Grace Bible Church of Rolling Meadows

Matthew Highlights


Presented by Steve Walker

Jump to ...

The Highlights printout begins on the next page.

To print a single highlight, scroll through the preview and note the start and end page numbers, then select just those pages in the print dialog.

The Highlights are in date sequence.

Note: If the heading is messed up on the first page, cancel the print, click the 'Top' button and try again.

Results may also vary depending on browser and print settings

Matthew Highlights


Jan 03, 2021

Sunday we looked at Matthew 11 and saw how Christ counter-acts the deceitful teachings of the Vain Religious System of Israel in that day. Please find below the audio and video links along with an article about how the Vain Religious System works today against the Body of Christ in God's Mystery Program. Newer members, who have arrived in the middle of our Bible studies, might find the below article might especially helpful because it gives an excellent overview of PAULINE GRACE/DISPENSATIONALISM. Please note that there is an informative chart at the bottom: Don't Miss That!

In Matthew 11, we have been observing some of the ways Satan attacked Christ in His Earthly Ministry through the Vain Religious System (VRS) of the Nation of Israel, and we saw how it could negatively impact the members of the Believing Remnant, even John the Baptist himself. So, it might be worthwhile to take a moment to appreciate how Satan attacks Christ in His Heavenly Ministry today through the Vain Religious System (VRS) of Historic Christianity and see how it negatively impacts members of the Body of Christ.

One way to do this is by looking at the armor God gives to protect believers today in the Body of Christ's Mystery Program from the attacks of Satan:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak
(Eph. 6:10-20).

God and Paul instruct the Body of Christ to put on the whole armor of God so that believers might STAND STRONG against the deceptions of the devil and the present evil world system. The word “stand” is used progressively four times in this passage: That you all may be enabled to STAND (6:11): That you all might be enabled to WITHSTAND to STAND (6:13): Therefore, STAND (6:14)!

So, what is this armor that will make believers today in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ STAND STRONG?

  1. Loins girded with truth:
    But what is God's Truth that strengthens and establishes believers today?
    Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my (Paul's) Gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the Mystery kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25).

    Satan's primary avenue of attack today is aimed at doing away with God's Mystery Truth as revealed to and through the Apostle Paul. He does this by confusing the Nation of Israel's Prophetic Program, which had been spoken about since the world began (Lk. 1:70; Acts 3:21; et al) as revealed in the NON-Pauline Scriptures (Old Testament, Gospels, Ministry of 12, Hebrews through Revelation), with the Body of Christ's Mystery Program, which had been kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-12) as revealed in Paul's Scriptures. Satan has been largely successful in doing this through Historic Christianity's VRS, going all the way back to the days of Paul himself (Book of Galatians, 2 Tim. 1:15). This deception has penetrated into true believing Christianity as well, manifesting itself in the near universal interpretive presumption that the Bible reveals only one divine plan of God, and that has to do with man and his redemption.

    Once believing Christianity accepted this deception, it prevented them from accepting the DISTINCT apostleship of Paul. If there is only one plan of God revealed in the Bible that is centered on man's redemption, then Paul must just be another in a long line of God's spokesmen, which leads to the conclusion that Paul's God-given apostleship is not distinct and unique. This deception has given birth to countless so called “Christian” man-made religions and man-centered theological systems. The result of embracing such teaching is that it causes believers not to STAND STRONG! But to FALL HARD!

    The only antidote to this fundamental deception of Satan's on the Body of Christ is for all believers to acknowledge and embrace the DISTINCT APOSTLESHIP OF PAUL. He is not one of the 12. Nor is he the 13th. God is not continuing something old through Paul. He began something new through Paul. The Bible is not just God's revelation of one plan that centers on man and his redemption (as important as that is!). The Bible is the revelation of two divinely originated plans that center on God and His Glory. One of which provides for the re-establishment of His Glory on Earth through His Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel (as revealed in the NON-Pauline Scriptures). And the other provides for the re-establishment of His Glory in the Heavenlies through His Mystery Program with the Body of Christ by (as revealed in the Pauline Scriptures). For sure, both are centered on the Person and Work of Christ, but they are two distinct plans that need to be “rightly-divided” in the Bible if believers are to STAND STRONG in the Lord today!

  2. Put On The Breastplate of Righteousness:
    Another way Satan attacks believers today is by confusing the Righteousness of God being manifested in Israel's Prophetic Program with the Righteousness of God now being manifested in the Body of Christ's Mystery Program. In the former, God displays His Righteousness in Saving His FRIENDS and Destroying His Enemies. In the latter, He displays His Righteousness in Saving His ENEMIES because He has no Friends. The former provides salvation from the Tribulation Judgments of persecution and physical death for God's friends (the believing remnant of Israel and those associated with them) before Christ at His 2nd Coming unto life in the Kingdom. The latter provides salvation from sin and spiritual death for God's enemies (all people born into the world since Adam's Fall) before the Tribunal of God unto eternal life. The former comes by Faith PLUS Works. The latter comes by Faith WITHOUT Works. The former is explained in the non-Pauline Scriptures. The latter is explained in Paul's Scriptures.
    To confuse these two manifestations of the Righteousness of God opens the door to countless errors in doctrine, not the least of which being errant theological systems like Calvinism and ungodly religious systems that try to get sinners to do things to become friends of God so that God can then save them. This deceptive teaching against the Body of Christ weakens believers and causes them to fall. If we are to STAND STRONG, we must understand that the Righteousness of God being displayed today is being seen in His saving of ungodly sinners on enemy status before Him based on Christ and His Work on the Cross, which has been revealed to and through the Apostle Paul (Rom. 3:21-25; 5:1-11, etc.).

  3. Put on the Footwear Prepared by the Gospel of Peace.
    Satan's attacks are also aimed at getting believers to confuse the various Gospels in God's Word. The Gospel (Good News) for God's Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel to display His Righteousness in saving His FRIENDS is the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mat. 9:35, et al). The Gospel for God's Mystery Program with the Body of Christ to display His Righteousness in saving His ENEMIES is the Gospel of Grace (from God toward sinners). Paul calls this his Gospel (Rom. 16:25) and here the Gospel of Peace (reconciliation between God and sinner), and in a couple verses the Gospel of the Mystery (Eph. 6:15, 19). To confuse the Gospel of Grace and Peace that is in effect during God's Mystery Program with the Gospel of the Kingdom during God's Prophetic Program is to confuse everything, weakening the Christian walk and calling into question the very message that saves sinners today (Rom. 1:16-17).

    In short, today God is holding back His wrath and judgment against His enemies, beginning with Saul/Paul and the Nation of Israel, and especially the Gentiles, and is instead extending His Grace and Peace to His enemies, beginning with Saul/Paul and the Jews, and especially the Gentiles.

  4. Take the Shield of Faith:
    Satan attacks believers today by confusing the two bodies of truth recorded in the Bible. There was a body of truth (the Faith) for Israel's Prophetic Program as found in the NON-Pauline Scriptures. And there is a body of truth (the Faith) for the Body of Christ's Mystery Program as found in Paul's Scriptures. Today, the believers FAITH has four facets: The sinner's Faith (belief) in THE FAITH (God's Truth in Paul's Writings), which makes known the FAITH OF CHRIST (the Good News of Christ's faithful work on the Cross). And when believers are operating in accord with this FAITH SYSTEM, they are FAITHFUL, obedient to the FAITH (Rom. 16:26), and when that happens, they are STANDING STRONG in the Lord, quenching all the fiery darts Satan sends their way. Rom. 3:21-25.

  5. Take the Helmet of Salvation:
    Satan attacks by sowing confusing about the National Salvation God is going to provide to His friends in the Nation of Israel unto life in the Kingdom (as described in the NON-Pauline Scriptures) with the Personal Salvation God provides to His enemies unto eternal life (as described in Paul's Scriptures). The former will perfectly equip National Israel to re-establish God's Glory on the Earth–and includes physical and material blessings like health, wealth, prosperity along with spiritual blessings. The latter perfectly equips the Body of Christ to re-establish God's Glory in the Heavenlies–and includes ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places IN CHRIST (Eph. 1:3). To confuse these two sets of divine provisions only brings defeat and despair into the believer's walk, while appreciating them leads to STANDING STRONG IN THE LORD (Rom. 5:1-11).

  6. Take the Sword of the Spirit, Which Is The Word Of God:
    It is only at this point that God and Paul tell us to take up the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. It is only after we rightly-divide the Scriptures that we are told to take up the Word of God. It is only after we have been established in God's Mystery Truth for today that the Bible will be a spiritual sword. It is only after we have put on the defensive armor of God, appreciating His two Purposes, Programs, Peoples, and Manifestations of Righteousness and Salvation, that believers will be ready to take up His offensive weapon, the Sword of God's Word. It is only after we embrace the DISTINCT and UNIQUE Apostleship of Paul that we can STAND STRONG IN THE LORD, being BOLD TO SPEAK THE MYSTERY (Eph. 6:19-20), which more than counteracts all the attacks of Satan!


God's Two Purposes To Re-Establish His Glory on Earth To Re-Establish His Glory in the Heavenlies
God's Two Programs The Prophetic Program
which had been revealed since the world began
The Mystery Program
which had been kept secret since the world began
God's Two Peoples Nation of Israel Body of Christ
God's Two Manifestations of His Righteousness The Righteousness of God in Saving His Friends and Destroying His Enemies. The Righteousness of God in Saving His ENEMIES because He has no Friends.
God's Two Gospels The Gospel of the Kingdom to His Friends The Gospel of Grace and Peace to His Enemies.
God's Two Provisions of Salvation Israel's National Salvation of His Friends unto life in the Kingdom. The Sinner's Personal Salvation unto Eternal Life.

Matthew Highlights

Jesus, The Sabbath and Israel's Vain Religious System

Jan 10, 2021

Matthew 12 opens up with the Pharisees condemning Jesus for allowing His hungry followers to pick and eat grain and for healing a lame man on the Sabbath Day. They had taken God's regulation about not working on the Sabbath (Ex. 31:12-17) and set up all kinds of man-made traditions defining what could or could not be done work on the Sabbath. But in focusing on the minutia of the external regulation, they completely missed God's true intention for the Sabbath: REST AND MERCY.

The Sabbath was His sign between Creation, Israel and Himself. It was His guarantee that He intended to dwell in His Creation, and that He would do it through the Nation of Israel (Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 31:17). God designed it to be a time of rest, refreshing, restoration, feasting, meeting together and rejoicing, delighting in the Lord, praising and worshipping God (Gen. 2:2; Ex. 31:17; Lev. 23:1-4). This will be ultimately fulfilled when God restores the nation of Israel in her earthly Kingdom, whereby God will make Israel the head of the nations and with Israel and through her RISE, He will bless the whole world, bringing Israel and the creation into His rest. That is what God intended the Sabbath to be used for. But Israel's VRS, completely ignorant of this, instead used the Sabbath to burden the people with all kinds of man-made traditions, resulting not in the bringing of God's people into rest, but into prolonged human suffering-- hunger and thirst and sickness–which is totally contrary to God and His will, His intentions for the Sabbath.

In Mat. 12:1-14, Jesus' point in feeding the hungry and healing the sick on the Sabbath is to demonstrate the complete bankruptcy to His disciples of Israel's VRS. The disciples had been taught from infancy that Israel's religious system was the receptacle for God's things, and that its religious leaders were the experts on the Scriptures and the Law. But Jesus shows that this is not true. The religious system in Israel was empty, bankrupt, VAIN, and His followers didn't need to go back to it for God's things. They needed to go to Christ for God's things (Mat. 11:27). Jesus proves that the religious system that claimed to be the experts on the Scriptures, teachers of the Law, the receptacles of all God's things and the source of God's knowledge, in fact, didn't know anything about God--His Person, His plan, His Purposes, His intentions, His will–NOTHING! They didn't know the Scriptures (Mat. 12:2-4)! They didn't know the Law (Mat. 12:5)!! They didn't even know what one short little seven word verse from Hos. 6:6 meant: I will have mercy and not sacrifice (Mat. 12:7)!!! They read God's external Sabbath commands but didn't know God and His Will. Therefore, they regulated those commands out of a cold, harsh, hardened hearts, not caring if they prolonged or increased human suffering. If they had known anything about God, they would have realized that His intention for the Sabbath was rest and restoration, the alleviation of human suffering, and they would have instead regulated the Sabbath commands with MERCY from a softened and warmed heart of faith. If they had known anything about God, they would have realized that human need (Mat. 12:3-4) and sacrifices (Mat. 12:5) superseded the Sabbath commands. And, most important of all, they would have realized that MERCY supersedes them all (Mat. 12:7)!

The Hebrew word ‘hesed’ usually translated as “mercy” in our English Bibles is God's key word for Israel's national salvation as promised in the Davidic Covenant. It refers to God's STEADFAST LOVINGKINDNESS for Israel. Of this, Israel's VRS was completely ignorant. If they had known about God and His dealings with Israel on the basis of steadfast lovingkindness, they would have regulated the commands of the Law with that mercy from hearts of faith. But instead they rejected God and His mercy. Just look at what is going on in Mat. 12. While Jesus was forming a holy convocation on the Sabbath--feeding the hungry, healing the sick, bringing rest and restoration, praising and worshipping God--the VRS of Israel was forming an UNholy convocation on the Sabbath, condemning Christ and His mercy, unconcerned about prolonging human suffering, and began plotting how they might put Christ to death (Mat. 12:14)! They can do that on the Sabbath but Jesus can't feed the hungry and heal the sick on the Sabbath? What absurdity! No, the VRS was empty and bankrupt, worthless, designated unto destruction.

We must not think that Israel's VRS is unique in its rebellion against God. All man-made religious systems and man-centered theological systems, including those with the word “Christian” before their names, are all examples of this same tendency of sinful flesh to rebel against God and His Word while trying to make it look like they are really serving Him and very spiritual. In Israel's Prophetic Program the VRS was ignorant of God's “Hesed,” His Mercy, His STEADFAST LOVINGKINDNESS as exemplified in the Davidic Covenant. The very thing they were supposed to use to regulate all that Israel did, they rejected in unbelief, leaving them vain, empty and bankrupt. The same has been true for the VRS of Historic Christianity today in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, which has been largely willfully and rebelliously ignorant of God's “Charis,” His Grace, as exemplified in Paul's Gospel, the Good News of Christ and His Cross, made known through the distinct apostleship of Paul. The very thing that they were supposed to use to regulate all that the Body of Christ does, they likewise have rejected in unbelief, leaving them vain, empty, bankrupt as well.

It is only by returning to the distinct and unique apostleship of Paul. and the Mystery Revelation God entrusted to him, that members of the Body of Christ can be established in God's Truth for today to walk in a way that is well-pleasing to the Lord (Rom. 16:25).

Matthew Highlights

Jesus and the Sabbath (pt 2)

Jan 17, 2021

We all understand that unlike the Pauline Scriptures, the non-Pauline Scriptures, including the Gospel of Matthew are not written to and about us, but they are for our learning. When we study the non-Pauline Scriptures, we learn that God is completely faithful in fulfilling all His promises to the Nation of Israel in His Prophetic Program, and this strengthens our patience, increases our comfort and enhances our hope (Rom. 15:4) because we can rest assured that since God is completely faithful to Israel He will be just as faithful in fulfilling all His promises to us today in the Body of Christ in accord with His Mystery Program as revealed in the Pauline Scriptures–Romans through Philemon.

One of the ways God is faithful to Israel is seen in Matthew 12 as Jesus begins to deliver the believing remnant from Israel's Vain Religious System (VRS). Jesus exposes their utter bankruptcy and hypocrisy. They self-identified themselves as the experts of the Scriptures and teachers of the Law and claimed to be the receptacle and dispenser of God's things. But Jesus dismantles this fallacy and demonstrates that they aren't the receptacle and dispenser of God's things, they don't know the Scriptures, they don't know the Law, and they don't even know what one short little verse in Hosea 6:6 that reveals God's underlying intentions, desires and will: I will have mercy not sacrifice. In short, they didn't understand God or His Word.

If they had known anything about God, they would have known that God desires mercy more than sacrifice. And if that is true of sacrifice, it is also true of the Sabbath. The Hebrew word for mercy is “hesed” and a definition that tries to bring out its full meaning might be “steadfast lovingkindness.” That is God's inner disposition, His underlying desire, His true intention in His dealings with Israel, “hesed.” God memorialized His “steadfast lovingkindness” in the Davidic Covenant, where He promised to enflesh Himself into the line of David in order to deliver Israel from all her enemies, beginning with His suffering and death on the Cross to provide redemption for His people. This goes far beyond anything the Law called for. This goes into the very heart of Israel's LORD Himself where “hesed,” mercy, “steadfast lovingkindness” resides.

If Israel's VRS had understood this fundamental truth about God, they would have realized that just as everything God did in leading His people was tempered with mercy, so too everything they did as His representatives should have been tempered with mercy as well, including the Law, the sacrificial system and the Sabbath (Mat. 12:1-8). But in rebelling against God and in rejecting His Word, they threw away God's mercy in unbelief, and without that they also threw away the ability to understand the Scriptures. Instead of leading Israel to God, they led her to ruin. To fill this void, they replaced the merciful Word of God with their own merciless teachings, the traditions of men, the odious minutiae of their “oral law,” which put undue burdens on the people. Instead of leading the people to God in the spirit of the Law regulated by mercy, they drove the people away from God in the letter of the Law regulated by their own merciless and burdensome traditions.

Jesus illustrates this in Mat. 12 by feeding hungry people and restoring a man to wholeness on the Sabbath (Mat. 12:1-13). What the VRS lost is that when God gave the Sabbath, He didn't intend for it to be a day used to prolong suffering, stop restoration and prevent people from doing the Lord's work of praise and worship. God's intention in giving the Sabbath was to give a day of rest that would be used to alleviate suffering and bring restoration. It was supposed to be a day for feasting and banqueting not hungering and thirsting, for serving, worshipping and praising God, not for serving the burdensome traditions of men.

In their ignorance of God's Word and God's ways, Jesus exposed the utter bankruptcy of Israel's VRS, and this emptiness naturally turned to hypocrisy. They taught that you could restore a sheep from a pit on the Sabbath, but you couldn't restore a human to wholeness on the Sabbath. Hypocrites! The bankrupt religious system’s hypocrisy reaches its high point in that while they were condemning Jesus for doing the “work” of feeding and healing on the Sabbath, they didn't condemn themselves for doing the work of forming a council and plotting His death on the Sabbath (Mat. 12:14). Bankrupt and double hypocrites!!

Jesus purpose in doing this was to show his disciples that they must not go to the VRS for the things of God. They must go to Him for the things of God. The VRS would not be able to bring them into the nation's Sabbath rest and restoration in the Kingdom. He was the only One who could do that (Mat. 11:27-30).

So, what can we learn from Mat. 12 for today? One important thing to learn is that the Vain Religious System of historic Christianity is just as bankrupt and hypocritical as Israel's was. The root problem in Israel's VRS was that in their unbelief, they rejected the knowledge of God's underlying regulating principle of “hesed,” mercy. Once they threw away God's inner heart's desire, intent and will, they could no longer rightly understand His Word, so they threw that away as well and replaced it with their own vain traditions of men (Mat. 15:9).

And that is exactly what the VRS of historic Christianity has done as well. They have thrown away God's regulating principle for today in the Dispensation of Grace, His inner heart's desire, intent and will. While Israel's Prophetic Program's regulating principle was “hesed” or mercy, today, in the Body of Christ's Mystery Program it is “charis” or grace, Pauline Grace, as revealed through the distinct apostleship of Paul. For the most part, historic Christianity has rejected in unbelief Paul's distinct apostleship and has, therefore, rejected Pauline Grace, which means they have thrown away God's Will and His Word and, like Israel's VRS, they have replaced them with their own foolish imaginations and traditions of men. They have spiritualized God's meaning out of the Bible's text, and then they trivialized it by filling it back in with whatever they wanted, driving historic Christianity away from God and into ruin, just like Israel's VRS.

The only solution capable of reversing this predicament is to return to God's truth for today as found in the Pauline Scriptures, Romans through Philemon. It is only there that we find God's desire, intents and purpose for the Body of Christ in the Mystery Program. It is only through Pauline Grace that the Body of Christ is strengthened and established:

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Now to Him that is of power to establish you according to my (Paul's) Gospel, and the Preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the Revelation of the Mystery, which had been kept secret since the world began ...
(Rom. 16:24-25).

Matthew Highlights

Jesus and the Sabbath (pt 3)

Jan 24, 2021

One of the highlights from Matthew 12 was seeing that even for the Vain Religious System in Israel, who were in active rebellion against God and rejection of Christ, even to the point of plotting His death (Mat. 12:14), Jesus still did not leave them hopeless. He will turn away from them at this time, leaving them in their ignorance. One reason He does this is so that He can pray to the Father on the Cross: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do (Lk. 23:34). Through this prayer, Jesus, in effect, reduced the charge against His enemies from murder (from which the Law offered no recourse, only death) to manslaughter (from which the Law offered the recourse of protection in cities of refuge, where those who killed someone in ignorance could go to escape the death sentence).

In doing this, God will create a “city of refuge” in early Acts through the Ministry of the Holy Spirit and Peter and the 12 to give the unbelieving nation one more opportunity to receive Him. The Holy Spirit will confront them with the Bad News of the Death of Christ. They killed their Messiah but God has raised Him from the dead, and He is about ready to return in His wrath and judgment to destroy His enemies, beginning in the House of Israel! Peter pleads with them to rethink what they have done! Repent, receive the Lord Jesus and save yourselves from this evil generation (Acts 2:21-24, 40; 3:13-17). Ignorance would no longer be an excuse. While Jesus refused to give them another sign at that time in Mat. 12, He does point ahead to a sign He will give them in the future, and THEY HAD BETTER NOT REJECT THAT SIGN! It will be the greatest of all signs; the Sign of Jonah; the Death, Burial and RESSURECTION on the third day of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat. 12:38-41).

With that sign and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit through Peter and the 12 in early Acts, to continue in their rejection of Christ would be to commit blasphemy against the Spirit, which is the one unforgivable sin in the Nation of Israel's Prophetic Program (Mat. 12:31-32). It would be the culmination of their historical rebellion against the Triune Godhead. Apostate Israel had rebelled against God the Father in the Old Testament, God the Son in His earthly ministry in the Gospel Accounts, and, if they rejected God the Holy Spirit in early Acts, they will have completed their rebellion against the whole Triune Godhead. The third strike, and they would be out.

Of course, we know that they didn't heed the Sign of Jonah nor did they receive the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, but continued in the rejection of Christ, which culminated in the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. Stephen looked up and saw Christ standing on the right hand of God, standing in readiness to return in His Wrath and Judgment. The next thing that should have happened if God had continued to operate in accord with Israel's Prophetic Program was for Christ to return to destroy His enemies, beginning in the House of Israel, BEGINNING WITH SAUL, the chief blasphemer against the Spirit and the leader of the rebellion against Christ and His people.

BUT THANKS BE TO GOD!! That is not what God did. Instead, God “paused” Israel's Prophetic Program, set it aside temporarily and began a new previously unrevealed Plan, Purpose, Program and People. Instead of returning in His Wrath and Judgment to destroy His enemies, BEGINNING WITH SAUL, He returned in His GRACE AND PEACE, to SAVE His enemies, BEGINNING WITH SAUL, making him our Apostle Paul, and revealing to Him His new Mystery Program for the Body of Christ whereby He would re-establish His Glory in the Heavenlies, which had been kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3; 1 Tim. 1:15).

This proves that Paul's Apostleship must be distinct from all others. If Paul was just continuing the same ministry as the prophets and Jesus in His earthly ministry and Peter and the 12, then Saul/Paul COULD NOT HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN FOR HIS BLASPHEMING AGAINST THE SPIRIT according to Mat. 12! He would have been destroyed. BUT THANKS BE TO GOD! What God couldn't forgive in Israel's Prophetic Program; He can forgive in the Body of Christ's Mystery Program. Today He is saving His enemies by Grace through Faith, and there is no unpardonable sin in the Dispensation of Grace (Eph. 1:7).

We see something similar to this when the Apostle John and Jesus say the greatest love is that Christ died for His friends (Jn. 15:13). But that doesn't mean that that is the greatest love of all. It is just the greatest love displayed in Israel's Prophetic Program. God reveals through the Apostle Paul and the Body of Christ's Mystery Program that there is an even greater love than this. And that is CHRIST DYING FOR HIS ENEMIES (Rom. 5:6-10)!!

Matthew Highlights


Jan 31, 2021

Rom. 8 tells us that today, in the Dispensation of Grace, our service to God occurs in the context of suffering. He made us His ambassadors of reconciliation to a lost and sin-cursed world subject to sin and death. But God has not left us to our own resources. He has completely and perfectly equipped us to carry out this ministry, not just surviving it but thriving in it as more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).

Some Pauline Prayer Vignettes:

  1. Thankful Prayer in the Storm: Paul Brings Calm and Comfort To All.

Acts 27:14-44: Paul and the Storm. Luke gives us a short video clip of what happens to people today when they listen to God speaking through Paul. On the way to Rome, Paul boarded a ship that got taken in a severe storm at sea, tossing them about in hurricane-like winds that drove the ship into danger that was beyond their ability to control. In one last gasp, they threw everything overboard and fell into utter fear, panic and despair. Then Paul, in Thankful Prayer with God (Acts 27:22-25; 35), brings calm and peace into this dire situation. Paul exclaimed: Be of good cheer! Fear not! Stay on board! Eat a little something! And they listened to Paul: They were all of good cheer, and they took some food (Acts 27:36). Listening to God's message through Paul, resulted in everyone on board landing safely, all 276 souls.

That is a picture of what God is doing today through the distinct apostleship of Paul with regard to the “ship” of the Body of Christ. No matter what the situation or circumstances, no matter the external appearances or our internal feelings, God speaks to us today through the Apostle Paul, and He tells us that He is going to land the Body of Christ safely on His shores. In Rom. 5, Paul lists some of the things that we have through Christ by faith. We have peace with God, we have been given complete access to the riches of His grace, and we are eternally secure participants in His Glory (Rom. 5:1-2; 8:30-39). So, what about the trials and tribulations of this life? When we undergo them does it mean God has withdrawn His blessings and love from us? Absolutely not! Paul goes on to explain that God's love is not seen in our circumstances or feelings but is seen at the Cross, where Christ died for us. This assurance and security in Christ, this Love of God displayed at the Cross of Christ, this working of the Holy Spirit in and through us, empowers us to redeem the time that sin uses to bring anxiety, distress and despair, and use them instead for the Lord to bring peace, comfort and hope, in our daily lives, moment-by-moment (Rom. 5:3-11). Thankful Prayer in the light of God's message to us through the Apostle Paul, is what facilitates all of this.

  1. Acts 16:16-34: Praiseful Prayer in Jail: Paul Brings God's Truth to All.

Let's look at one time that Paul was imprisoned. It occurred in Philippi. He was thrown into a jail cell, and his feet were locked in the stocks. Paul and Silas had big problems, really big problems, hopeless problems from human viewpoint. But what were they doing at midnight? They were praying and singing praises to God: AND ALL THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM (Acts 16:25)! Into the midst of despair, God brought hope through Paul, and it effected on everyone around him as well. Then, there was an earthquake, and in the ensuing chaos Paul's Praiseful Prayer came to full effect: Prisoners in the panic of the moment, who would have been inclined to escape (no doubt to their deaths!), instead stayed in their cells, and a guard, who was about to fall on his own sword, not only escaped physical death by not killing himself, but also escaped spiritual death before God, because having heard Paul's Praising Prayers about the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, he believed and was saved unto eternal life by grace through faith, which continued to spread into his whole family. Thankful Prayer and Praiseful Prayer not only brought calm and comfort others, but God's Truth to others as well.

  1. 2 Tim. 1:3-8: Spiritual Prayer Orients to God for Others.

In a time of widespread apostacy, Paul was very concerned about Timothy and his ministry. Paul's churches claimed to be following Christ but had turned away from Paul's teachings. Paul writes these sad words: All in Asia be turned away from me (2 Tim. 1:15)! Paul's ministry was about over, he was sitting in a dark and damp Roman prison cell, awaiting his death sentence, his thoughts weren't about himself but about Timothy, whose ministry would have to be carried on in Paul's absence, and he would experience the full force of this evil world and Satan's attacks on the Body of Christ. Night and day Paul prayed for Timothy, desiring to see him, remembering his tears, and each time he prayed, God generated within him the desire to do something that would strengthen Timothy for the difficult work ahead. Suddenly Paul must have thought: Maybe I could send him a letter!! And that's exactly what he did. He wrote what we call 2 Timothy, which ended up not just edifying Timothy but all believers ever since.

Prayer is God's tool for motivating us to serve others out of Agape Love. Prayer takes our thoughts off ourselves and places them on God and others. Prayer works effectually in taking the doctrine that is in us and applies it to the circumstances of life. Adverse circumstances provide open doors for serving others in love, powerfully dispensing the Fruit of the Spirit in the midst of human weakness: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, forgiveness, and many more. And when we are participating in that, God redeems the time unto Himself.

Thankful Prayer, Praising Prayer, Spiritual Prayer bring God's calm and comfort, God's Truth and God's Strengthening Power into the difficulties of life, and what it provides is not just something for time but for all eternity.

Matthew Highlights


Feb 14, 2021

When we study any of the non-Pauline Scriptures, including the Gospel of Matthew, we must be careful in trying to make “applications” to ourselves today. The underlying reason for doing this, we have been told, is that that's the way we make God's Word “practical,” as though if it weren't “practical” or “applicable,” it would not be relevant or important. But there is a problem with this. Today, we are not participants in God's Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel to re-establish His Glory on the Earth, as revealed in the NON-Pauline Scriptures. Today, we are participants in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ to re-establish His Glory in the Heavenlies, as revealed in the Pauline Scriptures. If we confuse these two Plans, Purposes, Programs and Peoples of God, it will bring confusion that will nullify our Christian walk that is pleasing to God.

Each of these programs has different end goals, different motivations, different empowerments, different blessings, different instructions: In short, they are completely distinct systems, both divinely given and perfect in themselves, but distinct from each other. Let's look at a couple of examples.

  1. The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6 tells its audience to ask for their daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. To which it adds this: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Mat. 6:11-12; 14-15). It would be beyond the ability to count the number of Christians who have been told to pray this prayer for their daily bread, and then remained hungry or starved to death throughout history. Someone has estimated that even today more than half of all Christians in the world go to bed hungry and many of them will starve to death. This prayer request is not “applicable” to today.
    But what about the prayer request for forgiveness of sins? A casual reader might assume that this is something they can “apply” to themselves today. Afterall, we in the Dispensation of Grace are supposed to be forgiving, aren't we? But once this step is taken the casual reader becomes the careless reader, who will eventually fall into a pit of confusion and despair.

Let's explain this by putting together a chart based on the items listed in the paragraph above.

NON-Pauline Scriptures

Old Testament, Gospel Accounts, Ministry of 12, Hebrews-Revelation
Pauline Scriptures:

Paul's Letters/Writings; Romans-Philemon
Salvation in View Israel's National Salvation:
Justification by Faith With Works
Personal Salvation of Sinners:
Justification by Faith WITHOUT Works
The Righteousness of God Manifested God's Righteousness in Saving His Friends and Destroying His Enemies. God's Righteousness in Saving His Enemies because He Has No Friends.
Operating System The Mosaic Law Pauline Grace
Empowerment The Holy Spirit to Produce Human Righteousness of the Law. The Holy Spirit to bring us into the Righteousness of God Himself.
Provisions To Equip Believers to Rule on the Earth. To Equip Believers to Rule in the Heavenlies.
Blessings Conditional Unconditional
Love Basis Command to Love Others AS or EQUAL TO YOURSELF. Freely Gives Us the Love of God at the Cross of Christ (Agape Love), which beseeches us to Love Others ABOVE or MORE than Ourselves.

We could list many more things, but I think you get the point. To take our example of forgiveness one step further, Eph. 4:32 says this for believers today: "Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.” Believers in Israel's Prophetic Program, as recorded in the NON-Pauline Scriptures, were supposed to be kind and tender hearted and forgiving, weren't they? Of course. So, isn't that “applicable” to us today? No, because today our reason, motive and empowerment for being these things is completely different from theirs. Today we forgive, are tender hearted and kind, long-suffering and temperate, dispensers of grace and peace, not to receive blessings from God but because we have ALREADY RECEIVED ALL OF GOD'S BLESSINGS IN CHRIST! In other words, we don't forgive others to gain God's forgiveness as stated by the earthly Lord Jesus and Matthew. We forgive others because God has already forgiven us as stated by the Risen Lord Jesus and Paul!

  1. Let's look at another example, this time with regard to the attributes of God. Of course, those never change. So, if we read about them in the non-Pauline Scriptures, they must be “applicable” to us today in the Dispensation of Grace. Let's look at what is one of the most over-arching of all God's attributes: God is always perfectly and infinitely righteous. This is a certainly just as true in the non-Pauline Scriptures as it is in the Pauline Scriptures. But are the non-Pauline passages about God's Righteousness “applicable” to us today? I would suggest that they are not. In the non-Pauline Scriptures, God was manifesting His righteous activity, His Righteousness, by SAVING HIS FRIENDS (the believing Israelites and those Gentiles associated with them) and DESTROYING HIS ENEMIES (apostate Israelites and enemy Gentiles). This is what Moses and David prayed for, what all the prophets spoke about and looked for, and what Jesus in His 1st coming came to confirm and at His 2nd Coming will accomplish in His Vengeance.
    The Pauline Scriptures, however, manifest God's righteous activity, His Righteousness, in the Person and Work of Christ on the Cross, the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, whereby He SAVES HIS ENEMIES BECAUSE HE HAS NO FRIENDS (Rom. 3:21-25)!!
    If the Righteousness of God manifested in the NON-Pauline Scriptures were “applicable” to us today, then we would be right to pray with David that God would righteously destroy our enemies (Ps. 143:11-12 among innumerable others). But that would be completely contrary to God's revealed will for today, which states that today He is righteously saving His enemies: ungodly sinners on enemy status before Him (Rom. 3:21-25; 5:1-11)! No, the prayers of David do not “apply” to what God is doing today.

The idea that we must be able to “apply” God's Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel to ourselves today, in order to make it “practical” or “relevant,” otherwise it is not important or worth knowing, does not come from the Bible. It comes from a largely apostate historic Christianity that in rebellion against God and His Word has rejected Paul and His distinct apostleship. Unfortunately, much of even the believing element of historic Christianity has embraced this false and baseless preconceived notion about Bible Study. But we must not go to historic Christianity for our guidance in Bible Study! We must go to God and His spokesman for today, the Apostle Paul, and this is what they have to say:

  1. We must rightly-divide the Scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15)
  2. When we rightly-divide the Scriptures, we won't go to the non-Pauline Scriptures to “apply” them to ourselves today. Rather we will go to them to learn from them (Rom. 15:4).
  3. And what we learn from the NON-Pauline Scriptures is that in Christ's 1st Coming, God confirmed that He would be completely faithful in fulfilling all the promises He made to the Nation of Israel in her Prophetic Program, which included His provision for Gentile blessings WITH ISRAEL AND THROUGH HER RISE (Rom. 15:8-12)!
  4. But God and Paul had just explained in Romans 11 that because of her rejection of Christ in unbelief, the Nation of Israel had stumbled and fallen, and God (temporarily) cast away His Prophetic Program with Israel, and with it He also cast away the only revealed way of dispensing blessings to the Gentiles. If He did nothing else, this would leave the whole world in utter hopelessness!
  5. But God did do something else! His faithfulness went into action again, and He introduced a new Program, His Mystery Program, and a new People, the Body of Christ, through the distinct apostleship of Paul (Rom. 15:14-21), which provided a previously unrevealed dispersing of divine blessings to all people, Jews and Gentiles, but especially the Gentiles, that was APART FROM ISRAEL AND THROUGH HER FALL! So that now, Gentiles can joyfully shout together with Paul : Now the God of hope FILL you with ALL joy and peace in believing, that ye may ABOUND in HOPE, through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13)!
  6. In all of this, Paul provides the one “application” we can make today from the NON-Pauline Scriptures, and that one “application” is this: When we learn about how faithful God has been and will be in fulfilling all the promises He made in His Prophetic Program to the Nation of Israel, we can be rest assured, 100% confident, certain of the fact that He will be just as faithful in fulfilling all the promises He has made to us today in His Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, and this will strengthen our patience, increase our comfort and enhance our hope (Rom. 15:4-5).

Matthew Highlights

Feb 21, 2021

These Parables reveal that there will be a period of time between Christ's 1st Coming in humility and suffering and His 2nd Coming in Vengeance and Wrath, Power and Glory. They give the believing remnant of Israel, who will be ministering during this time (especially the Tribulation Period), instruction on the “manner of time” (1 Peter 1:11); what that time is going to look like. What it is going to characterized by.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus explains that this time begins with and will be characterized by the dispensing Christ's Instruction to bring understanding to all in the context of a wide variety of “prepared soils” (levels of understanding). Parable of the Sower: A TIME OF INSTRUCTION AND UNDERSTANDING that leads to faith and repentance. We have a foretaste of this with Peter's preaching on Pentecost in early Acts.

Then, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Jesus explains that their ministry will NOT be characterized by a clear separation of wicked and good, righteous and unrighteous (as the prophets might have understood) but of the co-mingling of good and evil, the righteous and the unrighteous, who will not be separated until the very end by the angels at Christ's 2nd Coming. Parable of the Wheat and the Tares: NOT A TIME FOR REVELATION AND JUDGMENT, but a time of patience and bearing until the end of the Tribulation Period. We have a foretaste of this with Judas Iscariot being numbered among the 12 in Jesus' earthly ministry.

And in the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus explains that their ministry will occur when the Kingdom is characterized by gradual growth to Greatness, starting with something completely insignificant by the world's standards and external appearances (a crucified King and a motely group of followers) but grows into something Great: The Tree of God's Kingdom on Earth. The Parable of the Mustard Seed: A TIME OF GRADUAL GROWTH INTO GREATNESS. We have a foretaste of this in early Acts when Peter addressing the whole Nation of Israel–probably numbering about 2 plus million Jews were there from around the world for Pentecost–to receive their King and Messiah, but only a disappointing, measly, 3,000 Jews responded.

Of course, we know that Israel, in fact, rejected her King and Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, once-and-for-all in early Acts. God, instead of completing His Prophetic Program with the Nation of Israel for the earth, put it on “hold.” In today's jargon we might say he took the remote control and “paused” Israel's Prophetic Program. He stopped the earthly prophetic clock. This resulted in the believing remnant's ministry stopping as well, and it won't start again until after the Body of Christ has been removed from earth by the rapture, right where God left off back then. He interrupted Israel's Prophetic Program in order to begin a new UNPROPHECIED Program, the Mystery Program, through the distinct apostleship of the Apostle Paul, whereby He is now creating a new people, the Body of Christ, to fulfill His purpose in the Heavenlies.

With this in mind, it is important to remember the following things as we study Matthew's Parables in specific, and any non-Pauline Scriptures in general:

  1. Most importantly, these parables have nothing to do with the Church, the Body of Christ. They do not describe various stages in its historical development, nor do they describe the characteristics of the Dispensation of Grace.
    • Example: I heard a Bible teacher apply the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares to the Body of Christ today. While it is certainly true that there can be believers and unbelievers in the pews of local assemblies, there are certainly no unbelievers who will need to be separated out at the Rapture in the Body of Christ! But this will be true of the Kingdom of God's People before Christ's 2nd Coming when He will separate unbelievers out and bring the true, purified believing remnant into the Land of the Kingdom.
  2. In the Parables, Matthew is not explaining personal salvation. He is NOT explaining how ungodly sinners on enemy status before God are justified unto eternal life before the tribunal of God by Faith WITHOUT works. The Apostle Paul is the one who explains this, and he does so in the light of the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Matthew (and any other non-Pauline Scripture for that matter) is explaining how members of the Nation of Israel will participate in Israel's National Salvation at Christ's 2nd Coming for entrance in the Millennial Kingdom by Faith plus works.
    • Example: Someone communicated with me after reading the Parable of the Sower. They applied it to themselves and decided that they were the type of person who receives the seed but withers back because of trials. He was convinced that this meant he had lost his salvation. But Matthew isn't talking about personal salvation. He is talking about how those in Israel's Prophetic Program, who have already been justified by faith without works before God by believing the Gospel of the Kingdom, will participate in Israel's Nation Salvation unto life in the Kingdom at Christ's 2nd Coming in accord with their faithfulness.

If you want the direct application of God's Word to you as a believer in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, we don't go to Matthew, we go to Paul. So, join us on Thursday nights where we will be learning from Paul's Letter to the Romans!

Matthew Highlights

Feb 28, 2021

We have now come far enough to begin to get an overall picture of the truths Jesus reveals to His disciples in these parables, what He calls the mysteries of the Kingdom, which God kept secret from the creation of the earth (Mat. 13:35). Jesus is revealing them at this time because this is the Believing Remnant that will begin to minister from the 1st Coming of Christ, through the Tribulation Period, on to His 2nd Coming and entrance into the long promised earthly Kingdom. He speaks in parables because it allows Him to hide these truths from those who have rejected Him, the wicked generation of Mat. 12, while at the same time making them known to His Own generation, the disciples, especially Peter and the 12, through His instruction that leads to understanding (Mat. 13:11-13).

Here is the way the general outline is shaping up so far in the first four parables based on headings that correlate with Mat. 10:25-31:

The Parable of the Sower reaches back to the beginning with John the Baptist's and Jesus's preaching ministries. While in Mat. 12 Jesus stops “sowing the word of the Kingdom” with wild abandon, we get another foretaste of it in the ministry of Peter and the 12 at Pentecost, and it will reach its fulfillment during the Tribulation Period. The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares explains that during this time good and evil will co-exist until the very end when Christ returns with His angels in wrath, judgment and vengeance. So, this time period is kicked off with the re-start of preaching the Word of the Kingdom with wild abandon, which will produce children of the Kingdom, whom God will plant in the world in the presence of the children of Satan, and they will not be separated until Christ's 2nd Coming.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed explains that there will be a gradual growth to greatness like the gradual growth to greatness that Israel experienced in Egypt and the Exodus Account. This Believing Remnant, minute and insignificant by worldly standards, will grow into something Great, a Great Nation and a Great Kingdom.

When the Israelites went into the land of Egypt, they numbered only 70 people, the smallest and least significant of all nations. Yet when God delivered them out of Egypt, they were a Great Nation, numbering in the millions, and His deliverance of them out of the hand of the enemy caused the collapse of the Egyptian Kingdom (Gen. 15:13). Likewise, the Believing Remnant will go into this period as the smallest and least significant of all nations and come out a Great Nation. It is of great interest that Jesus sent the 70 in Luke 10:1, and right before Pentecost there were only about 120 people with the Apostle Peter (Acts 1:15). While over 500 people witnessed the resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:6), they must have been mostly “doubters” (Mat. 18:17) and did not associate with Peter and the 120 before Pentecost. No doubt, many of these “doubters” became believers (brethren) and joined with Peter and the 120 after Pentecost (Acts. 2:41).

What the Believing Remnant needed to understand is that just as God sent the 70 Israelites into the land of Egypt where they would grow into a Great Nation (Ex. 1:5-10), so too, God would send His small Believing Remnant into world to grow into a Great Nation, through which He would establish a Great Kingdom, under which all the friendly nations of the world will nest (Parable of the Mustard Seed). Just as God's deliverance of Israel caused the collapse of the Egyptian Kingdom (Ex. 14-16), so too the Great Nation formed from the Believing Remnant during the Tribulation Period will be delivered by God at Christ's 2nd Coming, causing Satan's Kingdom on the earth to collapse (Parable of the Wheat and Tares)

Just as the ancient Israelites were warned about leaven (which typified the leaven of sin and false teaching of pagan Egypt–Ex. 13), so too the Believing Remnant needed to be warned about the hidden “leaven” (false teachings) of Satan and his Vain Religious System that would try to deceive them (Parable of the Hidden Leaven in the Wheat with Mat. 16:12). And just as the Israelites were God's hidden “treasure” in Egypt (Ex. 19:5), so too the Believing Remnant will be God's hidden “treasure” in the earth, preserved and protected by Him (Parable of the Hidden Treasure in the Earth).

What Jesus is revealing in the Parables is that in Israel's Prophetic Program, between the time of His 1st and 2nd Coming, there will be another Exodus, a far Greater Exodus than the one from their ancient history, a final Exodus, an Exodus that will result in God's deliverance of the Great Shrub of the Nation of Israel, making her the Great Tree of the long-prophesied Kingdom of God on earth, once-and-for-all, for all peoples. Unlike the first Exodus, this Exodus will fulfill and complete God's Program for establishing His Glory on the earth through Israel. All Israel will be saved, all of Israel's (and God's) enemies will be destroyed and all remaining friendly nations will nest in her boughs (Ps. 104), and then the whole world will be blessed with Israel and through her rise in accord with the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:2-3).

Matthew Highlights

Mar 07, 2021

Yesterday, in our Sunday Bible Fellowship, was the GRAND FINALE of our study of the Parables in Matthew 13.

We had some great questions after the message:

Question 1: What do I mean by saying the 2nd and 6th parables teach that this time between the 1st and 2nd Comings of Christ, will NOT be characterized by Revelation and Judgment? I am using the word “judgment” here in the sense of discernment. This is going to be a time when things are covered and hidden and NOT apparent and clear. This won't be resolved until the great final revelation/judgment at Christ's return when all things are uncovered and made known in accord with Mat. 10:26. Of course, the whole reason Israel and the world are going through this is because the whole world, including Israel, has rebelled against God and joined hands with Satan. In fact, Israel is specifically under the “judgment” of the 5th Course of Punishment. The Revelation/Judgment that the parables are speaking of, however, is the great final revelation/judgment that will uncover and reveal all things, completely destroying Satan's world system on earth once-and-for-all, and replacing it, once-and-for-all, with God's world system, the Kingdom, on earth through the believing remnant. At that time, the wheat will be separated from the tares, the good fish from the bad fish, ie., the righteous from the wicked.

Question 2: What does the “hiddenness” concept in the 4th and 5th parables entail? We know from prophecy that there will be special times, specific instances, of miraculous hiding of God's people, especially during the last half of the Tribulation Period. That is not what these Parables are speaking about. These Parables are referring to the “manner of time,” what will characterize this whole time. They refer to “hiddenness” in a general sense. This will be a time when God plants His people in the earth among the children of Satan. Israel's past Exodus is the type for this. The same way God generally hid His people in Egypt until they became a great people right under the noses of the Egyptians, so too, God is going to hide His people generally in the world during the Tribulation until they become a great people right under the noses of the Israel's Vain Religious System, the Gentiles and Satan. The general hiddenness of these parables refers to being hidden in plain sight. The special hiding the prophets refer to is being hidden from plain sight–removal from earth, being taken out into the wilderness, mountains etc.

Now we have the overall picture of the truths Jesus reveals to His disciples in these parables, what He calls the mysteries of the Kingdom, which God kept secret from the creation of the earth (Mat. 13:35). Jesus is revealing this to this believing remnant in specific because because they are the ones who will begin to minister during the time between His 1st and 2nd Comings. That was not true for any previous believing remnants from Israel's history. He speaks in parables because it allows Him to hide these truths from those who have rejected Him, the wicked generation of Mat. 12, while at the same time making them known to His Own generation, the disciples, especially Peter and the 12, through His instruction that leads to understanding (Mat. 13:11-13). The overall mystery aspect of this revelation in the parables is that this time is going to be the set-up for another Exodus, a greater Exodus from the one in Israel's past, and it will be a final Exodus that will result in the destruction of Satan's Kingdom on earth and its replacement with God's Kingdom on earth. At that time, God will have fulfilled all His promises He made in His Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel.

Here is the complete outline:

Matthew Highlights

Mar 14, 2021

Just as Matthew 12 flowed into the parables and their Exodus motifs of Mat. 13, so too Mat. 14-15 flows out of the parables and their Exodus motifs of Mat. 13, especially the first five parables. Let's look at the historical events that followed the giving of the Parables and see if they suggest an Exodus motif and are reminiscent of some of the parables we read about in Mat. 13.

  1. Mat. 13:53-58: Opposition from His own homeland.
    1. Exodus Motif: Jesus' family was in Nazareth because of Herod the Great's persecution that sent them into Egypt. When they returned from Egypt they went to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem because of the persecution of another Herod.
    2. Parables: Jesus teaches in the synagogue, which would include believers and unbelievers, people with all different levels of prepared ground–the Parable of the Sower.
  2. Mat. 14:1-12: Opposition from the Political leaders, the Vain Political System.
    1. Exodus Motif: We have another Herod, whose father was the Herod that sent Jesus' family into Egypt, and who now persecutes and puts to death John the Baptist, Christ's forerunner.
    2. Parables: The righteous and the unrighteous, good and wicked co-exist during this time–Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, the Good Fish and the Bad Fish. Also Mark describes Herod's negative impact on God's people as the Leaven of Herod–The Parable of the Hidden Leaven in the Wheat Seed.
  3. Mat. 14:15-21: Miraculous Feeding of the 5,000 (5,000 men, which means probably over 20,000 people in total).
    1. Exodus Motif: Manna from Heaven (Ex. 16).
    2. Parables: Jesus takes an insignificant amount of food and turns it into a Great amount of food–Parable of the Mustard Seed. Jesus supplies provisions for His people–Parable of the Hidden Treasure in the Earth.
  4. Mat. 14:22-33: Miraculous Control of the Sea and Waters
    1. Exodus Motif–Division of the Red Sea (Ex. 14).
    2. Parables: Indicates that the 12 will be carrying out their ministry in the midst of Satanic opposition–the Parables of the Wheat and the Tares and the Good Fish and the Bad Fish. But Jesus will preserve and protect them–Parable of the Hidden Treasure in the Earth.
  5. Mat. 15:1-9; 16:5-12: Opposition from the Religious leaders, the Vain Religious System.
    1. Exodus Motif–Ritual cleansing at the giving of the Law.
    2. Parables: The VRS will oppose the ministry of the believing remnant--Parables of the Wheat and the Tares, Bad Fish and Good Fish. Their teaching, which Jesus calls the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees (Mat. 16:7, 11-12; Mk. 8:15)–The Parable of the Hidden Leaven in the Wheat Seed.

Through the Parables, Jesus explained to the disciples that during the time between His 1st and 2nd Coming, God will be carrying out a another great Exodus, a Final Exodus, an Exodus that will accomplish what the first Exodus in their ancient history didn't accomplish. The past Exodus didn't work because the Israelites, in rebellion against God, decided to throw away His Jehovah Grace that brought them to Himself on eagles wings, and instead they declared that they would bring themselves to God. They entered the Law System and spent most of the next 1500 years under the curses of the Law. This second, greater Exodus that Jesus is preparing His disciples for in the future, however, will succeed because at Christ's 2nd Coming they will look on the one they pierced and ask Him to treat them graciously. They will finally give the right answer that they should have given way back at Sinai at the first Exodus. If they were going to be the people God intended them to be, God would have to carry them along on eagles wings and bring them to Himself. When they ask to be received graciously, He will deliver His people, the children of the Kingdom, from the “Egypt” of the world, and when He does that it simultaneously brings down the Kingdom of Satan, and He will replace it with His own Kingdom, the Kingdom of God and Heaven on Earth.

Matthew Highlights

The Syrophoenician Woman

Mar 21, 2021

Mat. 15:21-28 gives us what many consider to be one of the most unusual stories in the Gospel accounts, the story of the Syrophoenician Woman. This story has led even conservative commentators to wonder about Christ's “apparent” cold-heartedness and the disciple's insensitivity and rudeness. But are Christ and His disciples really cold-hearted and rude? Or is it just historic Christianity's commentators and teachers, who are ignorant of God's plan for the Nation of Israel in His Prophetic Program? To answer this, let's remember some basic background information.

  1. God gave Israel many covenants, two of which are the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants. The core promise God gave to Abraham in Gen. 12:3 and later codified in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:9-20) (after Abraham was justified before God by faith without works (Gen. 15:6)) was this: I will bless them that bless thee (Abraham, the Nation of Israel) and curse those that curse thee: AND IN THEE SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED (Gen. 12:3). In God's Prophetic Program, blessings would flow to the Gentiles from the Nation of Israel. To use a household illustration, the Gentiles would not take God's blessings by assuming a seat at the children of Israel's table. Rather, they would receive God's blessings by assuming a seat beneath Israel's table, like pet puppy dogs seated underneath the table of the children of a household.
  2. Years later, God gave David another covenant, the Davidic Covenant, by which He promised that He Himself would enflesh Himself into the human line of David (2 Sam. 7), and by doing that, He Himself would do what no other Israelite was ever able to do, and that is provide National Israel with a complete salvation. Through the Davidic Covenant God would make Himself Israel's Redeemer, Deliverer, Avenger, King and Blesser. In God's Prophetic Program, the Davidic Covenant was only a provision for the Jews and national Israel.
  3. These two Covenants join in this way: The Davidic Covenant provides for Israel's national salvation. Once the Nation of Israel is completely saved and restored, then God will use the saved Israel (made up of Jews) to be the conduit of His blessings to all the other nations of the world (made up of Gentiles). In other words, God's superabounding and overflowing blessings for Israel would overflow their table and cascade down to the friendly Gentiles residing under their table through the Abrahamic Covenant.
  4. This is the way God's Prophetic Program worked. And while most commentators and teachers of historic Christianity are ignorant of God's Prophetic way of Gentile blessing (THROUGH SAVED ISRAEL AND HER RISE, Jesus and His disciples most assuredly were not!

So, with this little bit of background information, let's look at the story of the Syrophoenician Woman once again and see that it is not a negative account that puts Jesus in a bad light. It is a beautiful account whereby the God of the universe leads a desperate Gentile woman into the place where she can receive blessing.

And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
(Mat. 15:22).

The land of Tyre and Sidon is in the outskirts of the land God promised to Abraham. While it was predominantly Gentile at this time, it was next door to the Jews of Galilee. Being so close to the Jews of Galilee, this woman demonstrates a familiarity with Jewish teachings in general terms if not in specific. She had heard, no doubt, of Jesus' renowned ministry of healing and the casting out of demons, which was exactly what her daughter needed. She remembered that the Jews had a hope that they would be saved by the coming of a Davidic King and Messiah in accord with the Davidic Covenant. So, she decided to approach Him on that basis, calling out: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou SON OF DAVID.

Let's pick up the story there:

But he (Jesus) answered her not a word.
(Mat. 15:23a)

Jesus was teaching the woman that in approaching on the basis of the Davidic Covenant He could not respond to her.

Then: His (Jesus') disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
(Mat. 15:23b)

While the disciples rightly understood that Jesus could not respond to the Gentile woman based on Israel's Davidic Covenant, they wrongly understood that the solution to this problem was to send her away from Jesus. Sending people away from Jesus has repeatedly been their automatic response in difficult situations (see another example of this at the Feeding of the 5,000 in Mat. 14:15-16). But what Jesus wanted to teach them is that the right answer to difficult situations is not sending people away from Him but bringing people to Him so that He could lead them into a place of blessing.

So, He says not a word, but He doesn't leave her helpless. He is going to guide here, step-by-step, to another covenant through which He could respond and bless her, the Abrahamic Covenant.

Step #1: Jesus explains that based on her approach through the Davidic Covenant, He was only sent unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Mat. 15:24). Her appeal to Him based on the Davidic Covenant would not work because the Davidic Covenant had to do with Nation of Israel made up of Jews, but she was outside the Nation of Israel and a Gentile. That approach was a dead end street.

But His words get her thinking, and as she tries to gain a little time to figure things out while she worships Him and says: Lord, help me (Mat. 15:25). So, Jesus gives her some more help.

Step #2: He answered and said: It is not meet (proper, fitting) to take the children's (Israel's) bread and cast it to the dogs (the Gentiles) (Mat. 15:26). Jesus now helps her understand by using a household illustration. While there were many harsh words Jesus could have used for “dogs,” here He chose the homely Greek word kunarion, which refers to little dogs, puppies, household pets. This is a universal illustration. We all readily understand that it would not proper or fitting for a father to take food from the plates of his hungry children and throw it out to his dogs. Rather, the dogs needed to sit underneath the table of the family's children and wait to receive any food that might fall there. Similarly, in God's Prophetic Program with Israel, it is not proper or fitting for the Father to take blessings from the plates of His hungry and lost children of Israel and throw them out to the Gentiles. Rather, the Gentiles needed to assume their position underneath Israel's table, and eagerly wait to receive any blessings that might fall there. In Israel's Prophetic Program, first Israel would receive God's blessings at the family table. Then out of the superabundance of God's blessings for Israel, His blessings would drop down to the Gentiles seated underneath that table.

And she gets it! and responds: Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table (Mat. 15:27). Now, she rightly assumes her place underneath Israel's table and eagerly awaits any blessings that might fall there. Jesus has successfully led her into the place of blessing. What He could not do based on the Davidic Covenant because she was a Gentile, He could do based on the Abrahamic Covenant, which provides the way of extending His blessings to the Gentiles.

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

Step #3: From that very hour, her daughter was made whole! While the woman learned the lesson that Jesus meant to teach her about her place in God's Prophetic Program of blessings, did the disciples learn the lesson He meant to teach them? Had they learned that the answer to difficult situations is not sending people away from Jesus but bringing people to Him so that He could lead them into a place of blessing? That remains to be seen. Stay tuned!

When understood within God's perfect Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel, this account of the Syrophoenician woman does not call into question Christ's kindness and mercy and love. IT DISPLAYS HIS KINDNESS AND MERCY AND LOVE IN GREAT BIG NEON LIGHTS FOR ALL TO SEE. This is, in fact, one of the most beautiful stories in all the Gospel accounts.


I would be remiss if I didn't bring out the fact that the way of Gentile blessing described here in God's Prophetic Program with National Israel is COMPLETELY OPPOSITE to the way of Gentile blessing today in God's Mystery Program with the Body of Christ. Jesus in His earthly ministry operated according God's Prophetic Program that provided blessings for the Gentiles THROUGH ISRAEL (and her covenants) AND HER RISE. Today, the Risen Christ has revealed to the Apostle Paul a new way of Gentile blessing that is APART FROM ISRAEL (and her covenants) AND THROUGH HER FALL!

Matthew Highlights

Mat. 16:16: One of the Most Misused Bible Verses

Mar 28, 2021

Mat. 16 is another turning point in Jesus' earthly ministry that kicks into high gear with Peter's confession in Mat. 16:16-23: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus follows this confession up with: And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it, after which Jesus begins to explain His death and resurrection, which immediately causes Satan to go into action: Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You! But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Historic Christianity, in their attempt to throw away Paul's distinct apostleship, has read the Church, the Body of Christ, into this passage even though it is nowhere in sight. This allows them to throw away God's Apostle for today, Paul, and replace him with the Apostle Peter, which has successfully thrown all of Christianity into convulsions of confusion. While we will do more with this in the coming weeks, let's get some background details clear.

  1. The word “church”: Historic Christianity has brainwashed into thinking that every reference the Bible makes to a “church” must refer specifically to the Church, the Body of Christ. But does this withstand the test of Scripture? The Greek word for “church” in our Bibles is “ekklesias,” which is a general word that just means an assembly or group of people. The only way to determine what specific assembly or group of people is being referred to we must rely on the context of the passage. Acts 19:32-41, for instance, refers to a “ekklesia,” a “church,” that has to do with a secular political assembly or group of people. And Stephen spoke of the Israelites in the wilderness as a “church,” an assembly or group that God guided through the wilderness some 1500 years before the earthly ministry of Christ (Acts 7:38). And Paul refers to these same Israelites under Moses as being a “church,” an assembly of Israelites being led by Moses (1 Cor. 10:2).
    If the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) had been written in Greek rather than Hebrew it would use the word “ecclesia” over 70 times (as is see in the Septuagint). The Holy Spirit demonstrates the validity of this by translating the Hebrew word “kahal” with the Greek word “ecclesia” in Heb. 2:12. There the Holy Spirit quotes the Old Testament verse that says: I will declare Your Name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You (Ps. 22:22), and translates it as: I will declare thy Name unto My brethren, in the midst of the “church” will I sing praise unto Thee (Heb. 2:12).
    The point is that Mat. 16:16 is not the first time the word “church” is used in the Bible. “Church” is just the common and general word for an assembly or group of people used of secular political groups, the Nation of Israel, religious groups, etc., that oftentimes have no connection to God's “church” or assembly of His people today: The Church, the Body of Christ. To determine the specific “church” or group of people a passage is referring to, we must go by the context.
  2. So, what “church” is Matthew talking about? When Peter confesses that Jesus is the CHIRST, he is referring to the Nation of Israel's long promised Messiah and King, the fulfiller of all the promises God gave to David and Israel in the Old Testament. And when Jesus follows that up with a discussion about the Rock, He is referring back to the beginning of the Nation of Israel's history, just before they entered the promised land, when Moses, after rehearsing the Law with them for the second time, sang a song to them: THE SONG OF THE ROCK (Deut. 32).
    So, the context of Mat. 16 demands that God is not beginning something new but that He is continuing, confirming, and fulfilling something old. When we add to this the fact that Paul explains that the Church, the Body of Christ, was part of the Mystery, which had been kept secret since the world began (Eph. 3, Col. 1, et al.), it is apparent and required that the “church” spoken about in Matthew cannot be referring to the Church, the Body of Christ, but to the Church, the Believing Remnant of Israel, the group of believers that Jesus had been calling out of the wicked generation in the first 16 chapters of Matthew.


  1. While not crucial to the argument, an interesting aside to the fact that Peter is not the Rock on which the “church” is built in Matthew, is that the names Peter and Rock are a play on words. According to Josephus (a Jewish historian during the days of Jesus) the word “petros” (Peter) referred to a moveable stone or rock, while the word “petra” (Rock) referred to a massive unmovable rock. Jesus would take Peter's (who himself is a small moveable stone) confession about Himself as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and lay it down as the massive foundation rock for the building of His Church, the believing remnant of Israel.
  2. This brought about another interesting contrast between Peter and Paul as we compared Mat. 16:16-18 with 1 Cor. 3:9-11. In Mat. 16, we find that through Peter God laid a foundation stone on which He would build His Church, the Believing Remnant, by which He would fulfil His Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel, which had been spoken about since the world began (Lk. 1:70; Acts 3:21). But years later, Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 3:10 that God had laid another foundation stone through him on which He would build His Church, the Body of Christ, by which He would fulfill His Mystery Program, which had been kept secret since the world began (1 Cor. 2:6-8; Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1-3). Through Peter, God laid the foundation of Jesus Christ in accord with the Preaching of Jesus Christ according to Israel's Prophetic Program. Through Paul years later God laid the foundation of Jesus Christ in accord with the Preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Body of Christ's Mystery (Rom. 16:25).

Matthew Highlights

Mat. 16:16: One of the Most Misused Bible Verses

Apr 11, 2021

This misuse of this passage (Mat. 16:16-18) hinges on the misuse of two key words:

  1. The first word is “church.” Historic Christianity has brainwashed us into thinking that every time we see the word “church” in our English Bibles it automatically refers to the “Church,” the Body of Christ, God's people for today. But this is a false assumption. “Church” (ekklesia) is a general word that refers to any number of called out groups of people. The only way to determine what “called out group of people” the Bible passage is referring to is to go by the context. When we remember that God explained in His Letter to the Ephesians that before He revealed it to Paul, the Church, the Body of Christ, had been previously unknown, unrevealed, and that He had kept it secret since the world began (Eph. 3:1-11, et al.), we realize that the “church” Jesus was referring to in Mat. 16 cannot be that Church (the Body of Christ). So, what “church” is Jesus referring to in Mat. 16:18? It is the “church” that He had been calling out since the days of John the Baptist: The Church, the believing remnant of the Nation of Israel.
    Matthew explains this later in Mat. 21:43 where he writes:

    Therefore, say I (Jesus) unto you (the Vain Religious System), The Kingdom of God shall be taken away from you (the apostate Nation of Israel) and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (the believing remnant of the Nation of Israel).

  2. The second word is “rock.” When a 1st Century Jew heard a reference to the “Rock” his thoughts would have gone back to Deut. 32 where God recorded what is called the Song of Moses but is really the Song of the Rock. God and Moses explain at the beginning of this Song exactly who the Rock is, and it is most certainly not Peter!

    Because I will publish the NAME OF THE LORD: Ascribe ye greatness unto our GOD. HE IS THE ROCK, his work is perfect:
    For all his ways are judgment:
    A GOD of truth and without iniquity,
    Just and right is He.
    (Deut 32: 3-4)

The Rock is the Name of Jehovah (LORD), absolute God Himself without iniquity/sin. Through the Apostle Paul, God identified the “Rock” of Israel that Moses was singing about as being Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). This demonstrates that the Rock is NOT Peter! It is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel, the Son of Man, the Son of God the Davidic King, through which the Living God will establish His Kingdom on the earth by His Prophetic Program, using His Church of called out Jews in the believing remnant, the Church, the true Nation of Israel, exactly as Peter confessed: Jesus is the Christ, The Son of the Living God (Mat. 16:18)!

A secondary item of interest is that many Bible teachers think there is a play on words going on here. The word for Peter (rock) in the Greek is “petros,” which means a moveable rock. But when Jesus refers to the “rock” on which God is going to build the Church of Israel's Prophetic Program (the called out believing remnant), he uses the Greek word “petra,” which means an immoveable rock. Peter is anything but an immoveable rock. In 3 short verses Peter will be carrying out the work of Satan (Mat. 16:23), and not long after he will deny the Lord 3 times (Mat. 26:69-75). Even later, Paul had to confront Peter to the face because he was to be blamed (Gal. 2:11). The point of all of this is not to disparage poor Peter. None of us would fair any better and probably a lot worse. The point is that God is NOT building His called out Church, the believing Nation of Israel, on fallible and moveable Peter or any other sinner. He is building it upon the Great God, the perfect One, the One of complete justice, truth and righteousness. In other words, The Lord Jesus Christ as described in Peter's confession: Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Question: Why in our English versions is the “rock” not capitalized (Mat. 16:6)? The most straight forward answer is that in this sentence, “rock” technically refers to Peter's confession about Christ, and would not therefore be capitalized (as a proper name would be).

Just as it was through Paul's Gospel that God laid the foundation rock of the Preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Mystery for the Body of Christ (Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 3:10), so too, through Peter's Gospel of the Kingdom/Peter's Confession God laid the foundation rock of the Preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of Prophecy for the Nation of Israel.

Matthew Highlights


Apr 18, 2021

We have spent some time here because it is a veritable compendium of the errors and lies of historic Christianity. Let's list a few of them:

  1. Lie of historic Christianity: Everywhere our English Bibles use the word “church” it always refers to the “Church, the Body of Christ.”
    The Truth of God's Word: The English word “church” is just a translation of the Greek word “ekklesia,” which is a general word that on its own just refers to a called out group of people. We determine what specific called out group is being referred to by the context. In Mat. 16:16, the “church” is not the “Church, the Body of Christ,” which Paul said years after Jesus' earthly ministry had been kept secret since the world began and was not made known by God until He revealed it to and through the Apostle Paul. Rather, Matthew is referring to the “Church, the Believing Remnant of Israel,” which Jesus has been calling out since the days of John the Baptist (Mat. 3:1-6).
  2. Lie of historic Christianity: The “rock” upon which this “church” will be built is Peter.
    The Truth of God's Word: The first thing that would come to mind by a 1st Century Jew at Jesus' reference to the “rock” (Mat. 16:18) is the Song of Moses, or what many call the Song of the Rock in Deut. 32, which goes all the way back to the earliest days of Israel's history. The “Rock” is the absolute God who led Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. But the Israelites forgot their “Rock” and went to the no “rock” of the Gentiles false gods. It is Jesus as characterized in Peter's confession: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Mat. 16:16) that is the “Rock” on which the “Church of the Believing Remnant” will be built, not Peter. To use the terminology of the Apostle Paul, while the Apostle Paul laid the foundation for the “Church, the Body of Christ” through the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Mystery (Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 3), the Apostle Peter laid the foundation of the “Church, the Believing Remnant of Israel” through the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of Prophecy (Acts 3). The former was something that had been kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3). The latter had been spoken about since the world began (Lk. 1:70; Acts 3:21).
  3. Lie of historic Christianity: There is only one saving Gospel in the Bible, going all the way back to Adam, and that is the Gospel of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Old Testament saints looked forward to it. The New Testament saints look back to it.
    The Truth of God's Word: Mat. 16:21-23 shows that even though Peter and the 12 had been preaching the “Gospel” for a couple of years, they knew nothing about the Death and Resurrection of Christ. They had been preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Good News that the Kingdom was at hand and the King and Messiah was present as Peter perfectly summarizes when he said: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mat. 16:16). So, there are at least two Gospels in God's Word (and, in fact, more than that).
  4. Lie of historic Christianity: Salvation unto eternal life is by faith plus works (Mat. 16:24-26).
    The Truth of God's Word: The reference here is not to spiritual or eternal life but to “soulish” life and physical death. In Israel's Prophetic Program, the members of the believing remnant might experience physical death for 2 reasons: 1. Because of sin, being unfaithful to Christ, which would negatively impact how they will participate in Israel's National Salvation in the Kingdom at Christ's 2nd Coming (James 1:14-27). 2. Or, because of righteousness, being faithful to Christ, which would positively impact how they participate in Israel's National Salvation in the Kingdom (1 Pet. 3:13-17).

    But if you want to know how Israelites become God's “friends” and are placed into the believing remnant in the first place, you have to go to the Apostle Paul, who explains it in Rom. 3-4. The Pauline Scriptures explain how God saves ungodly sinners on enemy status before Him, and that is always by Grace through Faith WITHOUT works, going all the way back to Adam. In Israel's Prophetic Program, when an Israelite believes the Gospel of the Kingdom, God credits his faith for righteousness WITHOUT works, justification unto eternal life before the tribunal of God. Then God takes that spiritually alive person and places him into the believing remnant of Israel where they can participate in another salvation, Israel's National Salvation, and physical life in the Kingdom by faith PLUS works.

Matthew Highlights

Preparations For Christ's Rejection
The Transfiguration

May 09, 2021

When studying the Transfiguration in Mat. 17, it is important to remember that it doesn't just drop out of the clear blue sky from nowhere. Rather, it flows out of Mat. 16 and flows into chapters 17 and really to final chapters of Matthew. The Transfiguration account climaxes with the command Hear ye Him (LISTEN TO HIM)--Jesus. This is important because Jesus just told them something in Mat. 16 that Peter and the 12 hadn't listened to: From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (Mat. 16:21). But the disciples hadn't listened. But they needed to listen because Jesus was explaining the way forward for them and their ministry. In choosing God and His Christ, they had already denied self. In following Him, they had already taken up their cross, their role in God's plan and purpose for Israel. They have already chosen the life only He can provide rather than the life of this world (Mat. 16:24-27). They had already participated in the work of God. And what is that work? That ye believe on Him whom He has sent (Jn. 6:28-29). As members of the believing remnant they were already God's own people, justified unto eternal life (in the Pauline sense) and eternally secure, and Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd promised not lose even one of His sheep (Jn. 10:27-29).

Unfortunately those who have understood at least a little Pauline Truth and have recognized his distinct teaching about the Body of Christ's future removal from earth via the Rapture event prior to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord or the Tribulation Period. Unfortunately, instead of using this information to advance sound Bible study through the Word rightly-divided, they used it to try to scare people into getting saved. It just became a tool of evangelism. I still remember being forced to sit through the movie Thief In The Night as a little kid and being horrified by it, and I was a believer! It still haunts me to this day and in no good way. Later, that was followed up with the Left Behind movies. The idea behind this teaching is that if they can scare the living daylights out of you, you will turn to Christ for salvation. Personally, I am very skeptical of such an approach to evangelism. If the Love of God at the Cross of Christ isn't enough to bring a sinner into salvation, I very much doubt that manipulating them with fear will be able to do it either.

But here is the real problem. What is ignored in such one-sided presentations of the Tribulation Period, whereby we take it out of the context of God's Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel and use it for something else, what we lose, is the main biblical truth that God has FAITHFULLY provided for His people, the believing remnant going through the Tribulation Period, with a complete and perfect provision that began back in Israel's ancient history and will be brought to ultimate fulfillment as they are preserved, protected and delivered through and out of the Tribulation and are ushered into their long promised earthly Kingdom at Christ's 2nd Coming. Jesus's words at the end of Mat. 16 are surely warnings to the apostate unbelieving generation (Mk. 8:38), but just as surely, they are words of comfort and encouragement to the believing remnant. The whole Triune God's is working on their behalf:

  1. God the Son goes before them and clears the trail they will follow (Mat. 16:21).
  2. God the Father, who hears their prayers, knows what they need before they ask, and He gives it to them (Mat. 6:7-11; 25-34).
  3. God the Holy Spirit will be their Comforter, empowering them and doing everything for them (Jn. 15:26-16:15; Mat. 10:18-20).

Therefore, going through the Tribulation, They shall find rest for their souls because His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Mat. 11:29b-30). As the Greater Exodus, God will bear them on eagles' wings, and bring them to Himself (Ex. 19:4). We see a small foretaste of how this will work in early Acts. There around Pentecost, you see thousands of people added to the believing remnant, yet they all immediately lived FAITHFULLY before God and others, continuing STEADFASTLY in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking bread and in prayers (Acts 2:41-42). They were all of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and GREAT GRACE was upon ALL! Neither was there any that lacked ... (Acts4:32-34). Such is God's all-sufficient provision for His people. Based on the account, only two people, Ananias and Sapphira, were unfaithful, and after repeated and persistent rebellion against God, they were put to physical death (not spiritual death) and will be rewarded accordingly in the Kingdom. The point is that God will empower the vast majority of the believing remnant to live faithfully for full enjoyment of life in the Kingdom. In other words, the exception proves the rule.

If you want to see God at work in the Tribulation Period on behalf of the believing remnant, read Ps. 23.

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm XXIII.

Matthew Highlights

May 23, 2021

In this amazing Transfiguration account, Jesus gives encouraging presentation of the glory that all those who follow Him will participate in in the Kingdom. This Transfiguration event occurred about a week after Jesus gave them the instructions that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem, suffer at the hands of His own people, die an ignominious death on the Cross, and be raised again on the third day. But Peter and the 12 didn't listen. Instead, they rebuked the Lord and told Him this will never be so. Jesus responded to Peter: Get thee behind me Satan (Mat. 16:21-23). They needed to listen to Jesus!

And that is the point of the Transfiguration account. It concludes with the words of God the Father from the cloud: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well, pleased: LISTEN TO HIM (Mat. 17:5)!! To encourage them to do this, Jesus gives them this transfiguration account.

  1. To encourage them, Jesus showed them the Kingdom Glory that they will participate in as followers of Him. Just as Jesus' face shined as the sun (Mat. 17:2), so too His followers will shine as the sun in the Kingdom (Mat. 13:43). Just as Jesus was clothed in a wonderful white (17:2), so too the righteous will be clothed in white in the Kingdom (Rev. 7:9).
  2. But this will require the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. His death is not going to be like Elijah's or Moses'. Elijah had a very unique death because it didn't die at all. He was taken up in a whirlwind (a cloud!). And Moses lived to the very old age of 120 in perfect health, strength and sight at which time the Lord took him in death and buried him. While both Elijah and Moses did suffer during their ministries at the hands of their own people, neither of them had to die an ignominious death of dishonor. But Jesus would have to die such a death (Mat. 17:3).
  3. Peter, who had been sleeping (Lk. 9:32), wakes up and misunderstands what the appearance of Elijah and Moses means. He thought that maybe they had come to communicate new divine truth to Jesus that would do away with what Jesus had said earlier about the necessity that He suffer a dishonorable death on the Cross and then be raised from the dead. Maybe Jesus could just go up to God without death at all like Elijah. Or maybe He could die like Moses at a ripe old age in honor. Peter still isn't listening. So, he decides to prolong the divine communication by building them tabernacles from which they could speak (Mat. 17:3-4).
  4. Before Peter can even finish his offer, God the Father descends in the cloud, separates Moses and Elijah from Jesus and commands: THIS IS MY BELOVED SON! HEAR YE HIM (Mat. 17:5)!!!!
  5. And then for the first time Jesus speaks to Peter, James and John saying: ARISE AND BE NOT AFRAID (Mat. 17:7)

And this sets up the suspense for the rest of the Gospel of Matthew: Will Peter and the 12 listen to Him? Or won't they?

Matthew Highlights


Jul 25, 2021

First, let's review the 8 Parables from Matthew 13. Remember the Parables give information about the time gap between the 1st and 2nd Comings of Christ. They show what “manner of time,” what this time will be characterized by. This is important for the 12 and the whole believing remnant to understand because they will carry out their ministry during this time.

The other thing to remember is that the 8 Parables are given in pairs. The 1st (the Sower) and 8th (the Scribe) Parables go together and show the disciples that they need to rely solely on Jesus for their instruction and understanding so that they can be fruitful sowers of the Word of the Kingdom, proclaiming it to the world, and successful scribes of the Word of the Kingdom, recording it in the Scriptures, tying together the old and the new, for that future generation in the Tribulation Period (Mat. 13:3-8, 18-23 with 13:52).

The 2nd (the Wheat and the Tares) and the 7th (the Drag-net) Parables likewise go together and show the disciples that they need to appreciate that during this time the wicked and the just, the children of God and His Kingdom and the children of the Satan and his kingdom, are going to co-exist, co-mingle. The two will not be separated until the very end when Christ returns to reveal and judge all things (Mat. 10:25-26).

The 3rd (The Grain of Mustard Seed and the Great Tree– the Kingdom) and the 6th (The Great Pearl) Parables show the disciples that they need to appreciate that during this time they must not operate by external appearances but by faith. By external appearances they will be the least and most insignificant of all things. By the world's standard a crucified King and His motely group of followers are not worthy of notice and should be gotten rid of. But in God's sight, by faith, they are the greatest and most important things to Him, and He will grow the believing remnant and their King into the greatest of all Kingdoms, the great Pearl of His eye.

The 4th (The Hidden Leaven) and the 5th (The Hidden Treasure) Parables show the disciples that during this time they needed to appreciate that while Satan would be hiding his false teaching amongst them, especially in the Vain Religious and Political Systems (VRS) they were not to fear because God would be hiding them, His Treasure, in the world, protecting and preserving them. This is similar to what He did in the Exodus account when He hid Jacob's family (70 people) in Egypt (Ex. 1:5-10) where it grew to become a great nation, and then He delivered it, which simultaneously caused the downfall of Egypt's Kingdom as well. Likewise, He will hide the believing remnant in the world during the Tribulation Period where they will grow into the greatest of all peoples, and He will deliver them, simultaneously causing the downfall of Satan's Kingdom.

One final point to remember: The first four Parables–Sower, Wheat and Tares, Mustard Seed and Leaven--began occurring in the days of Jesus's earthly ministry itself (as we will see in the following examples). They will continue into the Tribulation Period, although with increasing intensity. The final four Parables–Treasure, Pearl, Drag-net and Scribe--will begin in earnest during the Tribulation Period.

Ok, with this in mind let's look at how Jesus continues to elucidate, interpret and explain these Parables from Mat. 13 in the chapters that follow.

This passage is too long to insert in full here, but using your Bibles and a few key verses, let's see if we can find references to our Parables.

Mat. 15:1-17

Verse/s Topic Parable
15:1 Arrival of Scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem to confront Jesus. Parable of the Wheat and Tares
15:1-9 With their false teachings, they try to trap Jesus and His disciples. Jesus identifies them as a hypocritical, Vain Religious System. Parable of the Leaven
Understand what Jesus says ...
The disciples don't understand ...
Parable of the Sower
15:12 Disciples worried about offending the VRS. They were still listening to the VRS rather than to Jesus. Parable of the Leaven
Parable of the Sower
15:13-14 The VRS will be uprooted and cast away but NOT now. Jesus says let them alone. Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Let's look at one more example:

Mat. 17:19-23:

Verse/s Topic Parable
17:19-20 Disciples couldn't cast out a devil because of unbelief–they weren't receiving Jesus's teaching. Parable of the Sower
17:20 If their faith was as a grain of mustard seed they could move mountains. Parable of the Mustard Seed
17:22 Judas, a child of Satan, co-mingles with Christ's disciples in the very 12 itself. Parable of the Wheat and Tares
17:23 The religious and political system will put Jesus to death. Parable of the Wheat and Tares

We could go on all day like this. Try your own hand at this in other passages from Mat. 14-19.

Matthew Highlights

The Parable of the Laborers

Aug 15, 2021

In these two Parables, Jesus reveals God faithfully working to bring about Israel's National Salvation, ushering the Believing Remnant into the long-prophesied earthly Kingdom and restoring the nation through them.

To facilitate the re-creation of the Nation of Israel through the Believing Remnant, God graciously and compassionately and mercifully forgives, drains away, all of Israel's national debts/sin against Him, relieving the people of that insurmountable weight that held them down so that they could forgive one another's debts and get on with the business of re-building the nation. We read about this in the Parable of Unlimited Forgiveness (Mat. 18). But God doesn't leave the nation emptied out. He graciously and compassionately and mercifully fills Israel up again with His unlimited national blessings (Covenantal blessings–Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants, Kingdom blessings) so that the members of the Believing Remnant would have all the resources they need for God to re-build the nation through them. We read about this in the Parable of the Laborers (Mat. 20). God gave the Believing Remnant a foretaste of these blessings in early Acts, will give a much larger foretaste of them in the future Tribulation Period, and they will reach their complete fulfillment in the Kingdom.

Matthew Highlights

Three Prophetic Sign Acts and Three Parables

Sep 05, 2021

Last Sunday we began our journey into the final week of the Lord Jesus's earthly ministry, and it begins with three Prophetic Sign Acts that are followed with three Parables of Transfer. Jesus enters Jerusalem partially fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah except for one large omission. There was no REJOICING (Zech. 9:9–Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ... Behold thy King ... lowly riding upon a donkey). Instead, it was an entry of mourning. Israel's leaders in Jerusalem continued to reject Him and the people remain ignorant of who He is (Mat. 21:1-14). Their sayings of Hosanna to the Son of David and a prophet from Galilee will soon become cries of Crucify Him, Crucify Him (Lk. 23:21). Because of unbelief, the nation was running on “life support,” and Jesus was entering the city to remove that life support. Because of the overall nation's rebellion against God and rejection of His King and Messiah, God could no longer use the nation of that day. So, He would need to create a new nation through the Believing Remnant. In order to do this, Jesus does two additional sign acts:

  1. Jesus (symbolically) shuts down the Temple, the heart of Israel. He does this by shutting down its economic activity for both sellers and buyers (Mat. 21:12-13) and by shutting down all physical activity within it (Mk. 11:16). The Temple was the heart of Jerusalem, so when Jesus stops it, He also stops the life line to Jerusalem and the whole nation.
  2. Jesus (symbolically) enacts this by the cursing of the fruitless fig tree, whose immediate withering away and death symbolized the withering away and death of the whole nation (Mat. 21:18-20).

Jesus follows these 3 Sign Acts with three parables, TRANSFER Parables, which explain, now that the old nation has been pronounced dead, how God is going to transfer all His blessings to His Own People, His Own Generation, the Believing Remnant of Israel, and would make them into His Own fruitful nation of Israel that He could use, therefore, giving them the Kingdom:

  1. The Parable of the Two Sons (Mat. 21:28-32)–Those who claim to be working for God but didn't believe the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by John and Jesus thereby rejecting His Son, the Messiah and King (the Religious Leaders), they would not enter the Kingdom. But those who never claimed to be working for God yet believed the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and received God's Son, as their Messiah and King, they would enter the Kingdom. This refers especially to the response of various people up to this point in Christ's earthly ministry.
  2. The Parable of the Householder and the Caretakers of His Vineyard (Mat. 21:46)–The ones who persecute and kill the prophets and the Son will be destroyed as wicked men, and the Kingdom will be taken away from them and given to God's nation, as encapsulated in the Believing Remnant of Israel, whom God will because of faith turn into His Own special fruit-bearing nation, and the source of His blessings to all the nations of the earth. This refers especially to the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.
  3. The Parable of the Marriage Feast (Mat. 22:1-14)–The primary people (national Israel) that God calls to the wedding feast refuse to come. So, God will use His servants (the Believing Remnant) to extend the call to others–Jews in the diaspora and Gentiles. This refers especially to the Tribulation Period, leading up to the 2nd Coming of Christ, the Marriage Banquet of the Lamb and entrance into the Kingdom.

In this way, God and Matthew explains what happened to the unfruitful Israel of that day while giving us a glimpse of the fruitful Israel that He will plant in the land when Christ returns, and He establishes His Righteous Kingdom on earth, once-and-for-all, reigning in the Temple in Jerusalem in Greater Israel!

Matthew Highlights

Prophetic Sign Enactment #1:
The UN-triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Sep 19, 2021

As the final week of Jesus' earthly ministry begins, things look fairly hopeful. There are multitudes following Jesus from Galilee. These multitudes had been exposed to His teaching for a very long time, and by the time they get to the gates of Jerusalem, they have formed a great multitude, who spread their garments in Jesus' way while others cut down branches from the trees and strawed them in the way (Mat. 21:8-9). In addition, they were reciting verses from Ps. 118. But is this just an illusion? Upon closer examination things aren't quite what they seem at first

The first thing Jesus does is send two of His disciples to retrieve the colt and the donkey that He would ride on as He entered the city. Matthew explained that this fulfills that which was spoken by the prophet Zechariah. But when we go to Zech. 9:9, it becomes evident that this is only going to be a partial fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy bit a complete one. This is what Zechariah wrote:

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee:
He is just, and having salvation;
Lowly, and riding upon an ass,
And upon a colt the foal of an ass.

10 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.

Zechariah's full prophecy begins with a command for the Nation of Israel, led by the religious leaders in Jerusalem, to REJOICE GREATELY AND SHOUT WITH JOY! Your King is coming to you, bringing justice and salvation, that is Israel's NATIONAL SALVATION, when God will not just deliver Israel from all enemies but destroy all His and her enemies as well so that they can live forevermore in the Kingdom where Peace will reign not only in Israel but in the whole world from sea even to sea, from the river even to the ends of the earth.When Matthew quotes verse 9, however, he deleted Zechariah's words of rejoicing and shouting for joy and replaced them with a command to tell, to say, to make a solemn announcement to Jerusalem: Behold your King comes unto you (Mat. 21:5a)! Next, he skips over Zechariah's words about the King bringing in justice and salvation for Israel entirely and goes directly to Him being meek, and sitting upon a donkey and the colt of a donkey (Mat. 21:5b). Finally, while Zechariah goes on in v. 10 to prophesy about Peace that will be established in Israel's long prophesied Kingdom on Earth, Matthew leaves it completely out.

No, things aren't as hopeful as they seemed at first. Because of Israel's rejection of Jesus Christ in unbelief, beginning with Jerusalem and its leaders, this entry at His 1st Coming would only partially fulfil Zechariah's prophecy. For Israel, this will not be the day when the nation REJOICES GREATLY AND SHOUT FOR JOY at the arrival of their King, nor will this be the time when she receives the JUSTICE, SALVATION AND PEACE she has longed for. All of that will have to wait until Christ's 2nd Coming when Zechariah's prophecy will be fulfilled completely.

Then we have the multitudes singing Psalm 118, specifically vv. 25-26:

25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord:
O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: [1]

Again, we are a little hopeful at first. This is a good psalm for the multitudes to sing at this time. Perhaps there were some who were at least beginning to understand who Jesus is. But once again, as we look at the details, it becomes evident that this is not the case. Psalm 118:25-27 focuses on the LORD: SAVE NOW, I BEESEECH THEE, O LORD, O LORD send now prosperity, and the “he” of v. 26 refers back to the LORD. This Psalm refers to a time when the LORD, Jehovah God of Israel, Himself would come as a man in the NAME–IN THE POWER AND THE GLORY AND ALL THAT IS TRUE OF THE LORD. When we go back to Mat. 21:9, however, while the multitudes start out good, singing: Hosanna, which means Save Now (Ps. 118:25a), they completely edit out the rest of the verse, deleting the cries: O LORD, O LORD. This shows that while the multitudes were willing to address Jesus as the Son of David, they were not willing to address Him as LORD, and in doing this they lost the ability to understand who Jesus really is. They had deleted the Psalm's main referent: O LORD, O LORD and replaced it with the title Son of David, which is not mentioned in the Psalm, at least not directly. At best, this leaves the multitudes understanding of Jesus ambiguous. It is possible that they mean THE Son of David who is also uniquely THE Son of God. But based on their future words and activities (Crucify Him! Crucify Him! (Lk. 23:21) we see this is not the case. Instead, it means that they have rejected His identity as the One who comes in all the Glory of the LORD. They reject that Jesus is God Himself enfleshed in the human line of David. He is Absolute God and Absolute Man, the one and only God-Man. The multitudes rejected this and only thought of Him as a particular Son of David who merely came in the authority of the Lord but many Davidic kings did that! That is not who Jesus is. What the crowds were still not understanding in faith is that this SON OF DAVID IS the SON OF GOD as well. Jesus is the Jehovah God of Israel, who enfleshed Himself in line of David so that He could do what no other son of David or any other Israelite could do. He would be the One to fulfill all God's promises to Israel, making her into the nation He designed her to be.

It is important to note that this isn't the first time the multitudes had refused to address Jesus as Lord. Just before they entered Jerusalem, back in Jericho, they heard two blind men in Jericho cry out loudly and boldly to Jesus: O Lord, thou Son of David twice (Mat. 20:30-31). While this cry stopped Jesus DEAD IN HIS TRACKS, what did the multitudes do? They rebuked the blind men for addressing Jesus in this way. The multitudes still think of Jesus as just a son of David, who comes in the authority of the Lord. Again, many Davidic kings did that. But what the multitudes refused to acknowledge is that while, yes, Jesus is THE SON OF DAVID, He is also THE UNIQUE SON OF GOD–THE LORD, Israel's Jehovah God! In refusing to go to this next step in faith, they rejected the witness of God, the witness of the Psalmist, the witness of the Scriptures, and they will soon completely reject the witness of Jesus in total. Instead of hearing them cry out: O LORD, O LORD in faith, we will soon instead hear them crying out: Crucify Him! Crucify Him (Lk. 23:21) in unbelief!!

No, this was not a triumphal entry. Israel's leaders headquartered in Jerusalem did not come out to receive Jesus their King and Messiah. And after about 3 years of public ministry the citizens of Jerusalem were still asking in unbelief: Who is this (Mat. 21:10)? And the best answer the multitudes from Galilee following Jesus could give to their questioning brethren is that Jesus is the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee, thereby bringing Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem at His 1st Coming to a conclusion, not with shouts of joy but with whimper of unbelief and ignorance. It is not the Triumphal, resulting in Great Rejoicing and shouts of joy in faith, justice, salvation and peace for national Israel. All of that will have to wait until His 2nd Coming when He will accomplish all of these things with and through His Own Believing Remnant of Israel. Rather, this entrance into Jerusalem in Mat. 21 is an UN-triumphal entry that ends in the ignorance of unbelief.

Matthew Highlights


Sep 26, 2021

We have seen that the final week of Jesus' earthly ministry before He goes to the Cross does not end with Zechariah's Great Rejoicing and Shouts of Joy in Faith (Zech. 9:9) but with the whimper of the ignorance of unbelief (Mat. 21:10-11, 15). The whole account, from the time Jesus crosses the Jordan, goes through Jericho and enters Jerusalem and the Temple, portrays a steady diminishing of responses to who He is. Let's watch the devolution as the account goes from LOTS OF PRAISE to SOME PRAISE to NO PRAISE:

In Mat. 20:30-32, two blind men address Jesus as O LORD, THOU SON OF DAVID; O LORD, THOU SON OF DAVID. This address results to two very different responses:

  1. Their address resulted in Jesus stopping dead in His tracks, and He heals them.
  2. But the same words caused the multitudes to rebuke the blind men for addressing Jesus in this way. We will see shortly that the multitudes may have been willing to address Jesus as the Son of David, but they were unwilling to address Him as O LORD, O LORD.

In Mat. 21:9, the multitudes from Galilee sing a Psalm 118:25-26 to Jesus but they change its words. The Psalm addresses the O LORD, O LORD as the one who comes in the Name of the LORD, in all His Glory and Honor because the one who comes is the LORD! But the multitudes delete the words O LORD, O LORD and replace them with the words Son of David who comes in the Name of the Lord, which could mean nothing more than that Jesus comes in the authority if the Lord. The multitudes may have been willing to address Jesus as Son of David, but they refused to address Him as O LORD, O LORD.

While identifying Jesus as the King or the Son of David or the Prophet is not wrong, it is praise; it is not sufficient for understanding from faith who Jesus really is. Jesus isn't just another in a long line of Israel's Kings or sons of David or prophets. Rather He is the One and Only King, one and only Son of David, and one and only Prophet, who will do what no other king, son of David or prophet could do. He will save the Nation of Israel from her sinful predicament because He is not just the Son of David but because He is the unique Son of David who is also THE SON OF GOD! The multitudes rejected this in ignorance of unbelief and will soon instead be crying out: Crucify Him, Crucify Him (Lk. 23:21)!

In Mat. 21:15-16, we finally find the chief priests and scribes, the Vain Religious System, the leaders of Israel, who have been hiding in their den in the Temple. They come out of their holes to rebuke the children of the multitudes, for praising Jesus even as the Son of David. They not only rejected Jesus as O LORD, O LORD, but they also rejected Him as the Son of David. They not only wanted to do away with His deity, they wanted to do away with His humanity as well, and they would soon find a way to do just that (they think) on the Cross.

So, let's summarize the devolution of the responses to Who Is Jesus?


SOME PRAISE: THEN THE MULTITUDES REJECT JESUS AS O LORD, O LORD, and receive Him only as THE SON OF DAVID AND THE PROPHET OF NAZARETH–they partially know Jesus but it falls short of saving faith.

NO PRAISE: THEN THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS REJECT JESUS NOT ONLY AS O LORD, O LORD BUT AS THE SON OF DAVID AS WELL! They are the unbelieving leaders of the mostly apostate nation.

No, this entry at Jesus' 1st Coming will not be one of Triumphal shouts of joy in faith. That will have to wait until His 2nd Coming. This entrance will end in an UN-triumphal whimper in the ignorance of unbelief. The people of Jerusalem and Judea are shaken to the core. The religious leaders of Israel begin plotting Jesus' death on the Cross. And the only thing the Galilean multitudes will soon be shouting is: Crucify Him, Crucify Him (Lk. 23:21).

But God remains faithful to Israel anyway! GOD WILL RAISE HIM FROM THE DEAD!! And this should give us comfort, joy, encouragement and hope (Rom. 15:4-5).

Matthew Highlights


Oct 03, 2021

In yesterday's Bible Study Fellowship, we looked at the 2nd Prophetic Sign Enactment of Jesus in the final week of His earthly ministry. The 1st Prophetic Sign Enactment was the UN-Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem that ended in the whimper of the ignorance of unbelief and weeping (Lk. 19:41; Mat. 21:1-11). Then Jesus went into the Temple, the heart of the Nation of Israel, and shut it down.

Mat. 21:12-22 is traditionally described as the “cleansing” of the Temple. But is this the case? Or is it really the “shutting down” of them Temple, at least symbolically in God's eyes? When we put together the accounts in Matthew and Mark we get the full picture of what Jesus does:

  1. He cast out not only all the sellers but the buyers as well. He cast out the pilgrims, including the poor who would have bought doves, and the sellers of whom, no doubt, many were corrupt. This indicates that He was not just dealing with a few bad apples selling animals in the Temple, overcharging for their services. Rather, the whole Temple System was corrupt because it had been usurped by the Vain Religious System (VRS), who stole it away from God and was using it for their own purposes (Mat. 21:12). In doing this, Jesus shut down the flow of animals into the sacrificial system, which, in effect, shut down the Temple.
  2. In addition, He overturned the tables of the moneychangers so that the Jews could not pay their Temple tax, the financial lifeline of the VRS (Mat. 21:12). In doing this, He shut down the flow of finances to the VRS, shutting down its economic power.
  3. In addition, we learn from Mark's Gospel that Jesus also shut down all physical activity in the Temple (Mk. 11:16).

Putting all these things together, Jesus wasn't just “cleansing” the Temple, He was “shutting it down.” He shut down the inflow of sacrificial animals; He shut down the financial life-line of the VRS; and He shut down all physical activity in the Temple. From this point on, the only sacrifice God would see and accept would be the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross, which would happen in just a few days. In shutting down the Temple under the VRS, He was re-claiming it for Himself so that He could give it to His Own Believing Remnant, His Own Nation of Israel. And that is exactly what we get next in the Three Transfer Parables presented to us in Mat. 21:28-22:14.

Matthew Highlights


Oct 31, 2021

1. Outer Darkness?

2. Purgatory?

3. Resurrection?

Yesterday, we began the final chapters on the Vain Religious System of Israel, Mat. 22-23. In Mat. 22 Jesus silences it, and in Mat. 23 Jesus brings woes of condemnation and judgment down upon them. I call it Jesus' symphonic goodbye and good riddance to the VRS that reared its wicked head going all the way back to Mat. 2.

We had a couple great questions:

QUESTION #1: What is Matthew referring to when he talks about “outer darkness; where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” as in such passages as Mat. 8:12 and 22:13?

  1. Except for one instance in Luke, Matthew is the only Gospel writer to use this term. So, what does it mean?

    One thing to notice about how Matthew uses this phrase is that he only uses it when talking about members of the Believing Remnant, who, on the one hand, are true believers justified before God by faith, and on the other hand are in persistent resistance to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira exemplify this situation in Acts 5:1-11.

    The next thing we need to notice is what Matthew means by the term “darkness.” He gives his definition of “darkness” in Mat. 4:12-16: The land of Zabulon and Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people which sat in DARKNESS (because they were Israelites who lived among the Gentiles) saw a great light (in the Land of Israel); and to them who sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is sprung up. “Darkness” in Matthew refers to Israelites living under Gentile control, especially out in the Gentile nations. Being scattered out among the Gentiles was one of the punishments under the Curses of the Law (Lev. 26) prescribed by God for Israel's sinfulness.

    With these two observations, we can put together what Matthew means when he says some members of believing Israel will be cast into “outer darkness.” When a believing Israelite persists in resisting the Spirit's work in doing the Law in and through them, Peter and the 12's “binding and loosing” ministry will include “loosing” them from Israel's national blessings in the land and sending them out to live among the Gentiles. A member of the Believing Remnant can respond to God in two ways. They can operate according to the Spirit under the power of God, which would bring them into Israel's national Blessings of the Law. Or, rejecting that, they can operate according to the power of their own flesh, which would bring them into the Israel's national Curses of the Law, one of which was being scattered out into the darkness of the Gentile nations. They would be removed from the Nation of Israel where they could have enjoyed living in the direct presence of the Lord. This will cause them much regret and anguish or in Matthew's words, “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    Their rebellion against God is a fleshly response to external negative circumstances that will become especially intense during the Tribulation Period when members of the Believing Remnant will experience extreme trials and persecutions, which will tempt them away from God's work of re-building the nation of Israel and toward Satan's world system that works to destroy it. Unfortunately, some will fall prey to these temptations and go astray. Instead of looking to God for their daily provisions, they will look to the world for them. Instead of relying on God during times of persecution, they will compromise with the Vain Religious System to escape persecution.

    Those who persist in resisting the work of the Holy Spirit, thereby hindering rather than helping in His rebuilding of the Nation of Israel through the Believing Remnant, may be put to death (physical death, NOT spiritual death) and not be allowed to enter the Kingdom, as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira. Or, they may be allowed into the Kingdom but not allowed to participate in some of Israel's national blessings, such as the Wedding Banquet of the Son in Jerusalem, living in the presence of the Lord in the Land of Israel, etc. Instead, they will be sent to live out among the Gentiles, far away from the Nation of Israel, what Matthew calls the “outer darkness.” This is similar to what happens today when someone breaks the Law and they are exiled from the community or sent off to jail.
  2. Can a member of the Believing Remnant who, because of unfaithfulness is removed from participating directly in Israel's national riches by being sent out among the Gentiles, repent, be placed in “good status” and return to participating Israel's national riches? The answer is yes. Matthew and Mark both explain how a believing member of Israel accesses its national blessings: By Faith, Prayer and Forgiveness (Mat. 2121-22 with Mk. 11:22-26). This person can appeal to Peter and the 12's ministry of national repentance and forgiveness and be brought back into its good graces.
  3. One point that confuses all of this is the common religious misconception that the Kingdom is just another word for Heaven. This is not the case. The Kingdom is Christ's literal rule on earth, sitting on His literal throne of David, dispensing God's justice and righteousness and knowledge to the whole earth with the Nation of Israel and through her rise. You don't get into the Kingdom by dying. You get into it by staying alive (Mat. 24:13). The Kingdom will be the earth as we know it today with all its nations except that it will be fully rejuvenated and under Christ's rule. The Nation Israel will be the head of the nations rather than the tail, and the conduit of God's blessings to all the other nations on earth. Everything will be running according to God and His Glory (Deut. 28:13).
  4. When Matthew refers to people being thrown into what we might call “Hell” or everlasting punishment, he never uses the phrase “outer darkness.” Instead, he uses words having to do with fire, unquenchable fire, furnace of fire, everlasting fire, hell fire (Mat. 3:10-12; 5:22; 13:40; 25:41, et al.) and it always has to do with unbelievers, never believers. Unbelievers will be “cast into a furnace of fire, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” The “fire” here is the “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Mat. 15:41).”This ALWAYS refers to unbelievers, those who have rebelled against God and rejected His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a permanent, once-for-all and everlasting casting into the Lake of Fire.

QUESTION #2: Is Matthew's casting into “outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth” the basis for the religious teaching on Purgatory? Absolutely not!!

What Matthew is talking about has nothing whatsoever to do with the error taught by man-made religious systems. Purgatory in these false teachings is an “after life experience” (i.e., you enter it by physically dying). It is often associated with fire (which in Matthew only referred to unbelievers). And it involves sinners atoning for their own sins. All of this is nonsense, religious mumbo-jumbo, and has no basis from God's Word and must be rejected out of hand.

  1. First, as mentioned earlier, a person does not enter the Kingdom by dying but by staying alive.
  2. Second, when Matthew refers to judgment by fire it is always permanent and involves unbelievers not something temporary involving believers.
  3. And finally, the greatest heresy of all, is that this false teaching denies the all-sufficiency of Christ's atoning work on the Cross for sinners. It teaches that sinners must, in fact, save themselves.

QUESTION #3: How does the resurrection relate to entrance into the Kingdom, especially regarding Old Testament saints? Here is a general outline:

  1. Believers who have physically died in the Dispensation of Grace, in God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, will be resurrected at the rapture, meet the Lord in the air and be taken into the Heavenlies to assume their positions when Satan and his cohorts are cast out of Heaven. This happens at least 7 yrs. before Christ's return to earth to establish Israel's earthly Kingdom.
  2. Those of the Believing Remnant of Israel, who are still physically alive at the 2nd Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation Period, will be ushered physically alive into the Kingdom. Their resurrection will be future at the end of the 1,000 yrs.
  3. Those believers in God's Prophetic Program for Israel, including Old Testament saints, who died before Christ's 2nd Coming, will be resurrected at Christ's 2nd Coming and be ushered into the New Jerusalem, which will hover over the earth but in association with the earthly Kingdom.
  4. There will be a final resurrection of unbelievers at the end of the 1,000 yr. earthly Kingdom unto everlasting fire.

Matthew Highlights

What Is A “Generation” in Matthew?

Nov 07, 2021

This is an important question because would-be prophecy teachers have used their idea of generation to proclaim all kinds of erroneous predictions of the future. How many times in their confusion over God's Prophecy and Mystery Programs have we heard things like: With the creation of Israel in 1947-48 the prophecies of Matthew are being fulfilled. The Fig Tree is budding and this “generation” will experience Christ's return. Some thought a “generation” was 30 years, therefore, Christ would return in the late 70's. But the late 70's came and went with no return of Christ. So then, they said, well, a “generation” must be 40 or 50 yrs. But once again the late 80's and 90's came and went and still no return of Christ. Oooops. They would have to re-group and come up with other unbiblical theories they could use to pretend they were able to predict the future to get people to send them money so they could stay in business. This kind of prophecy teaching was a great detriment to God and His work and made dispensational theology a laughingstock for many people.

But there is a second problem with this mis-understanding of Matthew's meaning of “generation,” especially in Mat. 23:36 and 24:34. Understanding the word “generation” in the sense of a 30-50 year period, has caused most of historic Christianity to assume that the prophesies Jesus made had to have been fulfilled in the 1st Century AD. Therefore, it must be that these prophesies were fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. To make this fit, they had to spiritualize away Jesus' actual words in Mat. 24, where He described what would happen as universe quaking–the Sun and Moon darkened, Stars falling, Heavens shaking (Mat. 24:29), reducing them to a cheap metaphor for the much lesser rumble, ever so wimpy, destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. So, this won't do either.

So, let's take a look at the word “generation” and see how Matthew uses it in his Gospel. Before we begin it is important to remember that any word, whether in Greek or English, gains its exact meaning based the context in which it is written. In the case of the word “generation,” it can refer to those who live at the same time over a 30-50 year period (Sense #1). But it can also refer to the descendants or posterity of someone or something not all living at the same time, to a race of people possessing similar characteristics, to a family history that spans over long periods of time (Sense #2).

One other thing to remember is the Bible's fundamental idea of lineage or generation that was introduced in the first pages of the Scriptures in Gen. 3:15. At the start of fallen humanity's history, we find two lineages or generations announced. One will be generated from the Seed of the Woman (ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ) and the other from the seed of the Serpent (Satan). The latter is the unrighteous seed or line of children of Satan, beginning with Cain. The former is the righteous seed or line of children of God, beginning with Abel. Both of these “generations” will continue throughout human history, Satan's unrighteous line always persecuting God's righteous line, but we are assured that while the unrighteous seed of the serpent will bruise the righteous seed of the woman, the seed of the woman will ultimately crush and destroy the seed of the serpent.

With all of this in mind, let's see how Matthew uses the term “generation:”

Sense #1: Meaning a 30-50 year period, those who live at the same time. Jesus and those who lived at His time.

Mat. 1:17: The 14 “generations” going from Abraham to David, David to Babylonian Captivity and Babylonian Captivity to Christ. This refers to a number of individual generations each made up of groups of people existing at that same time.

Mat. 11:16: Whereunto shall I liken this “generation.” The context refers to a time period that begins with John the Baptist and that is continuing in Jesus' ministry. Therefore, this refers to the people living in Jesus' day.

Mat. 12:41-42: Jesus says Nineveh, who responded positively to God and His Word in Jonas' day (ie., in Jonas' generation), and the queen of the south, who travelled great distances to receive God's teachings in Solomon's day (ie., in Solomon's generation) will judge the Vain Religious Leaders of Israel, who have rejected God and His Word and Christ's teachings in Jesus' day (ie., in Jesus' generation).

Sense #2: Meaning a race of people with similar characteristics but not living at the same time.

Mat. 1:1: Here, the “generation” is combined with the word for history. It is the historical generation of Jesus Christ that began with Abraham and extended through Joseph, for the most part consisting of people who were no longer living in Jesus' time.

Mat. 3:7: John the Baptist describes Israel's leaders as O “generation” of vipers. A viper is a serpent. This is referring to baby serpents born of the Serpent, Satan. The religious leaders claimed to be Abraham's children, belonging to God's “generation” when, in fact, they were really the children of the devil, belonging to Satan's “generation,” going back to Cain.

Mat. 12:39, 45; 16:4: Jesus refers to an evil, adulterous and wicked generation. It will help to see what Jesus is saying if we first understand what He is NOT saying. What Jesus is NOT saying here is that there are evil, adulterous and wicked people in the generation that Jesus is a part of in that day. What He is saying is that the leaders of Israel and, therefore, the apostate nation as a whole, belong to the unrighteous generation that began with Cain; they were children in the family of the Wicked One, Satan. Jesus' believing followers, however, do not belong to that unrighteous “generation” (even though they lived at the same time!). Rather, they belonged to the righteous generation that began with Abel, the Progeny of the Righteous One, the Lord Jesus Christ. He wasn't referring to natural lines of descendants on earth at that time but to spiritual lines of descendants, that began with Cain and Abel (Mat. 12:46-50).

Now with this overview what about our passage in Mat. 23-24? Verily, I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this “generation” (Mat. 23:36). And, This “generation” shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Mat. 24:34). Most of historic Christianity has read these verses as referring to “generation” in the sense of #1 (in error) as referring to a 30-50 year period involving those who lived at that time. Therefore, these things must have been fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. But as we have seen this is not a required reading. Matthew also uses the word “generation” in the sense of #2 as referring to two races of people in God's sight, who share similar characteristics. An unrighteous line characterized by sin and death, whose father is Satan, beginning with Cain. And a righteous line characterized by righteousness and life, whose Father is God, beginning with Abel.

The only way to discern which meaning Matthew intended is by reading the word in its context. In the verses just before this passage, Jesus is decrying woes upon the Vain Religious System of Israel, explaining that the leaders of that day were the offspring, the children, not of the prophets but of those who killed the prophets. Of course, the fathers who killed the prophets are not people alive in the days of Jesus but people who had died centuries before. The leaders in Jesus' day were just a continuation of the long line of unrighteous, who always persecuted God's people. The leaders of Israel in Jesus' day belonged to that Satanic generation that began with Cain and stretched through Israel's history. Matthew's point here is their hypocrisy. They claimed to be children generated by God in the righteous line of Abel when, in fact, they were really children generated by Satan in the line of Cain, as seen in their killing of John the Baptist and their plotting to kill Jesus.

Then we read this: All these things shall come upon this generation (Mat. 23:36; 24:34) cannot be referring to the limited generation of people alive in Jesus' day. Rather, it must be referring to the “generation” explained in the preceding verse: The generation of Satan, the unrighteous line of fallen humanity, beginning with Cain, and to which Israel's leaders in 1st Century belonged to as well. That unrighteous “generation” will continue until Christ's 2nd Coming at which time it will be destroyed once-and-for-all. This was not so much a description limited to the people in Jesus' day, but was a warning to the disciples that this unrighteous line of Cain that Satan generated will continue persecuting them until the end of the Tribulation Period at Christ's 2nd Coming.

While context is enough to assure us that our reading is correct, it can be further corroborated by other things Matthew has already written about, specifically in two of the Parables. In the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and the Good and Bad Fish, Jesus explained that the wicked and the righteous, the bad and the good, will coexist until Christ returns with His angels at which time they will be separated. The wicked and bad will be cast into the Lake of Fire and the righteous and good will be gathered into the Kingdom (Mat. 13:36-43; 13:47-50).

To conclude, when Jesus says this “generation” shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Mat. 24:34), He is not referring to the people living on earth in Jesus' day but to people who belong to the “generation” of Satan, beginning with Cain, continuing through Israel's history and will not be destroyed until the very end when Christ returns with His angels to completely destroy it. All the cosmic signs and wonders Jesus talked about in Mat. 24, signs and wonders that disrupted the constitution of the whole universe, most certainly did not occur in the “generation” of people living at the time of Jesus', not even in 70 AD. They didn't need to witness them because Matthew wasn't using the word “generation” in the sense of a limited group of people who lived at the same time as Jesus lived but to Satan's “generation,” which began with Cain and has been coursing through human history, persecuting God's generation of the righteous that began with Abel, ever since. This wicked “generation” will continue through the Tribulation, all the way to the end, when Christ will return to utterly destroy Satan's unrighteous “generation” and casting it into the Lake of Fire while delivering God's righteous “generation” and ushering it into Israel's long-prophesied Kingdom of God on earth!

Matthew Highlights

The Olivet Discourse

Nov 14, 2021

Yesterday, we entered Matthew 24 where Jesus takes us on a guided tour of what generally happens just before, after and during the Tribulation Period, culminating in the 2nd Coming of Christ. This must not be confused with the Rapture that ends the Dispensation of Grace we are participants in today. In the Rapture, the Body of Christ is removed from the earth and placed in its heavenly position. What Jesus is talking about in Mat. 24, however, is what happens after the Rapture of the Body of Christ occurs. The Rapture belongs to God's Mystery Program for the Body of Christ to re-establish His Glory in the Heavenlies, and it was revealed to and through the Apostle Paul and is found in the Pauline Scriptures (Romans through Philemon). The 2nd Coming of Christ, however, belongs to God's Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel to re-establish His Glory on Earth and is found in the non-Pauline Scriptures.

Matthew Highlights

The Three "Charge" Parables (Pt 1)

Nov 21, 2021

Yesterday, we began looking at the final set of parables in the Gospel of Matthew. In Mat. 24-25, just before the Lord Jesus Christ goes to His death, resurrection and ascension, thereby leaving the Believing Remnant, Jesus gave the members of the Believing Remnant, especially its leaders, instructions to care for His People and carry His Nation by making use of His Riches while He was away. The first Parable of the group gave the leaders of the Believing Remnant responsibility for Jesus' people: The Parable of the Wise and Faithful Servant of the Household (Mat. 24:36-51).

Matthew Highlights

The Three "Charge" Parables (Pt 2)

Nov 28, 2021

On Sunday, we finished up the final group of parables found in Matthew, the Three “Charge” Parables (except for the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Mat. 25:31-46). Jesus is about ready to go to His death on the Cross, be resurrected and return to the Father, leaving the 12 and the Believing Remnant behind to do His work of the re-building of His Own true Nation of Israel. To accomplish this, Jesus leaves them with these three “charge” parables:

  1. In The Parable of The Faithful and Wise Servant, He gives them charge to TAKE CARE OF MY PEOPLE (Mat. 24:45-51)!
  2. In the Parable of the Ten Virgins or Bridesmaids, He gives them charge to BRING HIS BRIDE THE NATION OF ISRAEL TO HIM (Mat. 25:1-13)!
  3. The Parable of the Man Travelling to a Far Country where He tells them do to these two things, to care for His people and prepare His nation by MAKING USE OF GOD'S RICHES FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL (Mat. 25:14-30), accessing them by Faith, Prayer and Forgiving (Mat. 21:21-22 with Mk. 11:22-26)!

Overview of the Major Parables

Jesus used parables in Matthew to explain to His followers that God was not going to be able to use the Nation of Israel of that day (Mat. 12) and would need to create a new Nation of Israel through a Believing Remnant of the Israel. To keep His offer of the Kingdom to Israel bona fide, Jesus used parables so that He could make known to the Believing Remnant how God was going to create His Own true Nation of Israel out of them while at the same time keeping it secret from the unbelieving majority of Israel. So, let's put together an overview of the major parables in the Gospel of Matthew:

  1. What would the Believing Remnant be doing? The Word of the Kingdom will be proclaimed and written down.
    1. Parable of the Sower (Mat. 13:3-8; 18-23)
    2. Parable of the Scribe (Mat. 13:51-52)
  2. What will the conditions of their ministry be? It will be characterized by hostility between the children of God and the children of Satan. They will co-exist together until the very end at Christ's 2nd Coming with His angels who will then judge and separate them.
    1. Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Mat. 13:24-30)
    2. Parable of the Good and Bad Fish (Mat. 13:47-50)
  3. What will they see if they look by sight rather than by faith? It will look very small and insignificant by the world's standards (a crucified King, a motley group of believers ---just 120 at Pentecost (Acts 1:15)) but will grow into the greatest of all things.
    1. Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mat. 13:31-32)
    2. Parable of the Pearl (Mat. 13:45-46)
  4. What hidden forces will be at work? Satan will hide the leaven of his false teaching in the world and God will be hiding His treasure, His Believing Remnant of Israel, in the world, protecting and preserving it.
    1. Parable of the Leaven (Mat. 13:33)
    2. Parable of the Treasure (Mat. 13:44)
  5. Since the Vain Religious System (VRS) had stolen away God's riches for national Israel, impoverishing the nation and bringing it to utter ruin, how will God restore Israel's national riches?
    1. Parable of Forgiveness (Mat. 18:21-35)–God will forgive Israel's National debt of sins.
    2. Parable of Provisions (Mat. 20:1-16)–God will give the nation His infinite riches to supply all of its needs.
  6. If Satan has stolen the Nation of Israel away from God and has given it to the VRS, how will the Believing Remnant receive it? If the VRS took the Kingdom by violence (Mat. 11:12), how will the Believing Remnant obtain it?
    1. Parable of the Two Sons (Mat. 22-28-32)–God will transfer the nation from the VRS (those who claim to be working in it) and give it to the Believing Remnant (those who by faith really are working in it).
    2. Parable of the Householder (Mat. 22:33-46)–God will transfer the Kingdom from the VRS and give it to His own Nation, true Israel, the Believing Remnant of Israel.
    3. Parable of the Marriage Feast (Mat. 22:1-14)–God will transfer the privilege of attending the Wedding Feast from those who didn't respond and to those who did, faithfully participating in God's rebuilding of the nation.
  7. What is the Believing Remnant, especially its leaders, supposed to be doing while they are waiting for Christ to return? Watch, be ready, be prepared!
    1. Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant (Mat. 24:45-51): Take care of My people!
    2. Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaid (Mat. 25:1-13): Be prepared to usher My Bride, the Nation of Israel, into my presence when I return!
    3. Parable of the Man Travelling into a Far Country (Mat. 25:14-30): Make use of the Riches of God that I have put in Israel's national account by My work on the Cross, accessing them by Faith, Prayer and Forgiving.
  8. When does all of this reach completion?
    1. Parable of the Goats and Sheep (Mat. 25:31-46)–The Believing Remnant will be ushered into the Kingdom along with the friendly Gentile nations in accord with the Abrahamic Covenant. God will plant the people of the Believing Remnant in the land and create His true Nation of Israel, which will be the head of all the nations. Through Israel and her rise, all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

Matthew Highlights

Dec 05, 2021

On Sunday, we finished up Matthew 25 with the Parable of His Sheep and The Goats, which finally led the Believing Remnant and friendly Gentile nations into the long anticipated Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Next we will follow in the steps of Jesus as He heads to the Cross over the next 2 days in Mat. 26-27 and is raised from the dead in Mat. 28.

Recent Questions From Our Matthew Study

  1. Will the people in the Kingdom have Paul's Epistles? And if they do have Paul's Epistles will they be confused by them.

    Answer: Yes, they will have Paul's Epistles. Like us today, they will have God's completed Word (Col. 1:25). Just as today we need to “rightly divide” the Bible to understand that we are involved in God's Heavenly Mystery Program for the Body of Christ, so too people in the Kingdom will need to rightly divide the Bible to understand that they are involved in God's Earthly Prophetic Program for the Nation of Israel. While historic Christianity has mostly rejected right division in the Dispensation of Grace, ushering in a large amount of confusion, those in the Tribulation under New Covenant blessings, one of which being perfect understanding of God's Word (Jer. 31:31ff), will rightly divide the Scriptures and, therefore, will not be confused by these two programs.

    In addition, Paul's Epistles will give them the full explanation of Justification by faith through grace without works. Remember, the Non-Pauline Scriptures manifest the Righteousness of God in SAVING HIS FRIENDS AND DESTROYING HIS ENEMIES. This explains to them how as members of the Believing Remnant they gained entrance into the Kingdom. This salvation has to do with Christ saving or delivering His friends out of the Great Tribulation and into the Kingdom while destroying His enemies at the same time. This is justification before Christ at His 2nd Coming. This is what James referred to James 2.

    But what was never fully manifested and explained in the Non-Pauline Scriptures is how a person, born into the world as an ungodly sinner on enemy status before God (as we all are), becomes God's friends? How does an enemy sinner enter the Believing Remnant as His friends in the first place? This is the great problem of the Vain Religious System–they thought they had an automatic right relationship with God because they were the natural progeny of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, or because they have the Law or because they were circumcised, etc., but it is none of these things. The way God justifies ALL people born into the world as sinners and enemies of His has always been, is and always will be by faith, Faith Righteousness. God just preaches Good News to an enemy sinner and if they believe it He counts their faith for righteousness, and He brings them into a right relationship with Himself. This is justification before GOD AND HIS TRIBUNAL. This is the Righteousness of God in SAVING HIS ENEMIES BECAUSE HE HAS NO FRIENDS! This was not fully manifested, explained and revealed unto the Apostle Paul. Why? First of all, because it is based on the Person and Work of Christ on the Cross. Therefore, it could not be fully manifested and revealed until after the Crosswork of Christ. Second, because it explains how God justifies sinful enemies He decided it must be revealed not by a friend of His (Peter or one of the 12) but by an ENEMY of His, in fact, His worst enemy, the leader of the persecution against Christ and His people, Saul, who became our Apostle Paul.

    In conclusion: People in the Kingdom will have God's complete Word that when rightly divided will give them all the information they need about what God is doing with them as His friends at that time. In addition they will fully understand how God has as always justified ungodly sinners on enemy status going all the way back to the Fall of Adam and on to the end of the Millennial Kingdom.
  2. If people are going to be under the Mosaic Law during the Kingdom reign, where is grace? Let's take this step-by-step in (very) general terms:
    1. The Mosaic Law is God's principles for perfectly and completely governing the earth.
    2. At Sinai, in rebellion against God and rejecting the Grace resident in His Jehovah Name, the Israelites covenanted with God to “do” the Mosaic Law by the power of their own flesh: We Will Do All That You Say! (Ex. 19:8). In saying this they covenanted with God to bless them for obedience and curse them for disobedience. Of course, it ended in disaster. They were immediately nearly consumed at the Golden Calf Incident, spent 40 years in the wilderness, fell under the Curses of the Law and entered the Courses of Punishment.
    3. What they should have said at Sinai and will say in the future is: Lord, the Law you gave to us through Moses is wonderful and amazing and perfect and glorious but we'll never! be able to do it. You have to do it for us. Our part is just to Believe and fall on the Grace resident in your Jehovah Name as you taught us when you brought us out of Egypt, going from Goshen to Sinai. We would all be dead if YOU didn't DO everything for us. We would have died of thirst then we would have died of hunger then we would have died at the hands of our enemies. No, Lord we can't do it ourselves. We are to weak! Why, we couldn't even keep two little easy-smeasy commands about collecting manna. There is no way we'll be able to keep 613 commands that penetrate into every detail of life! No, YOU MUST KEEP CARRYING US ALONG AS ON EAGLES WINGS AND BRING US TO YOURSELF (Ex. 19:4)! YOU MUST DO IT FOR US!!
    4. And that is exactly what the Lord is going to do for the people in the Kingdom. He is going to do it for them. When Christ returns, they will look on the one they pierced and plead with Him to treat them graciously (Hos. 14:2), and He will do just that through the New Covenant when they enter the Kingdom. He will place the Law in their hearts and then give them the Holy Spirit who will CAUSE THEM TO DO IT (Ezek. 36:27).
    In conclusion: Yes, the people in the Kingdom will live under the Law and God will cause them to do it. This is the result of God's Grace Covenant–the New Covenant.
  3. Will the Believing Remnant and the friendly Gentiles who enter the Kingdom still have sin natures?

    Yes, they will still have sin natures but will be empowered to live in reliance on God rather than reliance on the flesh via the New Covenant (as explained in pt. 2). Their progeny will also have sin natures. Rebellion against God can occur in the Kingdom but it will be judged and punished perfectly and swiftly. We also see that at the end of the 1,000 years Satan is released, and he leads a rebellion against God at that time, especially among the nations (Rev. 20:7-9).

Matthew Highlights

Dec 12, 2021

On Sunday, we entered into Mat. 26, just two days before He will go to the Cross. In Mat. 26:1-16 two responses to Jesus's ministry are interwoven: the response of the Believing Remnant and the response of the unbelieving Vain Religious and Political Systems. Today, we looked at the former. Next time, we will look at the latter.


Having finished “ALL these sayings,” Mat. 26:6-13 with John 12:1-8, invites us into a dinner with Jesus. When we put the two accounts together, here are the characters:

  1. Of course, it includes Jesus!
  2. It includes and occurs in the house of Simon the Leper. The fact that Simon is holding a communal dinner means that Jesus cleansed him of his leprosy. Leprosy pictures Israel's national sin. It requires cleansing that pictures Israel's national cleansing program, beginning with John the Baptist's water baptism, goes on to the Spirit baptism and ending in the baptism of fire, whereby Israel will be cleansed of all her sin and ushered into the Kingdom. Of course, all of this is made possible when Jesus takes Israel's “leprosy” onto Himself (metaphorically) at the Cross. There Jesus is stricken/plagued of God (Is. 53:4, 8; Lev. 13:2; 2 Kgs. 15:5).
  3. It also includes Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. The resuscitation of Lazarus pictures Israel's national resuscitation as described in Ezek. 37, resulting in the nation's restoration in the land of Israel and enrichment with all the blessings of the Kingdom.
  4. It includes Martha, who is serving the Lord.
  5. And it includes Mary, who is worshipping the Lord.

Together this little group provide a perfect picture of what the cleansed and enriched Believing Remnant, God's True Israel, should be doing: Worshipping and Serving the Lord! This little video clip encapsulates pretty much all that Jesus has been teaching since Mat. 13, and especially the final parables in Mat. 21-25. Unfortunately, this picture is not yet perfect.

  1. It also includes the 12, the 11 and the 1, Judas Iscariot, who will betray the Lord Jesus. Now we see part of the temptations that the Believing Remnant will face ahead. The Vain Religious System and Satan's policy of evil against Israel, especially the Believing Remnant, will work continually to lead the disciples astray. Their leaven of false teaching and thinking will try to lead them from worshipping and serving the Lord. They should have followed Mary and Martha in worshipping and serving the Lord at all costs, but instead they follow Judas the betrayer of Jesus in his murmuring against such things.

Such are God's servants. One minute God is powerfully working in and through them. The next they are foolishly bumbling around according to the flesh. But Jesus keeps all that are His through faith. Mal. 3:16-18 puts it in this beautiful way:

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another:
And the Lord hearkened, and heard it,
And a book of remembrance was written before him
For them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
In that day when I make up my jewels;
And I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked,
Between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Matthew Highlights


Dec 26, 2021

The main problem with a Friday death and burial comes because of Jesus's sayings about the time of His death, burial and resurrection. One time Jesus described His death and burial in this way: For as Jonah was three days and 3 nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Mat. 12:40). More often He described it in this way: I must go to Jerusalem ... and be killed and be raised again the third day (Mat. 16:21). If we take these sayings absolutely literally, they preclude the possibility of a Friday burial. As we shall see, according to Jewish reckoning of days, there is no way to get three days and nights or even three days and two nights between sunset on Friday and sunrise on Sunday.

First remember some basic facts from the biblical account of Jesus's death and resurrection:

  1. The first thing we need to remember is that the full Jewish “24 hour day” was made up of two 12 hour periods: a 12 hour evening (beginning at 6pm, ending at 6am) followed by a 12 hour day (beginning at 6am, ending at 6pm). This can be very confusing to our modern thinking because we think of a “24 hour day” as going from midnight to midnight not 6pm to 6pm or sunset to sunset. If we today are talking about Wednesday at 3pm, for instance, that was also Wednesday 3pm for ancient Israel. But when we today talk about Wednesday 7pm that was, in fact, Thursday evening in ancient Israel! You see how quickly things can get confusing.
  2. The second thing we need to remember is that the resurrection occurred after the weekly Sabbath which began in our time Friday night at 6pm (although to the ancient Israelites this was Saturday evening at 6pm!) and goes to just before 6pm Saturday. So, the resurrection occurred sometime between 6pm on our Saturday night (Israel's Sunday evening) and 6am on our Sunday morning (Israel's Sunday day) (Mat. 28:1; Jn. 20:1).
  3. The third thing we need to remember is that Jesus was crucified during the day at 9am, died at 3pm and was buried just before 6pm, which began the next day's evening period (Mk. 15:25).

If we grasp these facts, it should be a simple task of counting backwards, or not.

If we take Jesus's sayings absolutely literally, counting backwards would look something like this:

  1. “Three days and three nights” taken absolutely literally would be 3 consecutive 12 hour day and evening periods, or at least 72 full hours. Since Jesus was resurrected BEFORE the beginning of the Sunday “day” (before 6am), counting backwards from Sunday would look something like this:

    3rd day (full 12 hr.) would be our Saturday, 6am to 6pm.
    3rd evening (full 12 hr.) would be our Friday 6pm to Saturday 6am.

    2nd day (full 12 hr.) would be our Friday, 6am to 6 pm.
    2nd evening (full 12 hr.) would be our Thursday 6pm to Friday 6am.

    1st day (full 12 hr.) would be our Thursday, 6am to 6pm.
    1st evening (full 12 hr.) would be our Wednesday 6pm to Thursday 6am.

    This would mean that Jesus died and was buried in the day period of Wednesday day, 6am to 6pm.
  2. “Will be raised again on the third day,” (again taken absolutely literally) can mean three full 12 hr. days and three full 12 hr. nights. If so, it's chronology would be the same as example #1 above. However, it could also mean 3 full 12 hour days and 2 full 12 hour nights. If this were the case counting backwards from Sunday would look something like this:

    3rd day (full 12 hr.) would be our Saturday, 6am to 6pm.
    3rd evening (full 12 hr.) would be our Friday 6pm to Saturday 6am.

    2nd day (full 12 hr.) would be our Friday, 6am to 6 pm.
    2nd evening (full 12 hr.) would be our Thursday 6pm to Friday 6am.

    1st day (full 12 hr.) would be our Thursday, 6am to 6pm.

This chronology does not work at all because it would mean Jesus died during Wednesday day but one night would not be UNaccounted for. Therefore, we can rule this option out.

So, if taken absolutely literally and three days and three nights means three full and complete and consecutive 24 hour periods–three 12 hour days and three 12 hour evenings–for a total of at least 72 hours, Jesus's death and burial would have to have been on Wednesday day.

But must we take Jesus's sayings absolutely literally?

Or could He have been speaking idiomatically the way we all speak in everyday language? If I say that starting Wednesday I will be in Chicago for three days, I don't think anyone would assume that I would be arriving at 12:01am on Wednesday and be leaving at exactly 12:00am on Friday. Rather, they would just assume I will arrive in Chicago sometime on Wednesday and stay until sometime on Friday. In other words, partial days and nights can represent full days and nights in our colloquial speech.

  1. If Jesus was speaking idiomatically, allowing for partial days and nights, what would the chronology look like counting backwards from Sunday?

    3rd evening (partial) would be our Saturday 6pm to Sunday 6am, during which time Jesus was resurrected.
    3rd day (full) would be our Saturday 6am to 6pm.

    2nd evening (full) would be our Friday 6pm to Saturday 6am.
    2nd day (full) would be our Friday 6am to 6pm.

    1st evening (full) would be our Thursday 6pm to Friday 6am.
    1st day (partial) would be our Thursday 6am to 6pm, during which time Jesus died and was buried.

This would mean that Jesus died and was buried on Thursday day between 6am and 6pm. This would account for three days and three nights.

  1. Now, where does this leave a Friday death and burial? Again let's count back from Sunday keeping in mind that Jesus was buried at the end of Friday day (before 6pm), which gives a partial day, and was resurrected before the beginning of Sunday day (before 6am), which means we have a partial evening but we cannot use Sunday day.

    Our Saturday evening to Sunday morning (6pm to 6am)–1 partial evening–during which Jesus was resurrected.
    Our Saturday day (6am to 6pm)–1 full day

    Our Friday evening to Saturday morning (6pm to 6am)–1 full evening.
    Our Friday day (6am to 6am)–1 partial day, during which Jesus died and was buried.

The best that we can do with a Friday death and burial, treating Jesus's sayings idiomatically and allowing for partial days and evenings, is 2 days (1 full and 1 partial) and 2 evenings (1 partial and 1 full). No matter how you count, Friday cannot be made to fit Jesus's sayings.

Let's use what we have learned and apply it to Lk. 24:21, a verse brought up in our discussion following the message. After the resurrection (don't forget–Jesus was resurrected BEFORE 6am, therefore, He was raised before the day period of Sunday began), Jesus's disciples told a visitor that the chief priests and rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death and have crucified Him ... and beside all this to day is the third day since these things were done.

It is important to remember what we pointed out at the beginning of this study. In ancient Israel the word “day” could refer to a general day made up of an evening and a day. Or it can refer to the sunny or light portion of the “day,” the 12 hour day period from 6am to 6pm. The disciples in Lk. 24:21 cannot be referring to Sunday's day in the sense of its sunny period from 6am to 6pm because we know that Jesus was resurrected BEFORE that day period began (Lk. 24:1,23 with Mat. 28:1). Therefore, the disciples are using the word “day” in the more general sense. What would this chronology look like?

3rd day Sunday–this would go from 6pm our Saturday night to 6pm Sunday evening.

2nd day Saturday–6pm our Friday night to 6pm Saturday evening.

1st day Friday–6pm our Thursday night to 6pm Friday evening.

This too would require that Jesus's death occurred during the day of Thursday, and that He was buried just before 6pm in that day.

The next logical question is why did “tradition” chose a Friday death and burial when it appears to contradict the clear teachings of Jesus even when they are taken idiomatically?

It is probably because they were confused about the Sabbath. In Mk. 15:42-43, Joseph of Arimathea came to claim Jesus's body for burial the day before the Sabbath. “Tradition” probably thought this was the regular Jewish weekly Sabbath that occurs from 6pm on our Friday night to Saturday 6pm. But this is not the case. The week long Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread was a week of Sabbaths, the Passover being one of them. It was a high day, a holy convocation, on which no servile work will be done (Lev. 23:4-8). Ex. 12:14-16 further explains that during the seven day Festival the first day and last day were holy convocations on which no work was to be done (ie., High Day Sabbaths). This is all brought together for us in the Gospel of John: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath Day (for that Sabbath Day was an High Day).

The “High Day” and “Holy Convocation” Sabbaths refer to the special feast day Sabbaths not the weekly Sabbath. Therefore, when the Gospels refer to taking Jesus down from the Cross because of the approaching Sabbath, they were not referring to the weekly Sabbath (which would then require a Friday death and burial) but to the High Sabbath of the Passover Feast (which, as we have seen, occurred on our Thursday evening after 6pm (which was ancient Israel's Friday evening) and would allow for a Thursday death and burial, which fits with Jesus's sayings.


Putting all of these things together, the events of the “Passion” week would look like this:

Day of Nissan 13–begins at 6am on our Wednesday (Israel's Wednesday day as well): Disciples prepare for their early Passover meal with Jesus.

Evening of Nissan 14–begins at 6pm on our Wednesday (Israel's Thursday evening), ending at 6am: Jesus eats the Passover meal a day early followed by the Last Supper, Gethsemane, betrayal and illicit trials through the night.

Day of Nissan 14–begins at 6am on our Thursday (Israel's Thursday day as well) and ends at 6pm: Jesus crucified (9am), died (3pm) and was buried (just before 6pm). During this time, the rest of Israel is preparing for the High Sabbath day Passover, taking their lambs to the Temple to be slaughtered. Jesus is put to death at the same time the nation is putting to death the Passover lambs.

Evening of Nissan 15–begins at 6pm on our Thursday (Israel's Friday evening), ending at 6am: Jesus remains in the grave, and the Israelites eat the Passover meal between 6pm and 12am.

Day of Nissan 15–begins at 6am on our Friday (Israel's Friday day as well), ending at 6pm: Jesus remains in grave and Israel makes preparations for the weekly Sabbath.

Evening of Nissan 16–begins at 6pm on our Friday (Israel's Saturday evening), ending at 6am: Jesus remains in grave and Israel eats the weekly Sabbath meal.

Day of Nissan 16–begins at 6am on our Saturday (Israel's Saturday day as well), ending at 6pm: Jesus remains in grave and the weekly Sabbath ends at 6pm.

Evening of Nissan 17–begins at 6pm on our Saturday (Israel's Sunday evening), ending at 6am: Sometime during this time Jesus is raised from the dead.

Day of Nissan 17–begins at 6am on our Sunday (Israel's Sunday day as well), ending at 6pm: Some of Jesus's disciples talk to a visitor about the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Hope this is helpful!