It is said that the Bible is the Word of God, but do we really understand what that means. Why is the Bible the Word of God?
Gods’ Word is akin to Gods’ promises, one could even say it is a book of promises and rules. A history book of how we got to where we are today. A book of hope, faith and love.
The more you read, the more you realize that every word that is used is carefully chosen. You don’t have to look too hard to notice that a fascinating story, is unfolding. It’s a love story by all accounts. The love of redemption, of saving souls, of grace, forgiveness and everything that love is.
There is a difference in creating something and speaking something into existence. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.M110 That’s what happened from Genesis 1:1-2
God created the heavens and the earth, He did not speak them into existence. What you will notice is that after the creation of the heavens and the earth, darkness started to fill the earth and the Spirit of God came forth over the waters.
The next thing that God did was speak, and those spoken words of God are captured in Genesis 1:3. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.M111 The interesting thing for me here is the fact that, this is the first time light is brought forth into creation.
In the sequence of events we have God, then the Spirt of God, and then we have light. When God said “Let there be,” God made a decree. God not only established light but God permitted it to be so.
This is imperative to understand, God permitted light. God allowed light to exist so that the purpose of light will be fulfilled. We get a peek at the purpose in Genesis 1:4, God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.M112
God saw that His decree was good. The purpose of light was good. It was with that purpose that God then separated light from darkness. The reason for that separation we will talk about in the next chapter, for now, let us understand the many meanings of light, so we can better grasp Gods’ foresight and the motivation behind the separation.
To understand how these four words from God “Let there be light” changed everything, we need to understand 2 Timothy 3:17 (NIV). All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.N10
The first question that I find myself asking is, what is scripture?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that the books of either the Old Testament or the New Testament or both, as well as the sacred writings of a religionMW8 are considered to be scripture.
So if all the writings of the Old and New Testament are scripture and if “all” scripture is God-breathed, then what does God-breathed really mean?
After doing a bit of research, I found that in Greek God-breathed is theopneustosR7 and it means God-breathed, inspired by God, due to the inspiration of God.R8 To me the meaning of the word God-breathed seems to get lost in translation. If I just look at the word God-breathed, it means the words spoken by God. It also means that these words have the breath of God in it.
If scripture has the breath of God in it. What then is the real meaning of the breath of God?
It seems like the question is never really answered, but only meanings are derived from its use. For me, the breath of God is very powerful because it means the life of God or the Spirit of God. In John 20:21-23, Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.”M113
It’s interesting that Jesus not only breathed on them but also said “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.” What we see is another decree issued by Jesus. The significance of what was said is quite amazing when we compare it with what God did.
God said “Let there be light” those words spoken by God had the breath of God in it. But the surprising thing is not only that the spoken words of God had God’s breath. It is what those words mean.
Light! What is light?
Isaiah 8:20 says, to the law and to the testimony; if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.M114
In this passage, an interesting correlation is made between a word that has light and word that does not have light. In other words, we have words that come from the light and words that have come from darkness.
If you pardon the pun, 1 John 1:5 sheds some light on this subject. This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.M115
What’s interesting about this verse is that God is light. So when God said “Let there be Light” God allowed or decreed for God to exist as light.
This is where the Bible I feel is poetic, in John 8:12 Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”M116
In case you missed it, 1 John 1:5 says, God is light and in John 8:12 Jesus says I am the light. Not only does this explain how Jesus is God but that God spoke and permitted Jesus to be. God had a purpose for Jesus to exist as God.
Prior to God saying those four words. Jesus was with God when the heavens and the earth were created. We see that captured in John 1:1-4. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.M117
To confirm that John was speaking about the Word as being Jesus we need to read John 1:14. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.M118
John said something that was fascinating, he said the Word became flesh and dwelt (lived) among us. Now we know that this was fulfilled because Jesus came in the flesh and lived among His people. What’s interesting is that in Ezekiel 37:26-28 what God and Jesus would do was already spoken about.
Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them and will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them. Indeed, I will be their God and they shall be My people. The nations shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.M119
“when My sanctuary is in their midst” are incredible words. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own?M120
Once we have made our body a temple for the Holy Spirit, we have to consistently ensure that we maintain it and most importantly not defile it. When we look at the words in 1 Corinthians 3:17, if anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy. And you are His temple.M121 We now begin to understand the responsibility that each one of us carries.
This statement is critical to understanding the penalty that is placed on everyone. When we see the words defile, we think graffiti and insults. The truth is, graffiti and insults are only two of the many ways in which we can defile God’s sanctuary. We can begin the process of destruction through defilement.
We defile the body by sin and after sin leads to defilement, sin leads to death. The death of the body is the death of the sanctuary of God, to which we are responsible for. Sin causes us to create a link to the chains of darkness that is of this world. When we get connected to the chain of sin, we indirectly get yoked to it.
What I find amazing is how easily we can get yoked and the effect unbelievers can have on us. We see the impact of this and what we are called to do in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness? What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live in them and walk in them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”M122
We are to be separated, in order to be Holy, which is easier said than done. From the above passage, we know that in order to be received we need to be clean. Many of us might be unknowingly unclean. So the question that we may be asking ourselves is, how do we that might be unclean become clean?
The answer to that is in the power of the spoken word, that’s talked about in John 15:3-4. You are already clean through the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me.M123
YOU ARE ALREADY CLEAN THROUGH THE WORD WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU.
What’s also interesting is that the branch cannot bear fruit by itself. When we are separated from God, we not only cannot bear fruit, but we can do nothing that requires the power of Jesus, as John 15:5 states, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing.M124
John 15:7 says something similar but with a vital key to understanding Matthew 7:7-8. In John 15:7 Jesus says if you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you.M125
IF YOU REMAIN IN ME, AND MY WORDS REMAIN IN YOU, ASK WHATEVER YOU DESIRE AND IT SHALL BE DONE FOR YOU.
This is the key to Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.M126
It is when we remain in Jesus, and His words remain in us that whatever we desire when we ask, knock and seek it shall be done for us. For if we can do everything with Jesus, then it is obvious that without Jesus we can do nothing.
Whenever we are trying to do something, we need to always ask the question are we doing this with Jesus, or by ourselves.
When we are unsuccessful in what we are trying to do, and despite all our efforts our works are not bearing any fruit, we should stop and ask the question. Is what we are doing with or without Jesus?
Jesus goes on to say something very intriguing in John 15:7-8. If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.M127 God is glorified when we remain in the Word and bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
To stay free from the chains of darkness, we must stay away from sin as much as possible and the secret to staying away from sin is by ensuring we stay in the word and in the love of Jesus. What’s nice is Jesus gave us an easy way to remain in His love and when we are in His love we are also in God’s love. We see the key to that love is spoken about in John 15:10. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.M128
Did you notice what was asked of us?
Did you see how simple Jesus actually made everything?
All we have to do is keep His commandments. When we do that, Jesus will take care of the rest. That being said, it is subject to us actually keeping His commandments. In fact, that was His opening line “If you keep My commandments”. I highlight this because not only is this very important, but the significance of the result is huge. This goes back to what I was saying earlier where the Bible is really a love story, it’s all about love. The evidence to that is in the statement, “If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love.”
What commands did Jesus give us?
The answer to that is in John 15:17, this I command you: that you love one another.M129 Jesus breaks that down into simple easy to understand words when He said in John 15:12, this is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you.M130
It can’t get any simpler than love one another!
But that’s not the best part of the story. The love that Jesus had for us and what He and God did for us is incredible on so many levels.
Love that was so great, that John 15:13 captures it like words from a Romeo and Juliet play. Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.M131
Just when you think it can’t get any better than having the love of Jesus, He tells us that He’s laying down His life because we are His friends. Now you’re probably asking how do I become friends with Jesus? And you’re probably wondering if that is even possible or even permitted. Well, this is what Jesus say’s in John 15:14 about the criteria for being his friend, you are My friends if you do whatever I command you.M132
Now you may be asking what’s different about a friend of Jesus and a believer in Jesus. The difference is in the keyword used “whatever” a friend of Jesus will do whatever He commands us to do. So the question we have to ask ourselves is, are we a friend of Jesus or a believer in Jesus?
Whether we are a friend or believer the commandment of Jesus stays the same to love one another.
THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT: THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.
When I read those words, it reminds me of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV). And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.N11
The greatest is love! The power of love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they shall fail; if there are tongues, they shall cease; and if there is knowledge, it shall vanish. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect comes, then that which is imperfect shall pass away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, and I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now, we see as through a glass, dimly, but then, face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, even as I also am known.M133
That is the power of love, but what we are without love is captured in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. If I give all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.M134
And now to understand God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and why they endure what goes on the earth, we need to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.M135
Why do They endure all this?
Because there are still many out there that want to be more than just believers and want to be friends with Jesus. They are becoming His friends by doing whatever He commands.
Don’t be mistaken and think that His friends are doing things just because they believe in Jesus. That would be a misconception, they know what they are doing, and do it with conviction because they know why.
If you’re wondering what the friends of Jesus know that makes them do things that are asked of them with conviction; the answer to that is in John 15:15. I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I have heard from My Father have I made known to you.M136
What did Jesus make known to his friends?
EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE HEARD FROM MY FATHER HAVE I MADE KNOWN TO YOU.
Too often we hear people talking about the last days, and too often those people are dismissed because nothing happened. They are called false prophets and worse. Short of stoning them, people are often dismayed. But that’s not the worst part. Despite the incredible short revival in faith, the worst part is the falling away.
Although the falling away is sad, it is prophesied and must take place. It is the confusion between the slight but critical difference between “that day” and the “last days.”
That day cannot come unless the falling away happens first, it is the falling away that takes place during the last days. As more and more people talk about the last days, more and more people will begin to fall away because they are looking for a sign and it didn’t happen.
What people don’t realize is that a sign will not be given to them as Jesus spoke about in Matthew 12:39, when He answered them. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.M137
The reason why no sign is provided as proof or to validate what people have said is not only because of what Jesus said but because of what is prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction.M138
There is no doubt that we are living in the last days. How long the last days will last is unknown but 2 Peter 3:8 has an estimate. But, beloved, do not be ignorant of this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.M139
What many are unaware of, is the reason God is always warning us is because we getting close to the end of the road where mercy will run out. There is a difference between mercy and graceR9 and this difference is greatly misunderstood and what leads to all the confusion.
Let me try and explain the difference and I will start with mercy first. Mercy is the sparing of judgment. For example, if you committed a crime and the sentencing was 2 years in prison. The mercy of the judge would be to spare you, lower your sentencing or set you free. You are at the mercy of the judge for the sentencing.
In Merriam-Webster mercy is defined as, forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly, lenient or compassionate treatment, imprisonment rather than death imposed as a penalty for first-degree murder.MW9
I hope this makes you understand mercy more clearly. Now let’s take a look at the meaning of grace as defined by Merriam-Webster. A disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency, a temporary exemption, the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.MW10
If you understood the slight difference between the two, I’m going to confuse you again to make a point of why grace and mercy are often used interchangeably and the difference between the two is not very clear and confusing, to say the least.
What you will notice is that one of the meanings of the word grace is the word clemency. Where grace is described as the act of clemency. Let us look at the meaning of the word clemency so we can understand grace to its fullest.
Clemency is defined by Merriam-Webster as, kind or merciful treatment of someone who could be given harsh punishment, kind or merciful treatment of someone who could be given harsh punishment.MW11
You’re not alone. The key to understanding the difference between grace and mercy is this.
Grace is the act of doing something, like kindness and forgiveness
Mercy is the passing of a lesser judgment.
Let’s continue with the previous analogy to understand grace and mercy better.
If you committed a crime and the default sentencing period is 2 years, what would happen if the victims of the offense did not press any charges?
If the victims of the crimes provided you mercy (a lesser judgment) by extending grace (an act of kindness) towards you. A funny thing happens.
The judge is now at the mercy and grace that has been extended to you by the victims. The judge can issue a stiffer penalty because that is the law, but if the mercy extended to you by the victims calls for a lesser punishment or even freedom, it will make the actions of the judge unfair if he or she passes more than what the victims are asking for.
THE JUDGE IS AT THE MERCY AND GRACE THAT HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO YOU.
I hope you understood that because if you did, you would know that the only reason we are in a period of grace is because mercy is almost over. Grace can only extend so far when mercy is almost over.
WE ARE IN A PERIOD OF GRACE,
BECAUSE MERCY IS ALMOST OVER!
The mercy of the victims is almost over. The delay in judgment is by the grace of God because the mercy of the victims is almost over. The scary truth is the victims are actually pushing for a quicker sentencing and we read about in Revelation 6:10 when, they cried out with a loud voice, “How long, O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”M140
It is paramount that we understand that grace (an act of kindness) from God has been extended to the victims so that we can have more time, and prophecy can be fulfilled. We see that written about in Revelation 6:11. Then a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers should be completed, who would be killed as they were.M141
The saving grace for humanity is that the full number has not been reached. The blood that was spilled on the land is crying out to God. But there is a way out that’s written about in 2 Chronicles 7:14. If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.M142
They key to delaying judgment is in 2 Chronicles 7:14. This is what indirectly has been happening every time there was a movement and people turned from their wicked ways and prayed to God because they believed that judgment was really at the door. The land was healed, but when they went back to their evil ways, the nation suffered again. The land accumulated more debt.
The problem is that with each falling away, you reach a tipping point where the number of people falling away will be greater than the number of people that are seeking the Lord.
Before we go further, let me clarify and say with all certainty. Nobody knows when Jesus is going to come, nobody knows “that day” or what is often called the “Day of the Lord.” Remember the words written about in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction.M143
“That Day” cannot happen before the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction.
I believe all the confusion comes from people misunderstanding what people are warning about which is the grace that God is extending. The misunderstanding comes from these words in the Bible found in Matthew 24:36. “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.M335 The people quoting this scripture don’t understand the scripture that they are quoting.
Let me break it down in these simple words. Jesus does not know the day or hour of His second coming.
JESUS DOES NOT KNOW THE DAY OR HOUR OF HIS SECOND COMING.
Forget about the fact that no one knows. If Jesus doesn’t know, then no one knows. Jesus included Himself when He said no one, He even said not even the angels of heaven. He then went to say that the only person that knows is His Father.
The reason, why nobody knows and why nobody can know is because Jesus Himself does not know.
The reason why Jesus does not know is because Jesus does not keep anything from his friends as He says in John 15:15. I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I have heard from My Father have I made known to you.M144
What did Jesus make known to His friends that follow His commands?
Everything! Everything He heard from His Father.
EVERYTHING HE HEARD FROM HIS FATHER.
Because Jesus always shares everything with His friends, this day is only known by the God the Father.
There’s also another reason why no one can anyone know the day or the hour of the Lord’s return. It’s an impossibility because if they knew that, then scripture cannot be fulfilled. It’s not the verse in Matthew 24:36 that say’s “concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only”M145, that I’m taking about.
It’s the fundamental fulfillment of scripture in another verse, which I believe is what should be quoted. This verse is in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, for you know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.M146
The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about with regards to “that Day” a.k.a. The Day of Lord. He did not hide it, but people seem to forget it and not bring it up. This is what he said in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3.
Concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you. For you know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.M147
His first words 1 Thessalonians 5:1 are, concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you.M148 He explains why when he says these three words “for you know.”
The reason he’s not writing about when Jesus is going to come because the people he is writing it to already know that Jesus is going to come and He is going to come as a thief in the night.
Before we look at what Paul tells us to do, so we won’t be caught off guard, let us look at the advice Jesus gave us in Matthew 24:42-44.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord will come. But know this, that if the owner of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for in an hour when you least expect, the Son of Man is coming.M149
Jesus’s advice to us, it to always be prepared. That’s exactly what he says in Matthew 24:44. You also must be ready, for in an hour when you least expect, the Son of Man is coming.M150
If we go back and look at what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the sons of light and the sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as others do. But let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we should live together with Him. So comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, just as you are doing.M151
Did you notice what Paul said?
He said something interesting that is in many ways a prophetic statement. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4 Paul says, but you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.M152
Did you catch it?
He said “this Day” it’s very subtle, the Day of the Lord is often referred to as “that day” not this day. But what Paul is saying prophetically is that as you are not in darkness, so this Day should not overtake you as a thief.
There’s a big escape clause in his statement “should” it should not overtake us as a thief and from his viewpoint it won’t providing we are not asleep like the others. But remain alert and sober. For we are of the light and we should be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
Faith, hope, and love are the theme of everything in the Bible, along with questions that do not require answers and parables for us to solve.
Speaking of something to solve, what I love most about the parables of Jesus is that Jesus hints at the answer, but doesn’t make it easy. Sort of like a scripture test where He says, “let’s see how much you read and understand.”
In all fairness, He gives us one part to steer us, but He takes His hands off the wheel to see where we end up. Take for example what He says in Matthew 24:45-46.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has made ruler over his household to give them food at the appointed time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.M153
I’m not sure about you but did realize that Jesus asked a question and did not give an answer. He gave an action statement in the form of a question and a reward statement as the answer. Let me break it down for you line by line, because the way in which He asked it is pure genius!
He first asks, who then is the faithful and wise servant?
Now to figure out who the faithful and wise servant is, we first need to understand what they will be doing at the appointed time.
Before we go into that, I just want to point out one vital thing. The faithful and wise servant is made ruler over the servant’s household, not the master’s household.
To understand this we need to look at how Merriam-Webster has defined the meaning of household: the people in a family or other group that are living together in one house, those who dwell under the same roof and compose a family or a social unit consisting of those living together in the same dwelling.MW12
What this means is that under one roof, within the family is one servant who is faithful and wise that the master (i.e. Jesus) has made a ruler.
This doesn’t mean that this servant is the boss of everyone in that household but instead, the servant (ruler) has a particular task to do at the appointed time.
The task that the servant (ruler) is supposed to be doing at the appointed time for everyone under the same roof is, provide them food. If that servant (ruler) is found giving food to those members that compose a family, then that servant will be blessed when the master (i.e. Jesus) comes.
I would like to highlight that the blessing has a caveat of time. You see the ruler of the household has to be giving food from the appointed time until the ruler’s master comes.
This isn’t a one-day activity but an activity of unknown duration because as we discussed earlier in this document. Matthew 24:36 say’s “concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only”M154
It will be a blessing for the wise and faithful servant to be found giving food at the appointed time to the members of the household because the reward of that blessing is stated in Matthew 24:47. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.M155
Did you notice that the reward of responsibility for the ruler who is the wise and faithful servant is, even more, responsibility to rule over?
Not only does great responsibility come to those that were given it, but even greater punishment for those that do not do as Jesus has asked.
Just look at Luke 12:47-48, “That servant who knew his master’s will, but did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who unknowingly committed acts worthy of punishment shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whom much is given, of him much shall be required. And from him to whom much was entrusted, much will be asked.M156
There is a reason why the words “give them food at the appointed time”; is used in that parable and why it is linked to Luke 12:47-48. But before I explain that, I want to explain the meanings of given and entrusted. Because to the ones where much is given, a lot is required. And to the ones that much is entrusted, more will be asked.
Given has the following meanings in Merriam-Webster: presented as a gift or bestowed without compensation.MW13
The word entrusted likewise in Merriam-Webster has this defined: to give someone the responsibility of doing something or of caring for someone or something, to commit to another with confidence.MW14
I just wanted to point out that there is a difference between those that much is given and those that have been entrusted with much.
Jesus has given many of us gifts and currently we are in training on how to use them correctly for the appointed time. It is at that time these gifts that have been bestowed upon us will be used for it will be required by the people.
For those that been entrusted with the task of giving those in his household food at the appointed time, more will be asked of those entrusted to give food to even more.
TO THE ONES WHOM GIFTS ARE GIVEN,
A LOT IS REQUIRED.
AND THE ONES THAT ARE ENTRUSTED TO GIVE FOOD MORE WILL BE ASKED.
Of all the things Jesus could ask, He requested to give them food at the appointed time. We see this spoken about in Malachi 3:10-12 which is another Bible verse that is often quoted and largely misunderstood.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it. I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that it will not destroy the fruit of your ground, and the vines in your field will not fail to bear fruit, says the Lord of Hosts. Then all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of Hosts.M157
The Lord’s house is a storehouse of food, not money. We are to bring in our tithe, which is a tenth of what we have been blessed with. So that there will be food in the Lord’s house. Farmers are to bring a tithe of their fruits to God’s house and in return, God will prevent pests from devouring their harvest.
When a tithe which is a tenth of the harvest is given to the Lord’s house which should also only be the best fruit, when that is done, God will rebuke the devourer for our sake and the harvest will not be destroyed.
Farmers just need to give God a tenth of the best of their harvest and then the next harvest God will rebuke the devourer from damaging the crops. The important thing to understand is that after the first tithe does the blessings get released. The effect is seen in the next harvest, not in the first crop. The farmer can put God to this test and it is permitted. God is asking for two harvests. The first is the fruit of the ground which are vegetables and the second the fruit of the vines and which is what we call fruits.
When the food is in the Lord’s house, then all the nations will call us blessed, for we will be a delightful land, says the Lord of Hosts.
The reason why the words in Malachi are so powerful is because in John 15:5 Jesus talks about the vine where He says, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing.M158
Jesus is the vine, and servants of God who are responsible for the storehouse of the Lord are the branches. If the servants remain in Jesus and in His word, as talked about in John 15:7-8. If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.M159
It is to the glory of God that the vines, notice the plural form that was used in Malachi, as they are many servants which are the branches. But since they have Jesus in them, Jesus becomes the vines that will bear fruit that ripens until it is ready for the harvest.
The vines will be shown to be the disciples of Jesus as Jesus is in them and is the true vine, producing the fruit that will make the land delightful and blessed.
Isn’t it interesting how God’s word is able to convey so much?
There is a purpose and reason behind why God’s Word is God’s Word and why God does what God does. If we just do what God asks us to do, many can be saved as written in 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.M160
What I love most from that verse, is not only does God want all men to be saved, but God wants them to come to a knowledge of the truth.
What’s important is that God wants all to be saved. What isn’t being said is that God will save all. I think everyone thinks that because God wants to save everyone, God will save everyone. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is that the choice to be saved is yours. Free will. The will to make a choice is yours. This is the blessing and burden of free will. Free will is not a curse but a great responsibility.
God wants us to come to a knowledge of the truth and there’s a reason for that. And that’s written in John 8:32. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.M161
Knowledge of the truth is not only what saves us, but sets us free and keeps us safe from the chains of darkness. 1 Peter 5:8 has some advice that we should pay attention to. Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.M162
We not only get that bit of insight from 1 Peter 5:8 but in 1 Peter 5:9 how to overcome the devil is written down. Resist him firmly in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.M163
We are not alone in the attacks which we experience from the devil; he is seeking to devour our hearts. We, therefore, need to stand strong and firm. We also need to be ever watchful and sober of mind. Let us look at Deuteronomy 30:11-20 for some tough yet insightful words that will explain how we who are called to be servants of Jesus can hear Him speak to us and do as we are asked.
This commandment which I am commanding you today is not hidden from you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up for us to heaven and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?” It is not beyond the sea, so that you should say, “Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, so that you may do it.
But if your heart turns away, so that you do not obey, but are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, then I declare to you today that you will surely perish and that you will not prolong your days in the land which you are crossing the Jordan to go in and possess.
I call heaven and earth to witnesses against you this day, that I have set before you, life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.M164
The choice is ours, therefore, choose the word for it is very near to us, in our mouth, and in our heart, and choose that we may do it.
We are not doing this alone by any means, just look at the words in Isaiah 41:10. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. M165
Who is going to help us, God’s right hand! Jesus is going to be helping us, because in Mark 16:19-20 it is recorded that, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God. Then they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.M166
What we learn from Mark 16:19-20 is that Jesus is at the righteous right hand of God and Jesus like God confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. God established His word in Genesis 1:3 when God said, “Let there be light” and that was accompanied by the sign, “and there was light.”M167