Luke presents Jesus as the Ideal Man -- Chapter 12
A big crowd gathered. Jesus then warned them about their religious leaders who were misleading them.
We soon learn that Jesus was very much against the religious leaders.
LUKE 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is a pretence. Preachers claim that they preach from the Bible, but they do not prove their beliefs from Scripture. They vigorously oppose those who are Scriptural. Preachers outwardly profess their love for God. But then they offer man-made doctrines as if their ideas are God's Word.
MATTHEW 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
When humans make up a belief, it is a complete waste of time. "In vain" means hopeless and destitute of any value.
Man has changed the "voice of the seventh angel" into what has now become the "Voice of God". Humans endlessly corrupt the truth.
Preachers are dead scared to admit that the wise men went into a house. A life-long church member of 80 years old admitted that she had never heard that the wise men went into a house. Another church member condemned a person to hell for saying that the wise men entered a house. She claimed that God had told her to condemn this person whose great sin was to read the verse from the Bible. When questioned on this topic, a preacher in a jail service loudly said, without opening his Bible, "My Bible says the wise men went into the stable". When the relevant Scripture was read to him that it was a house, he glared fiercely and walked off without saying a word.
Why do so many different people deny this house visit of the wise men? What are they covering up?
As Shakespeare would say, "Something is rotten in the state of" the church.
LUKE 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Terrorists and religious extremists can kill us. They are not nice people. Getting killed is awful, but that does not affect the final destination of your soul.
LUKE 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
But religious leaders teach you doctrines that contradict the Bible. There are no Bible verses that say "Trinity", "One God in three Persons", "One -in-three", "Three-in-one", "Second Person of the Godhead", "God the Son", "The pastor is the head of the church", "The shepherd is the pastor", "The tithes belong to the pastor", "Jesus was born on 25 December", "Celebrate the birth of the Lord", "The wise men went into the stable to see the Baby Jesus", "It is okay for women to preach", "Abortion is fine", "Same sex marriage is okay", etc., etc.
And so the list keeps growing of unscriptural statements that are the backbone of modern "churchianity".
If you die believing that a mass of human error is the truth, then what is the fate of your soul? Why are you so far removed from what Paul and the apostles originally taught? They never made these statements.
Who teaches all this error? Our church leaders. They may not kill you physically because they are nice people who claim to be teaching us what the Bible says. But they put your soul in danger of hell, which is far worse.
God knows everything about us and He can look after us, even if the church world does not want us.
LUKE 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Can we stand up for Scripture in the face of church tradition? Are we brave enough to question our church leaders and risk our popularity.
LUKE 12:8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
When church leaders glare at us and when the church members shun us, do we just fold up and give in to them and their errors?
LUKE 12:9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
When the Holy Ghost reveals Scriptural truth and church members and leaders accuse those Christians of being devils, in order to protect their church traditions, then they cross a line.
LUKE 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
Truth will always be persecuted and opposed. So be careful, a comfortable church life where you are eager to please and agree with what is preached, is not evidence of believing the truth.
LUKE 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Today we see the evidence of God's blessing as wealth. This is a fatal misconception. Do not go down that path.
Are you prepared to follow God even when you have to lose?
LUKE 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
So the rich man planned to build bigger barns to store all the food. He was financially secure for many years. Now he could relax and eat, drink, and be merry. But he died that night, making himself a fool.
LUKE 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Truth is God's treasure. Believe and follow the truth and you obtain a mansion in Heaven. That is real riches. Be obedient to God's Word rather than cluttering up your soul with the endless greed of accumulating wealth.
MATTHEW 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The more money you accumulate, the harder it is for you to get into Heaven.
We must not be concerned with our material needs. That way we worry ourselves into an early grave and do all sorts of things that we know are wrong (like cheating our tax and stealing from work).
LUKE 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
If, as a Christian, your deepest desire is to survive and make ends meet, then you are no better than the unbelievers because that is also their greatest desire.
LUKE 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Focus first on being Scriptural and obeying God's Word. This should be our main aim in life. Follow His guidance, however little sense it might make to you, and then leave Him to add to you what He wishes. And do not complain when He removes things from you. He knows what is good for you and you do not know what is best for you.
LUKE 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
"Little flock" -- Ultimately there are going to be few Christians left on the true path. So do not be fooled by big crowds and popularity.
Our biggest reward is going to be a mansion in Heaven. We cannot do anything about that except follow and obey God, as He alone will give it to us. So if we have to wait for Him to give us the biggest prize, why cannot we trust Him to give us what we need on this side as well? Why do we so desperately chase the material things that we think we need?
LUKE 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Our human problem is that we are focused on physical things that we can see, not on spiritual things that we cannot see. We treasure what is visible but if we allow God to change our ability to think we will discover that a revelation from the Bible has far more value than anything on planet Earth.
LUKE 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
II SAMUEL 20:8 .... And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; ....
The girdle was a cloth that was wrapped around a person so that he could fasten the sheath of his sword to the girdle.
EPHESIANS 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
Truth is associated with the life in man's loins.
From this girdle of truth we fasten the sword of God's Word, as the Word of God is the only truth that we have.
EPHESIANS 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Our loins are where life comes from.
Eternal Life comes only from the Bible.
PSALM 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
ISAIAH 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
The only light we have is God's Word, the Bible.
II PETER 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Only the Bible light can guide us. Everything else is darkness.
Our lights are only burning when we quote the Word of God. When we tell people what is written in the Bible.
LUKE 12: 40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Everything about the Second Coming is going to be very different to what we think it will be.
LUKE 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
"Meat in due season". Knowing where we are in the plan of God for today. Lining up the teachings of William Branham with Scripture so that we can be restored back to what the New Testament church believes. Realizing that Jesus, the Word, is our Absolute. Staying with the revealed Word that is written. Not speculating about quotes.
LUKE 12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
Proving that what brother Branham preached can be taught from the Scripture alone. That is God's plan for today. Only believe what the Scripture says.
LUKE 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
"Message" preachers aggressively domineer people with endless quotes. Churches threaten and excommunicate dissenters who want to be Scriptural. Friendly pastors smile politely, but rule dictatorially. No pastor ruled a church in the New Testament. Man-made doctrines and church traditions rule the people today. Obey or else.
"Message" preachers who live off quotes and interpretations of quotes when they know that we should be restored back to Scripture are going to get hit hard. Church leaders who rejected the call to be restored back to the New Testament will also come short in the Tribulation.
LUKE 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Those denominational preachers who do not know much will get punished less. But if God has opened our eyes, then He expects a lot from us. God wants us restored to the early church that never preached on the Seven Thunders, nor the new name of Jesus, and never claimed that the Lord had come as a huge cloud. Nor did they believe that the Angel of Revelation Chapter 10 had come down as a huge cloud (that just happened to stay 42 kilometers up in the sky). The early church met in houses and never had a pastor as the leader of the church. There is no record of tithes being paid to a pastor in the New Testament.
New church ideas keep mutating. So it is difficult to keep up with them all.
Going back to the New Testament is much easier as those standards remain fixed.
So "Message" preachers will face a much harsher punishment in the great Tribulation. They knew better but then rejected being Scriptural because people wanted quotes and interpretation of quotes. Message people wanted human leadership. Like Aaron at Mount Sinai, the pastor gave the people a polluted golden calf of error. It made the preachers rich but Message believers are far away from believing what the New Testament Christians believed.
LUKE 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Baptism is a symbol of death. Jesus was faithful unto death. Do we have that kind of courage?
LUKE 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
Bible truth will cause splits in the families. Have we even got the courage to oppose family members?
LUKE 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
LUKE 12:54 And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.
In 1963 a great cloud at an extreme height of 42 kilometers, where there is no moisture to form a cloud, moved across America from the west coast of California to Flagstaff in Arizona and then to New Mexico.
About a week later seven angels came to William Branham and commissioned him to preach on the revelation of the opening of the seven seals. These revelations enabled him to understand many of the deep mysteries in the Bible.
This represented spiritual warfare as the denominational errors were exposed. Winds symbolize strife and the denominational church world fought against these deeper understandings of the Bible.
The revelation of the opening of the seven seals was a shower of spiritual water from the Word of God that enabled him to restore back the doctrines of the original church of the New Testament.
Some believers would aim at being restored back to the New Testament faith. Others would not.
LUKE 12:55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.
South of Israel is the hot Sinai desert. When winds blow towards Israel from the south, they pass over the hot desert sands and the moving air gets hot. Spiritually this represents the heat of persecution. The churches condemned William Branham. Those who take his teachings back to Scripture are condemned by those who major on his quotes, without establishing their ideas by linking up the relevant Bible verses. Finally the great Tribulation will persecute all Christians who were not restored back to the New Testament beliefs.
LUKE 12:56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?
We need to be able to discern the crucial events that are happening in the world that indicate that we are in the end time.
We struggle to discern the signs of the times. We cannot even settle legal issues out of court because we cannot admit when we are in the wrong.
LUKE 12:57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?
:58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
:59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.
Jesus laments on the unwillingness of people to admit their own errors. We cannot admit that we are doctrinally wrong. We are unwilling to admit that we have done things wrong.
Defending error is the main reason that saved Christians are heading for the Tribulation.