Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

Book of Matthew 

with Commentary

The Blind See

Part 7

We are at the end of all time. Just because the Lord postponed His final coming does not diminish our responsibilities. He postponed it because God is a gracious God and unwilling that any should perish. He did not cancel the Second Coming. Before Jesus can come, He must close out the books and terminate the Investigative Judgment that is now taking place. Are you ready for Jesus to close your book? Are you living the sinless, commandment keeping life, perfectly? That is the only way you can make it into heaven after probation closes.

Revelation gives the 3 Angels’ Messages that are to be given to the world today. The first angel’s message: “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”  Revelation 14:6, 7.

The second angel’s message: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” Revelation 14:8. 

The third angel’s message: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of His anger, . . .”  “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”  Revelation 14:9-12.

The 3 Angels’ Messages are called “The eternal gospel”. That means they have been given throughout history. They are eternal. There have been, throughout history, those times when these three messages have been given over and over and over again in one form or another. Noah gave them to the inhabitants of the world in his day. They refused to be obedient and “fear God and give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” That hour of judgment came and wiped them all away. They were worshiping the “beast and its image and had received its mark” on their foreheads and on their hands. They refused to keep the commandments of God and be obedient to Jesus who commanded Noah to build the Ark and get into it.

They were given again at the Tower of Babel. Again, they were given to Sodom and Gomorrah. They were given to Egypt which refused to be obedient and worship the God who created the heavens and the earth. They were given again to the Israelites who had gone after “Babylon” and had forgotten her God. They were given again at the time of Jesus to the nation of Israel for the last time. They refused to give God His worship and glory. They were breaking His Commandments and refused to have faith in Jesus. Church had become “Anti-Christ”. They put their church “in place of” obedience to the teachings of Jesus. God wiped them out.

We are living at a time that has never been experienced in the history of the earth. For the last 6,000 years people could die with a nature that had habits of unknown sin. If they had lived in obedience to Jesus, constantly confessing their sins and turning away from all known sins in their lives, Jesus, our Intercessor, could substitute His righteousness for those sins that were left unknown and un-removed from their life at death. Because they were committed to serving God and doing everything possible in their lives to live a perfect, righteous and sinless life, Jesus could forgive them. However, going to church does not substitute for a perfect, righteous and sinless life. Jesus knew they would be safe to take to Heaven. He knew they would never rebel against His law voluntarily.

However, we are coming up on a time in which probation will close and there will be no Intercessor to remove any sins. In order to live through the seven months from the close of probation to the second coming of Jesus and be translated, you must live perfect, without sin. Probation will close at Passover and Jesus will come at the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus is giving us time now to prepare our lives to live sinlessly, perfectly for that time. That is why the devil is working so hard to throw up a smoke screen of entertainment, church activities, political upheaval and just plain coveting what the world has to offer. Anything and everything to keep you occupied so you don’t work at changing your character and getting rid of all sin in your life.

Keep in mind, when probation closed for the people of Noah’s day, they did not know it. The door to the Ark was closed and they continued living as if all was normal for seven days. But their probation had closed. Seven days later the flood came and wiped them all away. When probation closes at the end of earth’s history at Passover, it will be seven months before Jesus comes to carry His people home.

“Moses manifested his great love for the people in his entreaty to the Lord to forgive their sin, or blot his name out of the book which he had written. His intercessions here illustrate Christ’s love and mediation for the sinful race. The Lord refused to let Moses suffer for the sins of his backsliding people. He declared to him that those who had sinned against Him, would He blot out of His book which He had written; for the righteous should not suffer for the guilt of the sinner. The book here referred to is the book of records in Heaven, where every name is recorded, and their acts, their sins, and obedience are faithfully written. When any one commits sins, which are too grievous for the Lord to pardon, their names are erased from the book, and they are devoted to destruction.” 3SG 285.

Jesus is working so very hard for your salvation. He does not want one person to be lost. He came to save the lost. But if the lost refuse to be saved, there will be nothing Jesus can do for them. When probation closes, Jesus will step out from the Most Holy place and exclaim: “Whoever is evil must go on doing evil, and whoever is filthy must go on being filthy; whoever is good must go on doing good, and whoever is holy must go on being holy.” Revelation 22:11.

There will be no more time to change the character. All characters will have been set for eternity. Those who have cleansed themselves and have strived and worked and sweated to remove all sin from their lives will be translated. Those who have sat in church, continuing to live in sin, letting the world, church activities and family problems occupy their lives, will find it too late to change. Their probation has closed, and they are lost. When there are 144,000 who have committed their lives to living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life in obedience to the teachings of Jesus, probation will close. They will live for seven months without sin. These are a very special people who show the world that through the power of Jesus it is possible for a human to live the divine life of perfection. If you can’t do that, you better start learning now. God will not change your character when He comes.

“As His divine power has granted to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, through which have been given to us precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through these we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. . . For if you do these things, you shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:3, 4, 10.

Matthew 18:11 - Matthew 20:34

For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a certain man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains, and go and search for the one gone astray? And if he happens to find it, assuredly I say to you that he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which did not go astray. Thus it is not the will before your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Jesus came to save the lost, not sit in church. Are you following the example of Jesus? Who have you “found” for Jesus to save? How many lost sheep have you brought to Jesus? How can you believe you will be saved if you are not saving others? Jesus must do to you as you do unto the lost. Hiding from your God-given responsibilities to save others by sitting in church will not save you. God is not pleased with you sitting in church. Probation is about to close and unless you are working for the salvation of those around you, God cannot be working for your salvation. When will you wake up and believe Jesus?

“The church of Christ is organized for service. Its watchword is ministry. Its members are soldiers, to be trained for conflict under the Captain of their salvation. Christian ministers, physicians, teachers, have a broader work than many have recognized. They are not only to minister to the people, but to teach them to minister. They should not only give instruction in right principles, but educate their hearers to impart these principles. Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessing can be retained only as it is shared.

“The monotony of our service for God needs to be broken up. Every church member should be engaged in some line of service for the Master. Some cannot do so much as others, but everyone should do his utmost to roll back the tide of disease and distress that is sweeping over our world. Many would be willing to work if they were taught how to begin. They need to be instructed and encouraged.

“Every church should be a training school for Christian workers. Its members should be taught how to give Bible readings, how to conduct and teach Sabbath-school classes, how best to help the poor and to care for the sick, how to work for the unconverted. There should be schools of health, cooking schools, and classes in various lines of Christian help work. There should not only be teaching, but actual work under experienced instructors. Let the teachers lead the way in working among the people, and others, uniting with them, will learn from their example. One example is worth more than many precepts.” MH 148-149.

To be trained for conflict! When was the last “conflict” you participated in for Jesus? Who trained you to fight the good fight of faith? Or are you being trained to sit in church, avoiding all conflict to your destruction? Have you accepted the P.C. (Political Correctness) lie? We are not to be politically correct. We are to be truth tellers. Are you living the truth? Are you sharing the truth? When was the last time you told someone they had to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get their eternal life? Obviously, your church has fallen!

“And if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have won your brother. But if he does not hear, take along with you one or two more, so that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ But if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the assembly. But if he refuses even to hear the assembly, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector.”

Oh, we love to “show” the faults of others in order to make our own lives look “righteous”. But that is not the “show” Jesus is talking about. Quietly, with love in your heart, “go and show him his fault between you and him alone”. Alone! That is where we start. Alone with Jesus, making sure our own lives are in harmony with the commandments of God. Making sure we have no sin in our lives that need repenting of. Then we can go to our brother and in love lay before him the wrong he has committed against us.

Keep in mind, this is a wrong committed against “YOU”. This is not a “sin” you think he has committed or done that has nothing to do with you. If he smokes, that is between him and God. If he commits adultery, that is between him and God and the one he committed adultery against. If that adultery was committed against you, then you have the right to go to him in love and help him change his life. That is what it is all about. Changing the life, not pointing a finger.

The “assembly” Jesus is talking about, is not our modern-day churches. Our churches today are nothing but political whorehouses of sin. They have nothing to do with helping anyone stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments for eternal life. Therefore, you cannot take anyone before our churches today. None are striving for the perfection Jesus has commanded us. Therefore, how are they to judge a sinner? The “assembly” Jesus is talking about are those who are striving to be perfect. They are striving to put all sin out of their lives. They understand how easy it is to fall down and become dirty. They will “assemble” around the sinner and love him back to his feet and stand in the presence of Jesus with a broken and contrite heart. Why? Because they have fallen and know how hard it is to change the sinful life. But through the power of Jesus and the love of the “assembly” it can be done.

“Assuredly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again, assuredly I say to you that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

That is the true “assembly”. “Where two or three are gathered together in My name”. To be gathered “in the name of Jesus” is to be gathered in union and obedience to His teachings. “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14. Only friends of Jesus gather in His name. Only those who do what Jesus commands: to be perfect, stop sinning and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. It isn’t about church or denomination or your pastor or anything that has to do with your church or this world. It only has to do with those who are obedient to Jesus. Gathering in a church building is not gathering in the name of Jesus. The Bible calls our churches of today, “Whores of Babylon”.

Once we are gathered in His name, being obedient to His commands, then whatever we ask of Him will be done for us because it will be done as He commands. We would want nothing to be done outside of His will. That is why what we lose on earth has already been loosed in heaven. In other words, we are only working in cooperation with what has already been determined in Heaven. A true Christian never works outside of the will of the Father. Jesus came and only did what was the will of the Father. When we follow His example, living as He lived, perfect and sinless, then everything we ask for will be in harmony with the will of the Father and will be done for us. Always “Thy will be done”; never our own will.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy- seven times. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he began to settle up, one debtor was brought to him owing ten thousand talents. But since he had nothing with which to repay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and everything that he had, and to be repaid. Therefore falling down before him, the servant said, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will repay everything to you.’ “And having compassion, the master of that servant released him, and forgave him the loan.”

We must recognize ourselves in this story. We have nothing to repay Jesus. Many go to church thinking they are “repaying” Jesus. You aren’t. You can do nothing to “repay” Jesus for what He has done for you. Why? Because the wages of sin is death. Have you sinned? Therefore, you deserve only death. However, if you love Jesus and want to thank Him for what He has done for you, you can live in obedience to what He has commanded of you, and that will be accepted of you. He will then release you and forgive you of your debt of death. But it is never a once saved always saved. If you turn from obedience, you are lost, and your past sins will not be blotted out. Jesus cannot forgive one sinner who refuses to be obedient.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. And taking hold of him, he was choking him, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and kept begging him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you back.’ “But he was not willing, but going off, he cast him into prison till he should pay back what was owed.”

How often we go to church asking God to forgive us of our sins, then we turn around and refuse to forgive those who have sinned against us. What is it? Do we think we are better and “deserve” to be forgiven by God because we “go to church” and the other does not? Oh, I know, we go to church on the seventh-day. So did the Jews of Christ’s day and God wiped them out. God hates church. He hates those who go to church. Why? They are nothing but “show-offs” and Pharisees who put on a show but do-nothing Jesus commands. Jesus did not command you to go to church. Why are you going to church? Jesus commands you to forgive those who have sinned against you. Have you done that?

“So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and they came and narrated to their master all that had taken place. Then summoning him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, as I also had compassion on you?’ “And being angered, his master handed him over to the tormentors until he should pay all that was owed to him. Thus also My heavenly Father will do to you, if you do not forgive each one his brother their trespasses, from your hearts.”

As you can see, the master took back his forgiveness and handed the servant over to the tormentors. The same with you. Who have you had compassion on lately? Who have you loved, who did not deserve your love? Who have you blessed, who was unworthy of your blessing? Who have you forgiven from your heart? As you do to the least of these, you do it unto Jesus. Forget about going to church until you have forgiven all who have wronged you and you have developed the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.

Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these words, that He went from Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And great crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

Oh, how nitpicky. Jesus earlier had accused the Pharisees of rejecting the Commandments in favor of their traditions and ceremonies. Therefore, they now came to “show” how dutiful they were in keeping the Commandments of God. You see, at first it was about washing hands and eating with all the rituals. Jesus condemned them for that. So now they have come to show how concerned they were about keeping the Commandments.

The problem was, they had no love for keeping the Commandments. It was all show. The churches today are all show. They have no love for keeping the Commandments. They love their sins way too much. It doesn’t matter what day you go to church on, all have fallen. All are doing the very same things the Pharisees did to Jesus. It was all a theological exercise of futility since their hearts had no intention of being obedient from a heart of love to God. You see, they wanted to show that they kept “the letter” of the law. But in reality, they were breaking the Spirit of the law for their own adulterous lusts. Instead of going to the whorehouse, they simply married, divorced, married, divorced and so on to satisfy their sinful lusts. Love had nothing to do with it. After all, their adulterous life was “legal”.

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and He said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been thus. And I say to you, that whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marrying a divorcee commits adultery.

And that was the point then and now, “the hardness of your hearts”. In the eyes of God, you are married the moment you have intercourse. Paper means nothing to God. Once you have intercourse with a woman, you have married her. From that moment on if you have intercourse with another woman, who has had intercourse with another man, you commit adultery. It is sin. But we must make sure we repent from the heart, turn away from our sins and come back into obedience to the spirit of the law which is to love the one you have married for eternity.

His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but it is for those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

And yes, in this sinful world, at this time in earth’s history, with momentous events about to burst upon us, “it is better not to marry”. Instead of wasting our time with the lust of the flesh and the problems of marriage, family and other things that are not essential for eternal life, we need to be focused on getting sin out of our lives and preparing for the close of probation and learning to live seven months without sin. I wonder just how much we truly believe in Heaven and eternal life. We are so wrapped up in the lusts of this world, I don’t think we have any understanding of how lustful we truly are. We lust after money, sex, power, education, position, our churches, things and on and on the list goes.

Then little children were brought to Him, that He might put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Allow the little children to come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And having put His hands on them, He departed from there.

The adults, the Pharisees and the members of the church were doing all in their power to keep people away from Jesus. We are all “little children” in the eyes of God. He wants us all to be His little children. Yet how many of those who claim to be His disciples and church members have “rebuked them”, turned them away and turned them “off” to Jesus. We must think before we act. Every moment of every day we must slow down and recognize that we are to be ambassadors for Jesus. We are to act as Jesus acted towards all people - in loving kindness with great humility and the utmost respect. God is looking down and investigating those who go to church to see if they are living as He lived and walking as He walked and obeying as He obeyed. If you can’t allow the little children to come to Jesus, get out of the way!

And behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

How interesting. How few even ask that question any more. Now it is all about, “What church” I should belong to? Or “What denomination” should I belong to? Or, “What theology” should I believe? It is all about church, man’s wisdom and pride. But none are asking the question that truly is important. This young man asked the right question. “What good thing shall I do.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t ready for the answer. No different today! Are you ready for the answer?

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.

Why is only God good? Because all good comes from God. Everything else was created and has no original good within. Jesus was born into this world as a man. As such, He had no “original” good. He laid aside His “God powers” and refused to use them. Why? Because we have no original “God powers”. Jesus had to be our example. Therefore, the only “good” Jesus had was that which He had developed by being obedient to the Law of His Father. That obedience produced the “good” that comes from God. Therefore, only those who keep the Ten Commandments have God’s goodness within them. Only those who keep the Commandments perfect without sin will “enter into life”.

He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “The young man said to Him, “All these have I kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

According to the church, “which ones” was simple. All church systems, rituals, services and traditions were essential for salvation. Jesus cast all those aside and cut to the Rock: The Ten Commandments. That is all we need for eternal life. Eternal life is provided to all who are willing to keep the Ten Commandments. Nothing else will get you into Heaven. Not even Jesus or your church can get you into heaven if you are breaking the Ten Commandments.

The young man seemed satisfied with that answer. He had been a very good church member and had kept the letter of the law all of his life. Therefore, he could stick his chest out and feel secure in his salvation. But the keeping of the Ten Commandments goes far deeper than just the church-going understanding. Therefore, Jesus had to find a way to demonstrate to the young man just how deep and far-reaching they were. It wasn’t about just knowing them, or keeping them in the superficial, church way. They had to be kept in everyday living. Therefore, Jesus showed what he needed to do in his everyday living to demonstrate he truly loved God and the Ten Commandments more than anything else in the whole world. Was his heart right with God? Did he have a “good” heart?

Jesus said to him, “If you desire to be perfect, go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard the word, he went away grieved, for he had many possessions.

The problem then is the same now. Church people don’t desire to be perfect. Without that desire you cannot keep the Ten Commandments from the heart. Without that, you have no eternal life. You see, he coveted his possessions more than eternal life. The 10th commandment is, “Thou shalt not covet”. Therefore, he made a liar out of himself and showed that he did not keep the Ten Commandments but was living a “good” church life while breaking all the Commandments. He was not worthy of Heaven. Are you? Are you going to church, but have left Jesus because of your many possessions? Where are your treasures? Are you desiring to be perfect?

Nothing less than perfect obedience can meet the standard of God’s requirement. He has not left His requirements indefinite. He has enjoined nothing that is not necessary in order to bring man into harmony with Him. We are to point sinners to His ideal of character and to lead them to Christ, by whose grace only can this ideal be reached.” MH 180.

Again, we are not to point people to church. We are not to point people to our pastors. We are not to point people to our denomination. We are only to point and lead people to Jesus Christ and His teachings: stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. Get out of your church now or be eternally lost.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly I say to you, that with difficulty a rich man shall enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And when His disciples heard, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then is able to be saved?” And looking on them, Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The sinful heart is incapable of producing good. It is incapable of going to heaven. “Wealth” is in the eye of the beholder. An inmate with two candy bars is “wealthy”. No perfect, righteous Christian is “wealthy”. Why? Because he is constantly giving of his “wealth” to God’s worthy children through the many ministries that God has called to serve His children. Many “give”, but it is a selfish giving. It is giving to what makes them feel good. They give what is “acceptable” without really producing any “sacrifice” in their lives. They give where they can get satisfaction and ego out of it. But none of that will be counted for eternal life.

The “eye of the needle” Jesus was talking about was a very small gate in the wall of the city. When the city was under attack, the main big gates were closed and sealed to keep the enemy out. However, the “eye of the needle” gate was very small and could be opened to send out runners and bring in supplies. But for a camel to get through this “eye of the needle”, it had to get on its knees and have its baggage removed. The same for us if we want to get to Heaven. We must be on our knees, removing all our baggage and living as Jesus commands is the only way we will make it through the “eye of the needle” and into Heaven.

Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. What then shall we have?” So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the Regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

I can attest to the truthfulness of that statement. I left everything for Jesus. When He called me, I sold thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment for almost nothing in order to feed this ministry and keep it going in the early days. I have nothing, own nothing and I am nothing. But Jesus has kept His word, I lack nothing. I have a warm bed to sleep in, food to eat, clothes to wear and work that brings me great joy. In doing the work for Jesus, I have truly received a hundredfold. Even though it isn’t mine, it is mine to use for Him. Praise God. I am waiting for a young man who wants to join me in this ministry and be my “son in the Lord”. A “son” I can train to be the next director when I am no longer able. Anyone willing to join me?

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a certain landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And having agreed with the workers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace. And said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever may be right I will give you.’ So they went. Again going out about the sixth and the ninth hour, he did likewise. And about the eleventh hour, going out he found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you shall receive.’

Until the close of probation, God is “hiring” servants to work in His vineyard. Some have worked the full length of their days. Others were only able to work the twilight of their lives for Jesus. It doesn’t matter. All who truly, from the heart, give up everything to work for Jesus in His vineyard will receive the same reward: eternal life. The last will be first and the first will be last = equality. No one will have more, and no one will have less. As when the Israelites picked up the Manna from the ground, it didn’t matter how much you picked up, everyone had just what they needed. As we pick up the work for Jesus, we also will have just what we need. I praise God for hearts that are willing to be touched by God to supply this little ministry with what it needs. Sometimes our needs are not very much for a given month. Some months we have great need. But since 1997, we have never gone wanting.

“So when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ “And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they also received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they began grumbling against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’

There will be no grumblers in heaven. If you are not doing the work out of love, you will not be in heaven. If you are working for money or fame or any other reason than because Jesus has asked you, you might as well leave now. Everything belongs to God. He can do whatever He wants with what belongs to Him. Even you belong to Him. If you are a good servant, working from the heart, He can give you eternal life. If you are a grumbling servant, sitting in church, not out working in His vineyard, He has the right to deny you eternal life.

“But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am not wronging you. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go. But I want to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ “Thus the last shall be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

For those who grumble, they can take what is theirs and that is all they will get. If we work for Jesus for any other reason than love, what we get here in this world is all we will get. But if we work for Jesus out of love that motivates us to give up everything for Him, then what we get here will not matter and mean nothing to us. Our homes, our rewards, our lives are bound up in the world to come. Jesus gave it all up for us. What are you willing to do for this, His ministry?

Many are called, but few are chosen. Many have been called by God to this ministry to help me do the work God wants done. But few have accepted that calling. Few have chosen to accept the commissioning of their lives to work for Jesus. Those who have rejected this ministry have been cursed. Their lives wasted. How sad.

And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took aside the twelve disciples privately on the road, and He said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and they will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He shall rise again.”

The disciples were still thinking in their alternative universe. They refused to accept the truth that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die. Their hearts were set on sitting on thrones and ruling the world. They were vying for the highest place next to Jesus. The truth to them was incomprehensible. The church had so brainwashed its people that they were unable to understand the truth. Today, the churches have so perverted the truth, people are unable to believe and comprehend it.

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, worshiping Him, and asking something from Him.   And He said to her, “What do you desire?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and one on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

Jesus had just finished sharing with them that He was soon to die. And yet, here we have James and John with their mother coming to ask for the highest place in His kingdom for them. Selfishness was everything to the disciples. Yes, they loved Jesus. Yes, they were willing to give their lives for Him. But none of that, at this time, would have saved them. Why? Because the motive was wrong. How like today, people go to church claiming to love Jesus and saying how willing they are to lay down their lives for Him. But it will not be counted to them in the judgement. Why? Because it is a love based on selfishness; “what I get” instead of “what I give”.

Keep in mind, the family of James and John were not poor. They were upper-middle class by our standards. They owned their own fishing business and had hired help. They were probably helping to support Jesus. They were acquainted with privilege and expected Jesus to favor them. As business people, they felt themselves quite capable of running the kingdom they thought Jesus was about to set up. Everything was about them. They never even heard a word Jesus said about sacrifice and dying.

Have you checked your life lately? Are you so busy living it your way that you have forgotten to sit quietly and listen to what Jesus is saying? Do you even hear His words: Stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life? Or are you so busying going to church, listening to your pastor and doing it your way, your ears and eyes are closed to the teachings of Jesus?

But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup which I am about to drink, or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”

What about you? If the disciples had been listening to Jesus, how much easier the coming weeks would have been. They could have prepared themselves for the trials that were soon to burst upon them. The only reason they did not fall away completely as Judas did, was their constant love and closeness with Jesus. Most of the other “disciples” became discouraged and joined the mob. What will you do? Are you preparing yourself for what is about to come upon the earth? Are you close to your church, or are you close to Jesus?

So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

I have read the Bible over 125 times now, cover to cover. It wasn’t until I had read it through about 65 times that an interesting concept occurred to me. I began to realize that Jesus is a God of giving. He loves to give. In all the Bible, over and over again, both Old and New Testaments, Jesus gives. Every time He is asked by one of His followers, He gives. And then I came up against this request. I had to stop and think about it awhile. Here was a request Jesus could not meet. Then it dawned on me, Jesus has to live in obedience to His Father as we are to live in obedience to Jesus. No matter how much Jesus may have wanted to grant the request of James and John, it wasn’t His to grant. He could not fulfill that request because it was up to the Father to fill those positions, not His.

I wonder how often in our lives we are fulfilling requests that don’t belong to us? Are we usurping the authority of Jesus in our lives by going above and beyond the authority granted us? I have found this true in my life here in the ministry. I have had to stop and realize that there are some things God has granted me to fulfill. But then, there are those things that are His prerogative and not mine. I must humbly bow and submit to Him what is His and do with diligence what He has given me to do. Worrying about His end will accomplish nothing for me. I must live as He has commanded me and trust Him with the rest.

And when the ten heard it, they were indignant with the two brothers.

And so it is in our own lives. While we are so busy with the pride and ego places, which only makes others indignant with us, we are not fulfilling the place assigned to us by Jesus. The world is about “authority” and “rulers”, “winning” and “conquering” and who is in “control” of others. Our churches are so full of it! Jesus came to serve, sacrifice and die. Who are you following?

But Jesus, having summoned them, said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, shall be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Are you quietly giving your life for the good of others? Are you serving without expecting or receiving anything in return? Is it your highest goal to sacrifice your life that others may have eternal life? Or are you selfishly sitting in church thinking about your own “reward” and “position”?

Now as they went out from Jericho, a great crowd followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting alongside the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have pity on us, O Lord, Son of David!” But the crowd warned them that they should be silent; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have pity on us, O Lord, Son of David!” And having stood still, Jesus called them, and said, “What do you desire that I should do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” And Jesus, having compassion, touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

I was blind. I was raised in a church that met on Sabbath and had both my eyes blinded by the church. I was groping along life’s road when I heard of Jesus. I cried out to Him, but the church warned me to be silent. The church tried to beat me down and keep me from going to Jesus. I was smothered in “group think” and “political correctness”. I was not allowed to go to Jesus. No, I was expected to be a good, obedient church member.

But I continued crying out and Jesus heard my call. He came to me and asked what I wanted. I told Him I wanted to see. He had compassion on me and touched my eyes and I received my sight. I have followed Him ever since.

I implore each of you to get out of your churches. Stop looking at and listening to the crowd around you. Lift your head and eyes to Jesus and cry out for Him and Him alone. Look to Him and let Him open your blind eyes and deaf ears. Look into the face of Jesus who gave His life for you. Then follow Him and Him alone.

Continue to Part 8