Last month’s newsletter revealed how the disciples were still thinking about who would be the greatest in the new kingdom they thought Jesus was about to set up on earth. We are no different. Even though they were “walking” with Jesus, “listening” to Jesus, “sleeping” with Jesus, “eating” with Jesus, they did not “know” Jesus. They were so blinded by the brainwashing they had received from their church, they were not able to “hear” what Jesus was teaching them about service, sacrifice and obedience to His Father. We have the same problem today in our churches.
This is the last week of the life of Jesus as a “Human” on this planet before His death. For over 30 years He has lived in obedience to His Father. His whole life had been doing everything possible to share the love of obedience to His Father with all around Him. Now, He is about to make His last public ride into Jerusalem. He knows that this week will be His last. The church is looking to kill Him. Yet, His disciples are thinking about themselves and the kingdom they have all been waiting for. Why? Because instead of reading Scripture for themselves, they had been dependent on what the church taught them. They had been deceived by the very church that had been set up by God to lead them to Jesus. The church that claimed to be preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah, was doing everything in its power to prevent the coming of the Messiah. The church was leading people away from Jesus. And this was the tithe-paying, church-going, Sabbath-keeping church, looking for the Christ to come. Same in our churches today.
Mark 11:1 to Mark 12:44
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it.
Throughout my time in this ministry, I have been amazed at the workings of God. As the colt He used was not tamed nor suitable for riding, it was the perfect instrument for Jesus to ride. It showed the divine power of Jesus to “tame” a wild, untrained colt. So with me. I was not the “perfect” instrument for God to use. I was not trained for this ministry. I was untested and untried. In fact, I was a total failure. But Jesus revealed His power through me in this ministry. As unworthy, unable, incompetent, powerless and incapable as I was, He was willing to “sit” on me and show forth His divine power.
That is what He wants to do for each and everyone who takes His name. We are not to give our lives to a church. We are not to praise our denomination and all the good things it does. We are not to look to our pastors. We are to look to Jesus and the transforming power He wants to work through us.
If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’”
Many do ask, “Why are you doing this?” I suppose it is because “The Lord has need of it”. He called me. He spoke and brought this ministry into being. Therefore, I suppose, He has need of it for this time in Earth’s history. Will I be sent back? That is on Him. I just let Him use me as He sees fit until He no longer needs me.
And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it.
God is calling all of us to His work. He needs all of us to “saddle up” and let Him ride us in His work. We have been “tied at a door” of church and this world far too long. It is time to be untied and set us free to work for Jesus.
And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
But when we attempt to untie from the world, our churches, denominations and religious organizations, many standing around us do not understand and begin to ridicule us and discourage us. They mock us. They disrespect us. They try hard to stop us. Why? Because we bring guilt to them. Our stepping out to work for the Lord doesn’t make them look so good tied up in church.
And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go.
Don’t give them any mind. Just tell them that Jesus needs you and has called you. Then “go”. You are not responsible to man. You are responsible to Jesus Christ. Over 21 years many have tried to discourage me. Many have tried to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. But I must only do what “Jesus had said” for me to do and leave the rest up to Him.
And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.
I wonder how the colt felt when Jesus sat on it. I suppose it was different than what it was used to. I suppose it was not comfortable for the colt. But the colt was obedient to its Creator and took Him where He directed it.
When God called me to this ministry, it was different than anything I had ever attempted. I was not “comfortable”. Especially sleeping on boxes of paper. But I have tried to be obedient wherever He leads me.
And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Tre were many, when this ministry first started on its journey, who were shouting praises and spreading accolades. However, when the “show” got tiring and the hard work was needed, they left for more glamorous ministries who would do for them.he
And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Jesus is looking around our lives, our churches and our denominations. What will He see? It is getting “late”! Are you, your church and your denomination ready to accept Him? Is He even recognized in your religious organization?
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
What is Jesus finding in you, your church and your denomination? A lot of green leaves that give the appearance of fruitfulness? Yet, on further inspection, when He looks close, will He find fruit? Are you living the fruit-filled life of perfection, sinlessness and the keeping of His Commandments? Or will He have to curse you as He did the tree? Why? Because in the life of a fig tree, when the leaves came out, that indicated that it had fruit ready to be eaten. This tree was a liar. It was living a life of deception. It was a hypocrite. It was putting on a good front, but was bearing no fruit. Are you bearing fruit? How many people have you brought from their church-going ways to Jesus? Are you taking the material from this ministry and sharing it with all around you?
And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.
Our churches, our denominations and our lives are no different than the temple of Christ’s day. We put on a show of serving God, but we are full of selling and buying of religious paraphernalia and theological philosophy. We have tables set up in our churches to sell religious records, CDs, DVDs, books and religious entertainment. We carry through our lives, our churches and our denominations things that are not of God. We think we are enhancing God’s honor, but all we are doing is building up our own ego, pride, wealth and arrogance. If you do not get rid of it all, He will come in and overthrow it.
“In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, ‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition (The church institution is a Catholic tradition), for man’s theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority (church leaders) are included in the commission. None of these are Christ’s servants to teach. ‘The law and the prophets,’ with the record of His own words and deeds, are the treasure committed to the disciples to be given to the world. Christ’s name is their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom.” DA 826.
And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
Our lives, our churches and our denominations are all a “den of robbers”. We are robbing God of that which belongs to Him: lives of perfection, sinlessness and obedience to His Ten Commandments. We are denying Him the fruit He commands us to bear. In place of His fruit, we substitute our own works, our own beliefs, our own styles of worship, traditions, services and rituals. All of it handed down from the Catholic Church. All churches are called “whores” of the Catholic Church in Revelation.
Our lives, our churches and our denominations should be places of prayer; not entertainment. They should be places of soul-searching, sin hating and rebuilding to produce the fruit God requires: Perfect obedience to His Ten Commandments.
And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
If you attempt to clean up your church and denomination or religious organizations, you too will be hated. They will be “seeking a way to destroy” you. When this ministry presents the truth as Jesus taught it, the people are “astonished” at the teaching. They have never heard it before. They have been filled with church doctrine, denominational dogma and religious philosophy. None of it has anything to do with changing the life for Heaven.
And when evening came they went out of the city.
Evening is settling down over this world. Evening shadows are falling on our churches, denominations and religious organizations. Jesus will soon be leaving the Most Holy Place. Probation will soon be closing. Where will you be standing? With Jesus? Or in your religious organization?
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Over the years, this ministry has invited many to make it their life. Many were invited to come and give their lives specifically to work in it, while others were invited to put this ministry into their hearts by supporting it, promoting it and living it. I have watched their lives from a distance and have seen the results. Those who put this ministry into their lives were blessed. Those who did not were cursed and withered.
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Faith in God? Not many have faith in God. The majority of those who claim to “believe” in God are no different than the Jews of Christ’s day. They claimed to believe in God and have “faith” in Him, while refusing to believe Him as He stood teaching in front of them. In truth, their church, their denomination and their religious organizations are their “god”. They believed in them, not God. They worshiped them, not God. They obey them, not God. “We have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith.” Romans 1:5. We are to repent “and turn to God, performing deeds (works) in keeping with their repentance.” Acts 26:20.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
But if you truly believe in God, obeying God by living His perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life, “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”. I have found this statement true in my life.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Many wonder why their prayers are not answered. Well, have you forgiven those who have wronged you as you want God to forgive you? Have you shown compassion to those who have hurt and maligned you as you want God to show compassion to you? We want God to do for us, but what have we done for those around us? Many hate this ministry. How can they expect God to love them?
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Oh yes, don’t ever step between the authority of the church and its members. You will be hated if you bring the teachings of Jesus. Churches, denominations and religions must have their “authority”. How dare anyone attempt to substitute God’s teachings and authority in place of their own.
Just a few months back while writing this, a religious teacher on LinkedIn claimed that the book of Hebrews obliterated all the teachings of Jesus and the Old Testament. His claim was predicated on a couple of texts in Hebrews. He was so proud of himself for finding those texts. Yet, he was not willing to believe Hebrews 13:8 - “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
We must get out of our churches, our denominations and our religious organizations now before we become so brainwashed by them we are unable to see the truth as taught by Jesus. The churches teach “Saved by Grace” which is not found anywhere in the Bible. The Bible teaches, “Work out your salvation.” Philippians 2:12. See the problem?
Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
“We do not know”! Oh, they knew. They were well aware of the fact that John the Baptist was sent by God. They were in the temple, or heard of it, the day John’s father received the visit from Gabriel prophesying of his birth. But they didn’t want to believe it. They had heard the reports from the shepherds of the angels who appeared telling the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. But they didn’t want to hear of it. They were there two years later when the Magi came to offer homage to the baby Jesus, but they didn’t want to join in the worship. And they were there when John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. No, they did not believe, for nothing must come between them, their church and their authority over the people. In the name of God they would destroy God if He tried to get in their way. Same in our churches today.
And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country.
The metaphor of the term “vineyard” was well known as referring to Israel. “For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel.” Isaiah 5:7. God planted Israel in the land they were now living in. He gave them the Ten Commandments as the “fence around it” to protect them. As they lived in obedience to the Ten Commandments they would have the protection of God and no one could destroy them. Jesus did everything He could to make them fruitful and productive. They were His “tenants” while He was in Heaven preparing for His coming as a baby.
When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
And when it came time for God to receive the fruit of obedience from His vineyard, Israel refused to give it to Him. He sent messengers, servants and prophets to His tenants to receive from them what was due Him. But they wanted the vineyard for themselves. They did not respect the rights of the Owner of the vineyard. They beat, shamefully treated and killed those sent from the Owner. When God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to collect the fruit of His vineyard, they killed Him “and threw Him out of the vineyard”.
Our churches, denominations and religious organizations are doing the very same things today. They refuse to give God the fruit He deserves and requires: obedience to His Ten Commandments. We want the blessings of God without the obligations owed Him. It is so much easier to sit in church believing we are “saved by grace” than to be obedient to Jesus and “work out our salvation” with fear and trembling.
What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
No one is listening today. The churches, denominations and religious institutions are all deaf. They want to do it their way. They want to produce their own kind of rotten fruit. They do not want to give God the beautiful fruit He requires: perfect, sinless obedience to the Ten Commandments. Nope, it is all about church, denominations and our religious institutions.
Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
The story behind that Scripture, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22), had to do with the building of the temple by Solomon. A large stone was brought to the building site but didn’t seem to fit. It was in the way and the workmen were stumbling over it. They rejected it and moved it out of their way. But when it came time to lay the cornerstone, none could be found that were suitable. The cornerstone was very important. It would have to bear the weight of the building and would need to be impervious to weather, pressure and variations in temperature. At last, someone stumbled upon the “rejected” stone. It was tested and proved to be exactly what was needed in every aspect.
Jesus, not our churches, denominations or religious institutions, is to be the Cornerstone of our lives. He can bear the weight of all our problems and difficulties. He has weathered the storms and persevered under every imaginable pressure laid upon Him. Leave your church, denomination and religious institutions and go stand on the Rock before it falls on you and crushes you.
And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
Absolutely. The churches hate this ministry. This ministry does not glorify the churches, denominations or religious institutions of the world. This ministry, raised up by Jesus Christ, glorifies Jesus and Jesus only.
And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk.
Oh yes, many have come to “trap” this ministry and find any and every flaw they can. They want to discredit it and destroy it. They want to lift up their human institutions, wisdom and beliefs above Jesus. Am I human? Yep! Like Peter, I make mistakes. There are lots of flaws in me and this ministry to point fingers at. But the message is of God. He dictates and directs it. Look to the message that comes from God and don’t pay any attention to the messenger.
And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”
The heart of Christ would have thrilled if they believed what they said about Him. But they did not. It was only a ploy. However, there will come a day when they will meet those words again. They will be held accountable for them. Then they will wish they had believed them.
But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”
I’m not wise. I’m stupid. I have stumbled right into the “hypocrisy” of those who came to trap and destroy this ministry. But Jesus is very kind and gracious to me and turns their own wickedness upon themselves. Jesus used a very simple, every-day substance, a coin, to show their hypocrisy. They used the “denarius” every day in their lives, and yet, they never thought of its significance in their lives. Jesus was about to point it out to them.
And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
They only saw a coin that represented wealth, power and influence. They did not look upon it to see their responsibilities to God and the civil authorities that were over them. I have had many proudly boast to me how they are avoiding paying taxes to their governments while claiming to be Christians. What hypocrisy. While boasting of their shrewdness, they were also demonstrating their inability to live in obedience to the commands of God.
And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying,
They were “sad - u - see” because they did not believe in the resurrection. This life was all they believed in. Therefore, get it all now. And to think, the Sadducees came from the line of Aaron and were to represent God as High Priests to the people. Their lives did not represent God.
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.
There is a huge difference between “laws” for the civil and social wellbeing of the nation and the Ten Commandment Law. The Ten Commandment Law had to do with sin and eternal life: Character. The civil and social wellbeing of the nation did not necessarily fall into the category of “sin”. They would be like our building codes or city ordinances or getting a speeding ticket. The breaking of the Ten Commandments was considered a felony with harsher consequences. “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray that God would give him life. This applies to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not telling you to pray about that.” 1 John 5:16.
The reason for the brother to raise up offspring for his dead brother was to keep the nation of Israel growing and not diminishing. Because of the many wars Israel had to engage in while possessing the land God was giving them, many men would die. God wanted them to populate the land of Israel as He wanted Adam and Eve to populate the earth and increase upon it. This law was only for Israel while it was under the theocracy of God.
At the time of Christ, none of that was needed or important. The Jews were no longer under the theocracy of God. Carrying around a poop stick today is also no longer necessary. Deuteronomy 23:13. But there are always those who refuse to look to the times and understand that God has specific requirements for specific times and seasons. When those requirements are no longer needed to fulfill His purposes, we are not to keep bringing them up. The Ten Commandments are for all time, all peoples in all the universe.
There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
That is the biggest problem with those who cause so much contention in the religious world. They “know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” It is all about showing off their pride, arrogance, church and wisdom. How many texts they know. Knowing a text is not the same as understanding the text in context.
For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Many claim Jesus is saying there will be no marriage in heaven. That is not what He is saying. He doesn’t say anything about marriage in heaven or on the NEW EARTH. He is simply meeting their question about the RESURRECTION. But how people like to read into statements ideas that are not there. The RESURRECTION has nothing to do with Heaven or the New Earth. Let us remember 2 Peter 3:16 and never add or subtract from any text. Never assume.
And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘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. You are quite wrong.” While the Sadducees were talking about dead men, Jesus wants people to know that He is God of the living. He was God of the widow, not the dead husbands. Once a person is dead, he is dead. There is nothing more for that person. It was the widow that God was concerned about. Someone had to take care of the widow. The plan he had instituted for the Israeli nation under His Theocracy provided for widows and orphans: the living. While the leadership of the church was so concerned about building monuments to the dead and claiming to obey Moses, they were not taking care of the widows, orphans or poor. Jesus cared for the living. Let us follow His example.
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
Like today, people run around wanting to know what “name” to call God, exactly how much to “pay” God, how long our church services should be, does God have a body, is Jesus “God”, the day Jesus died on and many, many more insane questions that have nothing to do with eternal life. “Which commandment is the most important of all?” is ridiculous. That is like those who think the 4th commandments is the “most important of all” while they sit in church on the Sabbath breaking the other nine. All Ten of the Commandments are essential for eternal life. None are more important than any other.
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
Instead of walking into the trap of debating each and every commandment and its weight on a scale of value, Jesus set forth the principle they were missing. It is the heart, not a command. Instead of putting so much energy into debating a value of a command, we need to put all of our heart, soul and mind to obeying all of the Ten Commandments. Therefore, the first “command” Jesus quoted from the Old Testament was not any one of the Ten Commandments, but a summation of the first four of the Ten Commandments. God is always to be first in our lives. Obedience to God must come before obedience to any earthly authority including church. In our obedience to God, we then fulfil the “second” command.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The last six of the Ten Commandments has to do with our love to our neighbors. If we love God, we will show our love to Him by how we treat each other. Jesus came and demonstrated those two “commands” perfectly. He kept the Ten Commandments perfectly, not breaking a single one of them by living in obedience to His Father. God does not want us going to church, we wants us fulfilling the Ten Commandments perfectly in our lives with all of our mind, soul and heart.
And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.
As the Jews of Christ’s day, so church members today. Churches today are making “gods” out of their pastors, churches, denominations, beliefs and religious institutions. But where are those serving God as He commands?
And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
This scribe understood that all the church-going, all the services, all the offerings, all the sacrifices, all the feast days, all the ceremonial activities and traditions of the church had nothing to do with eternal life. Loving God is to love each other as God loves us. That is all that counts. We measure our love to God and each other by the Ten Commandments. They are the mirror we use to see if we are measuring up to God’s expectations for us. Not one word in all the Ten Commandments tells us to “go to church”. Come to think about it, not one word in all the Bible tells us to “go to church”.
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
How far are you from the Kingdom of God? Have you measured yourself lately by the Ten Commandments? Do you covet? Are you stealing from the hungry? Are you providing everything you can to help this little ministry fulfill its mandate from God to feed the inmates the spiritual food they need for eternal life? Or, are you coveting, stealing and holding back that which will only be burned up at the end of time? You can’t take it with you. How is your character?
And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
The leaders were indignant that Jesus was calling Himself “Son of God”. By calling their God His Father, He was claiming to be the “Son of God” and their rightful Lord. They understood this to be in a literal sense, not as a metaphor. While Jesus, who made the claim, was living in obedience to His Father, the leaders of the church, who claimed they were “sons of God”, were not living in obedience to God.Therefore, Jesus did not debate with them, He didn’t try to persuade them. What He did was open up Scripture to them in a new light. How could the “son of David” be his “Lord”? They believed the Messiah would come from the lineage of David, therefore, Jesus could claim to be David’s “Lord” and the “Son of God”. Jesus had Scriptural foundation to be the Messiah they were all waiting for. They did not want to hear it!
And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Sounds a lot like our ministers, pastors, leaders, teachers and preachers today. They love to stand up in front of people taking praise, honor and “greetings”. Without a “church”, they would be nothing. So they have to build big and expensive churches by devouring widows’ incomes and poor people’s money. They do make long prayers for their own glory, show and ego, though. We need to stop feeding their pride, ego and pretenses by getting out of the churches and going to Jesus.
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
While the church was devouring the poor and widow’s money, people were “putting money into the offering box” thinking they were pleasing God. They were not. They gave out of their abundance. What they gave had no impact on their living. It was just a show. “Look at me, I love God so much, look how much I’m giving!”
But the poor widow, even though the church was misusing her funds, gave from a different motive. She was ignorant of the “use” of the money being put in. Today, there is no reason to be ignorant of where to put your money. She only had one thought in her mind, to give to God. It wasn’t a show, she had nothing to show. It wasn’t for ego, two pennies were not going to inflate her ego. She gave out of love to God. But what did she give? She gave ALL she had to live on.
I’ve had people tell me that the few dollars they were sending were like the widow’s mite. Was it really? Or were they just cheap? Did they really send ALL they had to live on for that month? Were they really sacrificing for God, or simply trying to excuse their cheapness?
Please do not misunderstand me. I appreciate every penny that is sent. This is God’s ministry. He started it, He continually keeps it. It is His Spirit that dictates and directs the material coming from it. I love and thank God for the donors He has sent. This has nothing to do with me or this ministry. As a servant of God, I must touch on matters of the heart and eternal life. I am simply explaining what was happening and the “why” Jesus pointed out the widow to His disciples. We need to look closely at our hearts and the motives for doing what we do.
There are former inmates who give more than they really are able to this ministry because they truly love this ministry for what Jesus has done for them. On less than $2,400 a month gross pay, they send at least $300 to $600 a month to this ministry. It isn’t about what “%” they give, it is about the heart and the love they have for Jesus and what He has done for them. They sacrifice to keep this ministry going. Most do not have a home of their own. They are almost “homeless”. Yet they sacrifice “all they have to live on” for God through this ministry.
“‘There were two men who owed money to a moneylender,’ Jesus began. ‘One owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other owed him fifty. Neither of them could pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Which one, then, will love him more?’ ‘I suppose’, answered Simon, ‘that it would be the one who was forgiven more.’ ‘You are right,’ said Jesus.” These inmates have been forgiven more, therefore they love more.
I praise God for the donors He has provided for this ministry. Each one is needed. This ministry has debts that God needs paid off. The debts were essential for the ministry to fulfill the mandate given by God. God is simply watching hearts to see where their love truly is. Let us love the Lord our God with ALL of our hearts, our minds and our souls.
Prison Mission Report
Brother Ron,I wanted to let you know that I received the book, CYLB. Thank you. I have been feeling emotionally beat down and physically abandoned. Thoughts in my mind are trying to cause me to be depressed. Victor, CA
Brother Ron,I received your pamphlet booklet and would like to receive the full Bible study. I’m ready to follow Jesus Christ to the fullest. Jimmy, TX
JCPM,I received your pamphlet and was happy to be made aware of your mission. I view this as God sending me a sign. Currently, I’ve been at my lowest. So close to losing my faith. God is reaching out to me, displaying to me that He will not let me lose faith. Personally, I’ve never been a part of any program such as yours. But I will be more than happy to partake in such wonderful guidance that you intend to give to lead me closer to God.Keith, VA
JCPM,I just read your “History of the Ministry” and I would like to continue learning with Bible studies.Eric, IL
JCPM,I have read the “History of the Ministry”. It is awesome. I would definitely continue my learning. I am writing to let you know I want to continue my Bible studies. I would like to send my friend’s name, Robert.Runner, KY
Brother Ron,I’m not sure how you acquired my name, but I’m happy you did. Thank you for sending me your pamphlet. Honestly, it was like Jesus had written me. I read your “Introductory Issue” cover to cover. My heart gnawed at me and I coveted the way God and Jesus answered all your prayers. As of late, I’ve been struggling, praying incessantly for peace of mind and peace of heart. I would love to participate in your correspondence course. I’ll be looking forward to your ministry and learning all I can about Jesus. Carlos, CA
Brother Ron, More and more every day, I am being convicted and assured that God’s moral law (Ten Commandments) has never been and never will be done away with. Recently I learned that 9 out of the Ten Commandments are mentioned in the New Testament. I am also convinced that all of us will be judged by God’s moral law. Now, what I’m doing, is every time I run into the word “LAW” in the New Testament, I stop to see in context exactly what law the passage is talking about. It’s amazing to me how I let myself be deceived for so many years by believing the whole “saved by grace” doctrine. I know now that all “saved by grace” really means is that God, out of His love for us, chose not to give us the punishment we deserved: death. I know too that grace has always existed because it was by this grace alone that Adam and Eve didn’t drop dead, right there on the spot just like they deserved. I am also convinced now that we are all responsible for our own salvation. Repentance is a process and not something we do only once. Recently I had a brother tell me that God says that He doesn’t remember our sins any more once we confess Jesus Lord and Savior. But to me, that means the sins of the past. All the sins we committed up to that point when we gave our life to Christ. That doesn’t mean we can keep on living as sinners after we have received Christ, thinking that He’s not going to look at our new sins. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Lately, I have been finding the boldness to tell the brothers to stop believing the lie of the enemy who wants them to believe that they cannot live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life that Jesus did. I keep telling them that we are called to be Christ-like and since Christ was sinless, we can be too! Remember that I mentioned to you that I was preparing for another sermon. Well, I gave it on the 14th. There were about 60 people present. I counted around 12 homosexuals present, a whole lot of lukewarm Christians, a whole lot of “saved by grace” believers and prosperity preachers and a few pagans. I started off by introducing myself and telling everybody that I loved them with the pure, sincere and honest kind of love that Jesus and only Jesus put in my heart for them. I also told them that because of this love, I cannot and will not compromise the Word of God. Therefore, I have to speak what the Spirit is telling me. So please do not get offended. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t tell you the truth. But because I love you, I have to tell you exactly what Jesus says. I touched on Romans 1:18-32. First and pretty much explained what Paul was saying but my emphases was on the fact that Jesus doesn’t change. He is the same Jesus today that He was back then. So, if Paul is telling the Romans that Jesus clearly got tired of the people’s wickedness and that He gave them over to shameful lusts, this has to mean that He abandoned them. Gave up on them, so to speak, since they kept choosing to disobey. I pointed out that they can’t claim that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and then say that He won’t do that today. I pointed out too, that Paul here is speaking about an event that happened in the Old Testament. So, if it was important for Paul, and he is using the Old Testament to preach and teach the new believers, why aren’t we doing the same today? And why are Christians still going around saying that the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us today? I pointed out that every time the New Testament talks about “Scripture” or “It is Written” every time we see any New Testament writer use either one of those phrases, we have to keep in mind that they had no New Testament at that time so they could only be talking about the Old Testament. And if it was important to them then, it should be very important to us. I also spoke about true repentance and true faith and pointed out that with true repentance and true faith there should also come a desire to change and be just like Jesus. I told them that when Jesus said that not everybody who called Him Lord was going to enter the Kingdom of God, He was speaking to people who thought they were saved. I also pointed out that Paul in Philippians 2:12 tells us to work out our salvation. We are responsible for our own salvation which means that we are to live in obedience to Jesus and Jesus only and not to any church or denomination or religion. I told them that salvation is not only a free gift, but it expresses itself in an ongoing process in which each believer is involved. I ended by telling everyone that Jesus and only Jesus can empower us to live in obedience to God. And yes, we can overcome homosexuality with His power. And not only homosexuality, but also every other behavior that is not pleasing to God: stealing, lying, jealousy, anger, hate, envy, greed, lust, etc. The next day, I had a meeting with a few ministers and this is what I told them. We are no longer going to be teaching anything other than what Jesus and the apostles taught. Our focus from now on is going to be on bringing men to Jesus in repentance and in disciplining them afterwards. Our focus is going to be on exhorting men to turn from their wicked ways and on showing them why we are told over and over in Scripture to separate ourselves from the world. On why we are called to be the Light of the World and salt of the earth. Why we are told to keep on working out our salvation with fear and trembling. From now on our focus is going to be on teaching men why prayer, faith, holiness, repentance and true obedience is so important. No more feel good preaching. No more prosperity preaching. No more speaking about what grace or salvation are without stressing that neither one is a license to sin. And no more arguing about disputable matters: tongues, laying on of hands, religious teachings, etc. The God we serve is not a God of confusion. He is not a God of “what ifs, maybes or possibilities”. The God we serve is not playing guessing games with us. The Bible means exactly what it says and says what it means. No more adding or taking away from Scripture. If you are not 100% sure on anything, don’t speak on it. Be yourselves and stop trying to imitate all those pastors you see on TV. Let the Holy Spirit of God be your guide behind that pulpit. Remember that we are not here to entertain. Remember always that Jesus is the one running the show here, not us. I spoke about a couple other things too. I told everybody present (15) that Jesus didn’t come to earth to disobey His Father. So, in saying that the Law has been done away with, you are pretty much saying Jesus is a liar. I advised them to start doing their homework as I have been doing in regards to the word “Law”. I told them that God’s Moral Law has never been done away with and never will be. So, from now on, when speaking about “Law”, you better define exactly what “Law” you are speaking of. The next day, one of the brothers told me that I spoke as if I was under law, not grace. I told him that all grace did was save us from physical death. And Yes, I am under all of God’s moral laws. He doesn’t know if he will be coming anymore. I felt great saying that I am under law. The next day two more ministers quit. One is Episcopalian. The other got upset because I said no more prosperity preaching. No more speaking in tongues. I felt great because I had been asking God to bring those to me who don’t want to be a part of this program. He did! I love my Lord and Savior so much. Armando, NV
Dear Brother Ron,I received your letter and always, it was a blessing to hear from you and Duke. Duke really is a cool dog. I see you both have a lot of love for each other. I am beginning to see Christian life is very lonely. But I’m never alone because God is always with us. Lately, as I share the truth, people have begun to shy away and to say hurtful things towards me. I pray for them. I realize, to love God I have to let go of the world and the people who live for the world. I know the future holds new friends, like you. Some days I struggle in my walk simply because everyone here is mostly brainwashed. But I continue to share and believe God will bring the increase. God has brought me a very long way. My family are stuck in the ways they were taught. When I try to share with them, it causes confusion. I feel helpless. Same here. There are guys I fellowshipped with for years. Now they feel I am crazy and it is impossible for us to discuss God’s Word because they believe what they believe. My life has changed a great deal since reading “Change Your Life Biblically”. The way I think, the way I talk, the way I interact with people. I am always in deep thought about God and how He sees my actions. I am truly working the 8 steps and whatever else I need to remove from my lifestyle that is not pleasing to God. I admire you for standing up for God and working for His kingdom, brother Ron. I have met a lot of people over 56 years, but I must say, you are the greatest blessing God has ever bestowed upon my life. God bless you and this ministry forever more.James, LA
JCPM,I’ve been incarcerated for 19 years now. I have about 3 years left to do. During my incarceration I’ve been on and off with our Lord. After reading your introductory issue, I’m interested about learning more and getting involved in everything you have to offer so that upon my release I can be a better person to those around me. I want to get closer to our Lord.Juan, IL
Dear Ron,May the Lord Jesus bless you for reaching out to me. I am thankful that you took the time to send me the packet that has had me wanting to be able to receive the book, “Change Your Life Biblically”. The night your packet slid under my door, me and my cellie were working out and as I paused to use the restroom, I thought, man that pen-pal website is a joke. I spent my money for no reason. But I felt the Spirit say, you are going to receive something. And you know what, I sure did. I am 27 years old. I’ve been doing time, in and out, since I was a juvenile. Ron, it is getting real tiring doing the same old things. What you say in your packet is so, so, so true about how “so called saved Christians” go to “church” act all holy and come out even worse. These churches don’t teach truth. Ron my brother, I truly need change. I would love to receive your book, “Change Your Life Biblically”. I’m eager to learn and eager to REALLY change my life according to the Word. Eddie, OK
Dear Ron,I’m serving multiple life sentences. After reading your booklet, I too want to be saved and a true believer of the truth. Do send me any materials that will educate me about the Lord and the truth.Ruben, CO
Dear Ron,I recently received the Introductory Issue of JCPM and really enjoyed it. I have been incarcerated on a capital life sentence since 1991. I was 15 years old when I came to prison. For over 20 years I was heavily involved in the negative aspects of prison. I finally decided to turn my life over. I would really like to receive the “Change Your Life Biblically” book and course.Timothy, TX
Brother Ron,I finally received my book 3 days ago. I love the book. The way you break it down so I can be “unbrainwashed” and see things from God’s perspective instead of mine. I can say, you are good at what you do. I understand grace now and faith much more. Our faith has to match our action or it will be useless. Nasir, NJ
Testimony for God's Children
Our churches are putting us to sleep. We are not awake. The Bible has warned us in Revelation, but for some reason, we are not listening. The following is from God to those who claim to be His children today. Please, listen and put into practice the warnings from Heaven.
Pride and Vain Thoughts
Dear Children (Church Members):
You are deceived in regard to yourselves. You are not Christians. To be true Christians is to be Christlike. You are far from the mark in this respect; but I hope that you will not be deceived until it is too late for you to form characters for heaven.
Today, being “Christian” has nothing to do with being Christlike. It has to do with belonging to a church, religion or denomination and “claiming” to be “Christian”. All are asleep. All are truly what Revelation calls, “Laodicean”. It is amazing how we can read about it in Revelation and yet, for some reason, think it doesn’t apply to “me”. If you think Jesus is coming soon, then please remember, only 144,000 will be alive who will be translated off this planet. Those 144,000 will have to live without sin, perfectly, for seven months from the close of probation to the coming of Jesus. If you are not living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life now, you are not Christlike and will not be in Heaven.
Your example has not been good. You have not come to the point to obey the words of Christ: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Here are lessons that you have not learned. The denial of self has not been a part of your education. You have neglected to study the words of life. “Search the Scriptures,” said the heavenly Teacher. He knew that this was necessary for all in order for them to become Christ’s true followers. You love to read storybooks (sci-fi, action movies, love stories, politics, church material, etc), but do not find the word of God interesting. You should restrict your reading to the word of God and to books that are of a spiritual and useful character. In so doing you will close a door against temptation, and you will be blessed.
I find the above very interesting. Not once is the suggestion made for them to “go to church” and listen to a preacher. They are reminded to “Search the Scriptures,” for their eternal life. Very little of that is being done today by church members. They go to church and listen to men pontificate on nothing that has to do with turning away from sin and living in obedience to Jesus. It is all about church, church, and more church. Many will read a verse or two of the Bible. Many love to read those verses that agree with them. But few study the Bible from beginning to end to find what is needed to change their lives.
Had you improved the light that has been given . . ., you would now be far in advance of what you are in the divine life. Both of you are vain and proud. You have not felt that you must give an account of your stewardship. You are accountable to God for all your privileges and for all the means which pass through your hands. You have sought your own pleasure and selfish gratification at the expense of conscience and the approval of God. You do not act like servants of Christ, who are responsible to the Saviour who has bought you with His own precious blood. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
The doctrine which was delivered to them made them free from sin. Is your church teaching you how to become “free from sin”? Are you becoming “servants of righteousness”? Or are you slaves to your motorcycle clubs, your gaming clubs, your church clubs and other organizations which are taking God’s money from His work? Are you just a “good” person, or are you truly Christlike?
You are professedly the servants of Christ. Do you then yield to Him ready and willing obedience? Do you earnestly inquire how you shall best please Him who has called you to be soldiers of the cross of Christ? Do you both lift the cross and glory in it? Answer these questions to God. All your acts, however secret you may think they have been, are open to your heavenly Father. Nothing is hidden, nothing covered. All your acts and the motives which prompt them are open to His sight. He has full knowledge of all your words and thoughts. It is your duty to control your thoughts. You will have to war against a vain imagination. You may think that there can be no sin in permitting your thoughts to run as they naturally would without restraint. But this is not so. You are responsible to God for the indulgence of vain thoughts; for from vain imaginations arises the committal of sins, the actual doing of those things upon which the mind has dwelt. Govern your thoughts, and it will then be much easier to govern your actions. Your thoughts need to be sanctified. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” When you come into this position, the work of consecration will be better understood by you both. Your thoughts will be pure, chaste, and elevated; your actions pure and sinless. Your bodies will be preserved in sanctification and honor, that you may present them “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” You are required to deny self in little as well as in greater things. You should make an entire surrender to God; you are not approved of Him in your present state.
Churches “are not approved of Him in your present state”. The difference between today’s “church” and the “assemblies” of the early Christians is this. Today, we sit looking to the front of the church honoring a man speaking to us with a heart full of sin. Then we go home and think we have fulfilled our duty to God. The early Christians gathered facing each other, sharing Jesus with each other. They talked with each other about the sins in their lives and helped each other overcome. The Bible tells us that we are to be “overcomers”. 1 John 2:13. Have you overcome all sin in your life? Are you “pure and sinless”? Why are you going to church?
You have had an unsanctified influence over the youth in (church). Your love of show leads to an expenditure of means which is wrong. You do not realize the claims that the Lord has upon you. You have not become acquainted with the sweet results of self-denial. Its fruits are sacred. To serve yourselves and to please yourselves has been the order of your lives. To spend your means to gratify pride has been your practice. Oh, how much better it would have been for you to have restrained your desires and made some sacrifice for the truth of God, and by thus denying the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life have had something to put into the treasury of God! Instead of purchasing frivolous things, put your little into the bank of heaven, that when the Master comes you may receive both principal and interest.
For most, when the word “lust” is used, we automatically think of sex. But “lust” in the spiritual sense is much broader. You can lust after wealth, entertainment, food, clothes, pride, church and so much more. The “lust” of self is so destructive.
Have you both studied how much you could do to honor your Redeemer upon the earth? Oh, no! You have been pleased to honor yourselves and to receive honor of others, but to study to show yourselves approved of God has not been the burden of your lives. Religion, pure and undefiled, with its strong principles, would prove to you an anchor. In order to answer life’s great ends you must avoid the example of those who are seeking for their own pleasure and enjoyment, and who have not the fear of God before them. God has made provisions for you that are ample. He has provided that if you comply with the conditions laid down in His word, and separate from the world, you may receive strength from Him to repress every debasing influence and to develop that which is noble, good, and elevating. Christ will be in you “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The will, the intellect, and every emotion, when controlled by religion, have a transforming power.
Can others see the “transforming power” of God in your life? Or do you look like any other of those around you? A belief that isn’t “seen” is no belief at all. Going to church on the Sabbath makes you no different from those who go to church on Sunday. Church doesn’t make you a Christian. Obedience to all the Ten Commandments makes you Christlike.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Here is a principle which lies at the foundation of every act, thought, and motive; the consecration of the entire being, both physical and mental, to the control of the Spirit of God. The unsanctified will and passions must be crucified. This may be regarded as a close and severe work. Yet it must be done, or you will hear the terrible sentence from the mouth of Jesus: “Depart.” You can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth you. You are of that age when the will, the appetite, and the passions clamor for indulgence. God has implanted these in your nature for high and holy purposes. It is not necessary that they should become a curse to you by being debased. They will become this only when you refuse to submit to the control of reason and conscience. Restrain, deny, are words and works with which you are not familiar by experience. Temptations have swayed you. Unsanctified minds fail to receive that strength and comfort that God has provided for them. They are restless and possess a strong desire for something new, something to gratify, to please and excite the mind; and this is called pleasure. Satan has alluring charms to engage the interest and excite the imagination of the youth in particular, that he may fasten them in his snare. You are building upon the sand. You need to cry earnestly: “O Lord, my inmost soul convert.” You can have an influence for good over other young people, or you can have an influence for evil. May the God of peace sanctify you wholly, soul, body and spirit. 3T 81-84.