A powerful person who sins away from it all is a powerful person who cannot remain powerful long enough to see the true result of that person’s power until it is too late.
A Powerful Person Who Sins Away From It All
Matthew 12:1-2, At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” (NKJV) At that time is a unique phrase where, in Luke 6:1, it is called the second sabbath after the first, a unique phrase found nowhere else, even in historical documents, and there is no definitive answer as to what it means yet, but God has given the definitive answer to a Hebrew scholar, a Greek scholar and a Bible prophecy teacher, where separately they do not have the answer, but together, there is a life altering revelation.
What is important now
What is important now is what Jesus’ disciples were doing as they ate; they were rubbing the grain in their hands to separate the grain from the chaff, which has become an American idiom meaning to separate the good or valuable from that which is inferior, to separate what is useful or valuable from what is worthless, to decide which things or people in a group are good or necessary and which are not and to separate people or things of a better quality from those of a lower quality. This prophecy has been progressively alluded to, one instance was John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1-12, In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ” Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matthew 3:1-6 NKJV)
What made John’s baptism unique
There was a 30-year gap between Matthew 2 and Matthew 3, with John the Baptist being the first prophet in the Bible since Malachi, a span of hundreds of years. What made John’s baptism unique was it was a baptism for everyone where the person being baptized could admit in humility to being a sinner and then begin to change the person’s ways. Nearing an end were the days of condemnation from Jewish leaders condemning sinners to a life of exile. The common Jewish people were becoming fed up with the oppression of the Roman Empire and were welcoming John the Baptist and his preaching of the coming Messiah, plus, some thought he may have been the Messiah, so they flocked to the wilderness to see what was happening, history in the making! Jews came from all over to be baptized into repentance from John and to hear the words of the long-awaited Jewish prophet.
Baptism was for those who practiced heathenism
Before John’s baptism, baptism was for those who practiced heathenism being brought into the Jewish faith and for an outward sign of an inward purification. Baptism was used for the consecration of priests, the cleaning of lepers and anyone else who had a special unclean circumstance. The Pharisees would never get baptized by John because they were the influencers of the common people, the judges of sinners, so they could never admit to being a sinner themselves or they would lose their worldly power, even though they were ungodly sinners as all humans are sinners in need of repentance on a regular basis. An ungodly sinner works for the kingdom of darkness. An ungodly sinner is an unrepentant sinner, not a person sinning out of ignorance or a person struggling with a sin and trying to overcome the sin, but a person who knows what they are doing is sin and pridefully chooses to sin against God anyway, rejecting the will of God, which, John the Baptist was introducing repentance for all people, even ungodly sinners, as the will of God. The Pharisees regularly pointed out the sins of other people to hurt the other people, not to help them, which is bad fruit and a fruit of hatred and not love. Love is a fruit of the Spirit.
What Kingdom of heaven is at hand?
What Kingdom of heaven is at hand? The Kingdom Daniel envisioned in Daniel 7:13-14, 18, 22 and 27 is the Kingdom of heaven at hand, “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed… ‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’….until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom… ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ (NKJV)
The satanic kingdom of darkness
The other kingdom envisioned in Daniel 7:15-17, 19-21 and 23-26 is the satanic kingdom of darkness that will climax as the kingdom of the Antichrist, “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. “I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: ‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. “Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates. “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them…. “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. [3.5 years] ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. (NKJV)
Destruction of the satanic kingdom of darkness
This destruction of the satanic kingdom of darkness happens when Jesus comes back to earth with His Saints to stop the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19:11, Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (NKJV) Then, the Antichrist and the False Prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, the second death, by Jesus in Revelation 19:19-21, And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (NKJV) Enoch prophesied about this event and how Jesus will come back to earth with His Saints to defeat all those in the satanic kingdom of darkness and Jude mentions it in Jude 1:14-15, Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (NKJV)
Brood of vipers!
Matthew 3:7-12, But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (NKJV) The Pharisees were very wealthy, swelled with pride and did not feel they needed repentance and considered their manmade customs equal to Scripture, while the Sadducees did not believe in spirits or the resurrection from the dead and it is believed the Sadducees originated from a Zadok named Sadok, the disciple of Antigonus who was president of the Sanhedrin and taught men should not be servants who do their Master’s will for a reward. No one is sure why these two parties came to John the Baptist’s revival, but it is certain neither party believed in confessing their sins to God or repentance and neither would any party as a whole choose to be baptized by John.
A viper is a small species of serpent, but it is the most poisonous of all serpents. Usually when a person is bitten by this serpent, the venom causes the person to immediately swell up and the person falls over dead, like how yeast swells bread once it is heated to a certain point. Yeast is a microscopic, unicellular fungus and it is a living organism. Just like human cells, yeast cells are alive and natural, therefore, yeast must be treated carefully. Yeast is the essential ingredient to make bread swell. The carbon dioxide released by the yeast is what causes the bread to swell, essentially, the breath of the yeast, just like in humans where the breath of the person is essential to carry the person’s words to another person’s ears. Yeast must be activated with sugar and warm, but not hot or cold, around 100° F, water to make the bread swell. If the water is too cold, the ferments fall asleep, and the dough does not rise. If the water is a little too hot, the dough will rise a first time, but the ultra-activated ferments will eventually fall off during the second sprouting or during baking and the bread will have no taste. If the water is too hot, the bacteria will be killed, and the yeast will no longer be able to process the sugar in the flour. There is a variant called fast-rising yeast where the dough swells twice as fast. It is used in the same way, in salty or sweet preparations. It is incorporated as is, directly into the bread’s preparation. Its disadvantage is in its composition is an emulsifier (E491) and an antioxidant (E300).
Brood is the Greek word Γεννήματα meaning offspring and child; it occurs 4 times in this context, each time referring to the Pharisees and can also mean fruit, but not in this context, this word is used 4 other times in the Bible where it means fruit. John the Baptist was asking the Jewish leaders who taught them about repentance. He was more surprised than condemning to see them there because he knew their beliefs and knew they needed repentance. They all believed in the promised Messiah, but they wanted a Messiah who conformed to their beliefs instead of a Messiah who willed others to conform to His Truth. Perhaps they were there to get baptized and maybe some did, but the very core of John’s preaching would have either convicted each person to repentance or not because faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
To bear fruit worthy of repentance
To bear fruit worthy of repentance is an interesting statement. Fruit is the Greek word καρπὸν and it occurs a lot, 38 times in this context, but what makes it interesting is it most likely comes from the root word harpazo, and John was literally saying, “If, then, you are serious about escape, produce fruit worthy of repentance; repentance means more than confession and being baptized.” Jews had always been saved based on their faith in the promised Messiah, sacrificing animals to cover their sin in place of the promised Messiah who would sacrifice Himself to take away the sins of the world, but too many based their salvation on their bloodline, that they were descendants of Abraham, instead of basing their salvation on their faith in the promised Messiah. More importantly, the Jews were descendants of the faith of Abraham, but even in the Talmud it is written, “Abraham sits near the gates of hell, and does not permit any wicked Israelite to go down into it.” And Justin writes that the Jewish rabbis assured the Jews, “That, being Abraham’s seed, though they continued in disobedience to God, and in infidelity, the kingdom of heaven should still be given them.”
God is able to raise up children
A lot of those converted and born into the Christian faith are the same today as many Jews were back then, thinking their adherence to their religion and their ability to follow the rules of their denomination will save them, that they just have to go to church and maybe serve on a committee in church or something and that will save them. Salvation is based on faith in Jesus and having a good personal relationship with Him, just calling a person a Christian and assuming that person is born again is the same thing as a Pharisee being called a Jew and assuming that person has a good relationship with Jesus. All born again Christians have the Holy Spirit and being born again actually means being born from above. The Holy Spirit will convict a person of sin, yet that person is still free to choose what directions to take in life, even though that person will know deep inside the truth because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. If a person is not convicted of sin, then that person is either missing the Holy Spirit in their life or God has turned that person over to a reprobate mind. Sanctification can take a while; some people may not even know what they are doing is sin until a different revelation reveals a deeper revelation of the person’s sin.
Many Jews assumed they were the only connection to God on earth and God needed them, but John the Baptist was very clear when he prophesied “God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones,” which can mean many different things, personally, I believe this statement was a prophecy about believers with faith in Yeshua Messiah and about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD and fleeing from the wrath to come, being serious about escape, all being a prophecy about the then future prophecy by Jesus in Matthew 24:1-2, Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (NKJV) Those who believed in Jesus’ prophecy about the coming destruction in 70AD knew to sell all their possessions and live as a community and then flee from the wrath to come when it was time. The Christian community who did this had nothing to do with socialism or that having an actual church is a bad thing. Only Christians in this area at that time followed this teaching, and it was an act of faith, faith in their personal relationship with Jesus and what He told them to do.
The ax being laid at the root of the trees
The ax being laid at the root of the trees is a mass personal prophesy, so, over time people have said it is unlikely John the Baptist was prophesying about the destruction in 70AD, but the ax being laid at the root of the trees can mean the difference between those whose root has faith in being the seed of Abraham and those whose root has faith in being the seed of the faith of Abraham, basically the difference in having faith in Abraham or having faith in Messiah, which as our past and present has told in their future, this is true for more than just Judaism. John the Baptist prophesied, “Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Every tree means every tree, not just trees around then, but trees that will grow in the future. The destruction of Jerusalem was just the beginning of this prophecy. Not only would all those slaughtered as Jerusalem was being overtaken be thrown into the fire that burned within Jerusalem, but all the future trees who do not bear good fruit will be thrown into the lake of fire, the second death, after they die on earth. Only One is good, that is God, and only one fruit is good, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is impossible to bear without being born again. A person cannot bear good fruit by doing good deeds or by being a good person in the eyes of the world, that will draw praise from man, but will it draw praise from God?
A type of shepherd
John the Baptist was a type of shepherd in the Body of Christ, a shadow of preachers to come who lead many over thousands of years to faith in Jesus Christ by the preaching of the Word of God. The lowest of servants had the job of carrying and lacing their master’s shoes, where foot washing was a part of that service. John the Baptist does not even count himself worthy of the lowest task in his service to Messiah because Jesus, the Creator of the universe, is Messiah. Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit and fire is not just spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit people get to use for prophecy and healing, it is fire that purges through trials and tribulations, fire that separates the grain from the chaff, fire that determines the saved from the damned, it is the fire that creates overcomers.
His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. This is a prophecy from John the Baptist about Jesus, before he knew Jesus is the Messiah, about what Jesus will do in the future. This prophecy is a metaphor told through the process of what happened after wheat was harvested back then. The wheat was thrown on the hard threshing floor while oxen walked on it. A large winnowing fan created a strong current of air that blew on the harvested wheat, leaving the wheat in the middle, while the chaff was driven to the outskirts of the field to be later swept up and burnt. This fan in His hand is a metaphor meaning His discernment. Not only while Jesus was alive on earth could He discern the hearts of the Pharisees, who were the type and shadow of the future chaff, but throughout time, Jesus will look directly into each person’s heart and discern them as wheat or as chaff. The wheat, or the overcomer, will be gathered into His barn, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem of Revelation 22, after the chaff has been thrown into the unquenchable fire. The chaff will first be thrown into hell and then, after the Great White Throne Judgement, the chaff will be burnt up with unquenchable fire, which means thrown into the lake of fire, the second death.