sports, entertainment and other worldly activities that church members today are all involved in. His eyes were on the mission. He did His duty and waited for His Father’s call. How far our churches have fallen.

When Jesus heard the message of John the Baptist, He recognized the voice of His Father and realized that it was time to leave home and begin “the Mission” His Father had planned for Him. He went to John, not because the actual act of being baptized was important for salvation, but because the people listening to John were from all over the country. John would announce Him as the Messiah and the message would go around the world. Not only would John announce Him, but the Father would confirm Him as His Son before all the universe.

Too often we get hung up on the “act” and forget to see the moving of God. Baptism has nothing to do with salvation. It was simply a symbol of what was to have already taken place in the heart, a desire to die to the world and be raised up a new creature in God. A little background might help you understand why John chose “baptism”. The Jews used water to cleanse everything. They had “buckets” of water at every door. Before entering, you washed your hands and feet. Before eating, you washed your hands and feet. What started out to be a “health” act eventually took on religious connotations. The act of “washing” became a symbol synonymous with purity, sanctification and salvation. But it was only feet and hands that were “cleansed”. John saw that the whole body, heart and mind needed cleansing so he used the ritual of baptism, immersing the whole body into the water, to illustrate the fullness of salvation in our lives. Everything in our lives needs to be cleansed, purified and sanctified for God, not just the “compartments” in our lives.

When the New Testament talks about being baptized, a close study will reveal the fact that their main target of audience were Jews, not gentiles. Why? Because Jews needed to understand that their “Messiah” had already come. They needed to come out from the rituals of their church and accept a new life. Baptism simply provided a public, symbolic expression for them to understand that they were to break away from the old church life and accept Jesus, the “Messiah”, as their Saviour and not a lamb as they were used to. Gentiles did not have that mental set. They did not have to break away from the Jewish rituals. But because it was Jews who started it, they simply continued the ritual for all new believers. This public display helps to strengthen the “backbone” of the new converts for the coming trials and persecutions soon to fall upon them. God cannot change His salvation methods. If baptism was necessary for eternal life, Moses and every single person before John the Baptist would have had no eternal life. Baptism is simply a symbol to express what our lives should be: dead to the world and raised up to the perfect, sinless and commandments keeping life of Jesus. But churches and fanatics like to make the “symbol”, or ritual, all important while the heart is void of the substance. Throughout history God has used objects and symbols to represent His plan of salvation to the people for that specific time and place. This is very important to understand. But when the object or symbol for that specific time and place is no longer needed, it is not to be used again.

To illustrate this concept, we start in Genesis with the object and symbol of sacrificing a lamb to represent “the Lamb of God” who would sacrifice Himself for our penalty of death. But with the death of Christ, we no longer need to sacrifice a lamb. When Noah was told to build an Ark, it was for a very specific time and place. But we are not to build any more Arks. God commanded Abraham to begin the ritual of circumcision, the act of “cutting off” the foreskin, which represented cutting off the world from their lives. Oh, how it hurts! It is not needed today. The Israelites were commanded to build a tabernacle for God to dwell in. But we are not to do that today. When the Israelites were being bitten by snakes in the desert, God commanded Moses to make a bronze snake on a pole and lift it up for all to see. It represented Christ being “lifted up” on the cross for our healing. Those who looked to it in faith were healed. But today, we are not to be lifting up a bronze snake on poles. In fact, the church was using that bronze snake in idol worship and King Hezekiah had it destroyed. We today need to do a lot of “house cleaning” in our churches to clean out a lot of rituals and services that have become idol worship. We need to get back to basics, the keeping of the Ten Commandments. However, it is much easier to perform a ritual than it is to cleanse the heart and live perfect, sinless and commandment keeping lives. How Catholic.

The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry.

It is interesting to note that after His baptism, Jesus did not go to “church” and sing “Kumbaya”. He let the Spirit of God lead Him. The Spirit did not lead Him to church, but to the wilderness. There is no time for church sitting, we need to be like Jesus and get to work changing and fortifying our lives for a real world of work.

Many today think it is very important to “be like Jesus” and attempt to go “forty days and nights” without eating. What they are not getting is, Jesus simply was being obedient to His Father. It was the “Holy Spirit” that “led Jesus into the desert”. Jesus did not do it on His own. He wasn’t a “showboat” and trying to prove anything. He simply was obedient to His Father. Those today who are “showboating” and trying to prove themselves refuse to be obedient when Jesus tells them to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life as He did. No, it is more satisfying to put on a show and go to church, be baptized, fast and eat vegan for all to see.

Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’

Jesus cast Lucifer out of Heaven when he rebelled. Now, Lucifer comes as an angel of light insinuating that Jesus is the one who has been cast out and rejected by God. Jesus is friendless, alone, hungry, thirsty, tired and to all appearances, rejected by God. Lucifer wants Jesus to “prove” who He is. If Jesus had done that, by turning the stones into bread for His own selfish benefit, He would have sinned. Christians are never to do anything for selfish reasons. Oops, there goes church. Christianity is never about “me” but what I can do for you. It is teamwork. All Heaven is serving others. Also, God had already given His testimony that Jesus was His Son. Jesus would not prove or doubt that word. He would live or die by it. Since God said He was His Son, that was good enough for Jesus. Jesus would wait on His Father to provide for Him. He trusted His Father unto death. Interesting to note, when talking to Lucifer, Jesus did not say, “the church says”. Everything Jesus did was by Scripture. We need to follow the example of Jesus.

Jesus was a legalist and lived by “every word that God has spoken”. We need to follow His example. To doubt that word is sin and no sin can go to Heaven. Only those who refuse to doubt God’s Word will be in Heaven. When Jesus says that we must be perfect, stop sinning and keep the Ten Commandments for our eternal life, then our only duty is to obey no matter what the consequences. We are not to add our church opinions or our own personal beliefs and feelings. We simply obey even if we die. Life in God is eternal even if we die physically here. But how few are willing to live or die by the Word of God. Today it is all about church, my minister, my denomination, my feelings, my opinions and what I want. How Catholic and “anti” Christ.

“Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’ “Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’

Since Jesus used Scripture, the devil used it. The same is happening in our churches. Since all the churches have fallen, the devil is in charge of them. Therefore, he is very happy when people go to church to hear him twist scripture to their destruction. (2 Peter 3:16). That is what the devil did with Jesus. First, he took Jesus to a “church” to make the “sin” look “OK”. Then, he took a portion of a text and took it out of context to get Jesus to sin. That is exactly what the devil is doing today. He is taking people to church in order to make them think that their sin is “OK”. People, get out of your churches.

Jesus did not have to put God to the test. It wasn’t necessary. God had given His word to bless, protect, feed, clothe and keep Jesus healthy. However, those promises and assurances come with a condition. The text the devil abused is from Psalm 91:11, 12. What Lucifer left out were the rest of the texts which state the conditions for God’s protection, “The LORD Most High is your fortress. Run to Him for safety”. Psalm 91:9

Instead of testing the Lord by running to church, jumping off buildings, running out into traffic, handling poisonous snakes, or doing any other foolish act to deliberately place ourselves in harm’s way, we are to run to God for safety. If we are living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life, there is no harm that can come to you. Even in death, it can’t harm you because God will raise you up at the last day and give you eternal life. When trouble comes, all you have to do is run to God and cling to His Word and be obedient. If the devil had pushed Jesus off the temple, the angels of God would have kept God’s promises and caught Jesus. But if Jesus deliberately jumped, tempting God, that would have been a sin and no help would have been given. This is what the devil is doing in our churches. The devil gives you “grace” texts out of context in order to get you thinking you are saved in your sins. Therefore, you go to church and continue to jump into sin thinking you are “saved by grace”.

“Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ “Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him.

This is where the devil gets most of us. How we want the world and the things of the world. Our greed, selfishness, pride, ego and arrogance want this world and all it has to offer. Each day we are climbing that “high mountain” thinking we are reaching success. Then we bow down to Lucifer in our headlong rush to get what he offers. Jesus did not fall into that trap. There was nothing of this world that Jesus wanted.   All Jesus wants is the salvation of man. And that could only happen if He was faithful to His Mission. That “Mission” was a life of sacrifice, pain, sorrow, hunger and death. We also must be faithful to “The Mission” that God has given us in order to earn our eternal life. Any deviation from that “Mission” in our lives of obedience to God’s Word, and we lose our eternal life. We are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Nothing of this world is to influence us away from following the meek and humble Jesus in the salvation of souls.

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went to Galilee. But instead of staying in Nazareth, Jesus moved to Capernaum. This town was beside Lake Galilee in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said, “Listen, lands of Zebulun and Naphtali, lands along the road to the sea and east of the Jordan! Listen Galilee, land of the Gentiles! Although your people live in darkness, they will see a bright light. Although they live in the shadow of death, a light will shine on them.” Then Jesus started preaching, “Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here.”

Oh, if only those who claim to be “God’s special people” would move away from their cozy, comfy churches and find lands “of the Gentiles” to work for God. Sitting in church is not working for God. We are to follow the example of Jesus and start preaching to those around us to “turn back to God”. He did not tell them to “turn back to church”. That is why God dictated and directed the book, “Change Your Life Biblically”. It is for you to use in your preaching, teaching, instructing and missionary work. If you will take it, read it, learn it and obey it, you will know how to present the Gospel and bring many souls to Jesus.

Many claim that Jesus came only for the Jews and not for the world of the Gentiles. But Matthew is very plain that Jesus deliberately went among the Gentiles, those who were living in darkness and in the shadow of death. Jesus came to shine on them the Light of Life. He came to deliver the whole world from the bondage of darkness and death. The Jews shut themselves up in their churches, therefore, Jesus had to shine the Light into the dark.

While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.

An interesting point, Peter and Andrew, James and John, did not discuss this with their pastor, church or family. When God calls, we have an individual responsibility to answer that call. God will take care of family if we obey Him. That is what He is doing in my life. As I obey Jesus He is taking care of my family. Even though I have not seen nor heard from my children in over 25 years, I will leave them in God’s hands. I must fulfill the calling God has called me to. A fishing I must go. This ministry is waiting for a young man to rise up, accept the call and come, making this ministry his life to help me as Timothy helped Saul and Elisha helped Elijah.

Have you gone fishing lately? Who have you brought to Jesus? Unless you are bringing people to Jesus, you have no eternal life. We are not to bring people to church. We are not to bring people to our pastor. We are not to bring people to a denomination. We are to bring people to Jesus. We are to invite them to “come with me” and follow Jesus. But if you are not following Jesus and living as He lived, the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life, how can you invite others to follow?

“In concluding this narrative, I would say that we are living in a most solemn time. In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead. The humble, self-sacrificing followers of Jesus will pass on to perfection, leaving behind the indifferent and lovers of the world.

“I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshiped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them.

“A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God—a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded, and the picture presented before us is a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for (examples): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’” {1T 608-609}

Church has become our biggest idol. We worship it. We obey it. We have made it our life. But it has nothing to do with God or eternal life. Get rid of it.

Continue to part 2