He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear (Matthew 11:15-30)
Challenging both secular wisdom and religious doctrines. - Will our descendants know moral virtue?
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The Christian Calling
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
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Representatives of the King of Kings
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives,
the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things
be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And
Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For
many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And
ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all
these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:) Matthew 24:3-15
Luke 19:11-27 (BBE)
- And while they were giving ear to these words, he made another story for them,
because he was near Jerusalem, and because they were of the opinion that the
kingdom of God was coming straight away. So he said, A
certain man of high birth went into a far-away country to get a kingdom for
himself, and to come back. And he sent for ten of his servants and gave them ten
pounds and said to them, Do business with this till I come.
But his people had no love for him, and sent representatives after him, saying, We will not have this man for our ruler. And when he came back again, having got his kingdom, he gave orders for those servants to whom he had given the money to come to him, so that he might have an account of what business they had done.
And the first came before him, saying, Lord, your pound has made ten pounds. And he said to him, You have done well, O good servant: because you have done well in a small thing you will have authority over ten towns.
And another came, saying, Your pound has made five pounds. And he said, You will be ruler over five towns.
And another came, saying, Lord, here is your pound, which I put away in a cloth; Because I was in fear of you, for you are a hard man: you take up what you have not put down, and get in grain where you have not put seed.
He said to him, By the words of your mouth you will be judged, you bad servant. You had knowledge that I am a hard man, taking up what I have not put down and getting in grain where I have not put seed; Why then did you not put my money in a bank, so that when I came I would get it back with interest?
And he said to the others who were near, Take the pound away from him, and give it to the man who has ten. And they say to him, Lord, he has ten pounds. And I say to you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And as for those who were against me, who would not have me for their ruler, let them come here, and be put to death before me.
"Unfortunately, much of the Christian Church has lost sight of the message of the Kingdom and preaches alternative religious themes. This is a serious problem, particularly because fulfilling the assignment of preaching the Kingdom is the key to the timing of the return of Christ. Jesus said that the end will come after the gospel of the Kingdom is preached to all nations....The fact that Jesus has not yet come back yet is proof that His assignment, which He delegated to His followers in every generation, has not yet been fulfilled." -- Page 121 Rediscovering the Kingdom by Myles Munroe - A relationship, not a "religion."
Ambassadors for Christ
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
If our lives are truly hid in Christ's, then His opinions, not ours, is what we are called to relay. If we are ambassadors for Christ, and the Kingdom of God, it is the Word of God we are to represent, not our own views. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy. His Word alone matters. There is no consensus, no compromising His Word and there is no substitute for God's Word. The "Scripture cannot be broken." John 10:35
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
Matthew 10:16-42 - Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst
of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they
will scourge you in their synagogues; And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a
testimony against them and the Gentiles.
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach you upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear you not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it. He that receives you receives me, and he that receives me receives him that sent me. He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Lord, are there few that be saved?
Luke 13:23-30 - Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know not who you are: Then shall you begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and you have taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know not who you are; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
Does the branch on a fruit tree struggle to bear its fruit?
John 15: I am the true vine, and
my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes
away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth
more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch
cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you,
except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that
abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you
can do nothing. If a man abides not in
me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast
them into the fire, and they are burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
He that hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Bearing fruit is NOT the result of our works. Bearing fruit in the Kingdom of God is the result of our ABIDING! A branch does not struggle to bear fruit. The LIFE within the vine is what bears the fruit. The branch surrenders to the LIFE within. (Romans 12:1-2) And Who is the LIFE? All the branch has to do is abide! Did not our Lord say. 'For without Me, YE CAN DO NOTHING!' ...Listen to these words of Christ: 'If ye abide in Me and My Words abide in you...' What is the condition? Abiding in Him and allowing the Living Word to operate in you. "Herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit." ...The abiding produces the fruit. It is His fruit not ours. More is accomplished when God does the work, then a even a lifetime of our struggling.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:6-11
And the LORD said unto Moses, Why do you cry unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift you up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. Exodus 14:15-16
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-3
He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
And the disciples came, and
said unto him, Why do you speak unto them in parables? He answered and
said unto them, Because it is given unto you
to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
but to them it is not given. For whosoever has, to him shall be given,
and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him
shall be taken away even that he has. Therefore I speak to them in
parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not,
neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them. Hear therefore the parable of the sower.
When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and doesn't understands it, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet he has not root in himself, but endures for a while: but when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Acts 19:1-6 - And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were you baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
CHURCH FAILURE vs KINGDOM POWER by Charles Carrin - Church failure is directly related to congregations isolating themselves from the Kingdom of God and re-organizing according to their own ideologies. Failure is unknown in the Kingdom. Jesus promised the church that the "gates of Hell shall not prevail against it". Matthew 16:18. The New Testament acknowledges the reality of the church's persecution and pain but not her failure. She can expect tyranny and trial but not defeat; demonic attack will come but she need never surrender.
Jesus preached about "The gospel of the Kingdom," Matthew 24:14, "The mysteries of the Kingdom," Matthew 13:11, "The keys of the Kingdom," Matthew 16:19, "The word of the Kingdom," Matthew 13:19, "The heirs of the Kingdom," James 2:5. Jesus "loved the church, gave Himself for it," Ephesians 5:25, all the while He pointed men's hearts to the heavenly Kingdom. We are to love the church as Jesus did but our emphasizing segregated parts of the church independently of the Kingdom is a contradiction of His message. Denominationalism is an illusion, a phantom in the desert.
In the gospels, Jesus spoke of the Kingdom more than 130 times but made only 3 references to the church. Matthew 16:18; 18:17. The modern church, in contrast, has reversed the Divine order, ignoring her Kingdom-identity and relating only with select, visible congregations. Do I need proof? World-wide, there are more than 30,000 different registered Christian denominations. Each makes the claim that it is the correct one, has more truth than the rest, and is God's guardian of Scripture. To be spiritually correct, you must belong to it. Such bigotry guarantees the loss of Kingdom identity and power. To whatever degree churches promote self-centeredness and sectarianism, they cut themselves off from Kingdom authority. "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you.'" I Corinthians 14:21. Yet, that is precisely what congregations have done. The result is dysfunctional churches and impotent ministries.
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