Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

Book of Matthew 

with Commentary


The Coming


Part 8


For three and a half years Jesus had been throwing out the life jackets to the passengers of the sinking church.  For three and a half years they had done nothing but take advantage of His “amazing gifts”, His funny little “show” and His cute stories.  He made great gossip and good “headlines”. 


The church leaders, though, had had enough of Him.  He refused to “play ball” and they were not amused any more with His independent spirit and outright disregard for their authority and their church.  It was obvious that if He continued He would expose and bring down their temple of idol worship, pride, bigotry, self-righteousness and man-made works.  This they could not allow.  Their church system must stay in place in order to keep the money flowing into their selfish lives.  Their show must continue in order to keep the people under their control.  Their acts of piety were important to keep the people focused on them and not on Jesus.


It was time for “The Coming” of the Messiah.  He must now make His move and peel away the layers of lies, falsehoods and self-righteous works of the church.  He loved His church, but there was nothing more He could do for it.  The people had taken control of His church and kicked God out.  They did not want to live under His control or rules.  They wanted to make up their own rules and laws.  They gave lip service to the Ten Commandments, went to church on the Sabbath and built great educational centers, but their hearts were all about church systems, ceremonies, rituals and traditions.  It was time to close it down.


Matthew 21:1 - Matthew 23:39


Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 


This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 


While the church leaders were talking about the prophecies of the coming Messiah, Jesus was fulfilling those very prophecies in every aspect of His life.  He stood before the church as the fulfillment of everything they were claiming to believe.  But the “church” got in the way of their vision.  If anything, or anyone got in the way of their church, there was only one solution: murder.  While the leaders of the church were trying to find a way to commit murder in secret, so as not to upset the crowd too much, Jesus was ready to make a very public pronouncement by His actions.


The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.  Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 


How easy it is to join the mob.  We love to be part of the crowd when it is fun and full of excitement.  That is why we love our churches.  When everything is looking up and it seems that all is going to be peace, safety and success, yep, we love to jump on the “bandwagon”.  We put on a great show trying to impress people with our excitement and church activities.  To be accepted by the crowd, especially our church, is to be more desired than to be accepted by God.


And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” 


People love a “prophet”, a show and entertainment to bring them excitement.  “Let’s go see the show!”  “Jesus the prophet, the one from Nazareth of Galilee.”  Even now they could not admit He was their God.  Even now he was nothing more than just a “prophet”, a man from “Nazareth of Galilee”.  Nothing more than a dog-and-pony show to them.  This was more excitement than they had in many years. 


And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 


Now we are beginning to have a problem.  The show is fine until it hits us where our ego and pride are concerned.  The show is fine until it overturns our beloved church fund-raising activities and way of doing church business.  And to think, He actually called their church, “My house”.  How dare He!  Who did He think He was?  Did He honestly think that the leaders were not of God?  Did He think they were not working for God?  Did He not know that this was God’s church?  It was time to get rid of this troubler of the church.


And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 


Of course, those who were looked down upon, as under the curse of God and outcasts from the church, knew who Jesus was.  Those whom the church considered “blind” in their understanding and “lame” in their thinking, had no problem recognizing Jesus for who He was.  They came to Him.  The same today.  Those going to church look down upon inmates and the poor, etc., but they are the ones who can see clearly.  They see the futility of going to church.  It is all a show.


But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” 


How church leaders hate truth.  To take the eyes of the people off of their church was a greater sin than murder.  Anyone who came along and attempted to point people to Jesus was an enemy of the church.  Everything had to go through the church.  How dare they point people away from the church.  “Do you hear what these are saying?”  In each newsletter, I attempt to put in the sayings of inmates.  Those who are listening hear the truth from the hearts of “infants” who are changing.  But church just seems to get in the way of the eyes and ears of church members.


And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. 


And so it is today.  Jesus is leaving the churches because they refuse to acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior.  As long as they can throw His name around to bolster their pride, ego and church, not a problem.  But to make Him the Only Way, the Only Truth to the one and only Eternal Life, not in your life.


In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry.  And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. 


When a fig tree “leaves”, it is saying, “I have fruit for you”.  Therefore, Jesus expected to find figs to eat on that tree.  However, it was a pretense.  The fig tree was putting on a show but had nothing to back it up.  Jesus “cursed” the tree for its deception.  The fig tree represented the church.  It was putting on a great show.  It was all dressed up preforming wonderful and rich traditions, systems and ceremonies.  But it was devoid of “fruit”.  There was no substance of Christianity to be found in it.  Our churches today are doing the very same thing.  We dress up, put on a show of piety with lots of music, great prayers and great church activities, but there is no fruit.  They are dead, withered and rotten to the core.


When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”  And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” 


Without the life-giving power of God, nothing can live.  The Jewish nation was rejecting its God, its Creator, its Father and its Life-giving power.  It had accepted the show and rejected the truth.  We need to have faith in the teachings of Jesus.  We must recognize that when Jesus tells us to get out of “Babylon” and her whores, He is talking about all churches.  They are all confused and lifeless.  They have all rejected the Truth.  You must develop faith that will move the church mountains out of your view, so you can see Jesus and Jesus only. 


And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 


He had just explained to them the day before that it was “My house”.  He had the authority to do whatever He wanted to do in His house.  But they did not want to recognize Jesus as the Owner and Master of the house.  They wanted to take control of it.  So with our churches today.  Nowhere does the Bible tell us to go to church.  But we prefer going to church than living in obedience to Jesus to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life.  He taught the 3 Angels’ Messages for His day, and the churches refused to accept them.  Same with today.  We spout and profess the 3 Angels’ Messages but refuse to actually believe and live them as God commands.  Great show, no fruit.


Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.  The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’  But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”  So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. 


What cowards!  Oh, how they hated Jesus.  He made their church activities useless for eternal life.  All their prayers, their church-going, their rituals had nothing to do with eternal life.  But all that “doing” sure did make the people happy and contented in the church.  But to believe that crazy man out by the Jordan who had been baptizing and pointing people to Jesus - not in your life.  John refused to acknowledge the superiority of the church leaders.  What a crime that was!  He did not point people to church.  What a crime that was!  He refused to quote from the church leaders.  What a crime that was!  No, they did not want to say where his baptism came from.  They knew but refused to humble their proud hearts and turn away from their church and accept the simple Truth from heaven.


“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’  And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 


How many have turned away from Christ in disgust because of what they see in the church?  They did not know that the church had nothing to do with Jesus and truth.  It was just about show.  They saw through the hypocrisy and wanted nothing to do with church.  But then, later on, they realized that Jesus has nothing to do with church.  They realized that they could love Jesus without belonging to the hateful, hypocritical and empty church.  Now they were excited to go work for Jesus in His vineyard.


And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.  Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 


But how many go to church claiming to work for Jesus and do nothing for Him.  They just sit around patting themselves on their backs thinking they are doing the will of the Father.  They may be sending their money to ministries and organizations, but they are not making sure, checking to see, if those ministries and organizations are actually teaching people what Jesus taught: to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life.  They might as well be giving their money to the Catholic Church for all the good it does.


For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. 


This little ministry, raised up as John the Baptist was raised up, has been sent to show the “way of righteousness” to those who claim to be God’s people.  But very few are believing the truth.  No, it is much easier to sit in church and continue listening to the show the pastors, leaders and church people put on.  So the Lord has sent this ministry to inmates, “tax collectors and prostitutes”, who are believing and accepting the truth and changing their lives.  It is amazing how many church people read our “Prison Mission Report” and refuse to believe.  People’s lives are being changed, just not church people’s lives.


“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.  When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit.  And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.  Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them.  Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’  But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’  And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.  When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”  They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” 


Jesus was the master of the vineyard: the Jewish church.  He called it out of Egypt and gave it a homeland.  He made it wealthy and put a wall around it to protect it.  That wall was the Ten Commandments.  If they obeyed it, they were kept safe.  He did everything in His power to glorify Himself through them by all the power, wealth and blessings He gave them.  But they took possession of the power, the wealth and the blessings He gave them.  They took the glory that belonged only to Jesus unto themselves.  They broke the Ten Commandments and went after the lusts of the world.  When Jesus sent servants to them to get fruit from His vineyard, they beat them, persecuted them and stoned them.  Finally, God sent His Son, Jesus, to take back possession of His vineyard.  But they killed Him in order to keep the vineyard.  40 years later Jesus “put those wretches to a miserable death”, their temple was destroyed by Titus of the Roman army.


Jesus is sending this little ministry to get fruit from His vineyard.  But how difficult it is retrieving that fruit.  I have to avoid the stones, the hate and the blows that are directed at me.  How sad.  Their churches have become their gods. 


Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?  Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.  And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” 


All churches today have rejected that Stone.  The Rock we are to build on will fall on those who have rejected His message to be perfect and to stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life.  It will crush them.  Your church will not be able to save or protect you.  I do not understand why the churches refuse to believe and accept that Rock.  Why are the traditions, services, organizations, rituals and opinions of man more important than the humble, simple truths of Jesus?  Why is their pride, ego and arrogance more important than the teachings of Jesus?  Why will you die?  Please, get out of your church and accept Jesus into your life.


“The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom. The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded. But while everything in nature is governed by natural laws, man alone, of all that inhabits the earth, is amenable to moral law. To man, the crowning work of creation, God has given power to understand His requirements, to comprehend the justice and beneficence of His law, and its sacred claims upon him; and of man unswerving obedience is required.” {PP 52.3}


When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.  And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. 


Based on the letters I get, if it were not for the laws of the land, I would have been killed many times over.  The hate church people have for Jesus and His truth is unbelievable.  Especially among those who go to church on the Sabbath.  Like the Jews of Christ’s day, they would rather kill for their church than live for the teachings of Jesus.


And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.  Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’  But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.  The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 


The same is happening today.  This ministry was raised up by God to invite you to the wedding feast.  The feast is ready, and it is about time to eat.  But so few are willing to come.  This world, their lands, their lustful lives are so full of this world and their churches, they only put on a pretense of wanting to go.  They get angry at me for inviting them.  They are so afraid they might miss something of this world.  They just can’t stand the fact that God is working outside of their prideful church.  They can’t believe that their ambitions and church activities are not accepted by God.  To humble themselves and to actually live as Jesus commands; not going to happen.


Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’  And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.  “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.  And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.  Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.” 


“But those invited were not worthy.”  If you are sitting in church thinking of yourself as one who has been invited or a “child of God” or “the remnant” or “God’s special church”, be advised, Jesus is talking about you.  You are not worthy for eternal life since you have made your church your god.  You are sitting in church instead of sitting with Jesus.  You have made your own system to get you to heaven instead accepting the one Jesus has made.  The church system of today was created and instituted by the devil.  Yes, God has at times worked within that system because of the ignorance of the people.  But today, with the full understanding available for all who wish to learn, there is no excuse to be in church.  It is the “Babylon” of Revelation and will be destroyed.  Therefore, Jesus is going to the highways and byways of life, the prisons, the homeless, the poor and outcasts of the world and inviting them.  They are putting on the robe of Christ; that robe of righteousness.  That robe of sinless, perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments.  Only those who have that robe will be sealed and taken to in Heaven.  If you are not wearing that robe, you will be thrown out.


Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words.  And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.  Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 


Today, the same is happening.  As the church and civil government united to destroy Jesus, so it is happening again today.  Since they could not find a theological fault with Jesus, they turned to civil law.  The devil and his servants are doing everything in their power to hurt, malign and destroy this ministry.  Why? because it is so very special from any that is in the world today.  It was called by God, dictated and directed by God and is teaching the teachings sent by God.  The servants of Lucifer come as if they are “friends” and care, but underneath there is such hate. They are looking for any and every excuse to destroy this ministry.  I praise God for those few who support this ministry with all their tithes and offerings.  Those who let nothing interfere with their support in keeping God’s ministry going are very blessed by God. 


But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.  And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”  They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. 


If we are Christians, we are to be obedient to the authority that is over us.  It is God who sets up and brings down governments.  It is not up to us to gripe and complain about the governments or leaders.  We are to be in obedience to them unless they explicitly go against the Ten Commandments.  Yet, while those who claim to be “Christian” are fighting against the leaders of our governments, they are also fighting against God and His government.  It is their nature to fight, to disobey and to let their pride and ego control them, instead of submitting to the authority that is over them.  They have accepted the character of Lucifer who refuses to be in submission to God’s Laws.  They refuse to obey Jesus who commands them to be perfect, stop sinning and keep the Ten Commandments for their eternal life.  No, it is easier to go to church, gripe and complain than to live in obedience.  Many will go to great lengths to keep the Passover and Feast of Trumpets yet refuse to give obedience to their governments or to Jesus who did away with those feasts.  How we love the show but hate to submit to God and the authority He has set up over us.  And let me be very plain about this, the church was not set up by God to be an authority over you.  It was set up by Lucifer to control you and keep you from God.  That is a fact of history.  Church today is “Anti-Christ”.  Obey God and get out.


The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’  Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother.  So too the second and third, down to the seventh.  After them all, the woman died.  In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” 


Again, how nitpicky, hardheaded, prideful and gnat-straining they were.  It would be one thing if the Pharisees and the Sadducees were truly interested in truth.  But like our churches and denominations of today, pastors and leaders are only interested in showing how “smart” they are.  How “educated” they are.  They are always putting on a show to exhibit their pride and ego.  They want to look good putting the opposition down.  But none of it is for eternal life.


But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.  For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.  And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”  And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. 


Here were the church high officials, those claiming to be experts in the Law, asking about the law.  Jesus was right in saying, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.”  They did not know the Scriptures nor the power of God.  How true that is today.  Church people carry their “Bibles” around, they quote scripture, they make a real show of their knowledge.  But they have no idea what the Scriptures are truly saying.  Why?  Because they do not have the Spirit of God within them to guide them to truth.  The Spirit of God, the “Power of God”, can only be in those who are living as Jesus commands: perfect, sinless and keeping the Ten Commandments to get their eternal life.  The Spirit of God cannot fight against itself.  There is only one Spirit of God and all who have it will be in union with it and each other.  There will be no divisions among God’s people.


The first point is, there will not be any marriage in “the resurrection”.  That is a very specific time.  It covers 1000 years between the first resurrection of the righteous to the second and final resurrection of the wicked.  During that time, there will be no marriage.  It has nothing to do with the “New Earth”. 


Second point, they will be like the angels.  Do we know if the angels are married?  I don’t.  But I do know that the angels in heaven are all living in obedience to God and the Ten Commandments, unlike the leaders of the church.  What a slap in the face.


Third, God is not interested in the dead.  They are dead, buried and no longer have anything to do with anything under the sun.  God is the God of the living, not the dead.  He will not be their God until He raises them to life at the end of time.  Therefore, stop thinking about the dead and leave it to God.  You need to be concerned about your own salvation and living in obedience to Jesus.


But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 

Now here was an honest question.  This question was asked seriously among the leaders and teachers of the church.  They wanted to know.  Much debate had been used on this question.  This was not a “trap” question, but one to test Jesus to see if He could give the answer that all of them were wanting to know.  You see, they were so involved in their church system, rituals and ceremonies that they had forgotten what was important for eternal life.  Therefore, this question was continually making the rounds among the church members.  Some claimed you had to keep the feast days, others claimed that circumcision was the most important.  Others claimed that what you ate or how you ate was more important.  On and on it went.  Now, this lawyer felt that Jesus could answer this question and put it to sleep for good.


And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” 


For this lawyer, the light came on.  He was satisfied.  That answered the question.  He knew Jesus was right.  All the church-going, food regulations, ceremonies, feast days and rituals could never, and would never, get a person to heaven.  But to simply love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself, now that was truly revolutionary.  Everything else hung on those two commands.  The Ten Commandments are divided into two halves.  The first half takes in the first four commandments and they have to do with our obligations to God.  Nothing is to take the place of obedience to Jesus.  And since nowhere in the Bible are we commanded, or even hinted at, to go to church, we must get church out of our lives.  The second half takes in the last six commandments.  They have to do with our obligations to our neighbors.  Everything else in the Bible simply revolves around those Ten Commandments.


Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”  He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?  If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”  And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. 


While the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians were involved with nitpicking, Jesus turned around and asked a question that had to do with their eternal life.  Whose son is the Christ?  In essence He is asking, “Who am I?”  They needed to be confronted with the truth.  They needed to make a decision as to who Jesus was.  Was He the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, or just a prophet, some madman making these far-out claims?  It is time for us to make the same determination in our lives.  We have been going to church long enough.  Now it is time to put our beliefs to the test.  Who is Jesus to you?  If He is God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world who has the only truth for eternal life, then why are you not following and obeying Him, and Him alone?  Why are you wasting your time in church?


Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.  They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 


As long as the leaders of the church were teaching the laws of Moses and the prophets, yes, we are to be obedient to Moses and the Prophets.  Not that we are to be obedient to our church and church leaders, but to Moses and the prophets, who spoke the Words of God.  Same today, if they are teaching the words of God, obey the Word of God.  But if they are putting in human wisdom and church philosophy, have nothing to do with them.  The church works and rules are heavy burdens they are laying on your shoulders and you are not to have any yoke but the light yoke of Jesus.  Watch your pastor and church leaders strut up on the church stage to the place of honor but refuse to humble themselves before God in obedience to His teachings.  They love to be called, “Pastor”, “Elder”, “Teacher”, “President” and every other title of pride and ego. 


But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.  And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.  Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.  The greatest among you shall be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 


Why are you still in church?  Why do you not obey Jesus and get out and turn your face to Him.  In our churches, our leaders step up on stage, then the audience, you, rise to honor them, kneel before them, stand in front of them, sing to them and pray to them.  But you are not doing any of that to honor God.  It is all about church politics, pride, ego, arrogance, money and power.  It is all Catholic.  It is the work of “Babylon”.


“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 


How true.  Our churches, pastors and leaders are shutting up the Kingdom of Heaven in our faces.  They are neither entering themselves nor allowing you to enter.  They teach you doctrines taught by men but refuse to teach you the teachings of Jesus: be perfect, stop sinning and Keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life.  Nothing there about going to church. And let me make this very plain.  Just because they quote some texts from the Bible does not mean they are teaching you the teachings of Jesus.  All religions quote texts from the Bible.  However, because they are used to support the church, their use is for Lucifer, not God.  That is why Peter said about Paul and his letters, “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”  2 Peter 3:16. And that is the problem.  The churches are twisting scripture to keep you in church.  It is all “Catholic” and of the devil.


Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. 

Oh how we love to tout our baptismal numbers and claim that God is blessing our denomination or church because of our baptisms.  We put on great evangelistic programs, TV programs, internet programs, etc., but none of that is bringing anyone to Jesus.  You are only making them twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.  Baptism does not save one person.  The command was to teach them how to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus, and then when they were living in obedience, to baptize them as a symbol of the new birth they were now living.  But that is not what we do today.  No, now we use the symbol in order to make more money, have more power and show how great our church is.  But for some reason, we have forgotten to teach the baptismal candidate how to live as Jesus commands: perfect, without sin and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life.


“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’  You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?  And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’  You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?  So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.  And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it.  And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. 


The principle there is still used today.  If you say anything against the church, be prepared to be stoned.  The stoning I get for teaching truth is amazing.  People love their churches, but how they hate Jesus and His truth.  They go to church, not to please God, but to stroke their egos, pride and arrogance.  How sad that it is all done in the “Name of Jesus”.  And nothing done is what Jesus commands.  It is all Catholic.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 


How we love to show how faithful we are to God by counting out our pennies, tithing the smallest sums and making sure we put the very last penny into the church.  We don’t even stop to ask if our church, or the entity we are tithing to, is of God.  What hypocrisy.  You might as well give your tithes and offerings to the Catholic Church for all the good it is doing.  And all the while, we are failing in our faithfulness in keeping the commands of God to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life.


You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! 


Church people are fat from swallowing camels.  Their lives are fat on ego, pride and self-sufficiency.  They are truly attempting to work their way to heaven in their own legalistic way.  None have checked the signs lately to see if they are still walking on the narrow way, or if they have ever been on the straight and narrow.  And just to be clear, have you noticed your leaders lately?  Look how fat they are!  Blind guides!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 


Before going to church next time, make sure your inside is perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping.  Skip the church-going and stay home.  Kneel before Jesus and begin learning from His Word how to clean the inside.  Covering over the dirty inside with church will do you no good.


“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,  saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’  Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.  Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 


I see now why we don’t like to read our Bibles but go to church instead.  Church tells us we look good; our lives are fine, and we are saved.  The Bible tells us we look filthy, we are sinful, and we are lost unless we change our lives.  Wow, no wonder people go to church and hate those who tell the truth about their churches. Church people make expensive trips to visit the graves of church pioneers and the prophet.  They claim to belong to God’s church because it had a modern-day prophet from God.  But none are obedient to God.  None are obeying the truth the modern-day prophet taught.  Whitewashed gravestones are all they are.  So full of dead bones.


You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?  Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.  Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 


And so they did.  The people continued going to church, believing the lies of their church leaders and living as they pleased.  They flogged and persecuted those who told them the truth about their church.  They did not want to hear that their church had fallen; that it was sinking and unless they got out, they would die.  And so, they died.  God is sending this little ministry to you.  Are you listening?  Or are you like the Jews of Christ’s day, satisfied in your church and contented with the message it preaches?  Your future is in your hands.  Get out and live, stay and die.


“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” 


Your church is left to you desolate.  If it no longer teaches you to get out and work for Jesus by telling those around you to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get their eternal life, it is not of God.  Going to church will only kill you.  You will not see Jesus there anymore.  If you don’t get out, you will see Him when He comes, but you will not go home with Him.


Continue to Part 9