|Matthew 21 |
1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and had come to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
2 Saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them and bring them to me.
3 And if any man says something to you, you shall reply, 'The Lord has need of them; and will quickly return them.'"
4 This happened to fulfilling what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and placed their clothes on them, and then they set Jesus on the ass.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way.
9 And the multitudes that went ahead of him, and those who followed, cried, saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest."
10 Now when he came into Jerusalem, all the city was shaken, saying, "Who is this?"1
11 And the multitude said, "This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee."
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of those who sold doves,
13 And said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.'"
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were very displeased,
16 And said to him, "Listen to what these people are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?'"
17 And he left them and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he grew hungry.
19 And when he saw a fig tree on the way, he came to it and found nothing on it, except leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you from this time forward." And the fig tree soon after withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How quickly has the fig tree withered away!"
21 Then Jesus answered them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but also if you will say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done.
22 If you believe, whatever (all things) you ask in prayer, you will receive."2 [If you believe what you have heard the Lord tell you to pray, then you will receive what you ask in prayer, as John carefully states: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15. Unless you have crucified your sinful nature, to receive his Spirit in sufficient measure to reveal His will, you have no idea what His will is. This is why the vast majority of prayers, made in the carnal minds of beginning believers, are never answered. When we can do His will, we hear what to pray from Him, and we know for sure such prayers are heard and will be granted. A true Christian is crucified and purified by the grace of God, able to do God's will on earth as it is done in heaven; that is a true Christian's sole purpose: to pray, to speak, and to act as God directs, thus to bring pleasure, honor, and glory to God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Pray only as you are told."]
23 And when he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching and said, 'By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority?'
24 And Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? Did it come from heaven or from men?" And they reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven;' he will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'
26 But if we shall say, 'Of men,' we fear the people, for all regard John as a prophet."
27 So they answered Jesus and said, "We cannot tell." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
28 But what do you think? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.'
29 And he answered, 'I will not;' but afterward he repented and went.
30 And he came to the second and said the same thing. And he answered, 'I will go, sir;' but did not go.
31 Which of those two sons did the will of his father?" And they said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter into the kingdom of God before you.3
32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But you, after you had seen it [his righteousness], did not repent afterwards and believe him.
33 Listen to another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and hedged it around, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to some farmers and went into a far country.
34 When the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, so that they might receive the fruits of it.
35 Then the farmers took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
36 And again, he sent other servants, more than the first time, and they did the same to them.
37 But last of all he sent his son to them, saying, They will reverence my son.
38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.'
39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 Therefore, when the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"
41 And they said to him, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will rent out his vineyard to other farmers, who shall pay him the fruits in their seasons."
42 Then Jesus said to them, "Have you not read in the scriptures, where it is said: 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'4
43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a people who will bring forth the fruits of it.
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.
46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they believed him to be a prophet.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 The Jewish prophet, Daniel, prophesied the exact year of the Messiah's coming in the Book of Daniel, detailed below:
Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel Chapter 9, verse 24)
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah, the Prince, comes,shall be seven weeks, and sixty two weeks [69 total weeks]. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times, [the rebuilders were frequently attacked by their fearful neighboring nations]. (Daniel 9:25)
69 weeks x 7 days/week=483 days. The Book of Numbers 14:33-34 and the Book of Ezekiel 4:4-6, both show us how a day is a year in Old Testament prophecy. By the Lord's explanations above, the 483 days of prophecy is really 483 years. The Messiah was prophesied by Daniel to appear 483 years after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem's wall was to be issued, which was in 444 BC to Nehemiah. However, the Jewish year was 360 days; so adjusting for our calendar years, the time calculates: 483 years x 360 days/year=173,880 days/365.25 days/year=476 years. If we count 443 years before the birth as the first of the 476 years because there is no "Zero" year, (the years go from 1 BC to 1 AD); that leaves the prophesied date to be 476-443=33 AD "the coming of the Messiah, the Prince,"very close to the time (34 AD) when Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the foal, to be crucified within the week. See Letters of Love to the Jews for more on this prophecy and many more extensively discussed by George Fox.
2 if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but also if you will say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done. If you believe, whatever (all things) you ask in prayer, you will receive. Faith is hearing the word within tell you what to do and say, and then obeying. Faith is not making your own choice of what you want done from your carnal mind, and then praying for it to be done. Oh no! That kind of faith is a demonic faith, from the will of a mind that is the enemy of God; that kind of faith would produce chaos in the world. Your faith has to be in obedience to what God asks you to do or asks you to pray to be done. Jesus never did, or said, or formed an opinion, other than as he was instructed by the Father to do; and so must we die to self, so that we are directed in everything by God's spiritual promptings in thought, word, deed, and prayer. Jesus only did the will of the Father, and so must we if we expect to enter the kingdom of heaven.
We know that God does not hear sinners; but if any man is a worshipper of God and does his will, God hears him. John 9:31
God seeks true worshipers, who worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth, John 4:23-24, which is to worship with words supplied by the Spirit, while you are also in Truth, (in union with Jesus, who is the Truth); and to be able to do God's will only comes after you have crucified your carnal mind and evil imagination to be prompted by Him in all words to be spoken and deeds to be done. So God only hears what you ask: 1) if you are a true worshiper, and 2) if you do His will. Prayers from those who are still sinning are not heard by God because they cannot know or do His will.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15.
God only hears what you ask if you ask according to His will; and unless you have crucified your sinful nature, to receive his Spirit in sufficient measure to reveal His will, you have no idea what His will is. This is why the vast majority of prayers, made in the carnal minds of beginning believers, are never answered. When we can do His will, we hear what to pray from Him, and we know for sure such prayers and will be granted. A true Christian is crucified and purified by the grace of God, able to do God's will on earth as it is done in heaven; that is a true Christian's sole purpose: to pray, to speak, and to act as God directs, thus to bring pleasure, honor, and glory to God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Pray only as you are told."
3 The Pharisees did not do the work of God; they did not repent because they thought they were righteous. They claimed to be righteous based on their works of ritual and ceremony, rather than a change of heart. Because their hearts were still full of evil, Jesus told them that tax collectors and prostitutes would enter before them. Why? Because the prostitutes and tax collectors did not think they were righteous, therefore they sought the changing power of God's grace to change them, making them fit to become partakers with the saints in the light.
Now, if you are one who claims to be a Christian, are you resting on your having been baptized, calling Jesus Lord, eating bread and grape juice at you sect's ceremony, paying tithes, studying the Bible? Do you think you are righteous because you believe? Do you think you have a free pass to heaven, excusing all your past, present, and future sins? If so, you are exactly like the Pharisees, whom Jesus severely warned and criticized. The Lord said he would reject many who thought they were Christians, because they still sinned. Your hearts must be purified by faith, your souls must be purified by obedience to the truth, before you can have any place in heaven. Jesus is the source of salvation to all who obey him. Mark! obey.
I have come into the world for judgment, that the blind might see; and that those who see might be made blind... If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains. John 9:39-41. Understand that if one claims he 'can see,' he is claiming that he is righteous; and then he has no hope of attaining sight or righteousness; the Lord will deliberately blind him even further. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Mat 5:6
4 The stone rejected was Christ, the cornerstone of the temple of God in Heaven. The prophesied builders were the Jews. The Jews, who had been builders of the words without life, refused the cornerstone, Jesus, the covenant of light, the prince of peace, the Lord of glory, he who sits on David's throne, who comes, (as it is written in the volume of the book), to do the will of God.
5 And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. George Fox in his writing, An exhortation to all people, to pureness, cleanness, and holiness, and faithfulness to the Lord, addresses the mountain of stone that shall grind the impure, unholy, unfaithful, and unclean to powder:
Here you may see who they are that dwell with everlasting burnings, and in God's tabernacle and holy mountain, and who not. By G. F.
David said, ‘Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?’ David answers, and said, ‘He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully; he shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation; and this is the generation of those who seek the Lord.’ Psalm 24:3-6. So here is a generation of clean hands, and a pure heart that ascend into the hill of the Lord, and stand in his holy place.
And Isaiah said, ‘Who among us shall dwell with devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?’ And Isaiah answers his questions, and said, ‘He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppression, that shakes his hands from holding of bribes; that stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from seeing of evil; he shall dwell on high, his place of defense shall be the fortress of rocks; bread shall be given him, his water shall be sure; your eyes shall see the king in his beauty, ... and your eyes shall see a tabernacle that shall not be taken down, not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed,’ Isa 33:14-17,20.
Here you may see who they are that can dwell with devouring fire, and everlasting burnings, and yet shall not be burned nor devoured.
David said, ‘Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle? And who shall dwell in your holy hill?’ David answers his questions, and said, ‘He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. He that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is condemned, but he honors those who fear the Lord. He that takes not a reward against the innocent; he that does these things shall never be removed, but shall abide in the tabernacle of the Lord, and dwell in his holy hill.’ Psalm 15. ‘But the ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away; therefore the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, (namely, righteous judgment), and sinners shall not stand in the congregation of the righteous.’ Psalm 1:4-5.
‘The mountain of the house of the Lord, shall be established above all the mountains, and exalted above all the hills;’ and does not the Lord here teach his people his righteous and holy ways and paths to walk in? as in Isa 2, Micah 4. And the stone that smote the great image of gold, of silver, of brass, and iron, and clay, that they became like chaff of the summer threshing floors, and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote this great image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. Dan 2:35.
Is not this stone, that becomes a great mountain, that fills the whole earth, Christ Jesus? And so through him the kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of Christ.
Here you may see this stone, or mountain that fills the whole earth, will dash to pieces, and grind to powder all that is not of its holy and pure nature, and with its holy divine nature fill the whole earth.
The Lord said, ‘They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.’ Isaiah 11:9. And is not this holy mountain Christ, who destroys the devil and his works, the destroyer? ‘And those who take hold of my covenant, said the Lord, even them will I bring to my holy mountain,’ Isa. 56:6-7, 2:2.
‘And he that puts his trust in me,’ said the Lord, ‘shall inherit my holy mountain.’ Isa 57:13. ‘For thus said the high and lofty One, that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ Isa 57:15. Therefore is it not good to wait upon the Lord, and trust in him?
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter