Fruits of the Sower

You did not choose Me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask Him in My Name. John 15:16

Questions have been raised concerning the reliability and authenticity of the written record in the Bible. A pertinent question often raised among skeptics is, ‘How trustworthy can the material in the Bible be without any original autographs available upon which to make a comparison?’ Translation, transliteration, and professional bias by the translators may also present counter arguments that support a position of questioning whether personal or group biases may have been inserted throughout the material, thus negating their effectiveness in establishing Truth. A further difficulty is the absence of a signature of authorship in any of the “gospels”. This issue is of particular significance when seeking to establish the words of God as delivered by His Son, which is the testimony of Jesus. Seeking an answer to these issues is the subject of this article.

Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and summoning Jesus, said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is My kingdom is not of this realm.” Pilate therefore said to Him,” So you are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a King. For this I have been born, and for this have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, What is truth?” John 18:33-38 (NASB)

Pilates question is very important, and one that demands a truthful and comprehensive answer. This question goes to the heart of whether or not God is indeed involved in planning outcomes for this earth, and what His expectations are for those who wish to be involved in that plan. How may we know and understand the information leading us to a truthful answer to this question? To being, it is first necessary to ascertain what would be the cause that would require any interaction between God and His created beings in the first place.

God created all things, from the vast universe to the tiniest quark, and He accomplished this work by the power/energy of His word. All things maintain an orderly arrangement through their Creator. A small part of this creation is the galaxy in which our earth resides, identified as the “Milky Way”. An even smaller element is our solar system. And on a tiny speck of dust in our solar system a highly important endeavor is underway.

Before humans beings were created God created spiritual beings to work for Him throughout the universe. One of their duties (after the creation of this world) was teaching humankind the knowledge they needed to know in order live and work on this earth. The beings God created on this earth were finite, mortal flesh and blood beings. Their brains were not pre-programmed with information, as are the instincts of the lower animals. Humans beings, identified as the collective ‘mankind’ (created in the image and likeness of God-Gen.1:26-27) were created with the ability to learn, and choose what they wanted to learn and practice. God provided teachers from His home planet to instruct humankind, giving them the information they required to accomplish their God given purpose to care for the earth (see Genesis 1:28). These teachers performed well, humankind learned the information and prospered. What happened next is the cause of the situation in which we find ourselves in today.

One data set of information given to the nations of the earth by these ‘watchers’ was about seeds. Seeds are planted, take root, sprout, and grow into a mature plant. The plant produces fruit containing seed that when planted will go through the same cycle. Information is “planted” by teachers/the “sowers”; students/disciples are the “soil” which receive (eat) the “seeds of knowledge”. Before graduation each student must provide evidence demonstrating their understanding of the “seeds of knowledge” they have consumed. Typically, students build trust in their teacher/s, and accept what they say as the truth. The beings (watchers/teachers) sent from God in the heavens, gained the trust of humankind, and then used that trust to effect a great deception. These teachers told humankind that they were their gods, they were the creators and were to be worshiped. The ancient gods of the nations were nothing more than created spiritual beings sent from the heavens, and they continue to lie and the nations of man deceive through these lies.

When consumed the fruit of lies is as a poisonous plant. When eaten the fruit of lies brings death to whomever eat of them. Those who believe these lies are caught in the deception created by the originator of lies, the Great Deceiver. When eaten, the fruit of truth brings true wisdom, and those who listen to the truth are full of true knowledge. Knowledge that has its root in truth when applied with understanding gives true wisdom. Truth is light, lies are darkness. Truth builds trust, lies build faith. Faith is required in the darkness; faith evaporates in light. Since in the darkness you are unable to see; faith is therefore necessary to be able to function when you cannot see.

Words are the seeds of all knowledge, for either good or ill. Words of truth produce good fruit. Seeds have two functions; one is to be converted into food, and the other is to be planted for a new crop. The preservation and transmission of knowledge depends upon the one who is responsible for the care of the seed/words.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 (NASB)

God has been, and is now, working to restore righteousness, truth, and light to this world. He has revealed the process by which, this will be accomplished. This earth is His creation, and it was taken from Him. He is working to restore it to it prior glory. God can, and will, accomplish this goal, and our active participation is required for the completion of His plan. God has given us the seeds/words advising us of our responsibilities, and the requirements which must be accomplished for this to occur. The rebellious, evil beings that successfully deceived the whole world are committed to making sure that the requirements of God’s plan are never achieved. These are the masters of deception, giving their lies the flavor of truth. Like mixing sugar or honey into a bitter liquid, or fecal material mixed into a chocolate cake they know how to make death taste good. They know what people prefer to believe, and offer up a cleverly crafted, popular deception. The seeds they have planted are thistles and thorn bushes, and the fruit they produce are poisonous; eating this fruit brings death.

Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. Matthew 7:15-19 (NASB)

How are we able to know what is reliable teaching and information, and what is not? First we must determine whether we trust in God, or if God is real. The extra biblical evidence for the reality of God is everywhere around us. God, who created everything we see, and cannot see, is capable of preserving His spoken words of truth. The text previously quoted (Isaiah 55:10-11) is very clear; God delivers His word through messenger and prophet, and His word will accomplish its purpose. His purpose is the cleansing of this earth of all corruption, which includes sin, lies, and deception, and He will then restore of His glory throughout the whole earth (Ex. 14:21) How sin is dealt with is the all-important issue. This earth is full of sin; it is in the people, the evil beings, and in all that corrupts the earth. God has offered a way for sinners to be cleansed from all their sin. Anyone who teaches that this earth is chronically and incurably sinful, therefore requiring God to provide a way to save sinners from their sin, in their sin, is a thistle and thorn bush. God’s word of truth is a cleansing fire, it burns away all lies until all that is left is truth. God’s word purifies sinners from all their sinfulness, creating in them a reality of righteousness. The ultimate outcome is that God will cleanse sin from this earth by fire. Those who have already been cleansed/sanctified by fire of the word of God will not experience the cleansing “lake of fire”, which is the second death (see Revelation 20:14)

God has revealed future events long before they take place, and this is one way to verify the authority of the word of God. Daniel chapter two is a good example. Some “experts” state that the book of Daniel was written during the time of Greek occupation, 400-200 BCE. It can be demonstrated by observing the fulfilled elements of the prophecies in Daniel that it would have been impossible for anyone (or any group of experts) to have predicted with any accuracy after the fact the fulfillment of the prophecies that are contained in Daniel.

What we read in Daniel chapter two is unique. Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon and much of the eastern Mediterranean world, is lying on his bed thinking about the distant future. He wonders what influence he will have long after he is gone. God gives him a vision of great kingdoms/empires of the future; but God does not give him an interpretation of this vision. Nebuchadnezzar desires to know the meaning of the vision, but knows that if he tells his dream to his sorcerers, conjurors, and Chaldeans, they will get together and agree upon an interpretation based upon what he (Nebuchadnezzar) had already told them. Nebuchadnezzar does not want a fictional interpretation, he wants the truth. He knows that anyone who is able to tell him the vision in every detail and without prior knowledge, could be trusted to be accurate.

There are a couple of interesting elements to consider in this vision described in Daniel 2. One element is the distinct absence of the nation of Israel. There is seen the kingdom of Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, followed by a mixture of kingdoms. It is in the days of this mixture of kingdoms that the God of the heavens will set-up/establish, a kingdom will be set up which will never be destroyed, and never given to another people. The nation of Israel experienced both the setting up and the destruction of their nation prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s vision. They had been sent into captivity in Babylon because their nation had been destroyed. Much later, after restating the vineyard story (see Isaiah 5) the Son of Man permanently took the kingdom away from the Jews and offered it to all peoples who would meet and fulfill all the required elements (see Matthew 21:43). Herein is a difficulty that the “experts” have failed to address; if this was a concocted story by Jewish scribes living in occupied Jerusalem in the second and third century BCE (as is postulated by ‘experts’), why then would they omit the very belief they held so fervently that the Messiah would finally come and restore the kingdom of Israel to glory, and make it the most powerful kingdom in the world. The complete absence of the kingdom of Israel in the Daniel 2 prophecy is revealing. Another difficulty is the characteristics of the feet. The feet were a mixture of iron and baked clay, We are told that one representation of this is that some of these kingdoms will have the strength of iron and some brittle as baked clay. The other representation of the mixture of iron and clay is that there will be a mixing in the “seed of men”. In ancient times nations consisted of a singular race or ethnicity. But in the last days the nations will be a mixture of all races of men; look at the world today and see the truth of this prophecy. No scribe in 400-200 BCE would have had any idea that the status quo of their day would be so dramatically changed.

The stone that separates itself from the quarry is also a unique feature of this prophecy. God was personally involved in the “birth” of His people. The God of Israel led His people out of Egypt with a mighty hand (see Deuteronomy 5:15). In the end of days Gods involvement in the separation of His kingdom out of the world is passive. God has now already sown the seeds of truth through the testimony of His Son while He was here on earth; and He has preserved the truth of their meaning throughout the ages since then. The “stone” that separates itself from the rock quarry uses the ancient words of God to accomplish this wonder.

The great deceiver does not want the faithful and sensible bond-servant to learn the words of truth, let alone feed his fellow bond-servants the bread of life, which is the testimony of Jesus. The only way that this will materialize is for God to preserve the true words of life. These words of truth are the seeds sown by the Sower, the Son of Man. Those who eat these words will come to the full knowledge of truth, and separate themselves from those who remain established in the rock quarry, and see no need to leave.

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” John 12:42-50(NASB)

Heed the words of the Sower!

Rick Sterling

The Grand Plan (part 4)

God instructs the people of His creation in an intelligent and consistent manner, making it possible to learn the processes God uses and to understand them. In the perfect world there would be no sin; therefore there would be no need for the elements used to remove sin and conduct a final judgment. When God created this world and all it contains it was perfect; but a rebellion ensued and sin corrupted the earth. The rebels are spiritual beings, who had been sent here from the heavens to instruct humankind, giving them the information they needed to achieve the purpose for which God had created them. (see Genesis 1:26-31).

Sometime after creation these spiritual beings presented themselves to the peoples of the earth (the nations) as the creator gods of this world, and were worshiped by mankind. God owns all that He has created, and He has authority to determine what justice demands. From the record of those who have received communication from God there is a unified understanding; there is a difference between guilt and the guilty. If sin is committed in ignorance it is still a sin, but justice demands that the sinner must know that they are sinning. The spiritual beings knew that what they were doing was against the law of God, but they violated that law anyway. The people of earth were deceived by these spiritual beings; they were informed by these beings that they (human beings) were the product of their genetic reprogramming. These people were instructed to worship these gods and obey them.

Unknowingly, the people of earth were shepherded into darkness. God allowed this to continue in time (how long I do not know), but it appears it may have been thousands to tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of years. Sin, as is always the case, reached a point where God needed to judge the people of the world. In order to adhere to the requirements of righteousness, God needed to inform the people of earth of their sin; it was at this point in history that God created the man of earth (Adam).

Adam, unlike those who were created before him, received instruction from Elohim. The essential element of righteousness is to obey Elohim/God. Adam, his wife, and their children were required to demonstrate obedience before they could act as representatives of Elohim; therefore Elohim placed the Tree of the Learning of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the very heart of the garden planted by Elohim.

Elohim had informed Adam that he was never to eat from this particular tree, and if he were to eat from it he would be put to death. When Adam and his wife violated this law they were to be executed by Elohim that very day, but they were not.

There is a point at which sin becomes irreversible. In other words, the sinner has reached a point in their sinful practices that even if they are informed that they were in violation of the law of God they would continue in their evil ways. Except for Noah this was the condition of all humanity at the time of the great flood. Apparently the spiritual beings were not put to death at this time because only Noah was righteous, not his family.

Noah was alive when Abraham was born, but it is not stated that they knew each other. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were chosen to be the fathers of the people of the kingdom of Elohim.

‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God’. Nicodemus said, ‘How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again? Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God: what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’ John 3:3-8 (JB)

Abraham was the first born of all who are born from above. All who are born from above become offspring in the line of the first born; all born from above are the children of Elohim. The Son of God became flesh to open the way for us to be born from above. When we are born of the Holy Spirit, the mother of all the righteous, we enter the kingdom of God. This kingdom is defined the sons of Jacob/Israel. Therefore all who are born from above receive a family connection to one of the twelve patriarchs.
Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest (or last) of her children, that is all who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus. Revelation 12:17 (JB)

The “woman” is the Holy Spirit and the offspring are those “born from above”; note that the “woman” is in the heavens. The firstborn of this “woman” is the Son of God, these born last are sons and daughters of God/Elohim. These born last are the 144,000 and the kingdom (five wise bridesmaids). The people who come out of the great tribulation (multitude no one is able to count), those who did not worship the beast, or receive his mark are not born from above before the casting down of the censer or the start of the seven trumpets.

The Priests (144,000)

The priests of Elohim have been entrusted with the responsibility of preparing individuals to enter the kingdom of Elohim. The tribe of Levi were the first priests of Elohim. They served Elohim by instructing the kingdom in the way of righteousness; this involved teaching the Law, and performing the processes of the sanctuary. They were required to recognize sin and sinner and were to transport the confessed sins of the nation into the sanctuary and place the sins upon the horns of the altar of incense. Anyone in the nation who refused to confess their sin and continued in their sinful way was to be put to death. In this way the nation would be purified of all corruption.

The Son of God came down from the heavens to be born of a woman (Mary), and thus He became a Son of Man. He performed the requirements of the priesthood. He taught and explained the Law, He informed the people of their sins (in particular the scribes and teachers of Israel), He was put to death, and with His blood He sanctifies those who confess their sins, and with His blood He will purchase all those who complete the requirements of righteousness. It was necessary for Him to return to His Father, who dwells in the Sanctuary in the heavens, to perform the required processes of sanctification/consecration in this Sanctuary (see Daniel 8:13-14).

The testimony of Jesus (what He did and said) must be learned and reproduced by His followers/disciples. Sin is exposed through the process of learning His teaching. The Son of God told His disciples, John, Peter, and James, that there would come in the last days an Elijah type prophet, who would see that restoration was accomplished (Matthew 17:11). He informed His disciples that in those days there would come a person whom He identifies as “a person faithful and wise enough for the Master to place over His household” (see Matthew 24:45).

The information contained in Matthew chapters 24 and 25 was given in response to a question asked by His disciples; ‘Tell us, when is this going to happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?’ (See Matthew 24:3-4). The information is connected specifically to the end of the world and restoration; in other words, the servant who is faithful and wise will be responsible for the completion of the plan for restoration. Therefore, this ‘faithful and wise bondservant’ is the coming Elijah identified by Jesus “who will restore all things”. He said this to them as they were coming down from the mountain where He had been transfigured.

The Son of Man compared His words to planting seed and bread for the eating. And that His words would give eternal life to all who ate them. The Son of Man defines the activity of the faithful and wise servant as the same activity that He, the Son of Man, has done; that this servant will give his fellow servants their food (words of instruction) at the proper (set) time (Matt. 24:45-51).

The key to understanding the word of God is to know the difference between the physical and spiritual realms. We are physical beings, and we live in the physical realm. God is a spiritual being, and they (Elohim) dwells in the spiritual realm. The kingdom of God exists in the spiritual realm; therefore it is not in a geographical area on this earth. The kingdom of God is in both the heavens and in the world, but it is not a kingdom of the world. The kingdom of the heavens is in a spiritual wilderness, while on earth. When God led the children of Israel and “mixed multitude” out of Egypt, He did not lead them directly into the Promised Land; God first led this group into the wilderness. In the wilderness God gave them instructions concerning the process involved in transitioning from the physical to the spiritual realm.

So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ he asked. Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about Me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’ Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if My kingdom were of this world, My men would have fought to prevent My being surrendered to the Jews. But My kingdom is not of this kind (lit. not from here).’ ‘So you are a King then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes I am a King. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to My voice.’ Truth?’ said Pilate ‘What is that?’ John 18:33-38 (JB)

The Son of God was on trial; the charge was He had declared Himself King of the Jews. The Jews were living in expectation of the coming of their Messiah (King), and that the time for His coming had arrived. The Jews believed that when their Messiah came He would overthrow the Roman occupation of their land and they would then be the most powerful kingdom on earth. It is ironic that when the Messiah came He did not fit their expectations. Although He never declared Himself King, they charged Him with this title. Their Messiah would then drive the Romans out and rule Judea, and then defeat the world.

We see how thoroughly the evil one had control over the spiritual leadership of the Jews. The evil one had successfully controlled the people at Mt. Horeb in the wilderness, and the people built a golden calf and worshipped it. This same group refused to enter the Promised Land. All but two of that generation died in the wilderness.

When the Son of Man came to His people they were living in a spiritual wilderness, and most chose to stay in the wilderness, calling for the crucifixion of this “fraud”, saying “We have no king but Caesar”.

God uses physical world representations to convey spiritual realm truth. A good example of this is the Sanctuary process conducted by the priests. These processes reveal the spiritual truth of sanctification and restoration. The parables of Jesus are physical realm accounts of spiritual realm truth. In the physical realm a wilderness is a wasteland, a desert. In the spiritual realm a wilderness is a place where the dead are alive, and the gods of the dead rule. This place may also be described as a bottomless pit.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were sojourners in the spiritual wilderness, they were living in expectation of a land that God had promised to give to their descendants. They were in the wilderness, but not of the wilderness, because they worshipped and obeyed the living God.

To truly know God we must know how to discern that which is spiritual. This is what the Son of God meant when He said to the woman at the well outside Sychar, God is spirit, and that a time was coming, and had already come, when true worshippers would worship God in spirit and in truth (see John 4:21-26).

It is important that all who desire to enter the kingdom of God learn how to discern the truth of God. The truth is like stepping stones across a wide river; but these same stepping stones can become stumbling blocks if you have not learned spiritual discernment.

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, for the life of the world. Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’ they said. John 6:51-52 (JB)

These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? “What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before? “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit(ual) and are life. “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. John 6:59-64 (NASB) Parenthesis and underline mine.

To understand the spiritual realm we must learn how to connect physical symbols with spiritual reality. Even the disciples, whom God had chosen, were having great difficulty with this subject. And this truth, with spiritual comprehension, would cause them to “stumble”, and possibly fall.

The dwelling of the Son of God was, and is, in the spiritual realm (the heavens). He left the place of His dwelling and entered our world. He was born of a woman (surrogate mother), thus He became a Son of Man. All of us are sons or daughters of man, for we are all born of a woman. We enter this physical realm and learn its ways. The Son of Man taught us that we must be “born from above” before we can enter the Kingdom of God. This He taught to Nicodemus, who himself was a teacher of Israel. Nicodemus apparently had no understanding of the necessity of connecting with the spiritual realm to enter the Kingdom of God. I am sure he thought that he, as an Israelite, had been born into it when he was born from his mother. It is evident how this teaching could easily have caused him to “stumble”. Note his response, “how can a man be born when he is old?”

With the introduction of faith into the belief system of Christians, the evil one insured that the importance of learning the spiritual teaching of the Son of God would never be accomplished. Christians know only that God is a spiritual being, and that He communicates in spiritual ways which we will never be able to understand until we “get to heaven”. Christians see no need to try and understand the spiritual realm, believing it to be an esoteric realm beyond the grasp of understanding by mere mortals. Just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, and they hold on to this statement and go no further.

All who have completed their spiritual realm training may enter the kingdom of God, and this is accomplished by completing the sanctification process. The children of Israel were physically led out of Egypt into the wilderness, but spiritually they remained in Egypt. God tried to teach the Israelites the way to the spiritual kingdom, but He knew it was easier to remove them from Egypt, than to remove Egypt from their mind and heart. The reason God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness (before Israel entered the Promised Land) was to demonstrate through genuine participation in its services the accomplishment of its spiritual purpose. It is with the mind and heart that the physical being may live in the spiritual realm, while still here on earth.

John the Baptist hadn’t made the transition to the spiritual realm any more than had any of the rest of Israel. If he had made this transition he would have known who he was (spiritually), and also the spiritual meaning of “a voice crying in the wilderness”. Many assume that God had visited John the Baptist, telling him what to say and where to say it, but this is not the case.

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews’ sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ’. ‘Well then,’ they asked’ are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No’. So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am as Isaiah prophesied; a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord’! John 1:19-23 (JB)

I did not know Him myself, but he who sent me to baptize with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the One who is going to baptize with the Holy Spirit”. John 1:33 (JB)

However, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognize him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands.’ The disciples understood then that He had been speaking of John the Baptist.
So here is the conundrum: On the one hand we have John the Baptist publicly denying that he is the promised Elijah figure, and on the other Jesus saying that he was the promised Elijah. So not only did the religious leaders not recognize him as the Elijah, but John the Baptist himself did not recognize he was the Elijah of the prophecy. If he had had an understanding of how things of God are spiritually discerned he would have responded much differently.

The information in both eyewitness accounts in Matthew and John indicates that John the Baptist understood he needed to go into the physical wilderness, which he did. Yet the prophet Isaiah was describing a spiritual wilderness. The spiritual condition of Israel was desolate and dark, because they were of the world.
The Word was the true light that enlightens all men; and He was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its being through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own domain and His own people did not accept Him. John 1:9-11 (JB)
Darkness is another word used to describe the spiritual condition of humanity when Elohim is not their God. Wilderness and darkness are frequently used to define the spiritual dwelling place of people that are in the kingdom of the world. Without God Israel was only a group of people who lived on the land under foreign rulers. Nothing has changed since then, as we still live in a spiritual wilderness. God has shown us the way out of this wilderness and into His kingdom of truth and light.

Christians today have the same certainty of conviction as did the Jews at the time of the Messiah. Christians believe they are already in the kingdom of God, and are simply waiting for their Savior to soon appear. The Jews believed they were already in the kingdom, and at any moment their Messiah would appear and end their servitude to Caesar.

More often than not, the mistakes of the past are repeated by subsequent generations in the future; why? The answer would seem to be obvious; people are certain they know the truth. But if they believe a lie they will not recognize the truth when it appears. When the promised Elijah appears would you be able to recognize him? Are you even watching for his appearance?

God revealed that there will be 144,000 priests sealed first (first fruits), and I know that God always tells the truth. The 144,000 have the responsibility of preparing the kingdom of the heavens for the great banquet. Revelation 14:5 lists seven characteristics that all 144,000 have; one of these characteristics is, “there is no lie in their mouth. The 144,000 are sanctified by the truth before they are sealed. The 144,000 complete this process before they are sealed, not after. The reason the 144,000 have not been sealed yet is that no one has ever accomplished the sanctification process. The work of the faithful and wise bond-servant, who is the Elijah type prophet (the one who will accomplish God’s plan for restoration) is to give his fellow bond-servants their food at the time of the end. This food is the word of God, the testimony of Jesus. These words are available to all right now, and have been for around two thousand years. The faithful and wise bond-servant uses the words of God from the Bible to feed his fellow bond-servants, just as John the Baptist used the words from the Law and the prophets to fulfill his purpose. The key to this whole process is the Holy Spirit of God. She gives spiritual understanding to those who have ears to hear what She is saying.

Servant: one that serves others; one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer.

You may be quite sure of this that if the householder (master of the house) had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. ‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the Master to place him over His household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his Master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, He will place him over everything He owns. Matthew 24:43-47 (JB)

Allow me to ask a question at the beginning of the explanation of this description. “What sort of servant is faithful and wise enough for the Master to place him over His household to give them their food at the proper time?

The key to the correct answer is this; faithful (trustworthy, believing, sure, true) and wise (thoughtful, sagacious, acumen, intelligence, mental acquirement) enough. This person is not randomly selected, he is completely qualified for service. This is closely related to the account later in this message, the three entrusted servants.

The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” His Master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your Master’s happiness”. Matthew 25:20-21 (JB)

The five, two, and one talents were not the property of the servants who received them, they belonged to their Master. These talents were not gifts, and the three servants understood this; particularly the third servant. What does this account show us, that we are able to apply its meaning for us to understand?
The Master representation is pretty clear; this is the Son of Man.
The talents He gave us before He went away to His home in the heavens, are His words. He commanded His servants (disciples) to invest (plant the seeds, which is His testimony, thus they would feed His lambs and sheep) His testimony is the truth, the truth is the currency of heaven.

The servants are His disciples, not only those who followed Him while He was in ministry here on earth, but also those who study His testimony (teaching) and learn the truth today. The process of learning the truth the process of sanctification occur concurrently. When they are full of truth they are also pure, because there is no lie in them, therefore no corruption is in them.

The master returns at the end of days, at the time of the harvest. The original disciples are not present when He returns, but His servants are; these are the steadfast and wise servant and his fellow servants. So the answer to the question posed in Matthew 24:45 is the same as the representation of the servant given five talents. The fellow servants are represented by the servant who received two talents. More is required from the first servant, this is why he is given more.

The steadfast and wise servant, the one who has demonstrated these two main qualities over the required length of time, has been tasked with the duty of completing the plan of restoration. God does not inform this person with a personal visitation, he is called through the word of prophecy. Who then is steadfast and wise enough to be placed over the household of Elohim? As described earlier, this particular servant is the Elijah who will “restore all things”, a promise made by the Son of Man (Matthew 17:11).

The invitation to the wedding feast was first given to the original disciples of Jesus; “Go and make disciples of all nations, instructing them to obey all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). These instructions included the learning and following the Law and Prophets (Matthew 5:17-18), learning and practicing the truth (John 8:31-32), completing the sanctification/consecration process (John 17:17), learning the testimony of Jesus, and instructing others to follow this testimony. When the instructions in the wedding invitation are followed the guest will be properly attired in the required wedding garment (see Matthew 22:1-14).

The enemy of the Son of God altered the wording of the invitation by changing the instructions concerning the proper attire. The information in this counterfeit invitation specified that a wedding garment would be provided free of charge to all guests. The Son of God being aware of this deception, and not wanting anyone to question whether or not the wedding gown was actually provided, included information that countered this counterfeit inside the parable, leaving no doubt as to what the guest must to to gain entry to the wedding.

“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And he was speechless. “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 22:11-14 (NASB)

The enemy has enjoyed great success with this rouse (deception), which has caused the wedding to be indefinitely delayed, because there was no one who realized that there was a certain process that needed to be followed to acquire the required wedding gown.

‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. Revelation 3:4-5 (NASB)

The messages to the assemblies recorded in Revelation chapters two and three, are messages to the kingdom of the heavens in the end of days. The Lampstand situated in the sanctuary of God has always been a representation of His kingdom. The seven assemblies are each represented by a lampstand. God is the God of the kingdom of God, He is not the God of the kingdom of the world. People who choose to worship and serve the only true God must make a decision to leave the kingdom of the world and participate in the process of sanctification/consecration. This process is administered by the Spirit of Truth acting through the servants/disciples of the Son of God.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3 (NASB)

God is not the ruler of the kingdom of the world; God owns all of creation, but does not rule the kingdom of the evil one. The evil one is the ruler of the kingdom of the world; it is this kingdom that makes war on the kingdom of the holy people. Revelation 11:15 records the announcement made at the sound of the seventh trumpet. “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Messiah/Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” If God were the ruler of all the kingdoms of the world there would be no need to conquer them, this would be a kingdom at war with itself, a kingdom divided against itself.

The kingdom of God is a kingdom which only the righteous may enter. The people in this kingdom have made a promise to faithfully keep the commands of the covenant (Ten Commandments), and to follow the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). God communicates information to the people who have made a commitment to learn from the only true God and worship Him in spirit and truth. The seven messages in Revelation chapter two and three are intended specifically for the people in the process, or have completed the process of consecration/purification. This process takes place through the activities of the sanctuary in the heavens, and is carried out by the High Priest (Son of God)
In Matthew 21:43 a declaration is made; The kingdom of God will be taken away from the Jews and given to a people who will produce the fruit of it. The kingdom of God would not be realized until the end of the 2300 evenings and mornings. The kingdom of God has at its heart a functioning sanctuary/temple. Daniel 8:14 tells us that after the 2300 evenings and mornings have elapsed the sanctuary will have its rights restored; this means it will begin operating once again. Daniel heard the length of time but did not hear when it would start or end. He did not understand what the meaning of this was (Daniel 8:27). Daniel was informed that this particular vision concerned the final period of the indignation (fury), the end of days. Daniel prayed for an explanation of the vision and Gods assurance of the restoration of Jerusalem and the children of Israel. The angel Gabriel was sent to give Daniel this information (Daniel 9:20-25). The implication was that the two time periods were connected, because the shorter was determined from the longer one.

When the Messiah took the kingdom of God away from the Jews the sanctuary no longer had a kingdom on earth, its processes ceased. In 1844 CE the sanctuary in the heavens began operations because a new kingdom had separated itself from the world (Matthew 25:1). You might say that a new exodus had taken place, but this time it was not preceded by signs, wonders, and plagues. It was a spiritual exodus into a spiritual wilderness. It was prompted by the study of the very prophecy which foretold of this event. Although the expectation was incorrect, the process which would lead to the conclusion of sin had begun.

The process of sanctification purifies the mind, because Elohim requires a pure heart and consciousness. The words contained in the testimony of Jesus are words of truth and will “cast out” all lies if they are allowed to.

‘Make a tree sound and its fruit will be sound; make a tree rotten and its fruit will be rotten. For the tree can be told by its fruit. Brood of vipers, how can your speech be good when you are evil? For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart. A good man draws good things from his store of goodness; a bad man draws bad things from his store of badness. So I tell you this, that for every unfounded word men utter they will answer on judgment day, since it is by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words condemned.’ Matthew 12:33-37 (JB)

Consecrate/Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17(JB)

Then, leaving the crowds, He went to the house; and His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us’. He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send His angels and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears. Matthew 13:36-43 (JB)

The events in this parable are described by the prophecy of the “ten bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13). The bridesmaids are called the “kingdom of the heavens”. There are two groups, the the wise and foolish. The wise have extra oil and the foolish do not. The wise went in with the Bridegroom into the wedding hall and the door was closed. The foolish arrived later, and they were too late. The Bridegroom said “I do not know you”!
(Continued in Part 5)