Friday Funnies

The Miser

A notorious miser was called on by the chairman of the community charity. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.”

“Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died? Fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?”

“No, sir,” replied the embarrassed volunteer. “Our records don’t show those things.”

“Well, I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?”

Flies

The Pastor’s wife walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter. “What are you doing?” She asked. “Hunting flies” He responded. “Oh. Killing any?” She asked. “Yep, 3 males, 2 females,” he replied. Intrigued, she asked. “How can you tell them apart?” He responded, “3 were on a coke can, 2 were on the phone.”  

Sales

A real estate agent had just closed his first deal. To his horror though, he then discovered that the piece of land he’d sold was completely submerged under water.

“The customer’s going to come back here pretty mad,” he said to his boss. “Should I give him his money back?”

His boss roared at him, “Money back? What kind of salesman are you? Get out there and sell him a houseboat.”

Bible Study

GOD’S VICTORY ON MOUNT ZION REVELATION 14 

  1. High on A Hilltop.  (1-3)

a. A Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand: These 144,000 were last seen in Revelation 7, where they were identified as a group of Jewish believers who minister during the great tribulation and are given a seal of protection throughout that period. Since they stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb, it shows that they emerge victorious from the great tribulation. The beast of Revelation 13 certainly has not defeated the 144,000; here they are triumphant, worshipping, and standing firm with Jesus.

i. Revelation 14 will answer two important questions raised by Revelation 13. The beast of Revelation 13 was terrifying and awesome; he even can make war against the saints and overcome them (Revelation 13:7). So it is fair to ask, “Is the beast completely victorious over all God’s people?” The presence of the 144,000 on Mount Zion with the Lamb emphatically says “no.” The second question has to do with this Satanic dictator himself: “What happens to the beast and his followers?” The rest of Revelation 14 will answer that question.

ii. In Revelation 7, the 144,000 are seen at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. In Revelation 14, it shows them in triumph at the end of the Great Tribulation.

b. Standing on Mount Zion: They gathered on Mount Zion because Zion – the ancient name for the hills that make up Jerusalem – is the place where the Messiah gathers His redeemed and reigns over the earth (Psalm 48Isaiah 24:23Joel 2:32, Obadiah 17 and 21, Micah 4:14:7).

The 144,000 are like the young Jewish men who survived the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:19-25. They prove God’s ability to preserve His people.

c. Having His Father’s name written on their foreheads: The followers of Satan and the beast may have a mark on their hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-17). But this mark is just a copy of the idea behind the identifying mark on the foreheads of each one of the 144,000, showing that they belong to the Father.

  1. “And who were these people, ‘having his Father’s name written in their foreheads? Those which have accepted Christ as savior. 
  2. The voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder: This is the voice of God (Revelation 1:15and 4:5). Perhaps God spoke here to proclaim His approval of these 144,000 faithful servants in the spirit of Matthew 25:21: Well done, good and faithful servant.

e. And I heard the sound of harps playing: We remember that the elders of Revelation 5:8 have harps. Perhaps this is where their music is heard, to accompany the worshipful singing of the 144,000 as they sing a new song, unique to them.

f. And they sang as it were a new song before the throne: In Revelation 14:1, the 144,000 have their feet firmly planted on an earthly Mount Zion. Yet their praise takes them right to the presence of God, right before the throne. In our praise and worship, we really can transport ourselves and be heard in heavenly places.

“Heaven is not the place to learn that song; it must be learned on the earth. You must learn here the notes of free grace and dying love; and when you have mastered their melody, you will be able to offer to the Lord the tribute of a grateful heart, even in heaven, and blend it with the harmonies eternal.” (Spurgeon)

2. (4-5) The description of the 144,000.

These are the ones who were not defiled with the “world church”, Rev. 14:8; 17:1-5. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.

b. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes: These 144,000 are of Jewish heritage (Revelation 7:4-8). Yet they are also clearly believers in Jesus, otherwise they would not stand with the Lamb, follow the Lamb wherever He goes, and could not be without fault before the throne of God.

i. Each of the vast multitude saved during the Tribulation will be saved in exactly the same manner as anyone today: by grace, through a personal faith in Jesus Christ unto salvation. Even though the rapture of the church ends God’s dealings with the church as such on the earth, it certainly does not change the way people come to salvation or become part of the larger family of God, which includes all the redeemed, before and after the church.

c. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb: Because the 144,000 are the beginnings of a greater harvest they are firstfruits, the “godly nucleus of Israel which is the token of redemption of the nation.” (Walvoord)

B. Holler From Heaven.  (6-7)

Because the judgment of God is so evident on the earth in great tribulation, it is no wonder why the crowd of those saved through the great tribulation can’t be numbered (Revelation 7:9-14).

1. An angel preaches the gospel. Some today like to identify their ministry or technology with this angel flying in the midst of heaven. One prominent television ministry named the satelite they use “Angel One” in a hoped-for fulfillment of this verse. The desire to connect contemporary technology or events with this angel is nothing new. Adam Clarke, writing from the late 18th century says, “But the vision seems truly descriptive of a late institution, entitled The British and Foreign Bible Society, whose object it is to print and circulate the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, through all the habitable world, and in all the languages spoken on the face of the earth.”

ii. John Trapp, writing in the late 17th century, saw a fulfillment of his own: “This is held to be John Wicliff, who wrote more than two hundred volumes against the pope, and was a means of much good to many.”

b. Fear God and give glory to Him: This is what the angel will tell the whole world to do. They can do this and give glory to God and worship Him willingly in this life, or be compelled to give glory to Him later. Philippians 2:9-11 sWherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

iii. John says this is the everlasting gospel, and it may sound different that the gospel we hear preached today. It isn’t all that different. To every nation, tribe, tongue, and people: This can be a valid fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in Matthew 24:14that the gospel would be preached to all the world before His second coming. But this can never be a valid excuse for neglecting the urgency of missions. God has not given the responsibility for spreading the Gospel to angels, but unto His people.

i. However, this is the only place in the New Testament where we see angels preaching the Gospel. In God’s sublime wisdom, He has chosen to give that responsibility to people alone, apart from the rarest of exceptions.

2. (8) An angel announces Babylon’s fall.

And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

a. Babylon is fallen: More on Babylon will come in Revelation 17. For now, it is enough to see it representing mankind in organized rebellion against God.

i. “Prophetically, ‘Babylon’ sometimes refers to a literal city, sometimes to a religious system, sometime the modern church, sometimes to a political system, all stemming from the evil character of historic Babylon.” (Walvoord)

b. Because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication: When we are told that Babylon has led all nations into fornication, the main idea is spiritual fornication – the worship of other gods. However, we are never surprised to see spiritual fornication accompanied with literal immorality.

3. (9-11) A third angel warns of coming judgment.ark will be clear enough.

i. Although, receiving the mark may seem innocent enough to those who dwell on the earth. In their eyes it may not seem like much more that a mere pledge of allegiance and devotion to the Antichrist and his government. It was the same way in the first few centuries of Christianity, when to burn a pinch of incense to an image of Caesar, and to pledge “Caesar is Lord” was regarded as an innocent act of civic duty to the ancient pagans.

b. He himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation: the wine of the wrath of God(full strength.).

  1. The idea that God holds a cup of wrath, which He makes those under judgment drink is expressed more than thirteen times in the Bible (Psalm 75:8 and Jeremiah 25:15 are examples).
  2. The ancient Greek word orge is the common word for God’s anger in the New Testament. The ancient word thymos is used only 11 times, and 10 of the 11 are in Revelation. Usually, God’s anger towards sinners does not flash against them; it is simply His settled opposition against sin and unrighteousness. But in the Book of Revelation, which so clearly describes God’s ultimate judgment, the term for passionate anger is used much more often.

v. “In describing the worshippers of the beast, the word worship as well as the word receive in verse 11 is in the present tense emphasizing continued worship of the beast over a long period of time… the same present tense is used in describing their torment. As the worship of the beast is not interrupted by repentance, so their torment is not interrupted when repentance is too late.” (Walvoord)

4. (12-13) The blessedness of the saints, even in the Great Tribulation.

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

ai. We can only imagine what courage and comfort this passage will give embattled, persecuted saints during the Great Tribulation. Clearly, God wants to encourage His people to be steadfast in times of trial, focused on what blessed rest and reward awaits them in eternity.

C. Harvest Time (14-16)

a. On the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle: Some find it difficult to see Jesus as the One gathering the harvest here. They have a hard time with Jesus responding to another angel who came out of the temple. But it is unlikely that anyone called the Son of Man, and wearing a golden crown is anyone but Jesus.

b. For the harvest of the earth is ripe: This ancient Greek word for ripe has a negative sense, “to become dry or withered.” The idea is of something that is over-ripe. This means that God will judge the earth only when it is over-ripe for judgment. He doesn’t rush into judgment.

(17-20) The winepress of God.

a. Another angel who came out from the altar, who had power over fire: “These allusions seem to indicate that the angel is acting in response to the prayers of the saints for divine judgment on wickedness.Rev. 6:10”

b. The great winepress of the wrath of God: This vivid picture of judgment was the inspiration for The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vineyard where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword,
His truth is marching on!

c. Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe: The image of the Second Coming of Jesus as a harvest is also communicated in Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:36-43, with the parable of the wheat and the tares. The implication is that true believers will not be separated from those who merely go to church until the final harvest.

“What strength have grapes against the weight and power of a man when he comes to set his feet upon them? And the riper they are, the more helpless… The heel of Omnipotence is upon them, and they can only break and sink beneath it.” (Seiss)

d. Blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs: This probably describes blood splatteringup to the horses’ bridles, a picture of tremendous carnage in the battle of Armageddon described in Revelation 16:16 and 19:11-19. It is not likely a description of a river of blood running the length of the Promised Land and as high as a horse’s bridle is. This would be an almost incomprehensible river of blood.

i. In ancient times, a battle area extending one thousand six hundred furlongs (approximately 200 miles) was beyond all known conflict – but not in modern warfare. “The area covered, 1,600 furlongs, is approximately 200 miles, and specifies that the area within a 200-mile radius from Jerusalem will be gathered at the time of the second coming of Christ.” (Walvoord)

ii. But this vivid, powerful description shows how complete the judgment of God is. Revelation 14 is the perfect answer to Revelation 13. At the end of Revelation 13, it almost seemed like Satan and the Antichrist might win. But Revelation 14 shows who is really triumphant, powerful, and in control: God, His Messiah, and His people; not Satan, his messiah (the Antichrist) and his followers.

Victory Baptist Church 14 August 2019 victory palmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Look for the Good Way

Dr Charles Stanley

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

If you’re a hiker, you know how important it is to stick to the marked trails in unfamiliar territory. To venture off on your own could lead to disaster if you get lost and can’t find your way back to safety.

This is similar to what happened to the nation of Judah. They veered from the Lord to make their own way by adopting foreign gods. As a result, God told the prophet Jeremiah to point them back to Him. Sadly, they refused to listen and continued in the wrong direction.

But we don’t have to follow in their footsteps. The Lord will lead us onto His path if we’ll heed these commands from  “Stand at the crossroads and look.” God sometimes uses trouble to open our eyes and let us see we’re at an intersection. This is the time to stop and immerse ourselves in God’s Word so we can discern His way.

Ask for the old paths, where the good way is.” Saints from the past have left footprints for us to follow. After meditating on psalms or prayers offered by people in the Bible, we should ponder how their petitions reveal trust in God. It’s also helpful to notice what happened next in the scriptural accounts.

Walk in it, and … find rest for your souls.” With eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and with full reliance on the Holy Spirit’s strength, we can walk the road of obedience and follow Christ to sweet, soul-satisfying rest.

If you are uncertain regarding God’s will, avoid the tendency to run faster. Pause, follow Jeremiah’s instructions, and trust the Lord to show you the good way. Then start walking.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

When Man Says “No Way”!

When man says ‘no way’, God has a different view,

There’s nothing at all His strong hand can’t do;

If we become upset by tough things taking place,

He can meet our needs with His mercy & grace!

When man says ‘no way’, God has an alternate plan,

There’s not one thing He can’t manage by His hand;

Man might have have limits on all he performs,

But to God, there’s nothing “out of the norm!”

When man says ‘no way’, God has ability to display,

Seeing His work brings our heart song & praise;

He has never found anything frustrating or hard,

For He can do all things, awesome & large!

When man says ‘no way’, God has much care to show,

Shielding us from harm, with blessings to bestow;

Doubtful man may not believe as he says ‘no way’,

All things are possible when we call on God’s name!

Little Test

We think it’s the big things in life that create a leader — no. The big crises in life reveal leadership, but leadership is not built in the big things of life. It’s built in the small things of life. That’s where integrity shows up — in the stuff that nobody sees, in the stuff behind the scenes. In the small, unseen, unspectacular choices of life where you do the right thing even though nobody’s ever going to see it.

Faithfulness requires integrity, and God tests your integrity in the little things.

In Luke 16:10 Jesus tells us,who ever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; who ever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones. He’s saying your public blessing is determined by your private integrity.

Every time a politician has a scandal, you can always count on his defenders to come out and say this: “It really shouldn’t matter what a guy’s private life is like.” Have you ever heard that one? “It really shouldn’t matter what a guy does in his private life. It hasn’t a thing to do with him as a leader.”

It has everything to do with him as a leader! Because if a man lies to his wife, he’ll lie to his constituents. Believe me! If he’ll lie to his best friend, to whom he said, “Till death do us part,” he will cheat on you, voter! Count on it!

My public blessing as a leader comes because of private integrity that nobody ever sees. Your public blessing as a person comes from your private integrity that nobody will ever see. God uses little things to test our integrity.

Behind the Hymn

The Story Behind …
“Just As I Am”

If there is one hymn that is sung more often than any other while the preacher is inviting people to “come forward” it is, “Just As I Am.”

Probably more persons have accepted Christ with strains of that old hymn ringing in their ears than any other gospel song.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Charlotte Elliott, who wrote that song, was an invalid living in England. One day Dr. Malan, a house guest from Geneva, broached the subject of personal salvation and asked Miss Elliott whether she ever had come to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted Him as her personal Saviour.

The young woman resented the question and quickly changed the subject. But it set her to thinking.

Later she said to Dr. Malan, “You spoke of coming to Jesus, but how? I am not fit to come.”

He replied, “Come just as you are.” She did so; and later, in her room, she wrote the lines of her hymn. One verse says:

Just as I am, poor wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find;
O Lamb of God, I come.

Sometime afterward she related her experience to a friend and showed him what she had written. Somehow the lines got into print, and eventually people began singing them to a tune composed by a New Englander, William B. Bradbury. Today the hymn is translated into many languages, and people of every color, every age, and every station in life have knelt before God and made it their prayer of penitence.

Some hesitate to come as they are. They think they’re not fit to come. They want to dress up first. They think they have to get rid of their bad habits, or make restitution, or do something else before they can come. That’s like a drowning man who can’t swim but who keeps struggling in a vain attempt to save himself. The lifeguard can’t save him until he quiets down.

You can’t save yourself. God does not ask you to. All He asks, if you are not saved, is that you let Him do it. Just confess your need of salvation and repent of your sins, and then trust in His saving power. Never mind your bad habits or misdeeds. He will help you solve those problems later. It will be easier than you expect, for you will be a new person once you are saved.

Come now, and don’t delay. You need not wait another minute, as the hymn says:

Just as I am, and waiting not,
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot.
O Lamb of God, I come.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know
“14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
 
Paul’s prayer for the believers at Ephesus was that they might know “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,…”   God’s Word tells us to know the extent of His love, but His love passes our knowledge.  The most familiar verse in the Bible tells us of God’s amazing love.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)   For many this verse was embedded in memory many years ago and God can bring it front and center to remind us of His great love.  Many more learned of God’s love as babies with this little song by William B. Bradbury.
“Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.”
You may have sung this song as a child.  Can you still sing with assurance today, “Jesus loves me! this I know”

Friday Funnies

FAREWELL  SERMON

A pastor fell out with his church council over various church policies and procedures, including how the finances were handled. After bitter arguments and many nights of lost sleep, he decided to leave the congregation to take a job as a prison chaplain. He preached his last sermon at the church on John 14:1: “I go to prepare a place for you.”

WISDOM

Feeling overworked and overwhelmed just a month after taking a new position, the junior pastor accused his superior of misleading him about the workload. “I specifically asked whether the hours were long and you said no,” the furious pastor griped.”They aren’t long at all,” said the senior pastor with a smile.” Just  the standard 60 minutes apiece!

A Higher Power

The Sunday School teacher began the week’s lesson with a recap of the previous week’s topic by saying, “We have been learning about how powerful the kings and queens were in Biblical times. But there is a higher power. Who can tell me what it is?”

Six-year-old Peter blurted out, “I know, Aces.”

ADVICE

The pastor was delighted to be able to perform a couple’s wedding the following year.

“Let’s plan on meeting five or six times for the premarital counseling,” the pastor said.

“Oh, we don’t need premarital counseling,” the bride said dimissively. “We know everything there is to know about marriage.’

‘Yeah,” the groom agreed. “We’ve both been married twice before.”

Bible Study

The Parable of Pounds

Luke 19:11-28 – He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15  And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18  And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20  And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21  For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. 28  And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

  1.  The parable of the pounds is different from the parable of talents.
  2.  Most commentaries say the two parables are the same.
  3.  The purpose of the two parables are different.
  4.  The parable of the talents is written in answer to a question by the disciples about the signs of the end of the world.  Matt. 24:3.
  5.  The parable of the pounds is written to saved and lost (the faithful in the kingdom and the citizens of Israel) who are gathered together in the house of Zacchaeus who expect the kingdom of God will come immediately.  Luke 19:11.
  6.  The time is different.
  7.  The parable of the talents is given at Jerusalem because the question about the end of time is asked when Jesus stated that the temple would be destroyed.  Matt. 24:1-3.
  8.  The parable of the pounds is as Jesus travels toward Jerusalem.  Luke 19:11 and 28.
  9.  The two parable share some similarities.  Mark 13:34-37.
  10.  This scripture is referring to either the parable of the talents or the parable of the pounds; more than likely the parable of the pounds.
  11.  The parables are similar because God always wants His children to be watching and ready themselves while they warn the lost.

Verse 12  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

This is a point the people would readily understand because this is what Herod did.  He went to Rome to receive authority from Caesar to rule over Israel.  This is also what Christ did because He went to heaven and is now sitting at the right hand of God who has given him all power in heaven and in earth.

Verse 13  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

These are ten servants.  Each time the word servant is used in this chapter, it signifies that the people belong to Christ.  They are His servants and will hear His commands, and some will obey His commands.

I believe there is a significance in the number ten, but I don’t know what it is.  There were ten virgins, and there were ten lepers healed.  The number ten appears in several places, but I don’t know the significance of that particular number yet.

It is also important to compare the reaction of the Lord’s servants to the citizens of Israel.

The Lord’s servants accept his spiritual rule over them in the present spiritual reality of His kingdom.

The citizens of Israel reject His spiritual rule over them, therefore they will not receive His physical rule over them.

This fact reveals the two phases of God’s kingdom on the earth at this present time.

Christ now rules spiritually over all His servants.

Those who accept the spiritual rule of Christ over them will also enjoy the benefits of ruling and reigning with Christ when His kingdom is physical.

Those who reject the spiritual rule of Christ over them will never enjoy the benefits of ruling and reigning with Christ when His kingdom is physical.

The physical rule of Christ will be manifested during the millennium, which will continue into eternity.

Verse 14  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

These are the citizens of Israel, who have rejected Christ because He didn’t come like they expected Him to come.

They expected Christ to come as a king, taking control of Israel away from Rome and ruling the world from Jerusalem.

They expected Christ to come as a warrior to lead them into battle against all their enemies.

They expected physical things, but received spiritual things.

Christ came as a lamb to the slaughter, not as a king.

Israel rejected Christ and continue to this very day looking for the Messiah.

Christ had already organized His church before the Jews sent the message of rejection.

It is plain that Jesus didn’t organize His church on the Day of Pentecost, or any time after he left this earth to receive His kingdom.

Those who believe the church of God was organized after Christ died on the cross are too late!

Verse 15  And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

There is coming a day of judgment, when we will each one give account for the way we have lived our lives.

II Tim. 4:1 – The time of the judgment of the saved will be at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

The time of the judgment of the lost will be when Christ establishes Himself as everlasting king of the new heaven and new earth.

It is important to note that Christ isn’t judging His people to see how much they have lost, but how much they have gained.

The time period each servant has to gain for God is apparently the same.

In reality, we know that the time each person has for Christian service is different.

Some have more time, while others have less time.

How much time each person has isn’t as important as understanding that God will “adjust” all this time differences so His judgment will be exactly equal.

Verse 16  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

If this is a line forming, then it would be natural for the person who has gained the most to be first in line.

This person has gained 10 times the original amount.

How much have we gained for God.

It is true that we cannot remain the same.

We will either gain or lose.

Verse 17  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

Good words of commendation are heard by this faithful servant.

Being faithful over very little has gained very much in the kingdom of God.

It is impossible to lose our lives for the sake of Christ and not gain much, much more than we ever lost.

The individual that will gain everything in this world, will lose his own soul (life) when he sees all his earthly gain destroyed when the world is burned up.

I believe verse 17 teaches exactly what it is saying.

Matt. 20:20-23 – Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21  And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

These verses teach that the disciples understood there would be some ruling with Christ in eternity.

Christ doesn’t tell them their assumption is wrong, but rather confirms it.

It is very important to note that ruling and reigning with Christ is something that is given, by grace, not something that is earned.

We do not work our way into salvation, nor do we work our way into rewards.

We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and we receive rewards by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

This is why we will cast our crowns before the feet of Christ declaring that He is worthy.

Christ will return those crowns to us and we will wear them as a testimony to what He has done for us.

In eternity, we won’t remember our good feats, or our bad feats.  We will remember what Christ has done for us, and we will be taught throughout all eternity more than we can possible understand in this body.

Matt. 19:27-30 – Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

It is important to read verses 23-26 to understand why Peter asked this question.

Christ states positively that the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

I believe this is literal.

Rev. 21:24-27 – And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This passage speaks of eternity, after this present heaven and earth are destroyed and the new heaven and new earth are “created”.

This is after New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven to the new earth, and God comes down to dwell with men forever, Rev. 21:1-3.

I am going to jump to a conclusion right here, but nations now are filled with cities.

Nations have rulers, and cities have rulers.

If these nations have rulers, which are called kings, then I am jumping to the conclusion that these cities also have rulers, who receive the authority to rule their cities from Christ at the judgment.

They receive this authority over cities because they have been faithful over the little that God has given them in this earth.

Verse 18-19 – And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

What is said about this faithful servant can also be said about the faithful servant in verse 16 & 17.

Verse 20-26 – And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21  For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

This unfaithful individual can be compared to the unfaithful servant in the parable of the talents.  Everything that is said of that unfaithful individual can be said about his unfaithful individual.

It is not stated that this unfaithful servant was cast into outer darkness.

I personally believe he was cast into outer darkness just like the unfaithful servant of the parable of the talents.

Christ didn’t explicitly state he was cast into outer darkness in this case because of the additional information concerning the people of Israel.

Verse 27  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

It is interesting to note that the enemies of God probably don’t consider themselves enemies.

It is true they worship Him along with several other gods, including themselves.

Because they know God, they believe they love Him enough to be counted His friend.

But because they worship and serve many other gods, God has rejected them.

Exodus 20:3 – Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.

Psalms 9:17 – The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

This scripture is fulfilled in that generation that lived when Christ lived, yet rejected his rule over them.

This scripture will also be fulfilled in each generation and each nation that rejects God and His authority over them.

 

Verse 28  And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

Christ will now continue toward Jerusalem, having dispelled the notion of his disciples that the kingdom of God should appear immediately.

He didn’t tell them exactly when it would appear.

Acts 1 – When Christ ascended back to heaven, his disciples were still expecting the kingdom of God to appear immediately.

Wade’s Wednesday

The Danger of Drifting

By Dr. Charles Stanley

One fine afternoon, my best friend and I came upon an abandoned boat floating in the river. The paddles were broken, but that wasn’t a deterrent for a pair of teenage boys. We shoved off and drifted downstream talking, joking, and carrying on. I’m not sure how much time passed as we floated aimlessly along, but we knew we were in trouble when a loud roar reached our ears. Up ahead, water was rushing over the dam. Panicked, we grabbed the broken paddles and pulled hard against the current. We managed to get close enough to the shore to safely jump out into shallow water, but the boat went over the edge. What started out as pure fun nearly ended in disaster.

That’s what happens to many people today. What begins as fun and pleasure ends in shipwreck because people drift along, neglecting to think ahead or notice how fast they’re moving away from the safety of the Lord’s plan. According to the prevailing attitude of modern society, God isn’t needed as long as the stream runs smoothly. In other words, when income is good, the family is safe, and health is stable, going with the flow seems fine. But in reality, a drifting man is being swept along by the world’s currents, which are dangerous without Christ.

Put another way: Drifting is foolish. In countless arenas of life—including marriage, family, vocation, and finances—we need to have a goal and navigation plan if we expect to be successful. Thankfully, God provides both in His Word. (Prov. 3:6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.).

Spiritual drifting­—the gradual wandering away from God and His will—takes place when a believer ceases to steer toward the Lord. Like a boat without oars that is set loose upon the waters, he or she makes a slow and lazy glide away from good practices like obedience, regular Bible study, prayer, and assembling with fellow Christians. And there are consequences for slipping into uncharted, dangerous waters.

A life adrift is outside of God’s will and therefore in sin. The Holy Spirit pricks the conscience to send a message when a believer is off course, but a drifter is prone to ignore such warnings. If a Christian continually excuses his wandering ways and denies sin, his conscience gradually gets numbed. A person who becomes desensitized to wrongdoing has paved the way for more
sinful behavior with less guilt.

People drift from God in search of more—more freedom, choices, and pleasure. But since the consequences are a hard heart, a numb conscience, and dead ears, what they end up with is less. The drifting believer sacrifices the victorious life in Christ for an existence devoid of permanent satisfaction.