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Bringing Tongues Of Fire
From The Sparks Of Faith...

 


LESSON 12

THE GOSPEL 3

MATTHEW 2

By Rev. G. Evan Newmyer


INTRODUCTION TO LESSON 12

We're half way through Matthew and we can see how the Foundation takes more time than one would think. Matthew is loaded with information and mysteries regarding the Mercy of God. It’s obvious we must have a grasp on the Mercy of God in order to appreciate the Grace of God.

The kingdom of heaven is Mercy based, the Kingdom of God is Grace based; therefore, Matthew is the basis for Mercy, the element brings us into the Ways of the Father. We want to remember how Matthew is the only writer who uses the phrase "kingdom of heaven". We are to be holy as our Father by granting Mercy as our Father, thus Mercy and Holiness relate; let us continue with Matthew's Account.




LESSON 12

THE GOSPEL 3

MATTHEW'S ACCOUNT - PART 2


We pick up where we left off, again we find unbelief stops the work of the Lord in our lives. The same unbelief can be evidenced in one questioning the Bible, or using the words of other unbelievers to condone their unbelief. The downfall of the children in the wilderness  was their unbelief; Jude said God destroyed those who believed not (Jude 5). The old man exists by unbelief, the New Man keeps giving us reasons to believe.

And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (13:58).

Unbelief places a wall between the Lord and us, here we find the unbelief prevented the Lord from working in their lives. The works prohibited were the Mighty Works, thus Jesus was able to heal a few sick folks (Mark 6:5). This area is an important issue, to believe or not to is still a matter of choice. Unbelief will disguise itself, yet it still comes from the same source, the old man. Unbelief begins with “well, I don’t see the evidence”, then when clear verses are presented. It changes to “well, it’s not clear enough”, their mind is not willing to believe even when faced with evidence. The deception comes in many forms, one is “I believe it is not….”, which is still unbelief.

The people in this town used the same old nature, they trusted in presumption, but rejected the evidence. They filtered their conclusions through the strongman, if it didn’t equate to the stronghold, they rejected it for the reasoning. Pitiful, sad, yet a warning.

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in Him (14:1-2).

This is the other side of unbelief, Herod's guilt regarding John the Baptist is exposed, he also has to make a decision. Herod could run to Jesus and seek forgiveness, or hold to his fear, allowing it to produce bitterness. Herod was a Jew, not a Roman, his conclusion about one being raised from the dead before they could do any Mighty Work is interesting. Herod had the right conclusion, but the wrong premise: before we can be used for Mighty Works we must die to the self, and be raised by the power of the Resurrection of Jesus. The disciples did wonderful works before the Cross, they didn't do Mighty Works. Greater Works and Mighty Works include being Born Again in order to have a spiritual ability by the Spirit of Truth.

For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for you to have her (14:3-4)

This describes why John was taken by Herod, and what caused Herod's fear. Herod knew John was a prophet, but Herod's lust was greater than his conviction. He knew what he did was wrong, yet he added to the wrong with another wrong, just to keep his lustful pride. Herod was by no means Chosen, but he was nonetheless among the called. Herod made the agreement to follow the Law until the Messiah came, thus John rebukes him according to the Law, yet Herod confused issues, John didn’t begin the Body of Christ, Jesus did.

Herod's wife, Herodias, was first the wife of Philip, Herod's brother. Herodias had a daughter by the name of Salome; therefore Salome was the niece of Herod. Herodias couldn't see any real future with Philip, so she allowed her lust to guide her, and she left Philip and married Herod. Herod divorced his first wife, the daughter of Nabataean king Aretas, to marry Herodias. John continually said the marriage was unlawful, since Philip never sought or obtained a bill of divorcement.

Herodias used her beauty to get what she wanted, when she wanted it, her daughter followed her example. Philip never divorced Herodias; therefore, she was living in adultery. Herod condoned the sin to satisfy his lust, and both of them justified their actions. Herod being the leader had more responsibility, his example was a shame to his position. John the Baptist made it clear, both Herod and Herodias were living in an adulterous affair. They had choice presented to them in the rebuke, but instead of taking the rebuke from the mouth of the prophet, they took the head of the prophet. Herod attempted to stop the prophet's mouth by cutting off his head, but it didn't stop the words of the prophet, those words were taking their toll.

And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet (14:5).

Herod didn't fear John, rather he feared the people; it would have been better to fear John. This also shows how Herod knew John was a prophet, and he knew the words spoken by the man were coming from God, but he simply didn't care.

Herod’s father didn’t only kill the innocent children, he was known for killing anyone whom he thought was a threat. The Hasmonaean family, better known as the Maccabees had taken over the priesthood, then some of them illegally took over the kingship. The only people who are God ordained to be both kings and priests are Christians (Rev 1:6 & 5:10). Herod had them all killed, including his Hasmonaean wife Mariamne, along with the two sons she bore him. Even though Herod tried in many ways to placate the Jews, including restoring the temple, the people never did forgive him for destroying the Hasmonaean family. Yet, it was an unlawful act of proclaiming to be priest and king which ruined the kingly order. The Romans would appoint Herod a king, a Gentile appointing a Jew! The further result was young Herod, who disregarded the Law, to do as he desired.

We can see how he feared the people, for the people considered John a prophet. It would be like living the nightmare over again. The people would hate him, as they did his father. Nonetheless, every man is drawn away by his own lust, Herod allowed his to become his ”ruler”.

But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John the Baptist's head in a charger (14:6-8).

Herod's lust toward Salome was obvious, and Herodias was going to use it to her advantage. Her mother had preplanned this, (before instructed), then allowed it for the sake of making one request, the head of John. Salome didn’t only dance, she danced naked. Herod was stuck with his vow, he had to do what he really didn’t want to, but not because of the vow alone, but what others might think of him. Keeping a foolish vow based on what others might think, is bowing to please man.

Herodias prostituted her daughter before the king, to get her own way. There are various degrees of being self-centered, Herodias is the epitome of the self-based, self-serving mind. Her example is our warning, any of us can fall into the trap of prostituting the gift to get our own way (James 1:14).

And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her (14:9).

Herod was caught with his own oath, his foolish vow came as result of his lust ruling him. Herod loved to hear John talk, thus just hearing the words, or reading the Bible doesn't bring faith, faith comes to ears desiring to hear and obey words of Life of the Spirit. Herod could have rebuked Salome, but his lust and pride ruled. He excused his lust, his oath, his position, and delivered up the prophet unto death to protect his pride. We can kill prophets in many ways, discouragement is as deadly as a gun; stones of theological abuse hurt as much as stones made of brick.

The last thing in Herod’s mind was the request of Salome, yet the enemy is the father of all terrorists. The enemy never attacks where you expect it, or when you expect it, rather in order to induce his terror he attacks where we don’t expect, in a manner we’re not expecting. The Holy Ghost is fully able to warn us of things to come, and give us words for the moment, far better to mind the Spirit, than the flesh.

And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus (14:10-12).

The question arises, Why didn't Jesus raise John from the dead? John had a job, when his was finished, he had a testimony. Jesus knew where John would be, the place for John was much better for John, for Jesus, and the for the people.

If God is no respecter of persons, and He released Peter from prison, why not John? Purpose, thus we need discernment. The first premise is knowing God has purpose, He had purpose in the Fall, He even purpose in Judas. Judas is used as an example of someone who enters the Mercy of God, yet rejects the premise and falls back to perdition, thus he has purpose. Not saying God made Judas act, only God saw it, as well as seeing Judas was going to do, what Judas was going to, thus God worked it into the plan for the good of those called, and to those who love God.

John the Baptist knew he had to decrease in order for Jesus to increase; however, the people wouldn't allow John to decrease (Jn 3:30). Jesus had the power to save John, but Jesus also had the power to save Himself, it was better to complete the will of God, than the will of man.

When Jesus heard of it, He departed there by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities (14:13).

Mark tells us the disciples of Jesus returned, then Jesus took them to a desert place so they could rest (Mark 6:31). Luke shows the location was near Bethsaida, on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. John the Apostle finishes this by telling us this was near the second Passover during the earthly ministry of Jesus (Jn 6:4).

The death of John the Baptist coexisted with his ministry. John's death explains why we don’t see anyone else water baptized in John’s name, as well as not seeing anyone water baptized until Pentecost. The time of John’s ministry and baptism was limited, it ceased because it served its purpose (Acts 19:3).

The time of the earthly ministry of Jesus is defined by the Passover's; the First Passover Jesus cleaned the temple of those who sought gain off the Dove (Jn 2:13). The Second Passover was the teaching on the Bread of Life, at the time some of the disciples were so offended, they left Jesus and followed Him no more (Jn 6:66). On the Third Passover Jesus cleaned the temple again, only this time it was because of the failure to make it a House of prayer (Mark 11:17). Jesus went to the Cross on the Third Passover ending the earthly ministry; therefore, the earthly ministry was just over two years. We count one year from the First Passover, to the second, giving us one year; then  another year from the Second to the Third giving us two years, and the Third Passover ended the earthly ministry. Some see “three Passovers”, and say, “must have been three years”, but it doesn’t take into consideration the fact of the first Passover beginning the ministry, the time was still within the 40 day wilderness experience (Jn 1:35, 1:43, 2:1, 2:13 & 3:24). Here we are near the half way point, the disciples will be half way across the sea, when the challenge approaches, what to do? Jesus gave them the example, continue on.

To assume Jesus wandered off to mourn John's death, would also assume Jesus had no idea of where John would be. Not so, we see from the verses Jesus knew John would be among those taken Captive. Jesus wasn't sad for John, rather Jesus was sad for those who beheaded John.

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick (14:14).

The people also knew John the Baptist was just beheaded; prior these same people heard no greater man had been born of a woman (natural conception process) than John the Baptist. With John's death the entire hope of the people rested in Jesus, yet if they can kill John, what’s next?

And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals (14:15).

Often the winds on the sea were so great at night, no fishing boats could dare be caught on the water. We can see how the disciples felt they were being benevolent with their regard for the people; however, they also wanted the people to leave to fend for their selves. Jesus had another plan in mind, one showing the disciples the source of their need. In this case the disciples had a problem, they went to the bag, checked the books, looked into their own pockets, yet there wasn't near enough to buy for all these people, thus it seemed reasonable to send them away to gain their own need. What seemed reasonable, was really a sign of unbelief, all they had to do was say "Lord what would you have us do?".

But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give you them to eat. And they said unto Him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes (14:16-17).

The disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away, but Jesus said, No, You take care of them. Prior to this the disciples went into cities, preaching and being cared for, now it was time for them to give as they received; however, the reality and facts said it was impossible, they had nothing to give. Mark shows they had five loaves and two fish (Mark 6:38), Luke shows the same (Luke 9:13).

In John we find this was a test, although it was for all the disciples, Philip was the central figure of the testing (Jn 6:5-6). At the same time there stood Judas, the holder of the bag. No one asked, “hey, how come there isn’t enough money?”. Even on the night of the Passover the disciples felt Judas was going out to buy something for the poor, he did have the bag you know (Jn 13:29). John also tells us the five loaves and two fish came from a lad, yet Philip looked to his group for the need, Jesus saw it in the people (Jn 6:9).

Jesus tempted Philip, but we are told God will not tempt us with evil, could we form a doctrine regarding Jesus, based on the premise? Yes, but it would be false, since the tempting of Philip was for Good, not evil. The word Tempt has two edges, one exposes to bring a testing to our faith, the other is evil to draw us away from God. In this case the test was to expose something in Philip and the others, thus it was a test sent by Jesus but received as a temptation in Philip’s mind. If Philip would have said, “tell me what to do Lord, and I will”, it would remain as a test. The same Greek word means either a test or temptation, it came from Jesus as a test, thus Philip’s reception made it a temptation for him. Philip went to the place of money, thus he determined the ability on money, not Jesus. The deceitfulness of riches is the thought of money curing our ills; Jesus was going to show Philip the Provision could be obtained without money. A tough lesson for most people, since we are raised to depend on money as our source.

Andrew looked at the five loaves and two fish, and said, "but what are they among so many?" (Jn 6:9). Andrew looked at the product before it was blessed, but found after the blessing it was more than enough. The deeper lesson is also the most obvious: it's not what we start with, it's whether or not the Lord has blessed it. We tend to look upon ourselves and say, "what am I among so many?", but Jesus takes, blesses, brakes, and puts us back into service, producing more than enough to do the job.

The five fish didn't become fifty fish, the two loaves didn't become two hundred, they simply kept producing until all was complete. Some contend over the feeding, calling it a fable, but they miss the lesson, there are those who think if they can’t do it, neither can Jesus. The lesson goes far beyond the natural, the Fish represent the Spirit, the Bread the Body, Jesus takes, breaks, blesses and builds; the Body will start with these disciples (less Judas), and continue to grow from the basis.

He said, Bring them here to Me. And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude (14:18-19).

Whether it was dirt or grass, the people had to sit, thus becoming a symbol of humbleness. Mercy like belief is a decision and choice on our part, Mercy demands a humble heart ready to receive; forgive and love regardless of the event or person. Jesus didn't look at the bread or fish, He looked to the place where all blessings come. The Law says, The Lord will bless the Bread and Water, taking sickness away from the midst of us (Ex 23:25). In this case we find the Bread representing the Body, the Water as Mercy, the testing humbleness (Deut 8:2).

And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children (14:20-21).

Jesus didn't turn the stones into Bread, He made the Bread multiply, yet it began and remained Bread. However, those who received attempted to make Jesus turn the stones into bread. John refers to this feeding when it became a test for the people; after the feeding Jesus went to the other side. The people followed, not for the Word's sake, rather it was for their belly's sake (Jn 6:15-26). The people challenged Jesus demanding Manna (Jn 6:34-43); in essence the people are "praying the Scriptures", they used Scripture in talking to Jesus, but they were also attempting to manipulate Him into doing something they wanted, rather than seek what Jesus wanted. The test was on them, but they were attempting to tempt Jesus.

And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away (14:22).

The disciples wanted to send the people into villages, based on the torment of the sea at night. Now we add the word Obedience to the concept of faith, thus we find faith without obedience and endurance will fall apart in the storm. When the disciples were handed the Bread and Fish they obeyed and gave, now their obedience was not based on what was in hand, now the future, they were going to the other side.

Luke adds to this, showing just prior to the disciples leaving, they were with Jesus for a short period of time. At the time the disciples were asked "Whom say the people I am?" (Luke 9:18). This is different from Matthew 16:13 based on the location, timing and the answer, thus they were asked this question more than once. In Luke, Peter answered the question by saying, "The Christ of God" (Luke 9:20), and in John 6:69 and in Matthew the answer grows to, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt 16:16); however, in Matthew it would be the second time Peter would use the phrase. The first time was the day after the feeding in John 6:69, at the time it was a revelation from the Father as an incentive to remain with Jesus, rather than leave as did some of the others. This is another area helping us to understand why Jesus asked Peter the three questions after the Resurrection.

Peter made statements with his mouth, but they were hardly confessions. Peter needed something based on a confidence in order for his statements to be a Confession. There is much more to Godly belief than an natural intellectual view, or an assumption of belief. Godly Belief must include a firmness in God, a confidence of God being our source, with the Spirit providing a manner of life that proving it.

And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone (14:23).

Did you see it? See what? Jesus sent the people away, but not before He took care of them. There is a time to separate from the multitudes, but not before they have received the Bread of Life. The disciples simply didn’t want to be bothered, Jesus wanted to pray for the people. We never see Jesus pray before He teaches, but we often see Him pray after.

Luke adds to the events, thus Matthew shows the addition was proper, rather than some addition by an over zealous scribe (whatever it means - Luke 9:18-20). Matthew shows Jesus was alone, indicating the disciples had departed, but Luke shows there was a short period of time prior thereto for a question regarding who Jesus is. This answer will add to the reason Peter walks on the water, and why Peter made the decision.

We must also see when Peter answered the question, his words should have been the basis for the confidence they needed to get to the other side. This one area more than any other proves God has purpose. Jesus said go to the other side, so what if they don’t? They can take the boat tomorrow, not so, obedience was the purpose. They had to learn to obey without question, knowing Jesus already seen them there.

The question to us is, What do we do with the faith in our hands? Peter had a word, then came the testing, isn't it the way it always is? There are many times when the Door to the testing comes from our own mouths. "Well, I have faith in God, and nothing disrupts me". Oh man, watch out, there is a boat rocking meeting about to take place.

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea (14:24-25).

Here we find some metaphors, the winds (not Wind) are actions to disrupt us, the Sea is the Gentile world, the Boat represents us as Islands. Here the winds were contrary, and contrary winds are sent by the prince of the power of the air to take our minds off the Wind of the Lord. Some have a great deal of trouble believing this experience, but isn’t it the test of belief? Perhaps the evidence of our unbelief is found in our inability to believe Jesus or Peter walking on the water. Simply because we haven't done it, doesn't mean Jesus can't. The interesting element is how Peter never again attempted to walk on water, rather he swam like the rest of us (Jn 21:7). This walking on water by Peter is a far different than Jesus walking on water. For Jesus we find He is above the Seas, the Sand of the Sea, and the Earth. Jesus is still the Word, all things were created by the Word for the Word.

This could present a problem if one looked at Revelation 4:11, causing them to miss the point. Revelation 4:11 shows how the Lord has created, yet we know the Father did the creation, what gives? The Word was the means for Creation, it’s the point. The Creation is in the hands of the Father, but By and For Jesus (The Word), thus we find the Father said "Let there be Light", projecting the Word, then the Spirit was over the waters, One God all and all, in the beginning of time. Now in the fullness of time we find another creation, the creation (or formation same Greek word) of the New Man through Grace, yet it's still One God all in all.

Since the Sea is a symbol of the world, we can understand why Jesus tells us, In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. If Jesus has overcome the world, so has His Body, which we are. This would also fit with “all things under His feet”, meaning all things are subject to Him, even the water.

This is more than some tempest in the sea, the winds came, the water rose up against the disciples, then fear entered. As soon as the storm was able to produce fear, they forgot the purpose was to Cross the Sea, not stop half way.

Jesus sent the disciples; therefore, He was fully able to get them to the other side. Now we can see how both Luke's and John’s accounts show Peter's confession was being tested, if this Jesus is the Christ, then His commands are able to be carried out. Therefore, saying Jesus is The Christ is one thing, believing it another. It's easy to tell others to have faith, it's easy to teach on faith, it's another to have faith when the Sea attacks.

Mark shows Jesus would have passed the disciples by, except for their cries (Mark 6:48-49). Jesus told them to Go to the other side where He was going there to meet them, yet they heard the sounds of the wrong wind and stopped. Why wouldn't Jesus stop for  them? After all they were His disciples, and they were in trouble. He told them "Go to the other side", it would have been a lack of faith on His part to entertain the motion of them not obeying.

There are also times we must call out, before we gain the attention of the Lord. Jesus knew the storm was coming, He knew the disciples were in trouble, but they had to know help was at hand, yet they had to ask for it. The sovereignty of God does not dispel the free moral choice of man, it's activated or deactivated by the decisions of man.

Luke shows Jesus asking the disciples, "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:25). Was their faith in God? Or the storm? Or in their confession? Where was it? In the valleys and storms we must have faith going in, or we will panic in the face of danger. John adds to Luke, supporting Matthew, by telling us Jesus said, "It is I; be not afraid" (Jn 6:20). Their belief and faith were standing before them, all they had to do was recall it was Jesus who put them on the sea; therefore, He was fully able to get them through the storm to the other side (Rom 4:20-21). John also shows the boat was about "twenty or thirty furlongs", and John was one of those disciples in the boat, as was Matthew. The accepted distance of a Furlong is 220 yards, according to the measurements the boat was about half way, it was just as far to go back, as it was to go on, it’s where most of us face the test. The command was to go to the other side, not walk on the water.

We also have an external paradox, there are those who claim, “well the verses are not in some manuscripts”, as their excuse not to believe. Yet when the verses, such as these showing Jesus walking on the water appear in the manuscripts they say, “well it’s doubtful, it was put in to make a point”, even if the verses are there they still don’t want to believe things beyond their own natural ability. If they can’t walk on water, no one can. If they can’t raise the dead, then no one can. If they can’t speak in tongues, no one can.

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear (14:26).

Here is a perfect example of Jesus being there, yet unbelief yells out "it's a devil", thus when the storm hits puny faith assumes the devil brought it. In this case where the storm came from was not the issue, Jesus being there was. The disciples saw Storm, their minds saw destruction, yet Jesus said He would meet them on the other side.

But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be You, bid me come unto You on the water (14:27-28).

Faith came before they entered the boat, now it was time for the application. Some of us think Peter had the courage of a lion with the brains of a rock, but Peter trusted in Jesus, his error was in his purpose and means. In this situation Peter left the Lord no choice; what was the Lord to say? This is one of those areas where we assume Jesus has given us permission, when in fact He has merely responded to a question in the only manner we allowed. We could pray, "Jesus if You are Lord, bid me go", what's He going to say "No"? Did Jesus fall for the temptation? Not hardly, He was about to administer a test. When our prayer becomes a temptation unto the Lord, it doesn’t mean the Lord is tempted, it means a Test is on the way back, Peter was going to have his own personal “quail hunt”.

The Sea is now calm, Peter steps out on the water, "Look at my faith boys, I can walk on water". Peter's faith was based in what he saw, not obedience. Jesus told them Go to the other side, here Peter is attempting to change the command, but by his experience we find an act of puny faith can put us in danger of drowning. Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, then decided to prove his faith by walking on the water like Jesus. So, what could be wrong with it? The command was not, “walk on water”, but “go to the other side”.

The event would have been different if Jesus was in the boat and told Peter, "Peter, get out and walk on the water". Our natural faith is productive, but it never reaches the goal. We have access by His (Jesus) Faith, not by our faith (Eph 3:12). We have Life by the Faith of the Son of God, not by our faith (Gal 2:20); yet, without our faith in Jesus we have neither access or life.

Peter walked on the water, not bad, but Jesus exposed the act as puny (little) faith, but why? We can now see why, Jesus told them to go to the other side, it would have been Faith, since it entailed obedience. Well gee, walking on the water also entailed obedience. No it didn’t, Peter’s question only left one answer, it was not, “Lord if it’s your desire bid me to come to you”.

When Jesus told these men they had puny faith it wasn't to belittle them, but to expose the limit of their measure of faith. We must know our natural faith has a limit, we can twist our natural faith into will power, or attempt to make it spiritual without the Spirit, or we can put it in God, the choice is ours. Our measure of faith is like the Mercy God grants us, it’s a gift, but in our hands, use it accordingly and it becomes beneficial.

And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me (14:29-30).

Peter's goal was to get to Jesus, but the method he used was not in line with faith, rather it was in line with manipulation. Therefore, the minute the storm spoke, Peter’s attention went right back to the thing he feared the most, thus the storm was able to remove his focus, meaning his effort was based in puny faith. However, puny faith, and no faith at all are different. Paul said, not all men have faith, it’s only the unreasonable and wicked lack faith (II Thess 3:2). God spoke through Isaiah saying, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts" (Isa 55:7). Paul's Greek word translated as Unreasonable means "One out of location", or "One limited to occupancy"; Isaiah uses a Hebrew word meaning, "Come to naught" or "Vain", yet the concept is the same. The unreasonable is one who is unteachable, the wicked entered but rather than use faith, they use the he of the world. Both began with the measure of faith, but both cast it off for their own self-interests. However, there is hope, this is still the Day, while it is yet To-day we can change from unbelief to belief, from the self to faith. God added, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways" (Isa 55:8). The Ways which are not God's, are the ways of the Unrighteous, or Unreasonable, the Thoughts not of God, are the thoughts of the Wicked; however, if one is among either of these two classes they can repent, be Born Again and have the thoughts and ways of God by the Spirit (I Cor 2:10-16).

Peter is an example of having a desire, but using the wrong premise. Jesus answering a question which leaves no other answer, is not the same as obeying a command. The failure isn't the fault of Jesus, it isn't the fault of the calling or position, it rests in a natural impulse which lacks spiritual discernment. The command was to get to the other side, it was not stop and show your faith half way, thus Peter failed at the command, but like all iniquity it will lead to doing something else, in this case it was the tempting question.

Did Peter know he was tempting the Lord? Not hardly, thus Jesus allowed for the exposure. All this is for Peter’s benefit, and for the sake of Judas. All the disciples were in the boat, including Judas. Jesus didn’t send him by train, Judas was privy to the lesson as well. Peter left the boat with a reasoning, but he didn't put his faith In God, rather he was attempting to show he was not afraid. This isn't to belittle Peter at all, but the lesson is written for us, don't force the Lord to submit to our agenda. Never attempt to do an act to cover our fear, face the fear by faith in God. This is clear by Peter’s reaction when the storm came back, thus when it was calm he was full of courage, when the storm appeared again fear entered, faith vanished.

Peter's puny faith is also a symbol of putting our faith in the experiences of others. If God is no Respecter of persons, why did Jesus had His three, or treat the Pharisees different than the people, as well as treating the disciples different than the people and the Pharisees? Peter’s shadow healed, but John’s didn’t; Paul was given special power, but John wasn’t. John wrote the Book of Revelation, but Philip didn’t write anything. The phrase, “No Respecter of persons” simply means both Jew and Gentile have right to entry, yet God still treats us a individuals. Just because Paul had special power, doesn’t mean we will. Just because Jesus walked on the water, doesn’t mean we can, or should.

However there is nonetheless Hope, Peter was moving toward Jesus, it’s the saving element in this. Since the desire of Peter was to reach Jesus, Jesus would reach toward Peter, but not without a rebuke from the Lord regarding Peter's intent. What would have happened if Peter said, "Oh Lord it's You, what would you have me do"?

And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O you of little faith, wherefore did you doubt? (14:31).

Thank God the result of the lesson shows when we do make mistakes, Jesus is there to pull us up. The intent of Peter was not known to Peter, or he would never have “exercised” his puny faith. This is akin to the same lesson as the prophet who stopped in the road, delaying his call, only in his case he died (I Kings 13:11-20). If Anyone comes to us with a change in plan, unless it’s the Lord with a Proceeding Word we continue on course.

The word Patience is defined by some as “always the same”, but someone can always be a jerk, hardly being Patient. Patience is a type of courage, it means one who stays the course regardless. James tells us we are to ask for God’s Wisdom by faith, then he adds how our faith must work by holding to Patience until we reach the goal; which is staying the course until the Wisdom of God has driven out the wisdom of man. If we hold to the wisdom of man, the wisdom of man will impress us, causing us to get out of the boat, and sink. The wisdom of man is how natural fallen man deals with people and events, even the professionals in the world can’t save our souls, or heal them. It’s takes the Holy Ghost, and the Word (Holy Spirit) in us to heal and save our souls (James 1:21).

Doubt and Unbelief are sisters, but they are not the same. Unbelief maintains the thought of God not being able to begin, it usually hangs on to the thought “if I can’t do it, no one can, not even God”. Doubt is the thought of God not being able to finish what He started, or we are not able to finish what God has given us to do. Unbelief is the enemy of Belief, but Doubt is the enemy of Faith. Peter believed he could, based on what he saw, and heard, but his faith was at issue to reach his hope. The correct hope was getting to the other side, where he would meet Jesus, not meet Jesus half way. Doubt will make excuses to remove the faith, but patience reaches to complete the effort, either blame God for the failure, or venture off in another direction.

Peter and the other disciples were told, Go to the other side, Peter was filled with as much fear as the others when the storm came. Peter's doubt was not his failure to walk on the water, it was the failure to believe they could get to the other side, doubt is doubt, we can't do one act, assuming we can ignore our doubt in another. Puny faith attempts to exhibit itself to impress others, even ourselves, while avoiding the call. Great Faith will complete the task, but does it mean we won’t be afraid? Not at all, but we have to recall the command, believing the Lord has seen the result, which gives us the faith to reach the goal. If the Lord said, “try to get to the other side”, it would be much different, but it was not the case. If the Lord has given us a vision, He has seen it “done”, the vision is the basis for our belief, but our faith and patience must reach the goal. Often we have belief, even faith, but lack the patience.

The lesson here is seeing how any of us can paint Jesus into a corner, “If the sun comes up tomorrow Lord, I know I’m suppose to do this”. Great Faith would never have attempted to get out of the boat, it would have finished the course, saying, "see You on the other side Lord". “Don’t you see, it’s the Lord!”, “Yeah, well we better get going or He will get there before us”; the voice of Great Faith. “I can do things through Christ Which strengthens me” (Ph’l 4:13).

And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased (14:32).

Jesus took Peter back to the boat, He didn't take Peter to the other side, it was still up to the disciples to finish the course. As soon as Peter was safe, the wind stopped, but it didn't stop when Jesus grabbed him. There are times when the storm is coming from all sides, yet Jesus has us by the hand.

The offense was for Peter's own good, this one experience was a preview showing Peter it takes more than puny faith to Confess Jesus in the face of adversity. This lesson will be a reminder for Peter, later in the last chapter of John he will be told, “another shall gird you, and carry you where you would not” (Jn 21:18). It came to a pass both on Pentecost when Peter received the Gift, then confirmed when he went to the house of Cornelius where he preached on Jesus and the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:1-48).

In this case we find it wasn't the confession of fear producing the fear, it was the fear producing the confession. When the storm came again, Peter didn't say a word, yet the same fear overcame him. Some of us hold fear in the storm, yet claim a mountain top to mountain faith, which is really a fear of the storm (valley). “Yea though I walk on the mountain top of death”, no? “yea though I jump from mountain top to mountain top to avoid the valley”, No? “Yea, though I walk through the valley of death You are with me”, Yeah (Ps 23:4).

Faith not put to the test, is not faith at all. It's when the storm comes again causing our confessions change from "Praise the Lord, oh my soul" to "it's a devil, swim for your life". Puny faith attempts to find blame for the event, rather than gain from it. Jeremiah had the opportunity to seek the Precious or the Vile, both were facing him, one was fact (Vile), the other was truth (Precious), whichever one he sought would determine his stand in the event.

In all the accounts on this experience we can't find one word how the devil did a thing, the storm, was a storm, but Jesus was there, the fear of the disciples assumed it was the devil. Storms came on a regular basis on the Sea, Jesus knew and took advantage of it for a Purpose. When the storm hits, it's not time to get out of the boat to prove our faith, it's time to finish the course showing our faith. Some talk to us about faith, some show us their faith but never say a word (James 2:18). The word “faith” appears over two hundred times in the King James, with only two of those in the Old Testament, so is Faith a New Testament concept? Yes; although many in the Old had faith, the concept of Faith is still New Testament.

Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth You are the Son of God (14:33).

Only after they were safe did they worship Him, but if they would have been worshipping prior, the storm wouldn't have been an issue. It would have nonetheless happened, but it wouldn't have been an issue. Historically we find a man by the name of John Wesley, who was also on a ship in a storm when he saw a group of people praising the Lord, yet they were not doing it out fear. He saw their faith, and it made a striking impression on Wesley.

And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased; and besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole (14:34-36).

Prior Jesus cast a devil out of a man in the same area; Mark shows the same man remained to preach the Good Things the Lord has done (Mark 5:19 & Matt 8:28). The preaching planted seeds, the result saw the people bringing their sick to the Lord. This would be after the woman with the issue of blood touched the robe of Jesus, they still received, but receiving a healing and holding Great Faith are different (Mark 5:20 & 5:29-34).

As soon as the miracles, healings or the Word is preached with Authority, along come the Pharisees with moot theological questions regarding traditions and concepts of men.

Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread (15:1-2).

People being healed, preaching the Good News, a demon possessed man being set free didn't move the scribes or Pharisees, but a violation of one of their worthless tradition did. Legalists are legal in all things, the Unbelief of the Pharisees was still Unbelief. They saw what they wanted to see, but refused to see with eyes of belief.

The Tradition was based on a truth, but it missed the point. All traditions are based on some truth, but the concept ignores the truth to give man some excuse to avoid the duty. The tradition of washing was simply a tradition, but the Pharisees wanted Jesus to side with them, or prove their theology superior to the Sadducees. It in no way means it's wrong to wash one's hands, it means making a doctrine out of a tradition is. It’s a good idea, but even good ideas can become doctrine, when they should not be.

But He answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death. But you say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever you might be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition (15:3-6).

There are God centered Traditions, such as Communion, but here the context is Traditions of man. Tradition of men are based in what man thinks God would have said,  yet they based in self-righteousness, or an attempt to avoid the commandment. Therefore, traditions of men often begin with some Bible premise, or a point in history, but they add external elements until the Tradition takes on a different premise. The Bible defines the Bible, it will not interpret itself; “Has not the Scripture said”, is a far cry from “I think the Scripture would have said”.

Children are a gift, but Jesus points to the Commandment, showing parents are also a gift. The tradition twisted it into giving money to the Temple, then saying, “it’s my gift”, thus ignoring how parents are a gift. The same is true with water baptism, the Corinthians put the emphasis on who baptized them, rather than why they were baptized. We are told to teach, baptize and teach, but it’s our side of it, as for the candidate, they must believe (Acts 8:36-39 et al). If we remove the “believe” part, we have changed the requirements. If we remove the teach part we change the Commandment and end forming a tradition, which the next generation will make a doctrine.

In this case they took the Commandment, but rather than “honor”, they replaced it with “pay” the temple, let it be your gift.

You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draw near unto Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.  But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (15:7-9).

Their mouth and lips are places where the words of their confession should have mixed with faith, but Jesus showed their “words” were often masked, so He answered their intent. The word Hypocrite is interesting, it's a compound word meaning Under Judgment, or to Judge under, it shows we judge someone else guilty, while we do the same things. It’s the unequal measuring stick, we use the six mile one on ourselves, and the two inch one others. God called it Unequal, equating it to iniquity (Ezek 18:24-25).

Paul told the Romans, Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whosoever you are who judges: for wherein you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge do the same things" (Rom 2:1). Wow, didn’t Paul Judge the Corinthians? No. He judged the “things” of the Corinthians while he was teaching them by exposure; he was not attempting to exalt himself by their failures. As he said, "he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man" (I Cor 2:15). The difference is found in the subject; in Romans it was "o man", in Corinthians it's "he who is spiritual". The spiritual minded Discerns (judges) from the Mind of Christ since they are instructed by the Mind of the Lord (I Cor 2:16). Discerning the event to find the Precious to bring correction unto perfection so one can gain, is much different from judging to bring self-exaltation.

Jesus will expose the intent in the heart of the Pharisees, not to belittle them, rather He gives them more opportunities to repent. They presumed doing their traditions made them holy and righteous, but their words disclosed the source, and the source was not holy or righteous.

And He called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear and understand: Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man (15:10-11).

The washings were to prevent dirty hands from touching clean food, but the Pharisees missed it, one could put clean food in a dirty mouth. The word Defile means to Make Common (unclean, or worldly), we have a phrase tending to include hypocrisy known as Common Sense. Anything Common is unclean, or natural; our five physical senses are flesh based; therefore, Common Sense is the use of unclean thoughts based on the flesh to determine what is right or wrong. Peter was told, "What God has cleansed, don't you call common" (Acts 10:15). If God has cleaned us, we are no longer Common, and no longer among those who use Common Sense, rather we use the Mind of Christ to know right from wrong, not guess at it.

When we become concerned about what we eat, or whether some physical product is going to heal us, or keep us healthy, or if we assume it's going to kill us, we have fallen from The Faith (I Tim 4:3-4). If we don’t like it, or it makes us fell bad, don’t eat it. If we can’t ask Thanksgiving for it, surely don’t eat it, but whether we eat or not isn’t an issue of holiness, it’s the point.

Then came His disciples, and said unto Him, Know You that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? (15:12).

Oh my, Jesus offended someone. Jesus offended everyone, including the disciples; however, the intent was exposure to bring correction unto perfection for the benefit of the one offended. Anyone who walks in the Spirit will see offense from time to time, yet they know each offense exposes some tare, or some hindering thought forming its self into a stronghold. Someone could attack with the viciousness of a mad dog, yet the spiritual will gain some benefit to help others discern and learn.

Those who walk by the flesh want all things to be pleasing to the flesh so they can brag in their supposed goodness, those who walk by the Spirit discern the event to gain the Precious. The exposure is to benefit, thus a Wise Man receives correction with joy, a Fool rejects it. A Fool calls out heresy when they are in heresy, a Wise Man seeks the Holy Ghost for the interpretation to avoid heresy. We can take the offense, repent unto the restoration of our soul; or we can ignore the offense and end attacking the very hope of our salvation. Okay, now hold it, just wait, in the last Lesson Jesus said we were in danger of hell if we called someone a “fool”. Different words, since Paul said there were some who called him a “fool”, then he remarked, “I have become a fool”. Recalling the word Jesus uses in Matthew 5:22 is the Greek Ourias meaning godless, or without God, and none of us can call a brother “without God”, since we don’t know. On the other hand the word Paul generally used is the Greek Aphron meaning stupid, ignorant, or an idiot. Not even Paul would allow himself to be referred to as “without God”.

But He answered and said, Every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch (15:13-14).

This goes back to the parable of the tares, and expands it from the latter days, to any day. The Pharisees were called the children of their father the devil, they were Tares, yet they could repent at any time before they crossed the final line. Were they without God? No, they were in the same field, the only time anyone is truly “without God”, is if they are joined to the second death, after the Judgment.

The time for these religious leaders will be when Stephen speaks to them, they cut their own throats when they kill Stephen. Although they failed to repent, Saul the Christian Hunter did, becoming Paul, the Apostle of Grace.

Jesus didn't say, A ditch, rather He said The ditch, thus there is only One Ditch we fall into, it's the Ditch of Unbelief and Doubt. The Pharisees developed their own blindness of heart by feeding their unbelief, yet they washed their hands, paid their tithe, did their service in the temple. All their Deeds were for naught, their worship was in vain, their prayers hindered, their service was tainted, all because they held unbelief and doubt.

Carnal intellectual natural reasoning is still based in the fall nature, assuming the fall nature can heal or save is failure in the making. No amount of social intellectualism is going to save our souls, the blind lead the blind, and the blind give natural carnal endeavors or man the glory.

Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are you also yet without understanding? Do not you yet understand, that whatsoever enters in at the mouth goes into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man:  but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man (Matt 15:15-20).

Parable? It wasn’t much of a Parable, it was forthright and open. Perhaps it means the planting thing, or blind leading the blind? No, since Jesus knows all things, His answer didn’t lead to the “blind leading the blind”. Jesus expected Peter to be more in tune than the Pharisees, this is one of those areas where Jesus will deal with us in the place He expects us to be.

This teaching seems simple enough to us, but wait these are Jews raised under the Law. The Law centered on, “watch what you eat, if it’s unclean you are defiled”, but Jesus said it’s not what goes in, but what comes out. In the natural mind it might mean vomiting what one ate. However, Jesus answered more plainly, defining all the things proceeding “out of the heart”. Hold it, wait, didn’t Paul say we must believe in our heart? How can this be? Easy, a heart transplant, not physical, since it isn’t the subject here anyway. Rather this is “create in me a New Heart oh God”, showing the “heart” of a person is the spirit or place of intent. For the natural person it’s still the spirit of man. It shows us why these lustful things come forth, but to the Born Again person it’s a New Source wherein they can truly Believe God raised Jesus from the dead.

Then Jesus went from there, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, You son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, Send her away; for she cries after us (15:21-23).

Here is a test, the disciples were attempting to figure out what Jesus was thinking by His actions, then moving in to “assist” Him regarding what they supposed. He didn’t answer, so He must want her to leave, so let’s help! Wrong mindset, Jesus was allowing her faith to grow in her persistence and patience. This woman was not among the “family order”, she ate different things, she wasn’t required to wash her hands, yet she was persistent, with an awareness of the ability of Jesus going beyond the awareness of the disciples.

A very interesting element is what they said proving, it’s not what goes into a man defiling him, but what comes out. The teaching, then the test. They didn’t ask, “what shall we do Lord?”, they told Him what to do. They just heard Jesus rebuke the Pharisees for holding to traditions, now they are doing the same, without a clue to their own actions. Self-deception is a ruler of darkness hiding us from ourselves. The clarity of the New Man will expose, but we must have ears to hear, and a willing heart to change.

She called Jesus the “Son of David”, what importance would it have in reference to the Pharisees and other religious rulers? Going back to Matthew’s genealogy we see the line begins with the saying, “the son of Abraham, the son of David”, both of those are important. Being a “son of Abraham” means Jesus was subject to the Abrahamic Covenant through birth, and being a “son of David” gave Jesus the right to the throne as a Son of man. We also see Jesus is descended from Judah, as was David (Matt 1:2 & 1:6). Jesus had a firm background, but the Pharisees as a group seem to have appeared suddenly in history as a distinct entity during the Hasmonaean period (The Maccabees period in the Apocrypha). Rabbinic sources show, “the Pharisees first appear by name in the time of Jonathan Maccabee”, then they became a part of the governing council who served with the Sadducees. The name Pharisee is derived from the Hebrew word Perushim meaning To separate, or be separated. According to Schiffman, “it is most probably referring to their separation from Levitical impure food and from the tables of the Amhaares, the common people, who are not scrupulous regarding the laws of the Levitical purity or Tithe”. The Pharisees took it upon themselves to enforce these laws, and even accused Jesus and His disciples of violating them. However, the key is their attachment to the Maccabees period, as we now discover.

The Sadducees go back to the line of Zadoc, therein lays some of the problems between the two groups. They also had differences in the feasibility of the Resurrection and other matters. Josephus mentions the Sadducees along with the Pharisees, but also includes the Essenes as existing during the time of Jonathan Maccabee (150BC). In Solomon’s day the line of the Zadoc priests was known as the Zadokites, they ran the temple and the priestly line; however, it became very corrupt, causing the revolt of the Hasmonaean family, who instilled some major changes in many things, yet it too became corrupt and led to the Roman era.

Among other things the Sadducees enforced the “traditions of the fathers”, which seems to be the forerunner to the Oral Law. The Sadducees regarded the purity laws were only required by the Temple and priests, thus they refused to extend those laws into the daily life of the Jews. Whereas the Pharisees felt all the people should obey the Law in the same manner as the priests. The Sadducees accused Jesus of violating the “traditions of the elders”, thereby we can see how both the Sadducees and Pharisees were tempting Jesus to pick one side or the other.

Going back further we find Antiochus IV Epiphanes the Seleucid king in 168BC decreed for the practice of Judaism to stop; he also decreed altars to the Greek gods be set up in the Temple at Jerusalem. Mattathias (or Mattathian), then an old man, refused to comply, in the process he killed a royal officer along with a Jew who did comply to the Syrian demands. Many of the Jews of the time considered it an “act of Moses”, but they failed to see the same type of act caused Moses to run from Egypt. In 167BC Mattathias and his five sons and some other Jews fled to the mountains and began the revolt against Antiochus.

Mattathias died soon after leaving his son Judas Maccabees to command the rebellion. Judas was a military leader with some knowledge in those types of endeavors, he also defeated an expedition sent from Syria to destroy him. Having occupied Jerusalem, he re-consecrated the Temple. It takes eight days to make olive oil into a burning oil, yet all they had was enough for one day. They prayed for God to keep the oil burning, until they could make more. The oil in the lamp lasted until the new oil was ready, a period of eight days making the induction of the new oil on the ninth day. This introduced the Feast of Hanukkah, or as it was known in the time of Jesus the “Festival of Dedication” (Jn 10:22), the Hanukkah menorah is different from the Temple menorah, they should not be confused one into the other. The Hanukkah menorah has nine bowls, representing the nine days, the Temple menorah had seven bowls, representing Rest, or the sabbath day.

The Maccabees revolt was easier since at the time there was civil strife in Syria, Demetrius I had taken control, sending his general Nicanor with an army against Judas; the effort was routed. Another led by Basshides, defeated and killed Judas Maccabees around 161BC.

Judas’ brother Jonathan took over, he had some success for a time, but he was more of a statesmen, ending supporting the Demetrius’ rival. Jonathan was killed by treachery in 143 BC, his last brother Simon, succeeded. He was recognized as a civil ruler (not a king or prince, but more like a judge), as well as high priest.

Eventually Antiochus VII sent an expedition against the Jews; Simon defeated it, but in the disorder afterward he was murdered (135 BC) by an ambitious son-in-law. This is important, John Hyrcanus, Simon’s son managed to gain the ascendancy through the subsequent strife. He fought against Antiochus and remained in power until his death around 105 BC. John Hyrcanus was succeeded by his son Aristobulus, who died a year later. Another son, Alexander Jannaeus, then took the throne, but how could it happen? Here is the point to this, and why two things sent the religious rulers into a rage. One of those was the people calling Jesus, “Son of David”, the other was the sign Pilate put on the Cross. However, before we get to that, let’s follow this a little further; the house of the Maccabees made several attempts to overthrow Roman rule. One of its members, Alexander, lead an abortive rebellion in Syria in 40 BC. Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, invaded Judea with Parthian aid. Some of the Jews rallied to his standard, but he was defeated and put to death in 37 BC at the request of Herod the Great (the same Herod who had the innocents killed just after the birth of Jesus).

Hyrcanus II who was reinstated as high priest by the Romans, was captured by the Parthians and deprived of his ears in order to render him unfit for priestly duties. He returned to Judea around 33 BC, where he was put to death (30 BC) on a charge of treason. John Hyrcanus who was the successor of Simon, ruled from 134 to 104BC. John freed Judea from all Syrian influence, then expanded the domains to include the provinces of Idumaea and Samaria. John never proclaimed himself king, but he ruled over a civil court. However, his son Aristobulus I, known as Judah was the first of the Hasmonean family to proclaim himself as high priest and king. He annexed Ituraea (present day Lebanon) forcing it’s inhabitants to adopt Judaism. He also shared his throne with his brother Antigonus, but it was considered a “one person” rule. Considering the Hasmonean took the priestly order based on their Aaron family connection, and considering God set up the kingly order through David we can see a conflict brewing. The Pharisees felt the Hasmonean rule was the order of the day, the Sadducees felt the Law and God had divided the priestly order from the kingly line.

The Hasmonean line under the rule of Aristobulus went to Alexander Jannaeus, the brother and successor of Aristobulus, where they held the throne from 103 to 76BC, becoming king and high priest at the same time through a marriage to Aristobulus’s widow. Salome Alexandra (67BC), who claimed to be the “queen of Judea”, was the wife of Aristobulus, after his death she became the wife of Alexander Jannaeus. Salome (her Hebrew name) supported the Pharisees, making their leaders her principle advisers on internal policy. However, this attempt to be king and high priest, or queen and high priest was termed unlawful by the Talmud.

Hyrcanus II the son of Salome took the throne in 76BC, then appointed the high priest by his mother. His younger brother, Aristobulus II sized the government. In 63BC the Roman general Pompey the Great captured Jerusalem for Rome, exiling Aristobulus II and his immediate family, along with many other Jews to Rome. He then reestablished Hyrcanus II as high priest, but not king. After the death of Pompey, Julius Caesar took over Rome confirming Hyrcanus II as high priest, with limited political power.

Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC, when Antipater took over in 43BC. In 40BC Antigonus II, the last of the Hasmonaean dynasty captured Hyrcanus, with the aid of Parthian troops, proclaiming himself “king of Judea”, but the next year (39BC) the Roman Senate declared Herod the Great the king of Judea. Herod promptly set out to unseat Antigonus; aided by the Roman soldiers, Herod succeeded in capturing Antigonus (37BC), and put him to death.

All this came about because none of the Hasmonean were ever legally king, since God had set the order, priests from Aaron, kings from David. When the people called out “Son of David”, it pointed directly to the illegitimate reign of king and priest in one person. Since the first was illegitimate all afterward were corrupted, or considered as an attempt to violate the order God had instituted. The result was Rome declaring the kingship over the Jews, thus when Jesus came there was the anticipation of revolt to free them from Roman rule and set up Jesus as “King”. This was more enforced when Jesus cleaned the Temple; the religious rulers knew there was a danger a foot, if the people set up Jesus as king, He might make Himself high priest.

We can see the “strongholds” Jesus had to deal with, and why greed motivated Judas. The “king of all” would have a much bigger bag, than the Master of Twelve. The thirty pieces of silver was an insurance policy, if things went wrong, Judas had his Temple connections. Yet, when he repented himself, he felt money would buy his way out, yet all he found was a piece of rope.

In all this we can see how Pilate was also attempting to set Jesus free, Pilate didn’t see Jesus as a threat to Rome, but he did see the concern of the religious rulers was based in envy. Knowing this information brings many things to light, when Jesus was before Pilate the religious leaders said, “Whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar” (Jn 19:12). They knew Rome had set Herod as king, yet they allowed one from the Hasmonean family to make himself king and priest, a direct violation of the order God established. The accusations of the religious leaders display their hypocrisy, they made claims they themselves did. They also claimed, “because He made Himself the Son of God” (Jn 19:7), with “forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying He Himself is Christ the King” (Luke 23:2-3). All these things point right back to the Hasmonean dynasty, they are attempting to show Jesus came to overthrow Rome; however, they were mad at Him because He said it’s not why He came.

Judas Maccabees set out to restore the temple and the priesthood, yet one in his family usurped authority then took a position not afforded to him or his line. His actions brought about a mindset wherein the religious rulers feared the mere mention of a self-made king. So, what kind of an issue was this? In the Book of Hebrews we find “For it is evident our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood” (Heb 7:14). We also know Jesus is “King of kings”, showing Jesus legally held the office of High Priest and King, something illegal under the Old Covenant. Then in Revelation 1:6 we find we are made kings and priests, yet it would be illegal as well. How can this be? The only way it could happen; a complete change in Laws, thus we find before the time appointed someone attempted to make their own law to establish their self as priest and king. They  not only lost their own position, but caused the destruction of the entire family order. In our case we have a New Law, one in which God has established the Order so we don’t mix laws. No one can hold both a priesthood under Levi and one under Judah, since Judah also calls for the kingly order, whereas the Old makes it illegal.

If the kingly line is from David, how does Saul fit into this? Saul was the people’s choice, and he was from the tribe of Benjamin. Whereas David was from the tribe of Judah, showing David’s was God’s choice all along. Saul was a “captain” who was suppose to be king, but he allowed rebellion to enter and lost his position. As in many things, the Purpose of God may not be apparent at the time. Saul was a big man, strong, and appeared to be the “perfect king” in the eyes of the people. However, God saw a ruddy kid named David, thus God looks at the heart (I Sam 16:7).

Now we can view this woman of great faith, she was looking to the future, the people were looking to the past and making comparisons. Could this Jesus be someone who was hidden from the people who was really from the Hasmonean line? What is His agenda? This woman wasn’t concerned with the past, she knew her hope was before her. However, she did have a problem, she was not “of the called”.

But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord help me. But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to the dogs (15:24-26).

The disciples said, Send her away, but Jesus put her faith on the line, not for her sake but for the disciples sake. They were stuck in the “tradition of limit”, Jesus sent them to the lost house of Israel, so He must mean they can never reach beyond Israel, if they can’t, neither can He. This woman had “faith”, Jesus knew it the second she said, "Have Mercy on me O Lord, You Son of David", who needed the mercy? Her or her daughter? She was interceding by reaching beyond the “limits”. Often our intercession prayers are reaching beyond the limit for someone else.

The reference to the "dogs" is interesting, the Pharisees considered anyone who didn’t wash their hands a “dog”, based on how a dog eats. She did two things linking to her faith, she reached beyond the limit, as she worshiped Jesus. The disciples reached after being saved from the storm, but here this woman is doing it before the fact. She was holding to “God Is”, rather than God won't. Jesus said, “I can’t”, she said “yes You can, I know You can”. She knew some of the “called” rejected the “bread”, the Pharisees proved it, thus there had to be something left over. It didn’t matter how small, it was enough to accomplish the goal. Some of us want Great Clouds to appear, all she wanted was a bread crumb.

And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table (15:27).

She took the Truth, but added "But God Is". Jesus wasn’t playing with her mind, rather she had to make the request. The Cross was real 2,000 years ago, but it became real for us the day we accepted it.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is your faith: be it unto you even as you will. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour (15:28).

The woman's faith found God is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. She was Diligent, thus steady persistence is being diligent. She never took her focus off Jesus by centering on His Lordship. If Jesus is Lord over all, then He is Lord over all, she knew it.

And Jesus departed from there, and came near unto the sea of Galilee, and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and He healed them (15:29-30).

The multitudes sought the ability of Jesus, they weren't concerned about traditions, rules, or regulations, they wanted Mercy, and knew where to find it. The Pharisees failed in several areas, they failed to bind the strongman based on their unbelief. Of course we know attempting to bind the strongman with the strongman is a lost effort, but they didn’t even make the effort.

Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel (15:31).

Miracles make some wonder, but why? Their recent history, they never saw the Levites or the Hasmonean family cast out devils, or heal the sick. This Jesus was like no other, He didn’t march in and claim the throne of Israel, He didn’t kill the priests and attempt to take over, He went about doing good.

Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way (15:32).

A forced fast does little good, here Jesus was going to care for their Need. For three days He was healing the sick and preaching, thus there was more to caring for the people than preaching. This feeding connects to the feeding of the 5,000 as a sign to the disciples how close we can come to falling into the pit of unbelief by receiving the leaven of the Pharisee. Here, and in the feeding of the 5,000, the same elements were used, the only thing changing was the amounts. Since the amounts were different, the disciples failed to make the connection between this feeding and the last. A carnal mind must have formulas, past experiences, or clear examples before it believes.

We can also see how these are areas of training (discipling), although they were ordained apostles, their training didn’t stop. For some reason we think once we receive the Cross, our training is over. Not so, it’s just beginning.

And His disciples said unto Him, Where should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? (15:33).

Instead of saying, "Lord, where is the fish and bread, let's do it again"; they said, "We don't see anywhere to buy that much bread". They were stuck in another tradition, “God did it then, He won’t do it now”. The very same thought process some of us fall into, “God paid last month’s bill, but I don’t think He will pay it again”, or “God healed back then, but He won’t do it again”. The famed “Yeah but it was then” excuse stops us time and again; it runs hand in hand with “yeah but it was the apostles”, yet these same apostles were not Born Again until Pentecost.

Where is this meeting taking place? In the wilderness, they forgot God gave the rebellious children of Israel manna throughout the entire forty years. This feeding is more of a test for the disciples than the people, unlike the prior feeding this one tested both the disciples and the people. Just because we pass a test doesn't mean we won't be tested in the same area again, neither does it mean we will.

And Jesus said unto them, How many loaves have you?  And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground (15:34-35).

Fish and Bread again, Jesus did it once, but He didn’t say, “Ahh gee do you have some milk, or red meat? We did the fish and bread thing already”. Clearly it’s the same testing, using the same elements, a people in need, a supply of bread and fish appearing not to be enough. Not one of the disciples said, “Hold it, I’ve been around this tree before, sit back and watch the Lord do it again”. Of course they were not Born Again at this time, yet should one have to be Born Again just to believe?

The tradition of sitting on grass was also shattered. Prior the people sat on the grass in accordance with tradition, now they sit on the dirt in violation of the tradition. Jesus dislikes traditions of men, and exposes them to show they hinder us. All the troubling in our soul regarding traditions is not some strange thing coming upon us, it's Jesus rebuking the traditions we have maintained as doctrine.

And He took the seven loaves, and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled, and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full (15:36-37).

The twelve baskets have now moved to seven but the symbols are still the same. The number of the people are less, but nonetheless, Jesus still took care of their need with an abundance left over.

And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. And He sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala (15:38-39).

These feedings prove Jesus is fully able to care for us, when we cast our cares on Him. Whether it was 5,000 or 4,000, the Truth remains, our faith says He is able.

The name Mary Magdalene could better read, Mary From Magdala. Magdala was south of Capernaum on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, as Mark points out, Magdala is in an area of Dalmanutha in Galilee. Mary Magdalene is the only member of the group in which we find Jesus cast devils out of her, in fact He cast seven devils out of her. The name Mary means Bitter, it doesn't mean the three Mary's in the Gospel were all bitter women, it shows how Jesus can change bitterness into joy. Mary will be the first to see Jesus raised from the dead, as the one picked by Jesus to proclaim He is Risen. Mark and Luke are the only ones to tell us she had seven devils cast out of her, Mark will have an excellent point to make about the event (Mark 16:9 & Luke 8:2).

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired Him that He would show them a sign from heaven (16:1)

They saw the healings, heard the teachings, yet they wanted a sign confirming their suspicions, or prove beyond any doubt Jesus is the Christ. They wanted Jesus to call fire down from heaven, or take over the Romans, or make God appear before their eyes, or set up His Kingdom on earth. They wanted a sign based on their theology and eschatology, but they rejected the signs of Mercy.

The Pharisees held to the resurrection; however, the Sadducees did not, adding to the division between them.

He answered and said unto them, When it is evening you say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.  And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky but can you not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.  And He left them, and departed (16:2-4).

The Sign they wanted was in fact a sign of a Season, but not their Season. Some of us make the same mistake, we look all over the world for a sign of the Night, yet it’s not our sign, nor our Season. We fail to discern the times and Seasons, walking right into the ditch.

The prophecy of Jonah was based on his experience, the time for the Pharisees would be when they see the sign of the Resurrection, yet it proved their unbelief, by the time the Resurrection happens the weeds of unbelief in the hearts of the Pharisees would become killing fields, thus today is the time to stop unbelief.

And when His disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, He said unto them, O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? (16:5-8).

As we know the phrase Little Faith means Puny Faith, here they thought the lesson of the feeding was a warning to them to be prepared, or always have some bread on hand. Now they are allowing guilt to rule, rather than gaining from the lesson. Jesus didn’t need them to have bread before, but He did expect them to Believe. The Pharisees refused to believe, they had evidence, but like most unbelievers it just wasn’t enough. “You raised four, well I will believe if you raise ten”, “oh you have five verses, well I will believe if you have fifteen”. The Pharisees ignored the signs, teachings, and miracles, yet demanded their own signs, adherence to their traditions and submission to their thinking and positions. They were unequal, they applied the strictest of measurements to Jesus, and the broadest to themselves.

The word Forgot means "To lose out of mind", or better "To ignore". Paul told the Corinthians, I would not have you ignorant of the spirituals (I Cor 12:1). The Corinthians were about as spiritual as a bagel, but it wasn't because it passed away, it was because they ignored the spiritual calling. They were carnal, assuming water baptism alone was enough, yet they fought over baptism, over their favorite man of God, had sickness and disease among them, attacked the man of God, accepted false apostles, and turned their backs on the call to submit to the Spirit, yet Paul says they had the Spirit, and were the temple of God.

The wording Take Heed means Pay Attention, or Know Why and the Pharisees were about to lose what little they had, while assuming they were so holy and right. These same disciples, except Judas, would be leaders shortly, they needed to see how corrupt thinking can corrupt a leader. The Pharisees were about one step from being sons of perdition, except they were not in the ministry, whereas, Judas was. They were self-deceived, and building strongholds and high things against the knowledge of God. Jesus told them to wait until the Resurrection, then they would have their sign. The Longsuffering of the Lord is a miracle in and of itself.

Do you not understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?  (16:9-11).

The miracle was producing bread, not leaven, the Pharisees had nothing to do with the feeding. The disciples mixed the physical into the natural, and missed the point. This wasn't a rebuke regarding preparedness for the next feeding, it pointed to the reaction of the religious minded in reference to the miracle.

Later Peter will fall into hypocrisy, and it would take Paul to bring the correction in love (Gal 2:11-16). Even after being Born Again, even after being established, one can make mistakes, or not even be aware of what they are doing. Paul was much smaller in stature than Peter, it took love to bring the correction, not abuse or an attack. Peter received, to Peter his acts were not offensive, or hypocrisy, but his acts were causing effects on others. When he knew it, he changed. However, the Pharisees and Sadducees had the evidence of their actions, as well as the damaged caused, but refused to change.

The leaven of the Sadducees started with their private conclusions of the Scriptures, leading to strongholds, leading to attacking those who opposed their traditions and strongholds. Leaven will grow if it’s not cast out.

Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (16:12).

The Greek word used here is Didache meaning To Teach or the act of teaching; whereas the Greek Didasko means To Be Taught. However, the word Doctrine isn't restricted to the thought of teaching alone, it includes the manner, method and act of teaching, or a procedure applied to people based on a teaching.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (16:13).

Matthew gives us the location of this event, this is a different location than the one noted in Luke. The area of Caesarea Philippi is about twenty-five miles north of Bethsaida, whereas Luke said the location where this question was first asked was at Bethsaida, giving us two events, not one (Luke 9:10 & 9:18), and we will find another shortly.

And they said, Some say that You are John the Baptist: some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets (16:14).

Some of the people assumed John the Baptist was Elijah, Herod felt someone had to be raised from the dead to do miracles, both concepts were in error. Even the seventy, and the twelve were healing the sick and casting out devils. The word Reincarnation means Carnal, or Flesh Again whereas Incarnate means Into Flesh. We confess Jesus is come (incarnate) in the flesh, but it’s not the same as the saying “Believe Jesus is come in the flesh”, rather the phrase means Jesus in us as the Greater He (I Jn 4:1-4). Reincarnation was dispelled by Jesus when He said, "that born of the flesh is flesh", which means one time.

Jesus would later explain how Elijah did come, but John the Baptist was not the Reincarnation of Elijah, nor was John Elijah the man, rather the spirit (purpose or cause) of all the prophets was in the message of John the Baptist. The people were looking for the man, Jesus tells them they should have been looking for the message. John was a prophet, in the latter days the words of the Prophets will be one witness, the Law another.

He said unto them, But whom say you that I am? (16:15).

This question was directed to all the disciples, not just Peter. The use of the conjunction, "But", indicates Jesus knows what the people think, He wanted the disciples to confess their thoughts openly.

And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (16:16).

This is the first time we read about this statement in the Gospel accounts, but it’s the second time Peter will use this phrase according to the time frame. The first time is in John 6:69, one day after the feeding of the 5,000, which is recorded back in Matthew 14:21, making it prior to this time. In John we see many of the disciples were offended and walked after Jesus spoke of His Flesh and Blood (Jn 6:66). The first time Jesus didn’t say anything to Peter about the source of the information, this time He does, thus, the statement was from the Father, but for a purpose. In John we see the disciples needed incentive to remain with Jesus, the Father gave them incentive. However, here Peter is repeating the statement to impress the Lord. Peter has no idea where the knowledge came from, or the importance, or what it pertained to. This is going to be a vital lesson, showing why the Holy Ghost continually teaches the importance of being Born Again and walking in the Spirit.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but My Father which is in heaven (16:17).

Jesus didn't use, "Peter", rather He used the term, "Simon Barjona", which is the same as "Simon Son Of Jonah". There are reasons for the usage, Jonah was a prophet, but Simon was the son of Jonah, not Jonah. Peter gave a word, but it didn’t mean he was a prophet. One can gain words from a prophet, but it doesn’t mean they have the position to use those words as if they are the prophet. It’s the case here, as Peter he received a revelation, as Simon he is repeating it to make his own point. The evidence will manifest when Peter attempts to make the Lord stop what God has ordained.

Also Jonah was sent to Gentiles, who at the time were enemies of the Jews, Peter will also be sent to a Centurion named Cornelius (Acts 10:1), at the time he will not “repeat” for his prior sermons, rather as the Holy Ghost leads, he will speak.

If this is the second time Peter used the phrase, why didn’t Jesus tell him it was a revelation before? Until Jesus told him the source, he had no idea, thus he felt he could use it as often as he desired. In John we will find the information came at a time when many disciples left Jesus (Jn 6:66), thus the information came to give Peter the knowledge and incentive to remain with Jesus (Jn 6:68 – “words of eternal life”). It was information for the moment, yet Peter was now using it beyond the scope of the granted authority. Jesus asked “who do you”, Peter told Him what the Father said, not “do you”. Jesus wanted to know what Peter felt, not what the Father thought.

Peter was blessed, he was still with Jesus as a piece of the Rock. The time would come for the Church, the only reason Peter is still with the Lord is based on the prior revelation.

We understand the Position of Christ has two elements, Mercy pertaining to the Rock (Body, Bread), and Grace pertaining to the Church (Blood, New Testament). They could speak of the Mercy position, but not the Grace position (Matt 17:9). Jesus wasn’t keeping Christ of the Cross a “secret”, rather it points to having the position and authority to speak on these matters. Peter was being warned, yet given a promise of what was to come, but if he continued to use phrases pertaining to the Church (Christ, Son of the Living God) without the position, he would be out of order. The disciples had the authority to speak of the things of the kingdom of heaven and the Rock, but they didn’t have the authority to speak of the things of the Spirit yet to come, unless of course the Holy Ghost fills the person, as in the case with John the Baptist. For this reason we find there were times when Jesus allowed people to speak of Him as “the Christ”, and times when they were not allowed to. It depended on which kingdom the act, saying, or activity related to.

Today all sorts of people talk about “spiritual” matters, but in truth the only ones who have the God granted permission to do so, are those who have the Spirit of Christ in them. Just the same as the only ones with the God granted permission to baptize in water are those in the Body of Christ. Paul said spiritual matters are foolishness to the natural person, they have no idea what they are talking about, usually ending in mocking the spiritual, or end blaspheming it (I Cor 2:14). Peter gained a revelation the first time he used the phrase, but it didn’t mean he understood it, nor did it mean he could go around saying it.

If the powers that be, granted us permission to make money, then the money we made would not be counterfeit, since we had permission. However, we would need a stamp of authority to prove we had authority. Paul says we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, it grants us permission and authority to speak of the spiritual things of God.

And I say unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (16:18).

Jesus didn't say, "thou are Peter, and upon you I will build My church", neither is the Rock revelation knowledge, rather the subject is still Christ as the Rock (I Cor 10:4). There are many indicators in the verse, Jesus used the Greek Taute (this), which is a famine of the masculine Tautais, thus He was speaking of something yet to be called a female. Neither did Jesus use the Greek Houtos referring to a person or thing, rather His reference is to a thing. The name Peter, or Petros means a Piece of the Rock, but the word Rock is the Greek Petra meaning a Great Rock. This shows Peter is not the Rock, but a piece of it, just as John was. The tenses are very important, this couples with the revelation Peter received. The Body was being formed before the Cross indicting how the Body is Mercy based in Christ, or being established by the Son of man; however, the Church was yet future tense (I will build). At this point in time Peter hasn’t a clue to the Ways of the Lord, nor does he understand the things of the Son of the Living God. However, his time will come when Jesus begins to build the Church on Pentecost. This is clearer when we know the first time Peter received the revelation it had to do with the “Body and Blood” of Jesus, at the time he and the others needed some incentive to remain with Jesus until the manifestation of the Body and Blood took place (Jn 6:62-63). There are words we receive giving us the courage and incentive to continue on until the manifestation takes place, Peter was no different.

The Church is the spiritual element of Grace, it’s a place of safety where the gates of hell shall not prevail against “it”. The only place a vessel of dishonor can be formed is in the Rock, the only place a son of perdition can be found is in the Rock, since it’s where we find Judas. The enemies of Jesus are not without, they are within. Two sides to the coin, the vessels of honor are being formed in the Rock to become the Church, but the vessels of dishonor are also being formed as the “rocks” left behind who go into the Night.

In all this we must remember, Jesus did not build the Body or the Church on a human, He used humans, but those humans had to first be in the Rock, before they could be considered as building material for the Church. Jesus is not building the Church on the revelation knowledge, or a human being, He is building by the Spirit of Christ in us.

When Jesus presents the Bread and Cup He will tell us how the New Testament is in based on the Blood of Jesus, not the Bread. The Bread is important, unless we are of the Body (Bread) we will never be of the Church. Which came first? The Bread? Or the Cup? The Bread, we don’t dip the Bread into the Wine, it’s not against placing the wafer into wine, it merely shows when Jesus gave Communion He separated the Bread from the Cup. These disciples are the Bread at this moment as the Rock, but they do not have the Blood, nor the Spirit until the time appointed. There are people in the Rock who dip the wafer into the wine something beginning several hundred years ago with a concern over many people drinking from the same cup. Today we find the smaller separate cups used, but the point is showing the separation Jesus used between the Bread as the Body, and the Blood as the New Covenant. It’s evident by the tenses He is using here, the Rock was before Him, the Church was yet future tense.

In all this we know Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, thus He is still the Head of the Body showing He is the Authority over the Body, and Christ (The Anointing, or Unction) is the Power in the Body. Power used outside the confines of the Authority becomes rebellion.

Now to understand the gates of hell, Jesus didn't say, "the gates of hell will not come against it", neither did He say, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against them". He made a division between the Rock and the Church, one need only read about the Seven churches in the Book of Revelation to see how the gates of hell operate. We can obtain a clearer view of these gates: gates are not offensive, they are defensive, unless you take the gate off the hinges and beat someone with it: however, the language shows the gates are very large, not like the wooded garden gate at home. The word Gates is the Greek Pules meaning A large door to an edifice or city. It's distinguished from the Greek Thura meaning A common door, rather the Greek Pules was used for the Gate of the Temple (Acts 3:10). Hell is equated with death, thus the gates relate to death, but they also give us another clue. Two things are important, the Unity of the Faith, and the Unity of the Spirit. These two elements stop division, after all if we are One Spirit, and One Mind in the One Faith, we have no “division”. Paul told the Corinthians they were carnal, some of the evidence he saw to make the conclusion was division, thus he asked “Is Christ divided?” (I Cor 1:13). Is he talking about Jesus? Or the Body? The Body, he taught further on the subject in First Corinthians 12:12-18. The Corinthians were becoming isolated and divided even among themselves, they were using the gates of hell to set divisions and hindrances in the pathway.

Jesus said a kingdom divided will fall, yet we know the Body will be divided, so what are these gates? Divisions between the brethren based on theology has little, or nothing to do with spiritual matters, or our redemption. The gates cause Disputes over baptism, debates over concepts lacking Bible authority ending in camel swallowing contests, splits over personalities, or divisions over prideful matters, separations based on carnal attitudes, all gates of separation from hell. We know the Body will be broken, but will Jesus break it? No, will He allow it? Yes, there are miles of difference between the two.

So, where would the enemy attack? The one place he knows there are carnal minded people who still mind the flesh. The Field is one, thus the enemy sends in Tares to bring strife, contentions, heresies, doctrines of devils, traditions of men to make the Word to no effect.

Hebrews 2:14 tell us through death Jesus destroyed (made ineffective) him who had the power of death, that is the devil. Paul tells us we war against the Wiles of the devil, not the devil (Eph 6:11-12). The devil sent his tares to bruise the heel of Christ, we are not among those who cause the bruise. Paul told Timothy, “now the Spirit speaks expressly, in the latter times some shall depart from the Faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Tim 4:1-3). What do they depart from? The Faith, not faith in general, but the Faith of Jesus. They will no longer follow the path, they will form their own agenda, separating themselves.

We also see how Jesus as the Authority over the Body warns the seven churches, but the Power to make the change is within the Rock, thus Jesus doesn't make the changes, He tells those in the churches to. If the error was in the Church, then Jesus would correct it immediately, thus in the Church we find the Unity of the Faith and the Unity of the Spirit. All who are in the Church are in the Body, but not all in the Body are in the Church. Isn’t it what we see here with Peter? He is being told the first time he used the phrase it was permissible since it came from the Father, now the second time he is being told where it came from, but the second time it came from Peter. Yet he is also being told how the Church was yet future tense, but at this point in time Peter as a piece of the Rock was of the Rock, but not the Church, yet it was up to Peter to receive the correction.

The same is true when Jesus cleaned out the temple, He had the Ability (Power), it was obvious, thus the Pharisees wanted to know "by what authority". Why? If Jesus lacked authority His acts would have been rebellion; however, if He was granted the authority by the high priest or someone else who held authority then the correction was not only proper, it would also place the responsibility on the Pharisees to make the changes. Of course we know the religious rulers rejected the correction, and the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. The point being, there are churches many in the Body, but there is only One Church. There are Rocks many in the Rock, but there is still only One Rock. The gates of hell shall not prevail against It, meaning the Church, they may invade the Body, they may even cause the Body to be Broken, but they will never prevail against the Church.

And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (16:19).

From the Rock, to the Church, to the Keys (plural), the Keys will loose heaven, it’s clear the method is in the hands of the disciples. This is not, “whatsoever the Father”, it’s “whatsoever you”, thus this can’t be Grace, but it does have to do with Mercy. These Keys will not unlock the gates of hell, they will not unlock the Door to the house of David, they will not unlock the gates of death and hell, but they will connect heaven to earth, and earth to heaven. The context is heaven and earth, it is not heaven and hell, or heaven, hell and earth, this is limited between the Father in heaven, and the disciple on earth.

Jesus first told Peter the knowledge came from the Father, then Jesus said He would build, now He says He is giving us the keys. This is Covenant talk, Jesus will build, yet we have the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Ahh, the Church is the Kingdom of God and Grace, here the keys relate to the kingdom of heaven and Mercy.

The binding and loosing is our part, the gates being kept at bay is Jesus' part. Mix the two into one, and we end misusing our binding and loosing authority. The "binding and loosing" have certain restrictions, with authority granted for specific purposes. We have to notice the place where the acts begin is on the earth, the place where the reaction happens is in heaven. If we bind something relating to us on the earth, then we have bound something of heaven from us, but if we loose something related to us on earth, then something from heaven will be loosed on us. To introduce devils into the equation takes it far beyond its intended purpose. Since this relates to the kingdom of heaven, it’s mercy related. However, we are also told to bind the strongman, but how? Do we use the strongman to bind the strongman? Do we use theology to bind him? One Stronger has to take residence, we bind the strongman by being Born Again, which happens when we are baptized with the Holy Ghost to receive the Gift.

This same premise is seen in other accounts, in Mark, Jesus told us to have faith in God, but we must say to the mountain, “Go” (Mark 11:22-23). If we say Go, what would it be? Loosing? Yes, then Jesus added, when we stand praying we forgive, so our Father in heaven can forgive us (Mark 11:24-25). Is it binding or loosing? Loosing, but if we don’t forgive, neither will our Father forgive us, is it loosing or binding? It’s binding the Father’s forgiveness in heaven, as we bind ourselves to the earth.

Later in John 20:23 Jesus will talk about remitting the sins of people, it has nothing to do with telling people their sins are forgiven, it has to do with each of us forgiving the sins done unto us by others. For the most part we read how we are to forgive, but in John the context is remission. The Covenant context remains, when we forgive those on earth who have sinned against us, then God will forgive us who have sinned against Him. However, if we bind someone to our unforgiveness, then we have bound God's forgiveness from us. These issues are Mercy relating to the Rock as the kingdom of heaven.

The word Bound is the Greek Deso meaning To bind with grave clothes, it was used in Matthew 13:30 showing the wicked ones are bound to death. The word Loose or Loosen is the Greek Luo meaning To release what is already bound, thus this refers to something bound to be loosed. Unforgiveness retained binds us to the earth, producing bitterness, it never hurts the person we hold unforgiveness against. Those who are in the Body, or just entering, have a potential to use the keys in prayer in order to be free indeed. The premise we free others, and God will free us.

Peter was told he was blessed, at the time he was part of the Rock as a little rock; however, we are of the Rock, we are also the Bread (I Cor 10:17). It’s a Blessing, being separated from the world, having power over the enemy, being Born Again as we are being formed into the Image of God’s Son, yet it begins with Forgiveness by Mercy as we enter the Rock.

Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ (16:20).

Here is the proof, Peter wasn’t blessed for what he said, he was blessed based on the position he was in to receive what he said. Here the role of teaching will change; Jesus is now talking about the Church, Cross and Resurrection as the Christ position of the Son of God. The disciples don’t have a clue what it entailed, and Peter will prove it in a few verses. From this point on they are not to speak of Jesus as the Christ of the Cross, because they lack the position to do so; to them spiritual matters are foolishness. Above all else this shows they were not Born Again, they had no perception of spiritual matters.

We are not going to deny the self, by the self, and no one can pick up their Cross until Jesus goes to the Cross. This connects back to the prior saying of Peter; what did Peter say, “Thou are the Christ”, but it related to Jesus the Christ of Grace, not Mercy. At this point Peter is informed not to use the phrase again, and he doesn’t. This will also be confirmed in a few verses when we get to the Mount of Transfiguration.

We see how the context was still linked to the building of the Church, something not taking place until Pentecost after Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection (Rom 1:4 & Jn 7:38-39). We will find other people calling Him the Christ, and John the Baptist called Him the Son of God, and Nathanael will call Him the “Son of God; You are the King of Israel” (Jn 1:49), but Jesus corrected Nathanael by saying, “Son of man” (Jn 1:51). Speaking out of ignorance, and speaking after Jesus said not to, are way different, just as speaking by revelation, and speaking “just because”, are different. In the case of John the Baptist we find he was filled with the Holy Ghost to speak those matters, the disciples were not.

Mark shows when Jesus spoke of the Cross and Resurrection the disciples had no idea what He was talking about (Mark 9:32). These disciples were representatives of Jesus and the kingdom, they were not witnesses at this time, but nonetheless people would look at them as examples of the kingdom they preached. Simply, they had no idea what the position of the Christ of the Cross and Grace entailed, they had no idea what having the Spirit means, they were not to speak of Jesus as the Christ in that regard, simply because they lacked the position and knowledge.

From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (16:21).

How is this going to fit with “three days and three nights”? Perfect, Jesus didn’t say in the morning, rather it was “the third day”. Jesus was taken from the Cross and laid in the grave at sunset (Matt 27:57), at the time the women afar off were watching where Jesus would be buried (Mark 15:40): therefore, they couldn’t be making spices at then. Mark shows the Passover as the Preparation Day, which it is for the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Mark 15:42). However, the weekly sabbath was always on Saturday, regardless of the date, but the High Sabbath for the Feast of Unleavened Bread was always on the 15th day of Abib regardless of the day (Numb 28:17). Luke tells us the women made the spices, then rested on the Sabbath day according to the Commandment (6th), a Saturday (Luke 23:54-56). We just saw in Mark how the women were at the Cross at even, with the next day a Sabbath, meaning they couldn’t fix the spices. Putting just this together we find Wednesday night would be the first night, Thursday as the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which would be the first day. That night the second night, then Friday as the weekly preparation day the second day, the same day the women cooked the spices. That night would be the third night, making Saturday the sabbath according to the Commandment the third day. When the women arrived at the grave on Sunday morning before the sun rose, the grave was empty. We find all the Scriptures pointing to the same conclusion, Jesus was three days and three nights in the grave, yet raised on the Third Day. Since the Third day was the Sabbath, we find Jesus is our Sabbath, in Him we find Rest for our souls. Jesus gave a prophetic utterance, based on what was yet future. All the pieces have to fit and do. Prior Peter had a word from the Father, which was information or knowledge, not prophecy. When Jesus is speaking of the events yet to come, it’s prophecy. If we change the days to fit our thinking, we are calling Jesus a false prophet, not real smart.

Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from You, Lord: this shall not be unto You (16:22).

Here is the son of Jonah thinking he is Jonah, Jesus just said it was God's will, purpose and design for Jesus to go to Jerusalem, yet Peter says, "no". One minute a revelation from the Father, the next a confession from Satan, and Peter couldn't tell one from the other. This shows they had no idea what Jesus was talking about, here Peter takes it a step further, proving why they were not suppose to talk about the Cross and Resurrection (I Cor 2:13-16).

This is classic, often it’s the snare befalling the “novice”, Peter made a statement, Jesus told him it came from the Father, now he thinks he is a prophet. Peter is still speaking about matters he has no understanding of, they are spiritual in nature. Not only is he trying to change the Lord’s path, he is trying to make Jesus change the future. Jesus didn’t say, “I think I will go to Jerusalem, and with any luck be raised the third day”, it was a prophetic utterance. If nothing else proves they were not Born Again, this does. Peter was ordained, just told he was blessed, part of the inner circle, even his house was used as the center of the ministry, why not speak his mind? Why not indeed. Some of us give a word, and think we’re prophets. All of us are suppose to give words of comfort, edification and exhortation from the Spirit in us, but it doesn’t mean we hold the Office of Prophet.

The phrase, "Be it far from You", can also read, "have pity on Yourself". The phrase, "this shall not be unto You", is a Jewish phrase meaning, "Make God stop this thing". Jesus gave a prophecy, Peter is telling Him to change it. Peter is uttering the opposite to “deny the self and pick up your cross”, going right back to the temptation, “If you be the Son of God stop this”. Have pity on yourself is using the self, not denying it. Make God stop the Cross, is avoiding picking up our Cross.

How many of us have done the same? Never? How about those times when we didn't like what's going on, then command the devil to leave us alone? How does it relate? How do you know it was the devil? “Because I didn’t like it, and God wouldn’t do it to me”. We have no idea what God would or would not do in the Process. If God allowed, or placed in the position of training, yet we say, “have pity on me, stop this”. Perhaps it’s why it’s the Will of the Lord for us to give Thanks for all things (Eph 5:17-20).

Later Jesus will tell Peter "you will deny Me", again Peter will say "Not so Lord", Peter had a problem, the cure would come after Jesus allows Peter to suffer a sifting from Satan. Peter’s confession will change from “stop this” to "You know all things Lord".

But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get you behind Me, Satan: you are an offense unto Me: for you savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men (16:23).

Prior Jesus told Peter, “Blessed are you", now it's "Satan"; from one end to the other, yet Peter never knew he took the trip. The rulers of darkness are not people, they are things, such as anger, control, self-importance, or other elements of darkness ruling over, or controlling us. These rulers of darkness cause us to make decisions, to act, speak and react, based on their control over us. Once we enter the Kingdom they no longer have power over us, but we must put off the old man and his deeds, or we will be used of the rulers. Anger is not a sin, anger controlling us is a ruler of darkness causing us to sin.

However, in defense of Peter, we know he was not Born Again at this time, neither did he know the source of his information. It took Jesus as the Word to tell him which information was from the Father, and which was from Satan. The Word was able to discern, Peter was not.

The word Savor or Savorest here is the Greek Phroneo, it's a compound word meaning Mind, or Mindset, in this case pointing to the carnal, earthly mindset based in opinions of the spirit of man. An opinion is something we think to be true, but lack the evidence to prove it so. Peter gave his opinion, it seemed right to him, or he wouldn’t have said it. Jesus wasn't talking to some mystic spirit, He turned and said the words from Peter were Satan based, pointing to the old man, yet showing Peter had no idea of the source of his words. The real horror is how Peter’s words this time were prophecy out of darkness, attempting to stop the prophetic words Jesus just spoke. The son of Jonah had a mouth, but it didn’t make him a prophet.

Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow Me (16:24).

This is how one defeats the old man and all those “have pity on yourself, and make God stop it” opinions. We have Keys, the first key is forgiveness; unforgiveness is how the self-nature keeps us bound to the earth. The self-nature demands justice for wrongs done, but if we deny the old nature we must include the act of forgiving as we are forgiven. We can't have the fullness of the Spirit, yet maintain the self nature at the same time. It’s the same as attempting to be humble, and proud of it. The key word is “If”, which denotes a choice to apply the key. There are prerequisites to “Follow Me”, we must deny the self and pick up our cross. These are points of death to the old nature which must take place before we can enter the grave and be raised in the newness of life by the Spirit of Holiness. No one is going to be resurrected until death takes place, we impute death by the Cross of Jesus, which is taking up our cross. The wording Take Up is the Greek Ario meaning to bear, or hold up, or lift up high. If we were baptized into His death, why would we not take up our Cross? One element allowing us to Take Up our cross is to forgive as we desire God to forgive us. The self seeks some form of justice for wrongs done, or vengeance, validation, or admission of guilt by someone, or something to show we are innocent. However, God looks at us as Innocent when He forgives us, we in turn Pardon others, then we enter the place to remit the sins done unto us removing the pains and hurts we have retained. Pardon means we have forgiven, remission means we don’t focus on validation, vengeance, or retaliation. God is Justice, but in His case it’s righteous, in ours it is not. Justice and Judgment are different, Justice is doing what is right.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it (16:25).

The word for Life here is the Greek Psuche, which is also translated as Soul, referring to the soulish life style, or what is earthly in nature. This takes us back to the Beatitudes, “take no thought for your life (soul)” (Matt 6:25). This doesn’t mean dash our souls against the rocks of torment, it means don’t hold to the old man and his life style. The one thing the Wicked do is retain the authority of the old man, we must let it go, put it off, turn the Key, and be free.

We can see how this connects to binding and loosing, if we attempt to save our own souls, we lose them, but if we lose them for the sake of Jesus we loose heaven. In loosing heaven we receive the Power from On High, which is able to save our souls. It’s the same as binding the strongman, when we bind the strongman, the Stronger One will reign. If we loose the strongman, we end with religious conceit remaining ignorant concerning spiritual matters. If we attempt to save our souls through religious efforts, we will lose them in a mass of theological jargon. However, if we receive the New Man, who is the Stronger one, join with him, then we will see the strongman bound and vacated.

Everything from the Sermon on the Mount to the Cross has to do with the preparation to deny the self in order to gain the Christ Character by the power of the Resurrection. The information announced Jesus as the Christ, the Word of God, the same Word we received: Christ in us the hope of glory, the Greater He, Another Comforter, the Seed sown. The goal is not to destroy our souls, it’s to save them by having the Spirit.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (16:26).

What good would it do to have complete control of the Abrahamic Covenant, yet lose our soul in the end? The Abrahamic Covenant never promised eternal life, it didn’t promise the Spirit, it was good, but it also became incorporated into the Law of Moses. What will be our “Lord, Lord”? “Lord, Lord I used the wisdom of man, not Your Wisdom”? “Lord, Lord I used deception, rather than truth”? This warning is for the sake of Judas, as he attempts to make something happen for his own lustful desire, but Peter wanted to stop any pain coming to Jesus; whereas Judas wants something to happen to benefit him personally regardless of the pain or suffering it generates.

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works (16:27).

What is the “glory of His Father”? Be Merciful as your Father, the same glory is within the Born Again believer, it soon will be revealed (Luke 6:36 & Rom 8:18). This is another area showing the Judgment is based on Mercy, Jesus returns as the Son of man, not the Son of God. Natural man cannot be judged on something he lacks, but all mankind can show mercy.

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom (16:28).

The phrase "taste of death" refers to the Second Death, not physical death, it’s still appointed unto all men once to die, then comes the Judgment. This verse is in conjunction with the prior one, connecting them to Revelation 20:11-15. This one teaching began with “if any man come after Me”, it still stands, our goal is to be with Jesus.

Standing there was Judas, the son of perdition. All of these men, except Judas would see Jesus in His Glory, with three seeing Him in His Glory within days. The word Some is the Greek Tis meaning Someone, A certain one, not many, pointing to A certain one, not merely Judas, but the position he will begin, the sons of perdition who bind their selves to the Earth as they become the Beast of the Earth.

Judas held a stronghold, he filtered everything Jesus said through the lust of greed. In Isaiah 34:13 in the Septuagint we find the same Greek word Paul used for Stronghold, but in Isaiah 34:13 it points to Fortresses (plural), the context shows the Fortresses were a form of idol worship. Carnal theology is a form of idol worship, since the carnal mind cannot understand spiritual matters, and God’s children are spiritual in nature. In Proverbs 10:29 the same word was used, but there we find the mystery when we read "but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity". In Proverbs 21:22-23 we also find the same word, there it reads "A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the strength of the confidence thereof. Whosoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his Soul from troubles". We are told to bring every thought into captivity, the Iniquity would be a failure to do it, the resulting sin would be exercising the stronghold on others.

This is still on binding and loosing, the premise will be seen for many chapters yet to come. Jesus didn't drop the concept in the midst of the disciples, then say "go figure it out for yourselves", He will continue on the teaching as He gives the Keys.

And after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And, behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him (17:1-3).

This experience on the Mount of Transfiguration is enough to take down all the strongholds, all the traditions, proving to us the Power of His Christ is just as available to us today, as it was on the Day of Pentecost. The word Transfigured comes from a Greek word, from which we get our English Metamorphose, or the position between changes, but not the change itself: the result of the Metamorphose would be the completed change. There is a place between changes we call the Wilderness, the place of discovery where we can see our victory over the self is in the hands of the Spirit.

This a preview and incentive for these three pillars, a Change was taking place, a change from one Law to another, from one position to another, from one condition to another, yet Jesus will not destroy either the Law or the Prophets.  Peter, James and John will see the words of the prophet Zechariah come to pass. The command was "hear ye Him", it can't be any plainer.

Where was Jesus when this took place? On a Mount; the metaphor shows the Church on the Rock. This is still an aspect of binding and loosing, we see heaven loosed in Jesus which is the Body and Head of the Body.

We are Transformed by Mercy, Transfigured by Grace, Translated by the Spirit. Transformed is a change on the outside, or a covering change. Transfigured is a change on the inside to promote the covering. Translated is a change in positions, from one place to another. Paul used another Greek word for Self-Transformed (Metashematizo) linking it to those who attempt to save their own souls, which gives us another aspect of binding and loosing (II Cor 11:13-15). If we are Transformed by God, then we have entered the loosing, but if we enter some self-transformation, we are bound to the Earth.

If we were to change an event by our will power, it would be Metashematizo, but if we were to be changed by God in the event it would be Metamorphoo. The English word Transformed in Romans 12:2 is the same Greek word we find translated here as Transfigured. In Romans the reference is Transformed by the Spirit into the renewing of our minds in order to be Transfigured, or the process of obtaining a New Mind.

All this relates to the promise of the Grain of Mustard seed, they had yet to receive the Seed, but their time was nearing. The Greek word used for Grain is Kokkos from which we get the English Cocoon, it’s the same word to describe the grave clothes John finds in the tomb after the Resurrection of Jesus. It also relates to Transfigured, as the evidence of change, not the change itself. the Greek word for Seed is Sperma meaning life giver. The Cocoon must die to bring about the Transfiguration for the Life inside to become life on the outside. Transformed is blessed, transfigured is the blessing.

Unless the Cocoon opens, the butterfly never comes out. The Faith of the mustard seed knows it must Yield and submit to the process in order for the life inside to spring forth. The natural mind fights the process, one of our biggest battles is the Submission to be Born Again. The mustard seed doesn’t “think”, it responds to its surroundings. Good ground, water and the sun is all it needs, for us it’s a willingness to be changed by Christ. The mustard seed fits it’s surroundings, and allows the process to work, it’s the same type of faith we must have in God.

The figure James, John and Peter see is the Salvation Jesus, or the Christ of the Cross and Resurrection. Notice the complete appearance, His “face” did shine as the sun, His Raiment was white as the Light (Matt 17:2). Where are His feet? His hands? Surely He has feet and hands. Take the description and carry it to Revelation 1:13-15, where Jesus as the Son of man is clothed with a garment down to the foot, girt about the paps with a golden girdle, His head and hair white as snow, His eyes as a flame of fire, His Feet like unto fine Brass, as if they burned in a furnace. What is this? The Mount is Salvation, the Son of God; in the Book of Revelation it’s Judgment as the Son of man. Same Jesus, but two sides of the Cross. Here on the Mount we find The Light and the “Light of the Sun”, as if it’s the Sun, pointing to the Day. This is for us, we are children of the Day; here, Jesus is answering the comments of Peter, there is something better just ahead. Peter in his natural state saw Jesus on a daily basis, they healed the sick, did many things, were truly loved by the Master, what could be better? Unless you have the Better, you will never know.

The Figure of Jesus shows a Transfiguration in more ways than one, the Figure alone is exciting, there we are, children of the Day as His Body, the Rock of Christ. Yet the Two Witnesses are also there, what for? To show the separation of Seasons. The Law and Prophets were not part of Jesus, they stood next to Him. Jesus is the Declaration of the Day; the Two Witnesses point to the Night.

From this time forward Jesus sets His eyes on the purpose and goal, “for this reason came I into the world”. His faith reached past the Cross to the Resurrection, His confession proved, “be raised again the third day” (Matt 16:21). How many days? Two? No, three. To make it any more, or less makes Jesus a false prophet. How so? There was no, “perhaps” or “around three days”, or even “as the Lord leads”; it was specific, each time He mentions the time it’s specific, making it prophetic in nature.

Then Jesus said the Law and Prophets were until John, it didn’t do away with the Law and Prophets, rather it showed a change in process. In truth the Old Testament ended with Matthew 1:1, yet the New doesn’t begin until the Blood of Jesus is shed. The time between is identified to the Father’s Mercy, the preparation for the Gospel of Peace.

The Remnant will not have Grace or the Spirit, but they will have Mercy, it’s the  Mercy they walk in. They will have the Two Witnesses of the Law and Prophets with them,  the anointing on the Law and Prophets will be the Unction for the Remnant, thus they will not have a prophet, they will have the prophets. We have a much Better Promise, with a much Better Covenant, and a much Better position and condition.

As we now know, Moses represents the Law, Elijah the Prophets, as the Two Witnesses who stood next to the Lord of the whole earth (Zech 4:14). In Luke we find Moses and Elijah were speaking to Jesus regarding the "decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem", this is not the decease of Jesus, but the Decease Jesus would accomplish (Luke 9:31). The Law and Prophets would end for the Believer at the Cross; as a power and a principality they were nailed to the Cross (Col 1:16 & 2:13-15). The actual men of flesh and blood didn't stand with Jesus, rather the figures represented what the men stood for. The Two Witnesses in the latter days are not two guys from Jerusalem, or two reincarnated saints, they are the Law and Prophets, the Testimony of Jesus.

There is no dispute about Moses being one of the Two Witnesses, but there is a division over the second one being Elijah, or Enoch, but the division is based on the two witnesses being human beings, rather than what the person stood for. When we know Jesus said the Law and Prophets testified of Him, or how the Law is a Witness, this area becomes clear, the Law is here on earth, it has a purpose, the Prophets spoke of their time, and times to come, they have purpose, but we still "hear ye Him". We don't follow the dictates of the Law, we don't mix the words of the prophets, rather we hear ye Him. The Book of Hebrews tells us God spoke to man by the prophets, now He speaks to us by His Son (in us – Heb 1:1-2). The Law and Prophets have a Season yet to come, we have a Season Now. We must keep in mind this vision is based on two Seasons only, the Day and Night.

Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if You will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elias (17:4).

Answered? What was the question? There was none, Peter reacted again, but give the guy a break, he wasn’t Born Again, truly he is an example of a zealous person without the Spirit. To the natural mind spiritual things are foolishness.

While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear you Him (17:5).

No, it wasn’t “this is My beloved Son, and His pals”, or “Gee Peter I never thought of it, go ahead My good and faithful servant”. Peter was rebuked, the Figure of Jesus shows the building was in process, there was no need to build a tabernacle, it was time to submit and be made a tabernacle.

Peter would look back on this experience by telling us how great the experience was, but it didn’t compare to the Holy Ghost interpreting the Scriptures (II Pet 1:17-19).  It’s one thing to see something, another to understand it. Peter saw, but understood not, then made a statement based on his lack of understanding.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only (17:6-8).

Why? When they saw the vision they weren’t afraid, in fact, Peter said, “hey let’s make some tabernacles”. This was a rebuke, more important it was a Proceeding word. All their life they heard, “Moses has said”, or “the prophets say”, but the Voice loosed from heaven pointed directly to Jesus, and said, “Hear ye Him”, it’s a Commandment. It was not “it’s a good idea”, or “if you want to”, it was plain, simple, to the point.

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen from the dead (17:9).

This was a Vision? The word for Vision is the Greek Horama meaning What is seen, it does relate to a Vision, since it’s what happened. Here we find the phrase Peter used pertained to Jesus the Christ of the Resurrection, they lacked position, but the warning was limited Until Jesus as the Son of God is raised from the dead, allowing the Holy Ghost to come on Pentecost granting them the Spirit, giving them the position in order to speak. Then the person would be changed, granting them the position to preach Jesus as the Raised Son of God, no one calls Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, but I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that He spoke unto them of John the Baptist (17:10-13).

Hold it, what did the voice just say? “Hear ye Him”! What are they saying, “Why do the scribes say”. They just saw “Elijah”, yet Jesus points to John. The message of Elijah was really foreseen in Malachi, in the message we find, “You shall tread down the Wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of Your feet” (Mal 4:3). What is under the feet of Jesus? His footstool, now we know why as the Judgment Jesus His feet appear as if they were in a furnace.

We then find two messages for Elijah, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Great and Dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal 4:5). The phrase “great and dreadful” is only found in one other place (Dan 9:4), there it relates to God being Great and Dreadful. The word Great is the Hebrew Gadowl meaning Mighty, Greater in Intensity, or Of more importance. The word Dreadful is the Hebrew Yare meaning A terrible thing, or to be Afraid, it has the same meaning as “every eye shall see Him, and they which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” (Rev 1:7). Two groups, and we don’t belong to either. The point of course is there are two messages of Elijah, one John delivered, another written in the Prophets pertaining to the Judgment.

While all this was going on, there was unbelief raging at the foot of the mountain. When Jesus came down from giving the Sermon on the Mount, He healed a leper, when He comes down from this mountain He finds a demon possessed child, but He also finds nine unbelieving disciples who were attempting to cast out the demon, but they were also engaged in a theatrical display. They were not Born Again, so this wasn’t the Spirit manifesting, this is a display of egos. At this point in time they were still operating in the supernatural, not the spiritual. The Novice can cast out devils, even Judas did that. Of course there are some who can make a theatrical show out it, but they are playing with fire.

And when they were come to the multitude, there came to Him a certain man, kneeling down to Him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him (17:14-16).

There was a multitude milling about, wanting to see the show. This is still before the Resurrection, thus the disciples were still operating in Mercy. Not one person came to Jesus during the earthly ministry and said, “Have Grace on me”, it was always “Have Mercy on me”, indicating the concept for the earthly ministry was to establish the Mercy of God.

Mark shows Jesus telling the man, "if you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23). This is not an issue of faith, it’s based on belief. What was his belief? He brought the child to set free, thus he believed it could be done, but all of sudden his belief is attacked. This is important, some of us work for days on our faith, but we don’t do a thing for our belief; here we find Belief is vital.

The man said, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief", his unbelief was caused by the disciples. It’s obvious something had gone wrong, these same disciples worked before under the Authority of Jesus, even when He wasn’t around. Now this devil refuses to leave, or is it what the devil wants them to “believe”?

The pressure was on the disciples, “don’t you guys cast out devils? What seems to be your problem here?”. As the multitude gathered the work went from freeing the lad, to proving themselves in front of the people. Luke adds to Matthew, showing it was the day after the transfiguration when Jesus and the three disciples came down from the mountain (Luke 9:37); therefore the other disciples were left alone for at least two days. We’re not told how long this was going on, but we will see the problem was not the unbelief of the man, but allowing the multitude to gather contributed to the problem.

The spirit (demon) in the child tossed the child into the fire and water. Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Ghost and Fire, from the Spirit in us comes Living Water, this demon was mocking the power of God by using the unbelief of the disciples against them.

Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me (17:17).

The word Faithless appears four times in the Gospel accounts, three of those times are in reference to this event (Matt 17:17; Mark 9:19 & Luke 9:41). The fourth time is in reference to Thomas doubting Jesus was raised from the dead (Jn 20:27). The word Faithless means Infidel or without faith, indicating someone who allows something to rob them of faith. Wait, the man’s foundation was belief, here for the disciples it’s faith. For the man it was something he believed when he brought the child, for the disciples it was yet future tense based on what they said to the demon. Did their faith hold the demon had to come out, and stay out by the Name of Jesus?

Prior Jesus said, "oh you of little faith", but here it's "faithless". If Jesus considered these people who were at least attempting to cast out the devil faithless, what does it make those who refuse to even try to cast out devils?

The word Perverse means to Misinterpret, the disciples were moved by what they saw, as they were moved by the challenge of the scribes, their own pride to prove their ability, causing them to misinterpreted the event. Instead of casting out the devil for the sake of the boy, they were attempting to show "the power I have".

Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour (17:18).

Luke shows the child foamed at the mouth as the devil tore at the child (Luke 9:39). We use the terms, devils and demons, but the word demon never appears in the Authorized Version, thus they are the same. There are some who equate this child to an epileptic; however, an epileptic is not suicidal, this demon didn't throw the child on the ground, rather, it was looking for the specific locations of water or fire. It also Tore at the child, which goes much further than an epileptic seizure.

This explains how the unbelief of the disciples caused additional torment to the child. The devil successfully tricked the disciples, then assumed it could trick Jesus. The context shows, as the disciples cast the devil out, it would tear at the child, making it appear as if it hadn't been cast out, thus the disciples would believe the lie, and attempt to cast it out again, meaning their faith was at issue. The lack of faith on the part of the disciples opened the door for the devil to enter again. This vicious circle went on, until Jesus came on the scene.

Again in defense of the disciples, at this point in time they were not Born Again, they lacked the “discernment of spirits”. Jesus Rebuked the devil, the word Rebuked means to Reprove Sharply, to Scold For A Fault or Misdeed. Mark tells us Jesus said, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you, come out of him and enter no more into him" (Mark 9:25). This explains the trick used by the devil by the phrase "enter no more". Although the child fell on the ground, it didn't cause Jesus to start yelling, "Come out, come out, oh boy come out, are you out?". He knew it was out, He discerned the trick; we call this “discerning of spirits”.

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you If you have the faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. However, this kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting (17:19-21).

This goes to the unbelief, not the demon, still pertaining to binding and loosing. Jesus would continue to point to the mustard seed, the mustard seed doesn't pretend to be an apple tree, it knows instinctively it must die before the life comes forth. When the Cross is before these disciples they will “pray and fast”, No? They will “pray”? No? They will hide. Yes. The praying and fasting has nothing to do with the devil, it has to do with unbelief. Okay how did it go from a lack of faith to unbelief? The faith issued was on what they said, the unbelief came after they said it. Faith knows the devil has no choice, it must come out; however, the belief issue was after the fact, thus their lack of faith caused their unbelief.

And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry (17:22-23).

This goes back to verse 16:21, only this time Peter has learned to keep his mouth shut. This is still the Grain, Jesus died a physical, painful death to enable us to die to the self, in order to have life. The Resurrection opened the Door for us to gain the Spirit, no one is going to have Resurrection power until they are dead. In our case we gain by the Cross, which opens the Door for Grace.

It’s also evident, Jesus knew He would be “betrayed”, or giving someone into the hands of another. Therein lays a major difference between Peter and Judas, Peter didn’t deliver Jesus to anyone, he denied knowing Him. Peter’s repentance involved weeping bitterly, the self-repentance of Judas was based in money.

When they faced the lad they were moved by what they saw, the same will happen at the Cross. They will forget everything Jesus told them, assuming it’s all over. Even to the point of Peter thinking he had to return to his old profession of fishing.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Does not your Master pay tribute? He said, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying what think you Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or strangers? Peter said unto Him, Of strangers. Jesus said unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go you to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for Me and you (17:24-27).

Look at the limit, it wasn’t “for this ministry”, or “for all of us”, rather Jesus is providing the tax money based on what Peter said. Showing Jesus will cover our mistakes, but we will still have to do something. Peter being a fisherman, was told to fish for the money. Jesus provided, but Jesus didn't say, "Now Peter, go and find out what they are going to use the money for, I refuse to give to some abomination". Jesus knew the giver is blessed, regardless of what the receiver does with the money. When an evil government takes from the Body, then uses the resource in a wicked manner, the government will pay the price, just as Rome did. If we “give” then the receiver is responsible, not us, if we “loan” then we are still responsible, better to give.

Again Peter “spoke”, the context shows he was justifying himself, the ministry and Jesus. Had they paid taxes before? It doesn’t say, but Peter wasn’t in charge of that area anyway, thus he was answering a question herein he lacked position and authority.

Peter came into the house in order to get the tribute from the ministry bag, but Jesus told him, No, the money in the ministry is for the ministry, taxes come from the labor of our hand. People gave money for the work of the ministry, not for Caesar's gain. From these verses the Body of Christ has been given tax exempt status from certain governments. We are not to be ashamed of it either, rather the government may not know it, but they are giving a type of tithes. Jesus knew what Rome would do with the money, but He had Peter pay it anyway.

There are three different Greek words used for the English word Tribute, here the Greek word specifically means a tax, it's used in reference to the protection paid by one country to another. Since the Jews were under Roman authority the tax was paid by the captive to the oppressor, the information sparked the next question from the disciples.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (18:1).

They saw Rome was greater than Israel because Israel had to pay taxes, would the ruling order in the Kingdom be the same? Luke shows a dispute arose as to which of the disciples should be the greatest as a future tense question, rather than a present tense issue. Jesus said He was going to the Cross, so guess it’s time to start thinking about a new leader. No, it’s time for prayer and fasting.

All this also goes back to the ruling order their history produced, the Maccabees set them free from the Syrians, but made them captive to Rome. Attempting to form our government order after the world’s order leads to carnal leadership, not wise at all.

Prior Jesus warned them of the leaven of the Pharisees, now it’s the leaven of the Gentiles.

And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them (18:2).

The Greek word used for Child here is Paidion, this word doesn't mean an infant, rather it refers to one of either sex under the age of accountability (13 years old), but over the age one would be considered a Babe. John used Paidion in reference to the little children; therefore, this refers to those who know their sins are forgiven. It’s the youngmen or Full Ear who have overcome the wicked.

For the disciples the question was, Who Is Greater Among Them, but they have yet to enter the place to even consider the question.

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (18:3).

This goes beyond the question of "who is greater Among us"; rather it speaks about entering the Kingdom. We must be converted and grow, none of us begin as the Full Ear. Jesus didn't say be a child, rather we are to be As little children, willing to learn.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receives Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believes in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea (18:4-6).

Were the disciples being humble? Hardly, the minute we start thinking about being greater, we enter pride. Proper warfare is keeping the priority in order, Jesus is the Greater, He is above all things.

The context now makes an addition, it‘s not just a little one, but a little one who Believes. Humbleness kills pride, the question from the disciples reeked of pride. Before they can decide Greatness, they must learn humbleness. Humbleness is another Key to the Kingdom, we humble ourselves under the Mighty Hand of God, and He shall raise us up in due time. The paradox is beautiful, we lift Jesus, He lifts us, but He didn’t lift himself, neither do we lift ourselves.

There are other factors here as well, surely these guys are making mistakes, yet Jesus never says, “Away with you, you stupid disciples”. Not even Judas was cast off, thus Jesus never left Judas, it was Judas who left Jesus. Jesus isn’t going to kick us out of the Kingdom because we blow it, but He does expect us to be teachable and willing to learn from the mistakes. However, those who place roadblocks before us based on their envy, or traditions better take notice to the “Woe”.

Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! (18:7).

Offenses will come, but this relates to Who brings them, yet we know Jesus offended many, go figure. This offense is far different from the ones Jesus brought, this offense means to suppress someone by action, deed, or word with the intent of stopping them, or causing them to sin. The offense Jesus brings, is purposed to expose, to bring correction in order to bring us into the perfection of the Covenant.

There are several Greek words for the English word Offense, Paul used a Greek word in Second Corinthians 6:3, translated as Offense meaning Sin, as he says, "giving no offense in anything, so the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the Word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, as yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live, as chastened, and not killed, as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, and yet possessing all things" (II Cor 6:3-10). Paul used another Greek word in the Book of Romans for Offense in the phrase, "but not as the offense, so also the free gift. For if through offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded unto many" (Rom 5:15). The Greek word used here for Offense means to Side Step Unintentionally. The word Jesus uses in verse 7 means to bring Scandal or place Stumblingblocks in front of the children of God. The one who brings Scandal, is the Accuser acting as the binding force keeping many bound to the Earth.

Wherefore if your hand or your foot offend you, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire (18:8).

This doesn’t mean to cut off our physical limbs: if our pride is blocking our walk, cut it off with humbleness. If our hand seeks retaliation, cut it off with applications of Mercy. The word “wherefore” shows this area connects to “bringing offense”, the type of offense Jesus is talking about is an offense to halt, hurt, or cause harm to someone. It’s a far cry from the offense of exposure unto correction to bring perfection.

The word Everlasting has several meanings, in some cases it means everlasting until another event happens, in other cases it means everlasting without end, much like the terms Bottomless or Without End. If hell is bottomless, yet it's in the earth, it would mean it must have a bottom; however, the earth is round and has no beginning or end, no start or finish, in essence the term bottomless means without end.

And if your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire (18:9).

Again this is metaphoric in nature, the eye isn’t the problem, closing the “eye gate” doesn’t solve the problem. The eye is the way to the soul as some say, but it’s also controlled by the soul. If the lust motivates the eye, we deal with the lust, then the eye won’t wander.

The word Cut in the phrase Cut off is the Greek Ekkopto meaning To cut off as one would cut a branch off. The word Pluck in the phrase Pluck it out is the Greek Exaireo meaning To choose one over many, or pluck out as one would select one, it also means to Rescue. In verse 8 it would be in the same context as the Broken Body of Jesus, really pointing to the area. Paul said the Body of Jesus is Broken, the Greek word he used is Klao meaning To break apart, it’s the same word used in reference to the breaking of the Bread. All this relates, in verse 9 it ‘s more of a Rescue, by the New Man we can deal with the lust; thereby rescuing us from what would destroy us.

The context of the single eye metaphorically means we are focused on Jesus, the two-eyed person is like a double-tongued person, one eye on Jesus, the other on the world. Worldly minded people are more impressed with the world, than they are with the Holy Ghost.

Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven (18:10).

This is still looking at the Children, the word Despise means to cause One To Think Against, thus this still relates to the type of Offense. If we teach someone to Think against the Bible, we are causing them to stumble.

This entire area has nothing to do with the Physical, it has much to do with our walk of faith. How hard is it to up root seeds of unbelief? In some cases it takes years, in other cases it can be quick if one is teachable.

One area where we can see how this relates is “speaking in unknown tongues”, there is no Commandment saying we have to, but there is one saying, “forbid not to speak with tongues” (I Cor 14:37-39). Whether someone speaks or not is between them and the Lord, but we Never forbid anyone to speak in unknown tongues, if we do we bring a Woe upon ourselves.

For the Son of man is come to save that which is lost. How think you? if a man have a hundred sheep and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the mountains, and seek that which is gone astray? (18:11-12).

Not only does He have one child with Him, but Judas was also in the group hearing this. Jesus is more than willing to seek out the Lost, but the Lost must want to join the flock as well. The metaphor “mountains” means nations; the sheep was once in the fold, then entered the “mountains” becoming lost. This is a backslider, one who is a two-eyed person who became impressed with the world, ventured out of the sheepfold becoming lost. This is not the same as drawing back to perdition, in this case it’s a sheep, not a goat in sheep’s clothing. In either case, Jesus will send someone with the words of restoration, and rescue.

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish (18:13-14).

This phrase starts with an "If", where there is an "If", there is a choice, or a question at hand. If our actions caused a little one to be devoured, their blood is on our head; however, if our display of Christ brought them to the Lord's arms, we have saved a little one from destruction.

Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother (18:15).

All phases are covered, if the lust was in us, we deal with it by the Spirit. The eye offending caused us to wander in the mountains. Perhaps a lust in another enticed a lust in us, but it remains there had to be a lust in us for us to be enticed. If we caused the Woe, then Woe unto us, but if we were the one sought out the lost sheep, then we are faithful servants.

All this is still answering, “who will be greater”, in this we find what Greatness means in the Kingdom. James speaks on this very subject saying, “confess your Faults one to another and pray one for the other, so you may be healed" (James 5:16). The word Faults also means Offense or Trespasses against one and another. James is not telling us to confess or share our sins with someone, his comments refer to causing Offense between the brethren. The goal is Unity in the Faith and Spirit, not division by Offense. This still has to do with the “greater” in the kingdom, thus in the eyes of Jesus the greater one is the humble one who is more concerned with Unity, than being “right”.

Jesus isn’t telling us to go to our brother and say, “I forgive you”, tit’s a prideful approach, rather it’s restoration. Wait, I thought the “ministry of reconciliation” was between man and God? It is, it’s the issue here isn’t it? The restoration must take place to heal the Body bringing us back into a relationship with God, rather than cause a sheep to be offended or wander.

The first place is between the two with the fault, it is not making tapes about their sin, or selling books, it’s private with the intent of restoration.

But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established (18:16).

This is step two, if and only if the brother will not heed the words of restoration, then we get an independent third party, someone who has Wisdom. We don’t find a “yes man” who will side with us. This is the main context of “two or three gathered together in My Name”. During the meeting involving the two who had the conflict the goal was restoration, with the three it’s still centered on restoration.

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto you as an heathen man and a publican (18:17).

Okay, we did the private thing, then we obtained a third person who was not connected to personalities, we even said, “look if I offended you, I’m sorry, please forgive me”, but the other person rejected it, meaning the issue is not settled. What now? If we are Born Again then our “personal feelings” are moot, it’s doesn’t make any difference who is right or wrong, we Restore for the sake of Unity. If the person rejects the “two or three” their heart is still centered in pride, validation, or they are not concerned what Jesus thinks, or desires. They are acting like a heathen, they must be treated as such. We don’t go before the Body and tell everyone how evil the other person was, rather it’s still based on Restoration through Mercy. This would be the third step, two between themselves, then a third party, now the congregation.

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (18:18).

Clearly this reflects to people connecting to the premise of binding and loosing in reference to Mercy and Restoration. If they rejected our mercy, they are more focused on validation and justice, than Mercy; they have bound themselves to earth, and have bound God’s mercy from them. If they receive the Restoration, then they have Loosed any unforgiveness, or demands for Justice, then God’s Mercy will be loosed from heaven. They may not feel like Restoration, but they also know it’s the will of the Lord for them to be in Unity.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven (18:19).

The word “again” connects this to the prior teaching, thus “two of you” agreeing has to do with resolving the conflict between them. The third  party is called when the two can’t resolve their conflict, thus the third is for the specific purpose of restoration. James saw this and added how they pray for one another so they may be healed (James 5:16). The context in James 5:16 is the same as we find here, conflicts between the brethren.

The phrase "touching anything" is a Jewish idiom meaning to touch the Sacrifice, or touch the veil, pertaining to reaching the Meaning of the Sacrifice of Jesus, not anything in general, making this is a specific teaching regarding restoration.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them (18:20).

Here we find the Purpose of the Name of Jesus as it pertains to Mercy among the brethren as restoration. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, what matters is Unity. The word Midst is the Greek Mesos meaning Middle, if we know Jesus is standing in the Middle we should be Quick to give Mercy. The indication shows Jesus standing between the two, thus what is said is said to Him.

Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (18:21-22).

All this is still binding and loosing, Peter knew exactly what the context pertained to; however, he is looking for the loophole, the place where he can step from Mercy into validation and Justice.

God forgave Israel seventy times seven before the nation was placed into captivity; the same principle applies for us. This is clearer as Jesus also says, If one trespasses against us seventy times seven in one day, yet they repent, we forgive them seventy times seven (Luke 17:4). The repentance is not them bowing at our feet and asking our most holy forgiveness, rather it’s being sorry for bringing the occasion of stumbling. This also shows how causing someone to stumble includes mind games to make them mad, or to attack them for the pure sake of invoking anger.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made (18:23-25).

This Parable is pointed directly to loosing and binding, showing what happens when we ask for God's forgiveness, but reject the call to forgive and walk in Mercy.

From all this we can see how Loosing and Binding are defined as Mercy based, not Grace based. The Keys are forgiveness, mercy, and love. Also this is still relating to the Cross, and what it will take for them to get from the Cross to Pentecost. What do we think the “one accord” was? Asking for a bigger building? No, they were forgiving in prayer, their One accord was the one thing they had, Mercy, by forgiving all in prayer the Holy Ghost came with the Gift like a rushing mighty wind.

The amount of ten thousand talents would be the equivalent to several million dollars. The man was found guilty in front of the king, he owed this amount without question, yet the man was a servant of the king. Standing off in the corner was the devil waiting to make his bid to obtain this servant, but the king would grant Mercy.

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him saying, Lord have patience with me, and I will pay you all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave his debt (18:26-27).

The man's vow was to pay the king, but he lacked the ability, yet the king made a choice and picked compassion (mercy), over judgment. Freely the servant received, but would he freely give? Our model prayer says, "Forgive me my trespasses As I forgive others"; therefore, this is also a vow of faith, in order to be forgiven, we must forgive. This is the premise regarding the vessels of honor and dishonor, it’s not a matter of forgiving once, then receiving God’s mercy, but a matter of continual forgiveness. The call remains, Forgive as God for Christ’s sake has (past tense) forgiven us (Eph 4:32). This teaching hasn’t left the “two or three” premise, it’s still talking about forgiveness. If our brother comes to us and says, “forgive me”, we must forgive and seek restoration, if not God will form us into a vessel of dishonor.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe (18:28).

The amount here is less than one dollar, or better, the amount didn't matter. Many of the unforgiveness issues we hold against others really don't matter. We can view any event as a means to apply Great Mercy to gain Great Mercy, or we can follow our pride and vengeance to rule us, in which case we end condemning ourselves.

And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt (18:29-30).

This fellow servant used the same wording which was used by the king, but the unfaithful servant won't show the same compassion; whereas, prior he begged the king to hear his pleas. This is a perfect example of binding and loosing, the king loosed the man, but the man failed to apply the same Mercy, thus he is binding his fellow servant. The king was superior, the fellow servant, was still a servant, the only authority he had was based on what was owed him. All this shows we asked God to forgive us, and He did, but are we as willing to forgive others? What others have done to us is nothing compared to what we did to God.

So when his fellow servants saw that was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done (18:31).

The other servants didn't write books, send their watchdogs, they didn't run about slandering the unfaithful one in front of the congregation, they went to the king, and allowed the king to decide the matter.

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired me: (18:32).

The unfaithful servant had to face the king, and answer for his iniquity. The unfaithful one sinned against his fellow servant, but it was caused by his failure to forgive, as he was forgiven. The wording, "because you desired me", brings this parable to the truth of  seeking Mercy, relating to coming to Jesus as a little child. Children have a “forgive and forget” attitude, the playmate they are mad it today, they play with tomorrow.

Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? (18:33).

Here it changes to Pity, but it still shows the man had the power in hand to show the same compassion which was shown to him. Will God forgive some, knowing they will fail to forgive others? Yes, the purpose is still to show the Power of God. God will form the vessel based on Mercy, not Grace. The vessel received the Mercy, thus a vessel gives Mercy is one unto Honor, one who doesn't is one onto Dishonor (Rom 9:21-23).

Paul referred to Mercy and these verses when he described the heart of the Colossians, saying they were the elect of God, called to be holy, beloved, full of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, forgiving one another, if any man had a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave them (Col 3:12-13). Clearly, this is Mercy not Grace, this is the Attitude not the Character. Mercy connects to Grace, and the Wisdom of God is Full of Mercy, thus Mercy is the glue keeping us in Grace.

We have to see the concept of binding and loosing is based on giving Mercy, after we receive it, it has nothing to do with binding devils. This brings the concept home, it's a matter of Loosing the person from our unforgiveness, by forgiving them. If we Loose them, we are Loosed causing heaven’s forgiveness to be Loosed in us.

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (18:34-35).

Is it easy to forgiven the unforgivable? No, but denying the self includes giving up any right we may think we find regarding validation, revenge, getting justice, or seeing someone punished for what they did to us. It begins with the decision to be obedient, it’s not a mind game, using the excuse, “well I would be lying, since I’m still angry”, that is an excuse. Faith says the imputing brings the ability, then comes the impartation.

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan (19:1).

Jesus left the northern area of the Sea of Galilee, going south where the Jordan meets the Dead Sea in the area of Judea, which included Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Bethany.

And great multitudes followed Him; and He healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?  (19:2-3).

The wording "put away" is the same as Loosing, here we find the counterfeit. When the demon had the child, the child was bound, but Jesus freed the child by loosing the  demon from the child; here the Pharisees are bound by religious tradition. Jesus will handle this differently, knowing what to do still comes by Hearing the New Man.

This is a trick question seen in the phrase, “every cause”, which would negate Mercy in any form. Accordingly the Jew sees divorce as a “loosing” from the marriage, but they also view marriage as a contract (covenant).

Their question was their own exposure, but they missed it. God divorced Israel over Her adulterous affair with idols. These Pharisees should have looked to their confession to discover their self based attitude was based in the idols in their minds.

And He answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh? (19:4-5).

Like most Pharisees they had the “Law”, but used their opinions to form the question, Jesus however answered with “have you not read”? They sought the answer to “loosing”, Jesus answers with “binding”. They understand the first commandment was “multiply”, relating to marriage. Jesus went further back than the Law of Moses to the purpose of God in the beginning when Adam was still in the Garden. God intended for Israel to be one with God, as Israel was one with Jacob, but it was Israel, not the Husband who caused the divorce.

Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. They said unto Him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? (19:6-7).

This doesn't say man can't divide what God has purposed to be joined, rather it's a warning, don't do it. This is also a warning to those who divide the kingdom of heaven, yet it will be divided, Jesus said it would, but Woe to the one who does it.  What else did God join together? The nation of Israel, yet the Pharisees were among those who were dividing it. Paul told the Corinthians he knew there were divisions among them, if divisions, there had to be heresies (I Cor 11:19).

Just prior they held Jesus to their interpretation of the Law, but they refused to apply the same Law to themselves. We can see the trick, they know what the Scriptures say, Jesus went to the Beginning, now they bring the Law of Moses in, to produce a conflict, not answer it.

He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so (19:8).

First Jesus told them “God said”, now He tells them “Moses”, so what happened? Did God change His mind? No, the provision was not based on God, but the hardness of the heart of man.

Jesus didn't say, "hardness of their hearts", He pointed directly at the Pharisees, and showed they were just as guilty of the divorce, as their fathers. Hardness of heart is stony ground, thus the Seed was being presented, but rejected.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whosoever marries her which is put away does commit adultery (19:9).

The wording Put Away is still a matter of Loosing, only here Jesus says “Don't Loose”, thus this concept still has to do with Mercy. One mate put away another because of personal expectations and hardness of heart, thus Mercy would have sought the reason they were married to begin with by seeking restoration. On the same note, if God didn’t put them together, then they need to get it correct, before the rest of it falls into place.

We also find Paul said if the unbelieving wants to leave, let them go (I Cor 7:15). How does it fit with “fornication”? Right in, adultery is based on marriage, fornication is between two people not married. It would seem fornication would be the wrong word to use, but it isn’t. Some of us think “what man has joined together”, but the context is “what God has joined”, if fornication is the issue, then it was not a marriage in the eyes of God. However, if we run out and join to one like we just “loosed”, we are committing adultery, since the problem lays with us. The entire premise is based in “the two shall be one”, if they refuse to be One, they have not culminated the marriage. Man sees the culmination based on a sexual act, but Jesus is talking about the “vow”.

This also explains Paul’s comments, the unbeliever who condones and honors their mates beliefs is not the same as the unbeliever who leaves. Also Paul didn’t say, “kick them out, and if they go, you are loosed”. If the unbeliever fails to honor the marriage, or the vows, they are committing fornication. However, if the unbeliever goes, yet the Believer  then seeks another unbeliever to replace the unbeliever who left, they have committed adultery. Both terms are right, Jesus is going further than man’s legal premises, He is looking right to the “heart” of man.

More important we find marriage is a kingdom principle or mystery concerning Jesus and the Church; we entered this by taking a Vow, then accepting the terms of the Vow. If we “work” to avoid the Vow we have failed to do what we have the ability and duty to do, yet we will do many other things we want to. Jesus said He desired for us to be One, as He and the Father were One, which is a binding. Jude says there are some who are unable to hold to the Spirit, they have “separated” themselves, meaning an ungodly form of loosing (Jude 18-19). They have committed fornication, since the Vow was not entered into honestly.

Can we find adultery and fornication in the same relationship? Yes, since it’s the Mystery, let’s study the premise. Jesus takes the vows seriously, but if the person does not they commit fornication (by not holding to the two shall be one), but if they retain the old man is their guide they also commit adultery against Jesus. Therefore, we find Fornicators who have committed Adultery against Jesus. Jesus takes their vow seriously, whether they do or not. It makes the Marriage Bed undefiled, since to the Jew it’s the place the Two become One. We may not feel like it at times, maybe not even act like it, but inside there is the desire to be the submissive Bride of Christ.

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry (19:10).

Probably for the first time the view point of the woman was seen, the disciples felt it wasn't good for a man to marry; however, if it was the case Peter was already in trouble. The disciples could see no other way around this command of Jesus, but they were not yet privy to the Spirit and Agape love, in fact, they were not yet privy to Life as Adam knew it. Once the Ingress Aries was applied they could be one with their mate as it was intended from the beginning, but they had to receive the Spirit in order to Join with God as One. Adam and Eve were a them, but a him, yet they failed to be One. Differences between the husband and wife are means of exposure unto correction for perfection, it's only pride and ego twisting correction into condemnation, or perfection into corruption.

But He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it (19:11-12).

This is a suggestion, not a requirement, nor a commandment, attempting to take this as a commandment is silly. Paul used this in his teaching to the Corinthians, but he wasn’t referring to keeping a virgin slave girl hostage, rather the context in the Greek shows if one is able to keep their virginity, then fine, if not, marry, it’s fine also, but settle the matter in their heart, before attempting to tame the flesh (I Cor 7:25-38).

A Eunuch is one who is appointed to the bed chamber of the Queen, yet remains free of the temptation to enter her bed. It stands, if one is a eunuch, they protect the Bride, rather than violate Her. One can be a physical virgin, yet committing adultery daily by using the self nature to accomplish what they assume are Godly results. On the other hand they can be like Peter, married, yet extremely loyal to the Lord.

Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them (19:13).

Jesus didn't command these children to be baptized, or circumcised, rather they came to be Dedicated through the laying on of hands. This verse connects to the prior verses of binding and loosing, here the disciples were binding the children by keeping them from the Lord.

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven (19:14).

The disciples just heard "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 18:4), now they want to stop the process, assuming it was up to them to determine who could come to Jesus, and who couldn't. It’s never up to us to determine who can enter, and who cannot. This same error will cause Peter to attempt to save the Lord in the Garden, none of us have the authority to protect or save the Lord, it’s He who saves us.

The word Suffer means Let Alone or Don't Hinder, thus any hindrance places us in a dangerous position. What were the disciples doing? They were binding the children from Jesus, when they should be loosing the children unto Jesus.

And He laid His hands on them, and departed there (19:15).

Again, this is clear, Jesus didn't baptize these little ones, He "laid hands on them". The Doctrine of Christ has rudiments, or basic areas, two of those are the Doctrine of Baptisms, and the Laying on of Hands, two separate elements in the same Doctrine (Heb 6:1-2). The laying on of hands is a sign of Approval, Acceptance, or Dedication. We lay hands on people as our sign of approval and presentation unto the Lord. The sons of Aaron laid hands on the sacrifices as a sign of acceptance (Ex 29:10).

And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  (19:16).

This person is seeking entrance by doing some Good deed, rather than being Good. Jesus will give him the requirements of Doing Good Works, rather than Abstaining from doing evil. This is akin to minding the Spirit, or minding the flesh. We can fight day and night to make the flesh appear holy, yet never mind the things of the Spirit. Or we can mind the Spirit, impute the flesh dead, and be far better.

When we are still the Seed and Root we are told to abstain from idols, things sacrificed unto idols, and the temptation to use anger to draw blood, but we are also told to Do things. The more we do the do’s the less we think about not doing the do not’s.

And He said unto him, Why do you call Me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments (19:17).

The man asked a question, but so did Jesus. The question goes to intent, the man call Jesus “good”, but he also said “what good thing”, the word Good in both uses is the same Greek word. He wanted to do something like Jesus, and by doing something like Jesus he felt he gain eternal life. However, he also restricted it to doing a “good thing”, rather than being a good thing.

There is also a difference between Nice and Good, Judas was a nice guy, people liked him, he had to be pleasant to have fooled everyone so fully the night he betrayed Jesus. After all Jesus said, He it is who sups with Me, then Judas dipped into the plate then; yet no one suspected him (Jn 13:26). Someone can be nice, likable, funny, even pleasant, but it doesn’t mean they are “good”.

He said unto Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother: and you shall love your neighbor as yourself (19:18-19).

The man was looking for One Commandment, yet Jesus gave him six, all relating to man’s relationship with man, which of course are Mercy elements.

The young man said unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (19:20).

Although he kept them, he knows there is something missing, something lacking for him to make entry. What could it be?

Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that which you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me (19:21).

Perfect? You mean keeping the Commandments doesn't make us perfect? It's what He said, we need more than self-righteousness to enter in. What was it going to take for this man to deny his self? He had to Loose his trust in riches, and begin to trust in God. It’s easy to “trust” God for the need when you don’t have a need. Paul told us this is a learning process, he knew (experienced) how to abase and how to abound, but in all things he was Instructed to be both full and hungry (Ph’l 4:12). For this person it was a trust in his riches, to him he had no need. Often our faith is being established when God puts us in positions where there is a need, thus we learn to trust in the Lord to meet our need.

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions (19:22).

The experiences we face bring us into perfection through the saving of the soul.  We are free of the power of sin, the process is cleaning us of the effects of sin. Here the man asked, he gained an answer, not the one he wanted, but the one he needed.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, "it is a good thing for the heart to be established with grace" (Heb 13:9), and "let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name" (Heb 13:15), and "for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb 13:16). An Exhortation says, "My son despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives, If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chastens not?" (Heb 12:5-7). God chastens our soul and flesh, not our Spirit, why would God chasten Himself? It’s by the Spirit He chastens us, but for what purpose? To bring forth the fruit of righteousness. To be chasten is not the same as being punished, chastened is the cutting away of the old, so we can bring forth New.

Here it was a good thing to give away all he had, it would have set him free. Yet, he looked at it as punishment, or something completely impossible for him to do.

Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (19:23-24).

It's nearly impossible for one who trusts in their riches to enter the Kingdom of God,   this is not the same as having things, it’s trusting in them. Trusting in riches is the same as holding the deceitfulness of riches, you will make your decisions based on money. When we trust in things as our salvation, or security, we will do anything to keep the things, making them rulers over us.

The phrase Eye Of A Needle refers to an opening in the wall of Jerusalem, used by some to enter the city on the sabbath. The religious rulers watched those “eyes” like hawks, but there is a correlation here. The only ones who would venture through the “eye” were those who would sale goods on the sabbath, thus the trust in riches caused them to violate the Law. They would justify their actions, yet self-justification is the “fall nature” at work.

When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible (19:25-26).

Jesus told the man there is none Good but God, thus he wanted to do a Good Thing, but it would take God in him to even begin. With God it's possible, indicating being Born Again and having a Trust and Faith in God by the Spirit.

The man had possessions, he wanted to do one “good thing”, yet Jesus equated the good thing to “giving all”. God so loved the world He gave His Son, the man was told there is none Good but God. The premise is still binding and loosing, the man was bound to his goods, Jesus told him to loose his goods, and he would find the “goodness” he was searching for. Not easy, as we see, but not impossible either.

Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed You; what shall we have therefore? (19:27).

Peter hasn't really given up anything yet, but he did turn his business over to another (Matt 4:21-22), yet it was still his house they were all staying in. The latter part of this is more important, Peter was asking, "what's in it for me?", which is still the self nature seeking its own. This very nature is the attitude of the tither in Malachi (Mal 3:14): God will open the Windows for them, but He will also close the Door. The Window is used to poor the blessing out of, it is not used for entry. Only a thief would attempt to come in through the window.

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That you which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (19:28).

This is the reward, none of us give up houses, possessions or anything else for the sake of Christ that won't be returned a hundred times in this life, and the one to come.

The Regeneration refers to the New Birth (Titus 3:5), the judging is done by what we do, it is not sitting on a throne telling someone “you’re guilty”. The twelve New Testament tribes of Israel are yet to come in the Night, they like us judge by our actions. Because people like us are accepted by Jesus, there is no excuse for others. This also points to the Rapture, or the division between the Day and Night; as seen in the phrase, “have followed Me”, which is past tense. We are to follow Jesus, but when we reach the goal then we would fit “have followed”, not “following”. Revelation 20:4 shows the judgment being given to those who are beheaded for Christ, meaning they rejected the self to obtain the Authority of Christ. The time of their judging is before the 1,000 years begins, indicating what they did to enter the Rapture anyone could have done. This gives us the reward indicated as the “world to come”.

And everyone that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life (19:29).

This points to being “beheaded” for Jesus, since it’s for the Authority (Name) Sake. Mark will tell us, "but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, with persecutions: and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark 10:30). This is still a promise of the Rapture; we  gain our White Robes at the time when the Fifth and Sixth seals are broken, the phrase "world to come" means The Age to come. This is not a "new earth", but a world, relating to time, Season, or Age, pointing to the Time of Comfort, or the Night.

But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first (19:30).

This saying is used in various ways, here it refers not only to the Remnant who are taken from the 12 tribes of Israel, but those who Sleep in Jesus, who sleep through the Night, then they are stood up when the Night is complete (Rev 20:5-15). The  works of the Night were finished before the Day began, but the Night won’t be a reality until the Day is finished. The First creation (Night) will be last, but the Last creation (Day) will be first.

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers, into his vineyard. And when he agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard (20:1-2).

Jesus continues from the "first shall be last, and the last first", as it relates to reward as well as to the agreement of the servants toward the Covenant.

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them: Go you also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went about the sixth hour and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, Why stand you here all the day idle? (20:3-6).

Jesus will use Five different callings for the workers, the first group was sent into the vineyard to begin the harvest. Then about the Third Hour or early in the morning, He saw some in the marketplace, and called them to the field. Then about the Sixth Hour to around noon He obtained more laborers, then later toward evening or the Ninth Hour He gained more, then at the Eleventh Hour or near the end of the Labor, more yet. Each laborer was given the same promise, the latter were not given any less than the prior. The saying, "last first and first last" has a promise for our time in this Season. The same Power will be granted to those in the latter part of the Day, as it was to the First in the Day. Not one worker gained more than another, the ones who started gained the same as those who finished, those who finished, gained the same as those who started.

This parable also explains what happens to those who receive Jesus one second away from physical death. There are some who labor for years, others who labor for a day, some who never get to labor, but receive the benefit. All have a reward, Jesus never judges Himself, nor will He deny Himself. When we receive Jesus we change conditions and positions.

There are those who sleep in Jesus through the night, who will get their reward, which is the premise in this Parable. Paul said we will not rob them; however it’s not an excuse for us to reject the Spirit, those who sleep, Sleep because, for one reason or another, not their fault, they were denied the Spirit (Acts 19: 2 & I Thess 5:6-10)

They say unto him, Because no man has hired us. He said unto them, Go you also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall you receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard said unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first (20:7-8).

Each group who agreed to work in the vineyard was not told how much they would receive, they each accepted the offer. The Master determined the reward, not the laborer, at times we forget it.

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and you have made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny? Take what is yours, and go your way: I will give unto this last, even as unto you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good? (20:9-15).

The time element is One Hour, referring to the Hour of Temptation, which started on the Day of Pentecost. The first group was attempting to change the agreement, after they agreed. The reverse of this would be the latter group demanding the same payment or saying, "we weren't called first, so we don't have to do as much". Whether called first or last, both were in the same field, had the same tools, agreed to the labor responsibility. The last part of the Parable makes it clear, we don’t make the Covenant, we agree to it.

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen (20:16).

Whether Last or First, it's the same goal, same calling, same reward. Many are called, thus not All are called; however, All are presented the opportunity, but Many still isn't the same as the word All. From the Many who are called Few will take the calling and enter the process of the saving of the soul. Jesus said, only a Few would walk with Him in White (Rev 3:4). The word Few is only relative to the overall number, a Few in reference to a thousand is countable, but John sees the Few as ten thousand times ten thousand, a number which can’t be counted.

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge and to crucify Him, and the third day He shall rise again (20:17-19).

This is the third time Jesus will tell them of the events yet to come, yet being told, and seeing it come to pass are much different. The Holy Ghost tells us things to come, but for some reason when they come to pass we panic. This test of faith shows we are all told what will be, yet it’s still up to us to hold our faith in God during the event.

The first time Jesus made this statement Peter gave his desire to stop it, the other times no one spoke. This was also a warning to Judas, when Peter made his statement it showed the same intent to change what God has ordained was resting in the mind of Judas; however, in Peter's case he took the warning, Judas on the other hand ignored the warning. Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him, yet He never cast Judas out of the group, He never took Judas' papers, yet He said, "one of you is a devil" (Jn 6:70), why didn't Jesus cast the devil out of His own ministry? Judas would bring about something that must be, although, we are warned not to join his position. John and Peter will show when Judas joined the ministry he was in charge of the bag, he used the Name of Jesus, he went out to preach and heal the sick, yet he was a thief as well, and sold the Lord out for his own self-benefit, it’s a clear warning.

Jesus not only told the events, He pointed out the specific order of events, as well as those involved. Jesus didn't make the prophecy come to pass, rather He was the subject of it. Whackos make all sorts of prophecies, but they cause them to come to pass, or at least attempt to force them to come to pass. The prophecy proves the prophecy, the means proves the source of the prophecy.

The tradition of Jesus going to the Cross on a Friday, lacks supportive Bible evidence, discounting Jesus saying He would be three days and nights in the grave. Jesus was raised before the sun came up on the First Day of the Week (Sunday), if He went to the Cross on a Friday, it’s hardly three days and three nights. The Jew has the Sabbath day, thus they do not keep “part days” as some modern countries so, they do not consider noon as the full day, rather their day is from sunset to sunset. Jesus was placed in the grave at sunset on Passover, the high sabbath for the feast of unleavened bread began at sunset. The Days and Nights are conclusive, they must run from sunset to sunset in a 24 hour period. We know the day Jesus was discovered raised from the dead was Sunday before the sun came up, since the women appeared at the grave at before sunrise finding Jesus was not in the grave, we don’t count that night. Therefore, by using the Jewish method of counting days, we can count backward to find the exact day, then check the various Scriptures to verify the day. In so doing we find Jesus went to the Cross on a Wednesday, the next day was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a High Sabbath, the next day a Friday the weekly day of preparation for the weekly sabbath, the next day was the sabbath according to the Fifth Commandment, which would be a Saturday, making the Cross in the Midst of the Week, as Daniel prophesied (Dan 9:27); completing the three days and nights as Jesus said, with Jesus being raised on the third day. All the days and nights must be accounted for and they are in Scripture. The evidence shows Jesus did prophesy correctly, it’s man’s traditions casting doubt, they always do.

These Parables still center around not hindering the little children:

Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him. And He said unto her, What do you want?  She said unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one of Your right hand, and the other on the left, in Your kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, You know not what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They said unto Him, We are able. And He said unto them, You shall drink indeed of My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father (20:20-23).

Hearing a premise, and making up our own example is dangerous, here is the example of what happens when we make up our own. Matthew shows it was the mother of James and John who did the asking, but Mark says it was James and John, thus they coached and enticed their mother to ask for them, and did it based on something Jesus said. Prior Jesus said not to hinder the children, or their parents from bringing the children to Jesus, so James and John figure, hey, we’re children, where is mom? Although the words came from their mother, Jesus answered the two men (Mark 10:35).

Using the mother of James and John, or using Mary the mother of Jesus doesn't help, Jesus looks beyond and answers to the source. This lesson dispels the use of making prayers to Mary, or attempting to force her to speak to Jesus on our behalf. If we can't come boldly to the throne, we lack the position of Grace and need to apply eye salve, rather than attempt to hide behind the faith of Mary.

The James who is the brother of John, is not the same James who wrote the Book of James. This James is James Zebedee, the James who wrote the Book of James is the brother of Jude, half brother of Jesus, known as James the Less. This James was killed in Acts 12:2, the James who wrote the Book of James remained as the pastor of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15).

These verses also give us the Great Blessing of Unanswered Prayer. It was once said, If we pray in the Perfect will of God, we will never hear No or Wait, it's true, but how many of us pray in the perfect will of God all the time? Wouldn't it be nice to know God will not answer a prayer causing us to sin, or override the will of God? Those on the right hand of Jesus hear, "pass by My good and faithful servant", those on the left hear, "depart from Me, you who work iniquity". Without knowing, James and John were asking Jesus to make the decision which of them could pass, and which would end in the lake of fire. Truly they still didn't know what spirit they were of. They had Mercy and forgiveness of sins, but they were not Born Again. Jesus will not make this decision, it's up to us. Jesus just finished days of teaching on forgiving to be forgiven, now James and John are attempting to get around the command.

Jesus will explain a Cup and Baptism; however, this Cup is not the Cup of the Wrath of God, neither is the Baptism unto death.

And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (20:24-28).

There are two Gentile or worldly leader actions noted here, first those who use control over others, then those who use authority to control others, yet both methods use to control to dominate. We are given authority over the devil, and his works, but the method is not to control, but to vex. The Gentile uses control over people to dominate, those with earthly authority use it Upon the people, neither is the case for us. The Gentile binds to the Earth, we loose heaven.

Rebellion is the use of a lower authority to overthrow a higher authority; therefore, before rebellion is a consideration one must have authority, although lower in nature. Stubbornness is the rejection of authority, both lead to destruction. In this case it’s having authority above the world, but using it correctly. The Cup is the Cup of ministry, the Baptism is the identification with a service as one who gives them life to serve others. Jesus took the Cup of ministry and ministered, He took the baptism of service and became a Servant by giving His life as a ransom for many (Matt 20:27-28). Were they willing to die to the self, and follow Jesus?

And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, You Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, You Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will you that I shall do unto you? They said unto Him, Lord that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him (20:29-34).

This area goes much further than two blind men, or even one blind man. Jesus told the Laodiceans, "anoint your eyes with eye salve, so you may see" (Rev 3:18). Eye salve is a change of attitudes, not a change of Character.

Mark says there was one man, yet two. Mark shows the name of the blind man as, "Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus" (Mark 10:46). However, the name Bartimaeus means Son of Timaeus, thus Mark says, this is Son of Timaeus, the Son of Timaeus. This makes sense when we know the name Timaeus means Defiled Religious Garment. In essence Mark sees one human, but two men, Matthew tells us to think about the second blind man as well as the first. The Pharisees decided to retain their religious garments, and remain blind, yet they thought they could see. Bartimaeus cast away his garment, and found sight,  when he asked Jesus for "Mercy", not Grace. The Pharisees retained their defiled garment when they attacked Jesus, showing their lack of Mercy.

The city of Jericho is also significant, it relates to Rahab, the seven sevens, the trump, and the victory when the wall fell. The wall of pride and religious conceit left Bartimaeus when he cast away his garment. In essence Bartimaeus Loosed the Garment, and thus Loosed himself; whereas, the Pharisees retained theirs and remained Bound.

Jesus didn't tell him to cast the garment away, it was his choice, Jesus already said "deny the self", thus Jesus won’t deny the self for us, but He has given us the New Man so the effort can be completed.

The Cross is so important, more important than the earthly ministry. Wow, how do we know? Whether the ministry was three years or two years, the week of the Cross was one week, yet a majority of the ministry of Jesus centered on the one week. Not just these verses, but sayings and teachings in the Gospel also point to the week of the Cross. Just the saying, “deny yourself, and pick up your Cross” couldn’t begin for us until Jesus went to the Cross.

The Passover fell on the 14th of Abib, regardless of what day it was, the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th of Abib regardless of what day of the week it was. It's fifty days from Passover to Pentecost (Feast Of Weeks), but Pentecost was 49 days from the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and 49 is Seven times Seven (Deut 6:9-12). The Feast of Weeks was for Firstfruits, we are the Firstfruits of the Spirit (Deut 6:9-12 & Rom 8:23). The Feast of Weeks came seven weeks after the "sickle was put to the corn" (Deut 16:9). The word Corn goes back to the Grain of mustard seed, the Grain must die before the Corn comes forth. All these events relate to the Cross and Resurrection, it's our Pentecost  introducing us to the Power of the Resurrection, bringing the Strength to become the Power of His Christ. Our path entails many lessons regarding the Power of the Resurrection, but demands the Power of His Christ to finish the race.

The Feast of Weeks is only for those who are of one accord (Deut 16:10). The purpose was to "remember you were a bondservant in Egypt" (Deut 16:11-12). When we take of the Body we Remember what Jesus did for us, we stop complaining about the laborers who came in at the eleventh hour.

Looking at all the accounts we can count back from the feast day, and find the anointing in Bethany was on a Friday, a preparation day for the weekly sabbath. Jesus was being Prepared for His burial, we are anointed during our preparation to see the old  nature crucified, so we can gain the New in the Resurrection (Jn 12:1 & Mark 14:8-9). After the anointing, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the weekly sabbath, the people placed branches from palm trees, and cast their garments before Him. The branches were removed by the people, which would violate the sabbath rules, showing why the religious rulers questioned Jesus about the events. The Palm branches stood for victory, the fig tree was a covering of the flesh, but it didn’t remove the flesh. On the first curtain leading into the courtyard of the Tabernacle there are Palm Leaves painted thereon, here we see the entrance to the tabernacle, but it doesn’t mean the people were entering; however, we also see the people accepting the Sacrifice.

The garments go back to Bartimaeus, the people were casting their garments before the Master. In all this it's apparent, the only labor Jesus did was ride the colt; however, the people were engaged in much labor, causing the Pharisees to have a Pharisaical fit. The Pharisees refused to cast away their garments, yet the people were casting them before the Lord. The blindness of the Pharisees had convinced them, Jesus was the false prophet, and must die. Their self-deception began when they wanted Jesus to submit to them, from the premise their minds continued to seek the fault and error, which produced the error in their own minds.

Now the religious leaders form their plan to tempt Jesus to say something, so they can use it against Him. They planned their trial, sought their evidence, but they were using tricks and deception. Whenever we use deception with the thought we are doing something for Jesus, we are self-deceived. This would be the 10th of Abib, on the next day Jesus would speak to the Fig Tree, this is a Fig Tree, not the Olive Tree. This would be the 11th of Abib (Mark 11:12), on the 12th of Abib Jesus would teach on the last days, making His last appearance in the temple. The Passover Lamb of God was before the people and the people accepted and approved of the Sacrifice, later they would kill the same Lamb.

On the 13th of Abib the chief priests and Judas would make their plans, while Jesus spent time with His disciples (Mark 14:10). The 14th of Abib would be the Passover, known as the Preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread fell on the 15th of Abib as the High Sabbath. The next day would be a Friday and another preparation day, which would have been the 16th of Abib. This would be the day the women would prepare the spices, then they would rest on the weekly sabbath (Saturday) "according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56), which would have been the 17th of Abib. Mary would discover the tomb empty before the sun rose on the 18th of Abib, a Sunday. With this the evidence is clear: Jesus was placed in the tomb just as the sun was going down on Wednesday, that night would be the first night. The Feast day on Thursday would be the first day, that night the second night. The preparation day of Friday would be the second day, that night the third night. The weekly Sabbath would be the third day, as Jesus was Raised on the Third Day as Our Sabbath. The tomb was discovered empty before the sun came up on Sunday, the day we use to celebrate the Discovery of the Resurrection is Sunday.

The number 13 is the number of rebellion; on the 13th of Abib the Pharisees made their plans in the company of Judas, the traitor. In the 13th year the kings rebelled (Gen 14:4), Ishmael was circumcised when he was 13 years old, it was Ishmael who mocked the son of promise (Gen 17:25 & 21:9). The Jews understood this as they held the child accountable to the Commandments in the Torah at the age of 13 years. However, Jesus brought us New Commandments based in Blessing to free us from rebellion.

And when they drew near unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying, unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightaway you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me. And if any man says anything to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them, and straightaway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell you the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes unto you, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt of the foal of an ass, and the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon (21:1-7).

The disciples did exactly as they were told, they didn't add to, or take away from the commandment. Luke helps us by showing the two disciples were confronted, and said, "the Lord has need of him" (Luke 19:34). They didn't say, "we have need of this for the Lord", or "we have need of this", or “we’re the anointed of God”, neither did they say, “The Lord has need of this”, and turn around and sell it, they were being servants and did exactly as they were told.

The quote points to the purpose of God, but adds the reality of God as well. Zechariah said, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem.." (Zech 9:9), but both John and Matthew only show, "daughter of Zion (Sion)". Neither Mark or Luke mention this prophecy (Jn 12:15), but Luke does show Jesus weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). The purpose of God was for both Zion and Jerusalem to rejoice greatly, but the leaders of Jerusalem rejected the Season, causing the reality of God, as Zechariah also says, "I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem" (Zech 9:10). This is clearer when we look at the words, Rejoice Greatly, thus this is not a commandment, but a request to enter the prophecy. This also shows us why the 144,000 are marked on Zion, rather than in the City (Rev 14:1).

We read in Zechariah, "behold your King comes unto you, He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and upon the colt the foal of an ass" (Zech 9:9). Again this would be the 10th of Abib, a sabbath day, the Rest of God kept the young colt settled.

Jesus said, He and the Father were One, then He added, What God has put together, let not man put asunder. Jesus walked in the Power and Authority, He knew God was greater than the devil or the works of the devil. The Pharisees had a demonic intent, but they made the choice to remain that way. Paul had the Key to this, when confronted he ran to Jesus and found Grace is Sufficient (II Cor 12:9).

Jesus begins His entry into Jerusalem, and will enter the Temple and give the last warning to the religious rulers of the people.

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and threw them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna to the highest (21:8-9).

There are two groups, but one saying; there is the group going before, representing the Church, then the group following representing the Remnant, yet it began as Jews. The Church started with all Jews, then the Door was open to the Gentiles. Those who are Born Again, are Like the angels in heaven, they have a position far above the earth, they are Free of all the cares attached to the world.

The People quoted Psalm 118, which also reads, "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord" (Ps 118:17); with, "the right hand of the Lord is exalted: the hand of the Lord does valiantly" (Ps 118:16). When Jesus rode through the gate of Jerusalem the gates of His Righteousness were opened, yet the gates of hell defeated; salvation had come to the people of God who were appointed the Gates (Ps 118:19 & Dan 9:24). Psalm 118 also reads, "the stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner" (Ps 118:22), more important is, "this is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes, this is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech You, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech You, send now prosperity" (Ps 118:23-25). There are many days, but there is One Day in all of man's history wherein we Rejoice In, the Day of the Cross when Jesus brought us The Day of Salvation.

And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves (21:10-13).

John's account shows the first cleaning specifically rebuked those who sold the Dove, but here the purpose is to clean the House, preparing it for prayer. Since this is still the Sabbath, it's obvious the Pharisees bent the rules when it came to the treasury, but enforced them on others for self-benefit. Jesus told the disciples unbelief comes out by much prayer and fasting, yet the Pharisees fasted all the time, but for the wrong reason. They would put powder and oil on their faces to make them appear drawn out, then go about like they were “suffering for the Lord”, yet it was all self-based and self-serving.

The multitude asked, "who is this?", Jesus answered their question by going into the temple of God and saying, "My house". They saw a Prophet, but He is more than a Prophet, He is the purpose of all Prophecy, the very Spirit of prophecy. When Jesus cleaned the temple the first time He said, "Take these things away; make not My Father's house a house of merchandise" (Jn 2:16), here He says, "My house", the Kingdom was so very near at hand.

The Temple is a type and shadow of something desired by man to give to God, but it became a symbol of Judgment. The Tabernacle was in the hand of God, but maintained by man; whereas, the Temple was maintained by the hand of man. Jesus rebuked them,  cleaned the Temple, but He never forced change, rather it was up to the religious leaders make the change, they didn’t and the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD.

Mark also shows Jesus spoke to the fig tree the day after He rode into Jerusalem, Matthew regresses to this day to explain another aspect. The fig tree had two fruits, the first was not eatable, rather it was left on the tree, but the second fruit would grow over the first, thus the second is eatable. The Fig Tree is a metaphor for the religious order of Israel, Jesus said it would not produce Fruit, but it would produce leaves. The symbol for the Body of Christ is the Olive Tree, not the Fig Tree, wherein we find another mystery. The fruit of the fig tree can be taken directly from the tree and eaten; however, the olive takes preparation before it's usable. The olive must be soaked in Salt or Lye before it can be eaten, in order to get the Oil out of the olive it must be placed under a Press of Pressure. The word, Gethsemane means, Winepress or a Place Of Pressure To Produce The Oil. All of us face our Gethsemane, our place of pressure to get the Mercy to the surface. We as Christians must be led by the Spirit into our wilderness and our Gethsemane; both are areas of great growth bringing forth the Greater works of God in us.

Proverbs 27:18 says, "Whoso keeps the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waits on his master shall be honored". The Pharisees lacked the fruit of repentance, they failed to produce the useful first fruit. If the first fruit is corrupt, the second fruit will also be corrupt. Jesus spoke to the fig tree before He entered the temple, it was after the temple cleaning when the disciples found the purpose. Matthew gives us the purpose, not the actual time of the event. It's also very important to keep in mind Jesus didn't curse the Fig Tree, rather He made an observation regarding the established religious order in the land of the Jewish people who cursed themselves, thus Jesus brought forth a New Tree.

Prior Jesus said Make the Tree Good and it's fruit will be Good, and there are two types of fruit, one unto Life, one unto Death, thus the Fruit of the Spirit is unto Life, not death. The Second fruit of the fig tree was yet to come, if the Fig Tree’s first fruit remained, the second fruit would be useless, it was the first fruit corrupted the tree, not the words of Jesus. Jesus made an observation, and remarked about what He saw. Jesus now enters the Temple.

And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them (21:14).

A House of Prayer produces Signs and Wonders, a house of merchandise produces Pharisees and legalists.

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, and said unto Him, Hear You what these say? And Jesus said unto them, Yes, have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise? (21:15-16).

While this is going on the disciples are standing by and watching what happens when we hinder the babes. The Pharisees are saying, "look, they are making fools out of themselves"; but it's better to be a fool (idiot) for Jesus, than a Pharisee.

Nothing upsets a Pharisee more than praise, or acts not under their control. This still relates to Hindering the Babes, whether we like the way Jesus is doing it or not, don't hinder the Babes, at least their hearts are seeking God. The quote Jesus used is from Psalm 8, but the rest of the verse reads, "because of Your enemies, that You might still the enemy and the avenger" (Ps 8:2). Praise stops the enemy (avenger), and praise brings the Strength of God to our side (Ps 8:2). John told us after Salvation comes the Strength of God and it's the Strength of God removing walls of hindrance.

And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there. Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered (21:17-18).

Without Mark we would think this was the next day, but Matthew takes us back to the morning of the same day, thereby connecting to Mark showing Jesus spoke to the fig tree in the morning (Mark 11:12-14).

And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on you henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away (21:19).

In the Night the Remnant will surface as the leaves of the Fig Tree, there will be no more “fruit” from the Fig Tree; however, a change is taking place, the Fruit will come from the Olive Tree, the place of pressure will bring forth a more useful product.

This is still in reference to Mark 11:12-14, in the next verse Matthew picks up the events when the disciples Saw the results of the fig tree. Mark shows the time was not yet for the fruit, surely Jesus knew; however, the purpose goes to the Remnant, it also makes room for the Olive Tree. The Fig Tree was stayed, dried up from the roots, yet the leaves will reign in the latter days.

And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say unto this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing you shall receive (21:20-22).

Here we find the phrase "in prayer", which narrows this down. What was done to the Fig Tree? It was forgiven, if not, there would be no Remnant. The obvious proof of the forgiveness is the command of Jesus in Acts 1:8, “be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”. Jesus said, “both”, yet named four places. The Both refers to Jews (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria), and Gentiles (uttermost), with the Jew first.

The Fig Tree was the Law of Moses, Paul said the Jews come out of the Law by faith, but the Gentile comes around the Law by faith. In order to come out of the Law, they had to have authority over it. Since the Law had both blessing and cursing, the thought process of man was first “I’m cursed” every time something adverse happens man looks for the cursing. It’s called the “curse mentality”, we have to know the New Covenant is curse-less, it is all Blessing and Precious.

In Mark we find the Mountain relates to unforgiveness, which explains how Jesus forgave the religious leaders. This prayer must include forgiveness and Mercy unto others, or the faith is useless (Mark 11:26). This takes us back to Luke 17:5 when the disciples said, "Lord increase our faith". The request was predicated upon Jesus teaching on forgiveness (Luke 17:1-6). Jesus used the Grain of mustard seed, and joined it to the parable about the servant who worked in the field all day. The servant came to the house, and saw the master of the house. Jesus asked the disciples, if they thought the master would tell the servant to go and sit down, or would he tell the servant to fix the master's plate? (Luke 17:6-8). Jesus said, "Does he thank the servant because he did the things commanded him? I think not" (Luke 17:9). The Greek word for Thank is Charis, known to us as Grace. The servant agreed to the position, but should he get special Grace for doing what was expected? For us Mercy is expected the second we ask God to forgive us, do we think we did something special? Or what is required?

And when He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority do You these things? and who gave you this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, where was it from? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; He will say unto us, Why did you not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And He said unto them, neither tell I you by what authority I do these things (21:23-27).

The Pharisees changed their tune from, Why do You allow this? To, How come You did this? This would be the same day the disciples saw the fig tree dried up from the roots,  thus the evidence of the dried root is found in the heart of the Pharisee. Who gave Jesus the authority to take over the temple? Who took the authority away from the Pharisees? What change is taking place, who authorized it? The chief priests are challenging Jesus, yet they are also attempting to throw Him out of the temple. The change was in hand, they refused to submit to the authority of God, yet used their soulish authority in rebellion. The dried root would be offended again as the plans of darkness would begin to grow.

Jesus will answer them, but they will fail to see it. If John came by the authority of God, then the One he preached about came As The Authority Of God. If John spoke from his own mind, then the lack of evidence would have proven it; however, the evidence of repentance proved John was a prophet pointing to Jehovah God. Regardless of the answer or lack thereof, the proof was still there.

But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said I go, sir: and went not. Whether of those two did the will of his father?  They said unto Him, The first. Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you (21:28-31).

Two sons, same family, same womb, one repented, the other lied. This points directly to the Pharisees, as well as those who enter the Body based on God’s Mercy, yet fail to continue to Believe. This would be the fornication Jesus taught about earlier, they said they wanted to welcome the Messiah, they said they were willing to serve, but when the time came they acted like there was no marriage. They became covenant breakers, and fornicators.

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and you believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and you, when you had seen it, repented not afterward, that you might believe him (22:32).

The Pharisees had the same opportunity to repent as the people, but they felt there was no reason for them to repent, they were the temple workers. However, they failed to discern their own fruit, or really the lack thereof.

Jesus told them they believed not, thus taking them back to their own reasoning when they said, "If we shall say, From heaven; He will say unto us, Why did you not then believe". Their own confession was based in their unbelief, we find Jesus went to the intent,  by answering the intent. They knew, yet repented not, taking them to the second aspect of their reasoning when they said, "but if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet" (Matt 21:26). They still refused to repent, like Saul of old, they feared the people, more than God (I Sam 15:23-24). The Pharisees vowed to serve God, but ended using their position to serve their own religious agenda.

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country (21:33).

The owner of this vineyard did all the work before the husbandmen took over, all they had to do was maintain the property of another. The Pharisees confused Stewardship with Ownership, they were “husbandmen” or caretakers, they didn’t own the people. They assumed the temple was theirs, the treasury was theirs, God was merely a means to be used to reach the result.

And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it (21:34).

The fruit was “at hand”, since this is a vineyard we can see the time for the New Wine was close, but not yet. The change was taking place, the Fig Tree was still there, the leaves were yet future, but there was a New Wine being prepared for the Olive Tree. The key to this is “might receive”, showing presentation and choice.

And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes, what will he do unto those husbandmen? (21:35-40).

God sent prophets day and night with the warning, but the religiously conceited rejected the warning. The same phrases of, "The temple, the temple", and "once protected, always protected", were the mainstays of the Pharisee's theology. When offense came, they killed the offense, rather than receive the prophet's reward. After all, these religious leaders represented God Almighty, how could God displace them? Would God dare remove them? Would He indeed, will He indeed.

They said unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus said unto them, Did you never read the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? (21:41-42).

The Pharisees could look at a third person situation, and have no problem in seeing the husbandmen were wicked men, but they couldn't see the beam in their own eye. The thing they feared the most was about to fall on them, yet they not only ignored the warning, they were going to attack the one who brought it. The mirror of God is not to harm us, it's there to expose and bring things to our vision, so we can be rid of what offends God.  By using the Parable, Jesus placed the mirror before the religious rulers. In all this Jesus is offering the promise of forgiveness, this area proves He sees the fault, but is willing to forgive. This work is Marvelous; however, after the Resurrection the sign of Jonah will be past tense. The greatest lesson is knowing the Jews will kill Stephen, yet Jesus will also forgive Saul the Christian Hunter, turning Saul into Paul the Apostle of Grace, but unlike these Pharisees, Paul repented, allowing his path to be changed (Acts 9:1-6).

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder (21:43-44).

The phrase "shall be taken" is future tense, thus Jesus offered forgiveness, but knew it would be rejected. The offering of the gift and calling wasn't in vain, the religious rulers allowed it to pass, but Paul received and gained. This is not the “kingdom of heaven”, this would be the Kingdom of God. When was it taken? We know Peter preached the Gospel to the circumcised, Paul to the Gentile, but in Acts 28:26-28 the course changed and the Kingdom was sent to the Gentile with the one Gospel of Peace. Yet, the Jew still comes out of the Law, the Gentile around it, thus this doesn’t mean they can’t join in, it means the focus of the Kingdom is centered on the Gentile.

The Stone is not the same Rock upon which the Church is built, rather we find two different Greek words. This Stone is the millstone breaking the Grain, allowing the Life inside to come forth. The Stone the builders rejected became a Millstone, yet God had not left them, nor has He forsaken them, it was God bringing the correction and rebuke. If we fall on the Stone we gain life, if the Stone falls on us it will grind us to powder. Falling on the Stone will break us, but it's easier to put pieces back together, than dust.

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet (21:45-46).

They still fear the multitude, their fear was a sign of their failure. They worried about their positions, rather than fear God. Even if Jesus wasn't the Son of man, He was nonetheless a prophet, for no other reason they should have received Jesus as a Prophet.

And Jesus answered and spoke unto them again by parables, and said, (22:1).

Jesus didn't stop because they were offended, He was rolling the stone over them. As the millstone was beginning to roll, the Pharisees were becoming more and more offended at the Truth as it exposed their folly. Why would Jesus continue? To save them, if they received the offense. If He knows they won’t, why continue? Purpose, they could never say they were not given opportunity.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth servants saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage (22:2-4).

Here He introduces the concept of Marriage, the King is not the Son, rather the King formed the marriage for the Son. This parable relates to the kingdom of heaven, or the place of preparation for the marriage. The King couldn’t force the guests to come to the wedding, but they were invited. Did the King just give up? No, the King sent more servants to those who were invited, again calling them to the wedding. The “work” was all done, all they had to do was show up and enjoy.

Eternity was once described as the earth in the form of a solid steel ball, once every hundred years a normal sized eagle would pass by brushing the earth with it's wing. The friction would remove a microscopic bit of the earth, but when this eagle finally worn the earth down to approximately one inch in size, eternity would have just begun. Man spends one brush of the eagle's wing on earth to be tested regarding eternity. In truth Eternity is time-less, or a place where time is not a factor, it’s always Now. Time is only relative when death is involved, thus there is no time element mentioned before the Fall, only after.

Again he sent for other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fatlings are killed, all things are ready: come unto the marriage, but they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: (22:5).

This is the same group who were Bidden prior, but now the dinner is ready. They made light of the wedding, they felt their self desires were more important. This goes back to love less, showing other things became more important, possessions, merchandise, their families drew them away from the most important day of their lives. The possessions would still be there, the family would, but the wedding was a one time event.

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city (22:6-7).

This remnant is not the 144,000, this remnant are the bad fish left behind after the Rapture, thus the King sends His armies to avenge those who were killed. Joel said, on the day when the Great Trump is blown on Zion, the noise of chariots shall be heard (Joel 2:1-7). The city being burned is Babylon, which is Jerusalem of the earth, or the Woman in the Book of Revelation; in that Day there will be death, mourning and famine shall precede the burning of the city (Rev 18:8 & 18:16).

In Luke's account the parable shows the wedding has taken place; therefore, Jesus is telling us things to happen from the Rapture to the end when the Lord returns as the Son of man to bring Judgment. Jesus tells the church of Philadelphia, "behold, I set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength" (Rev 3:8). Then Jesus says He will write upon them the "name of My God" (Rev 3:12). Ezekiel said the faithful Jews who sigh and cry for the abominations done in Jerusalem will have the mark of God placed on them (Ezek 9:4). Why not the Name of Jesus? Because they will operate in Mercy, not Grace. This parable shows us the prophecies regarding the Remnant haven't passed, the leaves will come forth in due Season.

Then he said to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy (22:8).

This draws us back to our Season, the First included these religious leaders; what made them unworthy? Unbelief. In the phrase, The Wedding Is Ready, the word Ready is the Greek Hetoimos meaning Prepared, or To Be Prepared. This points to the Bride making Herself ready, She does so by Belief, Faith and Submission to Her Husband. The word Bride means newly betrothed, or just married, or just about to be married. We are seen as the Bride in heaven, but the Bride made herself “ready” on earth (Rev 19:7).

We also find this connecting to the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Five had Lamps and no Oil, Five had Lamps with Oil, those Prepared with the two elements of Mercy, (Lamps) and Grace (Oil), made it through the Door. It wasn’t the lamp alone, or the oil alone, the requirement was both.

The servants were sent to another location to find guests, again they are not seeking the Bride, rather they are seeking guests, the Bride is already waiting with Her Groom. This has to be after the Rapture, the Ten Virgins were before the Rapture, the Five reflecting on those who in the first Five churches who number among the Few made it through the Door. This Parable points to the time after the Bride has made Herself ready.

Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage (22:9).

The word Highways draws us to the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke's account. The Wounded One on the highway looked up, and saw the priest pass him by. The priest represents the religious leaders, but then the Wounded One saw the Levite pass by, the Levite represented the religious community. The priests come from the Tribe of Levi, but not all of Levi were priests, thus the two groups point directly to the religious order who are suppose to care for the sick and needy.

The Wounded One was considered an outcast, a Gentile, one not worthy of healing. However, worthiness is not predicated by the place from which one came, rather it's predicated by the condition at the moment. The Wounded One was innocent of any wrong doing, there was no sign proclaiming he had done any wrong. Some think this Wounded One is Adam; however, Adam knew what he was doing, and did it anyway, this person is a victim. This is also a symbol of how Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, then left by the religious leaders for dead. The Good Samaritan as the Holy Ghost took Jesus to the Father, then the Holy Ghost returned to find those in the Highway who would receive the Seed with gladness. The Compassion in the heart of the Holy Ghost is the same Compassion we inherit in the New Birth (Luke 10:30-33).

The unbelief of the priests and Levites caused the Wounded One to lay bound to the earth. Later Jesus will upbraid the disciples with their unbelief, indicting how their own unbelief was binding Him to the earth. The one with Compassion held the Oil and Wine, the Holy Ghost is The Comforter, the One with the Oil (Mercy) and Wine (Grace). The Holy Ghost gave the Inn Keeper (Father) the price, then said, "when I come again, I will repay You" (Luke 10:35); Paul said, the Holy Ghost takes us at the Rapture, thus we become the Payment, the Lord paid the price for us, but we are Redeemed by the Holy Ghost.

So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests (22:10).

The Highway is a metaphor for the Wide Road, the Street a metaphor for a place between places. Here the it’s a different timing, the Wedding is Ready, the Bride made Herself Ready, the Servants, not the Holy Ghost are searching for Guests. The Servants here would be the Angels searching out the world, the Gathering together would be the Judgment..

The King didn't order the guests to come, he didn't force the guests, rather he called each, one by one, they made their own decision to accept, or deny.

And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he said unto him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? and he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (22:11-13).

The King calls this person "Friend", not "My Bride", or "My Servant", this man is a symbol of the son of perdition, and all who follow the position (Matt 26:50). The man was offered a wedding garment, just as we; however, he felt it wasn't important to have, nor to be cleaned through and through, rather he felt he was clean enough by his own efforts.

For many are called, but few are chosen (22:14).

The position of Chosen doesn't mean God picks and chooses based on some intellect or family order, rather the parable shows the guests decided if they would accept the calling or not. In our case the Acceptance of the calling is receiving the Seed Sown,  moving us to the Chosen, those Chosen made the choice to be Chosen.

The word Called means Invited, the word Chosen means Selected; although God called us from the foundation of the world, we had to Select and Accept the Seed to enter the calling before it became effective in our lives. If we have the Seed we are among the Called, if we are among the Just who believe unto the saving of the soul we are among the Chosen.

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk (22:15).

The Pharisees knew they were the first group invited, but they presumed invited and chosen were the same, they are just as wrong in reference to this issue, as they were other things. They were offended, as temple workers they thought anything they did was doing God a service. This attitude is seen in the “error searchers”, they run through the Body with stones of theological abuse killing the Just. The best way to counter error is to preach the truth in love. Yelling, backbiting, and slander are hardly “in love”.

This teaching points to the Day when the Two shall be One, but the Pharisees had choice, they could be One with God, or One with the devil. The Pharisees would send three groups to Entangle Jesus, each temptation goes right back to the devil's temptations in the wilderness. At this time the devil wasn't coming directly against Jesus, the Flood was coming with a Mouth full of entrapping words. These next three areas become our example of how Jesus handled warfare.

And they sent out unto Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, master, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care You for any man: for You regard not the person of men (22:16).

This method of using complementary statements to put the victim at ease, is still a common method of those who set out to snare the saints. If these Herodians believed their own words, they would've rejected the thought of using temptation. This is like the woman who followed Paul and Silas around making a factual complementary statement, with deceit in her heart. A statement can be factual, but the intent determines if it's Truth or a lie. Counterfeit money is factual, but nonetheless a lie. A statement can be Fact, but not a truth, or a statement can hold the word Believe, yet be a statement of unbelief. The authority to make the statement becomes the issue, as well as the intent used.

All three groups of tempters will use questions, but their intent is not to learn, rather it's to lead Jesus into a trap. There are many who ask, "well what do you think about...", but their intent is to lead us into a specific area where they can insert their opinion through manipulation and deception. Any method used by deceptive, is also demonic. How we respond is always Spirit based, we must hear the New Man in order to discern, from discernment we respond, rather than react.

Later this same day the disciples will ask a question, but their intent is to gain knowledge, not insert their opinion, or trap Jesus. The question is just a question, it’s the intent determining if it’s a method to trap someone, or simply to gain knowledge by.

The title Herodians refers to the civil government of Herod, the Pharisees knew Herod cut the head off John the Baptist, thus the Pharisees are attempting to get Herod to do their dirty work. The question from the Herodians was the temptation to place Jesus in opposition to the civil authorities. Whether Jesus agreed with the civil authorities or not, really didn't matter, we know He never interfered with them. Jesus knew the world was on a set course, a path known by God from the foundation of the world, no man could disannul it (Isa 14:24-27). This is an issue of faith, the question could have also been, "what do you think of these Pharisees, do you think they are doing God's work?".

Instead of walking with God, the Pharisees were plotting against God's Anointed. The question was a trap in and of itself, it’s equated to the famed, "do you still beat your wife? answer yes or no". No matter which way one answers the question they're guilty. If they say No, they admit they had beaten their wife, if they say Yes, they admit they still are. Questions beginning with deception, or leave no room for the Truth are always demonic. Questions leading us into self-justification, or cause us to judge others are traps and snares set to defeat us. Before we take the bait, look to see if the hook is there, then answer the hook, not the bait.

Tell us therefore, What do You think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? (22:17).

The word Tribute also means Honor, this was a two sided question, seeking to place Jesus in a no win position. If Jesus said Yes, then the Pharisees would call Him a Roman sympathizer, condemning Him. If Jesus said No, then the civil government would call Him a dissident. The question called for a Yes or No answer, but Jesus didn't answer their question with either a Yes or a No. We seem to fall into the trap of giving the answer they are looking for, rather than the one they need. Here Jesus will divide the thought and intent, answering the intent.

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you Me, you hypocrites? (22:18).

Hold it, we thought you couldn’t tempt God. Wait, you can’t tempt God to do evil, Jesus isn’t falling for the temptation, rather He returns a test. The temptation was discerned, then defeated by the Truth.

These people were not against Jesus, they were against Jesus saying He was from heaven. They looked at He who came from heaven, and said "we would have a sign", what was before them? The greatest Sign from heaven of all time. Jesus called this group Hypocrites, they were walking with Pilate, yet called Jesus Master. If Jesus is Master, He is also the Chief Rabbi, if they were serious they would have followed His teachings, not attack them.

Show Me the tribute money. And they brought unto Him a penny. And He said unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They said unto Him, Caesar's. Then He said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's (22:19-21).

This brings up another question, If the leaders were so set against having Roman money in the temple, what were they doing with Roman coins in their pockets? They used the money changers to exchange Jewish coin for Roman coin based on the pretext of the Roman coin was heathen, evil, or not permitted in the temple treasury, yet the sound of the Roman coins in their pockets was permitted. No wonder Jesus called them hypocrites.

The Image on the coin was Caesar; therefore, the coin and the civil government belonged to Caesar; however, the people belonged to God. The Roman civil government at the time held many anti-God laws, built many temples to idols, followed many idols, were anything but merciful, yet Jesus said, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. This separates the people under the government from the government. Caesar represented the government order, but all the people belonged to God. Just as the heart and soul of the Herodians belonged to God; they said Jesus was Master, thus the question ended in conviction upon the heads of the Herodians, not a trap for Jesus.

The title Herodian came from the Greek god Hermes, who was suppose to be the god of commerce and invention, but he was noted as a cunning thief who served as a messenger for the other gods. A man by the name of Hermes Trismegistus was the legendary author of many written works, including astrology and magic, as well as a master of Alchemy or the turning of metal into gold, he associated himself to the god Hermes. All these connect to the title Hero a god of mythology who was not a god but "a man". This same word is not restricted to males alone, but includes the title Heroine, both are included in the Greek god Hero who was noted as a priestess of Aphrodite. Making Heroes out of the men and woman of God, or making Heroes out of flesh and blood is idol worship. The Herodians made the civil government their god, yet they called Jesus, Master.

When they heard these words, they marveled, and left Him, and went their way (22:22).

The word Marveled means Admiration, but when we connect it to the Herodians, it shows they look for Heroes, not the Master. They went Their Way, not the Way of Jesus,  the early church taught of Two Ways, the Way to Jesus, and the Way to Death.

The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying, master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers: and the first when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: (22:23-25).

The early church went to the synagogues on the Sabbath Day (Saturday) to evangelize the Jews, and the Gentiles who followed the Jews. However, the early church did not honor the sabbath as a "holy day", rather they knew the Jews would gather on the sabbath. We can't forget the early church began by converted Jews, they came out of the Law by faith, whereas the Gentile came around the Law by faith.

The Sadducees compared everything to the flesh, they didn’t believe in angels, spirits or the resurrection. To them a “devil” was an idol, they were looking at the Law of Moses as their only guide, yet the Law says nothing concerning the Resurrection. Like the Pharisees they failed to go back to the beginning. Jesus will use the words of Moses to prove their theology was based on "stinking thinking".

Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her (22:26-28).

The question revolves around reproduction, the purpose for the law was to keep the tribes full and continue the tribal lines in face of warring nations until the purpose was completed. According to the Jew the First Commandment was "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:28), but it was given on the earth, for the earthly, not the heavenly. They confused the principality for the Law of Moses, attempting to make it heaven related, yet God gave it to Moses on the earth for the earthly minded. There is only one marriage in heaven, thus any concept of other marriages in heaven is polygamy. Jesus will answer their question by rebuking their theology. Marriage is "flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone", not Spirit of my Spirit, or soul of my soul. It doesn't mean we won't be together in heaven, it means the purpose of reproduction is not at issue in heaven.

Jesus answered and said unto them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven (22:29-30).

Angels are spirit, but more important they are spiritual. One can be a spirit, yet not spiritual, as the devil shows. The Corinthians prove one can have the Spirit, yet not be spiritual. All these attacks and questions show us the mind set of the self-based, conceited religious person; however, more important we can see how Jesus answers these attacks. The manner in which Jesus is Acting is how those who are Christ Like are suppose to Act.

The angels don't age, Gabriel looks the same now as he did when he spoke to Daniel, as he did when he appeared to Mary. There is no death in heaven, no purpose to continue the fleshly blood lines. The question from the Sadducees was based solely on death and the flesh. Like the Herodians, they came with Master on their lips, but with deception in their hearts.

But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (22:31-32).

Their concept for denying the resurrection was based on the flesh, Jesus points out the error by using the Law. Rather than focus on the “death”, they should have been seeking “Life”.

And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine. But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence they were gathered together (22:33-34).

The word Astonished is different from Marveled; Astonished means to be Smitten From An Action. The multitude was moved by this doctrine, as if they were smitten, or struck with the Truth. The words shocked their minds, but at the same time the Truth pointed to liberty. The people knew Jesus spoke with a Truth and Power far above the mind games the Pharisees and Sadducees were using.

The Pharisees and Sadducees were theologically opposed, but their hate and envy of Jesus gave them a common ground. They became of One Mind, a mind bent on destruction, absent mercy or faith.

The last group to attack Jesus represents the lawyers. The lawyers were concerned with the aspects of the Law itself, they were the "defenders of the Law". All three groups called Jesus, Master, yet they failed to respect Him as Master. When the devil tempted Jesus, it was "If You be the Son of God"; these groups are using the lusts of the devil, as they continue the temptations, yet Jesus is still defeating them with Scripture.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the Law? (22:35-36).

The Law had over 600 commandments, according to the Law one commandment was no greater than another, yet their question is "Which" is "The Great Commandment", narrowing it all down to one. Jesus will answer the question, but in so doing, He shows there is only One Commandment, yet it contains a Greater Love and a Lesser Love, but nonetheless Love. Mark shows the Lawyer started out with temptation on his heart, but ended knowing he received the Truth.

Jesus said unto 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 first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (22:37-40).

Jesus told the devil, You shall not tempt the Lord your God (Matt 4:7), yet these people were clearly tempting Jesus. Jesus told the devil, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word proceeding from the Mouth of God (Matt 4:4). These three groups were seeking the Words from the Mouth of God to use against God.

The question was looking for The Great Commandment, Jesus said, Love is the center of all Commandments, no one can worship God without loving Him, true worship is based in the Love we receive from being Born Again. Paul said Love works no ill will toward ones neighbor, thus Love fulfills the Law (Rom 13:10). The Commandments and Law were joined by the sabbath day, thus the answer would include the Law as well, a violation of the Commandments was not the same as a violation of the Law. Jesus expanded it to include the Law and Prophets, showing Mercy and Love are sisters, thus the Remnant keep the Commandments of God by walking in love and mercy.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think you of Christ? Whose Son is He? They said unto Him, The Son of David (22:41-42).

Now it's time for Jesus to ask a question, Jesus answered theirs before He asked His, the proof is found in the Wisdom. Just the day prior the Pharisees heard all the people proclaim Jesus as The Son Of David by shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David" (Matt 21:9, 21:15, 22:23). The Son of David is not the inferior position, but the Representative of the position of king after David died, pertaining to the Son of man (Rom 1:3).

When David died, Solomon sat in David's seat, but the seat of David was first established by God, thus David was a symbol of God's anointed kingship order, although David was not The Anointed. David appointed Solomon, thus the true Son of David would be one appointed by God the Father. The Son of David finishes the course by being The Anointed Son of man; yet since Solomon was the obvious son of David, the phrase Son of David must hold more than a physical reproduction process to the throne of Israel.

David was king and prophet, his words pointed to the Christ. Since David was a symbol of the first king anointed and appointed as God's choice, he became the prophetic symbol of Jesus. Jesus came after David, but was preferred before him. The Pharisees were looking for someone to replace David, rather than seeing the Son of David as the  Son of man sent to display the pure Mercy of God.

He said unto them, How then does David in Spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, sit You on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his Son? (22:43-45).

David spoke in Spirit or spoke as he was moved by the Spirit of Christ to give the prophetic utterance, showing the Son of David is a result of prophecy, not natural birth. This is how God prophesied the birth of Christ, thus God spoke through David of God’s Son. The question becomes who was speaking? God? Or David? To the religious minded there were far too many lords, and how could the Son say to David?

And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither did any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions (22:46).

Neither flesh or the carnal mind are unable to understand spiritual matters (I Cor 2:14). When it came to the things they could see, touch, or reason in their natural minds, they had all the questions, but no answers, or they had answers, but didn't know the question. Pharisees always seem to have answers, they simply don't know the question.

Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not (23:1-3).

After what Jesus just said, it would appear as if Jesus was telling the people to follow the spirit of disobedience; however, it’s not the case, although it is a rebuke. These people may not like it, but the Pharisees are appointed by God. Like David's attitude toward Saul, the people must submit to the authority, but they need not do as the Pharisees do. Jesus just finished saying Love was the center of the Law, it’s obvious the Pharisees were not operating in Love.

Jesus is teaching against the use of civil disobedience, as well as against rebellion within religious groups by teaching us how to submit, without entering slavery. The people are listening to Jesus, yet watching the religious leaders, the obvious conclusion to the natural mind was “uprising”. However, Jesus points out the Pharisees know the Law, it’s their life style and character in question. Anyone can learn the history of the Body, the various languages, or read the Bible, but it doesn’t mean they are spiritual in nature.

As strange as it may seem, God allowed these self-centered, self-based leaders to remain for a purpose. Can the Hand say to the Foot, I have no need of thee? Jesus rebuked these leaders, however, they were under His authority; therefore, He could rebuke them without entering hypocrisy. Within days these same leaders will call out, "Crucify Him".

Jesus just told the religious leaders, the Kingdom would be taken away, now the people are told they're stuck with the Law, and the Pharisees. What wrong did the people do? None, but it was still before Pentecost, their time will come. Obedience is the heart of Godly submission, the people had no other Law at this point in time. Later Jesus will tell the disciples, "Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt 28:20). This moved the disciples from the prior command to follow those in Moses' seat, to following Jesus. For the disciples this lesson of following the Pharisees became moot when the Commandment to follow Jesus became effective. The word Observe means to Watch, thus it's the Watching not the doing. The word Bid means to Speak, the Pharisees didn't fear speaking, they simply didn't understand the source of their speech.

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, (23:4-5).

The phylacteries were the prayer boxes which were carried around the top of the head, or about the wrist. We see these elements today, thus they are still being used by the Jews. Some Christian sects picked up the practice, with either books, or other symbols used to recite prayers by.

Instead of directing their prayers to God, the Pharisees sought to impress man. Jesus exposed their fear of the people and their unbelief prior, now He is exposing them again (Matt 21:25-26). The context is still “all the works they do”, are simply to impress man, not please God, thus all their show and pomp is to make man notice them.

The robes of the Pharisees had tassels on the borders, the tassels represented the rules, laws and requirements of the Law. The bigger the border the more requirements, but one can have so many rules, regulations and traditions they can't walk. In their zealous efforts to establish their self-righteousness, they missed the Righteousness of God.

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, (23:6).

They went about attempting to impress man with their position, they flaunt themselves, wanting all to know who they are, but for the sake of self-importance.

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi (23:7).

It's not the greeting in and of itself, rather it was seeking those greetings, or being impressed by their position. Their position was suppose to be one of service, not self-exaltation. These religious leaders were appointed to a religion granted by God, yet they loved to hear the praises of the people, more than they loved to praise God. This is still talking about their “works”, which we can see clearly points to their Ways.

But be not you called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brothers (23:8).

The word Rabbi is at times translated as Teacher, but a more correct translation would be Master Teacher. When the tempters came they called Jesus, Master, which was correct; however, their intent was to use the title against Jesus, which made their actions error. This teaching goes beyond simply calling someone Teacher, but the intent for doing it. Here it was used in some pretense to gain favor, before tempting the Lord.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven (23:9).

This teaching also shows us the error of entering mentor worship, or seeking it. Here is was those who were “masters” using the position as a means of self-importance to be impressed by their position. Jesus is using them as an example of what not to be, often Jesus will send us somewhere to “observe” what not to be.

Neither be you called masters: for one is your master, even Christ (23:10).

This again points to intent, showing how easy it is to be impressed by people, even people with the Anointing. The context here is to place a human, or ourselves between the person and Christ. Leaders in the Body stand with people, not between them and God. Whackos stand between the people and God, thereby making themselves masters over the people.

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant (23:11).

This goes back to the princes of the Gentiles who exercise control, thus it's not the position, but the person in the position. Here it's the caution to keep pride out of the calling, or presume the calling came because of some special holiness in the person. This doesn’t mean the leaders don’t make decisions, rather it means they do, but they make them in respect of the people (Acts 6:3 & 15:22). The religious rulers made decisions based on their best interests, not the people’s.

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (23:12).

This brings it all together, be careful about bringing exaltation to others, or ourselves, or even receiving it from others. Pride sits at the door waiting for the opportunity to move in, and destroy us. It’s not wrong to exalt someone, it’s wrong to exalt them above measure, as it is wrong for us to exalt ourselves in any degree. Preaching Christ is one thing, preaching how great we are is another.

The discovery of the Resurrection by Mary will be one week from the time Jesus is teaching these matters. These are all regarding the attitude required to enter into the Power of the Resurrection. Cult systems begin by people wanting to be exalted above measure, they seek to be the ones in the Body who are greater than the Body, the ones with the secret book, or the revelation the rest of us are not ready for, or to be the special above the special. It’s a lust to be superior, produced by the spirit of man.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in (23:13).

A hypocrite will preach God as the One God, yet hold their own pride as their god. A Scribe is anyone who writes in reference to God, or writes as they are moved by the Holy Ghost. If a scribe is hindering someone from the kingdom of heaven, they are of the devil. How could a scribe do it? By changing context in their work to misdirect a person from the Faith. However, if they present the kingdom to all mankind as they are moved by the Holy Ghost, they are of the kingdom.

It seems those who are opposed to the things of the Spirit, lack the Spirit. They have a type of love for their own, but so did the Pharisees; they have intellect, but so did the Pharisees; they write with enticing words, but so did the Scribes. Here we find the kingdom of heaven was opened, this will be confirmed when Jesus talks about the Rock being in place, yet the Church being future tense.

Jesus would use the word Woe eight times in this teaching, the term Woe means, Deep Sorrow or a Calamity. There are eight watches: four assigned to the day, four assigned to the night. We are in the Day, the Remnant will have their time in the Night, when no man can work. John told us Jesus was anointed six days before the feast day,  the discovery of the empty tomb was on the first day of the week making eight days, the number Eight is the Bible number for New Beginnings.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation (23:14).

They prayed long and hard, but it was all show. They were commanded to take tithe, but they weren’t commanded to set up money changers, or to sale doves. So, is it wrong to pray for a long time? No, it’s the “pretense” making the difference. The word Pretense is the Greek Prophasis meaning A pretext, or doing something to be seen. Their prayers went about as far as their noses, they weren’t praying to get right with God, or praying for people, they would walk around and pray so people would think they were holy.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves (23:15).

This is interesting, Jesus talked about going after the lost sheep, but here we find Attitude. We can chase after the lost sheep, but if we’re not right before God, we will make the lost sheep twice the wreck we are.

Woe unto you, you blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! (23:16).

A blind guide is one who is not spiritual in nature, one who uses natural intellect or reasoning, or centers on natural things. The Temple had huge stones, but the top was gold, in 70 AD a drunken solider of Titus the Roman tossed a torch into the temple, setting it on fire. The fire melted the gold, which flowed between the stones. In order to get the gold, they tore the Temple apart, it hasn’t been rebuilt since.

They trusted in things, yet things pass. This would be the same error as trusting in the anointing, or trusting in the position, or trusting in the Body. The blind still lead the blind, those who look upon the gold become a debtor to gold, no man can serve two masters, if we serve for the sake of mammon, we become a slave to it.

You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? (23:17).

Good question, this shows how they used position as a means to extract money from the sheep. Just prior Jesus said they sat in the seat of Moses, so their position wasn’t going to save them. The disciples kept this saying, knowing they could bring ten million to the Lord, yet fleece those same sheep finding their selves wanton before the Lord.

Metaphorically we can view ourselves as the gold, the Spirit as the temple, then ask, "which is greater? The person, or the Spirit who sanctifies the person?".

And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? (23:18-19).

This connects to the last verse, since the altar is in the temple. From this saying we should know better than assume our gift is greater than the altar. If we make a show of our giving before man or God we are guilty, not innocent. This is an area where we can't ignore the verse, we must accept it. Giving is part of our Christ nature, a Cheerful Giver is loved of God, it’s God who gives seed to the sower, yet we can end bragging and boasting in our giving.

Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, swears by it, and all things thereon (23:20).

It's not the object, but what it stands for, thus if we swear by our giving, it would be the same as saying we are the cause of Grace, rather than Jesus being the cause. God gives the Seed for us to give, without God giving, we have nothing to give, why then would we brag in our giving?

And whoso shall swear by the temple, swear by it, and by Him that dwells therein (23:21).

We can see this as the "temple" (holy of holies) as the Body of Christ, or ourselves in the Body, the Him who dwells therein is the Spirit, thus Greater is He in you, than he in the world (I Jn 4:4). For we are labors together with God: you are God's work, you are God's building (I Cor 3:9). It's the Spirit in the Temple, Who establishes us in the Promises, not the Promises or the Temple (II Cor 1:21).

And he that shall swear by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by Him that sits thereon (23:22).

This is really interesting, since God is in heaven. Prior it was all sorts of things on earth, here it’s “things” in heaven. Swearing by the Throne of God is no different than swearing by anything else, let your yeas, be yeas, and your nays, nays, don’t count on God to bring about our personal vows, or carnal agendas. Swearing by anything means we trust in the element to bring our vow to pass, yet it’s our vow. If we make the vow, then it’s up to us to complete it. Peter found it out regarding the tax money, Jesus sent him to fish, not to Judas to gain the money to pay taxes. Peter spoke, so Peter was to gain the money by an act of his past profession.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and omitted the weightier matters of the Law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone (23:23).

The phrase "ought to have done" is past tense, denoting a time prior to the Cross of Jesus, thus they were bound to the Law of Moses, thus the Tithe under the Law goes further than money. The Pharisees trusted in the Tithe, not the Altar, yet they knew the Tithe included every possession one gains, not just money, nor a tenth of the money left over after paying the bills. From this we find the Pharisees sought out points of the Law giving them the advantage, but neglected the points regarding their service toward others. They were unbalanced (Iniquity), they did one thing assuming it would take care of the other. Jesus isn’t advocating the tithe under the Law, He is pointing out their hearts. If it benefited them, they did it, if not, they didn’t. The workers of Iniquity do things, but they also work at not doing what they are suppose to.

You blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel (23:24).

There are "camel swallowing contests", the Pharisees were about to have one. They would hold their secret meeting, yet in the process they would swallow a camel.

The blind can't see out, they can only see in, yet they are blinded to what they see. Ears hearing the sound of Truth are Hearing Ears; eyes looking for Truth, can see clearly when they receive it.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess (23:25).

Extortion is acquiring through manipulation, or using coercion or intimidation to acquire property or funds. Excess is the definition of lust, they wanted more and more, yet in the end they think they are rich and in need of nothing, yet they are blind, naked and a shame (Rev 3:17-18). The self nature says "what's in it for me?" the Christ nature says "what would you have me do Lord?".

You blind Pharisee, clean first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also (23:26).

The Platter held the Bread, the Cup holds the Blood, the Cup itself is not holy, it's what's in it. The Woman in the Book of Revelation is a city, she too has a cup full of the blood of abominations known as the cup of Babylon (Rev 17:4); however, we reject all corrupt cups to obtain the Cup holding the Blood of Jesus.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead man's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (23:27-28).

Paul not only supports this, but shows the danger is within the Body, not without. This is the same as those who come among us appearing righteous, but they are self-transformed as Satan (old man) still rules in their hearts (II Cor 11:13).

These verses are not only cautions regarding our hearts, but they expose the fruit of the false. The intent will always spill out somewhere along the line; deception, to lie in wait to deceive, heresy, holding traditions of men as doctrine, they expose the heart.

The false can seem so nice, so likable, they couldn't gain entry into our midst if they didn't seem so kind and nice. However, they are full of death, deceit, and uncleanness, when the time of exposure comes, they depart. They came from us, but were not of us.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets (23:29-30).

The old saying, "If I could have been around when Jesus walked on the earth, I would never have denied Him", falls apart when the next thing we say is, "well brother, you know it has passed away". These Pharisees were convinced the days of killing the prophets had passed, they walked about the tombs of the prophets, they painted the tombs and claimed, If only I could have been around to hear these great prophets. They were about to crucify the purpose for all prophecy, the same religious conceit killed the prophets, remained in the hearts of these Pharisees. We can kill the heart of a prophet by mocking or denying them, or using stones of theological abuse, making us guilty of the blood of every prophet who has walked on this earth. Despise not prophesyings, which includes the Office of Prophet, or the prophetic words (I Thess 5:20). On the same note the prophets judge the prophets, we must all be open to discernment.

Wherefore you be witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets (23:31).

The Law and Prophets are Witnesses, but they witness against the People, the Spirit makes us Witnesses for Jesus, a vast difference.

Fill you up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? (23:32-33).

We are given The Measure of Faith to avoid this measure of pride and hypocrisy. These Pharisees are being rebuked to the bone; prior Jesus talked with them, gave them parables, then asked them to join Him. However, they attacked Jesus, but wanted Him to join them. Here, the time is passing for them to repent, their hearts grow hard from their own constant temptations and attacks. In the process they still hold the Law, but they have turned their hearts against God. They will assume they are doing God a service, yet they put the only Son of God on the Cross. The fruit of the Fig Tree was causing the roots to dry up.

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar (23:34-35).

The context here is prophecy, this is yet future tense, it came to pass when they beat John and Peter in Acts. However, this is not the same as the term "synagogue of Satan", which doesn't pertain to the Jews, rather it points to the Wicked. The word Synagogue means a Gathering, the word Church means a Calling out, thus the Wicked gather, by rejecting the calling out. The synagogue of Satan begins in our Season, but goes into the Night, thus from the Seven comes the Eighth from Perdition.

Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation (23:36).

The Generation He is talking to is the Jewish Generation, not the Gentile Generation. These are Pharisees, Scribes, Lawyers and the such, all associated with the Law of Moses.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone them which are sent unto you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, You shall not see Me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord (23:37-39).

Here Jesus is talking directly to the Woman (City), we find the words Desolate and Gather, then the phrase "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord". There are three references here (II Chron 24:20-21, Ps 17:8-9 & 118:26). II Chronicles 24:20 gives us Zechariah the son of Jehoiada who said, "Why transgress you the Commandment of the Lord, that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you", then the people conspired against him, and killed him. Next in Psalm 17:8-9 we find the request to keep us as the Apple of God's eye, by keeping us from the Wicked who oppress, as well as the deadly enemies who compass about the Lord. Psalm 118 is a Thanksgiving Psalm, 118:24 tells us of the Day the Lord has made, but 118:22-23 talks about the rejected Stone, with 118:26-27 as a reference to the piercing of the Cross, thus they will look upon Him Whom they have pierced. The verses here in Matthew don't refer to the people standing up and praising God, it refers to them being stood up in the face of God at the last resurrection.

A Generation usually is seen as years, but here it’s a People associated with Moses. The Generation is the desolate Generation, but from the same Generation comes the Remnant. The Time of Comfort is predicated on the promise to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool.

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple and His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of the temple (24:1).

This is still the same day, after Jesus goes through all the teaching regarding the gift, altar and Temple, his disciples want to show Him how the temple is well constructed. Jesus just got through saying what is greater, now the disciples say, “see this great building?”.

And Jesus said unto them, See you not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (24:2).

In the beginning of the earthly ministry Jesus cleaned the temple of stone and said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn 2:16-19). Of  course we know Jesus was talking about Himself, as He pointed to the Resurrection (Jn 2:21). The phrase is found in John's account, yet it will be the source of the false words from the witnesses against Jesus, thus they will twist the meaning in order to accuse.

It took forty six years to build the temple, only one day to burn it to the ground in 70 AD. The prophecy was completed when a drunken soldier of Titus tossed a torch into the temple.

And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the world? (24:3).

The request is broken down into three parts, first When, then the Sign of the coming of Jesus, and lastly the Sign of the End of the world. The Book of Revelation is based on this three part question, the angels have a Saying, a Vial, and a Sound, each correlates to this question.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (24:4-5).

This goes right to Matthew 7:21-23, they will use the Name, showing they are of the Body, saying they are “Christ like”, but Satan will still reign within them. They will not say they are “the Christ”, but “Christ”, or Anointed, or better a Christian in the Body. The disciples were called Christian, they didn’t go about calling themselves Christian.

And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (24:6-7).

Our Season sees the wars, rumors of wars, famine, and pestilence in the world as the last three of the four horsemen remain before the fifth seal is broken (Rev 6:3-9). When the fifth seal is broken the time of the horses ends, then the First Rider takes us out of here.

All these are the beginning of sorrows (24:8).

The Hour of Temptation started on the Day of Pentecost, we pray to be delivered from the Temptation. This is clearly the Beginning of Sorrows, if one doesn't believe this has come to pass, all they need to do is look around the world. There is always a war, or a rumor of one, there is always a place of pestilence. Every cure man comes up with, the Rider on the pale horse comes up with more diseases.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another (24:9-10).

This is still coming to pass, there are entire nations who hate Christians, just because they proclaim Christ. Prior to this time the disciples were not delivered up, none had been beaten, none had been killed, but it will change after they receive the Gift by the Holy Ghost. Sounds strange considering some of the faith things we hear today, but faith gets us through the event.

This prophetic word also pointed right at Judas, he was offended by something Jesus said, then he betrayed the Lord, yet attempted to buy his forgiveness form the same ones who crucified Jesus. Judas felt money would cure his ills, even to the point of being the thief (Jn 12:6).

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many (24:11).

This is different from those who come in the name of Jesus, rather this bunch is the second horn to the Beast of the Earth. In our Season they say they are “Christ like”, but then after the Rapture there will be no “glory” or benefit in making the claim, so they will proclaim to be Prophets, as they associate with the Temple. In our Season they are False Christs, in the next they are False Prophets, two horns, one goat. They use the authority of the Beast of the Sea in both seasons. The Beast of the Sea is in the world, connecting to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

There is a division in the wording, in our season we should say, “Here is Christ”, or better, “Christ in me, the hope of glory”, but when we’re out of here there will be no “Christ”, or Christ like people, thus Christ will be removed. In the Night for them to say, “here is Christ” would be a terrible error. However, the Two Witnesses assigned to the last two churches will be the Prophets and Law, thus they will not have prophetic words written for them, thus the sin for the Wicked is saying they are prophets, making them False Prophets as they challenge the Law and Prophets.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (24:12).

It's hard to walk in love, when the sons of perdition appear to out number the saints, but nonetheless it’s the call, really the Wicked are few in number, just louder.

Their Iniquity is still the failure to walk in Mercy, their Iniquity will cause their love to become cold. Without love, they will see no benefit in giving Mercy, rather they will demand for the people to worship the image of the beast.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (24:13).

The word End is the Greek Telos meaning Termination, or the Completion, this shows "all Israel shall be saved", but not all who say they are of Israel, are of Israel.

It also gives us two "ends", there is the End of the Day, and the End of the Night, thus this verse isn't speaking about the Beginning, but the Ending, yet Jesus is the Beginning and Ending. Since the context is still Mercy, we find Mercy is a little strength, Grace the greater strength, but Mercy is nonetheless a strength. One could see this as, he who is baptized and continues to believe, shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (24:14).

This doesn't say the Gospel of Peace, rather it's the Everlasting Gospel of Judgment, since it’s what Jesus is talking about here. The Gospel for the Day is the Gospel of Peace unto Salvation, not judgment. The Everlasting Gospel reads: "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him who  made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (Rev 14:6-7). This is the Gospel going forth during the Night; clearly it points to “judgment”.

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever read, let him understand:) (24:15).

It's clear these men didn't see the abomination take place, yet it would appear they would. Does this mean Jesus missed it? Hardly, Jesus isn't speaking to the Church, He is speaking in Judea as the nation of Israel, thus at this time the disciples represent the Jewish Generation. Jesus is giving a Prophecy, His words shall not pass away, thus anything Jesus promised us for our Season can't pass away; anything Jesus promised the Remnant can't pass away until All is fulfilled.

Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains; (24:16).

Our prior studies in the prophets laid the ground work for this area, Judea is where Jerusalem is located, so, is Jesus only talking about one little specific location? Or a people? The 144,000 are marked on Zion in Jerusalem, the abomination will happen in the temple in Jerusalem, thus what possible connection could this have with the Church? None, except by faith we know God formed the worlds (ages), there is yet a world to come for the Remnant. Knowing there will be a Night, and knowing there is a division between the Day and Night gives us hope; we are not appointed to the wrath of God, we are appointed to the Rapture.

Let him which is on the house top not come down to take any thing out of his house (24:17).

Zephaniah wrote, "and them who worship the host of heaven upon the house tops; and them who worship and swear by the Lord, then swear by Malcham" (Zeph 1:5 & Isa 15:2-3). The Lukewarm condition is holding to God on one hand, with idols on the other, thus lukewarm is an Iniquity, or an unequal condition.

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes (24:18).

The prophet Micah said, "Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest" (Jere 26:18). Ezekiel said, "the sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within; he in the field shall die with the sword; and he in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him" (Ezek 7:15).

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (24:19).

This connects to the attitude of those in the Days of Noah, they ate, drank and never considered God's justice or judgment, until the rain came. The phrase "given in marriage" doesn't mean just marriage in and of itself, if it were the case then it was over many years ago. Rather it means without regard for the time or season, thus showing the people in the Days of Noah rejected the concept of God's judgment, the same will be true in the very latter days.

But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day; (24:20).

This doesn't mean the person can alter the timing of God, rather it means to pray to hear the time of flight. This is all centered on “those days”, relating to the Night, not the Day.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (24:21).

The Great Tribulation is Jacob's Trouble, not the Hour of Temptation or the Time of Comfort. Jesus just said the wars, rumors of wars began the Time of Sorrows, this is different, the Rapture will mark the change from the Fifth church to the Sixth church, then they will beat their weapons into tools of farm labor. The Rapture will mark the end of the wars, introducing Peace and Safety on the earth, but after the 1,000 years they will take those same farm tools, and make weapons out of them. They will not know the ways of war, as man knows them today, thus they will use hand weapons, not rockets.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened (24:22).

The days will be shortened, but the shortness has already been given in prophecy as the Half of a Time, or the Short Space. If we assume this is for us, it's been anything but Short, this goes to the time period between the time when the angel opens the pit releasing the devil until the judgment.

The word Elect means Favored, the Very Elect would be more Elect or favored, so what two groups would fit? Lesser Light and Greater Light? Yes, the Remnant are the Elect. Mark said, "no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom He has  chosen" (Mark 13:20). The False Prophet and the Woman kill the elect, yet it's for the elect's sake. Once the saints are overcome, there is no reason to allow it to continue, all those who loved God and held Mercy will be dead, thus it will be appointed unto all men once to die, then comes the judgment.

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not (24:23).

This would be after the Rapture removes all the Christ Like people; therefore, in our Season there are many who point to their heart and say, Here is Christ. However, after the Rapture the ability will be taken, then anyone from then on who says they are Christ Like, or there is The Christ, or says others are Christ Like are liars, since the ability will also be taken when He who not lets takes us.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (24:24).

This goes right back to our Season, showing how the Wicked in our Season are false Christians, but in the Night they are false prophets. A false Christ is one who professes to be Christ Like, but refuses to walk in the Spirit to prove it, a false prophet points people in the wrong direction. Both “horns” have Acts, but lack the Ways, showing the Very Elect are those of the Greater Light of the Day.

Behold, I have told you before (24:25).

All these things were spoken of by the prophets, thus the Testimony of Jesus includes the Law and Prophets. The end times are not hidden in the folds of the Book of Revelation, the Book of Revelation merely brought the prophecies of old into one Book to show why the Rapture must take place, as well as warn the Wicked, the Night is not what they suppose.

Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not (24:26).

If Jesus isn't in us, He isn't anywhere on this earth. Rather wait for the Kingdom to come, we have it now within. This dispels any concept of Jesus setting up His Kingdom on earth before the 1,000 years rather the Kingdom of God is all ready here in the New Birth (Luke 17:21). When Jesus returns it will be to enforce the Judgment, the Book of Revelation shows the false prophet all ready in the lake of fire, it will be the time of Unto Life, or Unto Damnation (second death). The next area Jesus will cover is, "the end of the world".

For as the lighting comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together (24:27-28).

This gives us a view of what the earth will look like, the Lighting and Shining point to two things, the Quickness and the reflection of the earth on fire. Hosea writes, "Set the trumpet to your mouth, He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant, and trespassed against My Law" (Hosea 8:1). The Greek word for Eagle has a root word meaning Air, the last angel pours his vial in the Air. Clearly all mankind will be physically dead, not one piece of flesh made it, rather every eye will see Him, those who pierced Him and those who wail because of Him. Every soul who failed to make it in the Rapture will look upon Jesus. It’s also clear He returns as the Son of man, thus Mercy will be the judgment rule, not Grace.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the power of the heavens shall be shaken: (24:29).

Figures of speech have three groupings, exactness, similar and opposite. In order to find a figure of speech we either go back to the first time the subjects in the figure are used, or the place in the Scriptures where the figure is defined. One could make the mistake of going to Genesis chapter one to find the Greater Light and Lesser Light then assume this means Moon and Sun; however, in order to fit the figure of speech we must find the first time the exact Hebrew words for Sun, Moon and Stars were used together, since it’s the context here. The first time where the Hebrew words for Sun and Moon are combined is in Genesis 37:9, in reference to the dream of Joseph.

This figure of speech is not Revelation 6:12-13, this is different, here the Sun is darkened, but in Revelation 6:12 we find the Sun became black as sackcloth, not darkness from demon possession, as we find in Revelation 16:10. Also we see the Moon loses Her light, but in Revelation 6:12 She became as blood. The stars falling in Revelation 6:13 refer to the sons of perdition, later another Star falls, one called Wormwood, which refers to the Woman (City). This is the time of the Judgment, not the time between the fifth and sixth seals.

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (24:30).

Clearly it's the Tribes of the Earth, not the heavens, not the tribes of Israel, but of all the earth. The word Clouds is a metaphor for Witnesses, thus when Jesus Ascended it was One Cloud, when He returns it's more than One. After Pentecost the Cloud moved to Clouds, the first being the Great Cloud of Witnesses taken captive by Jesus, the Second includes the Dead in Christ, including those of us who were taken in the twinkling of an eye to join them, or better those who are Partakers in the First Resurrection, who were with the Lord in heaven during the 1,000 years.

And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other (24:31).

This is A Trumpet, yet the seven angels have seven trumpets, thus this is the Great Trump, the metaphor Four Winds in this case points to the last resurrection as we found in the Old Testament lessons.

Now learn the parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: so likewise you, when you shall see all these things know that it is near, even at the doors (24:32-33).

This begins the Signs again, but here we find the Fig Tree, not the Olive Tree. The Fig Tree is a symbol of the religious order of Israel, the leaves are a symbol of the Remnant, both represent a type of covering (Gen 3:7). When the Fig Tree brings forth leaves again, the temple will be established as The Storehouse, then the Time of Comfort will begin, but we are no longer on the earth.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (24:34).

The Generation relates to the Fig Tree, not the Olive Tree.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (24:35).

This shows the earth and heaven (singular) will pass from one form to another, but the Words of Jesus will continue on forever. The earth as we know it will pass, but the mass will not, rather it will change. Heaven as we know it will pass, but it will not cease to exist, rather for all time it will separate the Earth from Heaven. This promises the prophecy will continue, even if the False Prophet changes the Law, burns every Bible in the World, has many overzealous scribes change the wording. This prophecy  is written in the face of the earth, no man can change it, no man can stop it, but anyone can avoid it. One can change Scripture, but they can't change the Word (Logos), the Word dwells in us.

But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only (24:36).

In Mark, Jesus said, "no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). This doesn't mean Jesus is ignorant of the time, rather it shows the Church is separated from the time. The Remnant belong to the Father, but watched over by Jesus. The last two churches are looking for Jehovah, not Jesus. Luke adds indicating Jerusalem shall be trodden under foot until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24). The time of the Gentile Church is the Gentile Age, Jesus also said the Times and Seasons of the Night are in the hand of the Father, thus it's not saying Jesus doesn't know, rather it shows the Season will be when the enemies of Jesus are made His footstool by the Father (Acts 1:6-8). Simply, if we are in Jesus, then the hour and day of the judgment is not something we should be concerned about, rather the time of the catching away is.

Today we find Jerusalem trodden under foot by the Gentiles, although the nation is under the government rule of Israel. The Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem proves this prophecy. John measured the temple with "a rod", a Rod is used for correction (Rev 11:1). He sees the temple and the Two Witnesses assigned to the last two candlesticks, but he doesn't see the first five churches, or any Christ Like subjects, in fact, the Gentiles are Left Out (Rev 11:2-4).

Luke also tells us the "Son" is the "Son of man", not the Son of God (Luke 21:36). Paul told us Jesus was made the Son of David (Son of man) according to the flesh, yet declared the Son of God by the Spirit of Holiness based on the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4). The information during this teaching in Matthew is related to the Son of Man, not the Son of God. As the Son of God, Jesus knows all things, as the Son of man He is obligated to tell us all the Son of man knows. He is not obligated to tell us all the Son of God knows, surely not obligated to tell us all God the Son knows. For one thing we couldn't handle it, our natural souls would burst. This doesn't take away from Jesus, but adds to Him, He was able to keep the positions separated to complete the various requirements for each, without causing one to interfere with the other. As the Son of man, Jesus told us everything the Father gave Him for mankind, as the Son of God, He stands for those who are sons of God, we have the Mind of Christ, yet we’re instructed by the Mind of the Lord (I Cor 2:16).

Jesus will point out another sign separating the Seasons.

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark (24:37-38).

We already know what the phrase, "given in marriage means", pointing to the attitude of the people before the Flood. The people presumed they could do as they willed, God wouldn't dare punish them. Although we find the ten toes and such after the Flood, it's the attitude of the people before the flood becoming the context here. It's not the eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, but the attitude. They looked at Noah building the Ark, and laughed. They heard Noah say God would bring judgment, but they mocked the man's preaching. Jesus also divided the Day from the Night, this doesn't give us the right to go about preaching the Everlasting Gospel, rather it shows time and timing. We are still in the Day of Salvation as such we’re still under the Gospel of Peace.

In the Days of Noah the people clearly felt God would not punish them, they assumed their peace and safety was a sign of being in the perfect will of God, yet they held violence (unrighteousness) toward God. In essence, they failed to fear God, Jude shows us this failure, or iniquity, is a sign of the Wicked (Jude 12). Jude also shows them as Beasts, just as the prophets of Old told us they are the Beasts of the Field (Jude 10). Jude describes these ungodly in the same manner as one would find the mindset of the people before the flood, thus the Wicked will entice the people of the City. Did God make them that way? No, in our Season they had the ability in hand to be Christ Like, they will do many Acts, but they will be unequal, as they fail to do the Will of the Father.

The phrase, marrying and giving in marriage goes further than husband and wife. During the days of Noah, the sons of God were marrying the daughters of men, this has nothing to do with gender. The sons of God are the descendants of Seth, whether male or female; the daughters of men are idol worshipers, whether male or female. They were eating and drinking because there was Peace in the land, no sickness, no disease, no war, no poverty, each person was their own government. Before the flood the people lived many years, the child died at a hundred, but a man was still in sin, even the animals were at peace with each other. Noah didn't have to build cages to separate the lion from the lamb, they laid down together in the ark. Before the Flood mankind did not eat meat, thus Paul tells us they will abstain from meat, or act as they did before the Flood. It was after the Flood when Noah was told he could eat meat, but at the same time God said the animals would turn and eat man.

Before the Flood, the people in those days knew of God, but held to their ways of pleasure and self-benefit, thinking they were rich and in need of nothing. Noah was six hundred years old when the flood began (Gen 7:11), but he was five hundred years old when his sons were born, from two of those sons come the ten toes, the third produced the Hebrews. Since the two from whom the ten toes came were born when Noah was five hundred years old, the figure of 1,000 years gives us the like conditions as it was in the Time of  Noah.

The Word of the Lord came to Noah in the invisible, not the visible. Jesus was not on the earth during the Days of Noah, but Noah kept the commandments God gave him. Isaiah spoke of this by saying, "there shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed" (Isa 65:20). Since Isaiah shows the Sinner will be around, as well as death, we know this isn't "heaven on earth", but "earth on earth as it was in the Days of Noah". If in fact Jesus sets up His Kingdom on earth during the 1,000 years, it would mean He condones sin, enjoys death of children, as well as having no ability to stop the false prophet. It would also mean Jesus would be unable to heal the sick when the plagues come, nor stop the devil from taking two-thirds, He must submit to the Woman, and since the Earth is His footstool, it would mean Jesus would place His kingdom as His own footstool, we think not. Instead of longing for the Day of the Lord, we must enter Mercy and Grace then pray we are spared from the Night.

One key element directs this entire thought to the premise, "if it's like the days of Noah, we must ask, How many Christians were around in the days of Noah?". None, thus Jesus doesn't go back to the days of Adam, or reflect to the earthly ministry of Jesus, or to His people after the Day of Pentecost, rather He goes directly to a time of peace and safety before the Law of Moses, and before the ability to be Christ Like was granted. If one is around during those days they will say "look here, look there, there is Christ", but they lie since no one will not have the ability to say "I'm a Christian".

Jesus started building New Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, John shows New Jerusalem as a people, not a building of stone, as he said, "I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:20). John was told to look at the Lamb's wife, when he did he saw New Jerusalem (Rev 21:9-10), her glory is like a precious stone, but it doesn't mean she is a precious stone (Rev 21:11), just as John the Baptist saw the Spirit like a dove, but it doesn't mean the Spirit is a dove. The Woman is covered with actual stones, but the Bride has a Glory far greater than all the precious stones the earth could produce.

And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (24:39).

John says the people of the earth will blaspheme God because of their sores and pains, they will refuse to repent of their deeds, because they believed a lie (Rev 16:11). This also shows all mankind will be dead, as a flood destroys all, we find the Serpent sent a flood to carry away the woman, but the earth opened up and swallowed the flood (Rev 12:15-16). When the flood succeeds, then comes the Judgment (Rev 12:17).

Then shall be two in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come (24:40-42).

This is loaded with metaphors, explaining several areas, including the Rapture. Luke adds to this, showing two men in one bed, one taken, the other left, and two women shall be grinding together, and one taken, and the other left, then two men in the same field, one taken and the other left (Luke 17:34-36). Luke also adds, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32), it was Lot's wife who turned back to see the destruction. This warning was directed to the disciples; any time we take pleasure in the fall of the heathen, it's our Satan nature bringing demonic enjoyment.

The Field is the kingdom of heaven, the Tares are left behind when the Wheat is taken. The Bed has two brothers, in First John we find a Brother can say they are in the Light, yet hate their brother, thus they are in darkness; simply being in the same Bed doesn't mean both have Light. The Two Women at the Mill equate to the Grain, both are working, but only one has a heart to work for the Lord. At the Mill is the Millstone, it's the same Stone we either fall on, or have fall on us. One is crushed, one saved.

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up (24:43).

Jesus also told the disciples to "watch and pray" for none of us know the hour (Mark 13:33). Before the master of the house left on the journey, He gave His servants Authority, telling them to Watch and Pray, so they don't enter the Hour of Temptation. Jesus told the Fifth church, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain" (Rev 3:2), with, "If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you" (Rev 3:3). We call the Fifth church the Dead church, but fail to see it's the church of our time, also the church will see the Rapture. The word Watch means to be Vigilant, or Alert, denoting Standing with a Brisk Lively Action. The concept of "thief" doesn't mean Jesus is a Thief, rather it points to the suddenness.

Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes (24:44).

Being Ready and Watching is the same, we Watch by Looking at our own position and condition. Jesus said In Such An Hour, pointing to The Hour. There is a difference between Jesus descending to meet us in the Air, and Jesus descending to judge the earth. The Rapture takes us to the altar of God where we meet the Dead in Christ, then all of us meet Jesus in the Air, where Jesus presents His Bride to the Father by confessing us before the Father. Our Taking Up will not hinder those who Sleep in Jesus, they will have their time after the 1,000 years.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord has made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? (24:45).

This connects to James and the Wisdom of God. James said "who is a wise man,  endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation (behavior) his works with meekness of wisdom" (James 3:13). What Wisdom? The wisdom of the earth? No, the wisdom of the earth is earthly, sensual (soulish), and devilish (James 3:15). James doesn't say it ends demon possessed, rather it is devilish in nature. The Wisdom of God is an attribute provided by the Spirit, it's pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated (teachable), full of mercy, good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy (James 3:17). It's not only Wise, but being Faithful, the word Faithful means Loyal. The Giving of Meat in due season is the reward, pointing to the Victory in the Rapture.

Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find so doing (24:46).

John tells us Blessed and Holy are those who are Partakers of the First Resurrection (Rev 20:6). For they shall reign With Christ during the 1,000 years, it doesn't say they will reign on Earth, rather it points to being in heaven on Thrones (Rev 20:4 & I Thess 4:17).

Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods (24:47).

What Goods? What Ruling? Jesus has made us kings and priests, but if we’re all kings, who are our subjects? Things in our lives; if we give place to unbelief, it becomes a resident in our kingdom. As kings we have the keys, we can allow, or disallow, we can say no to Mercy, or yes to Mercy. We can run our kingdom as Jesus desires, or as our own natural will desires. Blessed is the servant whom the Lord finds ruling their kingdom as the Lord desires.

But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delays His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (24:48-51).

Both are servants, one is good, the other evil. If the Lord delays His coming, we nonetheless maintain our kingdom in the proper order.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom (25:1).

Jesus separates the Seasons and times, this also opens another aspect of One Taken, One Left. There are Seven Golden Candlesticks, but Two Seasons, the First Five are taken, the last Two are left for their Season. John said Five are fallen, one is (sixth) and one is soon to come (seventh - Rev 17:10). All this correlates, the Ten Virgins point to the Day, giving us two groups of Five, bringing us to the prior aspect of One Taken, One Left, only in this area we find those who are Taken, and those who Sleep in Jesus. Five have Lamps, thus they have the container for the Oil, but lack the Oil (Grace, Spirit). The other Five had both Lamps and Oil, thus they have both Mercy and Grace.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: (25:2-3).

They had Mercy, but failed to obtain Grace. It would be different if they were virgins, without lamps or oil, then we would be talking about the Wicked, but we find all ten are virgins, all ten have lamps, but only five have the Oil, yet the Wicked are known as fornicators and adulterers, not virgins, they are also without the lamp and oil.

But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps (25:4).

The Wise are those with the Spirit, who follow the Spirit, making the lamp the container for the Light, but lacking the power to produce Light without the Oil. Generally the Oil refers to the Anointing, often it’s related to Mercy, as in the Mount of Olives, but here we find the reference is twofold, referring more to the Living Water produced by the Spirit.

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept, And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet Him (25:5-6).

In the Garden Peter would fall asleep, and the Lord would say, "What couldn't you watch with Me for one Hour, watch and pray you don't enter the temptation". The Five Wise maintained by standing, the five foolish felt the lamp was enough to get them through the Door.

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out (25:7-8).

Only God can give us the Oil, we can't transfer our Oil to another, nor can we act like Korah who attempted to steal the Oil of another.

But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves (25:9).

The phrase Buy means to Obtain, it doesn’t mean we can buy the Spirit.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut (25:10).

Once the Door is shut, it’s shut, this gives us two groups, with the only difference being the Oil. This gives us those who are Dead in Christ, and those who Sleep in Jesus.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said Verily I say unto you, I know you not (25:11-12).

This is a failure to have the Oil, yet they had lamps, they were light holders. John the Baptist was a witness to the Light, but even John knew "Lord I have need to be baptized of You". This also shows we must have the Spirit for the Son of God to know us, Mercy equates us to the Father (James 1:27), but in order to make the Rapture we must come through the Door by the Spirit. This is basically what Paul will tell the Corinthians, he prayed their works would get them through the fire, since they were carnal, as they lacked the Oil. Jesus knows us by the Spirit, but as the Son of man He will judge works (ways).

Watch therefore, for You know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes (25:13).

This gives us the “Son of man”, not the Son of God. We don’t know what Hour Jesus will begin the Day of the Lord, but we do know it can be any second.

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightaway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants came, and reckoned with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of the lord (25:14-21).

Ahh, another mystery opened, the kingdom of heaven is Mercy related, the Kingdom of God is Grace related. Here Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven, this parable also separates the Five churches from the Two churches, as well as the Seven from the Eighth. The one with one talent put it in the ground, or Earth, thus John shows the False Prophet will come from the earth (Rev 13:11). The One with Five and the One with Two divide the Seasons, One didn't attempt to interchange the talents with the Other, rather they knew what Season they were assigned to. The gain is the purpose, yet the gain isn't for the one who held the talents, rather it's for the One who gave the talents. What is this Talent? Could it be Grace? No, it goes right back to giving Mercy for the Mercy received. Some are forgiven much, some not as much, but the Mercy granted is designed to increase. We asked for God to forgive us, thus we owe forgiveness to others. We took the Talent, as we freely received, therefore we are to freely give, in the giving we find our Mercy will increase.

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them (25:22).

In this case we see the wording Two other talents, whereas in the case of the one who received five it was five talents more, the difference leads us to an allegory. The first five represent the First Five churches who hold a Great Strength, the next Two point to the last Two churches who hold a Little Strength. Who was the First to hear? The one with Five, then comes the one with Two.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of the lord (25:23).

The One with Two came After the One with Five, John shows the judgment begins with those who are compared to the books (Law); thus we judge ourselves to the Body and Blood to avoid being condemned with the world. God has not appointed us to His wrath, we are appointed to His Salvation.

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you, that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you had not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: lo, there you have that which is yours (25:24-25).

Luke shows this servant said "because You are an Austere man" (Luke 19:21), the word Austere means, Without adornment or ornamentation, or better Open and plain. The Lord didn't make His requests hidden, He didn't trick these servants, everything was open and plain. The Pharisees kept saying, “show us”, yet Jesus made it clear. Their own unbelief blinded them to the signs around them, they equated the Glory of God to the devil,  causing their own failure. This servant was fearful, but held the wrong kind of fear, this is the same type of fear we see in the meaning of the word “draw back” in the phrase, “draw back to perdition” (Heb 10:39).

The one with the one talent made a self-determination based on a self-opinion, the word Several means Private or something just for them, thus we can't run to the commandments of God assuming we’re going to be among the 144,000, it’s stealing the talent of another, while rejecting the talents given us. This Eighth didn’t make any increase, he received the Talent, but failed to give it, becoming a vessel of dishonor.

His lord answered and said unto him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed (25:26).

The word Wicked defines this servant, yet he was a servant in the kingdom of heaven. This isn't a sin of ignorance, it's iniquity, the servant had the same ability and opportunity to gain as the others, but failed to do so. The Unequal aspect is receiving, but refusing to give.

You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury (25:27).

The talent was given, but the ownership was still the Lord's, it’s the failure of the sons of perdition, they assume it's their talent, their gift, and their sole possession.

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which has ten talents (25:28).

Giving it to the One with Ten isn't some unfair gesture, rather is shows this wicked servant was a fowl who sat in the Tree of the First Five, what little he thought he had, he lost. This also shows this servant began in the time of the Five, but came to the surface as a Beast during the time of the last Two. In our Season they are “antichrists”, in the next they are “false prophets”.

For unto every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (25:29-30).

The One who has Life and applies it will receive Life More Abundantly, but he who lacks the increase, what little (one talent) he does have will be taken away. The phrase Outer Darkness means Total Darkness or Extreme Darkness, or an area having no light whatsoever, it was used of Jude to show where the Wicked end. It's one thing to seek the Light, it's another to taste of the Light, then reject the purpose for a theology laced with unbelief. The latter will always have a memory of What could have been, the former will have no memory of the dead.

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (25:31-33).

Jesus came as the Son of man, or Son of David, making Him the King of the Jews, but here it's all nations. This is the Second coming of Jesus, the great day of judgment; when John and James Zebedee heard this, they probably felt, "thank God, we didn't push our request to sit on His right and left hand" (Matt 20:21). The Sheep in this context contain the little flock, the Remnant, the ones compared to the books. Zechariah said, "they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him" (Zech 12:10). Also there are some who are not compared to the Books (Rev 20:13-14). What is this? The Judgment, the time when some are resurrected unto Life, some unto damnation (Jn 5:28-29).

In Zechariah we find a first person and second person usage, as they look upon "Me", yet mourn over "Him"; the Remnant mourn over the abominations done in Jerusalem, but the mourning is the offense done unto Jehovah (Ezek 9:4 & Rev 1:7). After they look upon Him they will ask, "what are these wounds in Your hands?", Jesus will say, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends" (Zech 13:6). These are blessed of the Father, thus Jesus judges them as the Son of man, not the Son of God. This has to relate to Mercy, helping us define the “will of the Father” as acts and ways of Mercy.

This division offended the Pharisees to the bone, there is nothing said about “doing the Law”. This verse shows the only time the Throne of Jesus will be near or on the earth will be at the Judgment, not before. It's clear from this verse He comes for judgment, not to set up His Kingdom on earth to bring joy and peace. In truth the Kingdom of God is all ready here, in the midst of the Born Again Believer.

Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (25:34).

Many of us think when we get before the judgment seat we will be able to say, "Well Lord I want to tell you I did for You", yet Jesus will tell these people what they did and didn't do, they will have to give account by the Logos (Jesus).

Here in Matthew we are looking at two groups, both are the promised of the Father, yet neither knew Jesus, neither used the Name of Jesus, neither is reminded of the Spirit or anything to do with the Holy Ghost, rather the context is Mercy. This is not some excuse to run from the Grace of God, rather we find for one reason or another there are some who were robbed of being Born Again, they were victims, yet they walked in Mercy, or as Paul put it they did the Law of faith.

Whether it’s “Lord, Lord haven’t we”, or “Lord when did we?”, it’s still based in the Will of the Father. Grace is a different story, it provides us the great opportunity to be Partakers in the First Resurrection, which comes before the 1,000 years (Rev 20:4-5).

There are three groups in the Body, those who are crucified with Christ, who belong to the group known as the “Dead in Christ”, there are those who for one reason or another didn’t reach the area, but loved the Lord and walked in Mercy, they “Sleep in Jesus” through the Night, becoming those from the “Sea” to be judged in the end (Rev 20:13). The Sea of course is a metaphor for the Gentile world, connecting it to the Gentile Generation. Then we have the third group, the Drunken who go into the Night. This last group will be the “Lord, Lord, haven’t we” people, but they are not at issue in these verses, rather Jesus is showing the process of Revelation 20:11-15.

For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink: I was a stranger and you took Me in: naked, and you clothed Me: I was sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison and you came unto Me (25:35-36).

James said the pure and undefiled religion consisted of: visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:27). These are not areas of faith, but they do relate to love thy neighbor. If one walks in Love, even a Phileo love they complete the commandments of God if they remain unspotted from the world. Which is the case with the Sixth church, they have a Phileo love, giving them the name of Philadelphia (city of brotherly love – Phileo). They will care for the people, but the Seventh church changes it, their love will wax cold (become self-centered). John tells us the devil will be bound during the time of Comfort, yet the false prophet will be active. Paul confirms the premise by saying the son of perdition comes with the working of Satan (II Thess 2:9). The devil isn’t the problem, using the old nature is.

Here we find the “sheep” had no idea what they were doing was going to gain them a reward, they are not the “Lord, Lord” people who boasted in their efforts, rather they did works of Mercy by nature, without a second thought.

Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we You hungry, and fed You? or thirsty and gave You drink? When saw we You a stranger, and took You in? or naked, and clothed You? Or when saw we You sick or in prison, and came unto You?  (25:37-39).

If Jesus was on the earth during this time, surely they would know Him. If they did these works in the Name of Jesus, surely they would know that; however, they didn't know either of those, nor did they use the Name of Jesus. This group kept the commandments of God, they had neither lamp nor Oil, but they had the measure of faith joined with Mercy. When Jesus gave the Least Commandments it was based on Mercy, thus Mercy like belief is a choice. In the case of Grace we find to whom much is given, much is required, but to whom a little strength is given, little is required. They still have to pass by Jesus, but it’s exactly what is going on. These would be considered those who are resurrected unto Life, we are partakers of the First Resurrection because we have Life.

We can also tell this is Mercy, in so doing we find a clue in the use of the double emphasis “Lord, Lord”. In Matthew 7:20-23 we found the “Lord, Lord” people did many things in the Name of Jesus, yet failed to do the will of the Father. Here there is no mention of the Name of Jesus, neither do we find anyone saying, “Lord, Lord”, but “Lord”. When we see the term, “Lord, Lord”, it refers to someone who is in the Body, these people are being judged for their works, yet Jesus never says, “you cast out devils, laid hands on the sick, did wonderful works in My Name”. This is the group fitting, “the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works” (Rev 20:13). This would be after “it’s appointed to every man once to die, then comes the judgment”, thus all mankind will be physically dead at the Judgment, yet their souls will be judged.

In the judgment verses in Revelation 20:11-15 we never find “heaven giving up the dead in her”, thus, showing Revelation 20:4 supports the Rapture. The point of course, we see the people who did the Law of faith, without knowing it. The sheep did works by nature,  yet we know there are some who do works to appear holy, moral or special before man, their works are pride based, not faith based. However, the sheep noted here did things because they had Mercy, as they operated from their measure of faith.

In the Old Testament we read; "for out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they who escape out of mount Zion; the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this" (II Kings 19:31), and "they go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appear before God" (Ps 84:7). Wait a minute, weren't the 144,000 marked on Zion? Yes, here we find Zion and Jerusalem of the Earth, this is not a reference to New Jerusalem or the Zion as the Body, a division of Seasons, between the Day and the Night (Remnant).

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me (25:40).

Jesus will use this same phrase in speaking to the goats, but He leaves off the term, “My brethren”: thus the context isn't showing the brethren were those to whom the deeds were done, rather it's pointed to those who did the deeds becoming “Brethren”. They did it unto the least, thus they kept the Least Commandments of Mercy. The term Least doesn’t mean the Commandments of Mercy are inferior, rather it means they are the Least we can do. Any natural person, who is not Born Again, who does not have the Spirit, yet loves God has the capability to engage in acts of Mercy. Any religious body on the earth who lacks Mercy for it’s fellow man, lacks God, no matter what they say.

Looking at the church of Philadelphia, we find they had a little strength, or did the undefiled religion. Here we find the result of using the little strength as God intended (Rev 3:8); however, we are given the Strength of His Christ, to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).

The goats will also be judged according to their works as well, or better, the lack of them. Since Jesus is judging from the position of the Son of man, it stands the goats had the same opportunity, means and ability to as the sheep. Unbelief is a terrible enemy, yet it’s based on choice; just as the application of Mercy is based on choice.

Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (25:41).

Jesus never Knew these people, this is still based on Mercy. Jesus is the Book of Life, in Him are we written. The goats refused to heed the call of Mercy, they failed to do the law of faith, although the measure of faith is given to all mankind. Also Jesus doesn’t call them, “workers of iniquity”, showing they were not in the Body of Christ. These would be those resurrected unto damnation, a place in the lake of fire without end.

For I was hungry, and you gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me not in: naked, and you clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto You? (25:42-44).

Mercy is a vital element to the measure of faith, in our case it becomes extremely vital, since we are forgiven by God, to forgive others.

Paul told the Corinthians to pray their works could get them through the fire, of course he also told them, they were carnal and unable to understand spiritual matters. For the Corinthians, it appeared the only hope they had was their works, since they refused to enter the spiritual calling of God (I Cor 12:1).

The goats will attempt to manipulate Jesus by using the same wording as the sheep, thus this group attempts to use words; whereas, the sheep found their works went before them. The Judgment is the separation time, yet don’t think Jesus will enjoy it, it’s a day of darkness, not Light. Hell was made for the devil and his angels, but because man has choice, some made the choice to use the ways of the devil, causing hell to widen her borders. “Woe unto you who desire (long for) the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18). There is no joy in seeing someone go to hell, absolutely no joy in seeing someone enter the lake of fire, if we think there is, we must change our ways obtaining Mercy, in order to find Grace.

Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me (25:45).

The wording used by the goats is close, but not close enough, thus showing the intent of the sheep was by nature, or as Paul will show, they did the law of faith without knowing it. The goats on the other hand didn’t do any of the acts of Mercy, however, we find both the sheep and goats wanted to know "when?", but for different reasons. The goats would have given, if they knew it would keep them out of hell, but the sheep gave based on the mercy granted them in the measure of faith. The word "Brethren" is left out in reference to the goats, thus it's not giving to the "brethren", but those who did the giving are called "brethren" (Matt 25:40). Again this shows the Judgment is based on Mercy.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (25:46).

This isn't the same as Blackness of Darkness, but it's torment nonetheless, this is the resurrection unto damnation, they had nothing to gain them life, thus Predestination is not God making an A list and a B list, it’s the Plan set forth so all can enter therein, but man makes his choice, God honors it.

If the sheep are resurrected unto Life, it means they are granted Life at the time; however, for us we are partakers in the First Resurrection because we have the Life of Jesus. The same Spirit who raised Jesus will raise us, we are crucified with Christ, nevertheless we live, the life we now live is by Christ in us, the hope of glory.

Now there are some questions, where is "Born Again"? Where is "Grace"? If it's not by works, why is this determined by works? This area has nothing to do with Grace, it has to do with Mercy.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings He said unto His disciples, You know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified (26:1-2).

All these sayings provoke us to consider our position and condition, reflecting on our Standing, Watching and Being prepared. Here Jesus is showing the Son of man must be crucified before any of these other events can take place. By now we know the Son of man refers to Mercy, the Son of God to Grace (Rom 1:3-4 et al).

The purpose was going far beyond these twelve disciples, the Jews, Romans and Gentiles who would be looking at Jesus on the Cross. None of them had any idea what the Resurrection would bring, although they were told.

Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people (26:3-5).

After Jesus talks about what happens at the end, the Pharisees come with their plans to kill Jesus. This meeting shows how the envy run religious leaders make plans of destruction in their secret meetings, Paul said this was lying in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14). This is another example of bringing an accusation against an Elder, the premise for all John 7 meetings is destruction, rather than mercy, healing, or restoration. Although we don't see it, the process for these Jews was to pray before the meeting, thus prayer alone isn't going to secure us in the Will of God, it takes ears to hear with a heart to discern. James shows we can pray from a lust, rather than for Wisdom (James 4:1-4).

The Feast Day was not the Passover day, but the day after Passover. The Feast Of Unleavened Bread at this time would fall on Thursday the 15th of Abib. Numbers 28:16-18 tells us, "and in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord, and in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of servile work therein". The Passover called for labor (killing the Passover), thus the Feast of Unleavened Bread began the day after the Passover, making it a High Sabbath. Therefore, Jesus went to the Cross on the Passover, was put in the grave at sunset which began the High Sabbath. It's important to remember the Jewish method of keeping a day is sunset to sunset, rather than midnight to midnight. The night of the Passover meal and the Cross were the same Jewish day, not two separate days. The religious leaders would wait to have their Passover meal until after the Cross, causing them to miss the greatest Passover of all time.

The Pharisees had formed their plan, they sought to complete it before the Feast Day, Jesus said it was two days before the feast, thus the time element is close. The Pharisees were concerned about the views of the people, but more important they were concerned about how they would look in the eyes of the people. They knew the people would be busy on the Passover preparing for the High Sabbath, and assumed the deed could be done with a hand full of watchdogs and false witnesses. This plan had to make it appear to have the will of the people, yet not let the majority of the people know about it. How could it be? The Passover being a Preparation day for the Feast Day would find many people at home, not walking about the streets. The religious rulers could pick a small group to manipulate the event. Of course God saw it before He said, Let there be Light, then worked it into the Plan. Taking advantage of the situation, doesn’t mean God caused it.

Matthew will tell us why the Pharisees had reached the point where they assumed they must kill Jesus, as well as why Judas felt the timing was perfect to force Jesus to set up the kingdom on earth, both groups were laying in wait to deceive. The Judas seed of deceit began by attempting to force Jesus to do some thing, especially by manipulating events behind His back, although Jesus knows all, sees all.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat (26:6-7).

John tells us this took place six days before the Passover, thus Matthew is merely giving us the reason why Judas acted, rather than the exact time when this anointing took place. This is made clearer by the phrase, "Now when Jesus"; taking us back to the 9th of Abib, connecting this to John's account. The 9th of Abib in this particular year would have been a Friday, the first day of the Seven referred to by Daniel. Therefore, Jesus as our Sabbath was anointed on the weekly preparation day, leading to the point where all the leaven was cast out of the house. For all these events to take place, yet have Jesus go to the Cross in the Midst of the week, had to go far beyond the ability of man. God saw this time before the foundation of the world, thus we know the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8).

Matthew makes it clear, the anointing happened in Bethany, Mark also says it was when Jesus was "in the house of Simon the leper" (Mark 14:3). Mark like Matthew shows us the reason, but John shows us the exact day (Jn 12:1). John also adds how Mary took the ointment, anointing the feet of Jesus (Jn 12:3). However, it's the head of a king which is anointed, the servant has his feet anointed, thus Jesus is both King and Servant. It's also important to see the Feet of Jesus are anointed, yet His enemies are made His footstool, not His feet. This is preparation toward the Burial, not Life, Judas was looking at it, yet never considered the danger he was in for his attempt to sell the “anointing”. It was at this anointing where Judas would say, "why was this ointment not sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?" (Jn 12:5). Where was the interest of Judas? On the anointing, or the money? We can see many things regarding the mind and thoughts of Judas, thus giving us clues to the mindset of the Wicked.

Jesus points out this one week in all of man's history was ordained by God for a specific purpose, as He says, "Let her alone: against the day of My burying has she kept this. For the poor always you have with you, but Me you have not always" (Jn 12:7-8). From this we can see some of us were placed in the Prophet’s Cave by God for specific reasons, or perhaps in places we would rather not be, yet the result is good. The Cross of Jesus is a one time event, although played over millions of times, the actual event happened once. This in no way means feeding the poor is wrong, rather it shows the opportunity to feed the poor is always with us. All this indicates how the events happening before Judas and the others would never happen again, yet spiritual things to natural minds are foolishness. Judas wasn't worried about the poor, he was worried about his bag (Jn 12:6). Judas was attempting to sale the anointing, whereas Simon of Samaria was attempting to buy it. This shows how the Ways of God didn't interest Judas, unless he could make some personal gain.

This happened at the House of Simon, who was the father of Judas (Jn 6:71), Judas considered it a waste to anoint the Lord, later at the table he will consider his plans more important than sitting with the Lord. When Jesus tells Judas, "the poor you have with you always"; Judas took the phrase as a challenge, arriving at his own self-based conclusions. Instead of thinking, Bless God, there is always a work to be done for the Lord, Judas thought, Poor with me, not going to happen. His actions betrayed him, causing him to betray the Lord. Judas was moved by the bag, not the poor, his thoughts were to force Jesus into a position to bring about the Time of Comfort, making Judas the treasurer of the world.

But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor (26:8-9).

John showed the first challenge regarding the waste was directed toward Jesus based on what Judas said. Here in Matthew we find the influence Judas had on the others, convincing them to join him. To Judas this was poor stewardship, a waste, yet it was for the One he called Master. The Wicked use natural reasoning to determine spiritual matters, usually leaving them with the opinion lacking in discernment. They also do the opposite of what is required, rather than see opportunity for the sake of the Lord, they look for opportunity to exalt them selves. It seemed logical to use a little oil for the anointing, then sell the rest, but God has purposes for specifics, the logic of man is based on the wisdom of man, not the Wisdom of God.

When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble you the woman? for she has wrought a good work upon Me (26:10).

The accusation was really against Mary, not Jesus, yet we find it was a method of applying guilt by using manipulation. Judas like the rest was trained in the ways of Mercy, not condemnation, yet here it’s what he is using.

Prior Jesus told these same men, "suffer the little children, forbid them not, to come unto Me" (Matt 19:14). Judas reasoned, the poor will always be with others, but not with him, he was determined to get his hands on the treasury. In his deception he became deceived the more, later he will assume Jesus has approved his endeavors when he hears, “what you do, do quickly”; however, he could repent just as fast as he acted out his plan.

For you have the poor always with you; but Me you have not always. For in that she has poured this ointment on My body, she did it for My burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her (26:11-13).

The Oil had a purpose, a specific purpose, it wasn't to be used in a manner not intended. This is a warning to the improper use of our spiritual position, Jude called it turning the Grace of our God into lasciviousness (Jude 4). Paul called it spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, Proverbs said it was the Strange Woman.

The reference to “Her” (Mary) as the Memorial doesn't mean we will remember Mary, rather she becomes a type and shadow of the Bride making herself ready by the Anointing. This act will be a Memorial for those who are more concerned about Jesus, than their own self-nature.  Mary’s actions became a witness against the Judas nature, who are more concerned about the self-nature, than Jesus, yet at the same time a Witness for her.

Jesus would ride into Jerusalem the day after the anointing, where He cleaned the temple a second time, the first time is noted in John at the very beginning of the ministry. Judas saw and heard all this, he knew Jesus had the ability to take authority over the temple, why not help Him a little, why not make the prophecy come to pass? Who cares how we get there, as long as we get there. Jesus does, we run the race lawfully, the means is just as important as reaching the end.

The Pharisees also saw Jesus ride into the city, clean out the temple, like Judas they knew Jesus could take the temple at any time. One of their own had a prophecy, but mixed it with self-based theology twisting it from, "it's better for one man to die, than the nation perish", to "it's better for us if we kill this Man" (Jn 11:49-50). Both Judas and the Religious leaders were attempting to make things come to pass to satisfy their self-desires.

Daniel said one aspect of this week was to "Anoint the most Holy" (Dan 9:24). The Anointing began in Bethany, ending as the Sacrifice in heaven before the Father.

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will you give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver, and from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him (26:14-16).

Judas now becomes friends with the chief priests, it will be Judas who is able to get Peter past the guard during the trials. All this is after all those teachings on the Talents; this same Judas saw the blind see, the lame walk, he was privy to many teachings on Mercy, yet for the pleasure of the moment, he was willing to commit fornication against the Lord.

The Pharisees reached into their treasury to pay Judas the thirty pieces of silver. Judas would have done it for nothing, but his mindset was one of extortion, his greedy lust still desired to have all he could get. This is the same as accepting filthy lucre, thus Judas didn't care what strings were attached, as long as he got the money. When Judas tosses back the money, it shows his thought process of repentance, as well as defining “repented himself” as self-repentance. Like Adam who thought being naked was the sin, Judas thinks having blood money is the sin. He attempted to pay for his sin with the same funds he took to betray the Lord, he ended with a piece of rope.

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where will You that we prepare for You to eat the Passover? (26:17).

This is the same day as the Pharisees and Judas were making their evil plans, thus as the evil was preparing to do evil, the Good were preparing to sit at the Lord's Table. There are several words added by the translators here for clarity, but the context is the preparation for the First Day of The feast of unleavened bread which is the Passover, not the Feast Day itself. A Preparation day is before any sabbath, whether High, or the weekly by the Commandment. In this case they would prepare the Passover Lamb, then eat it when the sun went down, which ended Passover, but began the Feast Day. The Jew keeps the day from sunset to sunset, thus the Passover ended as the sun was setting on the day of the Cross. The Pharisees violated this premise, they waited until after the Passover. According to Jewish tradition the day prior to eating the Passover was a day of fasting for the Firstborn. Jesus fasted on this day by not entering the temple, teaching or doing any signs.

The disciples prepared the upper room for the Passover, Jesus didn't. This will also be the first step in His Vow of the Nazarite. John the Baptist came under the Vow, but Jesus didn't enter the Vow until the night of the Passover when He said, "I will not drink of the Vine until..." (Numb 6:1-21). Each aspect of the Vow of the Nazarite helps us understand why Matthew said, "And He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene" (Matt 2:23). The Vow of Samson was to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (Judges 13:5); however, the exact reference to Christ being a Nazarite can't be found, unless one views all the areas of the Vow of the Nazarite, finding it's a Testimony pointing to Jesus, not Samson, or John the Baptist or anyone else.

The word Philistine means to Wallow in the self, thus the Vow of the Nazarite on the part of Jesus is to save our souls from the Self nature. Paul pointed to the Nazarite vow when he said the long hair on the head as a type of Anointing in his rebuke to the Corinthians (I Cor 11:1-11 & Numb 6:1-12). We are Separated unto the Lord, all the days of our Separation are called Holy unto the Lord (Numb 6:8). We shall not defile "the head of His Consecration" (the authority or anointing [hair] - Numb 6:9). The Lamb of the First year shall be brought to the Door of the Tabernacle and a "ewe lamb" shall also be presented, with "unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil" (Numb 6:14-15). All these elements point to Jesus and the Bride, Paul told us we are the Bread (Body - I Cor 10:17). However the Bread without the Oil can't be presented, just as a lamp without oil can't breach the Door. We find Jesus did many things, each is complete in Him, just as we are complete by Him.

And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover (26:18-19).

This would be the third Passover since the baptism of Jesus, yet it's not three years. From the First Passover to the Second would be one year, from the Second to the Third would be two years. The earthly ministry of Jesus was just over Two Years as a symbol of the Two shall be One (Jn 2:13, 2:16, 6:4 & 6:11-13).

Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve (26:20).

The twelve represent all who would hear of Jesus through them, thus we are also represented at this table. This purpose of Communion is to Remember, which builds our belief, but many things Jesus told us are yet to come, thus our belief leads us to a firm faith in the performance of Jesus. Out of all the verses pertaining to this one week, 296 of them pertain to this one night, with the majority given by John (16:7).

And as they did eat, He said, Verily I say unto you that one of you shall betray Me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto Him, Lord, is it I? And He answered and said, He that dips his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me (26:21-23).

The dish contained bitter herbs to remind them of the bitterness in Egypt, yet Judas never made it to the Bread or the Cup, but he did take the bitterness of Egypt (Jn 13:30). The word, Wormwood means Bitterness, in the latter days the Star of Bitterness will fall on the waters (people) of the world (Rev 8:11). The phrase, "what you do, do quickly", presented Judas with a choice, he could repent as Quickly as act on his self-desire; however, the acts of Judas shows his choice lined up with his decision, he sold out Jesus to get what he wanted. When the heart of Judas took the bitterness of Egypt, his self-deception convinced him, Jesus had just blessed his deed. Judas was going to do what he was going to do, Jesus didn't bless his plans, rather Jesus offered choice, then submitted to the choice of Judas. This is a great lesson to us, if we receive it. Praying from a lust is not praying in the will of the Lord, yet if our minds are so set on doing what we’re going to do, the Lord will allow, but it doesn’t mean He blesses.

The Son of man goes as it is written of Him; but woe unto that man whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, You have said (26:24-25).

The direction of the choice is being presented to Judas, yet self-deception blinded him to the Truth. The phrase reads "Woe unto the man whom the Son of man is betrayed", not "Woe unto the man who betrays the Son of man", this is prophecy projected to all those who hold the Judas nature in the position of the son of perdition.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take eat; this is My body (26:26).

The first aspect is our condition, when we take the Bread we enter Mercy by Mercy, this is our Remembrance of why we accepted the Cross. This was the area the Corinthians should have spent the most time. An unworthy condition here would be taking the Bread, yet coming against other members of the same Bread, and not caring. This is not the same as correction to bring perfection, it’s when someone simply attacks other members of the Body for the enjoyment of the attack.

The Cup is just a Cup, it's what's in the Cup making the difference. The Lord's table is the place of remembrance, the place to reflect on Vows. The Communion Service is our Priestly function, the time when we as priests unto the Lord reflect on the Sacrifice. We are the Body (Bread) which relates to our Mercy position, then the Blood of Jesus for Grace as the New Covenant. The New Covenant is not in the Bread, it's in the Blood, the Bread is the glue to keep us in the New.

The bread used is called Matzo, it was kept in a three part napkin called the Matzo Napkin. The first piece was called Abraham, it was removed, blessed and replaced, then the second was called Isaac, it was also taken, blessed and replaced, then the third piece was called Jacob, it was taken blessed and replaced. Then the third piece was taken again, only this time it was called Israel, it was blessed, then replaced, then the second piece was removed again, giving us five removals; reflecting on the Five churches. To the Jew this is a symbol of the time when God will put His hand a second time to Israel to save the Remnant, to us it's a symbol of the Fifth Seal when we are taken out of here.

The hidden promised son is taken from the place in the Napkin, broken, blessed and given. The breaking of the Bread goes beyond the Cross to the Broken Body of Jesus, but the Napkin points to the Resurrection. It will be the empty wrapped Napkin causing John to believe.

The Matzo Bread had to be cooked within Seven Minutes from the second the water touched the Grain; therefore, to speed up the cooking process they pierced holes in the bread, then made stripes in the Bread. The symbol was Jesus, who was pierced, by His stripes we were healed, but to the Jew it was merely to speed up the cooking process.

Some assume one must be some great leader in order to partake of Communion; however, Paul gave the carnal church of Corinth a teaching on Communion. He began by saying, "when you come together into one place, is this not for the eating of the Lord's Supper" (I Cor 11:20). Every time Christians gathered together, whether Roots, Blades, Full Ears or Full Corn in the Ears, they can take of the Lord's Supper. On the other hand, if Communion becomes a rite or ritual it will turn into a social exercise, losing it's importance and power. Paul reminds us the Lord's Supper was taken on the same night as Jesus was betrayed (I Cor 11:23). Therefore we can take the Lord's Supper to make sure we don't become self-deceived like Judas, or so we won’t make it a social experience, ending like Judas. It's a sin to partake of the Lord's Table without discerning it, it becomes iniquity to avoid it, it's better to come boldly to the Table of the Lord with an open and humble heart.

And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink  you all of it (26:27).

The cup was a cup, the Blood made it special. We put on All the Armor of God, we are to take All of the New Covenant. We can’t say we want this piece of it, but not the other; as the five virgins with lamps, yet no oil found out.

Matthew doesn't use the phrase A cup, rather like all those who wrote about this meal, they want us to know it was The Cup (Mark 14:23, Luke 22:20 & I Cor 11:25). The cup was the Messiah Cup, or as some term it, the Elijah Cup. Prior Jesus said, Elijah was an It, when we take the Cup we Receive the It, or better the message to prepare the Way of the Lord, meaning the Blood gives us the Ability to follow the steps of the Faith of Jesus by the Spirit. The Cup couldn't make the Blood holy, the Blood made the Cup holy.

There were other elements on the Passover table, yet the only two relating to us are the Bread and Cup. Jesus took of the bitter herbs for our sakes, but He didn't take the Bread or Cup, thus He took the Vow of the Nazarite at the Table, we Remember He did it for us.

Jesus took the Cross with a joy, looking toward the place when He could present Himself as a Sacrifice of Life before the Father. Our joy comes when we present ourselves a living sacrifice unto the Lord.

For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (26:28).

Here it’s plain, the Blood is the New Testament. The Blood brings us the Law of the Spirit; taking the Cup then running back to the Law of Moses is a dishonor to the Blood in the Cup. The Bread brings Forgiveness of sins or the lamp, but the Blood brings Remission and the Oil (Spirit). There are three bearing witness, the Water (Mercy), Blood (Grace) and Spirit (Born Again), without all three there is no connection between earth and the record in heaven (I Jn 5:6-9).

We will see each day from this point to the Ascension is accounted for. There are fifty days between Passover and Pentecost, Jesus was in the grave for three, then walked with the disciples for forty days (Acts 1:3). Jesus told Mary not to touch Him, but eight days later commanded Thomas to touch Him; therefore, it leaves seven days, all explained in the Psalms and the Book of Hebrews as the time when Jesus presented Himself before the Father. Here at the table, Jesus is calling the Sacrifice done, when we partake of the Lord's Table we enter the same Sacrifice to become the heirs of Salvation. God rested on the Seventh day, knowing His works were complete. We enter the Rest of God with the same premise, the Works are done, we cease from our own works to begin adventure as a Doer of the Word as we become one with thoughts well pleasing to the Lord.

But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom (26:29).

It would appear as if we had to be with Jesus in the “Father’s kingdom”, but the context shows we were there in Jesus. The “Father’s Kingdom” is Mercy based, when Jesus takes of the Vine it joins Mercy to Grace.

Before we were born, Jesus gave of Himself with us in His mind, when we receive Him by the Spirit we receive the same sprinkling of Blood (I Pet 1:2). The Kingdom of the Father was bound in heaven until Jesus gave Himself as the Sacrifice; based on what Jesus did we are able to obtain the Father’s Mercy in order to forgive as God for Christ’s sake forgave us.

When the Sacrifice was presented the Father said, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom” (Heb 1:8). The word Scepter is the Greek Rhadbos meaning A rod for chastising or scourging. It doesn't mean Jesus is beating our brains out, rather the Righteousness of Jesus is the Evidence of the Kingdom, thus the New Man has God’s Righteousness. We hate iniquity, but we love the Righteousness of Jesus; therefore, God has anointed us with the Oil of Gladness above our fellows (Heb 1:9).

The word With, could confuse us, but it means Companionship, with the meaning of extreme closeness. The disciples may have been on the earth for those seven days, but they were with Jesus in heaven through the Sacrifice, and so were we. We weren't born then, but Before God formed us in the womb, He knew us (Jere 1:5).

The last day brings the Great Winepress of the wrath of God, the Cup is not the Cup of Remission (Rev 14:19). The Cup of Remission comes first, it's given unto us to avoid the Cup of the Wrath of God. The Cup of the wrath of God was taken by Jesus in the Garden, a far cry from the Table of the Lord.

If one touches a holy thing before it's sacrificed they will die, the high priest shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle for seven days until he be consecrated (Numb 4:15 & Lev 8:33). Mary, you, me, or Thomas couldn't touch Jesus before the Sacrifice was complete, but afterward the Priests are to partake of the Sacrifice. We are Priests unto God, failure to partake of the Thing Sacrificed brings death to the Priests. Therefore, eight days later the command was to touch Jesus, the Sacrifice was given, accounting for the seven days. However, in a few verses we will see a phrase seemingly not to fit, but it does fit with Mark 16:16-18 in reference to the feet of Jesus.

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. Then said Jesus unto them, All you shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.  But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee (26:30-32).

Just prior to leaving the upper room Peter was told, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, so he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22:31-32). This "assumed evil" had a good purpose, Judas could have entered this area to receive the same “conversion”, but he sought self-pleasure causing him to seek self-repentance. Luke shows Peter was confronted more than once that night on the same subject.

The word Sift means To Punch Holes Through, thus the Satan nature in Peter would come to the surface, Peter would punch himself through, yet Jesus knew Peter would be Converted then Peter would be able to stand in Strength. Prior to being sifted, Peter thought he could fight his way out of any situation, he planned on saving the Lord from what was to come, but it was the Lord who would save Peter. The word Converted doesn't mean saved, rather it means to Turn Around Again. Peter would backslide, but Turn Around Again. One would think Peter committed the unpardonable sin, but it was Judas who committed the sin, Peter simply failed. Judas set out to do something against the Lord to bring about his self will; Peter set out to do something for the Lord based on his self-determinations and failed. Judas had ample opportunity to stop, Peter didn't have what it takes to finish.

Peter was told, "Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before then you shall deny three times that you know Me" (Luke 22:34). This saying has nothing to do with Chickens, they were more unclean than pigs. Jesus defined the saying “cockcrowing” as a time (Mark 13:35). The Greek word is Alektorophonia, the Jews followed the Roman method from which the term came (Vine’s Expanded, and Scofield). The first one was after midnight, the other at 3:00 AM, well before dawn. Most dictionaries (if not all) refer to the element as the beginning of day, but Jesus placed it between midnight and morning (Mark 13:35), most Greek dictionaries place it at the third watch, which is 3:00 AM. The other Greek word for “cockcrowing” is Alektor, which was used by Jesus to show a time element as well. In either case Jesus defined the term, it has nothing to do some chicken chasing Peter around crowing at him. Peter will make three denials, the second will be one hour before the last according to Luke (Luke 22:59). The last denial would be before the second religious trial at 3:00 AM, making it a specific time which was prior to the Fourth Watch. It has special meaning as well, since it was near the same time he made his walk on the water, the two relate (Matt 14:24-25). Peter walked on the water with an intent of "look at the faith I have"; his denial will expose his faith was puny at best, and used to exalt himself. The event shows how puny faith is worthless in the face of adversity. When Peter told the Lord to change the event, he heard, Satan get thee behind Me (Matt 16:23). The same Satan ego, pride and self-confidence was going to hit Peter right at his soul, but for Peter's own good. It was exactly 3:00 AM when Peter would deny the Lord the third time.

Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of You, yet will I never be offended (26:33).

Peter was Self-confident, but self-confidence depends on will power, and will power has a natural limit. Peter is a classic example of one being self-assertive, he felt he was always positive, but lacked the proof and evidence to back it up. Jesus said, You will, Peter said, Will not; without thinking, Peter just called Jesus a liar, yet Peter assumed he was being positive and assertive. When Jesus says, "You will", and our minds say, “No”, we better bind the strongman.

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shall deny Me three times (26:34).

This verse makes more sense when we add Mark and Luke, Peter is still standing there saying, "no way, I'll die for you"; Jesus says, "No Peter, I'll die for you". All four accounts show us Peter was told more than once, in fact he was told three times, each time, he said, Not so Lord. Peter’s comments will change to "Lord You know all things", but it would take a tough experience to bring it about (Jn 21:15-17).

Many of us, if not all of us have heard a very personal word from the Lord, perhaps someone said, "the Lord has told me to tell you, you will hit a stone wall, but it will fall", or, "you and your mate will have a great trouble hit you, but don't lose your faith", or perhaps the Holy Ghost said, "It's going to get worse", yet we you run off confessing, "I'm not moved by what I hear", but we should be, it's a blessing to know it's the Lord, rather than an attack, or punishment. Without discernment we end saying, "I rebuke you Satan"; yet it was God, thus in our fear we equate God to Satan. In this case it would be Satan who would attack Peter, but Jesus allowed it for Peter’s own good. Peter will wept bitterly, but he will also be filled with Joy when he hears Jesus say, “Follow Me” (Jn 21:19-20).

Peter said, unto Him, Though I should die with You, yet will I not deny You.  Likewise also said all the disciples (26:35).

Confessions of pride tend to brag, confessions of faith will finish the race. Until we  face the enemy inside, we will not know the Glory of the Lord. Peter’s problem was internal, yet he didn’t see it. The confessions of pride, ego, unbelief, and self-serving theology which spill out of the mouths of those who claim to be children of the Most High are all wiles of the devil. Our wildernesses and Gethsemane experiences are centered on removing those tares, before we use them.

Then came Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and said unto the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder (26:36).

The word Gethsemane is a condition, not a location, it's a Hebrew word meaning, Winepress referring to the Great Winepress when the Cup of God's wrath is poured out. Jesus would enter His Gethsemane, but it won't finish until the Last day. Mark says a "place which was named Gethsemane", the word Place means Condition (Mark 14:32). Luke shows it was the Mount of Olives, and a stone's throw from the disciples (Luke 22:39-41).

To produce Olive Oil, one must crush the Olive under great pressure, our place of  Gethsemane is a place of pressure to bring the Oil to the surface. Neither here or in Mark is the place called a "garden", but in John we find it was a garden (Jn 18:1). Here Jesus will pray for His enemies, later He will pray for us. The "Sermon on the Mount" related to Mercy, the Passover combined the Bread and Cup, but in this garden a different Cup is at issue.

The Rock upon which Jesus wept was a type and shadow of Zion, we find the disciples sleeping, indicating those who Sleep through the Night, since at this time they lacked the Spirit. This prayer is in three parts, with the last two being the same. Jeremiah said, "thus says the Lord God of Israel unto Me, Take the wine cup of this fury at My hand, and cause all nations, to whom I send You, to drink it" (Jere 25:15), and then, "took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent Me" (Jere 25:17). John says the last day holds the "cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath" (Rev 16:19); which is the time of the Great Winepress (Gethsemane - Rev 15:18-20). Jesus gave us the cup for the remission of sins, but here Jesus is going to take the Cup from the Father's hand. The Father couldn't pour the Cup out, yet Jesus knew the Father could take it from Him, some things are possible, but not profitable.

It was once said, while Jesus was on the Cross He saw all those who would receive Him, which is true, but in the Garden He would see all those who would reject Him. Jesus prayed for the lost, not the lost of the world, rather it was for those who would reject Mercy ending on the road of destruction. God's anger is kindled against the Wicked in the end, because they force God to do something He hates to do. It's God's desire for all to come to repentance so none will be lost, to confound the desire brings the wrath of God.

Jesus tells us to Watch, we will find Jesus didn't pray for An hour, rather He prayed About The Hour falling on the entire earth. All the comments to Peter, as well as the prayer itself give us the greatest insight to understanding all things are possible through God, but not all things are profitable.

All of us will enter "the place called Gethsemane" to make our decision to become the Lord's Cup in order to be free of the Cup of God's wrath. All of us will be pressed in the testing of faith, but the purpose chokes out the old nature, securing us in the New. Even if we have to sweat great drops to rid ourselves of the anger, vengeance, or unforgiveness we must. However, we can't rid ourselves of these elements unless we place our minds on receiving a spiritual attribute from God. Jesus took the Cup of the wrath of God, so we won’t have to, in our case we accept the cleaning of the Blood to set us free indeed.

And He took with Him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then said He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry you here, and watch with Me (26:37-38).

These were the same Three who saw the Mount experience, now they will be there when the footstool is prayed for, yet asleep. The "death" is not the death of Jesus; He faced the Cross with a joy, this death is the second death for the lost, the time when the screams of torment, the cries of help, the pleas for Mercy, a time when every knee will bow, but for many it will be too late. If Jesus saw the Cross before it came, surely He can see the Judgment as well. The Table introduced the Salvation of the Lord, here in the Garden we find the Judgment.

The Garden experience has to do with a type of Rock combined with the Cup of the wrath of God. The Rock is not the Rock from which Jesus will build the Church, rather it’s what is left after the Rapture. Our Gethsemane experience we separate us from the wrath of God to come, it will secure us in the understanding of the Faith of Jesus.

Mark shows Jesus said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry you here, and watch, and He went forward a little, and fell on the ground and prayed, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him" (Mark 14:34-35). This relates the Hour to the Sorrow of the soul of Jesus, meaning this pertains to Jesus as the Son of man.

Jesus tells Sardis (the Fifth Church), to be Watchful, which means Watch how you Watch (Rev 3:2-4). The Hour of Temptation is at hand, when the Church is Born on Pentecost the Hour started to tick away. In the world we will have tribulation, therefore, leave the world and join the Body of Christ to avoid the Tribulation. The word Sorrowful comes from two words which mean All Over Heaviness, referring to something far in the future, rather than something going to happen within hours.

The many times Jesus told them of the events, they just didn't believe it, yet they knew Jesus could stop it at any time. Psalm 88 tells us, "O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before You: let my prayer come before You: incline Your ear unto my cry; for my soul is full of troubles: and my life draws near unto the grave. I am counted with them who go down into the pit: I am as a man who has no strength" (Ps 88:1-4). Psalm 88:5 tells us Jesus would be cut off from the Father, removed from the disciples, although Jesus would conduct a battle to end all battles, the disciples would have no idea what was going on. The Spirit makes intercession for us, for the most part we have no idea of the many dangers the Spirit has saved us from.

And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will (26:39).

Mark shows the additional wording, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto You..." (Mark 14:36). Matthew separates the process of wills for the Seed and Root; this doesn’t mean the Father's Will is opposed to the Will of Jesus, rather it shows their Will's were in conjunction, rather it was method. The Will of the Father is for all to be saved and none to be lost, the Will of the Son is the same, yet the reality of God knows, some will say Yes to the calling, yet deny the process. Instead of reaching the purpose of their faith, even the salvation of their souls, they will join themselves to perdition. Is not God Equal? Will He not save the wicked if they turn to Righteousness, as He will condemn the righteous for turning to wickedness? Jesus is still the Mediator, no matter who they are, they must come by Jesus in order to be in the presence of the Father. Although we know all things are possible, we must take into consideration, "nevertheless, not my will but Yours". This one statement separates those who hold to The Faith, and those who use faith as a means to gain self-pleasure.

Jesus will make three prayers for three separate groups, each associated with the Rock, yet in three separate time periods. The first group is about to put Him on the Cross, the Second is like unto the Third, only divided by Seasons. The Second would those who work Iniquity during the Day, the Third are those who become the Beast of the Earth, thus both the second and third are members of the Synagogue of Satan. This is an example of Jesus praying for those who persecute Him, those who become His footstool.

And He came unto the disciples, and found them asleep, and said unto Peter, What, could you not watch with Me one hour? (26:40).

The question continues, it's not the length of an hour, but it's regarding the Hour. At this point in time they were one step from the Kingdom of God, and one step from the Hour of Temptation. Our prayers of "Lead me not into Temptation but deliver me from evil", gives God the absolute right to form us into the vessel of honor or dishonor, depending on our attitude, decision and choices.

The word Watch in this case means Stay Awake, but it has a root word meaning to Raise. Watch also means to remain Vigilant, and Vigilant means to be On Alert; therefore, it connects to discernment and clarity. We must be on the Alert for the exposure of those areas connected to the spirit of disobedience, have either crept in unawares or came as tares with us from the world.

God said, "I have set watchman upon the walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: you who make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isa 62:6-7). One could take this to mean Jerusalem of the Earth, but it points to the Wall and New Jerusalem, the Apostles started the Wall, we finish it. God never backs up to correct some error, He moves forward to repair what we have caused to be an error. God didn't produce the error, He gave us Truth, it's we who produced the error, it’s He who repairs all things.

Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (26:41).

Peter is told to Watch and Pray regarding the Temptation, thus this is in reference to the Hour of Temptation falling on the entire world. The Spirit of Christ is willing to deliver us, but our flesh can't, yet it assumes it can. As long as the Gentile Door is open, this promise of Salvation holds. This connects to “that born of the flesh is flesh”, but “that Born of the Spirit is Spirit”. This is a promise, the Spirit is indeed willing, but that born of the flesh is still weak.

He went again the second time, and prayed saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Your will be done (26:42).

Jesus asked us to Drink of the Cup He handed us, now He must drink of the Cup the Father has given Him. Does this mean Jesus will drink of the wrath of God? Not at all, it explains our vow in taking the Cup of the Lord. We are the Bread, but the Blood belongs to Jesus, thus we take of the Body as we discern what we have done to enhance the Body, or hinder it. The Blood holds the Gift of Grace, the essence of the New Covenant. Jesus will bring the Fourth Cup in the exactness of its intended purpose, we are expected to do no less with the Cup of Salvation we hold. We take of the Cup Jesus gave us, to avoid the Cup He will take.

And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy (26:43).

The Second prayer would be approaching the Rapture, now before the third the disciples are asleep. This symbol points to those who sleep in Jesus through the Night, at this time the disciples were not Born Again, and certainly not “Dead in Christ”, but they were of the Rock. This time Jesus won't wake them, as a sign showing the Second prayer was for the Day, this next one is for the time when there are those who sleep in Jesus.

And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words (26:44).

This time the same words are given, but we find it pertains to the Second half of the Hour, the time when the Beast of the Field becomes the Beast of the Earth. Jesus isn't praying for them to die or go to hell, rather He is interceding, but whether they hear and receive is up to them. The Remnant will be active during the Night, they need to stand firm in Mercy, and not deny the Name (Authority relating to Mercy) of Jesus. Does it mean they will use “the Name of Jesus”? No, it means they will hold to the purpose of the Son of man, which is Mercy.

Then came He to His disciples, and said unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise let us be going: behold he is at hand that does betray Me (26:45-46).

Our rest comes when the Second prayer comes to pass, the Rest for the Remnant when the Third prayer is complete. These three prayers all pertain to the Fourth Cup of the wrath of God. The context is still Jesus as the Son of man, the sinners lack Mercy, they are only concerned with their self-based agendas.

And while He yet spoke, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people (26:47).

Jesus didn’t call Judas a sinner, rather He said Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of sinners. This explains who the prayer was for, here comes the son of perdition with the forces of attack, punishment and manipulation, yet the same Judas was among the those of the Rock. The prayer gives us the division, the place of the Broken Body. Judas is leading the pack, thus he lacked authority to betray the Lord, yet he was able to. The sons of perdition change the rules to fit their thinking, twist the Scriptures to their own destruction, they Riot during the Day.

The Pharisees knew any trial at night was opposed to the rules in the Law of Moses. The Passover was in hand, with the High Sabbath following, they knew the majority of the people would be preparing for the High Sabbath. They came with a great multitude, but the multitude were "yes men" filled with anger, envy and strife; showing their weapons of abuse and carnal force, attempting to frighten Jesus. Like those of the world the driving force was the spirit of fear, yet we have not been given the spirit of fear, neither do we use it.

Now he that betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed Him, and Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore are you come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him (26:48-50).

Jesus called Judas friend, but the reference wasn't a compliment, as we read, "faithful are the wounds of a friend; but  the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Prov 27:6), with, "kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they who put their trust in Him" (Ps 2:12). Judas used a kiss of deceit, not one of fellowship.

This would be near midnight, they didn't have street lights, thus it would be difficult to see the faces of the people. The Pharisees didn't want to make a mistake, they were more afraid of Jesus, than the disciples were of the multitude.

The manner of the arrest was to bind the person, then one of the guards would stomp the top of the right foot of the prisoner to make sure they couldn't run away. It seems bad enough, but the shoes these guards used were made out of metal, many had spikes on the bottom. First was the kiss of deceit, now the feet of Him who brings good tidings of peace and joy are stomped by the force of the enemy. This is warfare, but how did Jesus handle it? Perhaps it's better to learn of the Master, rather than use an exercise of mental exertion.

When they bruised His Foot, the head of the enemy was crushed under it. Without knowing it, when they stomped on the Foot of Jesus, the force went right through His Foot to the head of the devil, then onto them as well.

And, behold, one of them which was with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear (26:51).

We know this was Peter, the servant was named Malchus (Jn 18:10). Peter wasn't taking careful aim at the man's ear, rather Peter's intent was to defend Jesus, thus his aim was off, instead of cutting the man's head off, he cut the "ear" off. We find the hand of God at work, if Peter was successful, he would have faced murder charges. To make sure  Peter would not face any charges, Jesus healed the man's ear (Luke 22:51).

From this time, there would be five trials, the first was before Annas the father in law of Caiaphas. Both Annas and Caiaphas were called high priests, but Caiaphas held a higher position (Jn 18:13 & Luke 3:2), thus, Jesus stood before both Annas and Caiaphas at two different times in the same house (Jn 18:24 & Matt 16:57). Then the Pharisees took Jesus to Pilate at 9:00 AM (Luke 23:3), Pilate would send Jesus to Herod (Luke 23:7-11), then Herod would send Jesus back to Pilate, which places Jesus before Pilate two times (Jn 19:4).

In reference to Judas, John gives us the saying, "of them which You gave Me have I lost none.." (Jn 18:9), as it referred to Judas as the son of perdition. By this reference we are taken to the prayer of Jesus just prior to the arrest, in which He said, "those You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; so the scripture might be fulfilled" (Jn 17:12). This shows Jesus saw the betrayal by Judas was for a purpose, thus Jesus didn't waste time holding unforgiveness against Judas, or attempting to change what the Father purposed. Could Jesus have stopped Judas? Perhaps break the man’s leg? Judas had all the information, he was well aware of being a disciple, he made up his own mind, like Balaam, he was going to do, what he was going to do. Judas opened the position for the son of perdition, those who are antichrist, all who follow in the position are still counted among the he in the world, but they each made their own choice to enter the position. Although they know the Truth, they simply refuse to walk in it. Paul makes this clear when he notes "the man of sin to be revealed, the son of perdition" (II Thess 2:3). Jesus said It's fulfilled, Paul said Yet to come, what gives? Jesus saw it complete when the prayer was done in the Garden, any prayers concerning the sons of perdition are done, there is no need to worry, ponder or pray against them, perhaps praying for them would be a good idea.

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Think you that I cannot now pray to My Father, and he shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (26:52-54).

The word Again is the one word showing how truth hit Peter's soul, it means to Separate, or Turn Quite Around, it has a root word meaning Convert as they turn from darkness to light. With one Word Jesus said, Stop attempting to save yourself and Me, let Me save you. John would later write, "he who leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword" (Rev 13:10). The Sword Jesus wants us to use is the Word of God, the sword Peter was using was the sword of destruction. Later Peter will acquire another Sword, the Sword (Rhema) of the Spirit, much better.

Jesus could have stopped this event at anytime, but as Paul said, "look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Ph'l 2:4-5). Jesus thought it not robbery to be equal to God, the Seed of God given to us is not an act of robbery on our part, it was presented as a Gift. Jesus became humble, we become humble as well, or we're not sons. Knowing who we are negates the prideful aspect of bragging about it. This self-less act of Jesus, was the greatest act of all time. When someone puts us on a Cross we can't stop it, but Jesus could. Jesus took on Himself the "form" of man for the sole purpose of becoming obedient to the Cross as the Son of man (Ph'l 2:6-8). Obedience is a factor of Faith, without humbleness joined to the obedience it's not faith, but presumption.

In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are you come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take Me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you laid no hold on Me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled (26:55-56).

The only way they could capture Jesus was for someone on the inside to betray Him. The son of perdition is not on the outside, a man's enemies are of his own household. The only way the Body can be broken is for someone on the inside to betray it. The devil knows it, but he is limited to natural and earthly things, thus he planted Tares in the Field, the Tares become the Beasts of the Field, but God knew from the foundation of the world, what the devil planned for destruction, God uses for our benefit.

And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and elders were assembled (26:57).

John expands on this, showing it was the same house, but as we noted Jesus was first questioned by Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas (Jn 18:13 & Luke 3:2). The first trial Jesus faced the Levities, the second trial He faced the Priests, thus He became the Wounded One in the Way. Neither the Levities or Priests considered what they were doing was against God, they felt they were going God a service.

The first appearance before Annas could be termed the "preliminary accusation"; they hoped for a quick confession from Jesus, but they got none. They assumed Jesus would be too frightened to do anything, but confess or justify Himself. If Jesus would have justified Himself for one second, or did one self-based effort, the Cross would have failed.

The Pharisees wanted to claim a "violation of the Law", but they were violating the same Law by their night trials, as well as bringing accusations without cause. Months prior Nicodemus told them, "does our Law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he does?" (Jn 7:50-51). It wasn't merely the Pharisees hearing the man, but having a violation of Law before they can question Him. In our case we find the Law nailed to the Cross, it can’t accuse us.

But Peter followed Him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end (26:58).

The term Far Off means Just Out Of View, like any backslider Peter stands far enough back to see what happens, but not close enough to be involved. Prior Peter saw the same religious leaders tempt Jesus, yet they couldn't touch Him, much less beat Him, but now, Jesus was on trial. Jesus submitted to these rulers, He didn't say a word to justify Himself, nor did He call fire down from heaven, nor did He turn and walk out. Peter became confused, thus when he denied the Lord, he ended up justifying himself. Judas planned an act, then carried it out. Peter on the other hand felt he was powerful, but found he was weak.

Jesus made Himself of no reputation, yet He had a Good Reputation before these religious leaders. We assume a good reputation is social acceptance, but a good reputation is when they know we love the Lord, walk in Mercy, and love not our lives unto the death.

John tells us, another disciple was with Peter, the other disciple was known to the high priest, so much so, he was able to get Peter past the woman who guarded the door (Jn 18:16). The only disciple who had any contact with the priests was Judas, Peter saw Judas betray Jesus, but Peter also heard, "what you do, do quickly". At first it seemed logical, a plan to get Jesus before the religious leaders, then Jesus would give the religious leaders the sign they wanted by establishing the Kingdom on earth. It seemed logical, but it was not the process to set up the Kingdom on earth. The Kingdom on earth is within the Born Again child of God, the Cross is about to begin the Process to make it possible.

Peter didn't deny Jesus until Jesus was struck, then his logic turned to fear. The plan wasn't turning out right, something was terribly wrong; Peter's trust was based in what he assumed would happen, when the supposed plan went errant, so did Peter. Just a few days prior Peter heard “Have faith in God", hours prior he heard "Believe Me that I Am in the Father, and the Father in Me" (Jn 14:11). Like the storm on the sea, Peter assumed it was a devil, all was lost, only this time he didn't say "if it be You Lord bid me to come". As Peter looked at the Master he knew what real courage was all about. This courage went further than dying in a good fight, it called for complete Mercy when there was no reason to grant it.

We wonder why Jesus didn't stop Judas; perhaps Jesus was tricking Judas, or using him to bring the prophecy to pass? No, Jesus simply allowed Judas to receive the available information, then make his own decision. Jesus used the decision to complete  the Will of God, but Jesus didn't hinder, or encourage the decision. The "fear of God" centers in humbleness, thus we submit to the Hand of God, rather than attempt to direct it. Peter’s problem was the old nature, the same problem we all face. The old nature tells us the flesh is strong, but that born of the flesh is weak. Peter watched Jesus time and again rebuke the religious leaders, or simply walk away. Now this is happening, it was completely out of the “norm”, he was confused and frightened.

Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death; but found none: yes, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days (26:59-61).

Proverbs says, "hatred stirs up strife: but love covers all sins" (Prov 10:12). The Pharisees went through all the other false witnesses to come up with these two. These two witnesses gave a factual statement, but twisted it as they added just a few words out of context to make the fact a lie. Without John's account we wouldn't know where these two witnesses gained their information. This trial is in Jerusalem, two years prior when Jesus cleaned the temple the first time, He also said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn 2:19). Jesus never said, He would destroy the temple, rather it was directed at the Jews destroying the body of Jesus, yet He said He would raise it. These false witnesses had to go all the way back to the beginning, yet they twisted the statement. Their intent was based in slander, not Truth. Using the Scriptures without faith in Jesus will twist the intent from Truth and Salvation, to Slander and Judgment.

Proverbs also tells us, "a naughty person, a wicked man, walks with a forward mouth" (Prov 6:12), with "these six things does the Lord hate, yes, seven are an abomination unto Him" (Prov 6:16). The first six the Lord hates, but they lead to the seventh making the all seven an abomination. The Lord hates a "proud look, a lying tongue, hands shedding innocent blood, a heart devising wicked imaginations, feet swift in running to mischief, and a false witness speaking lies" (Prov 6:17-19). These are things not people, yet they are found with people. If the person uses the deed, they are associated to the deed. All of these are found in these two false witnesses, as well as those who encouraged them. The witnesses lied, but they were encouraged by the religious leaders, it was the religious leaders who loved the lie, yet they depended on Judas to complete their evil plan. The seventh point is, "he who sows discord among brethren" (Prov 6:19). It's one thing to say the Body should be in harmony, another to go about cursing the Body because it isn't. The religious leaders were sitting in the seat of Moses, but they were using the seat of Satan producing the abomination.

And the high priest arose, and said unto Him, Answer You nothing? what is it which these witness against You? But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You be the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus said unto him, You have said: nevertheless I say unto you, Here after shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (26:62-64).

Caiaphas asked for Jesus to admit He was "the Christ, the Son of God", but Jesus said, "the Son of man". This goes right back to the forty day fast, the three temptations of the devil centered on, "If You are the Son of God..."; the religious leaders  were doing the works of their father the devil. The two false witnesses said Jesus was going to destroy the temple, yet Jesus would point out, the high priest is the one who claimed Jesus is the Christ, yet Jesus is standing as the "Son of man", not the "Son of God"; this will remain true throughout the day. The Spirit of Holiness will declare Jesus the Son of God by the Resurrection, thus the same Spirit resides in us, making us sons of God.

This also gives us another mystery, the disciples were not speaking of Jesus being the Christ in any regard at this time, but everyone else was as they used the title to accuse Jesus. Jesus spoke of false Christ’s, those who lacked the position and Spirit to be Christ-like. The disciples are seeing how someone can “speak” about Christ, but do so in an evil manner. Spiritual things are still foolishness to naturally minded people.

Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, he has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now you have heard His blasphemy. What think you? They answered and said, He is guilty of death (26:65-66).

This is a case of manipulation, the high priest let his opinion be broadcast, then he asks for support; these "yes men" would have claimed whatever the high priest said. Many days prior these same religious leaders heard Jesus say, "Is it not written, in your Law, I said you are gods? If He called them gods unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say you of Him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme because I said, I am the Son of God?" (Jn 10:34-36 & Ps 82:1-6). Jesus plainly said it, but said it in context with Scripture. Then the Jews told Jesus, "for a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, make Yourself God" (Jn 10:33). The Pharisees had the right words, but the wrong order, Jesus was not a man making Himself God, but the Word of God who made Himself a man, they just refused to receive it.

Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, You Christ, Who is he that smote You? (26:67-68).

The Passover had to be accepted by the people, then killed. These priests accepted Jesus as the Passover, but they didn't know it. These men knew the Old Testament better than most of us, yet they never knew they were completing prophecy. If we know we're completing prophecy, we're not. Caiaphas still thought he was doing God a service, but his intent was to change God's will, not accept it. He ended fighting God, although he was not in the will of God, he ended completing it.

Caiaphas would use the statements of the false witnesses to prove his point as he claimed Jesus came to destroy the temple by setting up the abomination, but Caiaphas mixed his envy with his theology, producing doctrines of devils. Now we can see how their past history played into this, they could claim Jesus has come to destroy the Temple and replace the priestly order.

Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, You also were with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what you say (26:69-70).

The phrase "Before them all", doesn't mean Peter stood in front of the synagogue, rather it means he denied the Lord in front of those around him. John tells us this is the damsel who kept the door (Jn 18:17), thus she would have known Peter gained entry with the other disciple. Peter doesn't deny Jesus, rather he denies his connection with Jesus. Peter didn't say, "I don't know Him", rather he said, "you don't know what you're talking about"; thus Peter is attempting to separate himself from the accused. When any brother or sister is accused, yet we deny them, we are weak in the Faith as was Peter at this time. Peter found it was easy to stand with Jesus under friendly circumstances, even to the point of a good fight, but when it came to the test of fire, it took a courage he lacked. It's one thing to stand for Jesus when they accuse us, another to stand when they accuse our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Of course we must ask where are the other ten? Hiding.

And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth (26:71).

Peter left the first group, thinking he's safe, but here comes another. Peter has moved from saying, "You're the Christ", to, "Jesus, who?". With the woman at the gate, it was "Jesus of Galilee", Galilee is the entire area in which Nazareth is located, but now someone else sees Peter, and she tells all those around, “Jesus of Nazareth"; therefore, it went from the general location, to Jesus Himself. Peter is against the wall now, he must give some answer but what?

We can tell Judas was the other disciple by the phrase, “was also with”, meaning another in the same location who was with Jesus as well.

And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man (26:72).

First Peter told them, You guys don't know what you're saying: but now he adds an Oath to his denial. Prior Peter told Jesus, You know not what You're saying; now Peter is saying it, and knows not why he is. The words are coming out of Peter's mouth, he sees his confession is not what he thought it would be. Each denial adds to the last, as fast as Peter was ready to fight, he is ready to run. Is this the same Peter? Yes, he is no different from any naturally minded person. Peter wasn't the center of attention, he wasn't on trial, he was merely an observer of these events, yet he failed to see God was in control, his eyes went back to the storm. The moment Peter's thoughts went to a God Isn't thinking, unbelief entered, with failure close behind. At this time Peter was not privy to Grace or the Spirit, nor the Ingress Aries. In fact, he wasn’t even baptized in water in the Name of Jesus at this time. Therefore, we can't use him to excuse those times we deny the Lord, rather he is an example of anyone who lacks the Spirit in the face of this type of adversity.

And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, surely you also are one of them; for your speech betrays you. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crowed (26:73-74).

Luke says the second denial came one hour before the third; thus the second was at 2:00 AM which was the exact time Jesus was being beaten. Peter saw the face of Jesus; however, it doesn't mean Peter looked on the actual face of Jesus, rather it indicates Peter remembered the face of Jesus, the compassion, the mercy and the love when Jesus said, Peter, you will deny Me (Luke 22:61-62). In the midst of our foolishness we have to recall, Jesus is looking at us.

The one who accused Peter at this time was a kinsman of Malchus, the man who suffered from the sword of Peter (Jn 18:26). Things are getting personal, Peter added his oath, or swore by the temple. Since this man was related to Malchus, it explains the phrase, "for your speech betrays you". Peter's own speech did betray him, but not in the manner suspected by the kinsman of Malchus. The third step to denial is to curse and swear, allowing anger, hate, bitterness and self-justification as rulers of darkness to guide and instruct.

Even if we can't justify ourselves, we will yell to frighten the accuser. First it was the attempt to separate from the danger, then separate from the person in the danger, then separate from the person’s home or ministry. It appeared as if the religious rulers were in control, why didn’t Jesus just walk out? What happened? Did He lose His power?

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, you shall deny Me three times. And he went out, and wept bitterly (26:75).

Matthew and Luke tell us the same thing; when Peter remembered the words of Jesus, it was the same as Jesus turning and looking upon Peter. In those hard times we must run to the Word in us as we seek clarity, rather than attempt to save our own souls. The phrase, "Wept Bitterly", is the factor separating the repentance of Peter, from the self-repentance of Judas. The word Bitterly means Violently, the violent are those who know how  to repent properly, they are the ones who take the Kingdom.

While Peter is denying the Lord, the beatings are going on; as Jesus is receiving the stripes they would set Peter free, Peter is still attempting to use his own ability to free himself. Peter walked with the Lord, saw the sick healed and the dead raised, he saw Jesus do many things beyond the power of man, but he also heard, "could you not pray with Me for one hour".

When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death (27:1).

Luke's Account shows the chief priests and elders questioned Jesus a second time. Considering the arrest was around midnight to 1:00 AM (based on the third denial), it would mean Jesus was questioned then beaten for some five to six hours continually. Luke also points out, the chief priests asked Jesus, "Are you the Christ, tell us", He answered them, "If I tell you, you will not believe: and if I also ask you, you will not answer Me, nor let Me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God". If Jesus said, Yes, they won't believe Him, or accept the answer. If He said, No, they would accuse Him of changing for their benefit; regardless of what Jesus said, they were not willing to believe. In this case they not only lacked Mercy, they lacked any justice at all, they were slandering, mocking and allowing the spirit of man to guide them.

In response to this, the religious rulers stated, "Are you then the Son of God?", Jesus answered, "You say that I am". Their actions were completing prophecy, thus their acts were admitting Jesus is the Son of the Living God, yet Jesus pointed to the Son of man going to the Cross. Pharisees say, "Show me in the Scriptures", when we do, they say "I don't believe it", why ask to begin with? Instead of discerning what was happening, the Pharisees trusted in their self-determination, then retorted with, "what need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth" (Luke 22:67-71). It wasn't out of the mouth of Jesus, it was out of their own mouths, all Jesus did was agree.

And when they had bound Him, they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor (27:2).

The seat of judgment was Pilate's chair, which was located in the hall of judgment (Matt 27:19 & Jn 18:28). Accordingly Pilate was the only one who could condemn anyone to death, yet the Jews made the determination before bringing Jesus to Pilate; therefore, Mark shows Jesus was as good as crucified at the "third hour" (9:00 AM - Mark 15:25). Mark and the other writers tell us Jesus went to the Cross at noon, He was physically dead at 3:00 PM, but the sun wouldn't set till around 5:00 PM, thus it took two hours to gain permission to take the Body of Jesus down, one hour for each year of earthly ministry.

Jesus died a physical death, not a spiritual, or a soulish death. One cannot kill a spirit, and one cannot kill their spiritual ability, they can reject it, choke it out, abuse it or lose it, but they can't kill it. Jesus couldn't die a soulish death, yet fight the battle in hell, thus a soul cannot cease to exist. The first death is the soul separated from the fleshly body, the second death is a complete separation from any attribute connected to God.

Peter quoted David on the Day of Pentecost making reference to Jesus by saying, “because You will not leave My soul in hell, either will You suffer Your Holy One to see corruption" (Acts 2:27). The prophecy pointed to the separation of the Soul from the Flesh, noting it was the Soul doing the battle. The Seal of the Holy Spirit is our assurance of entering the Resurrection Process of Jesus. The Cross produced a death of the flesh, it’s by this method we are allowed to impute the flesh dead on the Cross of Jesus. If the soul of Jesus died, then there would not be a saving of our soul.

The giving of the Blood and Water began on earth, but the Sacrifice was given in heaven. The flesh of Jesus was still holy, thus He obtained the same flesh, but in our case the old corrupted flesh must be put off, so we can gain a Glorified flesh. Therefore, the Spirit in us began a process changing our souls to think on Spiritual matters, not fleshly matters, bringing to pass “that Born of the Spirit is Spirit”, as we reach the end of our Faith even the salvation of our souls (I Pet 1:9). The Cross is Mercy, our beginning Point, but without the grave and power of the Resurrection the Cross becomes vain.

The Jews knew they needed the approval of Pilate, but they also wanted Pilate to do their dirty work, thereby keeping their hands clean of death so they could partake of their Passover meal, then claim the Romans killed Jesus. They had a plan, make it appear as if Jesus was about to bring about the old priesthood by reestablishing the king priest order. We find it in the various accusations, “He says He is the Christ”, “He says He is the King of the Jews”, confirming their fears.

Pharisees always look for someone to do their dirty work, more often than not, we end doing it for them. Pilate would give them permission, his soldiers would do the labor, but the entire act was produced by the demands of the religious rulers. Yet it had to be, the Romans didn't partake of the Passover, Rome wasn't the nation picked of God, Pilate wasn't a priest and Herod was anything but a priest. The Passover had to be accepted by the people, accepted and killed by the religious leaders or the Passover would be rejected and unclean. These religious rulers weren't acting like it, but their deed was Marvelous in the eyes of God. The time for the religious leaders would be after the Resurrection.

Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when He saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders (27:3).

The term, "repented himself" tells us Judas repented because the situation didn't turn out the way he wanted, rather than being sorry to whom he had sinned against, he was sorry things didn’t turn out the way he wanted. The Greek word for the phrase Repented Himself is Metamellomai meaning To express a desire to what is done, or To be undone, through self-reliance, with no change of heart. Paul used this word in writing to the Corinthians, showing he was sorry in rebuking them, but didn't repent to the Lord for doing so, rather he felt sorrow for having to use the words, but gladness for the opportunity to bring about Godly correction (II Cor 7:8). In this case Judas ran to the enemy attempting to buy back his evil deed, but his heart was the same old evil heart; whereas, Paul's heart was pure before and after the rebuke. Peter on the other hand repented for what he did, as well as to Whom he did it. Peter didn't want to undo what he did, he wanted to be forgiven for what he did, much different from the heart of Judas.

The religious leaders were not among the disciples, they didn't receive the call, whereas Judas did. Peter said, those who follow in the position of the son of perdition are self-willed, while they promise us liberty, they themselves are servants of corruption (II Pet 2:10-19). They received Mercy, were saved from the world, escaping the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Jesus (Mercy), but they failed to gain the Wisdom of God (Grace), their latter end is worse than their beginning (II Pet 2:20-22).

The thirty pieces of silver came from the treasury, but the Pharisees took a different view of the same silver when it' was tossed in their face. Matthew adds to the importance of the thirty pieces of silver later.

Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that (27:4).

It would appear Judas repented, but it's to whom he repented that draws attention, and the means he used. Judas gave money for his repentance, he knew he sinned and betrayed innocent blood, he also knew what to do about it, but didn’t. He didn’t go back to the Cross, he didn’t run to Jesus to be forgiven, he attempted to reverse the event by giving back his “reward”.

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself (27:5).

Judas hung himself with such force his bowels burst out, as he fell "head long" into hell (Acts 1:18). There is a thought of Judas being so overweight, he was crushed as a cart pushed him against a building, but the Scriptures say he hung himself.

And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood (27:6).

It was the same price of Blood when it came out of the treasury, the hypocrisy of the religious rulers didn’t change; self-deception is foolishness before God.

And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The Field Of Blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me (27:7-10).

Most of us look at a concordance where we find Jeremiah didn't specifically mention "thirty pieces of silver"; however, the prophet Zechariah specifically noted the thirty pieces of silver, but it was Jeremiah who would give us the cause. Zechariah wrote, "And I took My staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break My covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock who waited upon Me knew it was the word of the Lord. And I said unto them, If you think good, give Me My price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Then I cut asunder My other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel" (Zech 11:10-14). The Law of Moses tells us the price for the redemption of a female is thirty pieces of silver (Lev 27:4). Jeremiah shows the reason, thus it's the reason drawing our attention. God asked Israel for a Divorce, based on Her fornication, as God said, "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks” (Jere 3:8-9). Not only was the price paid, but it was given back, in so doing the redemption of Judah and the Remnant was paid for. The Father isn't looking for a Bride, He seeks His grand-children (Remnant); Jesus is looking for a Bride, as the Spirit is helping Her prepare Herself.

And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked Him saying, Are You the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, You say it. And when He was accused of the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing (27:11-12)

Pilate is of course the governor, the chief priests and elders were now witnesses against Jesus. Jesus first went before Pilate, then to Herod, than back to Pilate, it was in front of Herod where Jesus was asked to do miracles (Luke 23:3-8). John confirms Pilate held two trials, as he writes, "Pilate entered into the judgment hall again" (Jn 19:3). The word Again refers to the second time, at the time Pilate asked, "are You the King of  the Jews?". Instead of Jesus saying, "You say so"; He said, "Say you this thing of yourself, or did others tell it to you of Me?" (Jn 18:33-34). While Jesus was before Herod, the religious leaders held another meeting with Pilate to convince Pilate to crucify Jesus. It becomes evident by the wording both Jesus and Pilate use.

Jesus will suffer five trials, but in three different places, the first and second would be in the house of the high priest, which was connected to the Temple, the same Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, then to the judgment hall of Pilate, then to Herod's temple, then back to Pilate. The remains of Herod's temple are still around, but the Temple in Jerusalem  was destroyed. Today as far as the Temple itself, there is a massive search to unearth the temple site, it's believed to be in the same place in which the Dome of the Rock Mosque stands, which is interesting. Since the Muslims are direct descendants of Ishmael, it would almost appear as if Ishmael has made the temple his footstool. However, we know this as a sign from God telling us certain things are in line, but "not yet", as the Gentile is treading the city under foot.

Pilate being connected to Rome also had a purpose in this, not only did the priests prepare the Passover, but the Gentiles in the land were also involved. Pilate as Rome’s representative washed his hands, but he also provided the guards as Rome gave consent. The Passover had to die at the hands of a Jew, or it wasn’t a Passover lamb, but in order to include the Gentiles in the Cross, there needed to be Gentile involvement. God had it all accounted for, nothing was left out. This complexity was seen by God before the foundation of the world, Pilate wanted to release Jesus, the Jews did not, thus they were the ones who caused the Lamb to be slain.

The robe would be placed on Jesus when He is before Herod, but it was Pilate's soldiers who would put the crown of thorns on Him (Jn 19:2). The Robe held importance, the words Raiment, Garment, Robe and Clothes, are all from the same Greek word, but the Holy Ghost wants us to know there are various meanings for the Robe of Importance, as we will see. Jesus was stripped, His clothes were put back on Him for the journey to the Cross, at the Cross the soldiers took His clothes away from Him as well as the robe (Jn 19:23-24). Jesus was clothed on the way to the Cross, but He was naked on the Cross, this He did for us, for all those times we were ashamed and embarrassed, or those times someone made fun of us.

The road to the Cross will hold many things for us, even these trials tell us Jesus took all the injustice upon Himself. Whether the injustice is before the religious leaders, or the civil rulers, or those appointed by the civil government, it doesn't matter, He took it all. This doesn't mean we can do evil and not receive what we sow, nor does it mean we won't be unjustly accused, rather it shows there is no reason to justify ourselves, they could have no power against us, unless it's granted from on high. Also we know true repentance corrects the error, but self-repentance makes the error greater.

Then said Pilate unto Him, Hear You not how many things they witness against You? And He answered him to never a word: insomuch that the governor marveled greatly (27:13-14).

The natural instinct of man is to proclaim his innocence, even if he's not innocent. Paul told Timothy, Jesus witnessed a Good confession before Pontius Pilate, yet Jesus didn't defend Himself, rather the display was the Mercy of the Father through Jesus (I Tim 6:13). There is more to confessing Jesus than speaking great swelling words of theology. Timothy was told not to engage in strife of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing gain is Godliness (I Tim 6:4-6). Mark and Luke show Jesus answered Pilate during the first trial with "You said it" (Mark 15:2 & Luke 23:3), but John shows the second trial is where the Confession came forth. Jesus told Pilate, "You could have no power at all against Me, except it were given you from above: therefore he delivered Me unto you has the greater sin" (Jn 19:11). The Greater sin is on the head of all who join to the position of the son of perdition, they are forgiven, they have power over the wiles of the enemy, yet they use the wiles to their advantage. Pilate was the civil authority, he could do nothing unless God ordained it, but God gives those in the kingdom authority and power over the enemy. God didn't manipulate Pilate, or the Jewish religious leaders, rather it was God allowing man to be man. God saw all their thoughts and intents before the foundation of the world, thus He worked their actions into the Plan.

Now at the feast the governor was used to releasing unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.  Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will you that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called the Christ?  (27:15-17).

Barabbas was a murderer, thief and all around bad guy, by Pilate picking Barabbas it would not seem logical, but it was still ordained from on high. Pilate didn't want to release Barabbas, but he narrowed the choice down to Barabbas "the bad guy", or Jesus "the innocent". History tells us the first name of Barabbas was Jesus, the name Barabbas means, "son of a father". Here we have the choice between, Barabbas the bad guy who is also known as "Jesus son of a father", on one hand, and Jesus of Nazareth, the innocent One, who is "Jesus Son of The Father". The choice would dictate the decision the people made.

James and John should have been praising God for unanswered prayer about this time. Pilate felt sure the Jews would pick the one called the Christ, over a man known to kill, rob, steal and destroy; however, Pilate didn't know, the term "religious leader" didn't necessarily mean they "loved God".

For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him (27:18).

Envy and jealousy are two different words, jealousy is the fear of losing something we think we possess, envy is the lustful desire to have something someone else has when we are not willing to pay the same price to get it, or we are willing to destroy those who have something we can't obtain. Even if they do get the possession, the desire of envy is not filled, soon they want more, what they have isn’t good enough. The religious leaders delivered Jesus because they were run by the spirit lusting to envy; they used force, anger, envy and manipulation; whereas, Jesus used love, mercy, kindness, healings, and compassion; all of which were part of His Confession.

When he was sat down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have you nothing to do with that just Man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him, but the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus (27:19-20).

Now Pilate has the added pressure from his wife, it would almost seem New Age for Matthew to tell us this heathen woman suffered in a dream because of Jesus; however, God gave Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and others dreams, the purpose is important. The dream caused Pilate to wash his hands of the event; thereby, giving the responsibility to kill the Passover in the hands of the religious leaders where it must be. Pilate had the testimony of the religious leaders saying Jesus was unjust, but he also has the witness of his wife saying Jesus is just (innocent). Pilate was between the Rock and a hard place, instead of using his authority, he turned from it.

The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the two will you that I release unto you? They said Barabbas. Pilate said unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all said unto him, Let Him be crucified (27:21-22).

Pilate never expected to hear these people who proclaimed "love thy neighbor" say, "Crucify Him". Pilate also assumed the beatings would suffice the morbid instincts of the people; however, he found they had their minds set on the Cross, nothing would change them. Although their intent wasn't the purest, their drive to the Cross is our example. Once we put our eyes on the Cross we continue on; however, when we have the Cross in hand, we find Jesus isn't on it. We then drive on to the grave (wilderness) where we battle the great war, but then we find Jesus isn't there either. We fight on with great vigor to find the Lord in the Power of the Resurrection, there is where we gain the New Man.

Pilate heard Herod was in town, and he took advantage of the opportunity, thus sending Jesus to Herod. Pilate assumed, Out of sight, out of mind but then the religious leaders grabbed the ear of Pilate and wouldn't let go. The four accounts tell us Pilate attempted three times to release Jesus, as Luke writes, "and he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil has He done?" (Luke 23:22). Peter denied Him three times, Pilate attempted to save Him three times, neither could stop or add to what God had planned, truly God reigns supreme.

And the governor said, Why, what evil has He done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let Him be crucified (27:23).

Barabbas the killer was whom they wanted released, yet what great evil did this one called Jesus the Christ do? Pilate asked a simple question, yet there was no answer, only words of hate and anger. Pilate wanted the people to question their motive, but the blind can't open the eyes of the blind.

During this entire event the Jews still failed to bring any specific charge against Jesus, all they could think of was, "Crucify Him". Not only couldn't they place a violation of the Law of Moses against Jesus, they couldn't find one civil law to place against Him either, yet they cried all the more, "Crucify Him". Blind Bartimaeus cried all the more, "Jesus, You Son of David, have mercy on me"; the religious rulers cried all the more "Crucify Him". Two different intents, two different requests, with two different responses from Jesus.

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the Blood of this just person: see you to it (27:24).

This act of Pilate was still a form of manipulation, he placed the blame back on the people. In his mind, Perhaps, if this man is the Son of God and if his wife was right, this one public act would remove the Blood; however, refusal to act for the Just doesn't free us of the guilt. Pilate knew the Jews held blood in high regard, this was the Passover, the one day to honor the blood on the Door, perhaps a beating would satisfy them. Prior Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I Am the door of the sheep" (Jn 10:7). He also said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin, and the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed" (Jn 8:34-36). Without the Blood, the Door isn't protected, we enter by the Door of Christ, the Remnant enter the Time of Comfort by the Door to the House of David; however, only the Door of Christ has the Blood of Christ, only the Door of Christ opens to heaven.

Then answered all the people, and said, His Blood be on us, and on our children (27:25).

With their attitude this would be a foolish statement, they are proclaiming the guilt of the Blood. God told the people of Israel many years prior, "so you shall not pollute the land wherein you are: for blood defiles the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood shed therein; but by the blood of him who shed it. Defile not therefore the land which you shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel" (Numb 35:33-34). The Blood of Jesus calls from the ground, yet the Woman is found with the blood of the saints and prophets, blood cast aside is still blood that must be accounted for.

Then released he Barabbas unto them, and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified (27:26).

Herod's men also beat Jesus, but here Pilate scourged Him. Pilate is still using manipulation as he is attempting to move around his responsibility, finally he turns Jesus over to the religious leaders to be crucified; however, the actual labor was to be done by the Roman soldiers, by the Roman method, but at the demands of the religious rulers and their followers. It had to be at the request of the Jews, no one else can kill the Passover, but the method had to be Gentile. The Cross became the place where Jew and Gentile could become neither Jew or Gentile.

The method of scourging was by the use of the wipe known as a “cat of nine tails”, they wet the wipe in water, drag it along the ground to pick up bits of glass or small rocks. They would then begin to scourge the person around the legs, working up to the head and face. Most people would confess to anything by the first two or three, yet they had a rule which was held by many for years to come. If they person doing the scourging went over 40 lashes, they would become subject to a beating, thus the count was forty, but they would stop at thirty-nine to be safe. Paul made mention of this to the Corinthians when he said, “of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one” (II Cor 11:24), meaning one from forty leaving thirty-nine.

The back of the victim being scourged would have bones and sinew exposed. It was also felt the cries of pain and begging for mercy were signs of guilt, yet Jesus never cried out, nor did He ask for mercy, this event was to give Mercy, not ask for it. This is still part of the Good Confession before Pilate. Is it any wonder Peter knew he couldn't confess Jesus, as Jesus confessed the Father?

Isaiah said, "His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men" (Isa 52:14). Jesus took all our punishment for all our sins, not just the sin of Adam, the Cross frees us from the power of sin, the result of sin, which is death, but we also need the Remission of sin by the Blood through the Spirit to complete the Process.

Isaiah also said, "Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isa 53:4). The word Griefs means, Anxiety, Worry, or Disease, a Disease is anything making us Out of ease. The word Sorrows means, Afflictions, in this sense it means, Pain, Suffering, or Distress. The Affliction of God troubles our soul to bring exposure, the affliction Isaiah refers to is suffering as a result of the curse of the Law. Isaiah also said, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed" (Isa 53:5). The word Bruised means Beat To Pieces, the word Wounded means Profaned, or Mocked; the word, Stripes means the Mark Itself Caused By The Beating; and the word, Healed means To Mend, or To Heal A Deep Wound referring to the physical and mental. By His stripes our souls are healed, as well as our bodies, for most of us it’s important.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe (27:27-28).

The common hall was a place open to the public, so all the people there can see what’s going on. By this time Judas hung himself, Peter was in his wilderness seeing who he really is for the first time. Pilate assumed through his Roman mind, if this Jesus is innocent, the people will know it by His survival of the beating; if this Jesus is guilty, He will either die, or cry out confessing His crime, either way Pilate assumed he would escape, but Pilate never heard Jesus cry out, and Jesus survived the beating, yet they are still calling out “Crucify Him”. According to Pilate's way of thinking this Jesus proved His innocence, Pilate now has a choice to make as well. Will he bow to the people? Or stand for what he knows is right?

The Robe again is portrayed, Luke tells us it was first placed on Jesus by Herod's men (Luke 23:11), showing the robe was on Jesus when He approached Pilate the second time. Matthew calls the robe Scarlet, representing a change in color as the Blood of  Jesus poured into the robe. Luke doesn't give a color, but says  it was Gorgeous (Luke 23:11), Mark says it was Purple (Mark 15: 20), as does John (Jn 19:2). Matthew used the Greek Kokinos meaning a Crimson color, but this Greek word has a root word of Kokkos, from which we get our English word Cocoon, connecting it to the Transfiguration. Blind Bartimaeus cast away his defiled robe, Jesus wore ours soaked with His Blood. This Baptism of Blood brings the Pure and Undefiled Garment of Grace as our Glorified position. The Robe was removed for the beating, but put back on showing the color change.

However, the use of the Greek Kokinos gives us more of the shape, than a color, this Robe was one piece without Seam (Jn 19:23). Luke uses the Greek Lampros meaning Bright, John used the Greek Porphurous meaning Bluish Red, Mark used the Greek Porphura meaning Reddish Blue or Purple, the color of royalty. Putting all of this together, we find the robe was one piece, shaped like the robe of Aaron as the high priest (Ex 28:30-38). It was also the color of the veil in the temple (Ex 26:1). It began as purple, but the Blood of Jesus mixed with the purple became a Blood stained covering as a symbol of the us washing our robes in the Blood of Christ, a Process to reach the Royalty.

And when they had plated a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (27:29).

The size of the thorns is debatable, some say two inches, some say less, but the area of the scalp near the temple was so tender any size would cause great pain. Jesus told us the "cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts for other things" are all thorns (Mark 4:18-19). Paul was struck with a thorn in the flesh from the carnal minded Corinthians. Thorns cause pain as they torment our minds, thorns are also curse related, yet Jesus took them all. Jesus wore a crown of thorns for us, yet He gives us the Royal Crown of Life.

All of these things are happening before the Cross, we must Remember both the Body and Blood in Communion. If this beating caused the stripes Peter believed healed him, why do we assume they can't heal us? How can we take the Body of Jesus, yet reject all the pain the Body went through? We receive the stripes, then we have an ear to hear what the Lord would have us do in reference to those stripes. Each stripe of the whip represented some element of the Curse of the Law as it applies to our flesh, each small stone, or bit of glass represented all those tares, hurts and pains. There was nothing left out, none of us can say, "Oh Lord you don't know the things I suffer".

The Cross finished the course as far as the Law of Moses or the world is concerned. No aspect of the Law of Moses could pass through the Cross; if one point passed they all passed; therefore, holding to any aspect of the Law of Moses to gain any benefit from God, moves us from the Cross, not toward it.

In the Old Testament a sin had to be paid for in some manner, even David had to pick one of three punishments. Sin must be accounted for, merely sending a deed for a temporary covering doesn’t forgive the sin, nor remits it, it merely balances it, the wages of sin are still death. The Cross took all those things against us, the Ten Commandments proves man is incapable, the Law of Moses defines sin, applies death as the punishment, Jesus made sure the Cross became a place of separation, the place where we are free of the Law.

Today there are those who seek Philosophy, Psychotherapy, Formulas, Bow To The East, Stand On Our Heads, Exercise, New Age and all the other concepts of man to heal their souls, yet the healing is found by being Born Again after we receive the Cross. What does the world use? The wisdom of man, how is something earthly, soulish and devilish going to heal our souls? Yet, the Cross without the Resurrection wouldn't have proven a thing. We need both the Cross and Resurrection in order to gain the fullness of either. We may never know the Power of the Resurrection until we face Jesus, but it doesn't stop us from seeking it, or holding to it.

The Greek word Dunamis means Power, but it's only relative to who has it, and what it’s for, or if it is being used within the confines of the Authority granted. Even the false prophet has Dunamis, but that form of power is unto destruction, it cannot heal, save or bring joy. It’s the same Dunamis the world uses (Rev 13:1-2).

Isaiah said by His stripes we Are healed, which is a present tense usage for a future event, showing God already saw the Cross and the events long before man knew what a Cross was. Isaiah said this some 700 years before the Cross, why would it change after the Cross? The error of the Pharisees was assuming it had passed, when in fact it didn't, their own error caused them to miss it. Peter sees these events as Past Tense, thus he agrees with God and calls them a Were, while for some they are yet future tense. Therefore, it's not a matter of faith in and of itself, but a matter of receiving something already done, which  entails a point of belief, before faith can reach to the result. The healing may or may not be physical, whether we’re healed or not isn’t the issue, whether we believe the Stripes of Jesus works is. We want the evidence, so people won’t give us the “look” if we’re not healed immediately. It’s looking at the storm, rather than Jesus. We keep our eyes on Jesus, not on the storm.

Peter's letter places the stripes with the beating by saying, Jesus did no sin, nor was there any guile found in His mouth, when He was reviled, He didn't revile back, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously (I Pet 2:22-23). It has to be the attitude we have when we receive the stripes, we submit to the Lord, regardless of what man does (Heb 13:6).

Jesus took our place as He stood as our Advocate, He took upon Himself the punishment for our rebellion and sins, so we don't have to receive the punishment, or pay the price. In this case Jesus took the reaping for all those things we sowed. Peter then tells us, as Jesus hung on the Cross the sins of all men were absorbed, so we can be dead to the flesh, yet live in His righteousness, by "Whose stripes you were healed" (I Pet 2:24). If we said "Lord save me", or if we sought the living water, we also received, "Heal me O LORD and I SHALL be healed; save me and I SHALL be saved: for You are my praise" (Jere 17:14). Peter’s word for Healed is used in respect to healing, it's the root word for Physician, thus we can't discount the flesh in this, it must be included, but neither do we want to discount the soul.

The old man will also put his two cents in, "don't look like you're healed to me", of course there will be the unbelievers who come around saying, "well, looks like a mind game to me", or “looks like you lack faith”, but putting our trust in Jesus is never a mind game. It doesn't matter if we appear healed or not, what matters is our trust in God.

And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him (27:30-31).

Rejecting the beating, or what it entailed is mocking Jesus. Whether we obtain or not isn't the question, whether we believe or not, is. The Robe was not on Jesus when He was on the Cross, John confirms this, as he says, the soldiers had the Robe, but they took the garments of Jesus and parted them into four shares, but the Coat (robe) they left intact, for it was woven from the top throughout (Jn 19:23-24). Jesus was beaten so badly He could hardly stand; He didn't have the entire Cross with Him, rather they carried the Cross piece which weighed between one hundred and two hundred pounds, depending on which point in history one adheres to, but nonetheless for a person who had been beaten to the degree Jesus was, the weight was great. Jesus knows the weight of our Cross is great; therefore, He tells us to pick it up, once we pick it up, He will carry it for us.

The upright piece was already in the ground, the victim was nailed and tied to the Cross piece then hoisted to a place approximately two thirds up, where the ties were removed, but the nails stayed. The upright piece above the Cross piece would keep the victim from throwing their head back and breaking their neck before the punishment could take it's full effect. The victim's arms were not tied but nailed through the carpus area of the wrist, with the palms of the hands twisted inward and placed against the wood. This caused the bones in the shoulders near the neck to begin to dislocate. The victims feet were placed one over the other then nailed through the top, this allowed the victim to push up and keep their shoulders from dislocating completely; however, after a time the person would pass out, causing the body weight to drop, dislocating the shoulders with the bones slamming together in the throat area, thereby causing the person to choke to death. If they didn't pass out, their legs would be broke causing the body weight to fall, causing death by torment and choking. Out of all the means man has devised to kill man, the Cross is by far the most hideous and insane. It was bad enough to shout, "Crucify Him", but to stand there and watch it? The heart of man is deceitful and wicked, who can know it?

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear His Cross (27:32).

From the Cross to the grave we learn what Deny the Self means, but we must enter the grave to reach the wisdom of deny the self. The Cross heals our bodies and minds, as it separates us from the darkness, but it can't save our souls, neither can our souls enter Grace without the Spirit as the Word in us (James 1:21).

How can we apply our own ability to obtain our salvation, yet face the Cross of Jesus? How can we run about doing points of the Law, yet claim the Cross upon which the Law is nailed? How can we continue to say we are Christ Like, yet deny the very foundation of the Cross? How can we claim to confess Jesus, yet not have the Witness of Christ in us? How can anyone who claims to love Jesus, know about the Cross continue to hold religious conceit, ego, pride, or unbelief? Every word known to us regarding the sons of perdition shows Jesus died for them as well, thus they came to the Cross, made Jesus their Savior, but rejected the purpose. The flesh profits nothing, it's the Spirit bringing Life, thus the Cross is the first step, unless one continues to Believe the phrase “shall be saved” will not apply.

And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of the skull, they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink (27:33-34).

Prophecy was coming to pass in front of these people, the very backbone of their religion was unfolding, yet they didn't see it. John calls the people of the world "floods", in Psalm 69 we find, "I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me" (Ps 69:2), then, "O God You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from You" (Ps 69:5). This doesn't mean, Jesus committed sin, rather it means He took upon Himself our sins, and not one sin is untouched. Every sin from times past, times present, and times future are all taken care of, but one must receive by believing they have received in order to partake of the benefit.

Psalm 69 also says, "They gave Me also gall for My meat, in My thirst they gave Me Vinegar to drink. Let their table become a snare before them: and what should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap" (Ps 69:21-22) with, "let them be blotted out of the book of the living" (Ps 69:28), and "But I am poor and sorrowful: let Your salvation, O God, set Me up on High. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock who has horns or hoofs" (Ps 69:29-31). In the Book of Hebrews we read, "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb 13:15-16).

Luke calls this hill Calvary (Luke 23:33), which is the Greek rendering for the Hebrew Golgotha, meaning Head or Skull, with a root word of Galal meaning Trust. Calvary is the Greek Kranion meaning Cranium it’s translated as Skull three times, and Calvary once, all of which point to this locale (Matt 27:33, Mark 15:22, Luke 23:33 & Jn 19:17). Jesus as the Head of the Body, earned the position by His Sacrifice, by the Faith of Jesus  the path of Righteousness was paved for us. On the way to the hill, Jesus told the women of Israel, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep; for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Luke 23:28-31). This is directed to the "daughters of Jerusalem" reflecting to the Time Of Comfort. Since this was on the Way to the Cross we know it points to a time void of the Cross, as Jesus said Work while it is yet day, for the Night comes when no man can work. At the Judgment they will look upon Him they have pierced, thus Jesus gave this prophecy on the Way to the Cross, not after.

And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots (27:35).

This quote is from Psalm 22:18, which was penned by David as he talked about the Cross, before anyone knew what a Cross was. The original Greek has the word Cross as Stake, as a large Stake of Wood; however, the use of a single piece of wood with the hands above the head would not entail the breaking of one's legs. The breaking of the victim's legs was only done when the cross piece was used. Paul clears this up in Galatians when he speaks of the Tree, which has branches (Gal 3:13). The cross Piece distinguished the difference, from the use of the cross Piece came the term Cross. There are some who pick at the hairs of a camel, or debate for hours over the terms and ignore Him who was the tree for us.

There are other events recorded in the accounts, such as Jesus saying, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34), as well as Jesus saying, "I thirst", then the soldiers filled a sponge with vinegar with hyssop on it (Jn 19:28-29). All of which will be covered in our studies regarding the other accounts.

And sitting down they watched Him there; and set up over His head His accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS (27:36-37).

The only accusation they had against Jesus was placed above Him, really it wasn't an accusation, but the truth. John tells us the sign was written in three languages, the Hebrew, Greek and Latin (Jn 19:20). The Hebrew for the Jews, the Greek for the Gentiles, Latin for the entire world yet to come. Jesus went to the Cross as the King of the Jews, He came down as the King of kings.

Then were there two thieves crucified with Him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, and saying, You that destroyed the temple, and built it again in three days, save Yourself.  If You be the Son of God, come down from the Cross (27:38-40).

During the forty day fast, the devil used the same wording, by saying, "If You be the Son of God" (Matt 4:3 & 4:6); however, Jesus is on the Cross as the Son of man. The works of the devil were marching around the very Cross God sent to save them, yet they were mocking their own redemption. The wording also connects to Psalm 22, the Psalm showing the victory of the Cross.

Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders saying, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the Cross, and we will believe Him.  He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth (27:41-44).

Here and in Mark we find all of them were mocking, including both thieves, yet Luke shows one of the thieves pleaded for mercy (Luke 23:39-43). After Jesus says, “Father forgive them” one of the malefactors acknowledges who Jesus is, yet the other does not  as he continues to mock Jesus. The one who acknowledged Jesus told the other malefactor, "do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive due reward of our deeds: but this Man has done nothing amiss" (Luke 23:40-41). Then he asked Jesus, "Lord remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Jesus told this man, "Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). The man wanted to enter the Kingdom, but Jesus noted the man would be in Paradise, thus the man made a display of his faith by the request. By Jesus pointing to Paradise it would indicate it’s where Jesus would preach to the Great Congregation (Ps 22:25). The only one on there asking Jesus to remember him, was a convicted thief. This man would then have the opportunity to be among the Captivity taken Captive. For anyone to join the Kingdom of God at this time was impossible since the Spirit was not yet given (Jn 7:39). However, we also find Jesus didn't ask the man, "are you baptized brother?", or "I'm not sure, tell Me your beliefs".

Now to address some important issues, if the thief on the cross was not baptized with the Holy Ghost, how could he get to Paradise? If John the Baptist was refused the baptism with the Holy Ghost (Matt 3:14) how could he make it? Jesus didn’t say, “the day after tomorrow you will be in Paradise”, Paradise was still in effect as the Bosom of Abraham until Jesus takes captivity captive, then He places them under the altar of God. Therefore, the Cloud of witnesses ascended with Jesus just before the Holy Ghost was given. The Bosom of Abraham was closed, out of business, the place for the Dead in Christ to wait became the third heaven. As long as the Day is open we know we can ask for and receive the Spirit, which is something John or the thief were not privy to.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calls for Elias. And straightaway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save Him. Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost (27:45-50).

The sixth hour is noon, the ninth hour is 3:00 PM, for these three hours the Blood on the side posts and lintel was destroying the sins of mankind. The very atmosphere was filled with so much sin, the sky turned to darkness. The result of sin is death, in this case Jesus took sin in His physical body, where it was made ineffective. Unless we take the responsibility for the Cross on our heads, we can't be free. The Romans didn't kill Jesus, the Jews didn't kill Jesus, we did.

The very beginning of Psalm 22 reads, My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?" (Ps 22:1), which is the Hebrew, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani". Jesus is proclaiming prophecy on the Cross, showing the time is at hand, rather, than displaying some unbelief, or fear. These were Jews at the foot of the Cross, by their own words coupled to the words of Jesus they should have Seen the Lord of Glory was on the Cross, but their self-deception and envy caused their blindness, meaning they failed to see the obvious.

Jesus as the Son of man took our place on the Cross enduring our punishment; therefore, this statement is made on our behalf, it was our sins separating us from God, but the Faith of Jesus brought us back. It's highly unlikely and extremely foolish to think while Jesus was on the Cross He remembered some scripture and thought, "oh I'm suppose to be the Christ, I better quote this", rather it's the confidence of Christ moving through all the pain and suffering as He purpose was for us, not Himself.

Luke says Jesus also said, "Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit" (Luke 23:46), this is different from "giving up the ghost". The context shows Jesus gave the Spirit to the Father as Security as an act of faith. Jesus was coming again to take back the Security, in essence, Jesus said, "Father hold Him, I'll be right back", the Father didn't let go of the Spirit until Pentecost.

Psalm 22 continues by showing us Jesus cried in the daytime, and in the night season. The word Daytime means the Heat Of Day, the term Night Season means in the Presence Of The Adversary (Ps 22:2). This shows two Seasons, one of the Day when the Fire of God is burning away the wood, hay and stubble, then the Night when the enemies (adversaries) of Jesus are made His footstool. Next we read, "Our fathers trusted in You, they trusted, and You did deliver them. They cried unto You, and were delivered: they trusted in You, and were not confounded" (Ps 22:4-5). God saved the fathers based on this very event, the fathers waited by faith in Paradise for the coming of the Messiah. Their faith couldn't accomplish the task, in fact the best their faith could do was place them in Abraham's bosom. It took a faith far greater than the measure of faith to accomplish this task; therefore, we have boldness by His Faith (Eph 3:12). The people at the foot of the Cross will mock Jesus with these very words, showing one can be subject to the promise, yet mock the very Cross sent to save them.

In this we see the marks in the hands and side, as well as the crown, but what about the nail in His feet? Why isn't it seen? Why didn't Thomas want to touch the mark of the nail in the feet of Jesus? Even Thomas in all his doubt he knew the Sure Nail was appointed to the enemies of Jesus (Isa 22:25).

Psalm 22 then says, "But I am a worm and not man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people" (Ps 22:6). Two words used here are in conjunction with man, not God, thus Jesus as the Son of man is standing in Mercy for us. This shows why the Declaration came at the Resurrection, rather than the Cross (Rom 1:3-4).

This verse covers mankind from Adam until it's appointed for all men to die once, then comes the judgment. Job said, "hell is naked before Him, destruction has no covering" (Job 26:6) plus, "How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?" (Job 25:6).  The metaphor Worm points to the lost soul, the flesh to the dirt, thus a worm lives in the dirt; here Jesus is still standing for us. Even if our measure of faith can stop storms, without the Life of Christ we are still a blind worm in the dust.

Psalm 22 then tells us, "All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, saying He delighted in Him" (Ps 22:7-8). Again, this is the wording used by the people around the Cross; however, the most interesting element is not one person, not Mary, John, Peter, or anyone else called out to Jesus, “Thank you Lord”.

If we continue to read Psalm 22 we would see the "bulls of Bashan" (Ps 22:12), Amos tells us the "kine of Bashan" are the religious leaders who held the sins of Samaria (Amos 4:1-4). A dog is a dog, whether it's a watchdog or a stray dog, it's still a dog belonging to the bulls of Bashan. The dogs compassed about Jesus, they "pierced My hands and My feet" (Ps 22:16). Psalm 22:16 and 17 tell us the Cross had a cross piece, as we read, "I may tell all My bones they look and stare upon Me". The cross piece was to accomplish one purpose, the nails were driven in the area of the wrist just between the bones connecting to the hand, as the only area of the wrist able to support the body weight, whereas, the single stake hung the person with their arms straight above them, the purpose being a prolonged death over many days.

Psalm 22 then tells us, "Deliver My soul from the sword; My darling from the power of the dog" (Ps 22:20). The word Darling means Favorite One, or Only Son; we also find the word soul, not spirit. Then we read, "save Me from the lion's mouth.." (Ps 22: 21). The only other reference we have to the lion's mouth is Peter's wording of the devil going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Pet 5:8). Jesus then praises the Father in the Great Congregation (Worshipping Elders Of Israel - Ps 22:25). Then we read; "for the kingdom is the Lord's, He is the governor among the nations" (Ps 22:28). Jesus obtained the victory over death, hell and the grave. Through death, Jesus destroyed him who "had" the power of death, that is the devil (Heb 2:14).

No man can keep alive his own soul (Ps 22:29), Jesus said, "for whosoever will save his life (soul) shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life (soul) for My sake shall find it" (Matt 16:25), with, "if any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow Me" (Matt 16:24).

Psalm 22 then says, "a seed shall serve Him" (Ps 22:30), we are Born Again by the Seed of God, thus by the Seed of God we are able to serve Him (I Jn 3:9). The Cross shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (Ps 22:30), we of the Gentile Age are called to be the Anointed Church holding to the tree of God. Then we read, "they shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people who shall be born, saying He has done this" (Ps 22:31). We are those who are born of the water (mercy) into the Body, then Born Again by the Baptism with the Holy Ghost who declare these efforts of Jesus.

Psalm 22 ends, then we can move to Psalm 23 where we are able to say, "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Ps 23:1-3). The only way we can have a Restored soul is through the engrafted word (James 1:21). The Spirit brings us the life as the Word of God, the "pasture" is the Scriptures, the place where the Holy Ghost interprets the hope and victory for us as individuals. The valley of the shadow of death is the world (Ps 23:4). The rod of God is for correction, the staff for guidance, the Holy Ghost guides us on the path of Righteousness. However, some will hold the Truth in unrighteousness, others hold the Truth by His Righteousness.

Here we have an overview of what Jesus did for three days when His body of flesh laid in the grave, as the Son of man fought the good fight of faith for us. The question of "who ran the universe for the three days", fail when we see Jesus obtained Salvation, defeated the devil, removed us from the power of the second death, made it possible for us to be Born Again, to have the nature and character of Christ in us. If Jesus could do all this in three days, surely He could keep the universe from falling apart. The universe is like the Law of Moses, neither need God standing over them, rather God induced an authority and power for them to do what they are suppose to do (Isa 14:24-27). The Deist thinks God set the plan in motion, but will not intervene in the affairs of man, but the Cross shows God does intervene by giving mankind a route of escape.

The flesh of Jesus was changed, since there was no sin in Him, there was no basis for corruption; however our flesh is filled with corruption, it will remain here on earth, but our souls will have a New Body forever incorruptible (I Cor 15:40-44). However, there is a hope and promise, where is the old physical flesh of Jesus? Not in the grave clothes. We are to take the same view of our old fleshly state, where is it? Gone, behold all things are New.

Each of us in the Body have the opportunity to be faithful servants, making us Equal. We are not rejected because of a lack of money, nor is Jesus going to reject us because we are not circumcised of the flesh, nor is He going to reject us because of race, tribe order, or a lack thereof. Unto every person is granted the Measure of Faith, only the Wicked and Unreasonable have twisted their measure into witchcraft, thus now they lack faith, nonetheless, all had the measure to begin with (Rom 12:3 & II Thess 3:2). The measure was more than enough to pull us to the Cross, even over all the objections of the old nature, or all the voices in hell, we made a choice to receive the Cross of Jesus, yet it was presented some two thousand years ago when Jesus said, “It is finished”. Of course we're not perfect, of course we make mistakes, but when we do we also know we have Access to the throne of Grace wherein we can obtain the Mercy needed, then find the Grace required. We shake off the mistake by gaining the lesson as we continue on, knowing God is with us of a Truth, we are on the path of Grace, the Process of the saving of our souls.

We are fully aware none the New Covenant promises begins until we are Born Again, we cannot reject knowledge then presume our works will get us through the fire. However, neither can we reject Mercy, since it’s what Jesus as the Son of man is using. Jesus had to operate as the Son of man, since no one was Born Again then. For that reason He returns as the Son of man to judge the Mercy works of mankind. Nonetheless, we have a promise centered in being Born Again, we shall be removed before the Night, we shall be spared the second death (Rev 20:6 & I Thess 4:15-17).

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many of the bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His Resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (27:51-53).

The bodies of the saints won't be seen in the "Holy City" until the Resurrection is Complete. The key phrase here is "after His Resurrection", His Resurrection isn't complete until all those who are promised to be Partakers in the First Resurrection are seen with the Lord in the Air. The location is the Holy City, but the City connected to the  Resurrection is New Jerusalem. This is a promise for those who continue to believe, it’s a hope in this prophetic word, God has already seen us in New Jerusalem based on the Resurrection of Jesus before the 1,000 years. We are seen by God in our White Robes, it's a matter of placing our faith in what God sees. Whose Report will you believe? The Report is here, the Witness is bringing it to pass day by day.

The veil was torn from the top, showing God ripped it open, for us to place another Veil there is error (I Cor 11:1-7). The holy of holies was opened to the anyone who imputed their old nature dead by the Cross of Jesus. We are priests unto our High Priest Jesus, we have boldness and access by the Faith of Jesus.

Matthew jumps ahead slightly to show us the sign of the earthquake in different places, John also shows us an earthquake yet to happen, the metaphor Earthquake shows some type of Resurrection, here it's the Resurrection of Jesus, later at the Fifth and Sixth Seal it's the completion of the First Resurrection, lastly the earthquake which turns the earth inside out brings the last resurrection.

Now when the centurion, and they that were with Him watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God (27:54).

They didn't Feel the earthquake, they Saw it, the earth around the Cross shook, as a sign of the failure of the earth to hold Jesus. This earthquake is of a different type, there are two types of natural earthquakes, only one of a Godly nature. The latter is when the earth can no longer hold the children of God. The earth would continue to shake until the Resurrection when all the ground would travail and groan when the Firstfruits of the Dead breaks the hold of death. The next earthquake will be the one to complete this one, at which time the Dead in Christ meet Jesus in the Air. The last one is when we descend as New Jerusalem to receive all those who passed the Book of Life, as they hear, "Come up Hither".

And many of the women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him: among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children (27:55-56).

Jesus always had women helpers in His ministry, and they all had important jobs. The woman at the well was the first woman preacher to proclaim Jesus, and she was able to bring an entire town to Jesus. Now, wait a minute, what about John the Baptist? True, John did preach, but he was not sent by Jesus, he was sent by the Father to report about Jesus, the woman at the well was allowed by Jesus to preach about Him.

Paul does tell the carnal churches, "let your women keep silence in the churches" (I Cor 14:34), but this is in conjunction with the shame of leadership holding a veil between the Body and Head (I Cor 11:1-7). Paul told Timothy, "let the woman learn in silence with all subjection, but I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but be in silence" (I Tim 2:11-12). We found in Corinthians Paul uses metaphors, Timothy was faced with elders he laid hands on, who were not ready to be elders. They appeared so, until they gained the position, then Timothy found he laid hands on a nightmare. Paul’s use of metaphors identified the problem, the elders lacked the ability to hold the position, thus they should remain silent as a congregation would, until they show the signs of the office. In essence they were still in the Novice stage, called, but not equipped. The word used for Silence means To keep one's place, thus the context is Usurping Authority of the position when one is not equipped to handle it. The phrase Usurping Authority, doesn't mean to use our authority over another, it means to use the authority of another. Jesus granted us His Authority but it's a shame on the husband (leader), for a wife (congregation) to be forced to use her husband's authority.

When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: he went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sitting over against the sepulcher (27:57-61).

Mark tells us this was the Preparation day for the High Sabbath, thus the Passover before the Feast Day.

Now the next day, that followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that, that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, You have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as you can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch (27:62-66).

The "next day following the preparation" shows a different preparation day, Luke shows the woman rested on the sabbath according to the commandment (Luke 23:56), the sabbath according to the commandment is the weekly sabbath, not the High Sabbath. Mark says the women were at the grave site when the sun set, meaning they were unable to cook the spices then, or the next day, since it was a High Sabbath. The day following is the reference Luke makes, thus the High Sabbath was not according to the Fifth Commandment, but it was in the Law. The term "the commandment" refers to one of the Ten, thus the Fifth Commandment called for the weekly sabbath day of Saturday. The context gives us two different types of sabbath days, the one connected to the Passover would be the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the one Luke refers to is the weekly sabbath. The woman would rest on the High Sabbath, then on the weekly preparation day of Friday cook the spices, then rest on Saturday, the sabbath according to the Commandment. Jesus said He would be in the grave for there days and nights, yet raised on the Third day. Unless we can account for all the days and nights we will miss the prophecy.

The religious leaders knew the three days and nights would finish at the end of the weekly sabbath, thus they ran to Pilate to have the tomb sealed, assuming the disciples would remove Jesus then make the claim "He is Raised from the dead". This also shows the Pharisees knew the false witnesses were lying, they also knew the reference to the temple, was a reference to Jesus being raised from the dead. The Pharisees were now caught in a difficult situation. If the disciples do remove Jesus, they merely had to demand to see Him; however, if the Resurrection became fact, they were stuck with their own guilt, thus they attempted to stop the work of God, something they had attempted right alone, but with no success. Those who attempt to stop the work of God, only end in proving it.

Since the High Sabbath was the day after the Passover, and since we know the Passover could not be a sabbath since the Lamb was slain, we can also see how the Cross is a type of Rest before the we are able to enter the Rest of God by belief.

Moving on, we find the sabbath day of Saturday coming to an end, this is vital since Jesus said He would be raised on the Third day, which would be Saturday:

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lighting, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men, and the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see Him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me (28:1-10).

The first thing we find is the grave is empty, Jesus was raised on the Third day, the empty grave proves it. This means Passover was on a Wednesday, we saw the evidence of three days and nights prior.

To understand the events we have to view all four of the accounts. Each account adds to the other as the Holy Ghost guided the hands of our New Testament scribes. John says Mary Magdalene came while it was yet dark, when saw the stone taken away (Jn 20:1). This would be Sunday, thus the grave is empty, proving the prophecy. The house was in Jerusalem, not Galilee. Matthew 28:9-10 refers to the same time as the second appearance of Jesus noted in John's account as the time when Jesus appeared in Galilee at the sea of Tiberias, then Thomas was told to touch Jesus, the location was also in Galilee. Luke's account shows the same event, where all the disciples were told to touch Jesus (Luke 24:39). Before then we find Luke says They entered the tomb, and found not the body of Jesus (Luke 24:3). The “They” are Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the Mother of James the less. When they saw the tomb empty, they ran to Peter, but John tells us Mary Magdalene told both John and Peter the stone was rolled back. Mark shows the women going to the tomb, and asking, "who will roll away the stone" (Mark 16:3), Mark also says they saw an angel appearing to them as a young man in the tomb (Mark 16:5), thus we find it was an angel, but the women thought is was a man. Matthew shows another angel sitting on the rolled away door (Matt 28:2), confirming two angels, as Luke shows, but neither of these angels were apparent to the women as angels.

John tells us Mary came to the tomb, saw it empty, ran and told both John and Peter. John and Peter ran back to the tomb, with Mary following, thus the house they were staying in was not in Galilee, but Jerusalem; however, the disciples were told to go to Galilee and wait. From the events it's clear they didn't go, in fact Jesus will have to make two more appearances to convince them, He is raised from the dead.

Taking all the events into account, we find Mary seeing the empty tomb, then running to tell Peter and John. Peter and John run to the tomb, John out runs Peter, but John stops at the opening. Peter being Peter, ran inside, where he found the grave clothes lying wrapped together, or Entwined. The hundred pounds of aloes and myrrh were applied just days prior to form a Kokkos (cocoon) around the Body of Jesus, yet the Kokkos wasn't broken, it was Entwined or in one piece. John sees this and believes in the Resurrection and Transfiguration, thereby giving him the title, The disciple Jesus loved. John would be the only one to believe without having to see Jesus, all this is the discovery on Sunday morning.

This would be Peter's first chance to believe, but not his last. The other accounts pick up with Mary being at the tomb, as John and Peter go back to the house. The angels talked to the women, then John points out when the angels talked to Mary Magdalene as she still wondered where the body of Jesus was. She was looking among the dead for the living, but she didn't understand the Living Was Resurrected, she also forgot, God is the God of the Living, not the Dead. Mary assumed they moved Jesus to some unknown location outside of the grave yard, where His Body could wait for the Great Day of the Resurrection, yet she was standing in the shadow of the First Resurrection.

After Peter and John leave, Mary sees Jesus, and as she attempts to touch Him she is told, "Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father; and to My God, and your God" (Jn 20:17). Jesus had yet given the Sacrifice before the Father, no one can touch a holy thing and live until after it's Sacrificed (Numb 4:15 & Lev 8:33-34). In essence, Jesus is telling Mary, "Go and tell the disciples to wait in Galilee, the Sacrifice is not yet complete, tell them so they can believe in Me".

When Mary sees Jesus, she runs back and tells Peter again, but this time she tells him she Saw the Lord. Luke shows Peter ran back by himself, sees the same grave clothes, but no Jesus, then Peter walks away wondering in himself (Luke 24:12). This  would be Peter's second chance to believe. Mary also told all the disciples, specifically Peter; the Lord wanted them to go to Galilee and wait. This would be the second command regarding waiting at Galilee, yet they didn't go. This is the same Mary Magdalene Mark and Luke say had seven devils cast out of her, so why use her as a witness? Purpose, she tells Peter, “I have seen the Lord”, Peter runs, finds nothing, walking away wondering in himself. “She had seven devils, the Lord is dead, she’s possessed again”. Not so, there would be two more witnesses.

Since John was written well after Matthew, we find a mystery, not a conflict. Matthew says they held the feet of Jesus, yet in John we find they were not allowed to touch Jesus. Here in Matthew the Greek word for Held is Krateo, meaning to Grasp in a manner to over Power, or to lay hands on to get under ones own power. In John 20:17 Jesus told Mary not to touch Him, if He would have used the Greek word Krateo as we find here in Matthew, then we would have John correcting Matthew, but we find John used the Greek Haptomai meaning simply to touch; therefore, the Holy Ghost gives us a mystery. The concept of holding someone’s feet to control them means we have stopped them, they are not going anywhere. In Mark the disciples were upbraided with their unbelief, we know the Cross was for them, thus their unbelief was holding the Lord to the earth. Yet, we find they worshipped Him, but wait they lacked the Spirit, but the Father seeks those who can worship in Spirit and Truth. The Pharisees were in the presence of the Lord of Glory, yet they didn’t believe, nor did they submit, in fact, they attacked the Lord, yet they glorified God. The mystery is how any of us can worship the Lord, yet bind Him by our own unbelief. The clues are the Greek Krateo coupled with Worship. The wording, Be not afraid doesn’t make any sense at all in this situation, unless we are facing a metaphoric content as we did in verses 27:51-52. John is not correcting Matthew, rather we have a mystery, and a warning. Our worship alone doesn’t mean we believe, we can be moved by the moment, or we can be afraid of losing something, but it doesn’t mean we worship toward God, it means we worship to keep what we have in place.

The purpose of God was laid out before them, but they had to make the decision to  believe, by rejecting unbelief. Of course the first step would be to go to Galilee. There was more physical evidence pointing to why they shouldn’t believe, than for them to believe, yet the evidence for them to believe was also presented. They had the past teachings from Jesus, which was more than enough for them to Believe. Mark tells us Jesus upbraided the disciples With their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they failed to believe the "them" (Mark 16:14). Peter's third chance came with the two witnesses, yet he still didn't believe, then the Lord, Himself, had to show up. Jesus had more work to do, yet His own disciples were binding Him to the earth. Jesus did this for them, not for Himself, it was up to them to join in, not hinder. Their unbelief was holding up the Mighty Work; it makes us wonder how much of our unbelief is holding up a Mighty Work of God.

Mary was the first witness as well as the first follower of Jesus to proclaim "He Is Risen", yet no one believed her. Eight days later Jesus returned when the Sacrifice was done, the time for all the angels of God to worship Jesus was at hand.

Abraham was told to have the male circumcised at eight days old, it was so important the Law of Moses allowed for circumcision of the child at eight days old on the sabbath day according to the Commandment or on any of the High Holy Sabbath days. Here we find from the Anointing to the Cross to the Resurrection with the Passover connected to a High Holy Sabbath, plus the addition of the weekly sabbath, all pointing to an eight day week, a New Beginning with a New Circumcision, for a New Law, for those who are Born Again.

When a child is circumcised they have no choice in the matter, but it also shows they had no effort, work, or goodness from which they could say they had a right to circumcision. Other nations may have practiced circumcision, but none of them did it in reference to a Covenant made with God. The token or mark of circumcision gave the male, and any female related to the male, the absolute right to receive the Abrahamic Covenant. Is there a Circumcision for the Christian? Yes, the circumcision of the heart not made with hands, which is also known as the Seal of the Holy Spirit when the Believer gets a New Heart. Are we suppose to have it done on the eighth day? No, ours comes as a result of the Eighth Day. Do we make Covenant with God? No, we enter the Covenant already established. Do we work to obtain the right to enter the Covenant? No, we receive it, since the works are done. If God rested from all His works on the Seventh Day, then any work related to the Eighth was already taken care of. It was the message to the Jew who was circumcised on the eighth day, they knew they were receiving a Covenant already secure in Abraham. We receive one already secure in Jesus, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise as our proof of acceptance.

Back at the tomb we read how Matthew showed the keepers were knocked down like dead men (Matt 28:4), now he picks up showing what these keepers said and did.

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day (28:11-15).

The punishment for any soldier to fall asleep while on watch was death by fire, the method was as soon as they were discovered asleep, they were set on fire. If it was discovered after the fact, they would be burned alive, the incentive was there for them to lie, in order to save their own lives, the Pharisees helped them by offering them money. Judas thought money could pay his way out of sin, the Pharisees used money to put others into sin. The Pharisees were promoting a lie to protect their positions, yet proved they were still of their father the devil.

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them (28:16).

The Ascension took place just outside of Bethany (Luke 24:50), which is not in Galilee, but in Judea; therefore, the disciples went back to the place where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount to learn more from the Master. Luke confirms this as he says, "to whom He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). This also shows they had the Ingress Aries, but they didn't preach, heal the sick, or do anything, but learn of the Kingdom: they wouldn't be Witnesses until the Spirit came on Pentecost. The Ingress Aries granted them permission to receive the Gift, by granting them the power to remit sins done unto them, but it didn’t grant the Gift.

And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted (28:17).

With some seeing isn't believing, with others the evidence has to be under their control, or fit their guidelines. Yet, there are some who believe without seeing, they know by the measure of faith Jesus is real, what Jesus said is true, He is the rightful Son of God.

And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (28:18-20).

Matthew's account is the only one of the Gospel accounts ending with Jesus speaking. We viewed these scriptures in the Commission of Christ, we also know they relate to the Authority to Go, as well as what the Authority entails. It still isn’t the Power, the Power would come on Pentecost, thus Authority must have Power.

In Mark we will find what to expect from those who Hear and Believe the words of those who Go.

There are five areas listed here, first is Teaching, which is a different Greek word than the one used for second usage of teaching. Why teach? So they will believe, we can’t baptize them in water unless they can make a proclamation of belief in the Cross, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. The first area of teaching means to teach them as one would a student, or disciple them in the basics of the Doctrine of Christ. The one element is missed in many of our discipling projects, the foundation for the Doctrine of Christ is listed in Hebrews chapter 6:1-2, it’s not all the Doctrine holds, but it is the foundation.

How many of us were taught the Doctrine of Christ? How many were taught the Doctrine of Baptisms? We should know the differences in the Resurrections, why there is only One Baptism, yet  there is also the Doctrine of Baptisms, what does the laying on of hands mean, the purpose of eternal Judgment, the repentance from dead works, as we’ll as knowing what are dead works, then what consists of faith toward God. The six rudiments or foundational areas of the Doctrine of Christ keep us firm in the calling.

After the discipling, comes Water Baptism, which means they must have an idea of what Water Baptism means, as well as the Purpose of the Token. Then the presentation for them to receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, or they presenting themselves to the Lord. Now we know why we teach the rudiments of the Doctrine of Christ, a convert must know why they are being baptized, what are the differences between John's baptism, the baptism under the authority (Name) of Jesus, and what does the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and Fire mean?

Then comes the example teaching, when the word of our testimony is not what we say, but what people say about us. Paul put it this way, “you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake” (I Thess 1:5).

The “Name” is the same whether we say “in the Name of Jesus”, or “In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”, it’s still one Name (Authority) under heaven in whom we can be saved. Since Jesus isn’t saying, “well if you feel like it”, or, “you can change this to fit your mood”, rather these are Commandments, thus it stands if we remove any aspect of these areas we have violated the Commandment. We could begin a Tradition by removing the first “teach”, then jump to Baptism, or remove the requirement of belief, but the use of a Tradition still makes the Word to no effect.

We have to stop here and reflect on the importance of the last statement; Jesus didn’t say the Name would be shared among other religions, He didn’t say a Name among Names, or a Faith among faiths. We are special, yet the position demands a humbleness, or we negate the very premise of the specialness. No other leader of any religion died for their own sins, much less the sins of their followers, much less the sins of all mankind. None of them were the Son sent by the Father, none of them claimed to be raised from the dead, none of them claimed to have power over death. Jesus, by His death, destroyed (made completely ineffective) he who had the power of death, that is the devil (Heb 2:14). Paul saw this special greatness and said, “death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (I Cor 15:54-57). The phrase “In the Name of Jesus” is sadly to say, bandied about by some, but think of the position the Name grants us. If we never prosper in the material things, we have prospered far greater than any person in the world by being in the Name of Jesus. No other religious concept on the earth grants man the opportunity the Name of Jesus does. Even baptism in water is only granted to those in the Body of Christ, any other group is taking a bath, doing the backstroke, but not baptism. Honor, respect and appreciation are due the Name of Jesus. The opportunity granted to man in the Name goes beyond the bounds of the natural mind, one has to be spiritual in order to truly appreciate it. John tells us if we deny the Father and the Son we are “antichrist”, so what does it mean? Having Mercy and Grace means we are balanced in the Lord, we don’t forsake the Ways for the Acts, or the Acts for the Ways.

Reflect and consider Jesus, the Author (beginning) and Finisher (completeness) of faith, the very purpose for all creation. The Seed is planted, the Authority is presented, now we move on to Mark, the “beginning of the Gospel” for the Blade who is reaching for the Power to join to their granted Authority.




By Rev. G. Evan Newmyer - s.b.i. les12rev7/©2003