Matthew 16 - Don’t look for a sign from Heaven
We do not understand the real meanings of God's signs
MATTHEW 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
This is typical of the attitude of religious leaders. Pharisees and Sadducees disagreed with each other but combined to oppose the Word of God because Jesus is the Word.
Those who ask for a sign simply show that they are too blind to see the signs of their day.
The Jewish leaders had no desire to learn from Jesus. Thus, they had no desire to be Scriptural. They wanted entertainment as if Jesus was a supernatural show-off. Something exciting. A sign from Heaven. Something to argue about.
Jesus had performed enough miracles to convince the Jewish leaders that He was the Messiah. But they refused to be convinced because He threatened their well-paid position of spiritual power over the people. They were blinded by voluntary malice towards Jesus who was upsetting their comfortable lives.
MATTHEW 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Hot air expands and rises to create a lower air pressure at ground level. Higher up is cooler (mountain tops can have snow). Israel's position on the globe is such that Earth’s rotation from west to east sweeps the higher, cooler air towards the east. The cold air then sinks to compress the air beneath into a high-pressure area at ground level.
A red sky means a lot of dust and smoke is trapped in the high-pressure descending air. These extra particles scatter the short-wavelength blue light waves from the sun. The blue light that scatters downwards hits our eyes and makes the sky look blue. Then the long-wavelength red light shines through the dust to make the clouds look red. High-pressure air is compressed and more stable as it is not easily pushed around. So, this means good weather.
Low-pressure air is moving upwards above the Mediterranean Sea, evaporating the seawater, and making rain clouds.
Low air pressure is more inclined to produce rain.
In Israel, the weather moves mainly from west to east which is the direction of the earth’s rotation. From the Mediterranean Sea to the land.
The sun is in the west in the evening.
Red sky means compressed air containing lots of smoke and dust is in the west, over the sea.
So, this stable, high-pressure, good weather moves from west to east to reach Israel the next day.
Spiritually, it was the evening time for God to deal with the Jews. After the Flood, God had dealt with the Jews for almost 2000 years. Daniel had promised the Jews a final 70 weeks (70 x 7 = 490 Bible years) since the commission given to Nehemiah to build the wall of Jerusalem in 446 BC.
After their 490 Bible years, God would set up the Millennium of 1000 years of peace with the Jews ruling the world.
A Bible year was 360 days long. So, every 69 Gentile or Roman years of 365.24 days was equal to 70 Bible years of 360 days.
Thus, in 490 Bible years, there would be 7 fewer Gentile years, or 490 – 7 = 483 of our Gentile years left to the Jews.
We start from 446 BC and go forward by 483 years.
483 – 446 = 37 years. This would be AD 37 when the Jewish Millennium should have started.
When Jesus began His 7-year ministry there was one week or 7 years left for Jewish history.
AD 37 – 7 = AD 30
So, Jesus would be baptized and begin His ministry in AD 30.
LUKE 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,
So, the starting date of His ministry is confirmed in Scripture.
No other sign was needed. Daniel’s prophecy was confirmed. Jesus was starting right at the time that Daniel had prophesied.
DANIEL 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,
God would use 7 years for the ministry of Jesus to confirm the covenant with Abram.
GENESIS 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given ...
God made a natural covenant with the natural seed of Abram, the Jews.
GALATIANS 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ,
God confirmed the covenant with the spiritual Seed of Abram, Who was Christ.
After the 7 years of Christ's ministry would follow the morning of the 7th day of 1000 years of peace to fulfill the 7th day in Eden where Adam and his bride had messed up. The Jews would rule the world with Jesus as their King if they accepted Jesus.
The first 4000 years of human history was roughly 2000 years to the Flood and then roughly 2000 years of Jewish history. But the Jewish leaders were ignoring all the miracles that only Messiah could perform as well as the time that Daniel had allocated for Messiah to appear. They could not dispute those Bible facts which they chose to ignore. Thus the Jewish leaders wanted some manufactured miracle that they could dispute. They were simply leading the Jews to reject their Messiah by not accepting the Bible facts about Jesus.
This was evening time for Israel. John the Baptist and Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures. Jesus was not calling on them to rebel against Rome. Only when they rebelled against Rome were they killed. The Jews only had 7 years to wait before their 1000-year Kingdom started. It was an interesting time to be alive.
Jesus freely fed the multitudes. Jesus freely healed the sick and afflicted.
After 7 years the Jews would rule the world, and Jesus would organize how that was to be done. All the Jews had to do was believe in Him and wait because He was the Word of God.
Jesus gives a sharp warning of the impending doom of the Jews.
If the Jews reject Him as Messiah then the Gospel will go to the Gentiles and the Jews will be left out of God’s plan. Then the next 1000 years will not be the 7th Day Millennium of peace. A Millennium is 1000 years.
The morning of a 1000-year Day will be about the first 100 years or so. So, the morning, after rejecting Messiah, would not be a glorious 100 years or so, in which they will emerge as the rulers of the world.
The morning or roughly 100 years that would start after AD 37, Daniel’s intended date to complete Messiah's ministry, would be a time of terror and desolation. In AD 70, 1100000 Jews would die as Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. Between AD 132-135 the Bar Kochba revolt would see 580000 Jews killed and the rest exiled from Israel.
MATTHEW 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
Religious leaders could see signs of weather in nature but they could not see the signs of Messiah in all His miracles and the exact timing of His ministry. Recognizing the signs promised in the Bible was the most important issue. The religious leaders missed it.
In the morning the red sun is in the east. That is where the descending air compacts the dust and smoke in the air to make the sky red. But that means that the stable high-pressure air has moved past Israel to the east.
So, coming from the west will be the unstable low-pressure air caused by rising air that evaporates the sea surface of the Mediterranean Sea and produces rain that moves inland.
“Lowring” means dense, threatening clouds. Lots of evaporation. Much rain. Storms and wind. The wind is always a symbol of war and strife, symbolizing the future destruction of the Jews by the pagan Romans who hated them.
Jesus has warned them of lowering or threatening circumstances that will kill them. The Jews would rebel in AD 66 and thus unleash the hatred of the Romans on themselves.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were wiped out in the AD 70 destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. We never read of them again. They could read the signs of the weather in the sky, but they were blind to the fulfillment of God’s Word in their days. They could not read the spiritual signs.
The Jewish leaders rejected Christ and as a result, the Jews were rejected from God’s Plan which now turned to the Gentiles.
Please note. It was the Jewish religious leaders who turned the Jews against their Messiah, Jesus.
(It is the church leaders who turn the Christians against the King James Version of the Bible. They claim that there are flaws in its translation. Thus they kill the influence of the King James Version, just like the Jews killed Jesus.
Remember, it was an apostle or church leader named Judas that Satan entered to betray Jesus, the Word of God. Betrayal does not come from outside the church. Betrayal comes from the church leadership).
Instead of having a triumphant 1000 years to rule the world, the Jews would be rejected and scattered for the 2000 years of the church ages. Only towards the end of the 7 church ages would they regather in their Promised Land. No Pharisees or Sadducees would make it. That was their penalty for leading the people to reject Messiah.
In the future it is the true church, the Bride of Christ, who will rule with Jesus in the 7th Day, the 1000 years of the Millennium. Jesus alone is the Head of the church. No one-man-ministry, however powerful, can claim to be the head of the church as that would make him the husband of the Bride.
God sees a day as 1000 years.
II PETER 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Adam, the son of God and his bride were to rule for 1000 years. They failed. The 7th day was never fulfilled.
Jesus, the Son of God and His Bride, the true church, will rule in the Millennial Kingdom of 1000 years. That will finally complete God’s original Plan.
Jesus now gave a stern warning against sign-seeking.
Do not ignore the signs that are happening while you look for something different that suits you.
It can be difficult to discern a sign which God is showing.
MATTHEW 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.
And he left them, and departed.
Notice the duplication. He "left them" and "departed". This emphasized that Jesus wanted nothing to do with them at all.
That states very clearly that Jesus wants nothing to do with sign-seekers.
Jesus, as the Word, left them. Once Jesus, as the Word, left them they were doomed. If they were still alive in AD 70, they died.
Without Jesus, the Jewish leaders would never understand the real meaning of the Word. They would certainly miss the New Testament truths unless they repented and accepted Jesus as their Saviour.
The Jewish leaders would kill Him and He would rise from the dead. Then the Romans would kill more than 1 million Jews in AD 70.
The Jews would do the evillest thing imaginable. Inspired by their leaders they would forsake the sacred Scriptures and murder their Messiah on a Thursday.
As Jonas (Greek for the Hebrew Jonah) was swallowed by a whale for three nights, so the murdered Messiah would be three nights in the grave. Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night. Then He would resurrect on Sunday morning. That would prove that He was the Messiah. That would be the greatest sign whereby Jesus repudiated the Jewish religious leaders and their vicious hatred of Him.
But, for the Jews, that held a fatal twist.
When Jonah emerged from the whale’s belly he went to the Gentiles in Nineveh and led a great revival there.
Thus, Jesus was warning the Jewish leaders. They would kill Him on a cross and He would rise three days later but then salvation would move away from the Jews and cross-over to the Gentiles for the seven church ages. As foreseen by Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s Gentile image.
Salvation was outside the Gentile kingdoms and belonged to the Jews.
At Calvary, salvation crossed-over into the feet of the Gentile image which represents the 7 church ages.
The Jewish religious leaders were rejecting Jesus, Who is the Word.
So, Jesus rejected them and crossed over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Symbolic of the Gospel crossing-over to the Gentiles.
MATTHEW 16:5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
Bread is doctrine. If you yourself do not know the truth of Scripture then your mind is open to being fooled by others.
Learning all we can about the Bible is crucial to prevent deception.
The story of Jonah is also a warning to the Gentile church. Jonah kept arguing with God and complaining. What does that tell us about our modern church world?
7 baskets of rejected bread scraps. The rejected Gospel feeds 7 Gentile church ages.
MATTHEW 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious leaders who preached error and thereby opposed the Word of God. Error is leaven.
Jesus is the Word of God.
Thus, the religious leaders endlessly opposed Jesus as they had no desire to be strictly Scriptural. Part of the reason was that they occupied an unscriptural position. Nowhere in the Old Testament was a Sadducee or a Pharisee authorized as the religious leader. They had hijacked this position and then used their authority to oppose Jesus.
We have a similar problem today. Nowhere in the New Testament was a Bishop or a pastor placed in charge of a church. They too have hijacked this position and use their authority to elevate quotes in the place of Scripture. Brother Branham’s quotes are now regarded as being the absolute and infallible Truth because he is regarded as being the Voice of God.
Then ironically, a statement that he never made is used to build a major doctrine. Message-people claim that the 7 Thunders have uttered their voices. Brother Branham never said that.
All this, sadly, is modern-day leaven that does not increase our understanding of Scripture.
Leaven is a yeast that corrupts and then produces carbon dioxide gas that cannot sustain life. But the gas swells up the bread to make it look good. Churches swell their numbers when they drop their standards and move away from being strictly Scriptural. Preachers of error become puffed up with their self-importance.
So, Jesus was warning them about the spiritual corruption of their religious leaders. They were nice men who lived holy lives but they no longer focused on being Scriptural. What is worse, when Jesus came as the fulfilled Word, they endlessly sought to destroy Him. All the leaders wanted was to keep preaching their traditions to maintain their power over the people and protect their incomes.
Church leaders today use their power, authority, and money to maintain their power, authority, and money.
The Jewish leaders endlessly tried to find fault with Jesus. Church leaders today find fault with the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). Instead of being regarded as being the Absolute truth, the KJV is now criticized as being wrong in places. This Bible is the Word of God. Thus, your attitude to the King James Bible is your attitude to Jesus. The KJV Bible is either perfect, or it is flawed. You must decide for yourself.
MATTHEW 16:7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
The disciples thought Jesus was talking about natural bread. But bread symbolizes doctrine. And the wrong doctrine, preached by the Jewish religious leaders, was leaven. Any wrong doctrine is symbolized by leaven.
MATTHEW 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
ROMANS 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The only true faith that really counts is when we are able to hear the Word of God and understand what was written. That determines our position in Christ. Then we will know what God is doing in our day and more importantly, we will be able to respond.
Jesus was friends with two sisters, Mary and Martha.
Martha did great deeds of service to feed the people. Nothing wrong with that. Hard work is commendable. We should all work hard at doing good deeds. But this is a secondary aspect of our faith because Jesus never complimented her.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself
Allowing God to teach us the truth of Scripture is far more important. To be in God’s will we must learn and be guided into the truth like Martha's sister Mary. Understanding the Word for your day is vital. She sat at the feet of Jesus to learn, instead of feeding the people. And Jesus complimented Mary.
We must not speak of what we ourselves did, however good our works. So, Martha’s works were good. They were necessary, but not sufficient.
“He shall not speak of himself”. Speaking about my deeds and what I did, does not advance God’s Kingdom. Yet I must continue to do these good deeds. But good works are not the important issue.
Recognizing God’s Word for today is crucial.
LUKE 10:39 And she [Martha] had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Working hard to feed and help people was good. But it was not the most important part.
The needful thing that was most necessary was to hear the Word.
It is critical that you know what God is doing in our day.
Martha symbolized the saved church-goers, the foolish virgins, who do good works but are fooled into believing wrong doctrines by the church leaders. They have to get straightened out in the horror of the Tribulation.
Mary symbolized the Bride, the wise virgins who seek to understand the mysteries and secrets of the Bible so that they can comprehend the wisdom of the thoughts of Jesus that are expressed in His Word. Mary wanted to know what goes on in the mind of Christ. Only then can Christians prepare themselves for the return of the Lord Jesus.
It is more important to feed your soul on Scripture than to feed people's stomachs on food, even though that is a very good work.
MATTHEW 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Jesus keeps expecting us to understand. Especially when we are in the eagle-age at the end.
12 baskets of rejected scraps were picked up by the disciples. Bread represents doctrine. These scraps of thrown-away bread represent the Jews rejecting Jesus the Word.
The Jews rejected the Gospel. These rejected truths were written down by the disciples (plus a few more disciples who joined in a little later) as the New Testament. These truths will then be served up to the 144000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel at the end, during the Tribulation.
5 is the number of grace. So, 5 loaves and 5000 men represent God’s grace to the Jews as He saves them in the Great Tribulation when nobody else can get saved because Jesus is off the mercy seat. He leaves the mercy seat when He comes down to catch up His Bride to Him just before the Tribulation starts.
God's grace to the Jews in the Tribulation is that He still owes them three-and-a-half-years to complete God's promise contained in Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks. So the Jews will get special attention. The 5th Seal (another symbol of grace) promises white robes will be given to all the Jews who tried their best to follow the Old Testament Law after the destruction of the Temple, and were killed for being Jews.
In Revelation Chapter 4 there are 4 beasts around the throne of God.
4 + 1 = 5.
The protection and guidance of these 5 are the only reason that the church was able to get through the 7 church ages. That is God’s grace. God operated through those four beasts or spirits at different stages in church history.
While dealing with the 7 church ages, by grace God still accepted all the sincere Jews who were killed for being Jews.
MATTHEW 16:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
7 baskets of rejected bread scraps were collected from seven loaves. This emphasizes the 7 church ages that would find their truth from the New Testament beliefs that the Jews rejected.
MATTHEW 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Natural bread and leaven (which is yeast) were just being used as a symbol of a deeper understanding of Bible doctrine.
MATTHEW 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Jesus always had a deeper spiritual meaning behind the words that He spoke.
The natural types the spiritual.
We find that the numbers 12 and 7 in our time periods. 12 months in a year. 7 days in a week.
We also find 12 and 7 in the Old Testament Tabernacle. The 7-branched candlestick representing the 7 church ages. The 12 loaves of shewbread representing the 144000 from the 12 tribes of Israel. These are the two groups that God deals with during the New Testament.
Can you think Scripturally for yourself or do you just say what others say?
The Bible never speaks of parrots. These are people who can repeat quotes from other people that may well be accurate but they cannot understand what they are saying. They certainly cannot prove their beliefs from Scripture.
Caesarea Philippi (now known as Banias) was the centre of worship of foreign gods, especially the famous musical god Pan with his pan-pipes from Greek mythology. This hinted at the influence of Greek philosophy that would develop the Trinity doctrine that still dominates the church world. As well as the subtle danger of disco-type entertainment produced by church beat-music. Drums are never mentioned in the Bible.
The Babylonians, Egyptians, and Hindus all had trinity gods and when Alexander the Great conquered Babylon and Egypt and finally reached India, these three trinity ideas were merged by the Babylonian priesthood in the city of Pergamos during the days of the Greek empire. Greek philosophy would develop unscriptural ideas like one-God-in-three Persons, God the Son, eternal Sonship, Father and Son are of the same essence (whatever that means), eternal essence, and the three Persons are co-equal. The seat of Satan was thus in Pergamos as this is where the pagan trinity mysteries merged into the triad which later became the Trinity. These combined pagan ideas were accepted in Rome when Julius Caesar became the Pontiff of the Babylonian mysteries and the first man in Rome to be worshiped as a god. This pagan spirit was accepted into the Roman Catholic Church when Pope Leo 1 around AD 450 insisted on being called Pope and Pontiff.
Caesar was the famous Roman leader and Dictator. Philip was the Greek father of the famous Alexander the Great. Philip subdued the Greek states and built up a powerful army which was the basis of Alexander's future successes.
This city was dominated by the reputations of these two famous men. It signifies that church-people are easily dominated by famous men. Christians still, unfortunately, refer to themselves as Calvinists, Lutherans, Wesleyans, Branhamites, etc. to show how their thinking is controlled by famous church leaders. Catholics base their faith on the Popes being the successors of Saint Peter. As if some man can save us. We can always learn from what a man says but there is no Scripture telling us to call ourselves by their names. We must learn the mind of Christ and then think for ourselves from Scripture. Great preachers must explain the Scriptures to us, not their own opinions. Then the only name that we use is that of Christ when we call ourselves Christians.
Jesus realized that the elevation of a holy man above the congregation or laity, called Nicolaitanism, would be the major weakness of the future church. Jesus announces His plan to form a future church in this city which is dominated by the memories of two famous men from history. In the end, the Jews were dominated by their religious leaders who criticized and then killed Christ. At the end of the church ages, the church would be dominated by leaders who criticize the King James Version of the Bible (KJV).
The "coasts" of Caesarea Philippi. But this city is inland at the base of the Golan heights. There is no sea coast there. Thus, we must think spiritually. The sea is a symbol of the restless peoples and nations. Jesus announces His plan to form a church. But the influence of Greek philosophy and brutal Roman intimidation of their future "Christian" emperors will raise up a sea of people within the church that will oppose the Word. Eventually, the sea, or the restless masses in the church, will be considered to be the church. Then the minority of true believers will be labeled as heretics. That is the real enemy of truth.
The water around a ship will not make it sink. It is when the water gets into the ship that it sinks. When the error is regarded as truth, the church slides off the Bible path.
MATTHEW 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
We are more worried about ourselves than we are worried about others.
But, paradoxically, we are more impressed with what others think and say than what we ourselves think and say.
Most Christians, when questioned, tend to say, "That is what my church believes" or "That is what my pastor says".
They cannot go from Scripture to Scripture to prove what they are saying.
MATTHEW 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
So, when asked what other people say, the disciples readily answered. They all seemed to know what other people had said. Of course, different people have different viewpoints. Thus, the disciples came up with a number of different answers which was of no use as far as establishing the truth. Repeating the different opinions of various people can only be called hopeful guessing.
MATTHEW 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
This was different, almost unfair. Jesus was expecting each disciple to think for himself. There was silence. Nobody wanted to say something that could be wrong and risk looking stupid.
We are happy to be parrots and just repeat the different opinions of others. But just do not ask me to think for myself.
Then Peter, bold and impetuous, was brave enough to think for himself. And, which made him even braver, he was willing to express his own opinion, what he thought. Peter had no herd instinct. He was prepared to stand on his own feet. When you follow the herd you find that all the good grass has been trampled.
MATTHEW 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus as a Man was the Son of God. The Father was the invisible Spirit of God Who dwelled within Him.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
To combat the future denominational beliefs where church leaders intimidate or persuade people to play follow-my-leader, Jesus wants people to have a personal revelation that they can prove from Scripture. People can be taught by a man but must have no desire to follow that man.
The rock is the revelation of Who Jesus is
MATTHEW 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
No human being had explained this revelation to Peter. God had given him a revelation of Who Jesus is.
A revelation is when you have a clear understanding of what you are talking about.
Peter has correctly identified Who Jesus is.
So, Jesus clearly tells Peter who he is. Peter is Petros which means a “small stone”.
Nobody in their right mind would mistake a deliberately identified small stone for being a rock.
65-0220 GOD'S CHOSEN PLACE OF WORSHIP
They think you have to belong to that certain church or you cannot go to Heaven. That's wrong. To believe that, is antichrist. I'll say this: if you believe such a spirit, you're lost. That's a good sign you are lost, because it's taking away from what God did. God never put His Name in any church. He put It in His Son, Christ Jesus, when He and His Son became One. That's the genuine place of worship.
No other foundations was laid, no other rock.
You do not have to be in a particular church. But you must be in Christ and believe the Bible.
The rock is the foundation belief that you build your faith on.
When you can believe that Jesus is Almighty God. Because the Son of God is the Man that Almighty God dwells in.
MATTHEW 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
So, when Jesus speaks of a rock, He is not referring to the "little stone" that is Peter.
Jesus is referring to the revelation that Peter had.
Peter had a revelation of Who Jesus is.
The true church would start with salvation when each member gained an understanding or revelation of Who Jesus is, the Lord God Almighty.
REVELATION 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
The gates of hell are the open mouths and throats of those who preach unscriptural doctrines.
Preachers would use Greek philosophy to introduce unscriptural ideas like Triad, Trinity, or Triune.
They would speak of one-God-in-three-Persons and claim that Father and Son are of the same essence (whatever that means). They then spoke of eternal essence.
The unscriptural expressions “Eternal Sonship” and “God the Son” would produce a contradiction of Scripture by putting Jesus into the Godhead instead of having the fulness of the Godhead in Jesus, as Paul said.
Worst of all, the Trinity God would have no name as you cannot find one name for three Persons. Nowhere in Scripture does the Holy Ghost ever have a name.
All this dismal doctrinal error and deception would make no inroads on any Christian who had a clear revelation that Jesus is Almighty God.
As the Father, God was above the Jews in the Old Testament.
As the Son, God was with the Jews as Emmanuel when Jesus lived between the two Testaments. He fulfilled the Old Testament and established the New Testament.
MATTHEW 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
JOHN 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
As the Holy Spirit God dwells in us (the church) in the New Testament.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit mean that God was manifest above the Jews, with the Jews, and in the church.
The key to heaven. Repent, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost baptism
MATTHEW 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Key that will loose the door to the Kingdom of Heaven so that the door opens to let us in, is to know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the name of Almighty God.
Jehovah means Lord. The Jehovah of the Old Testament became the Jesus of the New Testament. The Christ is the Anointed One.
The main thrust of this key is to know that the name of Almighty God is Jesus.
Lord and Christ are titles.
To know which Jesus we are talking about, you must attach at least one title to His name.
So, Lord Jesus and Jesus Christ and Lord Jesus Christ all have the same meaning when it comes to the name because only Jesus is a name. Using one or both titles just makes sure that you are not talking about some other man who is called Jesus.
Then, as Jesus said earlier in this Chapter, there is only one sign given to an evil and adulterous generation. The sign of the prophet Jonas (the Greek spelling of the Hebrew Jonah) whose three nights in the whale’s belly represented the three nights that Jesus spent in the tomb.
This represented the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
So, Christians must also openly demonstrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus by being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must publically represent the only sign to a wicked world as we are baptized under the water as a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Under the water on your back, you are just like a buried corpse as you cannot breathe.
God the Father and the Holy Spirit never died and cannot get buried. So, if they are separate People then they play no part in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. As a result, they would have no relevant part in the water baptism either.
So, the key to open Heaven’s door is repentance followed by water baptism in the name of Jesus. That opens the door to the Holy Ghost baptism. This procedure will always be valid, as long as Jesus is on the mercy seat so that repentance can save us from our sins.
The water baptism in the name of Jesus allows us to take on the name of Jesus because the Bride must take on the name of her Husband.
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Repentance is the only way to gain forgiveness or remission of sins.
Water baptism cannot grant you the forgiveness of your sins. Water baptism just allows you to take on the name of Jesus Christ and thus establish that He is the Husband of the heavenly Bride or true church, of which you are a member.
ACTS 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The Holy Spirit is offered to all those who repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. As long as salvation is available, this promise will never be withdrawn.
But salvation depends on the blood of Jesus being on the mercy seat in Heaven.
REVELATION 1:5 … Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Just before the Tribulation starts Jesus leaves the mercy seat to claim His Bride who will then be changed into immortal bodies. At that point, salvation ceases. We must be saved before then. Gentiles cannot get saved in the Tribulation because Jesus will be at the Wedding Feast, not on the mercy seat.
Peter's key bound John’s water baptism which didn't have the name of Jesus
The moment Peter introduced his water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ on the Day of Pentecost, he automatically would bind John’s water baptism that only spoke of repentance.
Repentance is enough to get one into Heaven, if we sincerely repent of our sins.
But Peter’s baptism required us to take on the name of Jesus Christ and that automatically invalidated any baptism that is not done in the name of Jesus Christ. The Husband must have a name for the Bride to take on.
Thus, Peter's baptism bound John’s baptism too as John's baptism never mentioned the name of Jesus.
It also binds the baptism where people just say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” and then do not go on to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ”, or “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”. The name Jesus must be mentioned.
The key to the correct baptism is to know the name of the Lord God Almighty which is Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Trinity makes God and the Father two separate Persons. Which makes no sense.
Jesus is simply the Man who is the Son of God because all of God dwells in Him as the Father.
You have a conscious mind (the son) that only works when you are awake and a far more powerful subconscious mind (the father) that still operates when you sleep. You are not two people.
“Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”. Baptism is a deed where certain words are spoken, so the name of Jesus must be mentioned.
But there are the wise virgins (the Bride) and the foolish virgins (the church). A virgin is a clean woman, representing the saved people in the church.
But the foolish virgins represent those who are fooled by the church leaders. They make it to Heaven because they are saved, but not as part of the Bride who are closest to Jesus, Who is the Word.
So, there is a clash between the unsaved world and the saved Christians.
In addition, there is a clash between the saved foolish or fooled church-goers and the wise believers who are strictly Scriptural. This clash intensifies over the use of the name of Jesus in water baptism as well as claiming that Jesus is the name of God in opposition to the Trinitarians who are mostly unaware that their Triune God has no name.
MATTHEW 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Jesus had a huge problem with the Jews. Most of them did not think of Messiah as one who would free them from their sins. They thought instead of Messiah as a political liberator who would free them from the hated Romans. They allowed their short-term political ambitions to cloud God’s long-term plan for humanity. So, they actually interfered with His ministry, thinking that they could make Jesus the King by force.
Thus, they were telling Jesus what to do. Totally wrong. They were trying to do God a service without it being the will of God.
Like Martha’s endless service where she endlessly placed good works ahead of God’s revealed Word for her day.
Jesus separates from people who try to force other people to believe or do certain things.
JOHN 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
Publicity led to big crowds which were a hindrance to His ministry.
Then the will and ambitions of men take over to force the crowd into a certain way of thinking.
MARK 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Big crowds can be more of a hindrance than a help.
In the next Chapter, Jesus is on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John.
MATTHEW 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Jesus had to die so there was no need to tell the people too much before He died. The people were going to be persuaded by their religious leaders to kill Him anyway.
So rather wait until after His resurrection when he had purchased the redemption of our souls. Then the full truth could be revealed to the people.
The King James Version of the Bible will be attacked and its influence killed
MATTHEW 16:21 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.
Notice it was the Jewish leaders who encouraged the people to kill Jesus, the Word of God in the form of a Man.
Today, church leaders are endlessly telling people about the mistakes in the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). They have produced over 100 different versions of the English Bible.
Thus, they destroy the influence of the Word of God in the form of the KJV Bible.
Consequently, over 45000 different types of churches and denominations have now developed. Sincere Christians earnestly declare that it is impossible to have a perfectly translated Bible. Since the church-world moved away from regarding the KJV of the Bible as the infallible and Absolute Word of God, different Bible versions and opinions have multiplied. Error is now rampant as deception undermines the church world which is killing the Bible truth. Church-goers happily believe unscriptural words like Trinity, Christmas, Good Friday, a seven-year Tribulation, and the pastor is the head of the church. Very few Christians now feel the need to prove what they believe just from Scripture.
Jesus rose on "the third day".
The Word of God would be revealed during the third church age of restoration.
The first stage was Martin Luther in Germany in 1520 who restored salvation by faith alone.
The second stage was John Wesley in England who in 1750 began to restore holiness and outreach which led to the great missionary age.
The third stage was the Pentecostals at Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906 who restored the Spiritual gifts before William Branham revealed the deep mysteries of Scripture between 1947 and 1965. Thus, the original Word of the apostles that had died in the Dark Ages was raised up again as brother Branham restored us back to the beliefs of the early apostolic church. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ was finally restored after being rejected by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 when they forced the Trinity onto the church world.
MATTHEW 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Peter, who had just been promoted to great importance by being given the keys to Heaven, now contradicted Jesus. Peter did this with good intentions. He did not want Jesus to die.
But despite his good intentions, he was suddenly inspired by Satan. Anyone who contradicts or changes the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) is being misled by Satan.
This displays the fundamental error of us humans. We feel that we can contradict and change and ignore the Word of God as spoken by Jesus or as written in the KJV of the Bible.
Jesus was not impressed with human loyalty and bravery if that person in any way contradicted the Word. Jesus made it very clear that if you speak against His Word then you are simply offensive to Him.
Satan had got into Peter’s mind to make him contradict the Word. And this was just a brief while after Peter had got his dizzy promotion to handle the keys of Heaven.
Success in the church world is not necessarily a good thing.
A person can be right with God and blessed of God at one moment and then shortly after that be deceived by the Devil on some issue.
The dividing line is quite simple. Do you agree with what the KJV of the Bible says or do you change and contradict the Bible to make it agree with your viewpoint?
MATTHEW 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
If you criticize the Bible in any way, then you are not interested in God’s will but in man’s will.
Our hardest task today is to let Scripture interpret Scripture so that we let the KJV of the Bible shape our thinking on any topic. What is written tells us what Jesus thinks and He is only interested in our service when we regard the Bible as the Absolute Truth.
Consider how many churches no longer use the King James Version of the Bible. All those alternative Bible versions have changed or contradicted words in the KJV which is now regarded as only being a guideline that needs to be corrected in places. That is the opposite of the truth, as we need to be corrected by the KJV of the Bible.
II TIMOTHY 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
We must never say that there are mistakes in the KJV of the Bible.
So, what does that tell us about the state of the modern church world?
It is quite frightening as almost all church-goers, even those who use the KJV, now seem quite happy to openly state that the KJV has mistakes. Even message-followers have fallen into this trap of fault-finding the KJV of the Bible in their efforts to prove that brother Branham’s quotes are the infallible Absolute.
Christians are just losing direction as the KJV of the Bible is no longer their compass. The church-world is shrouded in a fog of human opinions as churches play follow-my-leader. But there are so many leaders who are going in all sorts of different directions. The blind lead the blind and the Tribulation is the ditch that saved Christians will fall into.
1965 EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES CHAPTER 9 LAODICEAN AGE.
Now in every case you will notice that a false prophet is one who is outside the Word. Just as we showed you that 'antichrist' means 'anti-Word' so these false prophets come perverting the Word, giving it a meaning that fits their own devilish ends. Have you ever noticed how the people who lead others astray bind them closely to themselves by fear? They say that if the people don't do what they say, or if they leave, then destruction will follow. They are false prophets, for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won't tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says. Notice how these people like Judas are out for money.
The last church age of the Laodiceans ends up with Jesus standing outside the church door. The Word has been pushed out of the church. This represents the destruction of the truth by the church leaders.
The name on the church door is Christian. The business inside is deception.
THE EHESIAN CHURCH AGE
I said that the True Church would always try to be like it was in the Book of Acts. That is exactly right. But we have discovered that the Word also teaches an invasion of the error until there is a complete blackout of truth in the last day when the Lord is about to appear.
MATTHEW 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Jesus gets specific. He repeats Himself twice in one sentence. That is a firm emphasis.
“Come after Me”. “Follow Me”.
The thoughts of Jesus are written in the KJV of the Bible. So only follow what you can prove from the KJV. Deny yourself, your own opinions, traditions, and culture. Deny the opinions of others. Shoulder whatever difficulties and rejection you face by disagreeing with the unscriptural church and cultural traditions. Take up your cross means forsaking popularity.
Follow what the KJV Bible says. That is the only compass that we have in our confusing day.
65-0429 THE CHOOSING OF A BRIDE
But the Word of God attracts the Bride of Christ.
... While, the true Bride attracts the attention of God, by keeping His Word.
MATTHEW 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Frantically following your favourite leader will not save you in the end. Ignoring what man says and following the written Bible will make you unpopular with people, but will put you on the right path.
MATTHEW 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Nothing that people or this world can offer you can compare to the value of your soul. So make sure that you believe the Bible's truth.
MATTHEW 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Today is the day of man. Humans can do exactly as they wish. But the day of Jesus is coming. Then every person will be judged in terms of their works.
On that day there will only be one important issue. How Scriptural were you?
Did you recognize the revealed Word for your day?
MATTHEW 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
In Chapter 17, Peter, James, and John were taken up onto the Mount of Transfiguration. There they saw the end-time events acted out. Jesus was with Moses and Elijah. Jesus was transformed just like all the saints will be transformed at His Second Coming. Elijah represented the end-time living saints who are changed into immortal bodies and then caught up to Heaven without dying. Moses represented the resurrected saints who are changed from death into eternal life.
This symbolized the dead in Christ, represented by Moses, that will be raised first. Then the living Bride will be changed and caught up to Heaven as represented by Elijah.
These three disciples saw this preview of the end-time events unfold as if they were actually watching the end-time events.
Jesus, Moses, and Elijah acted out a fascinating sign of the end-times.
We are fast approaching the day when the resurrection of the saints from the seven church ages will happen. Then the 7 Thunders will utter to show us how to get our changed bodies. The time for these great events is at hand. That is the final reward for those who dared to be Scriptural.