Through this ministry God is attempting to open eyes, ears and hearts to the truth needed for salvation. Yes, many have heard the words a thousand times, yet, few understand. If we understood, we would be taking the information Jesus taught to everyone around us. We would not sleep until we have invited every member from our church to hear the truth. If the truth means nothing to us, we mean nothing to Jesus.
"Shout aloud! Don't hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Declare to My people their rebellions, and to the house of Jacob (churches) their sins. They seek Me day after day, and are eager to know My ways, as if they were a nation (church) that practices righteousness and has not forsaken the justice of their God. They ask Me to reveal just decisions; they are eager to draw near to God.” “Instead, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have concealed His face from you so that He won't listen.” Isaiah 58:1, 2; 59:2
It was the Sabbath-keeping, tithe-paying, church-going people who betrayed Jesus. It was the religious who used the civil authorities to kill Jesus. It was the religious who refused to believe Jesus. It was the religious who kept its members under the control of the devil. The church taught its members to be afraid of “off-shoots”. Jesus was an “off-shoot”.
And yet, they looked so nice on the outside. Church members and their leaders were so cordial, “loving” and urbane. They didn’t look like demons. They didn’t act like demons. No, they were very religious, sanctimonious, pious, educated and conscientious to live in obedience to church rules. The next time you go to church or listen to religious programs on TV, radio or internet, look around and see if you know anyone like that.
The only problem was, and is, religious organizations are not obedient to Jesus. He didn’t command us to go to church on the Sabbath or belong to any religious organization. He didn’t command us to obey our church leaders. He didn’t command us to support our church. He didn’t command us to read our church papers. No, He commanded us to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. Then, He commanded us to teach our families, church members, our neighborhoods, our coworkers and everyone else, “to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:20. How hard it is to put down the Catholic Church system from our lives in order to follow Jesus. Put down your own opinions and pick up your Bible and study.
Mark 15:1 to Mark 15:47
And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate.
Are you afraid to go against your church leaders, councils and elders? Then you have denied Jesus. You have made “church” your god. We are not to concern ourselves with the consequences. We are not to be afraid. Jesus tells us not to fear. We must live in obedience to Jesus. But to do that, we must know what Jesus commands of us. So, instead of going to church, go to the Word of God and begin at Genesis and read through your Bible listening to everything God commands you for your eternal life. When you are done, do it again, and again and again and again and again. . .
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”
Only one thing concerned Pilate: Who was Jesus! If He didn’t pose a threat to Pilate’s career, so what? He understood how corrupt the church system was. After all, the church paid the civil government lots of money in order to get what they wanted. If only the people knew!
And the chief priests accused him of many things.
Ok, “king of the Jews” might not cut it, what else do we have to accuse Him of? At least we can make lots of noise. That always does the trick. Rabble-rousing works wonders. The church is good at making a lot of noise and stirring up the rabble.
And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.”
Hum, He isn’t the “normal” prisoner. I might actually have to do my duty. Oh, how tiring.
But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
OK, how quickly can I get this over with? Let’s see, I have heard that the people actually love Jesus. That He healed their sick and fed them. I’ll give them a choice between a “real” criminal and this nice guy the church has delivered up to me. The people always know what’s best, right?
Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them.
Yep, churches, independents and religions are full of truth, righteousness and doing what is right, right? Don’t question the religious organization, just do what it tells you. After all, it is of God, right?
And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.
Even though he wasn’t stupid, he understood the power of the church. It surely wasn’t like the humble Jesus. You don’t want to stand in the way of religious organizations or their leaders. Have you noticed that in your church and the independents you support? Mob mentality. No one is allowed to speak truth, only what is sanctioned by the religious organization. How Catholic.
Our churches, educational institutions, medical institutions, independents and other religious institutions are no different now than they were in the days of Martin Luther. “He wrote thus of the universities: ‘I am much afraid that the universities will prove to be the great gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt.” GC 140. That pertains most assuredly to all, including those who go to church on Sabbath. No longer do Scriptures “reign paramount” in our churches, educational institutions, independents or denominations. Now it is all denomination and man-made wisdom. It is all about “I believe”. “Higher education” is destroying Christianity and is leading to the “gates of hell”.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.
Maybe the people actually were going to have Jesus released. Maybe they had asked Pilate to do what he normally did because they were hoping to do an end-run around the church leaders and release Jesus. But the leaders of the church could not allow that, so they “stirred up the crowed”. OK, we will listen to our churches, independents, religious organizations and denominations but not our consciences or truth.
And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”
The wicked are always “stirred up”, rioting, making a lot of noise and commotion. No wonder the Bible tells Christians to “be still”, to shut up. We need to be listening to the Spirit of God, not our churches, independents or religious organizations.
And they cried out again, “Crucify him.”
Yep, the church is always right. It is crucifying Him constantly. Every church service is a crucifixion of Jesus. Nothing is done as Jesus commands. It is all Catholic. Stand up, sit down, stand up, kneel, sit, kneel, stand up, sit and be quiet while the church tells you what it thinks you need to know.
In the early Christian church, after Jesus, the people were not “members” of a church. They did not gather to “listen” to the church leader. They gathered to talk about Jesus and what He was doing in their lives. Each member talked and shared his experience in living the Christian life. They helped each other to stop sinning. They had compassion for each other. It was teamwork to overcome sin. That is why they spent the whole Sabbath in assembly. You won’t find that in our churches today.
And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.”
Don’t ask us that question! We don’t care if He has done any evil or not. All we care about is the fact that He doesn’t honor our church. He is taking people away from our church and authority.
Leave it to the church to shout louder in order to get its way. I have experienced that. They ask me a question, but before I can tell them the truth, they open their mouths to keep from hearing the truth. Reason, truth, righteousness go right out the door when we are involved with religious organizations.
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Many church members have been delivered up to be crucified by the church board, committee meetings, leaders, elders and pastors. Jesus is not welcome in the church. It is all about protecting the churches, independents and religious organizations from the truth Jesus taught.
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion.
Well, if the church says it’s OK, then it’s OK. We will scourge Him, whip Him, beat Him and insult Him. The church does that every Sabbath. Not once will you hear the church teach you how to live as Jesus commands. But they surely will tell you how to live as the church commands.
And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Have you noticed how the churches do the same? The churches, independents and religious organizations “clothe” Jesus in praises, fine sounding speeches, “salute Him” and hail Him “King of the Jews”. But what they can’t seem to do is teach their members to live in obedience to Jesus and His teachings.
And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
Churches strip Jesus of His royalty by refusing to live in obedience to Him. They lead Him out to crucify Him by refusing to teach His teachings. He is mocked, stripped and struck while all the time claiming to love Him by “kneeling down in homage to Him”. What a farce. Jesus didn’t ask us to do any of that. He asked us to get up and go live the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life. Throw out the Catholic Church systems, symbolisms, traditions, ceremonies and rituals.
“The accession of the Roman Church (the religious systems of today) to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her (religious systems) power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome (religious and church leaders of today). Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope (religious and independent organizations), and to the priests and prelates (pastors and ministers) to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope (religious leaders) was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him (religious organizations); and, further, that he (religious organizations) stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his (religious organizations and independents) requirements was sufficient cause for the severest punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them (the religious systems). Sin was disguised in a garb of sanctity (churches, independents, religious organizations). When the Scriptures are suppressed, and man comes to regard himself as supreme, we need look only for fraud, deception, and debasing iniquity. With the elevation of human laws and traditions was manifest the corruption that ever results from setting aside the law of God.” GC 55.
All churches, denominations, independents and religions of today have set aside the law of God. Even those who go to church on the Sabbath day, as the Jews did. God never asked you to “go to church” on the Sabbath day or any day. He commanded you to stop sinning and live His Commandment-keeping life perfectly.
And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
The “good” church members wouldn’t think of stooping to help. That was beneath their dignity. However, Simon, who was not a church member, was “compelled” to carry the cross for Jesus. It changed his life. I wonder if Alexander and Rufus were raised up to “carry” the cross of Jesus in their lives after the experience of their father? Paul says in Romans 16:13, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord...” I wonder if the whole family became converted from a simple act of being “compelled” (chosen) to carry the cross. How many of us voluntarily carry the cross? How many of us avoid the cross at all costs? How comfy we are in our churches!
And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
No, He would not. Alcoholic beverages would only dull His senses. He needed to stay in control of His mind in order to keep from sinning. I think that we too often allow this world to dull our senses. Churches, independents, religious organizations are good at dulling our senses. Over and over and over again we go to our religious organizations, sit in the pew or turn on the TV, radio or internet and hear the same things over and over and over again until they dull our senses.
And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.
Even at the end He gave all that He had, even His clothes, and hung on the cross naked for you and me. His whole life was an open book. Is yours? Are we willing to sacrifice for Jesus? Look around, truly, what have we sacrificed for Jesus?
And it was the third hour when they crucified him.
Hour after hour He hung on the cross, voluntarily, for you and me. He could have come down. He could have gone back to Heaven. He could have said, “Nuts with this, I’m going home.” But He loved us so much He allowed sinful, prideful man, whom He created, in the spirit of their religious organization, to put Him on the cross. And then He voluntarily stayed there for you and me.
And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
I truly wonder if He is “King” of our lives? The members of their religious organization refused to accept Him as “King” of their lives. Are we doing the same today? I think we prefer our religious organizations as “king” of our lives. Who do you support?
And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
Nope, He can’t be my “King”. He is in the midst of criminals. He just isn’t dressed right. My church, independent, religious organization is far more “righteous looking” and suits my ego. I’ll go to church, not to the cross.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
When God called me to this ministry, people were not impressed. They wagged their heads in disbelief and looked to their expensive, comfy churches. Their church leaders were more of the “following” type. Who would want to listen to a stupid, dumb old criminal?
So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.
Many use the same arguments against this ministry. Look, I’m human. I make mistakes. There are “sins” in my life I’m working on. But the truth is still the truth. Growing in Christ is not the same as being Christ. I am growing. But Jesus still uses this beat up, run down, stupid, old ex-inmate to put out His truth. Why? Probably to see if anyone is listening. And for the same reason He didn’t come as “King” of the universe the first time. People want to follow the glitz, the prideful, the show, therefore, Jesus came disguised. Would people accept truth from a vagabond, homeless, unwanted, looks-like-nothing individual? No! Therefore, their hearts were tested. How is your heart? Who are you supporting?
“Sanctification is a progressive work. Says Paul, ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ 2 Corinthians 7:1. Those whom Paul is here addressing were Christians, yet they needed to cleanse themselves and perfect holiness or sanctification.” SLH 8.
Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
People aren’t interested in “truth”. They want a show. They want someone or something that will bring them pride, ego, money and work a miracle. Church, independents, religious organizations will do just fine.
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
I saw a statement that went something like this, “Why was it dark when Jesus died? Because the Light of the world went out.” Many are in church without the Light of the world in their lives. They have kicked the Light out for the dim torchlight of religious organizations. Please folks, let His Light back into your life. Get out of your religious organizations and go sit at the feet of Jesus. Feel the blood as it drips onto your head. Hear His gasping for every breath. How comfy are you in your church? Who are you supporting with ALL your tithes and offerings?
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
For thirty-three and a half years Jesus was developing the faith needed to stand through this hour of trial. What are you doing to prepare yourself for the trials about to fall upon the world? Will you still hold on to Jesus when it appears He has forsaken you? When your church is shut do to some pandemic? Probably not! Sitting in church is not facing the problems which will develop the faith necessary for what is coming.
And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
Do we stand with the crowd, waiting for the crowd to tell us what to do? Do we wait and see what others will do before we act? Do you wait for the church to tell you what to do? Are you waiting on the church to put “programs” together that are easy for you to follow? Are you willing to stand up, leave your church and begin sharing the truth with those around you? Are you inviting them, not to church, but to your home to change their lives? Send us all the names and addresses you can.
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
That was it! That was the last of the theocracy for the Jewish nation. Israel ceased to exist as a nation in the eyes of God. Their church was more important than God. They wanted Caesar as their king. They wanted to be like the world. They had kicked Jesus out, therefore, He sent His angel to tear apart the dividing curtain that veiled the symbolic presence of God from the nation.
There will come a day when He will again utter a “loud cry”. But this time, He will say, “It is done” (Revelation 21:6). When He cried out, “It is finished”, that was the end of Israel as a nation and all the temple services, traditions, holy days, feast days and regulations. He had finished His work for justification. Now it was time for the people to do their work of sanctification. When He calls out “It is done”, that will be the end of the world. There will be no more probation. No more repentance or confessions will be accepted. Every person will be judge by what they have done: their work. What have you done that Jesus can commend you for?
And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
Are those around you able to say of you, “Truly this man was the Son of God?” Is your life truly dedicated to God, or is it divided between this world, church and a bit to Jesus? To be almost saved is to be totally lost!
There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
Most are following Him at a distance. Most are truly afraid to let the world know that they are Christians. After all, they might get angry at us. No, let’s just go and hide ourselves under church. Then we can all feel smug that we are living for Jesus.
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.
The “day of Preparation” is Friday. That is the day we prepare for the Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday. This was written probably fifty years after Christ. There was no change in the Sabbath at that time. There is no explanation that Jesus changed the Sabbath. It was just as accepted fifty years after the death of Jesus as it was during the life of Jesus. Jesus did not come to change His law or His Sabbath. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn’t come to destroy them.” Matthew 5:17. He died to fulfill them. Then He commands us to follow His example in sacrificing our lives in fulfillment of the Law of God as He did.
And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
I wonder how many of us are laying our “Christianity” in a “tomb” and covering it up. That “tomb” could be your church, your behavior, your speech or anything that hides your “claim” to be a Christian. How sad. For many, Jesus is as dead in their lives as He was laying in the tomb that Friday evening.