Bible Study


The Gospel of Matthew - Program 11

Roderick C. Meredith (1930-2017)

This Bible Study is part of the "The Gospel of Matthew" series. See other Bible Studies which are part of this series

"Brought before governors and kings"—not some nice courtesy call or tea party, but brought before them. In most cases, we find that the Apostles were brought before the authorities in chains. They were prisoners, as the Apostle Paul was when he was brought before some of the governors and before Caesar at Rome. This is what has happened to God's true servants down through the ages.

Greetings, friends around the world!

We will pick up our series with Matthew 10:18. Open your Bible and follow along with me, and you will get a lot out of this.

Matt. 10:18

"You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles."

"Brought before governors and kings"—not some nice courtesy call or tea party, but brought before them. In most cases, we find that the Apostles were brought before the authorities in chains. They were prisoners, as the Apostle Paul was when he was brought before some of the governors and before Caesar at Rome. This is what has happened to God's true servants down through the ages.

Matt. 10:19

"But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak."

God will put in the mind of His true servants what to speak. We don't need to have a set speech prepared.

Matt. 10:20-22

"…for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake."

When people think about true Christianity, most think about the Catholic Church or the Protestant churches. Yet these churches, the vast majority of churches in the world, are not persecuted like this. Most people actually go to church to solidify their position in the community—to have the praise of other people in the Kiwanis' Club, the Lions' Club or their social set. But true Christians, wherever they are, will be persecuted, because their way of life will be different. Many of you have not thought of that, but the Bible makes it very plain if you read these verses carefully. True Christians will not be walking along with the herd. They will not be going along with the vast majority of humanity!

Matt. 10:22

"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."

You have to endure to the end of your life—or to the end of the age, which will come several years from now.

Matt. 10:23

"When they persecute you in this city, flee to another."

Christ is talking here about a time at the very end when the true Christians will have to flee and in effect be "run out of town."

Matt. 10:23

"For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."

Christ is talking here about His second coming! He did not say, "Before I come in just a few days." He said: "You will not have gone through the cities of Israel." In this Work of God—of which the Tomorrow's World telecast and Tomorrow's World magazine and this Internet commentary are a part—we have proved to you, through our booklet on the subject, that the American and British-descended peoples are the descendants of Israel. We are the "Lost Ten Tribes" of Israel. We have a very powerful and interesting booklet on that subject, titled What's Ahead for America and Britain?. If you want a FREE copy of that booklet, just write or call or order it from this Web site. This FREE booklet proves the national identity of the American and British-descended peoples.

Matt. 10:24

"…you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."

Christ is coming again! Wherever His true servants are today, they will have been trying to go through the cities of Israel, but they won't thoroughly cover them before Christ comes.

Matt. 10:26

"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. "It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master."

In other words, we will have to be persecuted just like Jesus was. He makes that very plain.

Matt. 10:26

"If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub [in other words, the prince of demons], how much more will they call those of his household!"

They will call us sons of the Devil—if we are really serving God. But if you are a member of a mainstream church they don't do that! So think about it: where are the true Christians today?

Matt. 10:26

"Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known."

In the end, God will lift the lid off of this society. God will reveal who has been serving Him and who has not, and who has been hiding their sins and their wrong doctrines and misunderstandings.

Matt. 10:27-28

"Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [gehenna, as it is in the margin, a Greek word meaning the Lake of Fire]."

Most people are taught, in the churches of this world, that the soul is immortal and cannot be destroyed. Jesus showed here, very clearly, that it can be destroyed. The word "soul" comes from the Old Testament word that means "a living being." Man is a living being. You are a soul; you don't have a soul. You have a spirit—a spirit in man—but you are a living being. That living being can be destroyed by God.

Matt. 10:29

"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will."

My friends, God is able to take care of even the sparrows. He watches over them and knows if even one little bird falls to the ground. That is the kind of mind our Creator has!

Do you understand what man has been able to do? Man has been able to invent computers that spew out trillions of pieces of information every second! Don't you think that the God who made our puny little human brain—the brain that manufactured these computers—can keep track of things down here on this earth if He wants to? Of course he can! And He does! So understand how great God is; do not limit Him. When you understand a computer, it gives you just a little insight into the vastly greater power of the mind of the Creator of the entire Universe.

Matt. 10:30

"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

Yes, some of us are losing some of our hairs, and it is easier for God to remember our hairs, perhaps. In all seriousness, God does remember this, and all other such things, if He wants to. He keeps track of every nuance of our thought and our health. He knows who you are. He has made you in His image. He is watching your thought patterns. He is watching your reactions. He is working with you and with me to become His full sons and daughters someday in His Kingdom.

Matt. 10:31-32

"Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven."

We have to confess Jesus Christ not by just saying so, but by the way we live. But one should not be afraid to acknowledge that "I am a follower of Christ, I am a Christian and I am trying to become an Apostolic Christian—a Christian who lives like Christ lived and like the Apostles lived."

Matt. 10:33-34

"But whoever denies Me before men [says "Well, no, I am not a Christian and no, I am not religious and no, I am not a member of this little church that is not respected by men"], him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.

Many people think, "God wants peace, and He wants us to bring about the Kingdom of God right now." But He doesn't! He is not trying to bring that about through human effort. And we cannot and will not bring it about through human effort. Jesus said: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." He came to bring a powerful message that He knew would rile up human beings. Most human beings do not want to listen to what Jesus Christ taught.

Matt. 10:35-36

"For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'"

I had grown up in a mainstream church. But when I was first being genuinely converted to the real truth of God, the ones who bothered me the most, who persecuted me the most, were my own relatives. In their eyes, I was turning on what they taught me. They were sincere, but they were deeply hurt and they could not understand. That is often the way it is.

Matt. 10:37-38

"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."

Every one of us has to go through trials and tests. Every one of us has to go through a certain amount of suffering. We have to be willing to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. That is why He talks about taking up a cross.

Matt. 10:39

"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

Are you willing to lose your life for His sake? To literally give your life? In most cases, God wants us simply to give our lives as a living sacrifice, as the Apostle Paul was inspired to write in Romans 12:1. He wrote: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable [or intelligent] service." Present your bodies as a living sacrifice! Most of us are not willing to do that! We want our way. We want to have fun all of the time. We want a bigger car, a bigger house, more this and more that. That is what our minds are focused on, far too much. We must be willing to help, to share, to sacrifice, to do without, to drive ourselves and to do without food or sleep when necessary. We must be willing to give to others when it hurts and lay down our lives for the Work of Almighty God and for the sake of our fellow man. Jesus said: "He who finds his life"—who wants to be a part of this world's society—will lose his life. Think about that. Pray about it.

Matt. 10:39

"…and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me…"

You need to understand where Jesus Christ's true ministers are. Am I a true minister, really speaking to you the Word of God? I am trying to do it the very best way I possibly can. I am not trying to play games. Most ministers fit in with the pattern of this world's society. They speak the "soft and the smooth things" as Jeremiah said. But we on this program, in this Work, speak the Truth.

Matt. 10:40-42

"…and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man [when you receive him and honor him, in the sense that you believe what he says and act upon it] shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple [Even if you just help someone with giving them some food or some water—because they are Christ, and you are trying to do that service to Christ and to the Living God.], assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

So you want to be a giver, and you want to learn to lay down your life for God. "He who seeks to save his life will lose it"—think about that! Time is short and we need to act upon the Truth. We need to give our lives to God. We have to realize that, as Jesus said, the time is coming when they will persecute us and they will chase us from city to city. We have to be willing to know that God's true Church and God's true people are not part of this society. They are not going to have the approbation of this society. They never have and they never will.

That will be all for this program. Next time we will cover Chapter 11 of this wonderful book of Matthew.