Zechariah Chapter 11, part 1 - How Pastors betray the Word just like Judas did
ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 11
Old Testament Scriptures tend to have a compound meaning.
They refer to events in the Old Testament as well as being predictions of trends and episodes in church history and the return of the Jews to Israel at the end of church history. Most of these prophecies also give us clues as to how God sets up the scene in our modern days for the end-time.
The most important aspect of these prophecies, to us, is that they also give clues to the end-time Bride or the end time Jews as to how the Devil will operate in order to deceive them. Thus, we can learn his tricks and avoid being fooled.
So, in reading these prophecies that refer to historical events we must also keep asking. “What do they teach us about what is going on today”.
Sometimes we can find a very striking verse in a Chapter of prophecy and that verse tells us what the Chapter is all about.
The very striking prophecy is :
ZECHARIAH 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
This is about the betrayal of Jesus by Judas who was an apostle.
This prophecy at first sight almost seems out of place.
Until we realize that the theme of this Chapter is all about the betrayal of the Word of God (Jesus) by church leaders.
Then as is typical in prophecy, there is a very difficult verse to pin down.
But this difficult verse must give guidelines to reveal the timing and the events that this Chapter is describing.
ZECHARIAH 11:8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
When did three prominent leaders die in one month?
Both God and Satan are moving their forces into position for the final battle while we tend to sit and sleep complacently like the ten virgins of Matthew Chapter 25.
But we need to have a better overall picture of how Satan has opposed the plan of God before we specifically consider this Chapter of Zechariah. Communists and atheists are outside the church. They attack the church but they cannot betray the church.
If Satan wants to find someone to act as a betrayer, then he has to find someone inside the church.
And if Judas is the role model for the betrayer then the person most likely to deceive us is the pastor behind the pulpit. Nobody is going to suspect him.
He is in the best position to lead us away from Scripture because we trust him and believe what he says without asking for Scriptural proof of his statements.
So the true church is both attacked by outsiders and betrayed by insiders.
Let us first consider Satan’s place in God’s great Plan.
What is the purpose of the Devil?
He is to be a tough, powerful, and cunning opponent who will weaken the nations and tempt or deceive them into sin. That should make those of us who are spiritual realize that we cannot fight him in our own strength and knowledge. We need a Saviour to save us and to anoint our eyes with eyesalve provided that we are willing to open our eyes and see, rather than preferring to stay asleep.
ISAIAH 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
God’s plan of salvation began with the fall of angels who had no blood.
Thus, they could never be saved by blood.
They are lost forever and loathe the idea that humans, with blood in their bodies, can get saved by the Blood of Jesus. Thus, these fallen angels became demons with a perpetual hatred of mankind and a strong desire to drag humans down to hell with them. They are a formidable host.
Satan fell because he had been uplifted as the top angel.
Notice the pattern. The top angel betrayed God and brought sin into Heaven. A top preacher, an apostle, brought in the greatest sin by betraying the Messiah Himself.
Sin started with those at the top.
A created being is subject to selfishness and being self-centered. So when a person is uplifted by talent and ability, that person will fall victim to pride.
Proud Lucifer sinned and was cursed and turned into the Devil.
His task was to weaken humanity in whatever way he could during the 6000 years that he dominated human history.
His most effective weapons would be immoral women who dress to display their bodies or who sleep around, like Eve, as well as men who are elevated to be above the church. Their pride would destroy them as they misled their people.
In the Tribulation, Satan will enter the final Pope who will use 10 dictators to rule the world. So, the spirit of dictatorship must enter the political systems, the churches, and the world of Big Money as we approach the end.
The scene must be set for churches to be ruled by human pastors who can dictate to the congregation because they regard themselves as the head of the church.
ISAIAH 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
This speaks of Satan’s schemes.
Roman Catholicism is the abomination of denominational religion that makes a desolate spiritual wilderness as it turns people away from what is written in the Bible. The Pope rose to power by destroying tens of millions in the Dark Ages as well as devastating many cities where dissenters lived.
Satan has weakened nations with corruption, immorality, and religious deception.
To weaken the churches who had the truth, Satan introduced various errors into the church beliefs.
The churches thus became a mixture of truth and error. Attracting people with some Bible truth and then cleverly weaving in human error makes a very subtle deception. The church systems became the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Churches get people saved and doing good charitable works. Then, sadly, they introduce unscriptural man-made substitutes into the church beliefs, like Trinity and Christmas. These errors became a set of prison bars that hold the beliefs of the people captive to what is not written in the Bible. Soon these people stop searching the Bible for what is written.
We were never asked to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus.
25 December is unscriptural as it is the pagan birthday of the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus.
The words “Trinity”, “God the Son”, “Second Person of the Godhead”, “One God in 3 Persons” are all unscriptural.
The Triune God has no name as you cannot find one name for three Persons.
Trinitarians say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” but they have no idea what that name is.
Thus they move away from what is written in the Bible and enter the desolate wilderness of unscriptural religious speculations.
Each church has become obsessed with thinking that they had the full truth.
This has released the very unpleasant spirit of competitive Christianity. My church is better than yours. My pastor is better than yours.
Thus, church leaders would never consider that their beliefs could be wrong. They would insist that their people must never change their beliefs. As a result of that inflexible attitude the churches can never find the truth. Their minds are held captive to unscriptural errors thanks to the teachings and self-serving propaganda of the church pastors.
Each pastor’s main agenda was to claim that people were safe as long as they were in his church.
Today, most Christians are convinced that regular church attendance and obedience to their exalted pastor are the main keys for them to be ready for the coming of the Lord. Knowing the Bible is not nearly as important. The Book gathers dust.
The irony of the situation is that there are 45000 different kinds of churches and denominations, all different and yet each church claims to be correct. Despite the fact that all the differences mean that there is a huge amount of error circulating in the churches.
Satan entered the serpent, the most subtle beast or mammal. He was no snake at the beginning. He was between man and ape and could speak. The seed of the serpent has produced a seed of evildoers that would run down through history.
John the Baptist recognized the Jewish religious leaders as the seed of the serpent. They preached against him and Jesus. Thus, they opposed the Word of God.
John the Baptist exposed the Jewish religious leaders as the trail of the serpent that had crawled down to his day.
Preaching unscriptural doctrines was actually poison coming out of their mouths.
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?
Jesus said the same thing.
MATTHEW 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
To which Jesus replied:
MATTHEW 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?
So where are these snakes in the grass today?
Those who can kill your soul with the poisonous, unscriptural words that come out of their mouths?
Surprise. Surprise. They are in the churches.
They are the preachers who preach unscriptural doctrines. Satan’s slickest move was to get his spirits to take over the pulpits in the churches.
As well as taking over all the people who translate the more than 100 different modern versions of the English Bible.
God’s Absolute, the 1769 Version of the King James Bible, is now basically ignored or vilified by modern-day churchgoers.
The gates of hell are the lips and open throats of men and women who preach unscriptural doctrines like Trinity, Christmas, Lent, Mass, the Lord Jesus has come, William Branham’s quotes are the Absolute and he is infallible and cannot be corrected.
ISAIAH 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
David’s kingdom was split into two regions, Israel and Judaea (or Judea) in the days of Solomon’s son.
Assyria captured Israel but they were succeeded by a far worse nation Babylon. Because Babylon inherited the evil Babylonian mysteries from Nimrod and these evil ideas would end up in pagan Rome and finally take over the Roman Catholic church. From there they spread to the Protestant churches.
The Pope calls himself Pontiff which is the High Priest of the Babylonian mysteries.
Isaiah was the last prophet before the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 BC. Thus, he could still write of “whole” Palestina.
He writes prophetically of Palestina as that was the name given to this region by the Roman emperor Hadrian. Then for almost 1800 years the area would be controlled by many different nations and called Palestine.
The serpent is symbolic of Satan.
He crawled into the Catholic and then into the Protestant church systems.
Assyria conquered Israel then Babylon conquered Judea.
This symbolized the church world breaking up into the Catholic and Protestant churches.
But the mysteries of Babylon set up a structure of having one man as the head of a religious group. That style of church leadership would infiltrate into both Catholic and Protestant churches.
Michael is Jesus when He takes the form of the Archangel.
REVELATION 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Satan has access to Heaven as the accuser of the brethren. But when it is time for the Bride to be caught up to Heaven in their new immortal bodies, then Satan will no longer be able to tempt them nor accuse them. At that time Satan will be cast out of Heaven.
REVELATION 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
REVELATION 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Satan and his demons will then take over the world for the 3½ years of the Tribulation.
So how is the church world being set up today so that they will be deceived into accepting the final antichrist Pope as church-leader then world-leader?
There are millions of saved people in the church systems.
They are saved from hell but are fooled by church leaders with unscriptural teachings and thus as foolish virgins (clean woman, as we are talking of saved Christians) they are being led into the Tribulation where they will die.
Trees symbolize the spirits of people.
PSALM 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
Cedars are good trees. The Temple was built with cedarwood but that did not save it. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy it.
There are many people in the church world who have been saved from hell by repenting and accepting Jesus as Saviour. That is good. But that does not mean that they have not been fooled by other church doctrines, and thus they are heading for the Tribulation.
PHILIPPIANS 2:12 … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
You cannot be saved from hell by works. But saved people can be easily fooled by false doctrines. As a result, you have to work seriously at understanding the mysteries of Scripture in order to be saved from the Tribulation.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
God expects us to be able to understand all the Bible truth that has been revealed in our day. Not just a few verses that suit our church beliefs. We must also learn from those Bible verses that contradict our church beliefs.
Rejecting the revealed Bible truth of today that disagrees with our church doctrines is the major sin committed by saved Christians. That makes church-goers part of the fooled or foolish virgins.
We need the Holy Spirit to guide us into the deeper truth of Scripture to escape from the snares of man-made doctrine that have spread like an infectious virus throughout the churches.
MATTHEW 20:16 … for many be called, but few chosen.
So only a few individuals inside the churches will listen or be interested in the full truth of Scripture.
A tree represents the spirit of a man.
A dead tree still stands upright with no leaves on its branches.
That represents a sinner who is spiritually dead while he still lives on planet earth.
A sinner who is saved can be represented by a tree with some new life amidst its dead branches.
The person is still in the shallow region of the River of Life.
A spirit-filled person is represented by a tree that is full of leaves and fruits.
That person is now in much deeper waters of spiritual truth.
Jesus first restored the spiritual sight of a man because that was more important than his natural sight.
MARK 8:23 And he [Jesus] took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
He saw the spirit of a man as a walking tree.
By seeing a man as a tree, the previously blind man now had the discernment to tell where other people stood with God. He would not be deceived by a charming smile that he saw as dead branches.
If only we had more of that spiritual discernment.
PSALM 104:16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted
Cedarwood was full of sap, full of life, and used in the building of the Jewish Temple.
Thus, there is good in the church world. They get people saved and do many charitable works.
But the Holy Spirit is sent to guide us into all truth. Not just the bits that we want to learn.
Putting a pastor in charge of a church has enabled one man to rule the church as a dictator.
This copies the Roman Catholic pattern as the Pope is the only dictator in Europe. People are thus being prepared for the rise of dictatorship.
JEREMIAH 22:23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
63-0707 THE INDICTMENT
The people thought so much of their denominations, their little nests that they had, and so forth, called their "churches," so they wouldn't listen to it [the revealed truth of their day]. So, do they do it today, same thing, crucify afresh.
Brother Branham is talking of the church leaders who crucify Christ afresh as the Word of God by preaching for doctrine the commandments of man.
Sincere people, huddling hopefully in their church group, are fooled into condemning Bible truth.
Good cedarwood in the Temple did not save the Temple from destruction by Babylon.
Polite, saved people in the churches will not escape the Tribulation because they follow the example of Mystery Babylon, the Vatican.
The world is struggling to give birth to the new 1000-year Kingdom of God that will be set up after Armageddon. This is often called the Millennium.
MATTHEW 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Noe is the Greek name for Noah.
In Noah’s day, there was a worldwide Flood.
So worldwide disasters will precede the Coming of the Lord.
In effect, Jesus predicted worldwide “birth pains” getting more severe before the world brings forth the new 1000-year Kingdom.
ROMANS 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
The seventh church age of the Laodiceans was launched with the 1906 Pentecostal revival at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, America. A powerful earthquake hit nearby San Francisco in 1906. A wake-up call from God to start the last church age.
It was followed by the awful 1914 - 18 First World War. The first big birth pain.
Then the 1918 - 1919 Spanish Flu that killed up to 100 million people.
Then the 1929 Depression bankrupted the world.
Then the 1939 – 1945 Second World War was yet another birth pain.
So, those who lived in cedar dwellings, symbolizing cozy and complacent churches which have certain Bible beliefs that are mixed with man-made doctrines, are going to be suddenly hit hard. Like the unexpected birthpains that suddenly hit a woman.
The Bible ministry of “pastor” has been totally distorted as the early church never had a pastor-in-charge of a church.
This elevated pastor is going to undermine the true spiritual growth of the people who will soon be unable to prove what they believe just from the Bible.
When we elevate someone above ourselves to do the thinking for us, then we stop thinking and growing.
Action produces a reaction. If one goes up (the exalted paster), something has to go down. What usually goes down is the ability of the congregation to prove their beliefs for themselves from the Bible.
Church-goers have become increasingly Bible-illiterate as they simply quote the words of their leader.
That is much easier than searching the Scriptures to try to prove what they believe.
Sewing a man’s quotes together to make a “fig leaf apron” to cover their Bible-nakedness or ignorance is just as ineffective and futile as Adam and Eve’s first attempt to do this.
The deep danger is that the congregation relies on a man.
They cannot think for themselves.
Repeating the quotes of a man classifies them as parrots.
God is not impressed as parrots are never mentioned in Scripture.
JEREMIAH 22:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
“Pastors” is mentioned only once in the New Testament, which gives this ministry no Bible authority to be the head of the church.
But Jeremiah condemns pastors six times.
He is giving us a strong warning about this ministry.
Having a pastor as head of each church, with his personal opinions, has simply divided the church world into 45000 different types of churches and denominations. All different but each claiming to have the truth.
Thus, the wind of verbal strife and different dogmatic doctrines has fragmented the church world.
The pastors thrive on verbal disputes as they collect subsets of data, a few carefully selected quotes, that agree with their opinion and ignore all the rest of the data, from quotes and from the Bible, that disagrees with them.
If you contradict them with a quote or a Scripture then they are never honest enough to admit that they are wrong. They just glare at you and remain silent so that they can ignore that point and move on to the next point. This is intellectually dishonest.
An experienced journalist said that you cannot trust a pastor or a politician because they have to defend the propaganda of their respective organizations. They cannot give their own honest opinions. And pastors can never admit that they are wrong.
Like the Pope, they project an aura of pretended infallibility which is a very fragile delusion.
Thus, they easily become loud and aggressive. As Abraham Lincoln once said, the more they lack light the more they focus on heat and noise.
They vociferously preach the Thunders, but the lightning is missing.
What they say does not illuminate the written pages of the Bible.
In Jeremiah, God then picks on one Jewish leader, the king of that day.
JEREMIAH 22:24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;
He may be king but he is not fit to rule. A good judgment of one-man rule.
JEREMIAH 22:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
An idol is an object of worship.
But a human leader who is idolized is just plain wrong. People hero-worship their pastors.
However, each leader has his faults. The leader and his seed or children will be cast out of God’s plan.
Father-and-son was not necessarily going to be a successful pattern in Scripture.
Pastors today promote their sons to be the unscriptural “co-pastor”.
This simply keeps the money in the family.
After all, the pastors claim that the tithes belong to them, despite having no Scripture that claims that.
JEREMIAH 22:30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
This corrupt leader and his descendants are eliminated from God’s plan although they continued to live for their lifetimes. The tree keeps standing, even when it has lost its leaves and fruit.
Pastor-and-son continue to rule the church in man’s eyes and claim that they are serving God. But God has rejected them and has turned his attention elsewhere, to individuals or small groups that meet in homes or over the internet with interactive programs like Zoom.
In 2020, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom video-conferencing suddenly boomed. God showing us how separated believers can meet together, despite living far apart.
Even worse now is a husband-and-wife forming a pastoral team. Totally unscriptural as a woman cannot teach in the church.
But it keeps the money in the family.
I TIMOTHY 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
But people seldom care about what the Bible says in modern-day Laodicea where people demand their own rights.
Making money from the church is the key idea.
That is why the 2020 coronavirus shut down the churches.
God is telling us that the churches are better employed at giving people food as they function little better than a charity organization. They certainly cannot teach the deeper mysteries of Scripture to prepare the people for the Second Coming of Jesus.
So, leave them to dish out natural food to the poor. That is good.
With their mouths covered by masks. Is that God’s way of telling them to stop preaching all their unscriptural errors.
The next verse says:
JEREMIAH 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
“Nicolaitans” is the spirit that God hates. It is the spirit that conquers the laity or congregation.
It is the spirit that uplifts one man to be the leader or head of the congregation.
REVELATION 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
This is the modern spirit that elevates a man to be a pastor and thus head of the church.
A one-man dictator. Then the church is just an echo-chamber to reflect the pastor’s opinions.
The people in the congregation become second-hand Christians.
They need the pastor to tell them what to believe as the pastor alone knows how to splice carefully selected quotes together. He alone knows which quotes and Scriptures must be ignored to suit the current opinion.
The New Testament did not want a pastor to stand between the people and God.
I PETER 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
Every saved Christian is a priest. Priests were equal. No priest was above the other priests.
Only the High Priest, Jesus, was above the priests.
The 2020 Coronavirus revealed how quickly a democratically elected leader assumes dictatorial powers in the face of big disasters and financial collapse.
Churches grow as an organization and a money-making business much more quickly and efficiently if they have a one-man head, the pastor.
Efficient in terms of bringing more people into the church but not effective for spreading Bible truth.
Each pastor also has his own opinions. He promotes the yes-men who agree with him and casts out the dissenters who disagree with him. Your progress in the church depends on your agreeing with the pastor.
Those who disagree undergo character assassination and are rejected and scattered. The church has nothing good to say about them and blackens their name wherever possible.
JEREMIAH 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
Once you oppose the pastor you stand condemned in the eyes of his church.
Church members are so scared of disagreeing with the pastor that they willingly abandon any individual who disagrees with the pastor.
This is an awful product of dictatorship.
There were no pastors in the Old Testament Temple worship.
Thus, Jeremiah is speaking prophetically of the New Testament churches and the doctrinal likes and dislikes that pastors would project onto their congregations.
Soft-hearted and genuine Christians would then happily shun and avoid friends and family who disagree doctrinally with them. Much verbal abuse and hostility would accompany differences of opinion.
Even in politics, which is corrupt, a government pays an opposition to sit in parliament and oppose and contradict them. No church pastor allows any opposition to his beliefs.
As a result, no church is a democracy.
They are dictatorships that smile at you when you join and agree with them. But the plastic smile does not touch their eyes if you dare to disagree.
The Pope is the only dictator in Europe.
The Protestant churches have copied this dictatorship spirit in their individual churches.
The Roman Catholic mother harlot and her Protestant daughter harlots. They initially came out from the mother but then foolishly adopted the mother’s opinions and church structure to become the foolish or fooled virgins, who are Tribulation fodder.
REVELATION 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
EZEKIEL 16:44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.
Protestant churches that believe certain Catholic doctrines are the main deceivers today.
But in the last days God would use the internet to reach out to those individuals who desire something better than the “cookie-cutter” unscriptural conforming to a pastor’s personal opinion, which is the hallmark of a modern church. Individuals tend to be imprisoned by a church as they often have nowhere else to go to when they disagree with the church.
Now, by means of the internet, God can speak to them from outside the confines of their church.
Zoom meetings enable isolated individuals to link up with other Christians. We no longer all have to gather in the same building in order to have a meeting.
JEREMIAH 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
This is an obvious prophecy about God re-gathering the Jews back to their homeland which is busy happening now.
But it also has a compound application to those Gentile individuals who have been scattered by being excluded from the churches that they disagreed with.
The seven parables of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew Chapter 13 describe the seven church ages.
Look at the seventh or last parable, describing the last church age of the Laodiceans.
MATTHEW 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
The seventh parable describes a net that sweeps through the restless sea of all the nations. This is a brilliant prophecy about the present internet and its ability to link people from any parts of the world.
Bible studies that are placed on the web can be downloaded and read anywhere. Thus, truth sweeps through the internet to prepare the true Bride.
JEREMIAH 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
A shepherd, as a human, is a higher species than a sheep.
So, to say that the shepherd is the pastor is wrong. The pastor is a human being with faults and failures just like any member of the congregation. He is not a superior species to any man.
The function of a shepherd is to feed the sheep. That cannot be done by one man. No one man knows enough. God uses a group of local elders to feed the local assembly. A group of men, all equal, act out the role of the shepherd.
How did the early church of the apostles’ function?
They met in houses and each local assembly was ruled by a group of local elders.
An elder did not necessarily have a ministry.
I TIMOTHY 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Not all elders preached the word and doctrine. But all elders had a say in church matters.
I CORINTHIANS 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
There is no mention of pastors here. No pastor was established as the head of the church.
Feeding the flock is the duty of the shepherd.
Paul made it clear that no individual man was the shepherd of the sheep. But a group of elders fulfilled this function of feeding the church.
This prevented any one-man dictatorship.
The role of a shepherd is fulfilled by a group of elders.
ACTS 20:17 And from Miletus he [Paul] sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
ACTS 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Peter agreed with Paul.
I PETER 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
An elder is not a dictator or lord in any way.
I PETER 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear,
Jesus is the only single Person Who is the Shepherd of the sheep.
A group of local elders fulfills the shepherd’s function to feed the local assembly. People can learn from other people by means of the internet.
Small local assemblies met in houses.
ROMANS 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
Now, individuals can sit at home and download information from the internet.
Or interact with each other using Zoom even if the individuals are scattered far away from each other.
Let us now consider the prophecy of Zechariah Chapter 11.
ZECHARIAH 11:1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
Trees symbolize the spirits of people.
Lebanon had beautiful cedars from which the Temple was built. But these great trees were going to be destroyed when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, destroyed the Temple.
Symbolizing how Roman Catholic unscriptural beliefs and traditions, which are Mystery Babylon the Great, would infiltrate into the Protestant churches to fool saved Christians, the foolish virgins, and take them into the Tribulation where they will be killed. They die for refusing to worship the image of the beast which is the gathering together of the Protestant denominations and churches. That means that they will finally see through the unscriptural errors of the churches when they are exposed to the horrors and brutality of the Tribulation.
REVELATION 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
The image of the Catholic beast is the Protestant churches are gathering together and they speak with authority because their people obey the pastors when they speak even when they contradict Scripture. The Trinity says Jesus is in the Godhead as the Second Person. The Bible says the fullness of the Godhead is in Jesus.
So the churchgoers all believe the pastors when they speak. They ignore the Scripture.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
We need the revealed truths of the Bible to avoid the errors of the churches so that we can escape from the coming Tribulation.
Great Christians are going to mess up and come short.
ISAIAH 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
The “Day of the Lord” is the 3½ years of the Tribulation.
:13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,
:14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,
Men love being uplifted.
People lift their church higher than other churches. My church is better than your church. Competitive Christianity.
Everything that man uplifts shall be brought down.
Every uplifted pastor who has been elevated above the congregation as the head of the church will be brought down.
Only Jesus can be the Head of the church.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
The only person who tries to take the place of Christ is antichrist.
63-0319 THE SECOND SEAL
But when this awful deceiving spirit (Oh, man.) incarnated spirit, this doctrine spirit became incarnated to take the place of Christ into a man, it must be worshipped then--turned to be a worship like Christ.
ZECHARIAH 11:2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.
The cedar and oak trees coming down represented the downfall of great men.
The preachers in the church were highly exalted.
But what will happen to them when the congregations wake up and find that they have been fooled and are doomed in the Tribulation horrors.
There is another problem.
Message pastors who claim that brother Branham is infallible and cannot be corrected and that his quotes are the Absolute, destroy brother Branham's ministry in the eyes of many people who are aware of his mistakes.
Consider some examples of obvious mistakes that brother Branham made.
63-0319 THE SECOND SEAL
That was Irenaeus about four hundred years after the death of Christ.
Irenaeus lived about AD 130 - 202.
Getting the secret Old Testament name of God wrong.
63-0318 THE FIRST SEAL
J-V-H-U. It isn't Jehovah.
It is J H V H There is no U as Hebrew has no vowels.
The claim that Noah watched Enoch cannot be true. Enoch died before Noah was born.
60-1124 IT IS I
We're watching just as Noah watched Enoch, and knowed immediately after Enoch come, the judgment was going to strike the earth.
62-0531 THE CONFLICT BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN
But Noah went right on preaching, anyhow. And all of his family and all the converts went right on believing, anyhow. All that was following Noah believed Noah. That's right. They had to make their choice, to believe what the world said, or believe what this mighty anointed prophet said.
So, he said, "Now watch. Enoch is going to leave, one of these days, church. And when it does, when Enoch goes away, we better get in. We're going to miss Enoch. He's going to be taken up. So, we better get in." So, they watched closely as the days passed by.
63-0318 THE FIRST SEAL
You know, Noah watched Enoch, for when Enoch come up missing, he knowed judgment was at hand. He got to hanging around the ark,
Noah did not watch Enoch because Enoch died 69 years before Noah was born.
Noah was 600 when he got into the ark. That was 669 years after Enoch was raptured.
61-0723E GOD BEING MISUNDERSTOOD
The abomination (means filthiness) that maketh desolation, the abomination was the Moslem--Mosque of Omar that was built on the temple grounds where the holy place stood.
No, the Mosque of Omar it is built half a kilometer away, to the left of the Temple grounds (Haram esh-Sharif).
The Dome of the Rock (692) is not a mosque but it is in the centre of the Temple Site.
Al Aqsa Mosque. The covered mosque building was originally a small prayer house erected by caliph Omar around AD 638 but was rebuilt and expanded by the caliph Abd al-Malik and finished by his son in AD 705.
61-0723 GOD BEING MISUNDERSTOOD
In A.D. 96, Titus came in and captured Jerusalem and burnt the temple, and they built the Mosque of Omar (the Mohammedan religion) right on the temple grounds, and still stands there to this day.
Titus came in AD 70, not AD 96.
Omar built a small prayer house at the bottom of the Temple site. Years late another caliph and his son built the mosque, the Al Aqsa mosque, on the site of the prayer chapel.
61-0806 THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL
Now, now, Jesus, Messiah, rode into the city of Jerusalem, triumph, on the back of a white mule on Palm Sunday, April the 2nd, A.D. 30. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, A.D. 30.
… From the time God made the promise to Abraham (Don't miss this.)--from the time God made the promise to Abraham, Genesis 12:3, to the time of Christ being rejected in A.D. 33, by the Jews,
In this same study he says AD 33 and AD 30.
58-0928 THE SERPENT'S SEED
After the death of the apostles, there what come the Nicene fathers, and they went on for several years (three hundred and twenty-five years) finally came to Nicaea, France, where they had the great Nicene Council.
Nicea has nothing to do with France.
And as I said it in the teaching this morning, each one of those church ages on up to that Thessalonica church age, the fifteen hundred years of dark ages, there was not one time but what He said, "You still have My name." …
There was never a Thessalonica church age. He meant the Thyatira church age.
The Dark Ages were 1200 or 900 years long depending on whether you count both the third and fourth church ages or just the fourth church age.
And it's exactly three hundred and twenty-five years to the Laodicean council.
Above, he said it was 325 years to the Nicene council. The Laodicean Council was AD 363-364.
These are just some of the examples of mistakes that brother Branham made.
As with all mistakes, we are supposed to know enough to correct them and then move on and learn from all the very many quotes where he got it right.
But the mistakes that he made just tell us that he is not the Voice of God. God does not make mistakes.
Calling him the Absolute, infallible Voice of God merely cuts down his reputation in the eyes of many people who sensibly cannot build up their faith by trying to defend obvious mistakes.
ZECHARIAH 11:3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.
Pastors call themselves shepherds. Thus, they fulfill this prophecy.
No Scripture says that the shepherd is the pastor.
When a pastor is part of a group of elders then his glory as the one-man-ruler is spoiled.
But pastors love the power, the pre-eminence, and the money that goes with their position as the head of the church.
Pastors will howl in protest at losing this pre-eminence which he does not want to share with another.
Much less losing out on the tithes money which pastors have always claimed was theirs.
REVELATION 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
:6 and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
The first of the four beasts around the throne of God in Revelation Chapter 4 was a lion.
A lion represents the true New Testament teachings of the apostles that guided the early church.
This truth was lost in the Dark Ages, when tens of millions were killed by the Roman Catholic church. The ox was this symbol of labour and sacrifice as it was killed for its valuable meat.
The man represented the reformers like Martin Luther in Germany who restored salvation by faith and John Wesley in England who restored holiness and outreach. This led to the great missionary age.
The flying eagle saw the return of Pentecostal power in Azusa Street, Los Angeles, in 1906.
Then the eagle prophetic eyes of William Branham restored the church back to the apostolic teachings of the early church when he revealed the mysteries of Scripture.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Elias is the Greek for Elijah.
This prophet will restore us back to all that we need to know in order to understand the Bible.
MALACHI 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
John the Baptist turned the Jewish fathers to their children, Jesus and the young men who were His disciples.
LUKE 1:17 And he [John] shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
The end-time Christians are the children who have to be restored back to the apostolic fathers.
We need an end-time prophet to do this.
The young lions are today's believers who have to be restored back to the original apostolic lions like Saint Paul.
The young lions roar aloud that they only want Scripture, not human opinion, and speculation.
This hits at the pastors because Saint Paul and Saint Peter, two of the old lions, never put a pastor in charge of a church.
“The pride of Jordan is spoiled”. Great oaks and trees grew along Jordan’s banks. These wooded areas were home to lions, such as the one Samson slew.
Jordan speaks of the water baptism of Jesus.
So the young lions at the end want to get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ just the same way that the great old lion Simon Peter commanded in Acts 2:38.
This spoils the theology of modern-day pastors who have been fooled by the Trinity doctrine.
As such, they say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” but they have absolutely no clue what that name is.
Thus they seriously lead their people away from the truth.
They deny the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and call it a mistake.
They have lost the name of God because the Triune God has no name.
They attack, criticize, and vilify those who claim that God's name is Jesus Christ.
MATTHEW 24:9 ... and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
ZECHARIAH 11:4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;
The churches are heading for death in the Tribulation. Led by the teachings of the uplifted pastors.
The saved people in the church are denied their right to know the full truth of Scripture simply because the pastors either ignore and reject brother Branham or else they distort his teachings as they promote his quotes above Scripture.
ZECHARIAH 11:5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.
“And hold themselves not guilty”. There is a huge range of differences between the pastors but no pastor can accept that he could possibly be wrong. Each one insists that nobody must try to blame him.
The pastors benefit from the tithes but have no problem with feeding their church members false doctrine.
The people in the churches are taught to idolize the pastors and find no fault in them.
So, the churches are sold out to Satan’s many unscriptural errors. And they love to have it so.
They far prefer made-up church doctrines like Christmas and Easter eggs and bunnies instead of sound Bible doctrines like getting baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).
“I am rich”. This is the main claim of Laodicean's pastors. They collect all the tithes. They have made a very successful business out of the church. They bind the wealth of the church to themselves.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;
The prosperity gospel that modern people love so that everyone can be rich.
But Jesus said:
LUKE 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich!
Pastors have no pity for those they mislead. They ban any teachers who could correct them.
Their main interest is their power over the people who have to obey them and the lucrative money that flows into their bank accounts.
ZECHARIAH 11:6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.
But the trouble is coming. The land will be smitten.
This applies both to the Jews who were smitten by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and by the Romans, as well as to the church.
And especially to the last church age which was smitten by two world wars. They were the biggest military disasters in history.
Tens of millions of people died.
Prophecy is inspired to describe events in history as well as acting as a warning to the last church age, the one most likely to be fooled.
The mystery antichrist rider of Revelation Chapter 6 is riding the white horse of religious deception, the red horse of political power, and the black horse of Big Money demonology as he merges them together into a pale corpse-coloured horse. This represents the rise of the Roman Catholic church as a political and financial world power.
The 2020 coronavirus had a double sting. The land has been smitten in terms of health. But the economy also crumbled. People lost jobs and were without work. Debt mounted. The economic damage was massive and its ravages would linger.
Owing people money delivers you into your neighbour’s hand.
ZECHARIAH 11:7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
This has a compound meaning.
It can refer to the two regions that the Promised Land was split into, Judea and Israel.
But at the end time, it can also refer to the foolish virgins church and the Jews who are also the two parts of the flock of slaughter that are heading for the Tribulation.
This is the price they pay for following man-made beliefs.
LUKE 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
But there are millions of saved Christians on earth.
So, a “little flock” implies that very few saved Christians will be prepared for the Coming of the Lord.
The majority of Christians have ignored, rejected, or distorted the end-time revelations of the Bible mysteries.
As a result, they have no chance of being ready for the Lord’s Coming. The majority of today’s saved Christians are therefore heading for a fatal collision with the final antichrist Pope in the Tribulation.
The two world wars have played a significant role.
The spirit of dictatorship was unleashed during World War 1, the preview of the first Woe that will sound in the Tribulation.
REVELATION 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
Mussolini became dictator of Italy and granted the Vatican City full independence as a sovereign state in 1929.
Recognizing the Pope is a spiritual disaster. Only the spiritually bankrupt would do that. The world went financially bankrupt in the Great Depression of 1929.
Then, during World War 2, these natural dictators unleashed the demonic forces that had killed tens of millions in the Dark Ages when the Pope ruled Europe. These killing demons had been held in check by the great holiness revival of John Wesley and the very impressive missionary age. The church world no longer accepted the killing of dissenters.
But Hitler unleashed these killing demons on natural Israel in the Holocaust during World War 2. This was the preview of the second Woe that sounds in the Tribulation.
God was intensely angry with three of the world leaders at this time.
They had slaughtered the Jews, God's chosen people.
They had set the stage for the rise of the Pope and America to world dominance.
The two big enemies of God are mentioned in Revelation Chapter 13.
The beast from the sea was the killing spirit of the pagan Roman empire that got absorbed into the Roman Catholic church.
The beast from the land was the powerful military and financial power of America.
ZECHARIAH 11:8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
Try finding examples of three prominent world leaders who died in one month.
One example is in April 1945. Franklin D Roosevelt of America, Benito Mussolini of Italy, and Adolph Hitler of Germany, all died.
The Pope helped Mussolini come to power in Italy. Then Mussolini declared the Vatican City to be an independent country in 1929. This created the deadly “little horn” of Daniel’s prophecy. Vatican City is the smallest country on earth being one square kilometer big. On 28 April 1945 Mussolini was killed.
1929 was the Great Depression. The world went bankrupt. Symbolizing the spiritual bankruptcy of looking up to the Pope as a church leader.
Vatican City has since grown to be the richest organization on earth as well as being the biggest church denomination (the Roman Catholics) with great political influence. The biggest gathering of world rulers in history was at the funeral of Pope John Paul 2 in 2005.
American president Roosevelt wanted America to enter the war to help Russia after Germany attacked Russia. He cut off Japan’s oil to force Japan into a war. He knew of Japan’s intention to attack Pearl Harbour but never warned the Americans there. Atomic bomb secrets were sent to Russia during the war by diplomatic planes, as well as the secrets of many other technologies. England had declared war on Germany for invading Poland. After the war Roosevelt gave Poland to Russia and allowed Russia to take over Eastern Europe. Roosevelt thus helped to make Russia strong which was the cause of the Cold War and the spread of Communism. On 12 April 1945 Franklin D Roosevelt died.
The First World War unleashed the spirit of dictatorship. Lenin, Mussolini, and Stalin rose to power by destroying internal opposition. (This is how church pastors operate. Get rid of dissenters and then have all the say).
Then Hitler seized Germany in 1933 by crushing all opposition and started World War 2. As a natural dictator he unleashed demonology on natural Israel, the Jews, and killed 6 million in the Holocaust. Hitler did more damage to the Jews than any other man in history. On 30 April 1945 Adolph Hitler died.
REVELATION 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
The actual woes occur in the Tribulation. We can only pick up clues about them from the two world wars which were just previews of the woes.
But there never was a third world war.
“And the third woe cometh quickly”. So, what major disaster hit the world soon after the end of World War 2?
A dark, invisible spiritual war against Bible truth broke out in the churches.
These demons that the dictators released on Israel now entered the anti-Israel World Council of Churches when it started in 1948, to help produce the morass of 45000 different denominational and other kinds of churches that exist today. Not to mention the more than 100 different versions of the modern English Bible that really muddy the waters.
The King James Version of the Bible is no longer regarded as the infallible and Absolute Word of God by the overwhelming majority of Christians. Almost all Christians believe that there are mistakes in the King James Bible.
Thus, these demons have very successfully undermined the foundation of the Christian faith.
The churches would oppose or ignore the ministry of William Branham in America as he revealed the mysteries of Scripture between 1947 and 1965.
Then the followers of brother Branham would distort his teachings by replacing Scripture with their selected quotes and elevating brother Branham from being the voice of the seventh angel to being the infallible Voice of God.
Thus, Jesus stands outside the churches today.
President Roosevelt has many admirers but he was a destructive spiritual force.
60-1204M THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST
Eleven years before the Maginot Line was built, I said, "The Germans... President Roosevelt will be the rascal of all of them." And that's right. He was.
63-0707 THE INDICTMENT
During the time of the last war, when Rome fell, these German soldiers... Many of you boys know about this. Them German soldiers got back up into the Vatican City there, and firing out at the Americans as they were advancing.
… And you know what? We issued orders that they could not fire on that city. Americans, you stood there, and you was a target to them.
… Because, as President Roosevelt... I heard his speech when he broadcast it that night, called, A Fireside Talk. He said, "When Rome fell," he said, "such a shame, because Rome is the head of all Christianity."
Could you imagine a Protestant saying that?
President Roosevelt declaring the Vatican to be the head of all Christianity. A complete lie.
By entering the war, President Roosevelt built up America into the most powerful military force on earth. America was untouched by the war whereas the other countries had been devastated by the war. Thus, American aid to other countries gave America a huge economic power in world affairs.
The American beast from the land had become a superpower.
By handing over Eastern Europe to Russia, Roosevelt helped build Russia up into a formidable superpower too. Thus the American military-industrial complex that had grown huge in World War 2 continued to grow in power during the American-Russian cold war. So, Roosevelt laid the foundation for the massive increase in American-beast power after World war 2.
ZECHARIAH 11:9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
Hard times were prophesied at the time of the Second World War. Six million Jews would perish in Hitler’s concentration camps.
About 50 million Gentiles would perish as fighting spread around the world.
ZECHARIAH 11:10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.
The Jews broke their covenant with God when they killed their Messiah in AD 33.
God then broke His Old Testament covenant with the Jews. As a result, He could turn to the Gentile church.
God cut up this staff symbolically when He allowed the Romans under General Titus to destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.
Over one million Jews were killed as the Jews faded off the scene and were exiled from their Promised Land during their worldwide dispersion.
This was the worst disaster to hit a city until the battle of Stalingrad in World War 2 produced similar casualties.
ZECHARIAH 11:11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
The poor Jews would never regain their Promised Land by their own efforts until God chose to intervene on their behalf. They would remain scattered with few returning to the land of Israel that would be ruled by many nations until England took over in 1917. But even England did not want to help them and was happy to betray them by favouring the Arabs. Strangely enough, the Communists sold weapons to the Jews which enabled the Jews to survive and win the 1948 war.
ZECHARIAH 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
There was a bitter price to be paid for the betrayal of Jesus to the Jewish leaders by the apostle Judas for 30 pieces of silver. The Jewish religious leaders then inspired the Jewish people to demand His death at the hands of the Romans under Pontius Pilate.
There must be a deeper understanding of the significance of 30 pieces of silver. (We will consider that in part 2 of this study).
MATTHEW 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
The Jews left Israel between AD 70 and AD 135 when they twice rebelled and almost 1.7 million Jews were killed.
They left with this mass slaughter and then, even more, were killed when it was time for them to return to their Promised Land.
Six million Jews died in the Holocaust during the Second World War. That shocking event sufficiently stunned the nations so that, despite their hatred for the Jews, they voted them a small portion of the Promised Land in a 1947 United Nations Resolution.
The price for killing Messiah was growing horrifically bigger. Of the 16.7 million Jews at the start of World War 2, about 10.7 million were left.
10 and 7 are significant numbers. The 10th day of the 7th month is their day of atonement. They paid a huge price.
By about 2015 the Jewish population had again grown back to 16.7 million.
Thus, the Jews have paid heavily for rejecting the Messiah.
Judas was an apostle, a church leader.
In Part 2 of this study we will consider how the church leaders betray Jesus at the end-time.