Matthew Chapter 3
MATTHEW 2:23 And he [Jesus] came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
This was not a written prophecy. It was an oral prophecy that had been handed down from generation to generation.
MATTHEW 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Bethabara is called the “Place of the Crossing” where Joshua made his dramatic and supernatural crossing over of the Jordan River on dry land. The first city that Joshua came to was Jericho. Its great walls would collapse supernaturally.
The Jordan river types dying to self.
Joshua was a symbol of the Holy Spirit that indwells us when we die to self.
Jesus came from Nazareth to get baptized near Bethabara.
Jesus, because He is God, was crossing over from the heavenly to the earthly realm so that He could start His ministry and fulfill the prophecies in order to pay the price for sin.
He would then go on and die for our sins in Jerusalem.
That way His Holy Spirit could cross over from the earthly realm and go down into Hell and tear down all the strongholds of sin and demonology. These were far stronger walls than those of Jericho. But Jesus was a far more formidable Fighter than the great Joshua had been. Jesus defeated Satan in his infernal stronghold.
Salvation had been for the Jews in the Old Testament, outside the Gentile kingdoms, but now Jesus was going to make salvation cross over to the Gentiles during the seven church ages.
The upper body of Nebuchadnezzar's Gentile image represented the Gentile kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome that knew nothing of God's salvation unless they accepted the Jewish faith as proselytes.
The feet of Daniel’s Gentile image represent the 2000 years of the church. The church spread salvation amongst the Gentile nations.
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was His crowning glory that made the Devil realize that he, the Devil, was defeated. Satan is like a beast that was wounded to death with his back broken but he still has a savage bite and a murderous rage to destroy, until he ends in the Lake of Fire. Satan is defeated but dangerous and very deceptive. We still need God’s help if we are to oppose the Devil.
JOHN 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
MATTHEW 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
If the Jews accepted Jesus, then they would be set up to rule the world in the Millennium or 1000 years of peace that would start in seven years’ time. Daniel had promised the Jews that they would have 490 Jewish years left, after the commandment was given to Nehemiah to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. When Jesus came on the scene to be baptized it was almost the end of AD 29, as He was about 30. Then there were only 7 years left for the Jews.
MATTHEW 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
The “wilderness” is a scary word. The Jews were supposed to be God’s people who were all waiting for Messiah.
But a wilderness is a deserted and desolate area.
Thus, Isaiah was telling the Jews that they were in a spiritual wasteland. Spiritually they were dried up and their elevated leadership had succumbed to greed and corruption.
A lot needed changing if they were to be ready for the Coming of Messiah.
The coronavirus plague of 2020 was a similar wakeup call to the modern church. God sees our church world as only being fit to be closed down. Churches are not capable of showing the people what the end-time revelations of the Scripture are. Thus church-goers will never learn the Bible truths that will prepare them for the Coming of the Lord. Their minds will remain cluttered in a lukewarm condition with a mixture of Bible truths, like getting saved and doing charitable works, as well as their church leader’s many unscriptural errors.
MATTHEW 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Camel’s hair and leather are tough materials. This indicated that John was a tough fighter, taking on the whole Jewish religious system that had all become corrupted. There was no compromise in him, no desire for luxury. He was never polite to the religious leaders. He called them snakes.
John’s simple clothes and diet contradicted the impressive prosperity of the religious leaders like the Priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees. They supposed that gain was godliness (1 Timothy 6:5). Times have not changed. It is the same today as we await the Second Coming of Christ.
Wild honey means honey that is untouched by any man-made process. No human opinions. No man-made traditions. Just believe the Bible the way it is written in the King James Version. No apologies. Just say it the way it is written.
Locusts are identified with a plague. Crowned locusts in Revelation Chapter 9 are corona-demons. Deadly. Just like the coronavirus or crowned-virus of 2020.
REVELATION 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
Faces of men. Demonology spreads by men’s preaching of unscriptural ideas.
Locusts travel in swarms that represent the majority opinion, doctrine, or idea. These influences are spread like a plague. Why are they so infectious? It propagates since it appeals to the lust of the majority.
This swarm of man-made errors flew down to the Jordan river and bounced off the granite-like chin of John the Baptist. He ripped them to shreds. John did not know how to retreat. Like a modern-day American marine, he responded to an ambush by attacking rather than ducking for cover.
His needs were few and simple. He sought no money and thus had no weak point that Satan could trip him on. He was so honestly focused on presenting God’s Word, with no desire for personal gain, that he fascinated all the province of Judea that is the region around Jerusalem, as well as the people around Jordan.
He lived a much simpler lifestyle than the Jews. He had far less than them. Yet he asked them for nothing. His ruggedness and blunt attack on sin swept all before him. The people listened in awe; their religious leaders led a rapid retreat. Imagine if they had to give up their money and their prestige. No way.
MATTHEW 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
John struck the Jews like a hurricane. He shattered their false opinions and destroyed their complacency. He stripped their self-righteousness to the bone and fearlessly denounced their sins and unbelief.
MATTHEW 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
All the Jews could do was repent. They had been struck by a blast of righteous indignation. Suddenly they knew that a man like Moses or Elijah had risen up. God had indeed raised up a prophet to the Jews.
God does not raise up a prophet to tell us that we are right. He raises up a prophet to blast us for being wrong.
MATTHEW 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Look at the scorn and contempt with which he spoke to the religious leaders. They were so elevated above the people that self-importance and arrogance had made them mini-dictators.
Snakes have poison in their mouths. The unscriptural doctrines that preachers preach.
The coronavirus of 2020 symbolized that, as God used it as a means to close down the churches. Showing exactly what God’s opinion of modern-day church leaders and their self-opinionated unscriptural beliefs is.
MATTHEW 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
If you claim you have repented, show suitable fruits.
A truly repentant person will recognize a prophet when he arrives in their day.
MATTHEW 21:26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
John condemned the religious leaders of his day, but the people saw beyond that and realized that he was a prophet.
A truly repentant soul today should also recognize that William Branham was a prophet. What they have to fight against is the brainwashing of their churches and church pastors.
Repentance means finding Jesus.
But Jesus is outside the church of the Laodiceans, which is the last church age.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
He is looking for individuals, not groups.
So, the only way for individuals to find Jesus was for God to close down the churches at the beginning of 2020 (which means perfect vision) so that people sitting isolated at home in lockdown could search the internet and find the truth. Free from the infectious, unscriptural errors that they keep hearing at church.
MATTHEW 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Church-goers today are smugly complacent that they are saved and therefore will go up in the rapture.
Thus, they cluster in a holy huddle in their churches as the foolish or fooled virgins (clean women, saved) and ignore the revelations of the end time Bible mysteries. Consequently, they have little understanding of Scripture, especially the Books of Revelation, Daniel, and Genesis.
But there are rough and stony-hearted sinners on the outside that have no time for the complacent churches. God will raise up and save these controversial ruffians because they alone will have the courage to stand up for Bible truth. They alone will love the truth of God’s Word when it is revealed to them.
To stand for the truth you have to have enough courage to oppose all the churches as John did.
ISAIAH 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Church-going stooges will be rejected and replaced by zealous-for-Bible-truth church critics.
If you know you are wrong and thus in darkness then you can see the light of Scripture.
But if you feel you are right then you never look for Scriptural correction and cannot see the light.
MATTHEW 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
John the Baptist was ruthless. He knew not the word compromise. When you chop down a tree then wood chips scatter in all directions. He offended many. He stood on many toes. But he burned a fiery path deep down into the souls of his listeners. He gave them a choice: Shape up or burn.
MATTHEW 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
John baptized with water. This was a new religious shock for the Jews. Being baptized.
That was how the First Coming of Jesus was presented to the Jews.
The Second Coming of Jesus is presented to the churches by the water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
This is a great religious shock to the Trinity-dominated modern church-goers, who think they know it all.
Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit which is a far more significant baptism.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
The Holy Spirit will reveal to each church age what essential Bible truths they need to know, despite the overspreading cloud of Roman Catholic errors.
But the last church age of the Laodiceans will have to understand the mysteries of the written Scripture. They will have to have the same beliefs as the first church age that was established by the apostles.
The seed that is harvested is identical to the seed that was planted at the beginning.
John refers to the shoes of Jesus.
Shoes cover and hide the feet.
But shoes are tied up with laces which hide the feet from view. Thus John knew his ministry was not involved with the seven church ages.
In Daniel’s Gentile image, the feet represented the seven church ages.
In the Old Testament, salvation was of the Jews and was thus outside the Gentile kingdoms.
John knew that a big change was coming. But he never understood the implications of salvation leaving the Jews and crossing over to the Gentiles. The iron legs were pagan Rome. The bits of iron in the feet were Roman Catholicism. The miry or wet clay represented the Bride as the only part of the Gentile image that could support life is clay. Seeds can grow in wet clay.
John knew nothing about the future seven church ages. Thus he said that he could not carry the shoes of Jesus, just before His First Coming.
The laces that tied up or sealed up the shoes of Jesus were the 7 Seals mysteries that could not be revealed in his day.
In 1906 Pentecostal power was restored at Azusa Street in Los Angeles. The Pentecostals tried to look through the 7-Sealed laces of the shoes of Jesus but all they could see under the laces were the tongues of the shoes. They could see nothing else as it was hidden and unknown to them. So, they majored in speaking with unknown tongues.
But William Branham, just before the Second Coming of Jesus, would receive the commission to reveal six of the seven Seals. The 7th Seal deals with the Coming of the Lord and is a total mystery. Thus brother Branham had the ministry to remove those shoes and show how the feet revealed the history of the seven church ages in the Bible.
This helps to explain the foot-washing. The seven Gentile church ages being washed in the water of the Word.
Peter never understood it at the time because the Jews despised the Gentiles. But later when the Gentiles got saved in the house of Cornelius, Peter began to comprehend that the Gospel was moving to the Gentiles.
Paul then introduced the idea of the seven church ages by referring to the ages that were to come. By placing this sentence in verse 7, he gives a hint that there were seven church ages.
EPHESIANS 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
John the Baptist had a harsh warning. We will either be collected as wheat or burned like chaff. Believe or perish.
MATTHEW 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
God has to separate the wheat grains that believe in Scripture from the chaff that believes unscriptural things. This takes a thorough purging as it is very hard to get wrong ideas out of a person’s head. But those who are too brainwashed into ideas that are not written in the Bible, such as Trinity, God the Son, and Christmas will end up in the fire of the Tribulation. Those who never repented and accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour will end up in the Lake of Fire.
But each church age will go through a rough time in order to separate the wheat from the chaff.
ACTS 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Christianity is not for sissies. Each age would have different tribulations that they would have to go through.
The last church age of the Laodiceans will finally reject the end-time revelation of the mysteries. Then they will be thrown into the Great Tribulation at the end of the age.
MATTHEW 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
Jesus had to walk the length of Israel from Galilee (the region to the left of the Sea of Galilee) in the north to get to Bethabara, just above the Dead Sea.
So Jesus took the baptism seriously.
We should also take the water baptism seriously.
When Jesus said to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we should demand to know what that name is.
MATTHEW 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
John knew this was Emanuel, God in the flesh. John knew he was inferior to Jesus and thus felt totally inadequate to baptize Him. Jesus had never sinned. John’s baptism was based on repentance.
MATTHEW 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Righteousness is God’s Word. The Lamb of God had to be washed before being killed.
II CHRONICLES 4:6 He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them;
MATTHEW 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
The Holy Ghost did not go into Him but rested on Him as a visible anointing.
This event was when God anointed Jesus.
ACTS 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost
Aaron, the first High Priest, had to be washed and anointed by Moses the prophet.
EXODUS 40:12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.
:13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him
Jesus, the last and final High Priest, had to be washed in Jordan by John the Baptist and then anointed by the Holy Spirit when He stood on the river bank.
David was anointed king by Samuel the prophet but only became king when his enemy Saul died.
Jesus was anointed King on the river bank but will only become King on earth when the enemy is destroyed at Armageddon.
MATTHEW 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
A voice from Heaven. God the Father speaking of His Son.
MATTHEW 1:20 … Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
The man who places the seed of life in a woman’s womb is the father of that child.
Thus, the Holy Ghost Who conceived life in Mary’s womb is the Father of Jesus, the Man.
Point 1. The Holy Ghost and God the Father are the same Person. The Man Jesus cannot have two Fathers.
God is only pleased with the Man Jesus because He was fully submissive to the will of God.
There is no mention of "God the Father" in the Old Testament.
The Bible never refers to “God the Son” or “God the Holy Ghost”. These are man-made inventions.
Jesus as a Man cannot be God because God is not a Man. God is a Spirit.
JOHN 4:24 God is a Spirit
NUMBERS 23:19 God is not a man,
Thus, the Man Jesus is the “Son of God”. What does Son of God mean?
A Man that the fulness of the Godhead can live in and act through.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 The fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily.
If all of God the Father dwells in Jesus, then Jesus is the human name of God the Father, Who is the Holy Ghost.
Thus the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ.
This was confirmed by Peter in Acts 2:38.
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.
The remission of sins is not due to the baptism of the sinner. It is due to the repentance of the sinner.
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.
The repentance must come before the baptism. So, you cannot baptize babies.
The fulness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus, making Jesus the Son of God.
We only become sons or daughters of God when a portion of God’s Spirit dwells in us and controls us.
Jesus is God, not because of His flesh, but because the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him.