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Bringing Tongues of Fire From the Sparks of Faith...

 

LESSON 15

THE GOSPEL 6

LUKE 2

By Rev. G. E. Newmyer

 


INTRODUCTION TO LESSON 15

We begin to move into areas dividing, yet joining. The title Holy Spirit only appears seven times in the Bible, three of those in the Old Testament as prophecy regarding the New, then four in the New. Here in Luke we will find the first time the title is used in the New Testament, as well as what it relates to. We will also begin to take a closer look at the title Holy Ghost; although Peter says the Holy Ghost moved on the saints of Old to write, we also find the title never appears in the Old Testament. The Holy Ghost was not yet given (known to man, or gave the Gift), until Jesus was glorified, but He was nonetheless behind the scenes preparing the path for the Spirit of Christ.

We know Luke is the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, he was also Paul's scribe, yet he was not a Jew, nor was he a converted Jewish priest, but being the only Gentile with two books in the New Testament proves how the New Testament was the Door opening to the Gentile. Don't forget there are only two groups of people in the world, the Jew and Gentile; one group not of the world, the Christian. The Arab is classed as a Gentile, since they come from Ishmael, as Ishmael came from Abram and Hagar, not Abraham and Sarah. Luke holds importance, yet we never read about him casting out devils, healing the sick, or raising the dead, yet without God using him we would not have the Book of Acts, or the historical importance of Jesus as a youth. God uses whom He will, but we must always pay attention to those He does use.

We are now about half way through Luke, but a long way from being done. Let's pick up where we left off, shall we?

 


 

LESSON 15

THE GOSPEL 6

LUKE'S ACCOUNT - Part 2

 

We begin where we left off. Elijah called Elisha to the prophetic ministry to finish the work Elijah began, but Elisha said, "Let me, I pray you, kiss my father, mother, and then I will follow you". Elijah said, "go back again, (return to your plow) for what have I done to you?" (I Kings 19:20). Elijah didn't say, what have I to do with you, rather he pointed to the calling by saying, "what wrong have I done to you, for you to desire to slow me up?". Was this some great burden causing Elisha to say good-bye to his family? Was this such a great cost and burden? This calling was a self-less calling, but nonetheless it was a calling to serve the Lord with gladness and joy. Elisha understood, he made a sacrifice of the "tools of the plow" (oxen), then gave to the people, then he followed Elijah (I Kings 19:21). The first act of this disciple was to leave his past behind, then to give to the people.

The training of Elisha is interesting, we see him called in I Kings 19, but we don't see his name again until Elijah is taken. The time of training is not a time to be "out front", it's a time to learn. Elisha did end with his own ministry, but his true ministry was to finish the work Elijah began. Elisha founded the “school of prophets”, one would think they walked around saying, “so saith the Lord” all day long, but the school of prophets is based on discipleship, thus a disciple is trained to “hear ye Him”. Disciples who are trained to hear only their leader never seem to make the breakthrough from the voices of men, to the Voice of the Lord. They use the sayings of man to test the Bible, rather than the Bible to test the sayings of man. Any discipleship program must be fashioned after the earthly ministry of Jesus, teach, allow them to do, teach the more, above all disciple them to hear Ye the Voice of the Lord. How can a prophet prophesy if all they hear are the voices of men?

After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place, where He Himself would come (10:1).

Luke is the only one who talks about the Seventy; John eludes to them in John Chapter six. The twelve went to places where Jesus had been, but the seventy will go to places where Jesus will be. The seventy were not apostles, nor were they Evangelists, but they were Jews sent to Jews. It is felt the Seventy became the basis to appoint the Seven deacons in Acts, could be.

One connection for the Seventy is the Light and Menorah, Josephus tells us the ornaments on the Menorah counted seventy in number (Josephus ChapVI:para7). In the Book of Numbers God told Moses, "Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, so they may stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon you, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you bear it not yourself alone" (Numb 11:16-17). Wow, put the "spirit" on them? Could it be an evil spirit like Saul had? Or could it be the same Authority Moses had in dealing with the people? Ahh, it's not the Holy Ghost, but the same authority and compassion Moses had for the people.

This area in Numbers also relates to the time John hindered the man who was casting out devils; in the same chapter in Numbers Moses was told how two men were in the camp who prophesied (Numb 11:26). Moses said, "would God all the Lord's people were prophets, or the Lord would put His spirit upon them" (Numb 11:29). Paul said the same thing to the Corinthians, his meaning was the same. The two men were not giving direction, they were giving comfort, edification and exhortation, just as Paul desired the Corinthians to do. We see a correlation, Moses was faced with stiffnecked people, the Corinthians were carnal, it would be a nice change for them to speak as the oracles of God. In John’s case he stopped a man from casting out devils, Jesus said, Let him alone. The problem was John already told the man, what to do? Don’t do it again.

The Harvest time was in hand, yet the Kingdom was not. Harvest doesn’t end the work, it begins it. Simply tossing the net isn’t all it entails, we teach, baptize, and teach the more.

Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest (10:2).

Again Jesus shows He is Jehovah of the harvest, as the harvest belongs to Him. How can we go, if we are not sent? How can we be sent if we are not called? These people were not to go out to bring in converts, they were sent to the Field, the place where the wheat and tares are located.

Go your ways: behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way (10:3-4).

Clearly showing the "Lambs among Wolves", making reference to the Wheat and Tares. Also they are not commanded to cast out devils, yet they will find devils are subject to them, not because they were Jews, but because of the Authority (Name) Jesus granted them. The Authority spoke, even if they didn’t.

Paul saw this process of learning by saying, "not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me" (Ph'l 4:11-13). None of us can separate Jesus from being The Christ, but on the same note we are called to be Like Christ, thus many of the teachings regarding Christ have to do with the Body of Christ. Paul said Christ in this instance was a Which, not a Who, this Christ gave him strength; therefore, the ability is found in ones position by being in the Body; therefore, if we are in Christ, the ability to abase is the same as the ability to abound, neither makes any difference as long as we are in Christ. For some of us the word “abase” is a big no-no, but Paul said it was part of the learning process. The context shows he was taught, or learned whatever state he was in, it didn’t matter as long as he had Christ in him, as he was in Christ.

There are other things as well, including the Renewed mind wherein one is able to think on the Things which are "true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, any virtue, and any praise" (Ph'l 4:8). Then Paul said, "those Things, which you have both learned,  received, heard, and seen me do" (Ph'l 4:9). The learning in Christ settles in the nature of the Spirit, the nature brings a way of life, the way of life produced a witness. There are things we do, not works of the flesh, but nonetheless things. People saw Paul do things, Paul taught things, the people received the things Paul taught and did, showing the Word of our Witness is what others say about us.

And into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the Son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not it shall turn to you again (10:5-6).

Who is this “Son of Peace”, could it be the Prince of Peace? Yes, a Prince is known by the Principality he represents, a Principality is a location within a kingdom, it is not the kingdom, neither does it rule the kingdom. Peace is a part of the Gift, it is not all the Gift, here Jesus points to His Name as the Authority covering the seventy.

These seventy are being Ordained for a purpose, the Authority granted them is specific in nature, yet the very Name of Jesus is so powerful the realm of darkness flees in terror when anyone with the Authority shows up.

Why even tell us of the Seventy? No one else did, overzealous scribe? No, it removes the false thought of only Apostles can heal, cast out devils, or preach. These Seventy were not born again, they didn’t have the Holy Ghost in them, they operated in the Mercy of the Authority of Jesus as the Son of man. What excuse could we who have the Power from on High have? None. The problem with us is the years of unbelieving people telling us we couldn’t do it, thus whatsoever we believed we became: ineffective.

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house (10:7).

The seventy were sent to the Jews, it doesn't mean eat pork if they put it before you? Why would a Jew do to begin with? It means don't turn down whatever they give you. Clearly if they are sent to the Jews, no one is going to serve them pork. This also removes the Seventy from a sense of false humility, “no thank you I’m fasting as any holy servant would”. In truth they were not to fast, they were to receive.

After the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles went out they took prophets with them, thus Apostles venture into virgin land to establish churches; whereas the Evangelist brings in the lost to establish bodies. Prophets deliver doctrine, or give direction for the Body. Here we find disciples being sent to the called to advise the called the kingdom is at hand, the signs verify the message.

Jesus added, don't go from house to house, don’t just stay at a house who gives you the best food or bed, rather go from house to house. This became the basis for Home Fellowship meetings, only used in reverse, as the people came to the house to learn.

And in whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you (10:8).

From houses to cities, if the city receives you, eat such things as they give. In essence receive from them, for it’s a blessing for them to give. If the call is to give, yet no one receives, to whom do we give? Ourselves? It would be the Jacob tithe, from the right pocket to the left.

And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come near unto you (10:9).

After the receiving, then the duties to give to those who gave. This is still connected to, freely they received, freely they were to give. The kingdom of God is “come near”, it was not in hand. This is still preparation, the signs were to verify the message. The word for Near (or nigh) is the Greek Eggizo, an interesting word, especially when we know there is the kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of God. Eggizo means To be at hand, rather than in hand, but it also means the joining of two things (ref., Brown, Diggers). The kingdom of heaven was at hand, but the purpose for the kingdom of heaven was for the person to receive the Kingdom of God.

But into whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaves on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be you sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come near to you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto you, Chorazin! woe unto you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And you Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell. He that hears you hears Me; and he that despises you despises Me; and he that despises Me, despises Him that sent Me (10:10-16).

Here Jesus is expanding and defining prophecy, especially the one in Genesis, showing us a prophecy coming to pass is also spoken of in the Book of Revelation. Back in Genesis God told the devil, "upon thy belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life" (Gen 3:14). The word Life doesn't mean the devil had Life, rather in the Hebrew it means an existence, the devil will exist forever, but in a state of defeat and darkness. The “dust” is where the flesh came from, the devil’s food is always flesh, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are all flesh based.

Is Jesus cursing these places, or making statements of fact? The prophetic doesn’t mean He is cursing anything, it means He knows what will happen, as He is expounding on the result of their folly. If we say, “I saw a car hit a car” it doesn’t mean we caused the accident.

We also find Tyre and Sidon are not the places these disciples are going to, yet Jesus says, “were done”, thus the seventy were already working in the places they were sent to, which were Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, but IF the people in Tyre and Sidon had seen these works, they would have repented, thus the people rejecting the signs are more stubborn, more resistant, and in more danger than Sodom, Tyre or Sidon.

The word Despises doesn't mean to hate, rather it means to Neutralize, Frustrate or Bring to Naught. It's a negative concept of a word meaning to Stand Upright, Conceive or Have Purpose, thus, to Despise means to Neutralize the ability for one who is seeking to obtain the Righteousness of Jesus; to Frustrate the New Birth or Bring to Naught the Purpose of God, is not a wise thing to do.

This becomes a warning to the Seventy, as well as, the cities. If the Seventy allow rejection to cause them bitterness, they in turn will become what they fear the most. Instead of preaching hope, they will frustrate the purpose of God.

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Your name (10:17).

The Seventy were sent out to Heal the Sick, yet it's obvious they cast out devils; therefore, they found the Name of Jesus has power over devils. This places casting out devils, healing the sick, preaching the Kingdom and water baptism all under the authority granted under the Name of Jesus as it relates to Mercy.

If we believe our sins are forgiven through the Mercy of God, we must also believe we have the authority to cast out devils and lay hands on the sick. If the Seventy operated in the Name of Jesus, yet were not Apostles, it puts to rest the concept saying only Apostles can do these acts. Jesus was building the Rock, since it’s where the Name resides. If it’s the case then John 6:66 would apply, as they are enjoying the labor they remain for the duration, but as soon as Jesus places responsibility on them, they turn and walk no more with Him (Jn 6:66). The “good time fellows” chase all the meetings, but run away when responsibility is applied.

And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you, Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (10:18-20).

This changes everything, prior, in the Old Testament, Job was accused before the face of God, now a battle takes place. As the seventy went about doing Good, Michael and his angels were activated to cast the devil out of heaven, the same devil who accused our brethren (Jews) day and night. We also find Revelation 12:7-8 doesn't tell us to fight the devil face to face, nor does it say this battle is yet to come, it shows this battle is a past tense issue (Rev 12:7); therefore, we fight the wiles of the enemy (Eph 6:11).

What else does this show? The seventy were excited, Jesus wasn’t, neither was He impressed. The Godhead is the Father, Word and Holy Ghost, we please God by faith, we don’t excite, or Impress Him. How can we excite a God who knows what we will do before we do it?

Revelation 12:8 shows there is no place for the devil in heaven, why then do we continue to place him there? Why do we elevate the devil to a position Jesus said he no longer has? The beginning is the beginning, the end the end, don't sit in the beginning and assume the race is done. This doesn't mean we don't cast out devils, we do, but we don’t give them place. The context shows while on this earth we will cast out devils, but it’s temporal. Perhaps five years, or perhaps fifty, but heaven is forever. In Matthew 7:21-23 we found the workers of iniquity cast out devils, but it was their position in heaven they neglected. We must be Equal, casting out devils is important, but so is having our names written in heaven.

The character of the devil is Satan, the same character opposed to mankind, meaning it  produces the nature of the serpents, as malicious people; as well as the scorpions. The definition of the scorpions is found when God sent Ezekiel among the scorpions, but he wasn't to be afraid of their words, thus scorpions are deceptive people (Ezek 2:3-6 & I Sam 15:23).

There is a difference between taking up serpents, and treading on them. The wording, To tread is the Greek Pateo, it has a good and an evil sense. Literally it means to have power over, in the Book of Revelation the Gentile treads the city under foot (Rev 11:12), meaning they have authority, or at least an equal authority as the Jew. In this case it means we are not subject to the Serpents or Scorpions, they have no authority over us. A Scorpion makes it appear as if the danger is one thing, when it’s really something else. We fear the claws, but it’s the stinger bringing death, indicating deception. Later Jesus will tell the disciple they will Take up serpents, which means to Lift higher, how can this be? Paul is a perfect example of a serpent (Saul) being lifted, you can’t save a serpent if they have authority over you, thus Saul the Christian hunting serpent was caught in the net, lifted higher than the serpent’s den, to become Paul the Apostle of Grace.

Here Jesus also said, "nothing shall hurt you", supporting Mark 16:16-18. Jesus uses two different Greek words pointing to Power, in the phrase “power to tread” the Greek word for Power is Exousia meaning Authority, but in the phrase “power of the enemy” it’s the Greek Dunamis. The devil has Dunamis? Of course, Dunamis simply means the ability to carry out the authority. What authority does the devil have? The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. The wording “hurt you” is very interesting, it’s the Greek word Adikeo meaning to harm, or to make to do harm, or to cause to do wickedly. This shows the devil has no power to make us do anything, the old excuse “the devil made me do it”, is completely in error, we are drawn away by our own lusts.

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes: even so Father: for so it seemed good in Your sight (10:21).

Here is another clue to the term, Born Again, Jesus Rejoiced in the Spirit, not the soul. The Acts of God are always Good, the Ways of Good bring clarity to what is Good. Paul said, "for you see your calling, brethren, not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world, and the things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence" (I Cor 1:26-29).

The purpose is for our own good, if we assume by our intellect we interpreted the Scriptures, or our wisdom gained us the ability to know the things of God, if we presume our ability, talent or gift is our means to gain from, we frustrate the Grace of God. It's the will of the Father to use us to confound those who are wise in their own eyes. Mankind is impressed with intellect and personal talents, God is pleased by our faith (Heb 11:6).

It's also obvious God doesn't leave us foolish, weak, base or despised, rather He renews (transfigures) our mind, instills the knowledge from on High, grants us His wisdom, our nature is changed by the Spirit. When most of us look at ourselves, we know it's not by our might, nor by our power, but by the Spirit of the Lord. What would this relate to? The Grace of God, not by our abilities, but because of the Faithfulness of Jesus we have obtained the Spirit.

Jesus as the Son of man is thanking the Father for the Father's wisdom and Mercy, we obtained the Mercy in forgiveness. Jesus looks at these men who just returned from casting out devils, healing the sick and preaching the kingdom of God, yet calls them babes. Paul told the Corinthians, "I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as babes in Christ" (I Cor 3:1). The Greek word for Babes in Nepios meaning Not of age, although the seventy were not even Born Again, they did as they were told.

All things are delivered to Me of My Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him (10:22).

This would seem strange, since Jesus is known by the disciples, three of them saw Him transfigured; however, the mystery is found in the word "Knows". The Greek word is Ginosko, it means to Feel, to Have, to Perceive, to Understand, and to Speak for. When Jesus is speaking of the Father, it relates to Mercy, even His prayers to the Father relate to Mercy until the night of the Passover, when the change takes place. Everything to do with the kingdom of heaven is Mercy based, the Kingdom of God is Grace based. We need both to remain Equal. How does one know the Son? By the Greater He, no one at this point in time were Born Again, they had no idea what Grace entailed.

Later Paul will tell us the natural knowledge of man is one thing, but we must have the knowledge of God by the Spirit to enter the realm of spiritual understanding. The disciples did things, but they still lacked the Understanding of God. The doing is good, the understanding better, it brings clarity to why we are doing the doing. The seventy were more impressed with their power over the devil than the authority they were under.

Man's knowledge leads to man's wisdom, producing pride in his intellect, bringing about soulish thinking. Therefore, it's not merely knowing of Jesus, it's the ability to have the Mind of Christ to perceive the things of Christ, in order to know Him. John tells us the Spirit bears Witness, whosoever abides in God, sins not (I Jn 5:6, 3:2-6 & 3:9). Those who are Born Again of the Spirit Perceive the Love of God (I Jn 3:16). Whosoever confesses Jesus as the Son of God, God dwells in them, and they in God (I Jn 4:15). Confession is not mouthing the words, rather it's the ability to live the Love and Light of God by displaying those Ways through Mercy and Grace. Here Jesus makes it clear, the Son and Father are One in purpose, thus as the Son of man, Jesus came with a body to represent us to the Father, but it doesn't mean He gave up being the Son of God to represent the Father.

And He turned Him unto His disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them (10:23-24).

This teaching is just for the disciples, it will be a division point. Luke now engages in the teachings of Jesus related to what the prophets and kings wondered. Luke will not engage in chronological events, he will link them as a teacher does; the first is Eternal Life, but before one can consider the premise we must deny the Self which begins when we impute the flesh (old nature) dead (pick up) on the Cross.

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (10:25).

Here Luke begins to tell us of the things we need to hear in order to inherit eternal life. Ears hearing sounds are common, but ears receiving what the Lord has to say are rear indeed. Here is an example of Luke's teaching method, the lawyer is tempting Jesus, thus the question begins as a formulated deception to test the knowledge of Jesus, without the desire to know the answer. What would all these temptations relate to? The wilderness experience? Yes, more important they go back to treading on serpents and scorpions. Here Jesus is applying the principle, thus we found the principle, now we find the example allowing us to see how to apply the principle.

There are many deceivers who ask questions in order to guide us into a subject they want to discuss. They could care less what we think, or the answer to the question, rather they are using the questions as a form of deception to enter an area where they control the subject, thereby allowing them to insert their opinion. The works of the devil are still the works of the devil, we tend to march into the mouth of the devil thinking we are going to impart some wisdom to a poor misunderstood cult member.  Beware, we are sent as lambs among wolves, be as gentle as a dove, but wise as a serpent, know the devises of Satan, but don't use them. Tread on the serpents and scorpions, don’t play with them.

Both the serpents and scorpions are defined for us here, the scorpion is deceptive, the claw is out there, but the stinger is waiting. Then will come the slanderous attitude, the mocking, belittling, or words to do harm, in order to make us feel inferior, allowing them to insert their opinion in a forceful manner. However, as we will see, they have no power or authority over us, regardless of how vociferous they sound.

He said unto him, What is written in the Law? how read you? (10:26).

Jesus knew the man's heart; instead of answering the question with an answer, Jesus answered it with a question by going to the intent. We might term this, "putting the ball back in his court". The lawyer knows the answer, and Jesus says, "how do you read it?" or, "what does it say to you?". From this the lawyer must answer his own question,  removing Jesus from being trapped into a theological debate. The lawyer didn’t ask Jesus, “I was wondering about Your teachings, I see it this way, You say this, can you explain the difference?”. Rather the lawyer knew what the Scriptures said, he was playing a mind game, yet Jesus brought exposure with clarity. Who then did the treading? Jesus of course, yet He didn’t beat the man up, stomp his brains out, or bring him harm. We tend to think treading means we can stomp all over the devil, but we find things are under the feet of Jesus, we are of His Body. If we have to look at the bottom of our feet to see what we tread on, we are wasting time, we know what we tread on. Nothing on this earth has authority over us, the Faith of Jesus said it this way, “You can do nothing to Me, unless it be granted from on High”. We tend to think, “You can do nothing to me, unless I like it”.

And he answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself (10:27).

The lawyer knew, but he was looking for a way around the commandment, he wasn't looking for a way to complete it. Moses came down the mountain with two tablets, here the lawyer saw the intent of the entire Law; one tablet was to love the Lord, the other was to love one's neighbor. The lawyer didn't say, "with all your spirit", but he did add Strength. Man's personal strength is a weakness, every time we think we have personal strengths, we will use them before we consider trusting Jesus. If we were a good salespersons, we will sale Jesus like a cake of soap. If we can manipulate people, we will use it to get them to the altar, and in all this we are using the flesh to accomplish spiritual matters, nonetheless Christ is being preached. Even if someone doesn’t believe the Gospel, they can preach it, at least someone will hear and believe, the signs follow the believer.

There are all sorts of ways to love the Lord, one can love the Lord for the benefit of getting, they can love the Lord because they love religion, they can love the Lord because morality makes them feel superior, they can love the Lord because religious talk makes them feel important, or they can be in love with the Lord because they know Him, to know Him is to love Him.

We find the lawyer not only had an understanding of the Law, but he also knew what it took to obtain life, yet he failed to make the step of faith to Enter life, Jesus will show his answer was only half way home. Knowledge points out the way, or gives us the awareness, but knowledge is not the end of the walk, only the awareness regarding the path we walk.

And He said unto him, You have answered right, this do, and you shall live (10:28).

The lawyer knew the concept, it was doing it causing him problems. If he loved his neighbor as himself, he would never have tempted Jesus. If he loved the Lord, he would love Jesus, instead of tempting Him. This is the same premise behind “even the devils believe in one God”, if one truly believes in the one God, they will accept His Son.

But he willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? (10:29).

Self-justification is the sister of pride, this lawyer defined the word Neighbor as someone who agreed with him, walked in his circles, held the exactness of his theology, and condoned to his thinking, loving those who love you is easy, loving the unlovable takes the Holy Ghost.

To the Jew the concept of Charity is simple, If someone comes to you with their hand out, put something in it. However, the concept of Neighbor was more restricted to those who support the Nation Israel. Here the lawyer was told, “this do”, but did he? The first chance he got he attacked Jesus with a self-justifying question.

This shows we must deny the self, this lawyer didn’t, he allowed the self to exercise itself by justifying who he thinks he should love, and who he wants to hate. This attitude is found in the fall nature, sad to say, at times in the Body. If someone doesn’t like someone else in the Body they do the same old self-justification, “they are not my brother, they are not of the Body”: it’s never for us to say who is, or is not of the Body.

Jesus will show two concepts of love, first He shows love thy neighbor, then love the Lord, but we know this is reverse from the commandments. What else is reverse of the Commandments? Communion, we take the Bread first, since we are the Bread, thus it relates to loving thy neighbor. Then we take the Cup, as it relates to our relationship with Jesus, so what gives? Communion is a belief issue, it’s to Remember, we remember our position and condition in the Body as it relates to Mercy, then we can Find Grace. In this case it’s not Communion, but exposure.

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever you spend more, when I come again, I will repay you (10:30-35).

There are several subjects in this parable, any of which could be considered a Neighbor. The wounded man was not the Samaritan, rather the wounded man came from Jerusalem, as he was headed toward Jericho, pointing right to the lawyer. The lawyers gathered in Jerusalem, but trained in Jericho, Jesus has placed the shoe on the other foot. Really there was no way to tell what sect the wounded man was, his raiment was taken from him; was he a priest? A lawyer? A nobody?

If someone in this lawyer’s little group loved him, should they not stop and help him? The Inn Keeper could have rejected the wounded one, regardless of the money given, but he was more the Neighbor than the priest or Levite, yet both the priest and Levite are obligated by the Law of Moses to render assistance.

This same road to Jericho passed the Mount of Olives, after passing Jericho the path went along the Jordan toward Galilee, it was used to pass Samaria without having to go through Samaria. The Jews felt the Samaritans were the cause for much of the Jews problems with God, thus the Jews called the Samaritans, Dogs. It would be difficult at best to ascertain if the wounded man was coming from the area of Samaria, or from Jerusalem, or Jericho. The lawyer equated someone a Neighbor only after he was able to question them in order to identify their theological stand, but in this case the symbol of the lawyer was wounded; unable to ask, or answer questions. In essence, the wounded one is a stranger in need, yet on the road within the land.

Jesus shows the first to pass the wounded man was a priest reflecting to the religious rulers, but the second was a Levite which reflected on the religious minded, which would include the lawyer. Perhaps when the lawyer heard the word priest, his mind came up with, "oh yes, bless God, those priests are like that"; but then Jesus used the word Levite, and the lawyer was placed in the same class as the priest.

The Levite would include any priesthood, even the Hasmonean family, since they were also connected to Aaron, thus both Priest and Levite covered the entire religious function of Israel. The duty of the order was not simply to collect tithe, it was to care for the people (Ps 82). The problem the lawyer faced is being exposed, to him “social” gatherings determined his neighbor, here Jesus is showing anyone in need is his neighbor.

The man who was wounded was from Jerusalem, but neither the priest or the Levite came close enough to see the man, much less tell from which direction he came; therefore, neighbor or not, the wounded one was in the land (kingdom), making him a “neighbor”.

The wounded one could have looked up and told the Samaritan, "A Samaritan? no way, leave me here to die"; however, when we are in need, the one willing to help is always our neighbor. This also put the lawyer in the "do class", the Parable placed the lawyer in both positions at the same time. Jesus told the lawyer, this do, but the parable indicates the wounded one as the lawyer as well as one passing by. By using both positions Jesus shows the neighbor is the one in need, as well as the one willing to provide the need.

The Samaritan poured the oil and the wine into the wound, yet the Samaritan didn't care from which direction the man came, rather he saw someone in need. Why pour wine? Is it some kind of healing agent? Metaphors, the Oil represents the anointing of Mercy, the Wine represents Grace as the course of Life. The Samaritan wasn't seeking favor from the wounded man, nor did he call out to the priest or Levite, or brag on his wonderful works, simply, the Samaritan cared for the wounded man without regard for himself. If there were a lot of people around, perhaps the priest or Levite would have helped, just to get the praises of people, but the only one there, was the wounded man, yet God was watching.

The priest and Levite may have felt pity for the man, but they weren't moved to act, yet compassion calls for one to act. Some look at the wounded man as Adam, some as man in general, some see him as Jesus, any of these could be the wounded man, but the wounded man is not the context, rather we are looking for the context of Neighbor as the one who applies Mercy. If these religious leaders did as they say, then the wounded man would have been their neighbor, simply because he was wounded.

Which now of these three, do you think was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and you do likewise (10:36-37).

The subject here is Mercy, thus it does relate to Life, defining how we determine a neighbor. Not by whether or not we can make personal gain, but whether or not we see opportunity to apply Mercy. This is “entrance” material, pertaining to both denying the self, and picking up our cross.

The lawyer started this looking for Life, thus mercy grants us Life; therefore, be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful. If we love our neighbor we show them Mercy, if we love God, we display Mercy to others. The command was "go", which would have been an act of faith, thus the man "heard", faith came, but receiving faith means one applies it in order for it to become active in ones life.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word (10:38-39).

This still connects to the last teaching, here we find service through love brings joy to the service, but service lacking love brings bitterness and much bondage. Luke links this event to the prior teaching, but he is not looking for exactness or chronological timing, he is still linking line upon line as they relate to the concept.

Martha had a sister named Mary, in John's account we find this is Martha the sister of Lazarus (Jn 11:1). Lazarus is the only person who Jesus refused to heal, instead He raised him from the dead. Lazarus was not resurrected, rather he was resuscitated back to his physical body. Luke gives us some insight to Martha; John adds more showing Martha was the practical sister, or the rational one. When Martha's brother, Lazarus died, she and her sister sent for Jesus; however, it was some days later when Jesus arrived. Martha came to meet Jesus and said, "Lord, If you had been here, my brother had not died" (Jn 11:32). This is nearly the same statement as Mary would later make, however, from the position and manner of Martha we find there is a vast difference in the two sisters. Martha didn't bow or greet Jesus with any respect, rather she accused Him, as she attempted to use manipulation to force Jesus to raise Lazarus, by saying, "but I know, even now whatsoever You will ask of God, God will give it You" (Jn 11:22). It almost sounds like a “faith statement”, but it’s not, it’s a form of manipulation. This also reflects to Peter's statement; both Peter and Martha forgot the "nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will". Martha wasn't interested in the will of God, rather she was interested in her own will. Martha's request is laced with manipulation as a challenge to force Jesus to raise her brother, in essence it’s akin to “If you be the Son of God raise this man”. When she spoke, Jesus stopped in His tracks, it would take the praise and words from Mary to finish the course. Was Martha evil? No, she was natural.

Martha went back to Mary, who was in the house, and said, "The Master is come, and calls for you" (Jn 11:28), which was not true. Martha even went so far as to pull Mary away from the others in the house so she wouldn't be overheard. Mary came to Jesus, then worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died" (Jn 11:32). This is same wording, but with a different intent. Both sisters used the same words, but they came from two different intents, producing two different reactions from Jesus. When Martha spoke, Jesus stayed where He was, but when Mary spoke, He wept (Jn 11:35). Jesus knows our hearts; it’s we who need to know our intent. The Holy Spirit puts our words and our intents together to establish our prayer request.

Martha served, but her attitude hindered her, causing her to be encumbered. We can never forget, God knows our hearts, but it’s our souls He wants to save.

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me (10:40).

The word Help used here is the same Greek word used in Romans 8:26 in reference to the Spirit Helping us in our infirmities. However the Spirit helping us, and demanding for someone help us are much different, especially when we find out what this Greek word is. This Greek word is SunAntiLambanomai, meaning To join (Sun) against something (Anti), to obtain the result (Lambanos), but it doesn't mean we join to be against, rather it shows to join in a manner to finish the course; it indicates the Spirit is so centered on saving our souls nothing is going to stop Him, not even us. However, when Martha uses it, she is demanded for Jesus to force Mary to help her. Martha was serving, Mary was worshipping, yet Martha felt serving was more important then worship. Jesus will show Mary was doing a Good thing, thus Martha was doing as she should, Mary was doing as she should. This is an area where we learn, Martha viewed what someone else was doing as inferior, but it was still a Good work.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her (10:41-42).

This is more than your average rebuke, when we get in our “Martha, Martha” mindset we think we will never finish the task before us, so we begin to demand for help, even if it takes away from others should be doing. Didn’t Jesus say to pray for the workers of the harvest? Isn’t it what Martha is doing? No, she is asking Jesus to command one person to do the majority of the work, without regard for what the other person is doing. This is akin to turning the stones into bread. Both Martha and Mary had “tasks”, one was no more important than the other, until Martha determined they were.

Martha at this stage of her life is our example of someone who has works but lacks understanding, simply because Mary wasn’t doing what she was doing. Two sisters, much different, yet Jesus loved them both. Luke points out the lawyer knew the commandments but failed at doing them, here Martha thought more about her duties, than what her sister was doing. Martha entered the “why me, I always have to do the work, and look at Mary? It isn’t fair” mode of justification. We can’t look around to find out what other people are doing, then make our own conclusions on what we think they should be doing. Jesus tells us, “Follow Me”, in so doing we won’t hold the rubber neck of suspicion.

And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples (11:1).

This isn't a different set of circumstances from Matthew, but it does clear up an issue. The question is not “teach us to pray, as You do”, or “teach us to pray”, this was “teach us to pray as John taught his disciples”. What did it entail? Looking toward the Kingdom, rather than praying from the Kingdom. Keep it in mind when you look at what is correctly called “the disciples prayer”.

And He said unto them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be Your name, Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth (11:2).

This goes right back to Martha and Mary connecting to the prior teachings. It’s important to see this prayer is for those outside of the Kingdom wanting to get in. At this point in time it would be correct for Peter, James, John and the rest of the disciples to pray this way, but not for Jesus.

The first step points to denying the self, or giving up of our agendas and self-based wills, as we seek the Will of the Father. We can have agendas relating to ministry, we want this type or another, yet all we did was enforce our will into the calling. Paul never asked to be an apostle, Jesus made him one.

The wording in this prayer is different from Matthew, but makes the concept clearer. Matthew's account reads, "Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt 6:10). Matthew is asking for the Kingdom to come, why would someone in the Kingdom pray this? The mistake would be thinking the Kingdom has not come, which means none of us are Born Again. Not so, this prayer is the “sinner’s prayer”, those who wish to enter in. The first step is to recognize God is supreme, only He can forgive us, only He can bring the Kingdom.

Give us day by day our daily bread (11:3).

This denies our self-ability, we are not saying, “I made my way”, we are asking God to provide as He sees fit. It may be working, or it may be receiving. This is a trust issue, do we truly Trust God? What if He put us in a cave somewhere? How dare He, we have a ministry to run. Trust is a big issue, it needs a real searching of our souls to determine if we Trust God, or not.

The disciples are Jews, this part of the prayer could mean more to a Jew than to us. Correctly we see this as submitting to the provision of the Lord, to trust in Him day by day. Bread is an important element to the Jewish diet, it’s the center of all food, it represents the deliverance from Egypt, like the Manna in the wilderness, bread to them is "life". For us, we are the Bread, as such we have Life (Cor 10:17). The Jewish prayer over bread goes; Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz, or "Blessed are Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who brings bread out from the earth". The Jew thinks the Manna came from heaven, Jesus will point out the command came from heaven, the Manna from the earth. The Jew felt the Manna was the “bread of life”, since it kept the children alive, but Jesus tells us He is the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35 & 6:48).

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (11:4).

Clearly this is the step of Mercy, the point where we pick up our Cross, as we forgive, to be forgiven. Of course we know Mercy is a day to day walk, pointing to this part of the prayer; thus the prayer has steps for one desiring to leave the world, to enter the Kingdom. The phrase, “deliver us from evil” is clear enough, we know Paul told us not to give place to the devil, thus the power to give the devil place is in our hands. This is also related to “tread on serpents”, we are delivered from evil, by having authority over it, rather than it having authority over us.

If God cannot tempt us to evil, why even pray for Him not to lead us into temptation? Didn’t the Spirit take Jesus to be tempted of the devil, so why didn’t Jesus pray this? Much different, this relates to the Hour of Temptation, this is our request and remission for God to do whatever it takes to keep us from the Night. There is one element very clear in this prayer, no where does Jesus tell them to “seek the Kingdom” or “ask for the Spirit”. This is an entrance prayer, it’s for those on the outside looking in. They are not going to be in a position to seek the Kingdom or the Spirit until they make entrance.

And He said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? (11:5-6).

This links to the prayer, the Loaves are a direct reference to the Bread; however, in this case it's in reference to loving thy neighbor. The relationship is between two friends, yet the reference is to the Last Hour indicates urgency, helping us see the “temptation” as the Hour of Temptation.

This has nothing to do with annoying a friend to get what we want, rather it has to do with the confidence of the one asking. Who would go to a stranger at midnight? The one asking wouldn't ask, unless he felt the friend was able to help, or at least hear. This does fit the prayer, we want God to do whatever it takes to keep us from the temptation, even if it’s at midnight. It would be stupid to march across town to someone who refuses to help. The one asking is not asking for himself, rather he is asking to benefit another, much like the wounded man being helped by another.

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needs (11:7-8).

The friend didn't want to get up, but the persistence, or insistence of the man made it impossible to ignore him. Some would make sure the one in the midst of the journey knew who gave the bread, another would make sure he was paid back, yet others are more concerned with loving their neighbor. Simply this points to continual belief, it is not supporting retentive prayer, rather it’s asking us not to let our belief slip.

And I say unto you, Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (11:9).

What will be? The Kingdom of course, the Kingdom was still “at” hand at this point in time, not in hand. The Door was being set before them, Jesus will say He is the Door. This confirms the prayer is for entrance, it is not a prayer one makes after entrance, rather their mindset knows God provides.

For every one that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened (11:10).

What comes with the Kingdom? The Spirit, thus this connects to asking for the Spirit. The phrase “every one” would include Jew and Gentile.  It begins to get very clear this is for those seeking the Kingdom. Jesus is teaching and promising, He is not imparting. John 7:39 tells us no one was Born Again until Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection. Nicodemus is the proof of this, he heard “Ye must be Born Again”, yet he didn’t have a clue what it meant. Jesus was instructing the instructor, but the time of Impartation wouldn’t come until Pentecost (Jn 7:38-39 & 3:3-7).

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  (11:11-12).

Here the fear is being removed, the safe guard is the foundation of belief and faith. This is one place the devil has no part of, he cannot mix into this, Jesus said so. If we ask for the Spirit and the Kingdom (really one in the same) it’s exactly what we get. Don’t fear, Jesus promised us the Father will not allow a devil to enter in this. This of course connects to the prayer we just saw, if Jesus tells us to pray “Thy Kingdom come”, we should believe it’s exactly what we will get. These people were watching Jesus cast out devils, why would He then give them one?

Two elements of interest, if we ask for Bread, will we get a stone? No, why? Because Jesus will not turn the stones into bread. If we ask for the Fish, will we get a serpent? No, why? The Fish represents the Spirit, the Serpent the devil, if we ask God for the Spirit, it’s what we get. Two baptisms are seen here, the Bread is entrance into the Body, or water baptism relating to the Father (I Jn 5:7-8). When we were water baptized we didn’t expect to enter hell, we didn’t expect to be lost, rather we knew we were identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus as we were being saved from the world. What then makes us think if we ask for the baptism with the Holy Ghost, we are going to get some devil? Here we have the evidence, this is our foundation of belief, we ask for the Spirit knowing we will receive the Spirit of Truth: how do we know this pertains to the Spirit?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? (11:13).

This is the first time in the New Testament where we find the title “Holy Spirit”, it clearly shows the New Man is the Holy Spirit, explaining much. God has respected, and set apart the title through the Old Testament for the New. The Holy Ghost brings the Seed, the Seed is Spirit and Holy, based on the True Holiness of God. The very essence of the Shekinah Glory of God is within us, the same Glory will be revealed (Rom 8:18).

This teaching by Jesus shows we have to Ask, before it’s given, yet we continue to ask, seek and knock for the fullness of the Spirit. To assist us the Holy Ghost (deliverer of the Seed) will fill give us the Seed of God. It’s also for this reason the continual attacks against the Spirit filled people of God is very dangerous. This is going to be in conjunction with the teaching on the dangers of speaking evil of the efforts of the Holy Ghost. Jesus just said if we ask we get the Spirit, which is delivered by the Holy Ghost,: if we say the Holy Ghost delivered a serpent, what then do we make the Holy Ghost? The context is the leading us to the danger of equating the Holy Ghost to the devil.

And He was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out the dumb spoke; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casts out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others tempting Him, sought of Him a sign from heaven (11:14-16).

Jesus just finished saying God won't give us Beelzebub if we ask for the Holy Spirit, now we find there are those who believe the devil is able to overpower the Father. Clearly this connects to the prior teaching, Jesus said if we pray for the Spirit, it’s what we get, here He casts out a devil, yet some accuse Him of using the devil. It’s what some presume when they assume we ended with a devil when we asked for the Spirit; they accuse us of speaking in the tongues of devils, rather than the tongues of angels. Those are dangerous accusations, very dangerous. This teaching completely negates the concern of someone who asked for the Spirit, thinking they would somehow get a devil. Faith and Belief begins with Jesus, based in the His words. Rather than instill fear, we should be knocking and seeking until the fullness of the Spirit is completely imparted.

There are some who demand for Christ identify with them, they demand a sign best suits to their theology, a sign based on their desires, these elements point to the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which includes blasphemy against those with the Spirit. “I will believe if you raise the dead I tell you to”; tempting God is not wise.

But He, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth (11:17)

This is somewhat different from Matthew's account, Luke gives us clarity, we understand a house divided against will fall, but here we find one house against another. If the house of the Rock comes against the House of the Church, the House of the Rock will fall. If the House of Jacob comes against the House of David, the House of Jacob will fall. If the House of the soul comes against the House of the Spirit, the House of the soul will fall. If we as a house come against other members in the Body, we will fall.

The word Desolation is the Greek Eremoo meaning to lay waste, or be made desolate. It’s not the same word used for Perdition, which is the Greek Apoleia, rather here we find the house lacking Mercy, causes itself to fall.

If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub, and if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges (11:18-19).

Those who cast out devils become the judges over those who mock the Holy Ghost, but How? By casting out devils, thus showing it is possible for anyone in the Body. We always judge others by what we do, not what we say to them. If we walk in Mercy, we only show it can be done, leaving those who don’t without an excuse.

But If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you (11:20).

In Matthew, Jesus said, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matt 12:28). This not the Holy Spirit, but the entire Report as God is Spirit. Here it’s the finger of God, meaning the Report as well. In this case it’s those who come against the Report, by refusing to have the Witness. Jesus isn’t saying they can have the Kingdom, only it has arrived, the signs prove it.

When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace (11:21).

Only when the strong man is armed, is he dangerous, because his peace is torment, because his peace is producing strife, envy and pride. Hardly Peace with God. When the Stronger One (Spirit) comes, guess what happens to the strongman's peace? This is still teaching on the Holy Spirit, telling why we keep knocking and asking.

But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, he takes from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils. He that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathers not with Me scatters (11:22-23).

The Stronger One is the Spirit, or Word in us, thus the flesh remains, but any authority or power are taken, leaving the strongman incapable of doing anything, this is the same as binding the strongman. Exposure by the New Man begins this, as we see the armor the strongman trusted in. We put on the armor of God, yet here we find there is yet another armor we don’t desire. The armor of the strongman is deception, strife, out of control emotions, and many other self-traits.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, I will return unto my house where I came out. And when he comes, he finds it swept, and garnished. Then he goes in and takes to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there and the last state of that man is worse than the first (11:24-26).

This speaks of an unclean spirit, the old man is a nature, we bind him. The warning here is when the unclean spirit is removed, yet the person does nothing to protect themselves. The manner in which one protects themselves is entrance into the Body, then receiving the Gift of the Spirit. If the unclean spirit returns it will find the Stronger One in residence, causing it leave; however, if the person remains in the world, they are open to a worse condition. So, why even cast out the devil? Opportunity, they will never be able to say they didn’t have the chance to be free indeed.

And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare You, and the paps which You have sucked. But He said, Yes, rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it (11:27-28).

Jesus didn’t say Mary wasn’t blessed, but the woman was attempting to elevate Mary higher than God did. It’s always a danger; we form idols when we elevate anyone or anything higher than God has. The Anointing is very important, but its not to be worshiped. The ministry is important, but it’s not to be worshiped. Mary is important, but she is not to be worshiped either. Here Jesus tells us more blessed are they who Hear the Word (Jesus) and Keep it. What Word? The Word of faith, they keep it by having the Word in them, which would come on Pentecost when the Holy Ghost brings the Gift.

This would be Paul’s support for saying, Faith comes by hearing, but the hearing by the Rhema, indicating the person is eager to keep the word of faith they heard.

And when the people were gathered thick together, He began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall be no sign given it, but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the son of man be to this generation (11:29-30).

This still links to the prior teachings, as the Pharisees rejected the signs given, yet demanded their own sign. Jonah preached to the Ninevites, he didn't do one miracle, or testify of his whale experience. We don't read where Jonah said, "Come listen to how God delivered me out of the whale, and how He will deliver you", no, it was, "repent or die". A wicked generation keeps seeking a sign, rather than the one they have. The believer has signs following, they don’t seek them in order to verify the Truth.

The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here (11:31).

When the Queen of Sheba heard of the wisdom of Solomon, she came with hard questions, yet the answers, not signs and wonders, convinced her of God (I Kings 10:1-3).  Why is it some of us reject teaching for the signs? A desire to be convinced God cares? Signs are good, miracles are good, but so is teaching, be Equal and Balanced.

This allegory shows how the Queen of Sheba had a desire to know Wisdom, the Pharisees have a desire to avoid it. The Queen of Sheba said, "Blessed be the Lord your God, which delights in you, to set you on the throne of Israel, because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore made He, you king, to do judgment and justice" (I Kings 10:7-9). The Pharisees said, “He cast out devils by Beelzebub”, who then is wiser?

The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold a greater than Jonah is here (11:32).

How shall the rise up? By what they did, they repented at the Word given, the generation before the Lord demands signs. Although Jonah was a prophet, he preached to the people of Nineveh, saying what could happen if things didn’t change. This confirms the method of judgment, the people of Nineveh repented without having to see signs.

No man, when he has lighted a candle, puts it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light (11:33).

Here is the point, what would Jonah say about someone who had the Spirit, yet decided not to walk in the Spirit? What would Jonah say about someone who had the opportunity to be a vessel of Honor, but remained so self-based God had to form them into a vessel of dishonor?

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when your eye is single, your whole body also is full of light; but when your eye is evil, your body is also full of darkness. Take heed therefore, that the light which is in you be not darkness (11:34-35).

This connects to the why we want the beam in our eye removed, it blocks the Light. If the eye is single, it would indicate we are narrow in our focus. The context shows what we receive, if we receive the Light, the Light will fill us. If we refuse, darkness fills us.

In verse 34, the first word for Light means a Portable Light, or one capable of being moved, the second usage means Full Of Light, but in verse 35 it means, To Shine By Rays, this last word is made up from two words showing the intent is to display the light by words. If it’s by words, what does the eye have to do with it? Removing the evil eye removes the evil tongue, thus the evil eye is removed when the strongman and his deeds are vacated.

If your whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shinning of a candle does give you light (11:36).

The concept of the Body expands this to the Body of Christ, making sense if we keep this in respect to receiving the Holy Spirit. If the whole Body was spiritual there would be no darkness, and none would be carnal. It’s interesting we read about the church in Jerusalem, yet there is no Letter to them. Why is that? No problem; thus, showing us there is a way to operate in the Spirit.

And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee besought Him to dine with him: and He went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner (11:37-38).

To a Jew the washing of hands held more importance, it wasn’t merely getting rid of dirt, rather it was a tradition, or rite, yet like most traditions, it became more important than the truth it was taken from. The washing of the sacrifice was a shadow of baptism; however, it moved from washing the sacrifice to washing the person without considering the sacrifice. The tradition assumed making the outside appear holy, meant the inside must be holy. Accordingly the Law of Moses was a process to control the outside by using the pride of life; however, it’s still self-righteousness. Changing ourselves to appear moral, or righteous, is self-righteousness; being changed by the New Man is Grace.

Did Jesus know of this tradition? Yes, but there are times when the Lord will use offense to expose traditional behavior. What would we think if someone stood up to preach yet they didn’t pray first? How dare they, yet we never read where Jesus or Paul, or any of the disciples prayed with the people. It’s a good idea, but when we make it a tradition we harm ourselves. God may in fact send someone to expose our traditions, especially if we have the tendency to brag about how un-traditional we are.

We also find an exciting element taking us back to Jesus at the age of 12, as we recall it was a Passover, and Jesus was among the “doctors both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). We might say “so what?”, however, it would mean they accepted Jesus in the Minyan (Quorum), then later as an adult of full age He was allowed to open and read the Torah, yet they attacked Him. We can see Jesus was chastening them, with the purpose to bring forth the fruit of righteousness, but acceptance is up to the one being chastened (Heb 12:7-11). They were educated, dedicated, trained, yet they were attacking the Lord of Glory. How important is it to be Born Again? Vital if one wants to walk with Jesus.

And the Lord said unto him, Now do you Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness (11:39).

Here we see Jesus didn’t wash on purpose, thus it was to expose the tradition, to bring correction, giving the Pharisee a chance to enter therein. The “eye” of the Pharisee saw darkness, not light. Was there darkness in what Jesus did? No, not at all, but  we find it’s in the eye of the beholder.

The prophet Jeremiah said, "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, so you may be saved. How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?" (Jere 4:14); and "How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?" (Jere 4:21). The Hebrew word for Standard is Nace, which is the same word used for the staff Moses used to hold up the serpent. Isaiah used Nace when he wrote: "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard (Nace) against him" (Isa 59:19). Paul said we should not tempt Christ as some of the children in the wilderness, since the evidence shows they were destroyed by serpents (I Cor 10:9). The Light shines in a dark place as it exposes those hidden things in darkness, but we find one can assume they are seeing something wrong, yet it’s because they are looking through the “eye of tradition”.

When the enemy comes in, the Holy Ghost doesn’t hold up a tradition, nor does He call for us to use our testimony, rather the Nace is held up, the Cross, the place where the Law and Commandments were nailed, the Cross where the line is drawn, the place where the devil has no right, place or authority. To Isaiah the Nace was the rod Moses used to hold up the brass serpent, but for us we know the real meaning. The serpents came in like a flood, but Moses held up the Nace with the brass (judgment) serpent, making the serpents ineffective. It’s the point Jesus makes, the eye allowing Light becomes Light, which binds the strongman, indicating the Light is the New Man. The eye is how we perceive, if we perceive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost as wrong, passed, or evil, we will refuse to allow the Light to enter; however, if we allow the Light to enter, we have the ability to not only bind the Strongman, but see all his so-called treasures vacated, making the strongman ineffective (destroyed).

You fools, did not He that made that which is without, make that which is within also? (11:40).

The Pharisee was self-deceived by his own traditions, missing the entire point of washing sacrifices. This Pharisee felt his outward appearance could hide his inward feelings from God. Religious minded people set out to impress people, as they are impressed by people. They transform their outward appearance to look righteous, but on the inside they are still full of dead man's bones. This Pharisee needed an “eye change”, when we seek fault in others we need an eye change as well.

But rather give alms of such things as you have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you (11:41).

The Pharisees gave their tithe of their material possessions, thinking their acts made them holy, but Jesus says the Ways of a person show their holiness or lack thereof.

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone (11:42).

This is before the Cross, yet there is a point to be made. The Pharisees took great pains to make sure they completed the requirements under the Tithe, but they failed in other matters. Was their tithe evil? Not at all, Jesus says they shouldn't forget the tithe, but neither should they forget other things they were not required to do, but were expected to do based on their position.

Woe unto you, Pharisees! for you love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are as graves which appear not and the men that walk over them are not aware of them (11:43-44).

These are all self based acts seeking self-praise or self-exaltation, which stems from pride, causing a loss of integrity. They tithed, worked in the Temple, yet it was “woe unto you”: they were unequal, failing at some responsibilities, while doing other deeds. Jesus not only told the Pharisees they were dead, but they were like the graves, death filled with death. They did what was required, but there were other things associated with the position, Mercy, which is outlined in Psalm 82, treating the people of God as God would, caring for their needs as outlined in Ezekiel 34. They did some things, but failed at others they were suppose to do, meaning they fit into the realm of workers of iniquity.

We can now add to our knowledge regarding the word Hypocrite, we found it’s a compound word meaning To Judge Under, but if we look at the Classical Greek it means An actor, or Pretender, so how can this be? It’s a pretend judgment, they hold someone accountable to their standards, while they refuse to hold themselves accountable to the same standards, thus they Pretend they are holding to their standards, but they are deceived as they act a part. The Pharisees were convinced they were perfect in their ways, yet they judged Jesus according to their own standards. Therefore, they Judge us Under them, or less than them by using their supposed standards, but since they refuse to hold themselves accountable, they are Pretenders. An actor’s job is to convince us they are something they are not, they are playing a role, so is the Hypocrite. They elevate themselves, by placing others under them by using their self-defined standards, which standards they themselves refuse adhere to. They use a yardstick of judgment on others  about a inch long, but when they apply the same yardstick to their own self, it’s about three miles long, surely they are unequal in their ways.

Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto Him, Master, thus saying  reproach us also. And He said, Woe unto you also, you lawyers! for you lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and you yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers (11:45-46).

This is still in the house of the Pharisee, but the lawyer was offended, because they tithe as well. It wasn’t the tithe, it was the attitude, the Tithe was by Commandment, the Mercy and Faith were not. They felt by doing one thing, they were free of doing others. As strange as it may seem we can see the same thing in the Body, only in an opposite frame. We are commanded to Love, Believe, and walk in Faith, but we are not Commanded to give. The same test of Nature is on us, as it was on these religious leaders, do we need Commandments to guide us? Or do we follow the Nature of Christ? Do we only do what is expected? Or do we follow the nature of Christ to please God?

Woe unto you! for you build the sepulchers of the prophets, and your fathers killed them (11:47).

They refused to take the responsibility, they claimed they were “more holy” than those who killed the prophets, but their words betrayed them, they are forming ways to kill the Prophet. It's easy to see who were the prophets of the past, it takes a willing heart seeking God to find the prophets of the present. Stones of theological abuse hurt just as much as real rocks.

Some of us think if we were back in the days of Jesus we would be the only ones standing at the Cross. Not so, we would be just like the rest. Some think if they had the same chance as Adam, they would reject the temptation. Not so, all have come short. It’s easy to look back then say what we think we would do, it’s also deception to think we’re so holy and powerful we can take on the devil in our natural state and win.

The lawyers thought by building the great monument to the prophets they were excused from their father's deeds, but repentance, not works of the flesh or monuments of stone, is the way to be forgiven of the past.

The lawyers thought their self-righteousness was enough to cause God to honor them; but self-righteousness is depending on our ability, since the efforts must go through the flesh, they end in sin, the result is death. Self-righteousness is for the moment, it works for one thing at one time, once it’s accomplished, they must start over again.

Truly you bear witness that you allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and you build their sepulchers. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: (11:48-49).

The lawyers honored the prophets after the fact, but they refused to honor Jesus, Who is the purpose of all the prophets, thus their actions showed they were like their fathers who killed the prophets. History does little good, if we continue to do the same evil acts while condemning those in history who did the same.

That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation (11:50).

All these sayings show there was a need for repentance, although all in the house at the time were joined to the religion of Israel, the very ones granted repentance. They were leaders, why should a leader repent? The same reason any of us do.

From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zecharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation (11:51).

Abel's blood prophesied from the ground, Zecharias was a prophet, thus Jesus doesn't exclude this group from the past, but includes them into the past. Wait, how can it be, the sins of the father won’t be put on the sons. Right, but Jesus shows the same sin nature is in the son, as it was in the father. They felt “those were bad days, today we’re much more holy”. Wrong, they were still under the spirit of disobedience, the Law of Moses didn’t free them from the nature, it would take a greater Law to free us from the sin nature.

The term Generation is defined here, the generation facing Jesus, which started with Abel, continuing past the Gentile Age unto the very last time. The mental restrictions the lawyers placed on the people became a religious mountain, or a barrier holding back the blessing of heaven, and Jesus uses the lawyers as a warning to us, as He says:

Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered (11:52).

Although these lawyers are far from entering into the Kingdom of God, they do give us a symbol of those who entered the kingdom of heaven by Mercy, but fail to enter the Kingdom of God. They produce theological barriers and restrictions based in natural intellect, or envy to hinder others from entering in. The children in the wilderness held every weekly sabbath, yet because of their unbelief they failed to enter into the rest of God (Heb 3:19). The Book of Hebrews reads, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Heb 4:1). Changing the promise, or taking away from it, or making it ineffective by claiming it has lost some effectiveness, or excusing unbelief, are all hindering attitudes. The lawyers were appointed religious leaders who interpreted the Law, thus they are akin to the modern self-based theologian. There are theologians guided by the Holy Ghost, thus being a theologian isn’t wrong, it’s who guides them telling the tale.

And as He said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge Him vehemently, and to provoke Him to speak of many things: Laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out His mouth, that they might accuse Him (11:53-54).

What is exposed will often attack to protect itself, or to show its supposed power. The “serpents” tongues were operating, but Jesus did tread on them. The call was exposure for repentance, but the result was pride taking control as a ruler of darkness. They were plotting to accuse the very One who could save them. How did they view Jesus? As the Christ? No, they saw Him as someone who had come to destroy the very thing God gave them. They were convinced Jesus was a false prophet, yet they were completely wrong. Without the Spirit we will not discern properly, we will honor the Wicked, yet destroy the Just.

In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trod one upon another, He began to say unto His disciples first of all, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (12:1).

This is our hope, as the unbelieving were gathering to attack their hope, the believing were seeking to gain faith. Matthew and Mark show the multitude of people are the 4,000, the Pharisees and scribes saw this miracle, yet they continued to tempt Jesus, and seek a sign conducive to their thinking (Matt 15:38, 16:6 & 16:11, Mark 8:10-15). What were their actions akin to? “If you be the Son of God, give us a sign”. Not wise.

Luke adds to Mark and Matthew by showing the leaven of the Pharisee is hypocrisy, evidenced by demanding what it refuses to do. In this case Jesus measured them by a just scale, they in turn were using the “yardstick of hypocrisy”. Unequal measuring, is just as demonic as tempting Jesus to turn stones into bread.

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the house tops (12:2-3).

All things will be exposed, as soon as we find out being Pure means no masks, no hidden agendas, or what you see is what you get, the better we will get along with the Lord.

And I say unto you My friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him, which after He has killed has power to cast into hell; yea I say fear Him   (12:4-5).

This is directed at the disciples who enter the place where Jesus calls them Friends. Here we move from deny the self, to pick up your cross. To be a Friend means there are no secrets, nothing hidden, things are open. If we can’t be honest with Jesus, we can’t be honest.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows (12:6-7).

This refers to the birds sold to the poor for their sacrifices; although they would buy five, only two would be given in the sacrifice, the other three are discarded, yet Jesus says even the discarded are not forgotten by God.

Jesus says, "fear not", but prior He said to "fear Him", thus we have the purpose of "fear God". The Fear we have toward God is based in our knowledge of His Holiness, and Integrity. We can't expect God to make special rules just for us, we can't expect Him to forget our iniquity, when we hold the iniquity of others against them. On the same note, we know if Jesus forgave Paul for his past, surely He will forgive us for ours, is not God equal?

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God (12:8-9).

Luke adds to Matthew's account, Matthew told us, "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father in heaven, but whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven" (Matt 10:32-33). This also connects to the Book of Revelation, where Jesus said a Few will walk with Him in White, and He will confess them to the Father (Rev 3:4-5).

One area this would really have impact is on Peter, he heard these words, yet he denied the Lord three times. However, he was converted, thus even if we deny the Lord, repentance puts us right back on the path of Righteousness. One thing is evident, after Pentecost Peter never denied the Lord again.

Confessing Jesus is not the same as voicing an opinion regarding Jesus. In order to Confess Jesus, one must have the same nature Jesus has, giving them the ability to confess Him, as He confessed the Father. Jesus said, He and the Father are One, meaning He did the Doctrine of the Father by showing the people the Mercy of God; thus we must be One with Jesus in order to confess Him. This connects to "Greater is He in you", we have the Word (Logos) of our Testimony, but we also have the Witness of the Water, Blood and Spirit, as they agree as One. The Mercy is not going to disagree with Grace, the New Man is not going to disagree with either Mercy or Grace (I Jn 5:8).

And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemes against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven (12:10).

Here was Peter’s escape, but we also see Luke confirms this is a deliberate spoken sin, connecting the prior attitudes to the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Did the Pharisees assume for a second they had committed sin? Not at all, they felt they had nothing to repent for, thus their sin remained unforgiven. The unpardonable sin is one wherein the person may ask forgiveness, but they continue in attacking the things of the Holy Ghost, including appointed leadership, the things of the Spirit granted by the Holy Ghost, or the activity of the Holy Ghost.

God is not going to force forgiveness on us, we first have to repent of our sin, then turn toward the Kingdom by forgiving as we are forgiven. However, it all begins with the admission of our sins. This is also against the “Son of man”, not the Son of God; relating to Mercy, connecting to Paul’s statements on the vessel of honor (Rom 9:21-23).

This started with the evil generation seeking a sign, it would seem strange, since the Believer and signs are connected; however, signs and wonders Follow the Believer, the Believer doesn't run around looking for them. The sign of Jonah, or better the Resurrection was a sign to the unbelieving Pharisees. To us the Resurrection of Jesus is a past tense fact, making it a belief issue, but for us to be partakers in the First  Resurrection in the Rapture is still future tense, making it a faith issue.

Next Jesus warned us about allowing our Light to become darkness, thus the warning is to those who have been granted the Light, not to those who lack the Light (Luke 11:35). The next area of failure is when we place our thoughts on being clean on the outside, while neglecting the inside. Next is doing religious works, yet forgetting our first love. Next is holding to the spirit of antichrist, hindering others from entering in. Lastly is holding religious conceit, or assuming the process ended when we received Jesus. These are all progressive steps in the wrong direction, each building on the other until the person becomes so self-deceived they can't see the Light. They will call their acts of slander, hate, deception, or religious arrogance gifts of God; they will not repent, or seek to have a nature change. Clearly if all sin is forgiven when we ask God to forgive us, yet there is one not forgiven, it stands the one not forgiven is the one the person continually uses as part of the old nature. Simply it entering, but refusing the nature change into the Newness.

And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take you no thought how or what thing you shall answer, or what you shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say (12:11-12).

This is during the Day Season, since the Holy Ghost is “teaching”. Paul will tell us about those who lie in wait to deceive, as those who make up plans in advance to hinder or trap someone. Better off allowing the Holy Ghost to teach us how to apply the Wisdom of God, we may learn something in the process.

The Spirit that is of God in us may give us something to say in those one on one situations, or simply have us remain silent. In the gathering the Holy Ghost may give us something to say, or have us remain silent. In either case we can count on the old man saying, ”well, I’ll tell you what I think”. Just what we need, help from an idiot, when we know it’s our opinion, we stop it from becoming vocal. There are times when we are completely innocent, yet attacked with a vengeance. Peter reflected on this by saying, For what glory is it, if, when you are buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God (I Pet 2:20). Peter also said, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's suffering (I Pet 4:12-13). The event is just an event, the attack is just an attack, what we do in the midst of it determines our gain in Christ.

And one of the company said unto Him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And He said unto him, Man who made Me a judge or a divider over you? (12:13-14).

The one asking knows he has claim to the property, but he is using Jesus to Convict, or Humble his brother, thus the request is a form of manipulation to use Jesus to gain the inheritance. According to the reasoning of the man this seemed like a just request, but it's tempting the Lord to act outside of the position. It seems right for one to be humbled, some of us fall into the trap of praying for Jesus to humble someone; however, the call is for us to humble ourselves, not go about humbling others.

This brother is asking Jesus to judge between brothers, yet what Jesus does with one brother, is no business of another (we judge ourselves, lest we be judged). This man is asking Jesus to find one guilty based on some conclusion he has drawn, yet the intent was natural, as he failed to see the purpose of the event. To him was to obtain the inheritance, regardless, but he was attempting to force Jesus to condemn one brother, to honor another. We could advance this to the Kingdom, if we pray for Jesus to honor one over another we are asking Him to be partial, which James called a sin (James 2:1-4). The lesson for us is found in the prior words of Jesus, one brother against another will destroy the house.

And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses (12:15).

What covetousness? The man was entitled to the inheritance; however, the man desired harm to another in order to get his inheritance. The word used for Life here is not Psuche, but Zoe, meaning a person’s lifetime, it was used in reference to regeneration, thus it points to the kingdom of heaven, one bother against another for money.

And He spoke a parable unto them saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do, I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul; Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, ear, drink, and be merry (12:16-19).

This connects to the prior teaching, as the covetousness, based on envy. His brother was holding to covetousness, but to get the property from his brother he would have to enter covetousness as well, it was a no win situation, better leave it alone.

The man in this Parable had more than enough things to care for himself, as well as his neighbors, but instead of giving, he held back, seeking to protect his soul with his own security. How does this relate to the other man? The greed and covetousness, the only reason the other man wanted his inheritance was to retain the riches, rather than give. Here the man used the personal pronoun "I" several times, showing his attitude was self-serving and self-based. Jesus equates the motive one with the other, as He refuses to be a party to the covetousness.

In this parable the man's question was two-fold, first he asked, "what shall I do", but who did he ask? Himself, he didn’t ask God what to do. The same is true with the man who was attempting to get Jesus to humble his brother, he was telling Jesus what to do, rather than asking Jesus what he should do. Words are always a discerner, the flagship to the soul.

But God said unto him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? (12:20).

This goes back to the “life”, only here we find the Greek Psuche, or the soul life of man on earth. The security was based on the concept of the world, yet his soul was based on God’s Mercy and Grace. The man felt his security was based in money, the same as the brother who wanted the inheritance from his brother.

So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (12:21).

Jesus doesn't reject having Things, rather He points out the danger of allowing  the things to have us; or allowing covetousness to enter in, causing the Commandment, “Thou shall not covet” to fall on us (Rom 7:7). For us it’s, Think not every man on his own things, but on the things of others, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Ph'l 2:4-5).

And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on (12:22).

Here it points directly to the Things, but does it? The word "life" is the same Greek word translated as "soul" (Psuche), but how does it connect to Zoe? The treasure is the Psuche, thus there is more to Zoe than things, there is the salvation of ones soul.

The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment (12:23).

Jesus didn't say, "Life is more..."; rather He said "The Life is more..."; again, the word Life used here is the Greek Psuche, which is also translated as Soul. In this He is giving the man an answer, rather than force his brother to give, why not give the inheritance to his brother showing Mercy, which would be a move to securing his soul in God.

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls? (12:24).

If we need hope to add to our faith, look at the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, rather God guides them to their need. God may guide us to our need, or guide our need to us, whichever, it still takes ears to hear.

And which of you with taking thought can add to his  stature one cubit? (12:25).

The phrase, Taking Thought used here points to Worry or Anxiety, no matter how much we worry and fret, we can't make our body grow, thus worry can't add one penny to our worth. On the same note, how much we worry about the saving of our soul isn't going to save our soul, the just still Live by faith.

If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest? (12:26).

Regardless of how big the problem may appear, we still have hope. The premise behind this asks us, if we can't do the Least (Mercy), how can we do the Greater (Grace)?

This still helps us in the Things area as well, perhaps we got ourselves in a bind, and we are up to our necks in trouble, so much so we have to look up to see the bottom, but this we know, all Things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). If we love God, or if we're called according to His purpose, then God has a plan, but it still takes ears to hear. The first step was seen in the fish and bread, the fish and bread remained in the same amount, but the Blessing of Jesus made them meet the need, with an abundance. We have to take our situation to the Lord, then allow Him to bless and guide. The end of the tunnel is closer than we think if we follow the right Guide.

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you; that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these (12:27).

Here the lilies are in one place, they can't go to their need, but God brings their need to them. Whether it's go and obtain, or wait to obtain, it's still hearing the Spirit.

If then God so clothed the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? (12:28).

The term "Little faith", means Puny faith, rather than no faith at all. Jesus will incorporate the phrase with a doubtful mind in the next verse. Puny faith lacks patience, it will wait a day, or maybe two, then manipulation takes over.

And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind (12:29).

Here we find the phrase, Doubtful Mind referring to something already in process, if it was unbelief we would reject God providing to begin with, but here it shows we believe God will, but panic in the process allowing doubt to enter in. This still connects to the man with the barns, as well as the brother, the brother was seeking more security in money, the man with the barns was seeking all he could to fortify his security in money. This is not telling us to go hungry or naked, rather it points to priority, what is more important? Seeing a brother humble, or the saving of our souls? Is the barn full of money as important as the salvation of our souls? The doubtful mind allows the concerns of the natural to interfere with needs of the Spiritual, causing us to worry regarding God’s ability to meet our need, or answer our prayers.

For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things (12:30).

The real need is first and foremost is the New Man, and this teaching goes back to, "how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13); however, we also see the Father knows we have need, thus the method of gaining is also available.

But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you (12:31).

Here is our target, Luke places this with the teaching regarding blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. We can hinder the Holy Spirit by grieving Him, but we blaspheme the Holy Ghost by speaking against the works of the Holy Ghost. Here we have a procedure, we seek the Kingdom, the things are added. At times we think God will add the Kingdom if we seek the things. Under the Law it was seek the things, but Jesus reverses the order.

Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom (12:32).

The term Little Flock has a dual meaning, it can refer to the 144,000, who acquire at the Judgment. At this point in time He is talking to the Rock, as the foundation of the Church, which was little to say the least. This doesn’t say which kingdom, but either would fit. The kingdom of heaven is Mercy based, the Father desires to give us the kingdom of heaven. The Kingdom God is within, the Father desires to give us the Kingdom as well.

Sell what you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupt. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (12:33-34).

Jesus doesn't say give of your excess, but He does refer to Goods; however there is an attitude connected to this. Our Father desires to give unto us, but unless we give, He won't. Prior it was “men shall give unto your bosom”, here it’s the same thing, only giving is the key. When we give alms (not tithes) we provide a treasure in heaven. Why? “Lord when did we give you drink”. The works of faith are not telling everyone our theological opinions, it’s doing the things the Faith of Jesus showed us.

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning (12:35).

Ahh, the Goods, let your Light shine, give the Light, then God will give unto us. This also points to the Armor of God on the outside, and the Power of God on the inside. It also projects to the Kingdom, as the ability in the Spirit. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. Without the Spirit we will give, but based on greed, not obedience.

And you yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately (12:36).

This verse, plus the ones immediately following are very important to our attitude. This is also prophecy spoken past the Day into the Night, as Jesus brings the 144,000 into the conversation. This is “after” the Wedding, not before. In the Book of Revelation John sees the Bride descending as New Jerusalem at the Judgment, it’s the reference here.

Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them (12:37)

Again we find Jesus using, "I say unto you", and the Them to whom it's said; thus this is a Commandment giving us two periods of Wait and Watch. We Watch for the Door to open, as our Time to enter therein to be with the Lord forever more, the Remnant Watch for the Son of man to return and judge all mankind. The connection is the phrase “gird himself”, if Grace can’t be earned, how them do we “gird” ourselves? Application of Mercy, freely we received, freely we give.

And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through (12:38-39).

Wow, does this mean Jesus is a thief? Hardly, it shows no one knows the Hour or time. This also helps us understand the term “watch”, in the Old Testament they Watched for danger, we Watch for the opportunity to apply Mercy.

Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not (12:40).

Here Jesus tells us to be "Ready Also"; therefore, Jesus divided the Seasons and Times, showing our Season ends when we go through the Door, the next Season ends when Jesus comes through the Door. This is still “the Son of man”, not the Son of God, the Judgment will be based on Mercy, not Grace.

Then Peter said unto Him, Lord, do you speak this parable unto us, or even to all? (12:41).

Peter was puzzled, even Peter at this point in time knew Jesus was pointing to two Seasons with different means and times. Peter may have used Puny Faith, but he knew the prophets of Old promised the Time of Comfort, his confusion was whether or not the Church would be subject to the Time of Comfort.

And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over His household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? (12:42).

The context of “due season” shows Jesus was speaking to the 144,000 as well as those of the Day, but how? Who were the disciples at this point? Christian? Not hardly, they didn’t have the Spirit. They were Jews, thus on one hand they would stand for the 144,000 as a little flock, but they were also the foundation for the Rock, standing for those about to enter the Kingdom. Since they were the foundation as the Rock they also represented those who would enter, thus the foundation is the apostles and prophets. Discerning which group helps us keep the Day separated from the Night.

Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that He will make him rule over all that He has. But, and if that servant say in his heart, My Lord delays His coming; and shall begin to beat the men servants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers (12:43-46).

This relates to the Wicked, who enter the Night as the Drunken, showing they are the ones who blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Peter would learn his lessons well, later he would write, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock" (I Pet 5:2-3). Sounds like "take no thought", it does relate. Filthy lucre doesn't mean money in and of itself, it means we don't care from where the money came, nor do we care if there are strings attached. Balaam wanted money, he didn’t care where it came from, or what he had do to get it.

And that servant, which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes (12:47).

There are three areas in this verse, the first is the knowledge of the servant, next the preparation, then failing to do the will of the Lord. Knowledge opens the clarity, the servant knows what to do, the preparation shows our faith to allow the New Man to bring us into the position, then the Will of the Lord is for us to be filled with the Spirit. The iniquity would be obtaining the knowledge, refusing to prepare, then failing to walk in the Spirit.

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more (12:48).

Those who have been given Much, relating to Grace, much is required. Beginning with imputing the flesh dead on the Cross, going through the grave to see the flesh become ineffective, obtaining the Power of the Resurrection, giving themselves as a living sacrifice, plus other areas of appreciation for what Jesus has done for us.

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? (12:49).

This would almost appear as if Jesus is the false prophet; however, the Fire Jesus brings is much different from the fire caused by the false prophet. Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Ghost and Fire, it's the Fire most run from, when they should be running to it. The Fire of God comes from the altar of God, it purifies us in the justification process.

When the false prophet causes fire to fall from heaven, it's based on “No God in Israel”; whereas, the Fire of God is based on Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. The word Kindled used here means to Enkindle or Set on Fire. Our attitude begins the Kindling process, but only Jesus can put the Fire to the Candle.

But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straiteded till it be accomplished! (12:50)

The word Straiteded means Pained, this baptism is the Holy Ghost, or water, rather this is The Gethsemane baptism. From this we find the baptism unto the death of Jesus, the baptism unto the Resurrection of Jesus, the baptism of fire, all are included in the Doctrine of Baptisms, as the One Baptism. We have a choice to receive the Fire of God now, or face the lake of fire. Much better to face it now.

Suppose you that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you No; but rather division (12:51).

There is a vast difference between Peace with God, and peace on earth. This points directly to the Day, there shall be wars and rumors of wars in our Season, but these things must be.

The word Division is the Greek Diamerismos meaning a clear cut separation; the root word Merismos is found in Hebrews 4:12 meaning Dividing Asunder, or A separation for clarification, or To separate to make a distinction, yet not divide into parts. There will be a Division, the Cross itself is a Godly division between the earth and heaven.

Those in the kingdom of heaven have the choice to receive the Word of God to enter the Merismos, or find the Breaking at the Diamerismos.

For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; and the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against the mother in law (12:52-53).

This supports the concept, showing One House, not Two, yet the division is within. This division is also spoke of by the prophets of Old; the prophet Micah said, "trust you not in a friend, put you no confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom" (Micah 7:5). From Pentecost until the Rapture we have the opportunity to receive the Spirit, thus the Spiritual nature divides or separates us from the world.

There is a difference between love and trust, if we trust in someone we will follow them, if they fall, so does our trust, where our trust goes, so do we. If we love someone, yet they fall, we can use compassion to restore them, love never fails. Paul lists several things in reference to Agape Love, trust wasn’t one of them (I Cor 13:4-7).

And He said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightaway you say, There comes a shower, and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be heat; and it comes to pass. You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time?  (12:54-56).

When bad weather comes we prepare, when good weather comes we prepare, but these people refused to prepare for the Time at hand, yet they sat around demanding it.

This shows how important the Faith of Jesus is, who had faith at the time of the Cross? Mary? Who wept. John? Who stood there. Jesus was the only one holding to faith, not one other person had the faith to stand with Jesus, much less endure the Cross. No one held to the words, "will be raised on the third day", but Jesus. Don't be fooled by the pride of presuming "if I would have been there, I would have had faith". It’s the same self-based lie pride uses with, "Well, if I was in the garden, I would never have taken the fruit". We all took it, all of come short of the glory of God, but Jesus who held His Faith looking to the result endured for us.

Yes, and why even of yourselves judge you not what is right? When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, give diligence that you may be delivered from him; lest he hale you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer cast you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart there, till you have paid the very last mite (12:57-59).

Jesus takes this from judging the signs of the time, to judging our hearts. Jesus is talking to some of those He called, yet they are hypocrites, thus by their own words and actions they are being delivered to the adversary. We assume the adversary is the devil, but later Jesus will point out He is the adversary to the Pharisees, as they made themselves His adversaries (Luke 13:17). This goes right back to fear Him who can put both soul and body in hell. Jesus doesn’t desire to put any soul in hell, yet He is the Judge, meaning the decisions of man predicates the result.

It was still time for the Pharisees to make amends by repenting, before they are delivered to the Judge. The biggest hypocrite of all is one who claims to be a Christian, yet refuses to walk in the Mercy of the Father, or submit to the Spirit.

There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans because they suffered such things? I tell you, No: but except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwell in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish (13:1-5).

The Tower of Siloam was one of the three towers located under the Temple, this tower was under the holy of holies. During the construction in the days of king Hezekiah the tower collapsed on some workers. The point is not to assume because something bad happened it was based on some evil in the person. Since the tower was connected to the holy of holies it was felt it was a type of judgment, the connection is “likewise perish”, so does it mean some tower will fall on them? No, it means standing before the judgment seat they stand alone. Nonetheless we can see how some of us see a bug and run off yelling “The curse, the curse”. Faith doesn’t avoid pit falls, it gets us through them.

He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard: and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that you shall cut it down (13:6-9).

The Three years points to three seasons, the fig tree is the religious order of Israel, yet it failed to produce fruit, then came the Olive Tree, then comes the Fig Tree with leaves again. Wait, what is a fig tree doing in a Vineyard? This is not the Olive Tree, but both the Fig Tree and Vine are suppose to bring forth Fruit. The time to fertilize is before the Time of Comfort, thus the Parable of the Fig Tree shows it won't produce fruit, but it will produce leaves. The metaphor "leaves" points to a type of covering for the flesh, as Adam used fig leaves to cover himself, but we use the healing Leaves from the Tree of Life.

The Vine is much different, unless it produces fruit it will die and fade away. A transplanted Olive Tree will not produce fruit, nor bud, thus there is a time and a Season for the Vine and Olive Tree, they can’t be transplanted, nor fail to produce fruit, there will be fruit on the Vine and on the Olive Tree until He who now Let’s takes us out of here.

And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath (13:10).

Luke is still linking line upon line, he has yet to go back to a chronological order. Luke wants us to know two things, first Jesus is teaching, and the religious leaders are there, second this happened to be the sabbath. Putting this with the parable of the fig tree, we will find what type of fruit a dead tree produces.

And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity (13:11-12).

For eighteen years this woman had walked the streets, she was hindered from entering the Temple, yet no one offered to pray for her. God saw her from the foundation of the world; therefore, there are some who are in conditions for a sign and a timing of God. This woman was not demon possessed, she was bound by a weakness (infirmity). She had the spirit of infirmity, but Jesus didn't cast the devil out of her, He healed her. She was loosed, or set free from the mental torment of Satan, the bitterness and anger of the past binding her. The bound over state was the result of her condition, but Jesus went to the source, setting her free. This is one area where the title "Satan" is defined. Another is when Jesus tells Peter, "Get you behind Me Satan". We tend to limit the Satan nature to the devil alone, but Satan is the Accuser, opposed to man. Jesus just finished talking about when we accuse others we end in the process of accusing ourselves. Once we figure out the old man is Satan natured, we will stop barking at the darkness, and start nailing the flesh to the Cross with conviction.

This woman with the spirit of infirmity couldn't raise herself up, the Greek wording used shows she was in deep depression, thus her condition is not physical, rather it's mental, her head was bowed over, causing her to be bowed over. This is another example for the premise of Binding and Loosing, did Jesus Bind the spirit of infirmity? Or did He loose the Woman?

This woman knew this was the sabbath, she also knew her hope was before her. The religious rulers weren't going to stop her from being loosed, yet at the same time the religious rulers were bound to their own traditional thinking. They looked at “labor” as any effort, yet to do Good was the purpose of keeping the sabbath holy.

And He laid hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people. There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed and not on the sabbath day (13:13-14).

Here the woman has a "spirit", yet Jesus laid hands on her, so much for the fear of Transference of spirits. Luke supports Mark's account by showing us the doctrine of the laying on of hands. We are told to lay hands on the sick, none of us are above the Master, who laid hands on the sick.

The Pharisees weren't mad because Jesus healed this woman, they were mad because He did it on the sabbath. To them the woman had been this way for 18 yeas, so what is one more day? Thus Jesus walked in, disrupted their service with these healings, causing the Pharisees to be offended. Jesus didn't heal the woman to show off, or exalt Himself, rather it was another example of how the fig tree was producing religious conceit, as the Olive Tree was growing. .

The Lord then answered him, and said, You hypocrite, does not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? (13:15).

They will make sure their animals are cared for, but they reject caring for the lambs of God. They were self-based, the only reason they were religious, was for their own glory, their own benefit, and their own religious pride. Jesus also expands the teaching, some care more for their control over the people, than for the people; or more for the ministry, than why they have a ministry.

The woman was loosed, Jesus uses the word Loose in reference to taking the animal from the binding stall to the Water. It becomes clear Jesus didn't Bind a thing or a person, He loosed them. Yet, we find a self-based effort in loosing as well, the religious leaders Loosed their anger and envy on others, while Binding the people to hindering rules and regulations.

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?  (13:16).

The phrase Daughter of Abraham means she was a Jew, thus she had a right to the covenant at the moment. She didn't need to enforce her right, rather she needed only acknowledge it, on the same note, the religious leaders should have acknowledged it, rather than go about demanding it. The proof was there, all it took was to be under the promise, yet envy closed the door to the promise.

And when He had said these things, all His adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him (13:17).

Here we find the adversaries are the religious rulers, they are ashamed by the Word, Signs and Wonders. Carnal theology didn't shame them, Truth and the Power of His Christ did, yet the intent was to set them free.

Then said He, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it (13:18-19).

It would seem strange for Jesus to rebuke these leaders then talk about the Kingdom; however, it goes directly to the events following. The Pharisees and religious rulers were in the “land”, subject to the Covenant, they were like the birds, who took advantage, but contributed nothing. The Kingdom of God is not the birds, it’s like the grain of mustard seed, the birds are not seeds or mustard. This shows how the Tree grew, yet the birds came, thus, the birds are not part of the Tree, they lodge in the branches of it.

And again He said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (13:20-21).

Leaven is usually a sign of sin, but Jesus said it was Like unto Leaven, rather than being Leaven, thus the context is still Growth. The premise is “liken the Kingdom of God”, it is not “liken unto sin”. The measures are hidden, thus they relate to the Witness, the Water, Blood and Spirit within, the time will come when it reaches the product of the course, the Body will be broken.

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (13:22-24).

Why not? I thought it was opened to all. Wait, many are called, few are chosen.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you, yourselves thrust out (13:25-28).

This is not directed to the Gentile, this is pointing right to the Jew, when did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob become part of the New Covenant? When Jesus takes captivity captive, as the great cloud of witnesses who ascended with Jesus.

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last (13:29-30).

Now we’re talking about the Gentile, the progression went from the Jew first, then to the Gentile, but the Gentile being last, will be first in the matters of Day.

The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto Him, Get You out, and depart from here: for Herod will kill You. And He said unto them, Go you and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today, and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk today and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones them that are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, You shall not see Me, until the time come when you shall say, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord (13:31-35).

House? Soul? Take no thought? Does this still relate to "deny yourself"? Yes, Jesus did the works of the ministry as the Son of man, but opened up the way for us to be "perfected" by the Resurrection. The saving of our soul is for us, the presentation of the Gospel to mankind is our responsibility to Jesus.

We also see Jesus talking to Jerusalem the City, not Israel the nation, thus not all called Israel are of Israel. The Woman in the Book of Revelation is Jerusalem, the city in bondage. The religious leaders were all from Jerusalem, becoming types and shadows of the attitude and condition allowing the False Prophet to enter in the latter days.

In a few days Jesus will enter Jerusalem, the people will say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:38). Of course a few days after some of them will yell “Crucify Him”.

Jesus says a prophet cannot perish out of Jerusalem, but then He says, Jerusalem killed the prophets. The word Perish means to destroy fully, putting the two together we find they may kill the prophet, but the words of the prophet carry on. They may even change the Law, or cast the Law and Prophets into the street, but they will not destroy them. They may drive us from their midst, but the words of the prophet remain.

Nehemiah wrote, "Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against You, and cast Your Law behind their backs, and killed the prophets which testified against them to turn them to You, and they brought great provocations" (Neh 9:26). Here in Nehemiah we find something which was, is not, yet will be later.

David said, "hide me under the shadow of Your wings" (Ps 17:8), with, "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusts in You, yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast" (Ps 57:1). God was reaching out in His Mercy, but often before we will open our eyes, we must be rebuked.

And it came to pass, as He went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched Him. And, behold, there was a certain man before Him which had the dropsy (14:1-2).

The chief Pharisee didn't invite Jesus to "share the Word", rather He was invited so they could keep an eye on Him, as they tempted Him. The false are spots in our feasts of love, they sit at the same table looking for something to accuse us by, but praise be to God, Greater is He in us, than the he in the world.

The man with the dropsy just so happened to be in the house of a chief Pharisee, as Jesus just so happened to be in the same house, as it just so happened to be the sabbath; clearly the Pharisees lay in wait to deceive Jesus, so they could accuse Him. However, Jesus is not moved by the traditions or evil plans of man. Luke also links this to the prior verses, showing they killed the prophets based on their religious conceit and envy.

And Jesus answering spoke unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it unlawful to heal on the sabbath day? (14:3).

They brought Jesus to accuse Him, but here Jesus places the question against them, from their own mouths Jesus will heal the man. Over and over the Pharisees attempted to find some fault in Jesus, each time they found none, but had their own faults exposed time and again, although they failed to see it. There is no rule or violation in the Law of Moses regarding healing on the sabbath, there is no violation for doing good on the sabbath.

And they held their peace. And He took him, and healed him, and let him go, and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? (14:4-5).

The lawyers were the voice of the law, they were the ones who could tell us if something was lawful or not, here they didn’t say a word. If they say nothing, then there is no violation. The lawyers couldn’t just say, “well I tell you what I think”, they had to have Scripture to support them. This is another one of those times when the Pharisees would say, “The law doesn’t say you can”, yet Jesus would say, “but it doesn’t say I can’t either”. Is this warfare? Yes, Jesus fought the good fight of faith, by doing Good in the face of those who were evil.

And they could not answer Him again to these things (14:6).

Going back to Luke 13:14-15, we find these same Pharisees were in the synagogue when Jesus healed the woman who was bound for eighteen years, when they told the people, "There are six days in which men ought to work, in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath", here we find the Pharisees brought this man before Jesus to see if Jesus would heal him. Their positions excused them from the labor violation, but the man wasn't excused, they caused the man to violate the sabbath in order to find something to accuse Jesus with. The leaven was all over the place, they missed the teaching by a mile, but were proving it true by their actions.

And He put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when He marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them; When you are bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than you be bidden of him; and he that bade you and him come and say to you, Give this man place; and you begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when you are bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade you comes, he may say unto you, Friend, go up higher, then shall you have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with you. For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (14:7-11).

Yikes, Self-exaltation, it’s the means the old man uses to gain his self-glory, there are some who use the concept of “giving a testimony” as a means to brag in their own glory, yet we find one who humbles their self, will be exalted by God. Both James and Peter told us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, confirming this passage.

Then said He also to him that bade Him, When you make a dinner or a supper, call not your friends, nor your kinsmen, nor the rich neighbors, lest they also bid you again, and a recompense be made you. But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you shall be blessed; for they cannot recompense you at the resurrection of the just (14:12-14).

Those called couldn’t “buy” the best seat in the house, nor did they have the money to give the required “love gift”, but they are a sign of how compassion is not partial. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, let not every man think on his own things, but on the things of others (Ph'l 2:4-5). Being Partial is giving to someone, whom we think can benefit us personally, it is not the same as sorting into groups. Jesus had His three, among the twelve, but it was for their benefit.

And when one of them that sat at meat with Him heard these things, he said unto Him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray you have me excused.  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray you have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come (14:15-20).

The man was not agreeing with Jesus, rather he was saying, it only counts when we enter heaven, but the calling is here on earth, not in the Great By and By. There are some who form excuses based on material and natural things, thinking their desires more important than the desire of God who has called them. The first had land, assuming he obtained it by his own ability, thus he would rather glory in his security. The second had possessions, he wanted to play with his possessions, instead of changing yokes. Both had material possessions, ye they held them above the Kingdom, yet it's God who makes the rich, rich, or the poor, poor. The third was married, yet he loved his wife more than he loved the One who called him, yet his wife was a gift from God. In each case they held the gift above the Giver. The first two asked to be excused, but the third simply said, I cannot come: all three point to the failure to Deny the Self.

So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is room, And the lord said unto the servant, Go out to the highways, and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper (14:21-24).

Those who had possessions were first to be called, yet they refused, thus the master sent for those who didn't have, but were nonetheless in need, they wanted to enter in. This goes all the way back to those who beg to get in, rather than think God owes them entrance. All these the Lord asked for, they were the ones the Pharisees refused entry to.

The master of the house could have forced them to come to the wedding, but the context is an invitation, not an order; therefore, it was based on Choice, not demand. In order to be Chosen, one must make the decision to be Chosen.

And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them, (14:25).

Luke shows many can follow behind Jesus, yet not follow Him; the next verses are linked to the prior teaching.

If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and his mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple (14:26).

Wow, I know, curse my family, right? Wrong, the wording "hate not" means to love less, the prior parable explains this command. This verse as well as Matthew 10:37 shows the word Hate does not refer to abandonment of one’s belongings, rather it’s the Greek Apotassetai, with the middle voice of Apotasso from Apo, with Tasso meaning To properly arrange, surely the same Lord who said, “Love your mother and father”, is not saying to hate them, rather this means to put things in their right order. Clearly this connects back to those with property, the one with the oxen, as well as the one with the wife, each of them  considered their possessions more important than the invitation. They failed to get their priorities in order, this same “rich” and “poor” state is what Jesus talked about prior. The Rich had the Promise at hand, but felt other things more important, yet the Poor were outside the Promise, they begged, asked and knocked, behold, the Door shall be opened for them.

And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple (14:27).

Our Cross is not some personal cross we bear for Jesus, rather it's the Cross of Jesus, the point at which we impute the flesh and old nature dead, the connection to the ways of the world, the old man, the flesh, sin nature with all it entails, as we impute ourselves dead by the Sacrifice of Jesus. This is priority, getting things in the proper order, then keeping them there.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sit not down first, and count the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest, haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish (14:28-30).

Clearly if Grace never costs a thing, then Jesus is in error, since here He tells us to, "count the cost" in order to Finish, rather than count the cost to enter in. Grace is something we can't buy, or earn, thus the granting of Grace is the Gift, the remaining in it is still up to us. Jesus knew the finish of the Building was in hand before He began, thus it's not the cost to enter or receive, but the cost to finish once one has received. The cost we count is whether we can finish the task, but in and of ourselves none of us can. The lie of self-righteousness thinks it can begin and finish the effort, when in truth it can’t maintain for two seconds. Once self-righteousness obtains, it has finished, it must begin anew. Like a dog chasing its tail, self-righteousness goes round and round, never getting anywhere.

Jesus shows us the decision is ours, but the ability to finish the work is His. Jesus laid the foundation, He is the Author and Finisher of faith; therefore, He is also the effectiveness between the beginning of faith and the finish of faith. If we hold to the self-nature it will form us into mockers and attackers, then we will form bitterness and religious conceit, thereby becoming another meal of “dust” for the devil to devour.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sit not down first, and consults whether he is able to with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassador, and desires conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsake not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple (14:31-33).

These appear to be forms of self-preservation, but the context shows us how any of us know when one Greater has come, we immediately desire to make Peace. Here Jesus is the One Greater, yet the Pharisees are making war, not peace.

We prayed "Lord never let me be deceived", then the Lord sent someone to expose our deception, yet we attacked them. The result is the Holy Spirit turning to be our enemy, yet it began with our prayer request. Did we believe in our prayer? Was our faith and our mouth working together? (Isa 63:10-11).

The Greek word for Peace is Eriene which means Prosperity, Rest and Peace, it’s the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew Shalom. However, this Peace is a Peace with God, which brings Rest and Prosperity as our souls prosper.

Salt is good: but if the salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; but men cast it out. He that has ears to hear, let him hear (14:34-35).

Salt does more than preserve meat, it brings flavor, or zest to the meal; when the salt no longer does what it was intended to do, it becomes worthless. Was it salt once? Yes, but it lost something, being the point. If we count the cost, then willingly give up the old nature to have the New, we will joy in our walk, but if we attempt to hold to the Old, yet claim the New, we will lose our salt.

First we saw the Greater One had the wherewithal to finish the task, but it takes Salt refusing to lose the Zest to finish the race. Salt is not an effort, but an attitude; the Word Salt means Energy, the purpose of salt is to bring an energy to the flavor of the food. The Salt is not the food, it's an additive, man does not live by Bread alone. The wording Lose Your Savor means to become Insipid, or to lose our excitement, stimulation or interest. When we lose the excitement, or Joy of our salvation, our Salt has lost its savor, we will  become religious bores.

Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them. And He spoke this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (15:1-4).

In this case the sheep wandered away, it wasn't chased away, it didn't intend to wander, it simply followed a bad path unaware of the result. The Lord will call every backslider back, not just once, but over and over again; however, He will not make their decision for them, nor will He force them to return, yet Jesus is still the Chief Shepherd.

This is also a direct rebuke to the religious leaders, taking us to Ezekiel, where God said, "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel who do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" (Ezek 34:2). God goes on to say the shepherds have failed to heal the sick, or seek the lost, rather they used force and cruelty on the people (Ezek 34:4). God said He will come Himself to gather the lost sheep of Israel (Ezek 34:11-13). The religious leaders began to enforce the Law, rather than minister to the people. Legalists do the same, they use the Scriptures as a means of manipulation, or control, rather than freedom.

And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost (15:5-6).

The metaphor Shoulder refers to the government of the Body, it’s just above the Body, but below the Head of the Body (Isa 9:6). This is not gaining a sinner, rather it's gaining one who wandered from the flock, thus the responsibility of gaining back the lost one was placed on the Shoulder. Some reject the backslider, but Jesus says Seek them  in order to Loose them from their condition. A great deal of the time we find a backslider is discouraged, usually by someone in the Body who has lost their salt.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance (15:7).

This explains the silence in heaven during the last Half of the Hour; since Salvation will be stayed until the Night, there will be no rejoicing in heaven. The Good side of this is seeing one sinner who repents which draws all of heaven's attention. Here Jesus calls the backslider a sinner, showing they slipped right back into the same darkness.

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (15:8).

In this case the woman had the silver in her hand, she misplaced one piece, the silver didn't wander away, rather it was simply forgotten, then remembered. There are times when the Babes seem to fall between the cracks, then we remember them, causing us to diligently seek them. This parable also relates to our faith and how we diligently seek God in all things. Both parables show us, if we seek we shall find, in the finding comes the joy.

And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents (15:9-10).

The woman becomes a symbol of the Lord searching for the lost one, showing how much God loves the repentant sinner, as well as God not leaving us, rather He will continue to call and seek those who wander from the path. It's very important for us to separate the sinner from the Wicked, keeping them in the proper groupings. God hates the ways of the Wicked, but seeks the sinner, we tend to mix the term sinner into the term wicked placing them in the same basket, ending condemning the sinner. We were all sinners, but we were not among the Wicked. The Wicked are those who have entered, but mock God's mercy by refusing to give it. They haven’t backslid, they are still among us, but not part of us.

This reminds us of the prophet’s disciple who lost the borrowed ax head in the water, then cried out, "It's borrowed, it's borrowed". Why was it so important? Why not say, "Oh well, old so-and-so will understand"? Or "So what?, it's borrowed". The Jew was raised with the concept of something borrowed was more important than something owned. If the ax head was his own, then lost or not, it was his own, but if borrowed, it had to be returned in the same condition when it was borrowed. This same premise is true with God's Mercy, we borrowed it to gain entrance, thus it was imputed unto us, but when we give Mercy it becomes imparted. Therefore, Jesus tells us when we stand praying we forgive; the sinner has yet to make entrance, thus they have yet to borrow God's mercy, but the Wicked have entered yet refuse to give Mercy, after they receive it, therein lays the difference.

And He said, A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me. And he divided unto them his living (15:11-12).

The son didn't wander off, he wasn't misplaced, he made a decision to leave his house, and take a Portion of his inheritance. Did the father grab him, or bind him to the house? No, he allowed the child to go, knowing God Is. This Parable shows how the Father will allow us to make our own choices, knowing we will come to our senses when we are face to face with the pigs. This explains why some of us wake up in the middle of the pig's pen wondering, "how did this happen?", or "why did God allow this?". Some of us have to learn the hard way, most of us learn the hard way, yet God allows us to taste of the pig pen in order to appreciate the Kingdom. God didn’t lead us to the pig pen, but He is fully able to save us.

We often think this father gave his son all of his inheritance, but here it shows the son was given a living, or a portion of the inheritance, which we could term “a gift”. God is always able to deliver His own; some of those horrid events we face are merely areas to expose how we are misusing our portion of the inheritance, or to bring us back to the proper place of understanding so we can enjoy the fullness of the inheritance.

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed the swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him (15:13-16).

The famine was not by chance, yet many of us have seen a famine in the Body. We know something is missing, but we also have this promise, If we ask, we shall receive, seek and we shall find, knock and it shall be opened to us, for the Father desires for us to have the Holy Spirit in fullness.

This Jewish youth ended up eating with pigs, and all sorts of unclean animals; any Pharisee would have written him off, but the father knew the lesson was worth the result. When we judge the event by the event we are blinded to the purpose, or bound to the event, but if we hold our faith in the event we are loosed from the evil, able to receive the Precious. The event is never our problem, it's our soulish reaction to the event becoming our problem.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (15:17).

It took the experience to bring this one to his senses, the many lessons we assume are evil or ungodly in nature, are God giving us experiences to bring strength to our Grace, power to our Mercy, or confidence to our Faith. Perhaps it’s why James tells us to count it a Joy when we fall, since we are the only ones who can obtain a Spiritual gain.

While wandering in the land of the stranger the youth found famine, but he also knew his father's house had more than enough to meet his need. The possessions in the hand of the lowest of his father’s servants, was far better than all the world had to offer. The experience had a purpose, a means to bring the son to repentance. There was none better born of women than John the Baptist, but the least in the Kingdom is greater (Matt 11:11). Interesting since John was a Jew, as God picked the Jews above all the nations in the world. The least in the Kingdom has more than they can fathom.

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you. And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants (15:18-19).

The son recognized his present position, he made a choice to repent. In the prior parables the item was lost, then searched for, here the one who is lost also had to make a choice to be found. The son could have blamed his father by saying, "if my father hadn't given me my share, I won't be here", or "if it wasn't for the famine, I would have made it", but this youth said, "I have sinned". This is the opposite of the fall excuses, instead of saying "it was the father you gave me", the youth said, "I have sinned against Thee, and Thee alone". This youth is type of a backslider, the parables talked of our responsibility to seek out the lost sheep. Here it’s when the lost sheep wakes up and comes back home.

This is still teaching in the presence of the Pharisees who said, “this man receives sinners and eats with them”, so was Jesus the one who took His father’s inheritance to cast it away? Not hardly, but the Pharisees had a responsibility, if Jesus was in fact “eating with sinners”, their job was not to condemn Him, but rescue Him. What then was Jesus doing? Rescuing the sinner, thus, He was completing the call in Ezekiel 34:11-12, “for thus says the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search out sheep, and seek them out, As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the Day he is among his sheep who are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver (rescue) them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day”.

The paradox becomes obvious, but there is more yet, as a hope to those who have close ones who have wandered off. The first premise was God sending the shepherds out to find the lost, the youth however, didn’t have anyone come to him, rather his situation was made clear to him, then he sought repentance. In either case the lost sheep was found, then restored.

And he arose, and came to his father, But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him (15:20).

Once the youth made his choice, he had to act on it in order for it to be the fruit of repentance. He was sorry for what he did, which was correct and good, but he had to turn by making a move to be restored in order to complete the repentance. This youth is not the same as someone who is to be converted, rather this youth was of the “house”, then left. This would also connect to Peter being told, “and when you are converted”. Here we find clarity came, repentance took place, faith was added showing the future with the father was far better than the world.

Prior Jesus said, "go get them", here He tells us, "wait for them", which do we do? Faith comes by hearing, we find two examples to the same situation. One tells us to go after them, the other tells us to wait for them, which we do determines the result.

Before the youth asked his father for mercy, his father was already preparing the welcoming home party. The father had compassion, he didn't condemn the son, or remind the son of all he had done for him, nor did he bring up the past, rather he kissed him, then received him back as if he was never gone. This example shows us when the backslider comes back, God brought them back, receive them as a treasure of the Lord. Holding someone's past against them is very dangerous, it places us in a position for someone to hold our past against us.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son (15:21).

The son completed the repentance, knowing he was not worthy, yet the father called him more than worthy. This youth could have seen the preparation, yet decided not to repent; however, his repentance caused the party, it’s the point.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring here the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry (15:22-24).

Repentance brings joy, once repentance becomes an action, so does restoration. The son was placed back in the folds of the family. Although all he wanted was the lowest of positions, the father give him the best, for the son was dead, but now he lives.

This youth discerned the event, learned from it, knew where his inheritance rested, causing him to return. This same youth could have remained with the pigs cursing the darkness, or he could sit around blaming God, but he didn’t, he knew his decision was the cause, thus every man is still drawn away by their own lust. The lust? Covetousness, taking us right back to the brother who demanded his inheritance. This youth found there is more to life, than possessions. Covetousness is the same as envy, it’s desiring what belongs to another, showing self-righteousness is an act of envy, it seeks the righteousness of God without having the means to obtain it. The New Birth gives us the Righteousness of God, thus, rather than seek it, we have it.

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Your brother is come; and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore, came his father out, and entreated him (15:25-28).

The other side of the coin is the son who stayed, worked and waited. Envy and jealousy can bring anger in a second. Covetousness took the one son away, here jealousy enters when the son who remains sees all the fuss over the returning son. Some of us think restoration is a method we can use to beat the person with many stripes for a year or two; however, restoration is the restoring to a position prior to the error, as if the error never happened.

This gives us two sides of the spirit of man; on one side we find the youth who was moved by covetousness who left, on the other, the son who remained becoming jealous when the father received the lost son. If we have Mercy we will sow restoration and compassion, as we reap mercy, restoration and compassion, but if we sow condemnation we reap condemnation. Paul saw this very parable, and said, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, restore such a one in the Spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted" (Gal 6:1). Failure to restore will sow seeds of envy and jealousy giving the devil place to put us in the pig pen.

The spiritual seek to restore, but those who are carnal seek to destroy, in the process of destroying they seek to exalt their own minds. The world has no idea what this means, to them anyone who repents must still pay for their wrong. It’s an attitude very dangerous in the Kingdom, but it’s expected of the world. Two different manners, two different natures, two different places. The method of restoration we use is not imputing the sins on the person, but receiving them in love.

And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve you, neither transgressed I at any time your commandment: and yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this your son was come, which has devoured your living with harlots, you have killed for him the fatted calf (15:29-30).

It's easy to say, "I'm better than him, why don't I get some goodies?". The eldest brother referred to the younger as, "this your son" instead of "my brother"; his self-pity has now turned to anger, as he is condemning his brother to justify his anger.  Like Cain who entered envy, sin was at the door, thus one repented, but the other needed to. This also shows the heart of the brother who wanted his inheritance, thus Jesus exposed the lust in the man. True ministry is not a pat on the back, it’s assisting the person to find the beam, define the source, stand with them as it’s removed, while loving them through it.

And he said unto him, Son, you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours (15:31).

Since this is still related to the Pharisees who said, “He does eat with sinners”, we can see why Jesus is ministering to them, pointing to the beam, assisting them in identifying it, then showing how to remove it. Jesus is like the father who received the lost, but the Pharisees were acting like a spoiled son. If the elder son wanted a feast of his own, he could, the ability was there, but he wanted his father to make special arrangements, or proclaim his importance. The desire for special treatment, or being special of the special is a lust to be superior over the Body, rather than a member of it. Therefore, we can see how Jesus is teaching us about the Body of Christ, as the eye looks at the mouth, or the foot at the hand, wondering why it “appears” as if some receive more recognition than others? Or why we see God restore some fallen one, yet we fight to maintain, it doesn't appear as if God is doing anything special for us, so we say, "it's not fair!". The eldest brother wasn't looking at the younger as a brother, rather he was looking at him as some outcast the father was taking back in. The eldest failed to see the reverse, or how he would feel if he was in the shoes of the younger. Would the elder want to be received like the younger? Yes, if we fall, we would want restoration, so why do we end beating someone half to death when they backslide? Wrong spirit, thus exposure has many facets. Here the exposure of the youngest was the pig pen, the exposure of the elder was his own reaction to the event. “Look, I’ve been in this church for ten years, never missed a Sunday, they are making such a big deal over a sinner coming back”. Ouch! The son didn’t want to be special of the special, rather he humbled himself, but the father exalted him. It’s a far cry from coming up with some revelation the Body isn’t ready for, or some special name putting us above all the others, or thinking we are greater than the rest of the Body.

The father's desire was to restore the son, as he made him feel as if he belonged, but the other son wanted some punishment applied; at the same time he wanted the father to exalt him. The one brother allowed jealousy to enter, either envy or jealousy cause us to desire punishment on others for their wrongs, while we demand mercy. Not only did he want some punishment applied, he also wanted to be honored for his good works. Mercy never seeks the punishment, Mercy will not rub someone's nose in their failure, nor impute sin on them, it is ready to rejoice for the return of the fallen son.

All of us have some pillars of sand, or strongholds, when we fall, we fall for a moment or two, or we fall for a month of two. Therefore, God tells those who are spiritual to restore the fallen, but He doesn't want those who are carnal to put their hands into the restoration process. Why? The carnal mind is unable to understand the Law of the Spirit, it will apply carnal means leaving the person with more sandy foundations than they had to begin with.

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found (15:32).

Here the father answers for the eldest son, pointing out a "brother" was brought back. The eldest was looking at this situation through the eyes of jealousy, rather than through the eyes of compassion. He needed a change of view, from jealousy to mercy; at time we need to view the matter through the eyes of the Spirit.

And He said also unto His disciples, There was a certain Rich Man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods (16:1).

The teaching now changes to the disciples, as the parable is directed to leadership in the Body. The prior parable pointed to lad who came to his senses, but here is another situation. The word Accused is the Greek Dieblethe meaning Falsely Accused. This  steward didn’t do a wrong, rather he was accused falsely of doing wrong. We recall how Peter told us, “For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? But if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God” (I Pet 2:20).

And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of you? give an account of your stewardship; for you may no longer be a steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses (16:2-4).

The master didn't say "you shall no longer", but "you may no longer", thus this steward had to prove his position in order to remain. This steward is figuring two ends of the same problem, instead of attacking the false accusation, he will go out to prove to his master, how just he is.

So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owe you unto my lord? And he said, A hundred measures of oil.  And he said unto him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owe you? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations (16:5-9).

This seems really strange, Jesus tells us, we are suppose to make "friends" with these people, what gives? Who are those who hold the "mammon of unrighteousness"? Are they the "children of this world"? If so, why does Jesus say they are wiser than the children of Light? The word Light is the Greek Phos meaning Light in general, it was used to show God has commanded the Light to shine out of darkness (II Cor 4:6), often it refers to the light from a candle (Luke 8:16), as well as, the Daylight (Jn 11:9), it also refers to the Light of the Sun and Moon (James 1:17), thus it refers to both the Greater and Lesser Light. The servant is showing mercy to the debtors, but his motive is still to save his own neck, yet he was able to obtain some mercy. The point is how those who love money, are moved by money were able to give mercy to the steward, yet we who received the Mercy of the Father refuse at times to grant mercy.

This is another example of Loosing and Binding, this steward is Loosing the debt, yet we know the word Debt is a metaphor for Sin or Unforgiveness. In this case they refused to Forgive All, but even the unjust can Forgive. This Parable then points to Mercy, as some hold burdens of unforgiveness on their necks as great yokes, but if they would at least make the effort to forgive part, the Mercy of God would enter bringing the result freeing them of the debt. Did we deserve God's Mercy? Of course not, thus we knew we didn't deserve it, but we received it  by faith. So then, there are some in our lives who don't deserve our mercy, but we give it by faith, looking to the result.

Unforgiveness is retained Resentment, as an ill will, or indignation held regarding a real or imagined wrong or grievance. St. Augustine in his teaching on unforgiveness said, “holding resentment is like taking poison then hoping the other person dies”, it’s self-destructive.

In verse 8 we have the English words Wisely and Wiser which come from the Greek word Phronimos. This is different from the Greek word Sophos meaning Wise. Both Phronimos and Sophos refer to the use of intelligence, but Sophos is only used when the thing to be accomplished is good; whereas Phronimos is most often used when the result to be accomplished is evil. This opens the concept, showing the Unjust Steward had an evil intent, but nonetheless applied Mercy, thus Mercy can be applied by anyone, even if they are run by the spirit of man. The concept shows even the world can show Mercy, not much of an excuse for those in the Kingdom who refuse to. Compare this to those who work at their iniquity, they acquired God’s Mercy, thus they can walk in the fullness of Mercy, which is the Father’s Will (be ye merciful as your Father). However, they work harder at not walking in Mercy, than the unjust steward did applying mercy.

The steward was ashamed to beg, yet the first time we find the concept of being ashamed is at the fall (Gen 2:25 & 3:10). The unjust steward worked out some method to secure his position for a time, but since he failed to repent, he would end up in the same position over and over again. The son repented, he was received back into the house; Peter went out and wept bitterly, Judas attempted to buy his way back into the synagogue; two forms of repentance, with different results.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? (16:10-12).

The unjust steward sought to secure his position, the son also thought of his position, but the unjust steward used deception to gain his position back, whereas the son used repentance by confessing his sins. The unjust steward was able to avoid the judgment for a time, but the son gained much more than he sought. The Unjust attempt to serve two masters, to please both by actions, yet we do find a Precious seed here. Those who owed the master were forgiven for all their debt, by giving half, if we place ourselves in their position, we can find the Precious in this Parable. The Unjust Steward was still Unjust, the others still forgive. Although the steward was Unjust, we find the Just live by faith, thus an attribute of being Just is Mercy. Therefore, those who draw back to Perdition, refuse to give Mercy.

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other, You cannot serve God and mammon (16:13).

The son wasn't seeking mammon, he was seeking to be lifted from one position to another in his father's house, but the unjust steward was seeking his security by using the methods of mammon. The comparison indicates the application of mercy by those run by the love of money is possible, why then do those in Kingdom not give Mercy as part of their nature? This parable is more of a warning, in a few days Jesus will breath on the disciples, giving the ability to remit sins done unto them, they best apply it in a Godly manner.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him (16:14).

The disciples heard and received, out of the twelve only one became a son of perdition, but the Pharisees held to the mammon as their covetousness, remaining with their father the devil. This takes us all the way back to Luke 12:15 where Jesus said, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses". The Pharisees were sitting in positions where they had want of nothing, yet they were stealing. They had their self-righteousness, but no sinner can gain Right standing before God, rather, they had standing before the Law, thinking it was before God. They had control of the temple, but they were denying the Lord of Glory. Success is not always a sign of holiness, even Satan will reward Satan for an evil purpose. Success is measured in our relationship with Jesus by the Spirit.

And He said unto them, You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (16:15).

The unjust steward thought he fooled his master, the Pharisees assumed they were fooling Jesus. Both were in error, all things are manifest and open before God (Heb 4:12-13).

When the world condones us, or when the world praises us, beware. We need to deny the self daily to keep our mercy laced with salt, as our savor is full of mercy and grace.

The Law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it (16:16).

This is like the "violent take it by force", but here we find a twist, the Pharisees thought their self-righteousness was enough to get them into heaven, but one needs the Spirit. This also shows when John came the methods of Old ended, concepts were in the process of change, definitions were in the process of change, laws, and all sorts of things were in the process, but the change will not come until Pentecost. The word Press is the Greek Biazo meaning to inflict force, but this is timed as well, the Entry will not be available by the Spirit until Pentecost, since Jesus will also say the Kingdom of God is within.

And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the Law to fail (16:17).

The violence unto the Kingdom was based in self-righteousness, the vehicle for the Law of Moses, but the Violent are those empowered with an outside force. Before the Spirit was given the kingdom did suffer from those attempting to make entry by their self-righteousness, they would kick, beg, knock, but self-righteousness cannot make entry. The Violent attempted to use self-righteousness, but it was all they had at the time.

The entire premise of the Kingdom suffering violence is from John until the “Now”, it was not from Adam until the Now, or from David until the Now. Add this to “the Law and Prophets were until John”, and you have a very limited time from John until “Now”.

Right after saying the Law and Prophets were until John, Jesus now says not one dot on the “i”, or the cross on the “t” will fail from the Law. The Law of Moses didn't disappear, we merely moved to a different Law for citizens of a different Kingdom.

Paul also commented on this, by saying, "Now we know what things soever the Law says, it says to them who are under the Law: so every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom 3:19). This shows the purpose of the Law: to stop the mouths of the self-righteous, showing how guilty they are, as well as, showing the world how guilty it is. The Law of the Spirit also has a purpose, to justify us as it makes us innocent before God by the Spirit. Two Laws, both from God, but sent to two different people for different purposes, to arrive at different results.

Whosoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and whosoever marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery (16:18).

It would seem strange for Jesus to put this in the midst of this teaching, unless He is pointing to religious conceit, or the adultery of changing God's Laws to fit man's thinking. This points to the Law of Moses; if the Cross stops the Law, or as Paul put it, the Law is nailed to the Cross, then to take of the Law after we pass through the Cross is marrying the wife the Cross put away. This is somewhat different than Paul’s teaching on the subject, but very close. Paul said we can't be free to marry another unless our first mate is dead; therefore we are bound to the Law until a death takes place (Rom 7:3). Therefore, we must be dead before we are free of the Law of Moses, thus death comes for us when we impute the flesh dead as we pick up our Cross. The Cross is a place of death, the Resurrection a place of Life. The Law of Moses pertained to a way of life, not life itself. Once death ensued, the Law served it’s purpose as it completed the process of sin and death. The Cross then ends the process of the Law of Moses, as it begins the path to a New Law. It’s  vital for us not to stop at the Cross, rather we must gain the Spirit to enter Grace. If we remain at the Cross we’re free of the Law of Moses, but dead nonetheless.

The Life in Christ comes in the New Birth based on the Power of the Resurrection. Doing the deeds of the Law, after our imputed death, is witchcraft (Gal 3:1). We can't keep pulling the flesh off the Cross by using the wiles of the flesh, then expect the fullness of the New Man as well. Surely the effort would be double-minded, let not that person expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:8). Paul tells us to Put off the old man, then Put on the New (Col 3:9-10); there is an order we must follow.

There was a certain Rich Man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores (16:19-20).

This same concept is found in the Book of James, if we think “rich” and “poor” always refers to money we will miss the point. To a Jew being “Rich” means subject to the Covenant, of course being “Poor” means one is a Gentile, who is not subject. James writes to converted Jews who were dispersed among the Gentiles. In Acts 15 James and the other apostles wrote a letter to the Gentiles regarding certain rites to settle the question regarding the Gentiles having to go back and follow Jewish rites regarding circumcision before they could receive the New Covenant. It became rather foolish, since the Gentiles had received the Spirit, or to say the Spirit made a mistake is also rather foolish. James is a letter to the dispersed Jews, telling them to gain the Wisdom of God, rather than continue to use the wisdom of man.

Here we find a combination of allegories, the rich man could very well be rich in goods, but the concept here shows a Jew subject to the Promise in the house, yet the Gentile is sick, because he is not subject to the Promise. The Jew sees this Gentile every day, but since the Gentile is not subject to the promise, why pay any attention to him? This is still to the disciples, and still in reference to them applying Mercy to the outcasts.

The word Sumptuously means the Rich Man gained daily, the beggar was at his gate; therefore, it was not being rich in material goods, rather it shows two groups, the Rich Man who had the House in hand, the Poor who was at the gate, and in need. Later Peter will have a vision telling him to enter a house of a Gentile, this parable points to the vision.

And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores (16:21).

This sounds much like the Gentile woman who sought for her daughter, she knew the Crumbs were sufficient. Ahh, the key to the mystery, the Gentile woman, the Poor, the Table, the Crumbs, they all relate showing something presented to the Rich (Jew), but not forced on them, yet it will also be presented to the Poor Gentile. We tend to think, "If God wants me saved, He will have to force me", not so, God will not force or manipulate, He presents.

We also find the “dogs”, to a Jew it pointed to the unclean. Clearly the rich man has the wherewithal, he is fully capable of applying what was given him. The same is true with us, God grants us Mercy, we can apply it, but it won’t be automatic, we must do it.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the Rich Man also died, and was buried (16:22).

Jesus didn't say the beggar went to the bosom of Moses, or the bosom of God, rather it was the Bosom of Abraham. Why Abraham? The usage in and of itself should have caused the Pharisees to search out their theological stones of abuse. When Jesus called it “Abraham’s Bosom” He said the only way to get there was by faith, not the deeds of the Law. If the Law was the key, then it would be the “Bosom of Moses”.

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeing Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame (16:23-24).

When Jesus said “buried” the Pharisees could accept it, but hell? Oh my, could it be? The Jews held the thought even if they went to hell, the longest they could be kept there was one year, then hell would have to release them. This may have been one of the thoughts the religious rulers held regarding putting Jesus on the Cross. If they were right, then God would show them great favor, if they were wrong it would only be a year. Jesus made many comments about eternal judgment, perhaps it’s why one of the six rudiments to the Doctrine of Christ is Eternal Judgment (Heb 6:1-2).

When the beggar was at his gate the rich man had no time for mercy, now he wants Mercy. In order to get it, you’ve got to give it. This is along the lines of the lawyer who asked “who is my neighbor”, which pointed to Mercy. Here Jesus shows one can be subject to the Promise, have the token of the Covenant, yet fail to do what is expected, missing out on the Reward.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there (16:25-26).

Abraham didn't call this person "stranger", or "Goy", rather it was "son", showing the man was subject to the promise, he had what it took to obtain the promise, but rejected it. Lazarus on the other hand was at the Door, thus by God making him a beggar he was the Opportunity for the Rich Man to show mercy. God presents opportunity, although the beggar seemed poor in the standards of the world, as the rich man seemed rich according to the standards of the world, we find it was just the opposite.

Lazarus received evil at the hands of the Rich Man, the Rich Man received his position at the hand of God, Lazarus received his reward at the hands of God, the Rich Man by his own hand.

This parable also connects to the Rich Man who tore down his barns to make room for more goods, and God said, "You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you" (Luke 12:20). Jesus also said, "so is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). The Good News is full of warnings, but it also gives us God's method of escape as well. So, is being rich a sin? No, it’s not being rich, but what one does with the riches God gave them. The rich man had opportunity, the way was presented, what he did with it was up to him, the result in God’s hand.

Then he said, I pray you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment (16:27-28).

The Rich Man knew his fate was sealed, he is now more concerned about his
”brethren”, but the beggar was also his brother, yet he didn’t care. We can see how those who say “Lord, Lord haven’t we” end in their condition by assuming since they are Rich (Acts), they don’t need to apply Mercy (Ways). The Rich man felt he was blessed, but he didn’t feel it necessary to bless others; thus this still relates to Mercy, the steward found mercy in those who loved money, the teaching here is we have the Power and Authority to forgive, it’s not a suggestion, but a Commandment.

Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them (16:29).

When Jesus was transfigured on the Mount, the Father said, "this is My beloved Son, hear Him", the Law and the prophets became the Two Witnesses for the time when there is no Christ on this earth. Abraham lived well before the Law or the Prophets, but here he mentions them, thus Abraham’s Bosom was not only in viewing distance of hell, but they knew the events of the world, by those who entered. Not only were the disciples being taught, but the Pharisees were sitting right there hearing this parable as well.

And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent (16:30).

Not only do we find the Rich Man correcting Abraham, as the Pharisees corrected Jesus, but the Rich Man is even making demands from hell. The Rich Man didn't repent, yet he had the Law and prophets; therefore, the Law and Prophets must talk about Mercy as well. The Rich Man is looking at Lazarus who was with Abraham, yet he never makes note, or a suggestion of his wrong. The Pharisees also had the prior evidence, they had the Scriptures, but they rejected the Proceeding Word.

Even hell didn’t change the Rich man, he was still demanding, still bossing people around, still the self-based soul he was before.

And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (16:31).

Jesus spent forty days with the disciples after the Resurrection, being seen of many (Acts 1:3); Paul had to remind the Corinthians Jesus was raised from the dead, they were baptized to identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus, but some didn’t believe. Paul asks why were they baptized unto death, if they don’t believe in being raised? (I Cor 15:29).  If they were baptized, they should have accepted the conditions of the baptism, including imputing the flesh dead as well as not continuing to use the ways of the old man.

Abraham tells the Rich Man, if they won't believe the shadow they had for all those years, they won't believe the sign either, it’s exactly what happened, after Jesus was Resurrected the religious rulers still refused to believe. So much so, even Annas and Caiaphas the same two high priests who will condemn Jesus will also beat Peter and John for preaching Jesus (Acts 4:6).

Then said He unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come (17:1).

Ouch, man didn’t He just offend these guys? What does this mean? The word for Offense here means to cause one to stumble, it’s different than an offense of correction to bring perfection.

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones (17:2).

We look at the little ones as actual small children, to a point it’s true, but the context goes deeper, showing us the Blades in Christ, and how carnal rules, regulations, and formulas are all obstacles. The saving of the soul is our goal, but our carnal methods can produce more self than we get rid of. If we use the pride of life to rid ourselves of the flesh, we end up using pride in our efforts, but if we impute the flesh dead by the Cross of Jesus, then trust in God to bring the result by the Spirit we will have victory.

Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if he repent forgive him (17:3).

Many of us trespass against others and never know it, thus it's best to be rebuked unto exposure in order to repent, than be the one who brings offense. We forget our carnal means often cause "peripheral damage", or the damage caused around us. We say or do things based in carnal thinking, as others watch they become discouraged, or think they can do the same. It should not be so.

However, if someone trespasses then repents, we forgive, thereby bringing Mercy and Restoration. James noted many of our sicknesses are caused by retaining faults (trespasses) against one another (James 5:16).

And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him (17:4).

This is not a suggestion, it's a Commandment, if we love Jesus, we will do His Commandments. Luke doesn't change directions here, but continues to link one saying with another, to bring the Fruit of Mercy. What Commandments? Those from the Mount of Olives regarding Mercy are the Least, then those concerning Grace. It doesn’t mean they are least in priority, they are least in capability, anyone who has accepted the Mercy of God has the ability to apply Mercy. Yet, faith without love coupled to Mercy ends in self-centered mind power.

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might say unto this sycamore tree, Be you plucked up by the root, and be you planted in the sea; and it should obey you (17:5-6).

The apostles knew forgiveness and mercy related to increased faith. Here it's not the mountain but the Tree: the use of the sycamore tree was not by mistake. When the children believed not in God, they trusted not in His salvation, they forgot how God delivered them from Egypt, or how God plagued the Egyptians, and the Egyptian sycamore trees were destroyed with frost (great hailstones - Ps 78:17, 78:22, 78:41 & 78:47). The Mountain and Sycamore Tree in this context are things of the world, and the metaphor Sea represents the world, as does the metaphor Egypt. The world lacks Mercy, it seeks Justice, validation, recompense, yet we live by Mercy, and live more abundantly by Grace. The Sycamore tree came from the Hebrew Sukaminos, it has the form and foliage of a mulberry, but the fruit resembles a Fig Tree, thus here it’s representative of a counterfeit religious order, supposing itself to be the Fig Tree. This was a rebuke to the religious rulers, they used the religious order God gave them, but in an evil manner.

But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready where with I may eat, and grid yourself and serve me, till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you shall eat and drink? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not (17:7-9).

Jesus moves from Mercy to Grace, the word Thank in the phrase, "Does he thank …" is the Greek Charis, which we know as Grace. This shows there are things Expected by us who are in Grace, they are not means to gain righteousness, but efforts based on the Righteousness given. It’s the same with Mercy, we operate in Mercy by having Mercy granted to us by the Father. In First John we are told those who deny the Father and Son are antichrist in nature, pointing to the duties of Mercy by the Father, and Grace by the Son.

Jesus is still teaching on increasing faith, moving from faith to faith is akin to adding Mercy to Grace. Our labors of Grace and Mercy are expected, we shouldn't expect some special treatment for doing what is expected.

So likewise you, when you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do (17:10).

Grace is the heavenly Gift, not something we have a right to, but it's also the Ability to do Grace, thus we had no foundation upon which to Receive Grace, but through Jesus we were imputed Grace, once imputed, we gained a position to be Born Again, then Grace was Imparted as the Spirit giving us the Ability to do the Things of Christ (Grace). However, is Grace the only subject here? No, He just talked about Mercy, so we find Mercy and Grace must work as a team. The proof of this is “come boldly to the throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy, and Find Grace”.

And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee (17:11).

Luke is still linking the teachings regarding Deny the self, and picking up our Cross, he will do so until we reach Luke 18:35. Each one of these areas all link to the prior. For the teacher we find one thing after another establishing us now, explaining how we maintain in the Kingdom, thus this is how we Prepare to Take the Kingdom.

When we hold joy in doing the things we want to, what grace have we? But if we hold joy in doing the things of Grace, even if we don't want to, rather we know the doing pleases God, therein we find Joy. Therefore, doing what we want, when we want, is not service, doing what the Lord wants with Joy, whether we like it, understand it, or agree with it, is service. It’s these matters increasing our Faith in God, thus, our Faith in God must be to please Him, whether we’re pleased or not.

And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us (17:12-13).

Like the blind men and many others, we find the phrase, "have mercy on us"; yet we claim to be under Grace, while denying these same things are available to us. The Book of Hebrews says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of Grace, to obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). We can't claim Grace without Mercy, if we have Mercy we will give it, Mercy heals our bodies and forgives our sins. In the times of Old when the priest came with timid dread, fearing for their life to the Mercy Seat, the Throne of Grace was not available to them, neither was the faith of Jesus which makes boldness possible.

And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed (17:14).

Not only did the Law have provisions for the lepers, but the only time they could show themselves to the priest was after they were clean; therefore, when Jesus said, "Go show yourselves unto the priests" the lepers knew they were clean, yet their bodies lacked the evidence. How do we know? As they went they were cleansed, they heard, did as they were told by the Lord, thus in the doing the healing took place. This goes right back to “if you Love Me, you will do My Commandments”. We may begin to apply Mercy, but our bodies and minds say, “no way, this isn’t working, you still hate them”; however, here is the promise, do and it shall come to pass; thus it’s a faith issue, we do looking to the result of the doing, not what our emotions tell us at the time.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger (17:15-18).

The man was a Samaritan, this is the reverse of the Good Samaritan. Here the Samaritan was in need, the He who is the Oil and Wine healed him. The Samaritan would seem to be disobedient, after all Jesus told him to show himself to the priests, yet here he is. Worship and Praise unto the Lord are never out of order, here the man “gives thanks” to Him who healed him. What caused it? As they went they were healed, this man did as he was told, his body didn’t show any signs of healing, but as the healing came he took time to praise ye the Lord. This man knew there was a matter of greater importance to do.

And He said unto him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole (17:19).

What happened? The man just made connection with the true High Priest, we can see the test was on all ten. They were told to do something, the man didn’t say, “I’m not going to any priest”, rather he knew there was a greater importance, thus he applied his love and appreciation, which moved him past the prior requirement. Did Jesus change His mind? No, the man changed positions. This is a great lesson for us, we hear, we do, the healing will come, yet we add Praise unto the Lord then we shall be Whole. The word Whole here is the Greek Sozo, connecting to the woman who had the issue of blood. In both cases they centered their faith not in the healing, but directly on the Lord. This opens an area for us to consider, is our faith in the ability of Jesus? Or in Jesus?

And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation (17:20).

The word Observation means By physical sight, thus the Pharisees were expecting to see the Kingdom of God in order to believe, but the Kingdom of God will not come with observation. This goes right back to the man who returned, they did as they were told, on the path they were healed. We ask, we may not see a thing, in truth we won’t, but we believe we received, as we begin to Praise the Lord for the Gift. It will manifest, but it will not come by observation. For many it’s the problem, they want to see something, then they will ask. Won’t happen, Jesus is telling us to believe to receive the Seed, water it with Mercy, then the knowledge of the Seed taking residence will come to pass. This is not the same as speaking in unknown tongues, or prophecy, those are signs of the Seed being planted, here it’s the Kingdom of God meaning the time when our souls are becoming Spiritual in nature by the Spirit. Now Jesus will add to this by saying:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you (17:21).

The phrase "shall they", with the phrase "within you", can also read, "among you", and both would be correct; the potential for the Kingdom of God was within them, but the means to obtain was standing before them. Paul said the Kingdom is not meat or drink, but Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom 14:17). He also said the New Man is created in God's Righteousness and Holiness (Eph 4:24). Putting the two together with the teaching here we find the New Man is Righteousness, Peace and Joy by the Holy Ghost. The Kingdom of God is not in Word alone, but in Power (I Cor 4:20). The Gospel doesn't come in Word only, but also in Power, in the Holy Ghost, with much assurance (I Thess 1:5). Wait, isn't the Word Jesus? Yes, it’s the point, the Holy Ghost brings the Seed, the Seed is the Word, becoming the Spirit of Truth. The New Man has functions, first is the saving of our souls, then bringing the inner witness of Jesus in us by the manifestation of the Spirit in those one on one encounters. The Holy Ghost still deals with the masses, He will fill us more than once to accomplish the task; the Holy Ghost is also the one who says, “separate unto Me” for the work of the Offices and ministry (Acts 13:1-3 et al).

And He said unto His disciples, The days will come, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you shall not see it (17:22).

This is directed to the disciples, here we find more than one day of the Lord, what gives? Could this be a blessing? The Day of the Lord begins the Night, but it also entails two times. The first ends the Day, then begins the Night, the last ends the Night with Judgment. Also this relates to the “Son of man”, not the Son of God, thus it points to Mercy. We are sons of men by God’s mercy, sons of God by His Grace.

This is still talking about the Kingdom of God being within, by applying Mercy to maintain the Kingdom. There are times when we want to see the Judgment of God on others, but the New Man rebukes us, brings us back to Mercy in New Tongues.

Which day shall they not see? The last day. They will desire to see it, but fear not they won’t. It’s really a blessing. We want the Day of the Lord to come, so this Season can be ended, but at the same time we don’t want to “see” the Day of the Son of man.

Traditions begin by adding personal desires to Scripture; we know the phrase, "I believe Jesus will return to judge the just and unjust", is a sound Biblical principle, but then we added, "I believe Jesus will return and bring His kingdom, and then judge the good and damned", when we added, "I believe Jesus will return, set up His kingdom on earth for 1,000 years, then judge the good and damned". Each adding to the other, all sounding good, except they remove the Night, remove the days of the Son of man where His enemies become His footstool, it also removes the Rapture. If we go into the Night, it means we won’t have the Spirit. Best know Jesus will return as the Son of man to judge, knowing we won’t see the day of the Lord, for it is a day of darkness (Amos 5:18).

And they shall say to you; See here; or see there: go not after them, nor follow them (17:23).

This is different than the teaching we found in Matthew, here it's simply they will say See here, or See there. This has to be directed to the Night, Jesus just said the Kingdom of God comes without observation, in the Night they will say, “here is the Kingdom of God come and see”. Could the Day hold a shadow? Yes, there are those who claim one location or another on the earth is the Kingdom. The phrase, "go not after them" is simple, we are not to follow those who claim the Kingdom of God is a place on this earth, rather it's a position in our hearts by the Spirit.

The phrase "nor follow them" also points to anyone who tells us the only way to obtain is through them. It's through Jesus by the Spirit, no other way. This doesn't mean we can't use the people of God as examples, after all Paul told us "be ye followers of me", but he added "even as I also am of Christ" (I Cor 11:1). It's not saying we can't use these Godly people as examples, rather it’s when anyone sets their self, or any saint of God between us and God, we are not to follow them. If we put Paul or Peter between us and God, we might as well go back to the Law of Moses, since it was the same principle. Jesus died to open the Door so we could have a relationship and fellowship with God, not so we could put another human between us and God.

For as the lighting, that lights out of one part under heaven, shines unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day (17:24).

It was His Hour, but not His Day, the world has the Hour of Temptation, we have the Hour of Christ, the Day of the Lord is not Light, but darkness, woe unto him who longs for the Day of the Lord. The teaching points to the Light, thus when the Lord comes there will be no Light on the earth, the Light will be in heaven with those of us who were caught up to meet the Lord in the Air, where we Forever remain with Him.

But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation (17:25).

However, first comes Salvation before the Judgment, the Lord will not judge until Salvation has been completed.

Although Jesus would explain the Cross and Resurrection to the disciples, they wouldn't understand until after the Resurrection. The Good News preached by the disciples before the Cross was based in Mercy, yet Mercy healed the sick, it's still the First element we receive.

And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man (17:26).

We are told over and over again, it will be as it was in the days of Noah, yet we tend to make it as it was in the days of Pentecost. The last days will be as it was in the days of Noah; Jesus defined the concept showing there is an attitude people will hold during those days, as well as a condition found on the earth during those days.

Those days are not upon us, thus we are still in the Season of the Day, not the Night. The Kingdom of God is still at hand, the Power of Mercy is still found in the Pardon of our sins, with the Power of Grace are still the Power of His Christ.

They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, unto the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all (17:27).

We already know how the people of the earth in Noah's time had Peace, they lived many years, they didn't need police, or governments to protect them, they didn't know the ways of war, they were not sick in body or diseased, yet they held their unrighteousness against God. They thought they were rich, and in need of nothing, then sudden destruction came, so shall it be in the latter days. Their attitude was "God won't harm us", they held no fear of God, Jude tells us the Wicked don't fear God either (Jude 12). They didn't think of destruction or judgment, rather they felt there was no end, no judgment, nothing could happen. Paul will call it "Peace and safety", but he also shows then comes sudden destruction.

If we look at "they married wives" as the sign, we miss the point. One has to wonder if the Pharisees didn't attack Jesus over this point. After all, the first commandment given man was "go and multiply", as God proclaimed Adam and Eve as husband and wife, so is Jesus saying marriage is wrong? No, the metaphoric content shows the thoughts of the people. Today man worries about the environment, world war, food, and "birth control" is a major subject. The world speaks of over population, they are telling us to "refrain", but Jesus says they will be "given in marriage", just the opposite. It also stands during the Season of the Day all have the opportunity to have Salvation, yet in the Night no child will be born, thus they will be “given in marriage”, but they will not have children, which would violate “go and multiply”, God is equal, but He would not hold a child back from an opportunity; therefore, the prophet said, the child (not baby) will live to be a hundred, but the sinner being a hundred shall be accursed (Isa 65:20).

Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built (17:28).

Jesus changes the time to the days of Lot, whether it was the days of Noah, or the days of Lot we know "Grace" was not given to man, neither did Jesus didn't walk on the earth. The context shows there will be two groups on the earth at the time, Jew and Gentile, those who pierced Him, and those who wail because of Him. These are simply more Scriptures showing there must be a Rapture to remove the Grace of God, before the Judgment of God can take place.

The attitude in the days of Lot was like unto the one in the days of Noah, they felt they could do as they pleased, there would be no price to pay. They mocked God, mocked the angels of God, as well as the people of God, they felt they were above judgment. However, when the judgment came, it came suddenly.

Although Lot was delivered, the promise to be delivered was given to Lot, his wife, his two daughters, as well as his two sons-in-law; a small number of people connected to Abraham. Lot's two sons-in-law loved the pleasure of sin more than deliverance, they laughed at the judgment. The Wicked have no fear of God, they assume God wouldn't dare reject them. Lot's wife left the danger, but turned, longing for the city, thus only half of the promised were delivered, because of the decisions they made, not the decision God made. God desired to save all the righteous from the city, He was willing to spare the entire city, if there were ten righteous in the city, but only Lot was just because only Lot feared God, as  Lot believed the words of the angels. What about Lot's daughters? They only left because Lot left, thus the symbol shows Lot's daughters believed the words of their father, as they left with him, but they also felt the entire world was destroyed as well. Those who remained in the city lusted for the things of sin, they took the mark of the beast willingly (Rev 18:14 & 13:16-18), so shall it be in the latter days. The same principle is true with the Rapture, God will not destroy the Righteous with the Wicked, those who have the Righteousness of God must be removed in order to judge the Wicked. It also shows the Scripture, “it’s appointed unto all men to die once, then comes the judgment” proving there will be no physical life on earth when Jesus returns (Heb 9:27). It’s not the first death man faces at the Judgment, it’s the Second death, or freedom from it in the resurrection unto life.

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all (17:29).

It happened on the same Day, not several days later, thus the time after the Deliverance for the Church will last 1,000 years unto the end of the Day of the Lord; to the Lord the 1,000 years is like a Day, a Day is like the 1,000 years. This shows the Day of the Lord begins at the Rapture, thus the Day of the Lord is really the time of the Night on earth. It also stands, during the time the people on the earth will have no idea the Day of the Lord is coming; therefore, it will come suddenly upon them.

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed (17:30).

The Book of Revelation is, "the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him" (Rev 1:1). It doesn't mean the Father gave Jesus some mental knowledge regarding the end times, it means the Revealed Jesus in the end times, based on the Father giving the forth Cup of God's Judgment to Jesus. When did the Father give it to Jesus? In the Garden, after the meal; who showed up in the Garden? Judas the traitor. Paul said, the revelation of the righteous judgment of God will be carried out by Jesus (Rom 2:5 & 2:16-17). The word Revelation meaning something Revealed coupled with “every eye will see Him” shows the Revelation isn’t knowledge, but Jesus revealed to the souls left on earth.

It stands if we know Jesus, it doesn't pertain to us, but it does pertain to those who pierced Him, and to those who wail because of Him. It's for this reason many of the events in the Book of Revelation don't pertain to the Body of Christ, but show what will happen after the Rapture, thus giving us an incentive to endure during the Day looking for our Hope in the Rapture. Until we see Peace, clean air, no wars, no sickness, no disease, as well as the devil bound, we have yet to miss the Rapture. Wait, if the devil is bound during the thousand years, whey are binding him now? Are we not binding him before his time? Yes, it’s the same trick the devils attempted to use on Jesus, but of course, Jesus never fell for it, although some of us do.

We are given all these things to assure us we are still in the Gentile Age, it's still the Day, still the time for the Anointed Body of Christ to operate in all the Spiritual blessings. It’s also a firm warning of the folly of being religiously conceited, or holding to the iniquity of failing at Mercy.

In that day, he which shall be upon the house top, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife (17:31-32).

We all know the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35 which says, "Jesus wept", but the second shortest verse is here in Luke 17:32, which reads, "remember Lot's wife", when we put the two together we will find why Jesus wept. This also points to Gethsemane; the word Gethsemane means A place to press out the wine, or A place of pressure to bring forth the oil. Jesus took the fourth Cup of the Passover, the cup assigned to those who rejected the first Three Cups. Luke will show how we were given the cup of separation, the bread, then the Cup of the New Covenant, but there are four cups to the Passover meal, so what about the other two? The first cup was taken by Moses as a sign of the deliverance of the people from Egypt, in our case both the first and second cups are seen in our Token of water baptism as a sign of our deliverance from the world by the Cross. The Bread is a symbol of the first two cups, but the Blood of Jesus is the third cup of remission. However, Jesus took the Fourth Cup from the Father after giving us Salvation, thus the Fourth Cup is seen in the Book of Revelation as the "wrath of God", not a cup we seek.

Lot's wife was saved from the city, she was in a position of Mercy, yet she longed for the city as she looked back at her past, or felt sorrow for what she left behind. Jude would have us know, although we should always remember, how the Lord having Saved the people from Egypt, destroyed those who believed not (Jude 5). Jesus told us, it's not the Baptism alone, but our continual belief bringing Shall be saved (Mark 16:16). Lot's wife is a symbol showing two sides of the coin, first is longing for those things of the world we left behind; next is taking joy in the destruction of the wicked.

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it (17:33).

This is a different wording than Matthew's account, again the Holy Ghost is interpreting the Scripture, rather than Luke correcting Matthew. Matthew shows Jesus talking to His disciples by saying, "for whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it" (Matt 16:25). This verse points to the decision, whereas Matthew shows an action. The word Preserve means To rescue from Death, the word Lose means to die, thus one must die in order to be rescued from death. The death of Jesus on the Cross is useless in our lives unless we receive it as intended, by imputing the flesh (old nature) dead, then allowing the Spirit to bring the Life of Jesus in us. The only method anyone would use to save their own soul would be self-righteousness, it hasn’t worked yet. The old man was a nature, but he was nonetheless us, and we him.

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; and the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left (17:34-36).

This separates the return of Jesus from the Season of the Greater Light of the Day. Jesus says, in the Night, not at the Watch, or during the Day, thus this refers to the Night, not the Day. Two in one bed, two working together at the wheel, and two in the field are all working together, they are not enemies. Matthew says, in that day Jesus will divide the sheep from the goats (Matt 25:31-46). In Matthew the context is not the Rapture, both  Matthew and Luke give us the Judgment. In Luke half are taken and half left, the groups added together give us six, as Lot had six in his family, but only three were saved. The Righteous in the Night will be killed by the Wicked, then the Wicked will think they can have life forever without the Law and Prophets, but they killed their hope, as they find the lake of fire their kingdom as the earth becomes New, or something it was never before. It was once ice, it was once water, it will be fire.

Matthew on the other hand shows us two groups, as the Night begins with the Sixth church, then ends with the Seventh: who thinks its rich and in need of nothing. Even though this refers to the latter times, we can see from Matthew's account two are in the field, pointing to the Wheat and Tares. The Wheat are the children of the kingdom, the Tares the children of the Wicked. Since these Tares are the children of the Wicked, we find an offspring, or a continuance. The Wheat being the children of the kingdom showing they are not in the Kingdom, but purposed for it.

This still gives us the methodology and purpose; we can see the ways and acts of the Tares against the Wheat in the Parable. The Wheat love the Lord, the Tares are only in this for some self-centered desire; one is taken to meet the Lord and one left behind. There were two grinding meal, or separating the shaft from the grain, one was doing it for love, the other to gain some self-glory; one was taken and one was left.

We have the Seal of the Holy Spirit, the Remnant have the Mark of God, two different things, for two different purposes. The Mark of God is protection based on mercy, the Seal of the Holy Spirit is for Grace and Salvation, thus the 144,000 will be protected during the last half of the hour until the time appointed; then they will be killed, since there can be no judgment if one righteous person remains. God’s longsuffering also allows man the very last breath to repent, thus, when all mankind is physically dead, then comes the Judgment.

Luke adds two men in bed (brothers), thus, his reference is to the Time of Rest (Comfort). Since sinful unsaved man remains on the earth, the term Taken, refers to Come Up Hither. Luke gives us the city divided into three parts, with only one part therein making it. The term Come Up Hither is found two times, once for the Rapture, then once at the end of the Judgment; both times are suggested in the context of the two parables found in Matthew and Luke. The Holy Ghost is still the Author, thus giving us more to consider.

And they answered and said unto Him, Where Lord? And He said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together (17:37).

This refers to the body, not the soul, it's still appointed unto all men once to die, then comes the judgment; therefore, the eagles are the seven angels who come at the end of time, they don’t appear until the last seal is broken.

And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (18:1).

Later this will be termed, "Watch and Pray", thus it's not merely Watching, or merely Praying, but combining the Two. The parable shows even the unjust with unjust motives can gain in persistence; however, it doesn't mean God will honor our unjust motives or demands, rather if the unjust in the world yield to the persistence of people, surely God, Who is just will hear our prayers.

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said (18:2-6).

Again, this is not saying God is like unto an unjust judge, rather it shows even an unjust judge is moved by persistence. We know the word Unjust means someone who has the ability to be Just, but Undoes it. The concept goes to “we are not of them who draw back to perdition, but of them who believe unto the saving of the soul”, the just still live by faith (Heb 10:38-39).

This widow was troubling the judge, it's what the unjust judge says drawing our attention. Because the widow troubled him, he avenged her, not because she stood for the judge, or stood for the judges of the kingdom. Simply, if this unjust judge will avenge the widow, then surely God will avenge us, so why become so upset assuming we must avenge ourselves? Why demand justice now? God has a time to avenge His people, a time when all this ends, surely it will come, just as surely as Salvation has come.

And shall God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth? (18:7-8).

Here it's clear, if the unjust judge will avenge the widow, why would we think God won't avenge the just? Our position is to forgive as we seek God's Mercy and Grace to reach beyond vengeance and bitterness; thereby producing a testimony against the persecutors. If God will avenge us, why do we spend so much time going about cursing the darkness, hating the secular world, beating people half to death with wanton theology, or running about attempting to make some nation of the world the Kingdom of God?

And He spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (18:9).

The comparison was a rebuke to those who trusted in their self nature, or in their self-righteousness. God avenges those who hold His Righteousness. Self-righteousness avenges itself.

Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican (18:10).

To the Jew this parable hits home; the observant Jew still prays, Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam, shelo asani Goy, which means, "Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has not made me a Goy (Gentile)". The Jew still can't figure out why they don't simply pray, "Thank You O Lord for making me a Jew"; they assume this latter prayer would be pride, but in truth the former is just as much pride as the latter.

The Jew believes being a Jew is not something God does, it's something the Jew does, thus it becomes self-righteousness, rather than trusting in God's Righteousness. Being a Christian is not something we do, it's based on something God has done, to make us who we are. Paul said, They have a zeal for God, but they are ignorant of God's Righteousness, since they go about establishing their own righteousness (Rom 10:2-3). Christ is the end of self-righteousness, whether the self-righteousness is based in religion, or some other rite, deed, or effort of the flesh (Rom 10:4). One cannot engage in self-righteousness, yet claim the Righteousness of Jesus, one depends on what we do, the other on what Jesus has done. The Blood of Jesus is cleaning us from all unrighteousness, unrighteousness is sin (I Jn 1:9 & 5:17).

This parable will show why we continue to pray, seek, knock and ask. If we trust in our ability, we will forget our First Love, then begin to trust in deeds, rites and traditions. The next step is legalism, or thinking we are the only ones right, no translator did it right, no theologian got it right: the heart of the legalist is the home of pride.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican (18:11).

The Pharisee thanked God, but thanked God based on the efforts of the Pharisee, not on God’s mercy. The Pharisee not only thanked God for not being a Goy, but for not being as other men, yet he was like other men, full of pride, religious conceit and ego. This is the warning to watch our words, the day we think we’re the only ones with the Truth, is the day we have become a legalistic Pharisee.

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all I possess (18:12).

These acts are all expected under the Law of Moses, they are not areas one should brag in, yet we also find they are based in self-righteousness, and self-righteousness will always lace pride in the effort. Take this to the Body, “Lord, Lord didn’t I”, the one error of the Lord, Lord people is they didn’t say, “Lord, Lord didn’t You”.

These acts are all expected under the Law of Moses, they are not areas one should brag in, yet we also find they are based in self-righteousness, meaning it will always lace pride in the effort. Giving Mercy is something we do based on duty, but we should never take pride in our efforts. How can we brag for doing what is expected? Telling God how we forgive others, is foolishness at work, asking God for the Power to forgive and love those we have forgiven, is Faith at work.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying God be merciful to me a sinner (18:13).

The Publican stood far off, which a Jew knows was right, since the man wasn't allowed near the altar. The publican sought Mercy from God, he wasn't bragging on his goodness, he was knocking, seeking and being honest. The Pharisee trusted in his efforts, the Publican trusted in God's.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (18:14).

The word Justified means Innocent or To render righteous. Justification in Mercy under the Old Covenant meant to have right standing before the Law of Moses by ones deeds, but under the New it means the Righteousness of God by the New Man justifying us by Grace. The word Exalted is the Greek Hupsoo meaning To lift, metaphorically it means to raise to the highest summit of opulence and prosperity, or to have absolute right standing. Right standing is only governed by who grants the regulations, and where one seeks standing. In some societies the king, or leader grants one standing to be in the “royal court”. In the Kingdom we find God grants us standing, but He does so based on His Righteousness, which is the highest and purest anyone can obtain. How can we obtain such a Righteousness? It’s given in the New Birth, thus if we humble (make lower) ourselves to the New Man, then the Righteousness in the New Man will lift us to the highest point of opulence and prosperity.

The Publican on the other hand compared himself, not to God, neither to the Law, but to one he presumed was less than him. Anyone can pick someone whom they feel is worse off to make a comparison, thereby assuming they are more righteous or holy.

Luke takes us back to the prior teaching in reference to seeking the lowest seat, then waiting to be invited to the higher. Whosoever exalts himself shall be abased, yet he who humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:8-11). James and Peter tell us the same thing, with the same result based on the same purpose, but in two different manners.  James says, "submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). James then says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble" (James 4:6); therefore, submit yourself unto God. James adds, "humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. Speak no evil one of another brethren" (James 4:10-11). Peter says, "God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet 5:5-8). Both men were disciples before the Cross, they understood the premise of this teaching. Before God will lift us, He will declare our Justification, thus we find self-justification is a prideful act, being Justified by God takes Humbleness. Therefore,  the man was Justified based on his humbleness, thus humbleness is a weapon of our warfare which defeats pride.

And they brought unto Him also infants, that he would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (18:15-16).

It's rather obvious Luke is linking many things out of context to put them in context. The Pharisee rejected the Publican, as he used the Publican as his basis to exalt his self-righteousness, but if the Pharisee would have believed Jesus, the prayer would have been much different. Instead of the Pharisee bragging in his supposed self-importance, he would have been on his knees thanking God for merely being alive to have the opportunity to be with Jesus.

The simple matters are often the hardest for us to accomplish; we want to do it our way, yet God has provided a method for us to enter and maintain by. Our self-based efforts are based in the deeds of the old man. Even if we see God's method, the old man always has something he thinks is better. When we listen to the old man we will assume we have better works, or more of them to gain us a greater honor. After we‘ve played the fool for a period of time, we come back to God's method, where we find victory.

Did God know we would run about like a chicken with its head cut off? Yes, but He is longsuffering as He waits for us. We gain from the lesson, we find the old man is not our friend, he is our enemy. There are other areas where our presumed methods can cause harm: How hard is it to allow the little ones to seek Jesus? Yet, we tend to pile rules, do not's, formulas, rites, and traditions on their heads. We forbid them to speak in tongues, we forbid them to study the Bible without our expert guidance. Why would we keep them from finding the Spirit in fullness? What fear has motivated us? Fear of them learning more than we?

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein (18:17).

Prior it was Forbid them not: Here it's Be like them. The zeal for spiritual things is the driving force behind the Babes in Christ; however, there are some who are carnal, they love their carnal attitude more. Corinth was carnal, but their problem was in the carnal attitudes of their leaders, not the carnal behavior of the people. If the leaders were spiritual, they could instruct and guide the carnal into the proper realm. Their leaders placed a Veil, or Yoke between the Head and Body, causing the people suffered (I Cor 11:1-7). Paul would not have them Ignorant of spirituals, thus he wrote to all, with an intent to break the Yoke, and rip the Veil to set them free. Why tell someone they can’t understand spiritual matters, then spend several chapters defining the spirituals? To provoke them to enter in.

And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why do you call Me good? none is good, save One, that is, God (18:18-19).

This is a Ruler, thus Jesus isn't denying He is Good, only asking the ruler if he knows who he is talking to. Luke shows this ruler should understand authority; Jesus didn't wait for the man to answer, thus this question is to clear the concept, not deny it. This is another area where Luke takes an event out of context to bring it into context regarding the teaching.

You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up (18:20-21).

This isn't a question, it’s a statement, the man knew the Commandments, but having knowledge, and applying it are two different things. Jesus isn't giving the man the Law of Moses, although the commandments were incorporated into the Law, rather Jesus is giving  the man's approach to Love Thy Neighbor, thus connecting this lesson to Mercy as well as the Good Samaritan Parable (Luke 10:29-36).

The man said he kept the commandments, but his concept of "keep", was much different from the concept Jesus was giving him. The commandments were a series of do not's, but Mercy often entails doing for others, a point Jesus will make.

This Rich Man equates to the Rich Man in the parable, he came saying Good Master, saying he did the commandments as he saw them, but he failed to see what the word "Good" means. The Rich Man in the parable had the ability to do Good, but failed, this Rich Man also has the ability to do Good, but it would take an effort on his part to enter in. This man did many things, but he did them with the intent of doing for good for himself as well. Jesus went about doing Good, no one told Him to do Good, Goodness was part of His character and nature. Jesus didn't need a set of rules to define Good, He was Good in all His ways. Of course we don’t want to confuse “nice” with “good”, or likeable with good. Simply because this Rich Man did no harm to others didn't make him Good. Therefore, doing Good is not refraining from doing evil, rather we find it's the doing, or an action of Good, yet there is none Good but God, thus in order to do Good, one must have God.

Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, You yet lack one thing: sell all that you have, and distribute unto the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come follow Me (18:22).

Here we can see how this rich man is connected to the concept of "little children" coming into the Kingdom. The rich man had his security in hand, yet desired to enter the Kingdom. However, he had to leave what he trusted in, in order to gain what he should Trust in. Attempting to pull things through the Cross leaves us with one hand in the world.

The context isn't money, rather it's Doing something based on "Think not every man on his own things, but on the things of others". This was far different from refraining, this was going to take an act of doing. The Rich man refrained from things as he understood the Commandments, thus he considered himself good, but here he finds there is much more to “loving your neighbor”. The Rich Man is faced with a decision to give regardless of the material gain in order to lose his soul for the sake of Jesus.

And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich (18:23).

Prior Jesus said he lacked One thing, then He listed three efforts, all of which were points of action. First the man was to sell, then distribute, and then follow Jesus, these are all efforts of deny the self; it would take a decision on his part to begin the effort. All this comes after the teaching regarding humbling oneself, thus this man had riches, he just couldn’t bring himself to be without, thus he trusted in his position and riches. The money wasn’t the issue, how the man felt about his money was the issue. It could have been a favorite hat, or some other material possession he held to.

This doesn't mean we all run out and give everything away, it means If the Lord says so, we do. For some it's a matter of giving up idols, yet money can become an idol, just as credit cards can become idols. A credit card is a piece of plastic, it’s neither good or evil, what we do with it tells the story.

Like the rich man we all have the power to cast away, or resist. The result for obedience is, "So we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Heb 13:6).

And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (18:24-25).

We already know about the eye of the needle, here the thought is the same, it's hard for one who trusts in their riches to enter into the Kingdom, but not hard for one in the Kingdom to have the Things added. Which comes first determines the ability to maintain both.

And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? (18:26).

All these men had been hungry at one time or another, all of them had money at one time or another, they knew it felt good to the flesh to have security, food and a place of their own, but Jesus is taking them beyond the flesh to the Spirit. Why, to make them poor? No, to give them a true sense of priority, if we put the things first place, we will sell the Kingdom to keep the things.

Prior Jesus said, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then All these Things shall be added. They could also see how the Temple was being run, the disciples felt wealth was the key, anyone with wealth could buy their way into the Temple, thus to the Jew it was the same as buying their way into heaven. After all why would God bless Abraham so greatly if money wasn’t the key to get into heaven? We know better, but we can see how traditions can corrupt minds, or hinder thinking. It’s obvious we’re suppose to have things, if not they wouldn’t be added, but this rich man didn’t have things, the things had him, they were governing his decision, as they formed his thought process. Something to consider when money begins to rule over us.

And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God (18:27).

This connects with, "whosoever shall save their soul, shall lose it". This rich man attempted to preserve his soul, thus he used his riches as a means to secure his salvation, but the preservation of the soul for the moment isn’t the same as having it saved. What type of test could he then face? His test was before him, his decision was before him, the scales of his future were in his own hands, the ability to finish the race was "Follow Jesus", but the means still took a decision on the man's part. The Word came, thus Faith was there, but would the man receive it? He asked, Jesus answered, but he wasn't willing to put an action to his words. For this man this was “denying the self”, but his trust and life style kept him in bondage. Jesus didn’t Loose him, but He gave the man the keys to be Loosed.

Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed You (18:28).

All of us can relate to Peter, he never said anything he didn't mean, but there are times when we say things we mean, yet the words are completely out of the will of God. Peter just heard about the Pharisee who prayed, "Lord, Lord, haven't I given...", now Peter says, "Lord haven't I given?". The mirror of God is not a window through which we see others, it's a reflection of ourselves to discern our hearts and confessions.

And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting (18:29-30).

Here it's not giving things expecting to get many more in return, rather it's leaving them for the sake of promoting the Kingdom, not the self. The things are still things, our attitude toward them changes greatly in the Kingdom.

Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spit on: and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again (18:31-33).

This would almost be a negative confession, but we know it's the greatest positive confession of all time. Jesus not only saw the Cross, but He saw the Resurrection, and beyond. The joy of seeing Salvation enabled Jesus to endure the pain and suffering for us. The same is true in our case, the joy of knowing the Lord is pleased enables us to endure the test of our faith. This is more than prophecy, this is the Faith of Jesus at work, the same Faith we become a part of when we are Born Again. Many of our tests are not punishment, but turning the soul to the Spirit, from the flesh.

Luke began this teaching with Deny the self, he ends it with Deny the self. We have all the precepts and warnings regarding Deny the self as well as what it entails. Luke gives us the ladder to the Power of His Christ, the decision is ours, the effort is still in the hands of the Spirit.

Luke moves us along the road to Jerusalem as he joins the words of the other scribes giving us additional information regarding the Cross.

And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. And it came to pass, that as He came near unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: and hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passes by. And he cried, saying, Jesus You Son of David, have mercy on me (18:34-38).

The subject is still Mercy, again we discover it's Mercy healing us. Like Mark we find they understood none of the things regarding the Cross or Resurrection, thus they were not allowed to discuss spiritual matters. This alone shows they didn’t have the Spirit, were not Born Again, as they were still natural. Mercy is vital, without it we won’t be able to do the Will of the Father, but without Grace we lack an understanding of spiritual matters.

This blind man's knowledge of Mercy seems to far exceed ours. If we can grasp the greatness of Pardon, as we reach for the Mercy of the Father, we can enjoy the freedom of Mercy when its coupled with Grace as we find the fullness of the Power of His Christ.

Matthew told us about the two elements of this blind man, Luke shows Mark's account regarding the one individual is factual, but Matthew's account is also factual. Mark gave us the blind man as, "Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus" (Mark 10: 46), thus opening the man to become a symbol of the two blind men, one who suffered physical blindness, then the symbol of the defiled garment blinding the religious Pharisees.

And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, You Son of David, have mercy on me (18:39).

Jesus didn't stop the first time this blind man called out, thus the blind man could have stopped, and said, "Oh well, the will of the Lord", but he "ought always to pray, and not to faint". When the people told him to be quiet, he called the more, he was seeking, knocking and asking for Jesus, he could care less about the crowd. There are times when good manners don't have a place in our call for Mercy. Socially acceptable behavior for Bartimaeus would have left him blind, knowing Jesus held his Mercy broke the barrier of the defiled garment.

People have a propensity to make us what they think we should be, this is an example of a person who knew their hope was in Jesus; the people were only concerned with making the blind man socially acceptable. Only God can form us into what we should be, when we attempt it, or allow others to form us, we end with mask after mask, not knowing who we are, or who we’re suppose to be. The lust of being accepted by people, often forces us to be what they want at the moment. It’s still self-involved, it’s still using masks to please man. The New Man is fully able to form us into sons of God, we submit to the New Man, to bring about the result.

And Jesus stood and commanded him to be brought unto Him: and when he was come near, He asked him, saying, What will you that I shall do unto you? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive your sight, your faith has saved you (18:40-42).

Jesus stopped in His tracks, but not until the man kept asking, seeking, and knocking. Bartimaeus' step of faith was his verbal persistence, as he looked to his future hope. As soon as Jesus called Bartimaeus, the garment was removed, as his healing was in hand.

We found the garment of this man was really his type of "union card", an item showing he had permission to beg. Without the garment his means of support was gone. This connects to the Rich Man, showing both had their livelihood in hand, yet Bartimaeus tossed his to the side to reach Jesus. "Well, the rich man had more", not so, it's all relative, to Bartimaeus his robe meant as much, as the riches to the rich man, thus it was based in the desire to reach Jesus. Bartimaeus denied the self, by denying his means to remain the person he was.

And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God (18:43).

The defiled garment is also a symbol of self-deception, as long as the garment remained, so did the blindness. In this case the garment had to be loosed from the man, in order for the man to be loosed.

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho (19:1).

The accounts give us the man who knew it was better to be persistent and healed, than polite and blind. Rudeness is not the same as persistence, the man was persistent, but not rude to the crowd or Jesus. He didn't tell the crowd to shut up, nor did he rebuke Jesus for not stopping the first time, rather he continued asking, seeking and knocking.

And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was a chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down, for today I must abide at your house. And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him four fold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (19:2-10).

This is exactly what He told the rich man to do, but Zacchaeus did it on his own, his desire was to please the Lord. This is another example of obedience, a step to denying the self. Zacchaeus was rich as well, he was a chief among the Publicans (tax collectors), yet he was “little in stature”. Blind Bartimaeus was able to shout, but not see; Zacchaeus was able to see and shout, yet both obtained the attention of Jesus, whether it’s see, shout or ask, Jesus is willing to hear us.

This also tells us it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, if the rich man is more interested in Jesus, than his riches. Zacchaeus didn't give all he had to the poor, but he was willing to correct all he had done wrong, as well as give to the poor, without having a law to tell him; his heart reached for Jesus, he was willing to do something without being told, what the rich man failed to do, after being told. This is akin to Abraham giving to the priest without a commandment telling so, thus Zacchaeus did the works of Abraham.

Those who said, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner", failed to see Zacchaeus was a Jew, as well as a lost sheep. They pointed their fingers of theological abuse and judgment at the man, but never sought to restore him. The people Jesus picked wouldn't be allowed to sit in the back row of most organized churches, but they had front row seats with Jesus.

And as they heard these things, He added and spoke a parable, because He was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear (19:11).

Luke brings us up to date, Jesus is almost to Jerusalem, we also see the Pharisees and the disciples were looking for a physical kingdom of God; again they confused the Kingdom of God with the Time of Comfort. This also takes us back to "the kingdom of God comes not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21). Judas fell head long into sin because he thought the kingdom of God would bring him riches beyond comparison, thus he is like the "rich man", only in his case it was seeking the riches, rather than a refusal to let them go. This shows Judas had many warnings, many times to see his own lust, but he became self-deceived, he felt Jesus was always "talking about the other guy".

The Pharisees wanted the Time of Comfort to force their control over the Romans, or force all to follow their religious concepts. Judas assumed he gave all, thus it was time for him to gain, but instead of allowing Jesus to add the things, Judas decided he would gain the things on his own. Until Judas saw the result of his folly, he was convinced he was doing Jesus a favor. Judas allowed the defiled garment to blind him, thus both Judas and the Pharisees lost out in the end. The Pharisees had the Time of Comfort wrong as well, the Remnant operate from Mercy, the Pharisees were attacking Mercy.

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return (19:12).

The parable tells us Jesus came to establish the kingdom of heaven, the foundation for the Kingdom of God. The religious leaders wanted Power, but they didn’t want to operate in Mercy. This parable would almost seem as if Jesus was going to some other country, but it shows Jesus came from heaven to establish a kingdom, then return to heaven as another Kingdom will be established to become the Church.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come (19:13).

The word, Occupy doesn't mean to sit around, rather it means to keep busy: the root words indicate one stays busy in the things of God, which may include being locked away somewhere with the Bible as the Spirit guides and instructs, nonetheless busy.

This parable is somewhat different from the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30). In the parable of the talents each was given a different amount; one was given five, one two, the last was given one, or each was given in proportion to their ability (Matt 25:15 & Rom 12:6). Here each was given the same amount, with the same command, we must keep in mind how each has an equal duty, charge and ability. We often think the great spiritual things are completely out of reach, so impossible we will never see them, but if we use the pride of life to obtain they are, but if we submit to the Spirit they are in hand.

Any prophecy given to us is always in accordance with the proportion (measure) of our faith (Rom 12:3-6). God doesn't present these things, then laugh because we can't obtain, rather He knows they are always within the grasp of our faith. No prophecy, or word  given us is always within our ability, no promise given is not within the ability of our faith, it's simply a matter of putting our faith in Jesus to bring it to pass, rather than using our pride of life in some soulish attempt to make it come to pass.

But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us (19:14).

Just because they reject this nobleman from ruling over them, doesn’t mean they were able to remove his authority? Not at all, yet the religious rulers are looking at the Christ of God saying, “we will not have this man to reign over us”. Although they may say it, we know Jesus, as the King of kings, will judge them in the end. This is a classic display of the disobedience of the old nature, they wanted the Time of Comfort, but we know it’s Jesus who marks the Remnant on Zion in the Night for the Time of Comfort. Here the Pharisees wanted the Time, but didn’t want to be responsible. Clearly this “Fig Tree” was not the one God would pick to lead the people in the Night, it lacked good leaves, much less fruit.

The citizens are all those who stand in the doorway, those who are purposed for the calling, but have yet to receive it. Many are called, few are chosen, because few make the choice to be chosen. They hear, "Give it up", then ask, "what do I get?"; they never reach for the promise, as it goes by to another who will dare to believe.

And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading (19:15).

Hold it, “having received the kingdom”? Wasn’t he the nobleman who went to receive the kingdom? Here we have a series of elements, the nobleman is going to receive his kingdom, he then called his “ten” servants, then gave them “ten” pounds, as he told them to occupy until he comes back, but the citizens hated him, sending a message saying they will not have this man to reign over them, then the nobleman returned, having received his kingdom, he called his servants to determine what they did with the charge they were entrusted with. Jesus will ascend, yet He will return. The Gift of Grace is a talent, what we do with it determines the reward, or lack thereof. Here the citizens remained self-based because they refused the nobleman.

Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds (19:16).

This servant knows the silver belongs to the Lord, the servant was given the "power of redemption".

And he said unto him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord Your pound has gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be you over five cities. And another came saying, Lord, behold, here is your pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin (19:17-20).

This one hid his talent, or kept it to himself, thus all of us have talents granted us in Grace, some are the Charisma of Charis, some an office, or other talents, mainly all in the Body have the Mercy as an Unction. Here we find the candle was placed under the bed, rather than being seen by all. This also shows the ability was in hand to obtain the saving of his soul, but he tucked the ability away, or refused to apply it.

Before the nobleman left he never said what the reward would be, really he never told them there would be a reward for doing what was right, nonetheless the evidence shows they knew there would be one.

For I feared you, because you are an austere man: you take up that you lay not down, and reap that you did not sow. And he said unto him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow (19:21-22).

Seems kind of tough, but the nobleman gave them all the foundation, not one of them had to seek their own silver, they were all entrusted with the talent. The servant was pre-warned, from his own mouth he was judged. Jesus said, "for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned" (Matt 12:37).

We get our English word Austere from the same Greek word used here, which means, Exacting, Without confusion, or Straight forward. The servant knew the type of man the nobleman was, he knew the nobleman expected a return on the talent. What did the servant fail to do? What was required of him, he felt he had some special favor, something separating him from the duties of the others, not so. To whom much is given, much is required; Jesus said when He goes to the Father we shall do greater works (Jn 14:12).

Wherefore then gave you not my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required my own with usury? (19:23).

The servant merely had to place the Silver in the hands of Someone who could obtain the gain, meaning bringing someone to the Lord. This shows we were given a Gift, that Born of the Spirit is Spirit, we allow the Spirit in us to bring our souls to a spiritual position so the Spirit can manifest and Witness Jesus, thus the Witness is still the Water, Blood and Spirit, give and it shall be given.

And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that has ten pounds, (and they said unto him, Lord, he has ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto everyone which has shall be given; and from him that has not, even that he has shall be taken away from him (19:24-26).

Everyone who entered the kingdom of heaven asked God to forgive them, they received Mercy, then it was expected of them to grant Mercy. This parable goes directly to obtaining, but failing to put what was received into use. The servant was termed a “wicked servant”, the word Wicked is Greek Poneros, the same Greek word used by Paul in II Thessalonians 3:2 in reference to the unreasonable and wicked who lack faith. It was also used in I John 2:13-14 in reference to the Youngmen overcoming the wicked one. The wicked one in First John is the spirit of antichrist, or the he in the world. This servant had the same ability and knowledge as the other servants, yet he failed to do what was expected of him.

What did he have? The talent. What do the Wicked have? Mercy. They were granted Mercy when they asked God to forgive them, but the condition was to show Mercy to others, therein lays the failure. Like this servant, it’s not what they do, but what they failed to do.

But those of my enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring here, and slay them before me (19:27).

Now the enemies, who were the citizens who “heard”, yet refused to allow the nobleman to reign over them. What will they say? Nothing, they already said it. There are two groups, the servants, who were few, then the citizens. The citizens were nonetheless in the land, after all they were citizens. From the servants we find nine made it, only one didn’t, sounds like the result of Judas. However, all the citizens rejected the rule of the nobleman were termed his “enemies”. What groups are involved? The apostles would be the “servants”, Judas the wicked servant, with the religious rulers as the citizens, yet some of those religious rulers will come to the Lord. Having the groups defined it was time to enter Jerusalem.

And when He had thus spoken, He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem (19:28).

Luke now takes us to the Week of the Cross, adding information to explore the purpose. Jesus completed the teaching on Deny the Self, Pick up Our Cross, now He will set the path upon to Follow Jesus on the Ascending ladder to reach New Jerusalem.

And it came to pass, when He was come near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples (19:29).

Matthew 21:1 and Mark 11:1 begin at this point; John also gives us some specific times to assist us, showing the anointing took place six days before the Passover (Jn 12:1). John explains how Jesus stayed in the house of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, but would visit others, including the house of "Simon the leper" who is the father of Judas (Jn 12:4). This one week was so important to the Gospel writers they spent over 1,000 verses in the four accounts in reference to this week in which Jesus would go to the Cross in the midst thereof.

Matthew shows the anointing after the entry, but in Matthew's account we see the wording, "now when Jesus was in Bethany..." (Matt 26:6), thus Matthew is showing us the result of the anointing as it related to Judas. Mark joins with Matthew, but John gives us the When. Matthew adds to his wording to expand Mark's account, as Mark said, "and being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper...." (Mark 14:3), thus Matthew is telling us the result as does Mark, but John shows the actual time element, so we can see the events as they happened. By having the day we can also see this Preparation was seen before the foundation of the world. John also shows this Simon the leper was the father of Judas (Jn 12:4). Judas felt comfortable in his father’s house, but it was nonetheless a house of a leper.

Luke doesn't show the anointing, but John shows the next day after the anointing Jesus would make His entry into Jerusalem, thus the entry was five days before the Feast Day (Jn 12:12). Counting the days gives us the anointing on the weekly preparation day (Friday), the entry on the weekly sabbath (Saturday); therefore, we can see why the Pharisees had a theological fit when the people cut branches, then did all sorts of endeavors the Pharisees considered labor.

Jesus also rode the colt, which would have been considered a violation of the Law as well. The entry is very important, if the Passover was on a Friday as some Christian traditions hold, the entry wouldn't hold much importance, however, if the Passover was on a Wednesday as the Scriptures show, the entry is very important.  Since the entry was on the weekly sabbath, it would show Jesus went to the Cross in the "midst of the week", was in the grave on the High Sabbath, then discovered raised from the dead just after the next weekly sabbath; therefore we worship Jesus from "sabbath to sabbath", since He is  our Sabbath.

Some tend to think the change from Saturday to Sunday worship came after 500 AD, but the disciples of John and Peter wrote telling us the change was based on the  Cross and Resurrection. Paul also told us how the first day of the week (Sunday) was the time when the brethren gathered together (I Cor 16:2). The weekly sabbath was on the seventh day, the circumcision was on the Eighth day after the child's birth, Jesus was discovered raised on the First day of the week, but it was the Eighth day of the Week of the Cross, to hold the seventh day puts one before the Cross and still under the shadow, the Eight Day is the New Beginning. The sabbath day under the Law of Moses was the token, showing one accepted the Law, but the seal of the Holy Spirit is for those of the New Covenant. John and the other disciples gathered together on Sunday to celebrate the First Resurrection and power thereof, the change was not demonic, but purposed by God, then proven in the commandment given to the Jews regarding circumcision. The cutting away can't begin until we enter the purpose of the Eighth Day.

The children of Israel were placed in bondage under Babylon for many things, but the time of 70 years was determined because they violated the seven year sabbath for the land for 490 years, thus owing the land 70 years, yet there were 70 - 7's appointed unto Israel, as we are to forgive 70 times 7, all relating to the purpose of the captivity, the freedom of the Cross as our belief is the ability to enter the Rest of God. The last Seven points to a Sabbath, thus there are three Sabbaths included in the week of the Cross. One is the weekly sabbath when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, then the High Sabbath as the day after the Passover known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then another weekly sabbath when the women rested. All these are accounted for; we recall how a High Sabbath falls on a date, regardless of the day, but the weekly sabbath according to the Commandment falls on a day, regardless of the date.

Mary Magdalene would discover the grave empty before sunrise on the "first day of the week" or the Eighth Day of the preceding week. The women all saw Jesus placed in the tomb just prior to sunset on the Passover, or just before the High Sabbath began (Luke 23:55), yet they made spices, thus they rested on the High Sabbath, made the spices on the weekly preparation day of Friday, then rested on the weekly sabbath according to the commandment. Following, we find Jesus went to the Cross on Passover, which was a Wednesday, that night would be the first night, the next day was the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, making it the first day, with that night the second night. The regular preparation day of Friday would have been the second day, that night the third night, the weekly sabbath of Saturday would have been the third day, thus Jesus was raised at the end of sabbath, ending the purpose of the sabbath day, giving us the foundation to enter the Rest of God, all within the prophetic message of Jesus, relating to the three days and nights, being raised on the third day.

There is the tradition called Good Friday, according to this tradition we claim Jesus was in the grave one day and one night, therefore it says Jesus was a false prophet or a liar; some traditions are very dangerous.

Judas saw the entry, he remembered the wasted oil, thus he felt he could force Jesus to set up the kingdom on earth. The actions of Judas give us his intent, telling us why he went to the religious leaders. Judas wanted to put his plan into action, he would do so on Tuesday, or the day before the Cross. Although Judas and the Pharisees thought they came up with these plans on their own, or assumed Jesus had no knowledge of their plans, it was all well known from the foundation of the world; both the Pharisees and Judas were working to complete the will of God, yet they were far outside of being in the will of God.

Daniel was told seventy weeks were determined upon his people, the Jews (Dan 9:24). The purpose for the Sevens was to Finish the transgression, bring the reconciliation for iniquity, bring everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and Anoint the most Holy, all these were completed in Jesus, thus Jesus was first sent to the Jews. Daniel was then told it would all begin when the commandment went out to restore and to build the Temple in Jerusalem, from there until the Messiah would be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks: the street will be built again; when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the Street was repaired as the Way was opened.

The Troublesome times Daniel speaks of is the Hour of Temptation leading to Jacob's Trouble; thus the Trouble is assigned to Jacob, not the House of David, or the Body of Christ, or the Church. We hear about Pre, Mid and Post Rapture, yet all have scriptures to support them: therefore, the Rapture is not the problem, it must be the time of the Tribulation becoming the problem. We also tend to confuse the Rapture with the last resurrection, both are types of Resurrection, but set at different times, based on two different types of resurrection. The Rapture is for those who are partakers in the First Resurrection (Resurrection of Jesus); whereas, the last resurrection is for the good and damned. We become partakers by having the Spirit before the fact, the last resurrection sees those who find their names in the Book of Life, then hear Come up hither after the fact. We also find Peter said the last days started on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17); Paul said the last days were in his time (II Tim 3:1 & Heb 1:2); John said the last days started with the Birth of the Church (I Jn 2:18). We look for a complete Seven, but perhaps we should be looking for the Hour to complete the Seven. If we look at the finish of the Gentile Age as the time of the Rapture with the beginning of the Tribulation starting on the Day of Pentecost, then Mid Trib would be correct, as the early church taught. If we assume the Tribulation will not begin until the Time of Comfort opens, then Pre Trib would be correct, except our concept of when the Tribulation begins would be faulty. If we look to the end of the time, or confuse the Rapture with the last resurrection, then Post Trib would be correct, but our concept of the word Resurrection would be faulty.

The Rapture removes us from the earth, it doesn't bring Jesus to the earth, the Judgment brings Jesus to the earth. The early church taught Two Advents of Jesus, the First brought Salvation establishing the Church, then the promised the Time of Comfort, the Second will be when Jesus judges all men on the earth. Our Faith is centered in being partakers of the First Resurrection to be free of the wrath and judgment. Waiting for Jesus to set up the Kingdom negates being Born Again, negates the Kingdom is within, negates the Church being on earth now. The earth is still under the hand of God, nothing happens He doesn’t know about. Even the wars, rumors of wars, pestilence and famine are under God’s hand, if not He couldn’t stop them to bring in Peace and Safety. In our Season Peace is not found in the world, it’s found in the Kingdom, if we receive it.

If the Jew must look upon Him they have pierced, as they ask Where did You get those Marks, it would be stupid to assume Jesus was on the earth for a 1,000 years, yet no one brought up the marks. The Time of Comfort is the Restoration of Israel; mixing the signs and times for the Restoration of Israel into the Gentile Age is a direct violation of the commandment Jesus gave us (Acts 1:6-8).

Once we find this one week in all of history is the most important, we will hold The Faith, knowing Jesus has all things well in hand; we are not lost or destroyed, this old world will last past the Rapture. We seek change the things we should change, and praise God for the things we shouldn't change. The times and the Season call for the world to do many things, most of which may not seem good to us, but all of which must be. When Jesus was on the Cross the disciples felt it was the most horrid event of all time, the complete end to a system they believed in, but after the Resurrection their Knowledge became a source for them to believe. If they would have believed the words of Jesus before the fact, the Cross would have been a joy, thus they would have encouraged Jesus, rather than run and hide. Discerning the event, keeps us from running in fear.

It also stands, if the nations of the world last past the Rapture, and there are "kings of the world" who are from the Beast of the Sea, any effort to join to those kings, or make any of those nations the "kingdom" is a trick of the devil to get us into the Night. It would seem strange since the devil will be bound during the time, unless we see how the Wicked do the working of Satan when the devil is bound, indicating the Spirit will be gone, then we can see the plan of the enemy is to make us "Night seekers", rather than "Day doers", yet the Cross and Resurrection are presented to the children of the Day.

Saying, Go you into the village over against you; in the which your entering you shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him here. And if any man ask you, Why do you loose him? thus shall you say unto him, Because the Lord has need of him (19:30-31).

Jesus knew where the colt was, who owned it, what they would say, then told His disciples what to say to the owner. Also the colt was required for the Lord, the disciples didn’t need the colt. The disciples didn’t say, “the Lord has need of this, we will ride it to Him”, they knew it was for the Lord only. The colt had never been ridden, not only would Jesus ride this unbroken colt, but He would ride it through a mass of people all waving branches; if anyone knows anything about horses this feat was a miracle in itself. The disciples were told to be explicit, saying the Lord had need, by the statement the owner knew who had care of his animal. More important, the colt was returned to the owner in a better condition, thus it was taken as an unbroken colt, yet returned as a useful animal fit for the labor.

Zechariah the prophet said, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you, He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zech 9:9). Then Zechariah writes, "And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and He shall speak peace unto the heathen: and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for you also, by the blood of the covenant I have sent forth your prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water" (Zech 9:10-11). The phrase, "cut off" goes back to Daniel, as the Messiah would be cut off in the midst of the week, as the change between Son of man and Son of God.

There are two groups noted by the prophet Zechariah, first is the Daughter of Zion, as Zion is the Holy Mountain, the second is the city of David, but then we also see the Daughter of Jerusalem, giving us the House of David, then the Seed of the Woman as the Remnant. Both the Church and the Remnant are noted, both are accounted for in their separate Seasons, Houses and Times.

And they that were sent went their way, and found even as He had said unto them (19:32).

Mark says they found the colt where two ways meet (Mark 11:4), thus the Colt represented the place where one thing ended, as another began.

And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose you the colt?  (19:33).

Not only did they find the colt where Jesus said, but the owners responded just as Jesus said. This doesn't mean Jesus was some mystic manipulating the future, rather it shows In the Beginning was the Word, as the Word knew the events before they were events. This makes the Cross a greater victory, Jesus knew the pain of the Cross, yet He approached it with Joy knowing the result.

And they said, The Lord has need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they sat Jesus thereon. And as He went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when He was come near, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory to the highest (19:34-38).

Mark tells us the people cut branches from trees, although they didn't know it then, it was a sign of the unbelieving branches being cut off; therefore, the cutting off was done by the religious leaders, proven by the people (Mark 11:8). Luke doesn't show the title Hosanna, rather he shows the Greek translation of the same phrases Matthew, Mark and John use.

The Cross is our beginning point, the place where we gain the authority to impute the flesh dead. Without the imputed death of the flesh, the old man with the passions of the world remain. Before anyone can have the Spirit, a death must take place, in our case it’s imputed because the flesh of Jesus died for us, yet we gain the Body of Christ.

And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Your disciples (19:39).

The Pharisees assumed the disciples caused the people to act, but the Pharisees missed the point, as do all Pharisees. The people responded, the disciples didn't have to tell them to do anything. When the Anointing covers us, we don't have to be told what to do, we know what to do.

And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out (19:40).

Prior the devil came at Jesus bringing the temptation of turning the stones into bread, here Jesus shows even the stones would praise God; however, there is a vast difference between forcing the stones to become bread, and the stones willingly giving themselves to become bread. The hearts of the Pharisees were harder than the hardest stone, their praise was a vain act of religion lacking honor toward God.

And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong unto your peace! but now they are hid from your eyes (19:41-42).

The physical city of Jerusalem is the Woman in the Book of Revelation, but we know a city lacks personality, thus it's the religious leaders who give the Woman her personality. It becomes an Image with a voice behind it, a voice with great swelling words, the voice began in our Season, yet ends when the Beast out of the Earth invades the city as a voice behind the abomination making desolate.

For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall cast a trench about you, and compass you round, and keep you in on every side (19:43).

This describes the very last days, when the "army of the Lord" comes against Jerusalem. How can they be the army of the Lord? God puts His will in their heart, as they come from all four quarters of the world to attack the city, then the Great Trump is sounded from Zion of the earth as the end comes.

And shall lay you even with the ground, and your children with you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another: because you knew not the time of your visitation (19:44).

This changes the concept of the prophesy, although Jesus is talking to the City, although it will happen, the early church saw something in this prophecy, something saving hundreds of Christians in 70 AD. The Holy Ghost interpreted this prophecy to the Christian to show Titus coming against the city Jerusalem, then retreating, yet coming again with more force. When Titus retreated the Jews assumed he was done, but the Christians left the city immediately. When Titus came again the temple was destroyed, hundreds of Jews were killed, but not one Christian.

And He went into the temple, and began to cast out them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves (19:45-46).

This would be the second time Jesus would clean the temple, John tells us the first time was in the very beginning of the earthly ministry. The first cleaning centered on those who sold the doves, or things used for sacrifices (Jn 2:16). At the time Jesus said, "take these things away; make not My Father's house a house of merchandise". This time it involves all those who used the temple to make gain, the House changed to, "My House", the purpose changed to a House of Prayer, the stealing part is taking money from the people, without provided for them.

And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him (19:47-48).

Luke brings in Matthew and Mark, taking us back to Luke 1:1, showing Matthew and Mark were known and believed. Separating the accounts brings confusion, putting them in the proper prospective brings clarity. The Passover Lamb had to be accepted by the people, then killed by the religious rulers or the entire plan would fail. Although there will be many yelling, "Crucify Him", it doesn't mean all the people were present, really the Pharisees made sure only the select parties were present at the trials. Although the Pharisees assumed their plan was clever and fool proof, it was nonetheless in violation of the same Law they accused Jesus of violating.

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon Him with the elders (20:1).

Luke is picking one of the days, but he doesn't limit the amount of days, rather he specifically tells us there were other days Jesus taught. Mark gives us one day from Mark 11:20 to 12:12. John begins one night from John 13:1 until John 18:27, Matthew gives us one day from Matthew 21:18 until Matthew 26:2, where he points out it was, "after two days is the feast of the Passover" (Matt 26:2). The chapter and verse numbers were placed in the text by the translators of the King James to give us reference points, thus when these scribes wrote these accounts they were one long letter. The Holy Ghost moved on the translators of the King James to give us reference points, thus the chapter and verse numbers were by the hand of God, providing us the clarity to see the days, times and events all link together. Truly these were holy men of old who wrote the accounts as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Luke will tell us which day this is by reference:

And spoke unto Him, saying, Tell us, by what authority do You these things? or who is he that gives You this authority? (20:2).

Mark shows this was the day after the temple was cleaned (Mark 11:17 & 11:28), but Luke adds for our benefit, instead of limiting our thoughts to the temple cleaning only. We see the Things include riding the colt on the sabbath, as well as allowing the people to cut branches from trees on the sabbath. Luke adds, "or who is he that gives You this authority?", the Pharisees were looking for the temple ruler(s) who allowed Jesus to do these things. This is a very important area, the Romans allowed the Temple to remain under the hand of the religious leaders, with the exception of taking a life. The Temple had it’s own guards, it conducted business as the religious leaders desired. Their concern went beyond permission from the high priest, in fact they knew the high priest, nor any of them gave Authority. They were looking for who was attempting to overthrow the Temple, or the religious order. Was Judas Maccabees raised from the dead? Were the Romans using some trick? They never considered, “This is God”; if the event doesn’t please us, we tend to blame the devil, or set our teeth against the event, yet it may be of God. Even a ministry  appearing to be dying is a good thing, in order to be Resurrected it must die. Before the Resurrection power is instilled we will fight to protect the ministry, we will call it our ministry, we will watch over it like a mother hen, some even make it their god. After it dies, and is restored it becomes the ministry of the Lord, a tool, not a god, a means used of the Lord to present the Gospel, not something we bow to. These religious leaders used the Temple for their self-gain, they robbed the sheep, placed rules on the sheep, things they themselves were unable to do, they manipulated, regulated, dominated, produced fear among the people. Then they wonder “who gave You the Authority”?

And He answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer Me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? (20:3-4).

Often when dealing with a Pharisee the best way to answer their question is with a question, but above all, the only way to answer is by the Spirit.

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; He will say, Why then believed you him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet (20:5-6).

The Pharisees answered their own question, but failed to see it. They admitted, if John was from God as the people believed, they should have believed him, meaning they should have repented as did the people; if they would have believed the words of John, they would have known where the authority of Jesus came from. Spiritual things can only be explained by those who are spiritual in nature, the Pharisees reasoned, or judged their answer on their intellect and thoughts, which were already corrupt.

And they answered, that they could not tell where it was from. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things (20:7-8).

If they couldn't believe the witness of the people, they won't believe Jesus, therefore, Jesus answered them with their own answer, thus "out of their own mouth" they were judged (Luke 19:22).

Then He began to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out (20:9-12).

It's not saying God only sent three prophets, rather even if He did, the fact remains in the mouth of two or three witnesses a fact is affirmed. Jesus didn't have to go through the list naming prophet after prophet, all He had to show was the continuing message was given by two or three prophets. In essence Jesus grouped the Major prophets as one, the Minor prophets as one, then Moses as one, giving them three overwhelming witnesses.

The religious rulers knew the Old Testament better than some of us, but they missed the intent. They assumed the Law testified of them, they failed to see it Testified of Jesus. They assumed the prophets talked about them, they failed to see the reason for the nation and the temple was Jesus. God said, He has spoken, nourished and brought up children, yet they have rebelled against Him (Isa 1:2). Isaiah saw the Vineyard bringing forth wild grapes (Isa 5:1-2). We know many prophets spoke, yet the Old Testament testifies of Jesus; therefore, the Pharisees recognized the holy men of Old as prophets, but failed to believe them.

John says the Vineyard will be ready on the last day, as the Great Winepress (Gethsemane) of God will pour out the wrath of God (Rev 14:17-19).

The Pharisees had little trouble in understanding these latter parables of Jesus, it’s why they came against Him. In this parable the Pharisees are being told the vineyard doesn't belong to them, rather the one who owns it wants the fruit to come forth, yet they still lacked fruit unto repentance, thus the vineyard is barren.

This also points us back to their accusation regarding the people cutting down the branches. The people, the Pharisees and the disciples all heard the same sayings, they all saw the same miracles, yet they came away with different views, or percepts, because the condition of the ground determined how they would receive. The people saw the King, the Healer, the Savior; the disciples saw the Christ, the Son of man, but the Pharisees saw a man who threatened their jobs, or caused the people to violate their traditions, while confronting their authority, yet they forgot from Whom the authority came, or for what purpose it was granted.

Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be that they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid (20:13-16).

These are all questions to the Pharisees, what would they do? How would they react? Shortly after this Jesus would tell His disciples about the true Vine of God, thus they don't have to worry about the evil husbandmen any more. The Pharisees were in charge of this Vineyard, but Jesus has another, wherein He was the Vine, we are the branches, the Father is the husbandman; if the branch brings forth fruit, the Father will trim it to bring forth better fruit (Jn 15:1-3). Therefore, we find even if we bring forth good fruit, the Father will trim us back, so we can bring forth bigger and better fruit, thus we go through a pruning from time to time. God calls this the Fire of Affliction, we call it Justification, Jesus calls it Good, regardless of how it appears to us. God is the only One who can truly Justify us, thus any act of self-justification is an act against the Justification of God. Our innocence is found in the Blood of Jesus, not in works of the flesh.

Jesus says the branch In Him who bears not fruit will be cut away by the Father (Jn 15:2). Therefore, the pruning or cutting is dependent on Mercy, not Grace; yet, there is a vast difference between “cut away”, and “trimmed”. This is a "vine", but it relates to the Menorah, or Golden Candlestick, since the design on the Menorah was fashioned after a Vine. This shows the warning in Romans and the Book of Revelation is in reference to this Parable, as the failure to grant Mercy after receiving it causes the Branch to be cut off, or lose it's light, which also shows the Woman will lose her light in the end. Paul says the braches were cut off because of “unbelief”, attaching unbelief as a product of failing to grant mercy. Paul then adds, “be not high-minded, but fear, for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not you” (Rom 11:19-21). Paul puts this with the vessel of honor based in mercy, and the vessel of dishonor failing to give mercy. No element can separate us from the Love found in Christ, but we know we can separate ourselves from Christ (Rom 8:35-39  & Jude 19).

If we have made Jesus both Savior and Lord we will abide in Him, and He in us, then we will bring forth fruit (Jn 15:5-10). The Branch who Abides in the Vine Confesses the Vine by the Life of the vine, the Branch who refuses the Life of the Vine can give theological discourses regarding the Vine, but can't confess it.

The engrafting process of the Word in us brings our souls into One with the Spirit, unto the saving of our soul. We impute the old dead, then doubt not, rather we believe God is fully able to trim away the dead, as we turn to the life of the Vine receiving with meekness the engrafted Word (James 1:21). Spiros Zodhiates Th.D. looks at Romans 10:5-21 as “the method of justification”, showing “if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved”, clearly showing a Process (shall be, rather than is). In each case the tense for Believe means to continue to believe, the same tense we found in Mark 16:16, showing process until we reach the place where we have the salvation of our souls in hand, which becomes the time when we are glorified.

The Pharisees knew they were appointed as husbandmen of the vineyard, they also knew what Jesus was saying. Clearly it speaks of a time, or a process of maintaining what was placed in their custody, yet they felt it was their property to do as they pleased. Jesus explains they may think they can do as they desire, or even get away with it, but the Accountability will come, it always does.

The Pharisees heard this rebuke regarding the vineyard, in essence their response was: "It will not be, we say God will forbid it". Like all Pharisees they assumed they could remain in the same position by changing the prophecy of God. We change positions to avoid one prophecy to enter another, we can't sit on the Beast claiming the prophecy of Christ, while denying the prophecy regarding the Beast.

And He beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? (20:17).

The Pharisees were telling Jesus, God would honor their words, or they had the power to change God. The Pharisees wanted to be the god over God, so they could control God, by forcing God to fit their thinking, instead of changing their thinking to fit the desires of God. This is the same as making statements assuming God will honor them, the same error the false prophets made in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Baptism is both a noun and a verb, as a noun it means to be immersed, or covered, going further than water, it means a submission to the purpose of the baptism to allow ourselves to be “covered”. As a verb it means to Identify with the purpose of the baptism, on both counts we are to be covered with the Mercy, but identify with the purpose for being baptized, something the Corinthians failed at. The word came from a process to make a change, it pertained to one taking a clothe, then placing it into a vat of dye, as the clothe changed by the immersion to resemble color of the dye, thus identifying with the dye. When we were baptized in water it was not to have God perform our agenda for us, rather we gave our Token to be members of the Body, as the Unction over the Body covered us, but we also indicated we were willing to follow the guidelines for the Body; however, we didn’t drink the water, thus showing it was an outward act. The baptism with the Holy Ghost is the inward effect, thus it’s the Token of Jesus accepting us into the building process of the Church. Water baptism is a symbol of God’s Mercy, thus we are forgiven as we forgive, but the baptism of the Holy Ghost grants us the Seed, as our Seal of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of fire burns away the hold fleshly heart, giving us a new heart of Spiritual in nature.

Isaiah just started his ministry when he said, "He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken" (Isa 8:14-15). Isaiah pointed to Houses coming from Israel, the Kingdom of God started in Israel, but it is not Israel. Isaiah also prophesied of the Church as the Anointed House with the Spirit on this earth, then about the House of David who will become the House during the Time of Comfort with a purpose of Judgment.

The first stone is always the cornerstone, all the other stones must be placed around the cornerstone; however, if the cornerstone is faulty, the whole building will fall, but if the cornerstone is sound, firm and unmovable, the building will have a solid foundation. Yet, if we use straw, faulty mortar, or unsound materials in the building process, the building will fall, the Cornerstone will not. We build the Rock, but we do not build the Church. Jesus will build the Church from the Rock, we are the ones who toss the net (Jude 22-23). Our hope is knowing the Church is built by Jesus as a Spiritual endeavor. Our fears of the world destroying the Church are unfounded, proven so by the early days of martyrdom. The Body will be broken, it’s something to happen, but we have the hope of knowing the Rapture will remove the Church from the Rock, which Church the Spirit in us proves exists, as the process is being completed.

Whosoever shall fall upon the stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder (20:18).

The word Break also points to a blessing, it means to Be broken in order to be united, or to Dash together, denoting when we fall on the Millstone we won't be destroyed, but we will be mingled with the pure product unto perfection. The paradox shows when the grain is placed on the Millstone, it is slowly ground to separate the Grain from the chaff to produce a usable meal, but if the Millstone falls suddenly upon the Grain, it brakes it into many pieces scattering it all about making the Grain useless. The words Grind and Powder are from one Greek word meaning Winnow or Fan, both words tell us the same thing, pointing to the process of separating the chaff from the grain by means of a Strong Wind, a Wind Stronger than the strongman. When the disciples were in the wheat field they were using their breath to separate the grain from the chaff, thus the lesson was the procedure Jesus uses to bring the Full Corn In The Ear to the surface. We have a choice to fall upon the Millstone to be made a vessel of honor, or wait until the last day when the Millstone separates the good fish from the bad fish, the tares from the wheat, at that time many will be crushed into bits of powder.

Prior Jesus asked the Pharisees about John the Baptist; going back to the time when John was baptizing, we recall how John said, "I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire: whose fan is in His hand; He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable" (Luke 3:16-17). What is the chaff? The natural covering, or flesh. Out flesh is imputed dead on the Cross, it may not seem so, but it is imputed. Abraham for the most part hardly seemed “righteous”, but it was imputed on his belief, so it could be by faith. The same is true with us, we imputed the flesh dead on the Cross because we believed what Jesus did for us, then comes the faith issue, as we hold to the Spirit until the Process is complete.

Earlier the Pharisees asked Jesus by what authority, or by whose permission did He operate in, now He answers their question. The Pharisees didn't have the New Testament, but they did know the Old. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying, "Behold, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: you shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff" (Isa 41:15). This pointed to the time when the nation will have a split personality, with the House of David on one hand, and the House of Jacob on the other (Isa 41:14). The Pharisees weren't changing prophecy, they were setting the stage to complete prophecy. Jesus tells the Pharisees they are not the ones holding the Fan, if they refuse to fall upon the Millstone, the Rock will crush them. Jesus will preach to the Pharisees and the disciples about the time of Peace, but He makes it clear there is a time prior.

And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on Him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them (20:19).

Ahh, clarity, but the wrong response. God gives us clarity in many things, how we apply it determines the result. Here the chief priests "perceived", or gained the clarity, they knew the Parable spoke against them, but instead of receiving the rebuke, they attacked. They rejected the question from Jesus, as they rejected the concept of the Millstone falling on them, rather they were offended because Jesus spoke the parable about the husbandmen killing the son, thus as their fathers killed the prophets (servants), so shall they kill the Son. The very saying Jesus gave them would prove to be their own downfall, they twisted it, so they could be the Millstone. They were going to make the attempt to prove their religious order was greater than Jesus, yet their acts were seen, then placed in the plan from the beginning. This is another example of evil being worked into the plan to produce a Good result, yet God didn’t make the evil happen, He simply used it to benefit us.

And they watched Him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor (20:20).

Luke gives us the intent of the Pharisees, Jesus rebuked them as religious leaders. They had no evidence to single out Jesus for violating the Law of Moses, although they knew He violated many of their traditions. Jesus was convicted for violating traditions, as are many saints of God who are judged by the Pharisees for exposing carnal traditions and wanton theology. In essence Jesus was convicted for telling the Truth. In order to remove the guilt from their temple the Pharisees wanted the civil authorities to do their dirty work, Pharisees don't change, the same is true today. Pharisees seek self-importance, they desire to protect their position even at the expense of a brother or sister in the Lord. The Pharisees will first seek to trap Jesus by using civil laws and authority, but in order to involve the civil government, they will twist a teaching regarding a religious concept to make it appear as a violation of civil law.

And they asked Him, saying, Master, we know that You say and teach rightly, neither accept you the person of any, but teach the way of God truly: (20:21).

The evil intent here is the use of words to flatter, centering those words around some Godly concept while setting up an adverse situation where they can twist the answer to fit their evil thinking. One would think the question would have to do with the Law of Moses, but their question will be in reference to the law of Rome; according to the Law of Moses the Tribute should be given to the temple as part of the Tithe, but they didn't say Tithe, rather they are using words as their weapons.

Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? But He perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt you Me? Show Me a penny. Whose image and superscription has it? They answered and said, Caesar's. And He said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's (20:22-25).

They begin by using the phrase, "is it lawful", by so doing they incorporated both the Law of Moses and Roman law, thus no matter which way Jesus answered, the answer would have to support one law, while attacking the other. The Law of Moses forbade using money with the image of a man on it, yet they had the money with them. If the money had the image of a man on it, it belonged to the man, not God.

The coin belonged to Caesar, but the people belonged to God; therefore, render unto Caesar the things Caesar made, but unto God the things God made. On the same note, if the money had the Name of God on it, it belonged to God; if it belonged to God, then all who used it became responsible to God for its use.

And they could not take hold of His words before the people: and they marveled at His answer, and held their peace (20:26).

The people were the witnesses, thus the spies couldn't twist the words of Jesus in front of the people, but they would twist them later when these people were not present. When they have Jesus before Pilate they will say, "We found this Fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying He Himself is Christ a King" (Luke 23:2). John will add to this, but for now we see they took the words of Jesus, then twisted them to fit their own personal agenda in order to accuse. Anyone can take a verse, then twist it to fit their opinion, or beat someone half to death with it, or they can use it to edify. The verse didn’t change, the intent is in the person. It’s the same with idols, credit cards, money, or things in general, the thing is not evil, it’s what man does with it determining if its evil or not.

What happens when we set ourselves to destroy someone so our "traditions may be saved"? Are we not in the role of a Pharisee? Sure, we must beware of dogs who bite and devour to save their own self-based concepts.

Then came to Him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection: and they asked Him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother (20:27-28).

The point in the Law is Deuteronomy 25:5-10, but the intent of the Sadducees is to disprove the resurrection, not prove the Truth of the Word. To the Jew the commandment, Replenish the earth stands, but the commandment was directed for the earth, or the earth dwellers, not those who are resurrected unto a heavenly citizenship. Why would one want to replenish, if they exist forever? What purpose would it hold?

There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife (20:29-33).

Both Adam and Eve were told before the fall to be fruitful and multiply to replenish the earth (Gen 1:28). They were not told they would get to heaven, nor were they told to replenish heaven. The commandment shows the foreknowledge of God, although the commandment came before the fall, God saw the fall before the foundation of the world. Accordingly, Genesis shows the time element was very short for Adam and Eve before the fall. How? They didn't have one child before the fall, but had several shortly thereafter.

God is still Alpha and Omega, knowing the result before man knew there was a cause. Natural minded man has the tendency to equate the things of God to the flesh, man's flesh was formed of the earth, not of heaven. The Sadducees were still equating the resurrection as part of the Time of Comfort, assuming resurrected man would dwell on the earth during the Time of Comfort, in fact they still assume they will be resurrected, then the Time of Comfort will begin; thus they assume no one can kill them during the Time of Comfort. Paul said this is the strong delusion or the lie they will believe (II Thess 2:10-11). Paul also said there is a glory for the earth, as well as a glory for the heavens, and the two are separated from each other (I Cor 15:45-58). It's not simply the resurrected body but the Spirit of Life making the difference. There is a resurrection for the damned, one for those unto life; the damned still receive resurrected bodies, which can never be destroyed, yet since it remains on earth, as the earth becomes a lake of fire, it shows the body will melt, and come back time and time again in an existence where time is not a factor, it will always be Now. On the other hand, those who hear Come up hither, will be in heaven forever, where time is not a factor, it too will always be Now. The question is moot, it's not the resurrection, but the Spirit making the difference.

And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage (20:34).

Jesus separates the purpose, showing people of the world marry and are given in marriage as a symbol of the purposed Marriage, God is seeking; however, the Sadducees viewed it as a gift for man, failing to connect it to the purpose, of course they also failed to connect their called positions to the purpose for having the position.

But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (20:35).

This makes it clear, there are no marriages in heaven, if we put this with the other accounts we can discard the notion of fallen angels marring the daughters of men.

Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection (20:36).

The purpose for the reproduction of people is based on our physical death, thus if we can't die, why reproduce? Our goal is to be partakers of the First Resurrection, but there are those who sleep in Jesus through the Night, and those who do the Law without knowing it, but they must find their name in the Book of Life to hear “come up hither”.  If not, they face the second death, thus the second death is not a state of unconsciousness, rather it's a state of consciousness where the worm never rests.

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him (20:37-38).

The dead do not raise, although they will stand up, thus to be Raised means more than resurrected, it means to be lifted above the confines of the earth. God is not the God of the dead, thus in order for God to be our God, we must be among the living, in order to obtain Life, we must have Jesus. Simply recognizing the existence of God, doesn't make the person a “son of God”, simply knowing about Mercy doesn’t make one a “son of man”, it’s the application. The same is true with the works of faith, going about telling everyone our religious philosophy isn’t a work of faith, a work of faith is when we do something based in the Faith. James says if someone comes to our door in need, do we talk, or do we do?

The Sadducees used the word Die or Died six times, yet man was formed and created on the sixth day, thus their intent was based in death, not life, yet God is the God of the living. Jesus rebuked the Sadducees intent and reasoning, but it was not to belittle them, rather it was to expose the basis for their reasoning was death centered, not life centered.

Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, You have well said. And after that they dared not ask Him any question at all (20:39-40).

The people heard the Truth and the Truth sets those free who seek Truth, but it also exposes those who seek deception. This is a classic regarding faith by hearing, Jesus was answering a question by one sect, the people were listening, yet the people gained, the Sadducees did not.

The plans of the Pharisees and Sadducees seemed good in their own minds, but evil intent produces evil words. Jesus will now take His turn at asking a question.

And He said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son? And David himself said in the Book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit You on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. David therefore called Him Lord, how is He then his son? (20:41-44).

This same question could have been asked of Peter on the Day of Pentecost, but on the Day of Pentecost he would have the answer. When the Church was birthed by the Holy Ghost bringing the Gift, the same Gift included spiritual knowledge and wisdom; Peter saw David as a prophet, noting how David didn't speak as David, rather the anointing spoke through David about the Anointed One. David said by the Holy Ghost, "I foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, and I should not be moved: therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope: because You will not leave My soul in hell, neither will You suffer Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to Me the ways of life; You shall make Me full of joy with Your countenance" (Acts 2:25-28 & Ps 16:8). Peter then said David's tomb was among them, thus David was both dead and buried, "therefore being a prophet" he spoke as the anointing spoke through him (Acts 2:29-31). The Holy Ghost used the mouth of David to project the will of the Father into the earth through a servant; Jesus is the product of the prophecy, yet the religious leaders missed it.

The reference to the Footstool is also interesting, since it's the enemies of Jesus who become the Footstool, yet the earth is the Lord's Footstool, making the Beast of the Earth the enemy. The purpose for the Day is unto Salvation, the purpose for the Night is unto Judgment, all those who join to the Beast of the Earth become the enemies of Jesus.

This is also a perfect example of God praying to God through man for the benefit of man. The scribes were dumb founded, they, like the Sadducees, saw David the king, not the prophet of God. The "Son of David", is not David's natural son, but the product of the words spoken from the anointing. When the words were spoken Jesus was still the Word, then the Word became flesh for us. Jesus being the Son of David doesn't mean He is lower than David, rather it's the son who speaks for the father; as the Son of David, thus Jesus spoke for all those who are called to be the anointed kings in the Kingdom.

Jesus was merely telling them to see the beam in their own eye, see their unbelief, and recognize how they really didn't know what the Scriptures said.

Then in the audience of all the people He said unto His disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers, the same shall receive greater damnation (20:45-47).

The Gospel is full of warnings and exposures, yet if Jesus didn't believe salvation was possible for anyone who asks, He would never go to the Cross. Although there are Few, they can't be numbered, thus it becomes relative to what the Few represent. If we looked at our denomination, or our local church the concept of a Few would be frightening, but if we look at every man, woman and child who has ever lived on the earth, or made the claim to know of God, then the concept of a Few is broadened to a multitude who can't be numbered.

And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury (21:1).

Jesus is still teaching on those who love to be seen by men; those who seek credit, or self-glory to become self-exalted in their efforts.

And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in there two mites (21:2).

Recalling Jesus just said, "which devour widows' houses", helps us to see this woman was giving to the temple, but the religious leaders in the temple were not giving back to her. Psalm 82 commands the temple with its workers to care for the widow, not for the widow to care for the temple. The widow had the right attitude, the Pharisees didn't. The widow would be blessed, regardless of what the Pharisees did with her money, the Pharisees would be judged regarding how they used her money, just as Peter was blessed for paying his taxes, it was Caesar who would be judged for how he used the money. Some of us use the excuse, “well gee, I don’t know what they will do with my money”, first we consider it our money, second so what? If they use it accordingly they will be blessed, if not they will be accountable.

And He said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow has cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast it unto the offerings of God, but she of her penury has cast in all the living that she had (21:3-4).

Luke adds to Mark's account, where Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, this poor widow has cast more in, then all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all she had, even all her living" (Mark 12:41-44). The context of these verses is found on both sides; Jesus just finished saying the scribes "devour widows' houses", then the next verse shows where the money went. The others gave from their abundance, this woman gave from her "penury", or of her poverty, thus she was a widow in deed, yet her love for God caused her to do a Good thing.

The Rich Man was told to give all he had, no one told the widow to give. One can have sixty million dollars, then give a million and everyone gets excited, but someone can have just one dollar, and give it all, rather than buy food, in God’s eye they are the blessed. Giving our excess, and giving based on love and joy are different.

And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said As for these things which you behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (21:5-6).

The religious leaders used the money to adorn the temple with stones and gifts, the scribes were standing right there with Jesus watching the widow give all she had, yet they never sought to meet her need, or to be a blessing to her. The basis of the undefiled religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep ones self unspotted from the world (James 1:27). Isaiah said the principle of the Jewish religion was to "learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow" (Isa 1:17). The word Judge doesn't mean to judge against them, rather it refers to God's Judgment in Mercy, thus as temple workers they should have seen to the widow, not take from her.

This prophecy of the temple being destroyed came to pass when a drunken soldier of Titus tossed a flaming torch into the temple to force out the dissident Jews in 70 AD. The torch started a fire, causing the gold in the temple to melt, flowing between the stones. They tore down the stones to get to the gold. All the gold and silver they used to make their temple ornate, was for naught; whereas, the two mites given by the widow woman was credited to her account in heaven, where moths, nor thieves can enter in.

There is also the evidence of the Day, since the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, there have been many plans to build another, but none has come about. It’s not time for the House of David, it’s still time for the Olive Tree. God even went so far is to allow the Dome of the Rock Mosque to be built to hinder any act of building the Temple before the time. Evidencing God is still seeking those who want to be saved, still building the Church, still bringing the Seed unto the New Birth.

And they asked Him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And He said, Take heed you be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go you not therefore after them (21:7-8).

This connects to Matthew's account, as we understand there will be some who will say Jesus is the Christ, but they will lack the Spirit to be Christ Like. They will come in the Name of Jesus, thus this warning points to the Day, as they will say they are Christian, but they will still hold to the spirit of the world (he in the world). This also explains to the disciples why they were to remain silent regarding Jesus as the Christ of Grace, they lacked the foundation, they were not spiritual, since they didn’t have the Spirit. The carnal Corinthians had the Spirit and position to speak of Grace, but as Paul pointed out, without love the same knowledge would puff up negating the purpose.

But you shall hear of wars, and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by (21:9).

Matthew also noted there would be wars, rumors of wars, famines and pestilence (Matt 24:6-7). These elements divide the Seasons, but Luke adds a word helping us understand more. Matthew tells us "see you are not troubled", whereas Luke says, "be not terrified". The word Troubled means To Wail or Clamor; the word Clamor tells us Not To Protest, or Don't Be Discontent, or Don't Make A Public Outcry, or Don't Try To Stop it. This warning is clear, the world and all it's kings and kingdoms are on a course, don't try to make the world, or any part of it the Kingdom. Does it mean we hate the world, or those in it? Don't confuse the ways of the world, with those in the world. Why cast the Net, we don’t hate the people: we hate what runs the world, the motivation of the world is still based in the power, authority and seat of Satan, but the people are not the dragon, they are not the Beast of the Sea, they are the fish purposed for the Net. Love the people, hate the iniquity.

The word Terrified means Causing to fly away, or To menace or threaten, or To panic which causes us to react by the flesh. From the Greek word we get the English word Terrorize meaning To coerce by intimidation. Putting these together we find these things must be, we are not to interfere with the purpose of God, rather we are to flow with it. Every whacko violates this one premise, they fear, fight against, or terrorize, showing their actions are pure examples of a group who has no faith whatsoever, rather they are still worldly.

The wars and rumors of wars, along with the pestilence and famine are signs of the Hour of Temptation on the world, we are suppose to be the Door to freedom. John also said the Famine and Pestilence shall not hurt those with the Oil (Spirit) and Wine (Blood of Jesus); thus we are suppose to be the House of Mercy in the storm of Tribulation. We can't change the course of the world, when we attempt to do so, we find ourselves caught in the cares of this world, only confirming we lack the Holy Ghost courage to get through this valley of the shadow of death. Fear allows our flesh to dictate a comfortable place where it can rule, just another sign of a lack of faith. If we impute the flesh dead, yet allow it to guide us, we lack belief in the ability of the Cross. From this lack of belief, ones faith is puny at best, bringing the saying, "will I find faith when I return". Jesus tells us these things "must come to pass", thus we find the meaning of the word Troubled; when we fight against these things we fight against God; His purpose goes far beyond the pleasure of our flesh.

Then said He unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: (21:10).

Not only will nation rise against nation, but kingdom against kingdom, this latter aspect draws our attention. The Good Fish in the kingdom of heaven will not oppose the Good Fish in the Kingdom of God; however, the bad fish will rise up against the Good Fish. The kingdom of heaven will rise up against the kingdom of the devil, the kingdom of man will rise up against the kingdom of heaven, yet the Kingdom of God will win in the end regardless.

And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven (21:11).

Jesus doesn't say the Great Earthquake, rather He gives us a plural usage, pointing to the First, Second and Third Earthquakes. The First marked the Resurrection of Jesus, the Second will mark the Rapture, the Third will be when the earth turns inside out, yet all three mark some aspect of the term, Resurrection. The earthquakes will be of a different type, thus they mark the time when the earth can no longer hold the citizens of heaven, since the earthquakes are of a different type; it also shows a difference in their purpose. The Resurrection of Jesus opened the Day, the earthquake yet to come will mark the Rapture, closing the Day, but then the Door to the House of David will open. Then comes the last earthquake to bring about the Judgment, all three mark some form of Resurrection. The First gives us the First Resurrection, it’s not complete until the Rapture, then comes the third earthquake, with the last resurrection. Earthquakes release pressure under the surface of the plates of the earth, a different type would be to release the citizens of heaven from the earth.

But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake (21:12).

The phrase "name's sake" doesn't mean mouthing the Name of Jesus, rather it refers to the purpose, or the reason for the Name. Since Jesus went to the Cross as the Son of man, and returns as the Son of man, the Judgment relates to Mercy. Natural man hates the Mercy and Grace of God, man wants justice, we forgive, which in turn brings condemnation. Of course if we say we’re Christian and run around yelling, “Hang them, hang them I say”, the world feels comfortable because we are acting like them, but it also means we are not using the Purpose for the Name of  Jesus.

This prophecy came to pass in Acts, yet in Acts we find the religious leaders didn’t attack the disciples until they preached the Resurrection (Acts 4:1-3). When faced with the religious rulers, the disciples applied Mercy, they answered questions, they spoke the truth in love, yet they were beaten. However, they felt Joy, knowing they stood in the Light (Acts 4:20-24). When we believe in the Name of Jesus we will stand by the Anointing, then we take joy in the persecution.

And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist (21:13-15).

Persecution doesn't strike a blow against us, it makes a mark for us. When they come against us, why get mad? They are merely adding to our Testimony, as John shows we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. The Word of our Testimony is not what we say, it’s what others say about our Testimony (way of life).

And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends, and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But there shall not an hair on your head perish. In your patience possess you your souls (21:16-19).

Wow, I thought the Gospel was "good news"? It is, this is a warning of what will be, so we don't become alarmed when it comes to pass. The Good News shows we are above these things, they may be going on around us, but they need not effect us. Since when does an ambassador become effected by what another nation does?

Not only does this hold true for the Body of Christ, but for the Jew as well. Things happen, some appear bad, yet if those things involve the people of God, whether they are of the Anointed Body of Christ, or set apart for the Time of Comfort, there is always a purpose resulting in good, the basis for our belief centers on “God Is”.

By no stretch of the imagination could one consider Hitler a good man, neither could one view history and call Pharaoh good, yet Paul said, "for the scripture says unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth" (Rom 9:17). We are mandated to diligently seek God in the event, rather than curse the darkness, or look for the evil.

The Jewish nation was spread all over the earth, yet they are promised the Time of Comfort to being in Jerusalem, as well as having their temple, yet to have their temple, they must have the land. Hitler's intent was to destroy the Jewish race, but what he purposed for evil, God used for Good, the torment of the Jewish people moved the peoples of the world to give them their land. The Jew has the call, “Never again”; the thought of giving up the land is out of the question, thus the result placed the Jew in their land, giving them support to maintain it. God's plan saw the UN before man knew there was a UN, thus God worked the purpose to once again give the promised land to the Jew. Did the UN say, "God has told us to give this land to you"? No, they used reasoning, yet God saw the reasoning before the foundation of the world, then worked it into the plan. The Bible tells us Israel will have all the land to the river Euphrates, it will also come to pass in the proper time. Ever since Pharaoh held the children captive the devil has sent a flood to destroy the nation Israel in order to stop the Remnant, to stop the prophecy. In each case the people of God  became stronger, we can always tell who hears the dragon by the way they treat the Jews. They may say they follow God, but actions determine if the words are true or not.

And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near (21:20).

This verse gives us a great separation in time, Luke points to the Great War, thus there will be the Time of Comfort with Peace and Safety, then comes the Eighth to set up the desolation to bring the final Desolation when the four quarters of the world come against Jerusalem.

Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into (21:21).

Matthew showed us how the Jews are to pray this day not be on the sabbath day (Matt 24:20-21), yet if we are free of the Law, why would we care if the time comes on the sabbath? We won't, but the Jews will. The Location is Judea, not New York, Los Angeles, Rome, or any other city in the world; therefore, this is directed specifically to the Jew, showing it’s Night related, not Day related.

For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled (21:22).

Jesus didn't say these days would be the Days of Salvation, or the Days of the Kingdom, rather it's the Days of Vengeance, the time when the wrath of God is poured out on the earth, the Second Advent of Jesus; the Revealed Jesus, the Day of God's wrath, the Day of the Lord, the Day of Darkness, woe to him who seeks this day, for it is darkness, not Light (Amos 5:18).

But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people, and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (21:23-24).

The time of the Gentiles will not be fulfilled until the Rapture; today we see Jerusalem trodden under foot by the Gentile. Arabs are Gentiles, thus there are two groups on the earth, Jew and Gentile, there are not three earthly groups (Jew, Gentile and Arab).  Not all Arabs are Muslims, yet not all Muslims are Arabs, but as long as the Dome of the Rock Mosque stands, or the Christian organizations claim any part of the land, the city is trodden under foot by the Gentile, yet, we are assured this is still the Day of Salvation, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (21:25-26).

Here the people involved are Jew and Gentile, the Jew with the city of Jerusalem, with the Sun as her covering, her crown of the tribes (12 stars), and her foundation as the Moon (Zion). The Gentile as the nations of the earth as the Sea. Another group would be the Wicked, they are seen as “waves roaring”. None of these are the Church; however, we do see "the Powers of Heaven", what gives? Are not we the purposed stars of heaven? Sure, but so are the sons of perdition, yet they will lose their star position, becoming the Beast of the Earth.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (21:27).

This is One Cloud, not Clouds, the metaphor Cloud means a Witness, as Jesus left, so shall He come again. After all has come to pass, they shall see the Son of man coming to bring judgment, thus the judgment will be based in Mercy. The Son of man went to the Cross, the Son of man will judge from the same prospective, yet it's appointed to all men once to die, then comes the judgment.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near (21:28).

Every eye will see Him, whether they are looking for redemption or not. When these things Begin to come to pass, look up, but where? The first place is the Cross, then the disciples will also see Jesus ascend on the Day of Pentecost. Later at the end of the Night every eye will see Him descend as the Son of man for the Judgment.

And He spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand. So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand (21:29-31).

This shows "all these signs", not just the stars falling. These Signs began on Pentecost when the Kingdom of God was granted to man.

This also gives us the parable of the Fig Tree, when the Leaves come forth it is near the time for the Kingdom of God to be complete, but as noted, the Kingdom started when the Spirit was given, thus there is the Beginning of the Kingdom, then the End of the Kingdom when New Jerusalem receives Her Bride’s maids. Waiting for Jesus to establish Christ on earth is two thousand years too late, Jesus already established Christ on earth, it's the completion of the Kingdom we look forward to.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled (21:32).

The Generation of the Jews will not pass away from the earth until All is fulfilled, regardless of the Hitlers, the Ishmaels, the Eighth, or the doubters. They are granted a time and a place, they will be around until All is fulfilled. God has given us a sign showing how the House of David has maintained before they had the beginning of their land, and since.

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away (21:33).

This heaven to pass is not God's heaven, rather it's Paradise, thus the need for the first Paradise was complete when Jesus took captivity captive, the need for the second Paradise (third heaven) will be complete when the Dead in Christ receive their white robes.

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares (21:34).

The word Surfeiting means Overindulge or Excess, taking us back to Mark's account in the parable of the Sower. The cares of this world are the biggest hindrances facing any Christian, the acts of the world coupled with the distress of the world cause us to run in fear, or attempt to change the course of the world, rather than call the called from the world (Mark 4:18-19).

For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth (21:35).

The cares of this world are a Snare, a Trap to pull us back under the hand of the prince of the power of the air, thus when we are moved by the cares of this world we have left The Faith. The spirit lusting to envy is the prince of snares, the deceptive one who traps for his father the devil.

Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (21:36).

We pray for the Lord not to lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil, as we Watch and Pray so we don't enter the Hour; therefore, we pray in order to stand with the Son of God, rather than have the Son of man stand on the earth before us. This still relates to Deny the Self, picking up our cross and the reward for diligently seeking God.

And in the day time He was teaching in the temple; and at night He went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, for to hear Him (21:37-38).

Luke shows us the anointing at Bethany was prior to all these events, thus Jesus taught daily, which shows the Messiah "confirmed the covenant with many for one week" (Dan 9:27). The teachings not only show the covenant confirmed, but how the people received the Passover Lamb. All these people made it possible for us to receive Jesus, even the evil of the Pharisees was used of God to arrive at a good for the called of God. Jesus called the Cross marvelous, thus the time for the Pharisees was after the Resurrection when they would have their Sign of Jonah.

Although the religious rulers were doing the works of their father the devil, they nonetheless were working to complete the Will of God. Paul tells us how the devil had no idea what was going to happen; if the devil had any idea of the future, he would never have allowed the princes of this world to crucify the Lord of glory (I Cor 2:8). Even though Jesus told the disciples the grave could not hold Him, the ego, and pride of the devil came with "oh yea, we'll see". When the devil saw his kingdom fall apart around his ears, he was still saying, "oh yea", just as he continues to say, "oh yea"; however, if we listen to him, we can't have ears to hear the Spirit, but if we hear the Spirit, we won't hear the lies of the devil.

Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover (22:1).

The Passover was joined to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thus this verse is not saying the Passover is the Feast day, it says the Feast day is day of Unleavened Bread, with the Passover connected therein. The Passover was on the 14th of Abib, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was on the 15th of Abib (Ex 12:17 & Lev 23:5-6). The Passover was the Preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thus it would be the day the lamb was killed, since the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a High Sabbath, when no work could be done.

The Passover always falls on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month of Abib (Lev 23:5), regardless of the day. The people picked their Lamb on the tenth day of Abib, which would be four days prior; accordingly this one time in history the day fell on the weekly sabbath when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. God didn't manipulate the events of this week to meet the Law of Moses, rather the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, thus the Law was given as a preview of this week. Jesus wasn't attempting to complete prophecy, the prophecy was being completed.

The accounts tell us when Jesus rode into the city on the weekly sabbath the people accepted Him, indicating they picked their Passover Lamb (Ex 12:2-6). The Passover Lamb must be of the First Year, without blemish. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was held on the fifteenth of Abib (Numb 28:16-18), or the day after Passover. Since the Lamb was slain on the Passover, the Passover couldn't be a sabbath day, thus the day following was a High Sabbath, but a High Sabbath is not according to the Commandment, it's according to the Law of Feasts. The sabbath according to the Commandment is the weekly sabbath (Saturday). Unless we make the separation between the sabbath according to the Commandment and the High Sabbath, we will miss the greatness of this one week in all of man’s history.

Just prior to the Passover, Judas would hear all these words pointing to the Time of Comfort being many years away, Judas knew the promise was for Israel to rule the world; therefore, Judas saw his chance to have control of the world's wealth slipping away. The devil saw his chance, as Satan entered the heart of Judas, but his heart was prepared by his own greed. Satan didn't enter the heart of Judas until the meal, but Judas was making his plans before the meal, thus the fruit of his greed was there, becoming the welcome mat for the devil to put evil into Judas’ heart (Jn 13:2). Paul tells us the spirit of the world is opposed to the Spirit that is of God. In the Jewish culture Satan is known as the enemy of mankind, set to capture the souls of man, in order to destroy man. Judas ended doing for the devil, what the devil could not do for himself.

Jesus warned Judas; James tells us sin is not the thought but the action, thus Judas had the opportunity to change his route and repent, but he was driven by the lust already in his heart before Satan entered. Judas heard, "and you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinfolks, and friends, and some of you shall they cause to be put to death" (Luke 21:16), thus the mind of Judas said "no way, I can change it". He devised a plan in his own mind to change the things of God, his actions prove it. Every time the religious rulers attempted to take Jesus they failed, thus they needed someone from within, a man’s enemies are of his own house. The devil is crazy, but he's not stupid, the spirit of antichrist comes from within, not from without, thus the world cannot discredit the Body, but the spirit of antichrist can. The betrayal must be from within, the falling away from The Faith is from within, our danger is from within, not without.

And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill Him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve (22:2-3).

The religious rulers kept the temple, paid their tithe, prayed, held religious meetings, but they were nonetheless doing the lusts of the devil. Simply being religious doesn't mean one is holy, simply keeping the rites, or having confidence in a religious order doesn't mean one has The Faith. The Pharisees honored their self-deceived thoughts, along with their self-centered, self-based theology, thus, they thought they were doing God a service. This same element can overcome us, we can go about assuming we're doing God a service, but using the works of the devil as our means. Using wicked means to arrive at what we assume is a Godly result is still an attempt to change the stones into bread.

And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray Him unto them in the absence of the multitude (22:4-6).

The Pharisees were not within the group, although they desired to take Jesus, they couldn't, until one from within turned Jesus over to them.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. And they said unto Him, Where will You that we prepare? And He said unto them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in. And you shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master says unto you, Where is the guestchamber where I shall eat the Passover with My disciples? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went and found as He had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. And when the hour was come, He sat down and the twelve apostles with Him (22:7-14).

Some tend to think only a few chosen people can take Communion, but here we find Jesus allowed Judas to sit with them. Paul gave the carnal church of Corinth instructions on Communion, yet he never told them they couldn't partake, rather his letter shows their hope was in judging themselves to the Body and Blood, rather than judging themselves to their own minds. Communion is an honor, as priests it becomes one of our priestly duties to partake of the Remembrance of the Sacrifice, rather than making sacrifice after sacrifice, thus the elements don't become Jesus in us, they are Reminders of what Jesus did for us.

Jesus did His part, made His promise and kept His Vows, Communion is our turn to check our part, as we recall all Jesus did for us. The early church viewed the word Unworthy as one who failed to believe, thus, if one Believes, they join to the Table of the Lord, they don't keep others from it, attack it, ignore it, or ignore the purpose thereof.

John shows how much Jesus taught on the Spirit, the disciples must have thought this was the time to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, even the washing of the feet was a sign to them how their time was very near; beautiful are the feet of them who preach the Gospel. The test of faith was at hand for the disciples, they could believe the events as they appeared, or remember the words of Jesus as they looked to the miracle of the Third Day.

And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God (22:15-16).

The Kingdom will not be Fulfilled until the Remnant are received by the Bride. The fourth cup of the Passover is the Cup of the Wrath of God, yet Jesus will pour out the Fourth Cup before He takes the Meal in the Kingdom. Luke is the only one showing the Second Cup of the Passover, the others all show the Third Cup, it was Moses who held the First Cup. The First Cup came when God wanted to be among His people as He was delivering them from Egypt, the Second Cup is the Cup of Separation, the Third Cup is the Cup of Remission, but the Fourth Cup comes to those who rejected the first Three.

The word Desire as it's used here is different from the one used in the phrase, "Satan desires to have you" (Luke 22:31). The use of the word Desire in reference to Satan means a lust to destroy; whereas, the word Desire as it was used by Jesus means a longing to participate. Ahh, the Satan nature is found in a lust to destroy, based on the spirit lusting to envy, but the Desire we have for Jesus is a longing to participate in His Glory.

And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come (22:17-18).

This is the Cup of Separation, it comes before the Bread, or the Third Cup. This is the Cup displayed by our Token of Water Baptism; although we don't take this cup in our Communion Service, we in fact do as we remember why we submitted to water baptism, and what it stood for. All the other accounts on Communion show Jesus giving us the Bread as a symbol of His Body, then the Cup as a symbol of His Blood, thus the New Testament is based on the Blood, so where is Mercy? The Bread and Cup of Separation. God’s Mercy delivered us from the world, thus our Water Baptism is the acceptance of the second Cup.

And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me (22:19).

We know Luke was Paul's scribe and fellow companion, as we know Paul told the Corinthians how Jesus said, "this is My Body, broken for you", so why didn't Luke cover the bases by putting the phrase here? Seems like the thing to do, after all Paul said it, why not protect Paul from someone attacking him over the wording? Because it’s not what the Holy Ghost wanted, Paul's comments point to what will be, here it's what is. This is just another example of how the mind of man would attempt to change something to fit the thoughts of man, but how the Holy Ghost keeps Truth as Truth.

The Bread was a symbol of the Body of Christ, we judge our position and condition in the Body, therefore, the Second Cup being Mercy related couples with the Bread; have we showed Mercy to the Body?

Although the Bread and Cup are separate, we find they were given at the same meal, thus Mercy and Grace belong together. Paul often put them together in his greetings (II Tim 1:2 et al); to Titus he showed the process was being granted in the Mercy of the Father, then Grace, as he said, “after the kindness, love of God our Savior toward men appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His Mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration (restoration), and renewing of the Holy Ghost: which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, being justified by His Grace we should be made heirs according to the Hope of Eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). In other places we find we are being Justified by the Faith of Christ (Gal 2:16), or in the Name of Jesus (I Cor 6:11), or by Christ (Gal 2:17), all of which show a Process, which can only be done by Christ in us the hope of Glory. When Jesus said, “Father forgive them”, it invoked the Father’s Mercy, the same Mercy Jesus as the Son of man was teaching and operating in before the Cross. Once Mercy is applied we then have the ability to forgive as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us (Eph 4:32), but it’s still the Cross and Body, we must accept the Blood to enter “renewing of the Holy Ghost” by Grace. In Titus Paul joined two steps, the Mercy for Regeneration (life), plus the Renewing of the Holy Ghost (or by the Holy Ghost – Life more abundantly). It’s the basis of Communion, we can’t take the Bread and reject the Cup, nor the Cup and reject the Bread. They were not mixed one into the other, but they are joined.

The beatings, Cross and resurrection are all part of the Resurrection, we can't separate any effort from the other and claim to be a Believer. One of the factors of the Christian walk is the clarity of how God can be Father, Son and Holy Ghost, yet remain as One Name and One entity. The Father grants us Mercy, the symbol of Water in the Witness, the Word or Son grants us His Blood, the symbol of Blood in the Witness, and the Holy Ghost brings us the Gift, the symbol of the Spirit in the Witness, the Father, Word and Holy Ghost are One, the Witness agree as One (I Jn 5:7-8). The Blood is not going to go against the Water, neither is the Water going to go against the Spirit, as the Spirit is not going to go against either the Water or Blood. All three of the particular elements of God are seen in the Cross and Resurrection. The Son said to the Father, “Forgive them”, the Spirit of Holiness declared Jesus as the Son of God by the Resurrection, yet it’s one God all in all being displayed in a manner the Christian can relate to. We are souls, we are Granted the Spirit, yet our goal is a resurrected body, one element all in all.

Although the Jew considers the Trinity impossible, they display it every Passover; really during every sabbath the Jew prays for the Body of Christ. Sabbath services really start just before Shabbat with the Mincha service followed by a special service called the Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming Sabbath). After the Kabbalat the Jew says, L'cha Dodi or "Come, my friend, let us greet the Bride". They don’t claim to be the Bride, rather they want to Greet the Bride. They have no idea they are praying for the Remnant when the Bride of Christ returns as New Jerusalem to welcome those who find their names in the Book of Life. They also sing the Shalom Aleichem, or "Peace be with you, ministering angels". We are the ministering angels sent to those who shall be heirs of salvation. All these factors show how much God has all the elements accounted for in the Plan. After we take of the Cup of Separation then the Bread (Body of Christ), we're ready to enter the Blood (Grace of God) to become an Overcomer.

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My Blood, which is shed for you (22:20).

The Blood in the Cup is the New Testament, not the Body, nor the Cup. The Body is the Good News of Mercy, the step above Atonement; whereas, the Blood is above Mercy and gives us Right Standing in heaven by Grace. Matthew shows the Blood is the New Testament for the remission of sin, thus the remission of sin is found in the Blood (Matt 26:28).

The Blood of Jesus is shed in two places, thereby opening the Street. The Blood bears witness with the Water and Spirit on earth, but it also becomes the connection in heaven to bring the Record of the Father, Word and Holy Ghost (I Jn 5:7-8). The Blood is the Tree of Life found in two places, yet it’s one tree. John will later say, “In the midst of the Street of it, and on either side of the river (of life) was there the tree of life” (Rev 22:2). The term “either side” could also read “here and there” in either case we have one tree, yet it’s in two places, how can this be? The New Birth, we have Christ in us, yet Jesus is sitting on the right hand side of Majesty on high. We are the Tree of Life, if we are Born Again, our Hope is where the Tree ends at the Throne of God (Rev 22:1).

But, behold, the hand of him that betrays Me is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of man goes, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed! (22:21-22).

The same table which produced the New Covenant, also introduced the son of perdition, thus the position of the son of perdition is found at the table, not in the world as Malachi said (Mal 1:7). When they put their hand to the table, they reject the purpose for the Blood, trust in their own minds, hold to their own wisdom as they trust in the religious rites and traditions. Jesus said we can't do it without Him, but the sons of perdition set out to do it based on their own, they use the Name of Jesus, they will tell us Jesus is the Christ, they will even talk about the Holy Ghost, but they will deny the power thereof.

And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve (22:23-26).

This goes back to the Younger shall rule the Elder, thus we are to act as the Elder knowing the New Man is the Younger. The word Benefactors means a Philanthropist, or one who attempts to do good for mankind, but they use the methods of mankind. Jesus says we are to strive to be the servant, yet at the same time we strive to be the greatest in the heart of Jesus, thus we become great by serving people, and being humble before God; whereas, man considers greatness based in ones ability to manipulate, push, fight, pull themselves up by their own boot straps, or having great wealth, or political power, all of which Jesus considers the deeds of the old man. It doesn’t mean it’s a sin to have a political office, it means the problem comes when we consider it some personal greatness, or use it in a manner becoming self-based, rather than God based in Christ.

In this it still holds we Hear first, just serving without hearing can interfere with the purpose of God. We can assume we're doing a good thing, yet be in the midst of hindering something God is doing with another. “Well gee, it seemed like the right thing to do”, yet building three tabernacles seemed right to Peter. Faith comes by hearing, not presumption.

For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as He that serves. You are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed unto Me: that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (22:27-30).

The greater is he who Serves, but the context is now Meat comes by the Spirit, not natural intellect. It does little good to refuse the service when meat is served, less good to serve milk then call it meat. All of us can sit around and demand meat, but if no one serves the meat we can die of starvation while sitting in the best seat in the house. Servants deliver, yet, at times we all want to be masters, or get mad if we were not “edified” in the service. However, the purpose for us to gather is to edify, not be edified. The meaning behind the phrase, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb 10:25), is not simply going to church, it’s the reason for assembling is to exhort one another. We can go to church seven days a week, yet sit there demanding to be exhorted. We have forsaken the purpose of assembling. We should assemble together to exhort one another, whether there are two of us, or sixty thousand.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that 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 (22:31-32).

Jesus didn't say the devil would sift Peter, rather it was Satan, as an example of the soul taking on more than it's capable of handling. Many days prior Peter made a statement and Jesus told him, “Get you behind Me Satan”, it’s the same nature wanting to sift Peter. Peter, like any natural person would use his weakness as a strength, without the Strength to back it up. It's also an example of how something can appear to begin as evil, yet God turns it around to Good for those called according to His purpose and to those who love Him. Here is a situation where Jesus had the power to stop something, but He is clearly going to allow it to happen. The enemy has a plan to sift Peter, Jesus has a plan to see Peter “converted”. If Jesus didn’t know the result, He would never have said, “when you are converted”.

The word Desired means Demand, the Sifting is in reference to wheat being sifted through a sieve, or Punching Holes in something to scatter it, thus Peter would receive a Gut Punch, but the purpose is to save Peter, not destroy him. The word Converted means Turned around again, or Restored, thus Peter's denials will be examples of backsliding, but not examples of falling away. Peter is an example of someone who assumes they can do something for the Lord and fails; Judas set out to do something against the Lord to bring about his own self-will, there is a difference between the two. Judas is also an example of success in the endeavor, but failure in the purpose. True success is found in Faith, never in the self-endeavors to accomplish some self-based goal.

And he said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with You, both into prison, and to death. And He said, I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that you shall three times deny that you know Me. And He said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked you any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said He unto them, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning Me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough (22:33-38).

Peter believed he was able, yet in his confession he was calling Jesus a liar. How many times does a Word from the Lord come to expose, yet the person says, "not so, you don't know me", the truth is, they don't their self. Jesus said, You will, and Peter said, Not so, thus, one can hear, yet deny what they hear, ending learning the hard way. This almost sounds pessimistic, however, Jesus added Peter would be converted, showing the Positive aspect of the prophecy.

Prior to the Day of Pentecost one sword was enough, but when the door is open to the Gentiles, two swords would be used, one as the Gospel to the Jews, the other as the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Sword is still the Word (Rhema) of God, not some metal weapon used to cut people asunder. Paul will tell us the Jew came out of the Law by faith, but the Gentile came around the Law by faith, yet faith was the means for either.

And He came out, and went, as He was accustomed, to the mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him (22:39).

John tells us Jesus taught on the Spirit, this fits with Luke's statement about the Sword, thus they would receive the Sword of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Jn 14:1-16:33).

Matthew, and Mark call the place Gethsemane, which is a condition, not a location. Isaiah pointed to this time, as he said, "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: for I will tread them in My anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment" (Isa 63:3). John also says, in the very last days an angel thrust in his sickle and gathered the vine of the earth then cast it into the Great Winepress of the wrath of God (Rev 14:18-20). Then Jesus will pour out the cup of the wrath of God, then comes the judgment; however, the result for us is found in the Third Cup, not the Forth.

And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that you enter not into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if You be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done (22:40-42).

Jesus is the personification of God's love, yet the love of God doesn't mean God  has to love everyone, rather it means His love is always seeking to free man from man's own destruction. God hates the ways of the wicked, in the last day those ways are attached to the Wicked. God hates lying lips, so when is the last time you saw a set of lips walking down the street? The lips are attached to a face, the face to a person. God’s rebukes are often missed by man, God rebukes a thing, such as lips, but we know the lips moved based on the mind of the person. From the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak, the lips are attached to the mouth. Discernment and acknowledgment of the words of the prophets will save us some hard lessons.

We find this is not a battle of Wills, but a desire for all to be saved and none lost, avoiding the judgment. The pure love of Christ hates judgment, but it must be done. Jesus was sorrowful over those who were in the Rock, yet rejected the Blood; the result was great drops of sweat falling like blood.

And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him (22:43).

Luke adds to Matthew's account, showing one angel, yet in reference to the Mercy Seat, as well as the Ascension we find Two angels, one representing the Bride, the other representing the Remnant. Luke shows if we judge ourselves we will become partakers of the First Resurrection, or Sleep in Jesus to avoid the Cup of God's wrath.

And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground (22:44).

Jesus prayed for everyone of those who would face the temptation to become self-willed as they follow the Judas nature, yet He will not make their decision for them, or force them to receive His prayers. Here we find the agony of the Lord was so great, as His prayers so intense His sweat was as it were drops of blood, it doesn’t mean they were drops of blood, only they were so heavy with grief they appeared as if they were blood.  The paradox shows the Third Cup holds the Blood of the New Covenant.

Every one of us must go through our Gethsemane, the place where we finally cast off the self, to receive the Blood of Jesus in fullness. It’s the place of commitment, it moves us from Spirit to Spiritual. We all have our personal little agendas, our Gethsemane will be the point where our will joins to the Will of the Lord. The place of the exposure of our agendas, the offices we think we want, the roles we suppose we should head up, the type of ministry we want, will be defined into what the Lord has for us. Paul faced his as he accepted the role of Apostle, he didn’t desire it, he accepted it. The Cave is the place bringing our calling to clarity, as it did Elijah, then we are ready to go forth in the Christ Character.

And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep you? rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation (22:45-46).

Prior it was Watch and Pray, now it's Rise and Pray; before we have Right Standing we must open our eyes in our Gethsemane to see what the Lord has for us. The three were sleeping, yet Judas wasn’t, he was setting his nefarious plans into action, while Jesus was praying for him, and his kind.

In verse 45 we find the disciples were sleeping for "sorrow", or as it reads in the Greek, "sleeping for grief", we have to consider they just sat at a table where Jesus said, "This is My Body", and "This is My Blood of the New Covenant", John shows there was a great deal of teaching on the Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit. We can see their minds went "tilt", but Jesus tells them and us, when you feel overloaded with Knowledge, don't sleep on it, pray on it.

And while He yet spoke, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betray you the Son of man with a kiss? (22:47-48).

In II Samuel we found another brother who came with greetings, then kissed his brother, at the same time stuck a sword in his brother's side (II Sam 20:9-10). There are holy kisses of love, and kisses of those who seek to betray and kill us. David said, "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 came with a traitor's kiss, as he trusted in his own ability to bring about his own will. Judas is an example of one who denies the purpose of Gethsemane by holding to their self-will. On the other hand we know Jesus prayed, thus there are some who appear today to be the “prince of the Wicked”, yet tomorrow the Holy Ghost moves them to their Gethsemane where they repent honestly, behold a New Creature in Christ.

In Matthew we found Jesus called Judas Friend, but there are two different Greek words for Friend. When Jesus called the disciples Friends it entailed a love, here in the Garden the word means by association only, without a love between them, thus Judas was associated, but he lacked love, taking him to the position of the "prince of this world", as the "son of perdition", who failed to live by faith (Heb 10:38-39).

When they which were about Him saw what would follow, they said unto Him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear (22:49-50).

We know the one who smote the servant was Peter, as he was going to show Jesus how serious he was, or how wrong Jesus was about Peter; however, the result determines who was right and who was wrong. Although Peter moved based on his self-determination to save the Lord, he found the Lord healing the man he attached. What is this? Lord I’m trying to save You. Hold it Peter, it’s the Lord saving you, you got it backward, as do most of us. We fight to save a ministry, yet if the ministry belongs to the Lord, we are servants not masters.

Three times Peter said he would die for Jesus, or would never deny Him, here Peter thought he was going to prove it. Fighting to the death and submitting to the death are two very different things.

And Jesus answered and said, Suffer you thus far. And He touched his ear, and healed him (22:51).

This was too much for Peter, this same man who was not only a servant, but a spokesman for the same people who wanted to kill Jesus, now he is being healed. Later Peter will “wonder in himself”, we can see the same pondering here. If was if Jesus was submitting to be crucified, how can this be? Peter is learning a valuable lesson, the lesson of submission, not to interfere with events, but hold faith in the event.

Jesus was fully aware of Rome's rule over Israel, the political attitude of the Romans, the events of the day, yet He was not consumed by them, He was consumed with the will of the Father. The Cross brings us forgiveness, but it doesn't end there; forgiveness of our sins is a present tense action regarding past tense events; however, we also have the cleaning action of the Blood plus the Water by the Word bringing us through the process. The cleaning action of both the Blood and Water is a present tense action, the justification is present tense work looking to a future tense condition, thus forgiveness is our confidence of the past being forgiven, the cleaning is our hope in the day to day events bringing us into perfection, as the justification requires our faith in God's ability to finish what He started. If we presume we are justified in a second, then all is left is to be glorified, we miss the reason we entered this. The soul being saved has things that need to be gone,  turning from the flesh to the Spirit is the premise being “that born of the Spirit is Spirit”.

The Cross without the Resurrection isn't complete, the Sacrifice without the Cross and Resurrection isn't complete, it takes all three to bring us into Grace. Yet Grace without the Spirit isn't Grace, neither is Grace without the Blood, the Covenant without the Blood isn't complete, if it’s missing the Water it’s not complete either. The Witness is still the Water, Blood and Spirit bringing us into the New Covenant as the Glory of Christ.

Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to Him, Be you come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, you stretched forth no hands against Me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness (22:52-53).

Jesus was not critical, rather He exposed the condition, granting them the opportunity to think about what they were doing. Critical means “inclined to judge severely as one finds fault”, or “make an natural evaluation”, but it’s based on what the natural mind thinks is going on. A Critical nature finds the supposed fault, then points it out in such a manner the ant becomes an elephant, while at the same time ignoring evidence to show the fault was not fault but a mistake. Jesus judged righteously, presented the Truth and a means of escape.

Just hours prior to this event, Jesus was in the temple, just days prior He rode into the gate with all the people calling out, "Blessed be the King who comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory to the Highest" (Luke 19:38). The power of darkness is not total power, although the devil thought the war was over, he was soon to find the war had just begun, as he was going to lose the battle of battles. The devil had the power of death, yet through death Jesus defeated the devil (Heb 2:14).

The Pharisees did the works of the Law, but the question was How Much More Could The Mercy Of Jesus Provide, then the question became, How Much More Will The Blood Of Jesus Provide. If the blood of a lamb on the door kept the destroyer away, How Much More could the Blood of Jesus protect us? If God honored the blood of bulls, How Much More will He honor the Blood of Jesus? The Book of Hebrews is not written to Hebrews, it's written about Hebrews, thus if God honored them, How Much More will He honor those with the Seed of God? The Jew considers themselves the chosen based on their separation from Egypt into the wilderness; yet how Much More Chosen can one be if they are being Justification by the Blood of Jesus? The question is never, Does God love us, the question is always, Do we love God?

Then took they Him, and led Him, and brought Him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off (22:54).

We know about Annas and Caiaphas, as they are both noted as high priests, yet Annas was Caiaphas' father in law (Jn 18:13 & Luke 3:2). Jesus first appeared before Annas, then He appeared before Caiaphas, with both trials in the same house. Jesus was not taken to Pilate until the morning, then the religious rulers joined to the civil government to conclude their plans, as they sided with the “enemy” to do for them, what they could not. All of this began after midnight, in the early morning hours on the Passover, yet all the trials equal five, the number of Grace.

And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were sat down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with Him. And he denied Him, saying, Woman I know Him not (22:55-57).

This is the first denial, in John's account we find this damsel kept the door; John also points out there was another disciple, who was known to the high priest, he was able to get Peter past the door (Jn 18:15-16). The only disciple who had enough influence with the high priest was Judas, at this time Judas still thought he was doing God a service. This gives us a door, but the Door Peter should have been looking for was the one to the Sheepfold, not the one to the illegal religious endeavors. Whenever we allow the Judas nature to show us the door, it’s going to be the wrong door. Judas wanted to see Jesus stand up in the midst of the high priests proclaiming His Lordship in full force, but Judas would see his plans fall around his ears in the form of a hangman's knot.

John also shows Jesus told Annas, "I spoke openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, where the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why ask you Me? ask them which heard Me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said" (Jn 18:20-21). The key here is “said unto them”, not “what someone else thinks I said”.

The outcome of these trials seemed anything but Good to Peter, yet the purpose with the result were very Good. The death of Jesus provided us a means to input the flesh dead, yet we live by the Power of Christ through the Spirit, thus the death of the flesh becomes a debt which must be paid by us in order to complete the Covenant on our part, it is the last step of our faith victory on earth, not the first. The early church fathers never considered martyrdom a suicide, thus they didn't make the decision to be killed, nor did they die to escape danger, nor did they kill others in their death, they made the decision to stand for Christ to pay the debt, by allowing others to kill them. The early martyrdom was done for us, it proved the blood of martyrs mixed with the Blood of Jesus secured the Truth of the Covenant for us. If anyone doesn't know these events are Warfare in its purest sense, they missed the entire concept of Spiritual Warfare.

The majority of the Jewish people were not at this trial; these trials before the religious leaders were held at night, on Passover. Only those who came to arrest Jesus, or those who were hand picked by the religious leaders were at the trials. This is evident by knowing as the sun set the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Beard began, meaning most would be in their homes.

Jesus told us if we have aught against a brother we go to the brother with the intent of restoration. If our offer is rejected, we obtain a third independent party, but in no case do we find someone who will side with us against the other in order to force the other person to bow to our desires. If the third independent person fails, then and only then do we go before the Body with the intent of restoration. Trials seeking condemnation are demonic, Pharisaical based, motivated by envy. If envy can’t control the person, it will set out to destroy them.

The Pharisees had all their yes men present, then Jesus tells them to get the people then ask them, but the high priests feared the people (Luke 22:2). Then both Judas and Peter would see one of the officers strike Jesus, but Jesus didn't call fire down from heaven, nor did the high priest fall on the ground dead. The plans of Judas were falling apart, while the plan of God was going on in perfect order (Jn 18:22).

Just prior to this Peter heard Jesus say, "Think you that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt 26:53). If it’s the case, where are the angels? Where is the vengeance? If Jesus had all this power, where is it? Failures come from our self-determinations, or false conclusions regarding what God should, or should not do. Jesus knew the plan, Peter heard the plan, but didn't believe it, meaning he lacked faith regarding what Jesus said would happen. Peter had the prior information regarding the beatings, the cross and the Resurrection, but when it came down to seeing it, his soul failed as he ran to self-justification, while Jesus was becoming God's Justification.

Peter not only saw someone strike Jesus for the first time, but he also saw the Mercy of Jesus forgiving these people before and during the acts. Peter knew one could perhaps forgive after the fact, but during?

And after a little while another saw him, and said, You are also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not (22:58).

First it was association, now it's part of the group, Peter's circle is drawing tighter and tighter. John shows this man was a kinsman of Malchus, whose ear Peter cut off. John also added the man said, "Did I not see you in the garden with Him?", which made the man an eyewitness to the arrest (Jn 18:26). Prior the woman assumed Peter had been around Jesus at some point in time, but this man places Peter right in the ministry, as well as at the scene of the arrest. Peter didn't deny Jesus in the Garden, but his test wasn't purposed for the Garden, it was purposed for later. John simply shows the third denial as, "Peter then denied again, and immediately the cock crew" (Jn 18:27). However, John shows all three denials came while Jesus was before the religious rulers, meaning they came during the first trial, or just before the second trial, making it the end of the Third Watch or 3:00 AM (Mark 13:35). Peter's heart reached back to, "If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before the Father, but if you deny Me before men, I will deny you before the Father". The denials by Peter show us it's not the amount of people, Peter denied the Lord before very small groups of two, three or slightly more. Confessing Jesus in friendly surroundings is no great feat, confessing Him as He confessed the Father in all events is.

And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow was with Him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what you say. And immediately, while he spoke the cock crew (22:59-60).

The use of the word Immediately connects Luke to John; we know the term Cockcrows refers to the third watch. Luke shows the second denial was one hour prior, thus we again find, "could you not watch with Me one hour?" (Matt 26:40). The temptation was at hand, Peter was facing his own Gethsemane, his heart was being twisted, his stomach was turning, yet his faith was taking a vacation, but Jesus knew it before the fact as He told Peter "when you are converted"; therefore, Jesus not only knew Peter would deny Him, but He also knew Peter would be restored.

The arrest in the Garden was near midnight, in the midst of the Passover day which began at sunset, thus the Lamb Of God was being prepared for the great Sacrifice. Without the Sacrifice there is no basis for the Covenant, yet the Sacrifice had to take place in two places to Connect the halves in order to complete it.

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cockcrow, you shall deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly (22:61-62).

Luke doesn't mention Judas again from the time Jesus says, "Judas betray you the Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48). Matthew tells us when Jesus was taken to Pilate, Judas repented himself, thus Judas sought self-repentance simply because his plan didn't go his way (Matt 27:3). Judas did seek forgiveness, but he sought it from those who crucified Jesus, not from God (Matt 27:4). Judas attempted to buy back his position, joining himself to Balaam and Korah, rather than standing before God to be restored.

Judas assumed paying back the money would cleanse him, but money wasn't the problem, the love of it was. Judas went out and hung himself with such force, he burst asunder as his bowels gushed out (Acts 1:18). Some of the early folk lore said Judas was crushed against a wall by a cart, thus the “bursting”, but the Bible is the true source.

Both Peter and Judas saw Jesus during the religious trials, both men repented, yet Judas hung himself, but Peter made it to Pentecost. Peter said he would do something for Jesus, but failed; Judas was doing something for Judas while using Jesus and failed. As long as our intent is to do something for the Lord, we will be restored; however, if our intent is to do something for us, while using the Lord, the hangman's rope waits. Judas sold Jesus, as one would a common piece of meat, but Peter failed by trusting in his own flesh, two men, both failed, yet both had different intents, ending with different results. Today we can find many children named Peter, but how many do we find named Judas? Even the devil worshipers refuse to associate with Judas

Jesus never told Peter, "you're going to sin, when you do, your papers are going to be taken away"; in fact, Jesus never told Peter he would sin, He said Peter was a target, but Jesus also said he would be converted for the purpose to Strengthen the brethren. This clears up many things for us, there are times when God allows, He doesn’t cause, but He does use the event for our own good. Peter was weak, but felt he was strong, which was his problem. All of us have something needing to be exposed: something hidden, ignored, or misinterpreted. God will allow it to surface, so we can see it, thus allow it to be removed, giving us the ability to Strengthen the brethren. The shadow is seen here, although Peter didn’t have the Spirit, he was nonetheless exposed by Satan taking advantage of Peter’s weakness. Jesus didn’t call it “sin”, it was exposure allowed by Christ for the betterment of Peter. However, do you think Peter thought it was for his betterment at the time? No, Peter felt he committed a great sin, he assumed his days of being an apostle were through. He heard “tell My disciples and Peter”, indicating to Peter he was no longer a disciple, much less an apostle. However, Peter is our example of someone who thinks they have a strength, but it’s a weakness becoming a hindrance. Jesus allowed Satan to expose the weakness, allowing Peter to see for himself his supposed strength was a weakness of the flesh. Often the event isn’t our problem, it’s our soulish reaction to the event becoming our problem. Peter will equate the event to the event, forgetting the prophecy, “when you are converted”.

And the men that held Jesus mocked Him, and smote Him. And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote You? And many other things blasphemously spoke they against Him (22:63-65).

Mark shows there were some false witnesses reporting Jesus said, "I will destroy this temple made with hands", plus "within three days I will build another made without hands" (Mark 14:58). Matthew shows the witnesses also said, "This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days" (Matt 26:61). John is the one who shows what these false witnesses were referring to. All the way back in the very beginning of the earthly ministry during the forty day fast Jesus entered the temple, cleaned it out then said, "take these things hence; make not My Father's house a house of merchandise" (Jn 2:16). This cleaning was centered on those who sold the items used for sacrifices. When confronted Jesus said If they destroy the temple, rather than He destroying the temple; the three days referred to the Resurrection, thus the false witnesses weren’t confessing what they heard, they twisted the event to impress the high priest (Jn 2:19), The reference was to His own body, not the stone temple, but in either case He never said He would destroy the actual temple (Jn 2:19-21).

And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led Him into their council saying, Are You the Christ?  tell us. And He said unto 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. Then said they all, Are you the Son of God? And He said unto them, You say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth (22:66-71).

This gives us a time frame, it is now becoming day, showing this has been going on since the arrest. Just a few months prior at the Feast Of Dedication the Jews asked Jesus, "How long do You make us to doubt? If You be the Christ, tell us plainly" (Jn 10:24). Jesus made it so plain, the Jews picked up stones to stone Him (Jn 10:31). The Jews had no problem in understanding Jesus equated Himself to God, yet they retorted with, "For a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man make Yourself God" (Jn 10:33). Since Jesus told them many days prior, but they failed to believe, we can understand why He said, "If I tell you, you will not believe". It’s not saying they could not believe, it was they would not, much different.

And the whole multitude of them arose, and led Him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King (23:1-2).

The accusation changes so they can involve the civil authorities in their evil plans, yet Jesus clearly told them to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, so why didn't Jesus tell them now? Self-justification, Jesus was not about to partake of the trap, rather Jesus knew Warfare was not to take the bait of debate. In the house of the high priest the accusation was religious in nature, before Pilate it was civil in nature.

And Pilate asked Him, saying, Are You the King of the Jews? And He answered him and said, You say it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to people, I find no fault in this man (23:3-4).

The accusation was "Christ a King" not Christ The King; Pilate was not concerned with anyone who was the king of the Jews, his political forum had conquered the Jews, even if Jesus was king of the Jews, Pilate assumed his rule was higher. Jesus wasn't using force to overthrow the Roman rule, thus Pilate concluded there could be no fault in Jesus, since Jesus posed no danger to Rome; Jesus knew the danger to Rome, was Rome. To Pilate this appeared more of an overthrow against Herod, than Rome.

The religious rulers wanted Jesus dead, but they didn't want to be blamed for it, thus they used manipulation on Pilate. The only way Pilate would take any action against Jesus would be based on some evidence of Jesus moving the people to insurrection against Rome.

And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place (23:5).

Jesus did stir up the people, but not against Rome, rather it was for God. Factual statements can be nonetheless a lie if they lack Truth. However, Pilate was not an idiot, if Jesus had stirred the people against Rome, Pilate would have known.

The symbols and lessons are just as important today, as they were then. The religious leaders are going to use any means at their disposal to promote their thinking, yet their intent is evil in nature. Pilate becomes a symbol of those who are placed in positions to judge. Pilate could judge Jesus innocent, then stand by the decision, or he could find Jesus guilty to appease the people, or he could take a lukewarm stand. Pilate will take the lukewarm stand, but lukewarm is just as guilty as the evil it condones, rather than standing in Mercy as the situation called for. Lukewarm must give permission for others to complete the evil act; therefore, lukewarm goes further than mere compromise, it allows an evil act to be conducted with apparent approval, while it claims non-involvement.

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the Man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time (23:6-7).

Jesus would be taken before Herod for the second civil trial, which is now the fourth trial counting the two in the house of the high priest. Pilate was looking for evidence, Herod was looking for a magic show, neither was looking for Truth.

And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see Him of a long season, because he had heard many things of Him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle by Him (23:8).

Herod wanted to see some miracle to be amused, not as a sign to find God. Some chase signs and wonders to be amused, some look for signs and wonders to find God, some see signs and wonders then give the devil credit, yet the Believer knows signs and wonders follow the Believer.

Then he questioned with Him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. And Herod with his men of war set Him at nought, and mocked Him, and arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him again to Pilate (23:9-11).

The accounts give us four views of the Robe, all of which interrelate. The crown of thorns was placed on Jesus by Pilate's men, but the robe was first placed on Jesus by Herod's men. Mark says it was Purple (Mark 15:17-20); Matthew says it was Scarlet (Matt 27:28), John says it was Purple, without seam (Jn 19:5 & 19:23), Luke tells us it was Gorgeous. The word Gorgeous means Radiant, with a root word meaning Lamp; Mark's word for Purple means a reddish, blue color; John's word for purple means a bluish red color, and Matthew's word Scarlet has a root word meaning Cocoon shaped or without seam. The Robe of Jesus is a symbol of the covering, it displays our priesthood, but it must be mixed with the Blood of Jesus to be Royal in nature.

The Robe passed as the mantel of the Prophet, washed in His Blood, it becomes a symbol of the Transfiguration, the Blood soaked covering bringing us through the Cross to become the Power of His Christ. Without the Robe we can bend to pick up our Cross, yet never be able to Stand. We can say we will deny the self, yet use the self to do it. Here we find the White Robe must first be covered in the Blood of Jesus, if one assumes they are in White, yet they hold hate, bitterness and reject the truth, they are in darkness, not Light. John puts it all together indicating when the robe was put on Jesus it was more blue than red, it was made of one piece like the robe Aaron wore, the color was the same color as the veil of the temple, or the robe of the high priest, thereby denoting it’s the unction over our priesthood position (Ex 26:31). The Book of Hebrews tells us Jesus as our High Priest necessitated a change in Laws, thus the Priesthood came before the Cross, the kingship as a result of the Cross (Heb 7:12).

After Jesus was beaten the robe changed color to be more red than blue, thus it's the Blood of Jesus penetrating the Veil securing us in our priesthood. The Book of Hebrews says, "by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh" (Heb 10:20). The Veil in the temple kept the people from the Mercy Seat, the Veil of Jesus opens the Holy of Holies to all His priests; thus we come Boldly to the throne of Grace, to obtain Mercy and find Grace.

And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves (23:12).

It would seem as if these two men received some form of Mercy; however, they became friends one with the other, not friends of God. Simply because these two became friends doesn't mean their sins were forgiven. The early church still called Herod, "the serpent", regardless of his friendship with Pilate.

And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, You have brought this Man unto me, as one that perverts the people: and behold, I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof you accuse Him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him (23:13-15).

Herod beheaded John the Baptist, yet this same Herod found no fault in Jesus. Pilate now had a confidant to support his conclusion of the innocence of Jesus, but the religious leaders would rebel against Pilate's desire, while claiming Jesus is the rebellious.

I will therefore chastise Him, and release Him (23:16).

The method of scourging was to obtain confessions; often the victim would die as a result of the beating, or confess to anything to avoid the beating. The Romans used the cat of nine tails, the one inflicting the punishment would begin by dragging the whip along the ground to pick up pieces of glass and rocks, then with the precision of a surgeon the beating would begin along the back of the legs, up to the neck, with the strands reaching around and striking the face area. Often the skin would hang in strips, with bones and organs exposed through the open sinew. Many would confess to things they never did, often the more one cried for mercy, the more the Romans felt they were guilty, but Jesus took the count, never once justifying Himself, nor did He cry out for mercy.

There are many areas in the Old Testament talking about the suffering Messiah, but the most descriptive are found in Isaiah and Psalm 22. The tenses are very important in any Scripture, we know God is the Alpha and Omega, thus when the Holy Ghost was telling Isaiah these events many years before they actually happened, God was watching them happen. Prophecy is not something God presumes will happen, rather prophecy is God telling man events God is seeing. To Isaiah the events were future tense, to God they were all now. Our faith in God includes the conclusion of what God has promised, He is fully able to complete, thus God calls things a Were, while they are yet future tense to us.

The act of self-justification doesn't end at proclaiming our innocence, it often includes bringing accusations against others as a form of comparison to excuse our behavior. When Adam was caught he didn't say, "Oh Lord I have sinned", rather he said, "It was the woman you gave me". Not only did Adam blame Eve, but he also blamed God for giving Eve. When faced with our failures we tend to look about for others to place blame on to justify our failure, then retort with, "Oh yea, well you do this and they do that", but does it remove us from what we have done? Hardly, it only shows we are adding self-justification to the exposure in our feeble attempt to avoid the Truth. Looking to the failures of others to excuse our failures is the heart of self-justification, leading to self-repentance. Isaiah and Psalm 22 show Jesus would not enter self-justification, rather Jesus would be Justified by the Cross.

Isaiah says, As many were astonished at Thee, His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men: So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him: for what had not been told them shall they see; and what they had not heard shall they consider" (Isa 52:14-15). John said, But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God (Jn 1:12). Paul said, But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them who love Him. But God has (past tense) revealed them unto us by His Spirit (I Cor 2:9-10). We are the kings who shut our mouths of natural speaking, yet open them with New Tongues of Grace and Mercy.

Verses 14-15 in Isaiah 52 shows past, present and future tense issues. We look upon Him, then He sprinkles us with the Blood. The Book of Hebrews says, "By His own Blood He entered in Once into the Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb 9:12). Moses as a shadow Sprinkled Both the Book and the people (Heb 9:19). We have entered the Sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and Sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet 1:2). Once we enter we understand the purpose for our faith is the salvation of our souls (I Pet 1:9). Any concept of man acquiring salvation by any other means other than the Cross and Blood of Jesus is complete error. Why would the Father send the Son, watch Him go through this, then send someone else years later with a “better religion”, even the devils believe there is one God, thus if one believes in One God, yet rejects the Son of the One God, they are a devil (James 2:19).

Isaiah points out how Jesus Is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows,  acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him: He was despised, and we esteemed Him not (Isa 53:3). Our Salvation was obtained by Jesus nearly two thousand years ago, yet it became effective for us when our belief joined us to the act, so it could be by faith. Our healing is connected to the forgiveness of sins (mercy), yet our Kingdom is not of this earth, it's within us, but secure in heaven where the Blood of Jesus sealed the Everlasting Covenant of the Everlasting Salvation to spare us from Everlasting Judgment. Surely Jesus Has borne our griefs, anxieties, diseases, and carried our sorrows, afflictions and weaknesses, yet we Did (past tense) esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted (Isa 53:4). Our faith must receive all Jesus did, not just the bits and pieces condoning to our fancy, or theology. Whether we display the result or not isn't the question, whether we believe in all He did, is.

Isaiah began by using a present tense phrase regarding how we viewed Jesus from our worldly position before we came to the Cross, then he changes to a past tense usage as our eyes are opened to the Light of God; thereby pointing to the Robe. The color Purple refers to royalty, but the color Red refers to the Justification by the Blood of Jesus, thus the Royal Law of love holds our victory in the Blood of Jesus. Jesus is our High Priest brought a New Law, calling for a New Priesthood; our priestly garments are our white robes washed in the Blood of Jesus. When John asked an angel who all those people in heaven were, the angel said they were the ones who, “washed their robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14). The Robe of Jesus began one color, moved to another, yet the result was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration, a change for mankind was taking place.

Isaiah says: "but 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). Isaiah doesn't say with His stripes we are Saved, thus the beatings didn't bring us Grace, they provided God’s Mercy directly upon the “Body Of Christ”. Our part of the contract of Mercy is knowing God granted us His Mercy, it’s our duty to grant Mercy unto others. Those who say, "Lord, Lord haven't we" entered by Mercy, but they refused to give it. If we limit those stripes and beatings to the physical body of Jesus, we miss the boat. “This is My Body”, if we are the Body of Christ, we bear the wounds, thus we imputed the old flesh and nature dead, but we have to receive a New Body on earth, which Jesus provide as the Body of Christ.

Peter was an eyewitness, yet he didn't understand the importance of this event until after the event. History is easy to review, being in the midst of the event is a different story.  Peter also told us, "Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (I Pet 2:23). Jesus did not commit Himself to "Pilate the just", rather He put Himself in the hands of the Father. Pilate was only in power based on God allowing it, Herod was only in power based on God allowing it. The faith of Jesus is our example; Jesus knew no man could touch Him unless it was given them from on High. Pilate was doing all he could to release Jesus, but he heard the voices of the people, thus he feared the Jews would send a bad report to Rome.

(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) (23:17-19).

John tells us the people said, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar" (Jn 19:12). Interesting saying considering the events just prior to Rome taking over, when one of the Hasmonean family made himself a king.

Pilate wanted to let Jesus go, thus in reality the people entered insurrection against the desires of Pilate. Hypocrisy is a trap, what we accuse others of, we will commit, convicting ourselves. The people were speaking against Pilate's wishes, yet they couldn't see their sin was being judged in the process of accusing Jesus. Pilate didn't hear the voice of all the people, rather he was moved by the people present allowing his fear to overcome his political judgment.

These religious leaders and Judas were convinced they were doing the will of God, yet they missed God by a million miles. Our traditions and personal self-centered theology can destroy us, we can be covered with the flames of hell proclaiming, "Lord, Lord, haven't we..."; therefore, God gave us the Word (Logos) in us to separate the thought from the intent, the soul from the spirit, discerning our thoughts, so we can come against those wild thoughts through the weapons of our warfare, which are mighty through God (Heb 4:12 & II Cor 10:5).

History tells us Barabbas' first name was Jesus, the name Barabbas means son of a father, thus the people picked "Jesus the son of a father", but crucified "Jesus Son of The Father".

Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spoke again to them, But they cried, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him (23:20-21).

From the accounts we find the time element from the arrest to the tomb was approximately eighteen hours, the disciples thought this was anything but good, so much so they would hide, fearing for their own lives. God is a good God, but we cannot equate His good to our natural fleshly conclusions of good. No matter what happens to us, we know there is a day coming when the dead in Christ shall raise, as those of us who remain shall be caught to the clouds, then to meet the Lord in the air, where we shall remain with Him forever.

The religious rulers wanted Pilate to crucify Jesus, but Pilate placed the responsibility back on the religious rulers; however, Pilate also made his soldiers do the act, thus both Jew and Gentile were involved, thereby pointing to the Door for the Gentile.

And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil has He done? I have found no cause of death in Him: I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go (23:22).

This would be the third time Pilate would say he wanted to let Jesus go. Pilate said he would do something three times, he had the ability to perform the act but failed; whereas, Peter wanted to do something, finding he didn't have the ability to perform the act.

And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will (23:23-25).

Barabbas was released, Pilate refused to take the responsibility for the death of Jesus; however, the Jews couldn't do it without his permission, thus Pilate demanded it be done in accordance with Roman law, yet at the will of the Jews. A complex situation at best, but it was the only way it could accomplish the Passover Lamb’s death at the hands of the Jews, yet open the olive tree for us.

Each event Jesus overcame, although He became the victim to the event. In His suffering we gain the victory; when they mocked Him, He withstood it for us, when they beat Him, He withstood it for us, and when they spit on Him, He withstood it for us.

And as they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the Cross, that he might bear it after Jesus (23:26).

Simon was from Cyrene, which was a region in Africa, he not only represented the Gentile, but all minorities; he became a symbol showing there is no male, female, slave, free, or race in Christ Jesus. The pigment of man's skin is physical, attempting to figure out what color Jesus was, still makes us flesh minded, attempting to find the Faith of Jesus makes us God minded.

This same Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus, later Paul would say, "Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine" (Romans 16:13).

And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning unto them said, 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?  (23:27-31).

The metaphor Green Tree refers to a Tree with Water, or one with Mercy, in the Old Testament they hid under the Green Tree to worshipped idols. The Dry Tree takes us back to Mark with the dried Fig Tree, showing one without Mercy, but we also know the same Dry Tree will sprout Leaves in the Night. If they do these things when God’s Mercy is extended, what will they do in the Night? This has to relate to Mercy, since Grace is not the issue until the Resurrection, thus Jesus noted the Green Tree was present tense.

This is directed to the "daughters of Jerusalem", not the “daughters of Israel", neither is a women's social club. This refers to the purposed virgins, those who had not partaken of the sins of the nation.

This is also a good time to introduce the "Stations of the Cross", since one of those Stations is based on these very scriptures. The Stations of the Cross are traditional doctrine with a suspected date of around 700 AD. They came about as a teaching aid to show the various positions along the route, but they are only a teaching aid, not Doctrine. The first station is when Jesus is condemned to death; the second is when He is made to carry His Cross, the third is when Jesus falls the first time, the fourth is when He meets His mother (Mary), the fifth is when Simon of Cyrene helps Him carry the Cross, the sixth is when Veronica wipes the tears off the face of Jesus (not recorded in the Gospel), the seventh is when Jesus falls a second time, the eighth is when Jesus confronts the women of Jerusalem, the ninth is when Jesus falls a third time, the tenth is when Jesus is stripped of His garments, the eleventh is when Jesus is nailed to the Cross, the twelfth is when Jesus dies on the Cross, the thirteenth is when Jesus is taken down from the Cross, and the fourteenth is when Jesus is laid in the tomb. By now you are wondering, where did it all come from? Tradition. There is no mention of a Veronica in Scripture, but tradition says she was one of the weeping women, who could not stand the sight of the innocent suffering any longer. Tradition comments how she rushed past the spears of the soldiers and stood directly in front of Jesus, then wiped away His tears and blood with her veil. We can see how tradition becomes doctrine, or how people get locked into things having little to do with the Truth. All this is no different than "Good Friday", it began pointing to the Friday when Jesus was anointed in Bethany, then somehow moved forward to the Friday after the Cross. Traditions becoming doctrine will always take away from a Commandment.

And there were also two other, malefactors, led with Him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left (23:32-33).

These two malefactors are also symbols, one represents those who will say Lord, Lord haven't we, or those who use self-justification, the other who knows his sin is enough to cause death by admitting it. Jesus was not a malefactor, but placed between them. Isaiah 53:12 says, "because He has poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors".

Jesus was placed between these two men, one demanded salvation, the other would request it. Matthew says there were two thieves, one on the right, and the other on the left (Matt 27:38). John says, "two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst" (Jn 19:18). Mark shows it was the Third hour (noon) when the order went out to crucify Jesus (Mark 15:25). Matthew adds the darkness covered the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour (Matt 27:45), as does Mark (Mark 15:33-34). It would take three hours for the soldiers to finish their mocking, take Jesus to the hill, then place Him on the Cross. Jesus would hang on the Cross for another three hours, giving us three separate time elements, but the same event.

The name of the hill in Greek is Calvary, in Hebrew it is called Golgotha, both mean Place Of The Skull, thus Jesus is the Head of the Church. Golgotha was looked upon as Jehovah-Jireh, becoming the place where Jehovah provided Himself as The Sacrifice. The Book  of Hebrews tells us Jesus was crucified outside of the gate, rather than in the city of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12). John said the City is spiritually known, or known to the spiritual minded as Sodom and Egypt, thus Jesus was crucified to free us from our present position and condition. He was raised to provide us the Way to a new position and condition; He gave Himself as a Sacrifice before the Father to secure the new position and condition, then sent the Spirit to prove we have a new condition and position. None of it was done in "the city", thus a change took place, we have a Heavenly Zion, called the Rock, as we have a heavenly Jerusalem, called New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is for those of the New Covenant, as the New Covenant is for those of the New Birth. We are free of the bondage of the Woman (Hagar), we have the power to cast out both the bondwoman and her son, to be free indeed.

Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots (23:34).

Luke adds to the other accounts, showing this forgiveness is timeless as the Door to the Covenant, but one must reach the Cross to partake. These words bring the Covenant of Mercy to us, providing the point of separation between the Old and the New, as it does between the world and the kingdom.

A Covenant is never based on similarities, or strength for strength, it's based on the strength of one filling the weakness of another. What possible weakness could God have? Our prayer of "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is a Covenant request on our part to accept the Body of Christ. The first issue is the Kingdom, but the place of asking is on earth to bring the Will of the Father from heaven. God needs a body from the human race, He needs our vocal cords, but He also needs a soul entering Grace, who will not rob His Glory, rather He needs one who is willing to allow the Glory to flow from the Seed of God. We can bind or loose the Father's forgiveness, we can bind or loose the Power of His Christ.

Luke is telling us the Jewish view, a Jew knows the contents making up a Covenant. Abraham understood Covenant, he understood his role in the Covenant Promise. When Jesus presented us with the Cup, He said, "Take", when we took, we vowed to enter the New Covenant, thereby leaving the Old for those to whom it's purposed. Abraham never told God, "hey God, you know what, how about You and I entering covenant?", it was God who came to Abraham, not the other way around. It's Jesus who comes to us with the Covenant, thus the one who presents the Covenant is always the one who lays out the principles of the Covenant.

A Covenant is between two entities, one has the strength and ability of what the other lacks, an exchange of vows takes place, thereby each party knows what they are giving, or what is expected of them. God laid out all the requirements in the Bible, some we know: seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, as our part, then “the things will be added” as God’s part. The phrase “Covenant talk” refers to the exchanges required, the Things will not be added until we do our part of seeking the Kingdom and His Righteousness.

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided Him, saying, He saved others, let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the chosen of God (23:35).

Although the people were mocking Jesus, their statement invokes completed prophecy, showing the purpose of the Cross for us is Salvation, but the result will be Judgment in the Night. The religious leaders should have recognized the event was completing Psalm 22, as it begins with "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Ps 22:1). Matthew shows Jesus cried out, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthain?", or "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt 27:46).  Psalm 22 tells us the events of the battle, as David wrote, "all they 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, seeing He delights in Him" (Ps 22:8). This takes us back to the time when Jesus taught in the temple saying, "How say the scribes Christ is the Son of David?" (Mark 12:35).

With this we can understand Life as it relates to our Covenant, Adam's first state was perfect for the purpose, but he was not Saved, since there was nothing to save him from, yet he sinned by partaking of the Fruit from the Tree. Life is a product of being Saved from the world through God's Mercy, not Grace; whereas, Life More Abundantly is Grace as the result of being Saved from the evil elements, including the self-nature. The Cross was a path which had to be taken, before the Resurrection could take place.

And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering Him vinegar, and saying, If You be the king of the Jews, save Yourself. And a superscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS (23:36-38).

Jesus stood for us, but these people also represent each of us approaching the Cross; whether Jew or Gentile we were represented in more ways than one. In order for us to receive the blessing of the Cross, we must first accept the responsibility of the Cross. The Jews didn't put Jesus on the Cross, the Greeks didn't put the nails in Him, the Romans didn’t hoist Him up on the Cross, our sins did, meaning our sins caused Him to suffer.  Unless we take the Cross personally, we will miss its importance.

The civil government proclaimed Jesus as the King of the Jews, they did it in Greek for the Gentiles, in Hebrew for the Jews, and in Latin for the entire world. Matthew sees this as, "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS" (Matt 27:37); Mark shows it as, "THE KING OF THE JEWS" (Mark 15:26); John as, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS"; putting them all together we find no matter what language, or what interpretation one sees, it always results in Jesus the King of the Jews, as the Jews at this point in time were the chosen of God, the purposed called out ones; therefore, the Covenant of the Cross is only for the called of God. Not all are called, but if one has any desire to know God as they are drawn to the Cross they are called, as they are presented the opportunity to be chosen, whether they receive it or not.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If You be Christ, save Yourself and us (23:39).

This malefactor not only demanded salvation, but we find the same old phrase, "If You be..." taking us to the forty day fast, where the devil came with, "If You be the Son of God..." (Luke 4:3). Even at the Cross the devil was taking tempting Jesus, yet Jesus never bowed nor bent to the temptation.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Don't you fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing amiss (23:40-41).

The second malefactor admitted his sin, but he also confessed the innocence of Jesus; therefore, it's not just confessing our sins, but adding the innocence of Jesus bringing the fruit of repentance.

And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise (23:42-43).

This is the conclusion to Matthew 27:44 as well as Mark 15:32, both Matthew and Mark show the malefactors joined with the people saying, “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now”. This lesson shows we may begin by mocking the Lord, but when clarity comes we will know He is innocent, we are not. Paradise, being the Bosom of Abraham, is a place of faith, it is not the third heaven, but nonetheless a place where the captives waited. This malefactor moved to faith, then heard, “Today shall you be with Me in Paradise”. Jesus didn't ask the man, "have you been baptized brother?"; rather the man's own words showed his repentant heart. How? The change from mocking Jesus to seeking the Kingdom of God. Although the man desired the Kingdom, we know it was not possible until the Resurrection, thus Jesus points to Paradise, the place where the captives will be taken captive, where they will be moved to the place under the altar of God.

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.  And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst (23:44-45).

For three hours the darkness of sin covered the Cross, covering the time before the Cross, the Gentile Age, then the Time of Comfort yet to come.

Mark tells us the Veil was ripped from top to bottom (Mark 15:38): thus, showing the Father reached from heaven removing the center partition, which would allow us to come boldly to the throne to obtain Mercy and find Grace. Paul said Jesus broke down the middle wall of Partition, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances: for to make in Himself to twain, one New Man, so making Peace (Eph 2:14-15).

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost (23:46).

In Psalm 31:5 we read, “into Your hand I commit My Spirit”, the word for Commit is the Hebrew Paqad, among other things it means to care for. The Greek word used here is Paratithemi among other things it means to Hold as security, or place in the trust of another, in both cases we find Jesus facing death as a soul, not as a Spirit, rather He gave the Spirit to the Father for safe keeping until the task was complete. It’s our souls needing salvation by the Spirit, not the other way around.

Psalm 31 is a Messianic Psalm regarding the suffering Christ, in the Psalm we find Mercy is the key ingredient coupled with Trust in God (Ps 31:5, 9, 14, 19 & 23). The Cross was surrounded with the wicked, yet Jesus took on our sins, even to the point of feeling the pain and anguish of sin for us (Ps 31:7 & 31:10). It had to be Mercy, Grace came with Jesus but was not a factor until the Resurrection. The Spirit and Grace are equated to the Resurrection; Mercy and Death to the Cross, thus, when we pick up our cross we vow to walk in the Mercy the Father granted us when we accepted the Cross of Jesus.

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man (23:47).

This centurion saw what was being done, thus, as a centurion he had experience and knowledge of how others suffered on the Cross, yet Jesus didn't act like other men, He didn't curse the darkness, or seek salvation for Himself, He forgave, loved and held faith in the result of the event.

And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things (23:48-49).

Luke is the only writer who tells us the people walked away knowing what they had done; however, the Pharisees were taking pride in their efforts, as they would continue to use the Roman government to protect their folly. The women who followed Jesus remained in the area, waiting to see where they would place the body of Jesus, thus, they couldn’t have made spices then.

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor and he was a good man, and just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.  This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid (23:50-53).

John’s account places Nicodemus with Joseph of Arimathaea, the hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes were not the spices, rather myrrh and aloes mixed were applied to the linen causing the linen to harden, forming a Cocoon around the body. The procedure was to cut the linen in stripes; soak them in the mixture, then apply them to the body. The spices were used to remove the smell of decaying flesh; however, in the case of Jesus those spices were not required.

And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment (23:54-56).

Since this was Passover, it was also the Preparation Day for the Feast Day, the next day would be the High Sabbath for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The women would have to buy and prepare the spices; however, they could neither buy nor prepare on the High Sabbath. Luke shows the women prepared spices and ointments, then rested on the sabbath, but it was the sabbath according to the Commandment, thus, it was the weekly sabbath of Saturday, not the High Sabbath. This separates the sabbaths, as well as the two preparation days for us, giving us the days and dates. Jesus went to the Cross on Wednesday, the High Sabbath was on Thursday, the weekly preparation day was Friday then they rested on the weekly Sabbath of Saturday according to the Commandment.

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered His words, and returned from the sepulcher, and told these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass (24:1-12).

We put all this together in order to understand why Peter "wondered in himself". This also helps us understand why John shows both Peter and John running to the tomb, yet Luke shows only Peter came to the tomb. The First Day of the New Week was also the Eighth Day of the week prior; therefore, we center on the Eighth Day to enter the circumcision of the heart promised in the New Covenant. Keeping the weekly sabbath according to the Old Covenant is a sign of our rejection of the New, or our double minded condition, wanting to use self-righteousness while claiming the Righteousness of Jesus.  However, it was also the First Day, pointing to a New Beginning for a New Creation. Something not afforded to anyone before the Gift of the Spirit came on Pentecost.

John says Mary Magdalene came while is was yet dark, whereas, Luke wants us to see it was just light, thus we are talking about two events on the same morning, adding one to the other, rather than taking away from each other (Jn 20:1 & Luke 24:1).

Matthew shows the women on the way to the sepulcher (Matt 28:1), then he tells us the events occurring prior to the women arriving. Before the sun rose on the first day of the week, there was a great earthquake or the sign of the Resurrection, an angel of the Lord descended to roll back the stone from the door, then sat upon the stone, causing fear to fall on the keepers, as they became as dead men (Matt 28:2-4). Mark shows Mary and the women coming at the rising of the sun, asking each other who will roll away the stone (Mark 16:1-3), yet John wants us to know it was yet dark (Jn 20:1). This is not confusing if we take the events as they happened. The women headed to the grave while it was still dark, thus Mark's account picks up after the events in John's account. John shows us Mary sees the stone removed, then runs to tell Peter and John about the empty tomb, being before she saw Jesus.

Peter and John run to the grave, John getting there first, but not entering; whereas, Peter enters and finds the grave clothes wrapped together, telling us they were in a cocoon shape, but without the Body of Jesus. John then enters, sees the clothes causing him to believe (Jn 20:2-7). Both John and Peter return to the house, but Mary remains (Jn 20:11-12). Mary sees the angel sitting on the door, with another angel in the tomb, giving us the two angels over the Mercy Seat, with the Mercy Seat as Jesus as the Son of man (Matt 29:5-6 & Mark 16:5). Mary is then told to inform the disciples how the desire of the Lord is for the disciples to wait for Him in Galilee, while He goes to the Father. However, we find the disciples didn't go to Galilee, rather Jesus had to upbraid them with their own unbelief (Mark 16:14). The unbelief of the disciples was binding Jesus to the earth, preventing the events from taking place, in essence they were holding Jesus by the feet, yet they still worshipped Him. God's will in heaven is always carried out, but His will for us on earth is only carried out when we put our faith in Him to carry it out, we have the keys.

Both John and Luke tell us Mary saw the two angels, but thought they were men, as she also assumed someone had moved the Body of Jesus, at the time she heard, “don't look for the living among the dead”; however to her this didn't mean Resurrected, rather it meant to be Resurrected at some future time, thus she felt someone moved the body of Jesus to a different location. The tomb was borrowed, and used in haste, but the “body of Jesus” wasn’t moved, it was being established as the Body of Christ, of which we are a part of.

Mary begins to weep, then Jesus asks her, "Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek?" (Jn 20:15), this conversation in John is added to the conversation in Matthew, thus it would read: "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 your Father; and to My God, and your God" (Jn 20:17), "be not afraid: go tell My brethren they are to go into Galilee, there shall they see Me" (Matt 28:10). The word Touch means simply to touch, nothing more or less; anyone who touches a holy thing before it's sacrificed will die. Eight days later Thomas and the others will be told to touch Jesus, but before the Sacrifice, no one, Thomas or Mary could touch Jesus and live. Mary again runs to Peter telling him she has seen the Lord, rather than seeing the empty tomb. We found their unbelief was holding the feet of Jesus, which is different from “touching”. Peter runs back alone, looking again, not only does he not see the Lord, but he doesn't see the angels, then he walks away wondering in himself (Luke 24:12). These two events gave Peter two chances to believe, then Luke adds the third, giving us many three's pointing to the events on the sea shore outlined in the last chapter in John's account.

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs (24:13).

A furlong is about 220 yards, or 660 feet, threescore furlongs would be about seven miles. Luke is not the only one who tells us about these two men, Mark also says, "after He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country" (Mark 16:12). The word Form doesn't mean Jesus was taking on various disguises, rather it shows Luke and Mark are giving us a picture of Jesus being Resurrected with the marks of the Cross, but not with the effects of the beatings.

And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. And He said unto them, What manner of communications are these that you have one to another, as you walk, and are sad? And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, Are You only a stranger in Jerusalem, and have not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto Him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yes, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher; and when they found not His Body, they came, saying, that they also had seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said: but Him they saw not (24:14-24).

Here we find these two men had the information Jesus was raised, but they really didn't believe it, rather they felt Jesus was dead and buried, thus they weren't looking for Jesus. If we don't believe we will be blinded to the presence of the Lord, although the Lord could be walking with us. On the same note, we find Jesus didn't reject them, He came to them. These two men were looking at the events as anything but Good, but Jesus was looking at the events as Very Good, thus they were unable to see the Good since they were still stuck in the evil thinking mode.

Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. And they drew near unto the village, where they went: and He made as though He would have gone further (24:25-28).

The Testimony of Jesus is the Bible, unless we receive the Testimony of Jesus we can go no further with Him. However, the Witness is the Blood, Water, and Spirit (I Jn 5:8). Jesus being Alpha and Omega would know all, regardless of time, He didn’t say, “The Old Testament testifies of Me as it is translated correctly, within the proper manuscripts”. Jesus had confidence in the ability of the Holy Ghost to keep Truth, even if man was able to change some of the contents of the Scriptures, there are those things the carnal mind will not change, simply because they don’t see them.

But they constrained Him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And He went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight (24:29-31).

Jesus wasn't a ghost who disappeared in the woodwork, rather as soon as they knew it was Jesus, He moved out of their sight, leaving them with their thoughts. It was only after they took of the Bread then heard the Blessing were their eyes were opened; therefore, faith still comes from hearing and hearing By the Word of God. Jesus didn't give them Wine, rather the Testimony of Jesus brings us to the Bread (Body), again showing the Rock was in place, but the time for the Holy Ghost was not yet (I Cor 10: 17).

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon (24:32-34).

This Simon is not Simon Peter: however, at this time Simon Peter was not considered one of the twelve. In First Corinthians 15:5 Paul says the Lord was seen by Cephas, and of the twelve, but at the time there were only ten, but it was a Quorum. In essence the sign is for Simon Peter, as one Simon tells another Simon the Lord is raised, and this would be Peter's third chance to believe.

And they told what things were done in the way, and how He was known of them in breaking of bread (24:35).

This links to Mark 16:14 where we read, "Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen". Peter was told the tomb was empty, he was told Mary saw the Lord, then told by two witnesses the Lord was raised; even Peter knew, “In the mouth of two or more witnesses a fact is affirmed”. Peter denied the Lord three times, yet the Lord gave him three chances to believe in the Resurrection, yet he would still be forgiven, converted and strengthen his brethren; this is incentive during the times we think we missed it.

And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are you troubled: and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? (24:36-38).

The Greek word for Peace means Rest, Prosperity and Peace of mind, it doesn't mean peace in our surroundings, rather it means we have peace with God regardless of the surroundings and events, it’s akin to the Hebrew Shalom.

John's account correlates to Luke's, the Ingress Aires or the breathing of Jesus on the disciples is connected to receiving the power to forgive as a Living Soul; however, the Ingress Aires is not the same as the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Ingress Aires gives us permission to receive ye the Holy Ghost, but it doesn’t mean they received the Gift, thus the Spirit was not given until Pentecost, when the Power from High was granted as the Holy Ghost planted the Seed. Permission is one thing, having the Gift another.

Luke continues, although it may appear in verse 38 and 39 are joined, John will explain these are different times.

Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have, and when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have you any meat? And then gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them (24:39-43).

According to John's account this was eight days after the Resurrection, thus the Honeycomb is a symbol of prophecy, one of the main pillars of the Christian experience. Luke shows all the disciples were told to touch Jesus, but John shows the statement by Thomas. Jesus is spiritual in nature, but not "a spirit" (ghost). Jesus didn't say, "flesh and bones as you have"; rather He made it clear He had flesh and bones, but in a different form, as He said, "for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have"; therefore Jesus is standing before them Resurrected and Spiritual (quickening Spirit nature), which is higher than merely being a spirit. Our Resurrected Body is no different, as He is now, so are we in the world, because we have the New Man, a product of the Resurrection.

And He said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures (24:44-45).

This is the Hearing bringing faith, these men knew the Scriptures, but here Jesus is Speaking the Truth as it takes Root so it could be by Faith.

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And behold I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high (24:46-49).

What was the Promise of the Father? The Spirit, thus they were told to Wait, in order to be witnesses. Another aspect becoming clear, no man was in control, no devil was in control, these events had to be, they were seen by God from the foundation of the world.

The command is to Tarry for the Power, not to run around looking under rocks for it. Mercy does place us in a like position as Adam before the fall, but Grace in the position of the Word, let us hold fast, retain our Mercy, hold our Grace and finish this race.

And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven (24:50-51).

Every time we lift our hands, we are receiving the blessing of the Ascension.

And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen (24:52-53).

Jesus was in the grave three days and nights, went before the Father for seven days, then walked with the disciples forty days teaching them regarding the Kingdom, giving us the full fifty days from Passover to Pentecost (Acts 1:1-11). On Pentecost the Holy Ghost came with the Gift, but Jesus already Ascended, thus as He left, so shall it be when He returns. Nonetheless we see they received Authority before the Ascension, but were told to Tarry for the Power, the same is true for us; we gain the Authority, but wait for the Power in our personal Pentecost. Now we are ready to enter John’s account to find out more about Belief in order to enter Faith.

As a final note there have been several holidays, or feasts, added over the years concerning the Cross, Grave and Resurrection of Jesus. Ash Wednesday is forty days prior to “good Friday”, it’s not mentioned in the Bible since it began around 900 AD. The premise is “from the dust you came, to the dust you go”, which only refers to the flesh. Adding the 40 days of lent reflecting to the 40 day wilderness of Jesus, as a remembrance by giving up something for the flesh, it too is a tradition, not a commandment. The application of Ashes indicates repentance, the sign of the Cross on the forehead was practiced in the early church, but done with oil. The “sign” in Bible terms indicates some form of ownership, the oil with the sign of the Mercy of the Father granted by the Cross. The mixture, or combining of several elements into various feast days has been around for some time. Good Friday is another example, which came about well after the Bible was written. The trouble of course is which Friday is one talking about? The Preparation day when the women made the spices as Luke showed us? Or the day when Jesus was anointed by Mary? We know Jesus said three days and nights, thus it has to be three days and nights. In the early days Friday related to the anointing for burial; Wednesday pointed to the Cross; Saturday, the day of the Resurrection; Sunday, the day man discovered the Resurrection. Christmas is another, the 25th of December is the date for the Feast of Dedication, there is no record indicating what day Jesus was born, but there is regarding the date He went to the Cross. The various holidays not mentioned in the Bible, or in early writings, are left up to the individual. Paul settled the issue in reference to the sabbath day, if you keep them, keep them unto the Lord. If you don’t keep them, don’t keep them, unto the Lord. In any case, whether you keep them or not, doesn’t make one any holier than the rest in Body, our holiness is found in the New Man.

 

 


 

By Rev. G. E. Newmyer -   s.b.i. les15 rev 8/© 2003